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Obama Prods GOP to Compromise on Health Care Reform

5 years ago
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President Barack Obama forcefully challenged Republicans Saturday to follow up on the healh care summit by getting "serious about coming together" on a compromise that would break the stalemate on the reform legislation.

"It is time for us to act," the president said in his weekly radio address. "It is time fror us in Washington to live up to our responsibilities to the American people and to future generations. So let's get this done."

That was the pitch. But Obama also hinted that congressional Democrats would move ahead without GOP support if agreement is not reached. "I also believe that we cannot lose the opportunity to meet this challenge," he said. "The tens of millions of mean and women who cannot afford their insurance cannot wait another generation for us to act. Small businesses cannot wait. Americans with pre-exisitng conditions cannot wait. State and federal budgets cannot sustain these rising costs."

Majority Democrats have raised the possibility of using a procedure called "reconciliation" to circumvent a Republican filibuster on health care and pass the bill with a bare majority.

Obama said he was encouraged by the range of agreement at Thursday's summit, and thought some of the Republican ideas were "very worthy of consideration."

"But still there were differences... Some of these disagreements we may be able to resolve. Some we may not," he said. "And no final bill will include everything that everyone wants. That's what compromise is."

In the Republican weekly talk, Sen. Tom Coburn, an Oklahoma physician, said Democrats "want to use procedrual tricks and backroom deals to ram through a new bill that combines the worst aspects of the bills the Senate and House passed last year."

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