The Truth-O-Meter Says:

"The Senate Finance Committee approved a reform proposal that has both Democratic and Republican support."

Barack Obama on Saturday, October 17th, 2009 in his weekly address

Health care reform bill not that bipartisan

In his weekly address, President Barack Obama warned health insurance companies not to derail health care reform, and he praised the progress Congress has already made.

Obama said a broad coalition of supporters including "doctors and nurses, workers and businesses, hospitals and even drug companies — folks who represent different parties and perspectives, including leading Democrats and many leading Republicans" were pushing reform forward. 

"Just this week, the Senate Finance Committee approved a reform proposal that has both Democratic and Republican support," he said.

It was the last statement that caught our attention. Leaders of the majority party often boast about bipartisan support when in fact they have only a handful of votes from the minority. But in this case, Obama so far has just one Republican in the Senate.

The Senate Finance Committee voted to approve a version of the health care overhaul on a vote of 14-9 on Oct. 13. Sen. Olympia Snowe, a Republican from Maine, voted with the Democrats. Every other Republican on the committee opposed the measure.

Sen. Charles Grassley of Iowa, the ranking Republican member on the committee, called the measure partisan and deeply flawed.

So Obama is technically correct that the proposal had "Democratic and Republican support." But he didn't mention that it got only one Republican vote, which meant the nine other GOP senators voted against it. That's not exactly a robust example of bipartisanship. So we rate his statement Barely True.

Editor's note: This statement was rated Barely True when it was published. On July 27, 2011, we changed the name for the rating to Mostly False.
About this statement:

Published: Monday, October 19th, 2009 at 12:55 p.m.

Subjects: Health Care


White House Web site, President Obama Calls Hails Progress on Health Insurance Reform Despite Defenders of the Status Quo , Oct. 17, 2009

Senate Finance Committee, Open Executive Session to Consider an Original Bill Providing for Health Care Reform, Oct. 13, 2009

Sen. Charles Grassley, Grassley: Partisan Health Care Reform Bill is Deeply Flawed , Oct. 13, 2009

Written by: Angie Drobnic Holan
Researched by: Angie Drobnic Holan
Edited by: Bill Adair

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