Tuesday, August 25, 2009
LA Times: Obama tries to 'cut through the noise' on heathcare, by Christi Parsons and Mark Silva:
The president appears on Michael Smerconish's radio show and speaks to Democratic supporters, highlighting a communications challenge on his reform effort.
I'm scared out of my mind talking to you here," Joe from Philadelphia blurted out as he was connected to President Obama during a conservative radio talk show devoted to healthcare Thursday. But when it came to his comment, Joe did not hold back.
"I'm getting a little ticked off that it feels like the knees are buckling a little bit," the caller said, suggesting the president had begun to wobble in the face of pressure from conservative critics.
"You have an overwhelming majority in both the House and the Senate, and you own the whole shooting match," Joe said. "It's very frustrating to watch you try and compromise with a lot of these people who aren't willing to compromise with you."
Appearing on host Michael Smerconish's call-in show, broadcast from the White House, Obama told Joe not to worry. "I guarantee," he said, "we are going to get healthcare reform done." . . . .
Obama also said during the webcast that "there are no plans under health reform to revoke the existing prohibition on using federal taxpayer dollars for abortions." That's an accurate statement, because neither the House nor Senate versions contains a requirement that federal funding be made available for abortions. Still, the legislation is short on many details and, depending on how regulations are written, some women with federally subsidized insurance might be able to buy plans that cover abortions. . . .