Tags: obama | gop | concerns | silly

Obama: GOP Healthcare Concerns are 'Silly,' 'Ridiculous,' 'Nonsense'

Wednesday, 09 Sep 2009 09:34 AM

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WASHINGTON -- President Barack Obama said he will give Americans sought-after "clarity" about his plans for reforming US healthcare in a crucial speech to Congress Wednesday, and dispel the "silliness" raised by his opponents.

The U.S. public, he told ABC television in an interview broadcast Wednesday, "will have a lot of clarity about what I think is the best way to move forward," said Obama, who has come under intense pressure to lay out a more detailed blueprint about how he hopes to reshape the healthcare system.

"There's some core principles that I have already laid out previously," the president added.

"We're going to be providing a much more detailed plan."

Obama said the speech also would "dispel some of the myths and, frankly, silliness that's been floating out there for quite some time."

His remarks, taped Tuesday, came on the eve of his speech to Congress, which is seen as crucial to rescuing his faltering healthcare reform program after weeks of shrill Republican attacks.

The president conceded that he may have erred in being less than clear in the roiling weeks-long debate leading up to Wednesday's speech, which has given critics an opening to raise doubts about his reform efforts.

"I, out of an effort to give Congress the ability to do their thing — and not step on their toes — probably left too much ambiguity out there, which allowed, then, opponents of reform to come in and to fill up the air waves with a lot of nonsense," Obama said.

Among the "ridiculous" notions the president said his speech would dispel are rumors of "death panels" that would limit the amount of care afforded to the very old and sick, as well as talk of reforms that would provide care to undocumented immigrants.

Obama said he also hopes to remove from discussion "this broader notion of a government takeover of healthcare," alleged by some of his fiercest right wing critics.

"We're not being rigid and ideological about this thing. But we do intend to get something done this year," he said.

© 2009 Agence France Presse. All rights reserved.

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