Today’s Qs for O’s WH – 9/16/2009

Sep 16, 2009 3:28pm

TAPPER:  Well, in terms of health care reform, now that you have this 2 1/2-page outline on the White House Web site, some of the bills in Congress, in terms of the insurance reforms that the president is pushing for, phase in, I believe immediately, you can't be cut off from your insurance because you get sick. But it takes a little bit longer for you can't be denied care because of a preexisting condition and other insurance reforms. Do you guys have a timetable of when it is acceptable, within — after health care reform passes, for these individual reforms to take place?

GIBBS:  Let me talk to Nancy.* I don't know if — I haven't looked at — at other bills and what — and the degree and the swiftness in which some of these are — are instituted. Obviously, it's our belief that these can be done rather quickly.

TAPPER:  OK.  And I just want to get the White House reaction to a couple items in the news. One is former President Jimmy Carter saying that he believes an overwhelming majority of the  demonstrated animosity towards the president is because he's black, and those voters can't accept the fact that a black man is president.  And also an organization the president a long time ago did file that motor-voter law for ACORN…

GIBBS:  A larger group of legal entities.

TAPPER:  Along with them, ACORN — a group the president has had some ties with over the years.  The Census Bureau eliminated their relationship with ACORN for the 2010 census, and the Senate overwhelmingly voted to cut off housing funding. I was just wondering the White House reaction to either of those.

GIBBS:  Well, let's take what former President Carter said.  I — the answer that I'm going to give is the same answer that I gave on Sunday when I was asked this question.  The president does not believe that — that the criticism comes based on the color of his skin.  We understand that people have disagreements with some of the decisions that we've made and some of the extraordinary actions that had to be undertaken by this administration and previous administrations to stabilize our financial system, to ensure viability of our domestic auto industry. I don't — I don't think that, you know, the president does not believe that it's based on the color of his skin.

You know, Jake, as it relates to ACORN, obviously the conduct that you see on those tapes is completely unacceptable. I think everyone would agree with that. The administration takes accountability extremely seriously.  I think the Census Bureau evaluated and determined that this group could not meet the bureau's goal of achieving a fair and accurate count in 2010.  And I assume others are — are evaluating to ensure, as we always are, that any grantee, whether that grant was let in this administration or in previous administrations — there's housing counseling grants that were let in previous administrations, FEMA grants that were let in previous administrations — that we constantly evaluate to ensure that any grantee is living up to what has to happen in order to fulfill that grant application.

*Nancy-Ann DeParle, Counselor to the President and Director of the White House Office of Health Reform


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