But taking a stern tone, Obama accused his health care critics of "defending the status quo." He said he wants the House and Senate to pass out bills before the August recess, so that they can settle on one unified bill that he can sign shortly after lawmakers return from break.
"This is a problem that we can no longer defer," Obama said, flanked by nurses. "Deferring reform is nothing more than defending the status quo -- and those who would oppose our efforts should take a hard look at just what it is that they're defending."
He described the current system as one in which costs are skyrocketing as thousands lose coverage, saying the status quo is "not an option" for Americans anymore.
President Obama is attempting to use the same argumentative technique he has used throughout the debate on most domestic policy. He has made a habit of saying that anyone that disagrees with his vision wants to do NOTHING.
That's the rhetorical trick he tried to do when the stimulus debate was in full swing. I remember President Obama, in his first televised news conference, proclaiming that he disagreed with those that said that we should do nothing.
I have already debunked the idea that Republican opponents of President Obama have no ideas. The Republicans are tied to several health care reform plans: including ones by John Shadegg and another by Robert Bennett. No one is saying that the status quo is all right. The question is whether or not a massive government take over of health care is the right idea.
The president appears to not want to have that debate. As such, he creates a strawman argument in which the only one with an idea is him. That's simply not the case. If "health care reform" was his agenda, there would be dozens of plans on the table. Instead, the president insists on the government option, mandates, and increasing taxes to pay for it. The Republicans aren't merely saying no and offering nothing. They have offered their competing options. The president has ignored them entirely, and now he's pretending they don't even exist.