Obama Praises Senate For Clearing Key Health Care Hurdle
"President Barack Obama on Monday praised the Senate for clearing a key hurdle after midnight Sunday on the health care reform package, calling it a victory against 'special interests' that will reduce costs and the deficit," Roll Call reports. "'By standing up to the special interests - who've prevented reform for decades and who are furiously lobbying against it now - the Senate has moved us closer to reform that makes a tremendous difference for families, for seniors, for businesses and for the country as a whole,' Obama said in remarks at the White House. 'Small businesses and those who don't get insurance through their employer will finally be able to get insurance at a price that they can afford with tax credits to help,' he said. 'And Medicare will be stronger and its solvency extended by nearly a decade'" (Koffler, 12/21).
The Hill: "President Barack Obama said Monday that Congress should approve a final healthcare bill even if it doesn't include a public option. Obama said the House and Senate bills are 95 percent 'identical' and downplayed the fact that final legislation is unlikely to include a public health insurance option during an Oval Office interview with American Urban Radio Networks' April Ryan." Obama said the public option "is an area that has just become symbolic of a lot of ideological fights. As a practical matter, this is not the most important aspect to this bill - the House bill or the Senate bill" (Youngman, 12/21).