Obama Continues Pressing Health Reform, But Softens On The Deadline
President Barack Obama in remarks on Monday called out critics of his push for health reform and softened his timeline talk, The Associated Press reports.
"The president said it was time to 'fight our way through the politics of the moment' and pass legislation by the end of the year, a shift in his repeated timetable. Obama had said previously that he wanted the House and Senate to vote on legislation before lawmakers leave town for their August recess, with a comprehensive bill for him to sign in October."
"Obama spoke after the chairman of the Republican Party called the president's push for health care overhaul 'socialism,' and accused him of conducting a risky experiment that will hurt the economy and force millions to drop their current coverage." Obama made his comments at the Children's National Medical Center in Washington.
"The president, who spent most of last week making his plea for health care overhaul, was making his case hard again this week, first at the children's hospital, and later this week in a prime-time news conference Wednesday and a town hall in Ohio on Thursday" (Alonso-Zaldivar and Superville, 7/20).
Obama also referenced Sen. Jim DeMint's comments last week that health care reform could end up being Obama's "Waterloo," The Hill reports: "Obama did not mention DeMint by name but did reference that quote. 'Think about that. This isn't about me,' Obama said. 'This isn't about politics. This is about a health care system that is breaking America's families, breaking America's businesses and breaking America's economy. And we can't afford the politics of delay and defeat when it comes to health care. Not this time. Not now'" (Youngman, 7/20).
NPR: "Obama again declared the current system of health care -- with spending on medical expenses taking up 17 percent of U.S. gross domestic product -- as a threat to the economy. He warned that if lawmakers do nothing, 'businesses will shutter' and Americans will bring less money home in their paychecks" (Conaway, 7/20).