Obama Touts ‘Broad Consensus’ on Elements of Health Care Overhaul
On Tuesday, President Obama met with Senate Democrats at the White House to urge them to overcome lingering disagreements regarding the chamber's health reform bill and pass the legislation before Christmas, the Washington Post reports.
It was his second meeting with Senate Democrats this month (Montgomery/Murray, Washington Post, 12/16).
Aides said Obama did not negotiate or discuss the specifics of the bill during the meeting at the White House, but once again appealed to the lawmakers' sense of history to motivate them to unite in support of the overhaul (Stolberg/Herszenhorn, New York Times, 12/16).
Obama described the meeting as "a broad-based discussion about how we move forward" on reform legislation (Washington Post, 12/16).
After the meeting, Obama said he was "cautiously optimistic" that Senate Democratic leaders can put together the 60 votes necessary to avoid a Republican filibuster and pass the chamber's reform bill. Obama added that the Senate is "on the precipice of an achievement that has eluded Congresses and presidents for generations" (Hitt/Adamy, Wall Street Journal, 12/16).
Obama added that there was "broad consensus" on certain aspects of the Senate's reform bill, including provisions that would "finally protect Americans from the worst practices" of health insurers, reduce health care spending growth and expand health coverage (CQ Today, 12/15).
However, Obama said, "The final bill won't include everything that everybody wants. No bill can do that" (Wall Street Journal, 12/16).The president only has a few days left to continue making personal appeals for health reform, as he is scheduled to visit Copenhagen on Thursday to attend a climate change conference before going to Hawaii to spend Christmas with his family (New York Times, 12/16). This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.