Obama Makes Final Health Pitch Day Before Vote


obama-health-careVictory within reach, President Barack Obama rallied House Democrats today for a final health care push, and party leaders appeared confident they had overcome a flare-up over abortion funding restrictions in the legislation.

Building on Democrats’ momentum, House leaders decided on a straight up-or-down vote on the president’s top priority and the defining issue of his first year in office, backing off a much-challenged plan to vote on the bill indirectly. With the vote scheduled for Sunday, the battle tilted in Obama’s direction as more Democrats disclosed how they would vote.

Obama decided to make a final personal appeal with an afternoon visit to the Capitol. He spoke after Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., and reassured House rank and file that the Senate will complete the legislation. More than 50 Democratic senators have signed a pledge to do, Reid’s spokesman said.

“Is this the single most important step that we have taken on health care since Medicare?” Obama asked lawmakers. “Absolutely.”

The legislation, affecting virtually every American and more than a year in the making, would extend coverage to an estimated 32 million uninsured, bar insurers from denying coverage on the basis of existing medical conditions and cut federal deficits by an estimated $138 billion over a decade.

Congressional analysts estimate the cost of the two bills combined would be $940 billion over a decade.

Republicans, unanimous in opposition to the bill, complained anew about its cost and reach.

{CBS/Noam Amdurski-Matzav.com Newscenter}