Obama Quietly Pushing Back Healthcare Deadline to December?


By: Warner Todd Huston

The folks at HealthcareHorseRace.com have discovered an interesting inconsistency with Obama’s June 20 statements on his healthcare bill deadline and that posted in the “official” transcript on the White House website. As far as the White House website is concerned, the goal is to have a bill before the president by October. But in verbal statement reported by several media sources, Obama himself has said December and not October. So, what we have here is a hint that Obama might realize his bill is in major trouble and he is quietly trying to push back the expectations on his self-imposed deadline.

During the initial stages of the schedule that Obama was expecting to impose on the healthcare debate, he expected a bill to sign by October. This Fall deadline still appears on the White House policy page in its Briefing Room section where Obama comments are supposedly transcribed for the sake of “transparency.”

But, two sources — The Washington Post’s Ceci Connolly and ABC News‘ Chief White House Correspondent Jake Tapper — are reporting Obama’s verbal statement as positing a December deadline instead.

Here are the relevant sections of the announcement (my bold in both cases)…

WhiteHouse.gov transcript:

“The agreement reached today to lower prescription drug costs for seniors will be an important part of the legislation I expect to sign into law in October. I want to commend House chairmen Henry Waxman, George Miller and Charles Rangel for addressing this issue in the health reform legislation they unveiled this week. This is a tangible example of the type of reform that will lower costs while assuring quality health care for every American.”

Obama’s verbal comments of June 20:

“The agreement reached today to lower prescription drug costs for seniors will be an important part of the legislation I expect to sign into law in December… This is a tangible example of the type of reform that will lower costs while assuring quality health care for every American.”

Now, it might be easy to assume that a single reporter mistakenly used December instead of October when reporting the president’s comments. Yet we have two reporting Obama’s words, not just one. There isn’t any sort of “bias” angle here, there is no way to imply a flavoring of the news by left-wing reporters as might be the case in other areas. This is a simple reporting of the actual words Obama used in his comments. When two such professionals make the exact same “mistake,” well that pretty much makes it a lot less likely that it is a mistake.

Why did Obama say December when his past statements have focused on an October deadline and when the White House transcript also says October? Obama must know that his Obamacare policies are meeting heavy resistance in the Democratic Party as well as the GOP. With the Kennedy Bill being roasted by the CBO and the announcement by Senator Baucus that he was pushing back his timetable, on top off wide criticism from all across the spectrum, it is obvious that Obamacare is seeing a big slow down in the speedy timetable that the president initially set.

So, if we might read some tea leaves here, we very well could be seeing the realization finally hitting President Obama that October was not likely to happen, hence he’s priming the pump for the deadline to be pushed back to December. Likely we’ll soon be hearing the president using his favorite line, “As I have always said…” it will be December that he expects to sign a healthcare bill, not October.

Keep your eyes and ears open folks, because in my humble opinion we are seeing planted the seeds of defeat for Obama’s radical, big government take over of nearly 20% of our nation’s economy.

As to the GOP’s plan, this week we will see Senator Jim DeMint (R, SC) offering his counter plan to Obamacare. The debate will be fairly joined at that time.

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