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Lukewarm White House Reaction To Baucus Bill

White House press secretary Robert Gibbs called Sen. Max Baucus' (D) draft health care bill "an important building block and gets us closer to comprehensive health care reform." But it seems the White House was not rushing to embrace the legislation.

"There will be a continued legislative process that will tweak and change legislation, as there always is," he said. "I don't think the president looks at today as the end."

Gibbs even was sure to deny the premise of a question about whether, of the various bills passed by Congressional committees, this came closest to the legislation President Obama envisioned. "I don't think this is a mirror of what the president has talked about. ... I don't think that would be accurate," he said.

With few, if any, Republicans embracing what was sold as a compromise piece of legislation, Gibbs was asked whether the White House regrets not simply starting out the process with its own draft and pushing it through early on the strength of Democrats' strong majorities in each chamber.

"I don't think the president looks back and thinks we should have done things differently. This is all part of the long process," he said. "I don't think that Senator Baucus or President Obama or others asking Republicans to be involved, to give us their ideas is time poorly spent at all. I think the American people want to hear both sides' ideas on this."