Obama Continues The Push For Health Reform
Ahead of a primetime news conference later this week, President Barack Obama took to the offensive Tuesday challenging Democrats as well as Republicans and saying the results of doing nothing will be worse than the costs of being successful in this health overhaul effort, The Associated Press reports. "Said Obama: 'The American people understand that the status quo is unacceptable.' Beyond the talking points cascading through the capital, Obama met Tuesday with the chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee and the moderate to conservative panel Democrats who have balked over the $1.5 trillion, 10-year House bill. The bill would, for the first time, require all individuals to have health insurance and all employers to provide it. The poor would get subsidies to buy insurance and insurers would be barred from denying coverage based on pre-existing conditions."
"Obama took the unusual step of inviting the director of the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office to the White House Monday to discuss health care costs. Doug Elmendorf made big news - and dealt a major setback to Obama's push for overhaul - last week when he said that the legislation pending in Congress would not reduce health care costs. White House spokesman Reid Cherlin said Obama made the invitation to discuss health care and its costs."
"At a crucial moment in the health care discussions, Obama's comments did not contain new details or arguments" (Werner, 7/21).
Reuters: "A key congressional panel canceled Tuesday's votes on its version of the legislation while talks continued with the seven Blue Dogs whose votes are essential to passage. Another panel, the House Ways and Means Committee, said it would meet on Wednesday to look for new tax revenue as its original plan to add a tax on the wealthy was under fire. It would have raised about $544 billion over 10 years. Earlier on Tuesday when asked on NBC's Today show whether he would sign any of the bills working through Congress, Obama said, 'Right now, they're not where they need to be'" (Frank, 7/21).