WASHINGTON--Legitimate? Says who. Says President Obama.
Obama allowed that the Republicans had a few "legitimate" points or arguments during the Thursday session over stalled health care legislation. Obama peppered his comments with the word. Here are some examples:
1. "This is a legitimate debate, and it actually speaks to the point that Congressman Camp was making earlier about what's happening in the exchanges."
2. "The issue here, which we've had an honest disagreement about, is how much should government set baseline, versus just letting people decide that, you know, "I can't really get decent insurance but, you know, maybe this is better than nothing"? And that's a legitimate argument. I don't disagree with that."
3. "I think the cost issue is legitimate, and whether we can afford it or not, we'll be discussing that. And I think that's an entirely legitimate discussion."
4. Sen. John McCain (R-Az.) asked Obama, "Why in the world, then, would we carve out 800,000 people in Florida that would not be -- have their Medicare Advantage cut? Now, I proposed an amendment on the floor to say everybody'll be treated the same. Now, Mr. President, why should we carve out 800,000 people, because they live in Florida, to keep the Medicare Advantage program, and then wan to do away with it?"
Said Obama, "I think you make a legitimate point."
5. "...Well, I -- I -- I think that's -- it's a legitimate point. I would just point out that 80 percent of seniors are helping to pay, in extra premiums, for the 20 percent who are in this Medicare Advantage. And it's not means-tested, so it's not as if the people who are in Medicare Advantage are somehow the poor people who can't afford supplementals. It's pretty random."
6. "You can make an argument that whatever savings we get out of Medicare Advantage should not go to filling the doughnut hole, for example. That's a legitimate argument. You can make an argument that it should go just to deficit reduction. You know, those are all legitimate arguments."