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« VA Gov Poll: McDonnell +3 | Blog Home Page | Obama Stumping For Friend In Need »

Obama Tries To "Buck Up" Health Care Effort

With discernible progress being made in both the House and Senate, President Obama said that the goal of health care reform is within reach. Joined by nurses and key lawmakers, the president said that action on the Hill makes him "hopeful - but it shouldn't make us complacent."

"It should instead provide the urgency for both the House and the Senate to finish their critical work on health reform before the August recess," he said.

He said the Senate and House proposals both meet his general principles, specifying provisions for a health insurance exchange and "a public health insurance option that would make health care more affordable by increasing competition." And in a stern message to Republicans, Obama also chose to point out that legislation moved by the Senate HELP Committee included 160 Republican amendments, "a hopeful sign of bipartisan support for the final product," if Republicans are "serious about bipartisanship."

"It's time to buck up Congress, this administration, the entire federal government" to pass health care now, he said.

Among the lawmakers with Obama was Sen. Chris Dodd (D-Conn.), who is moving health care legislation on the HELP committee in Sen. Ted Kennedy's (D-Mass.) absence. It was just the latest significant boost for the embattled Democrat as he heads toward a re-election year.