President Obama Lays Out Approach To Passing Health Care Reform
At a Democratic National Committee fundraising reception in New York City on Thursday, President Obama presented his most clear-cut strategy to date for passing health reform, the New York Times' "Prescriptions" reports.
Obama said that after lawmakers work out the differences between the House and Senate reform bills (HR 3962, HR 3590), he wants to meet publicly with Democrats, Republicans and independent experts to consider the measures and clarify particular reform provisions for U.S. residents.
Obama said lawmakers and the independent experts would then hold a debate on the overhaul proposals before Congress decides whether to pass a reform bill.
Obama also said he wants to work through the proposals "in a methodical way, so that the American people can see and compare what makes most sense." He added, "And it may be that if Congress decides ... we're not going to do it, even after all the facts are laid out, all the options are clear, then the American people can make a judgment as to whether this Congress has done the right thing for them or not."
Obama pledged to refute false statements and misunderstandings about reform proposals throughout the debate, as well as to always consider alternate ideas from Republicans (Herszenhorn, "Prescriptions," New York Times, 2/5). He also said that lawmakers should "take [their] time" in evaluating a final bill (AP/San Francisco Chronicle, 2/4).
Obama Encourages 'Discouraged' Democrats
At the reception, Obama also admitted to several setbacks during his first year in office but asked Democrats to remain focused on the party's legislative goals, including health care reform, the AP/San Francisco Chronicle reports.He said, "I know some of you might feel discouraged because changing the ways of Washington is hard. ... Don't give up" (Elliott, AP/San Francisco Chronicle, 2/4). 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.