Stepping Up Pressure
POSTED: Thursday, September 10, 2009 - 3:55pm
UPDATED: Wednesday, February 17, 2010 - 3:24pm
President steps up Congressional pressure to pass health care reform...
Whether it's backlash from that highly unusual heckling or the President's speech itself, democrats say new life's been breathed into their push for reform.
Encouraged by his speech, President Obama told his cabinet to push harder for health care reform.
"The time is right and we are going to move aggressively to get this done," said Mr. Obama.
"The president's speech kind of breathed new life into what we're doing," said democratic max Baucus, head of the senate finance committee.
Even backers of the public option, as a lever to force down private insurance rates were upbeat, despite the fact the president, Wednesday night, did not insist on government insurance.
"And we should remain open to other ideas that accomplish our ultimate goal," the president said.
In a shift, speaker Pelosi today agreed.
"So, so far we haven't seen a better idea, but it could be there," said House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.
And a high profile public option backer, Richard Trumka, of the AFL-CIO, says he's encouraged.
"Because a couple of weeks ago everybody said that a public option was dead and last night, it sure as heck wasn't dead. What he was saying -- unless you got something better, this is the option. And so, we'll fight for it and I think we'll end up gettin' there," Trumka said.
Wednesday night, republican Joe Wilson of South Carolina heckled the president calling him a liar.
On Thursday, Wilson called an Obama staffer to say his outburst was inappropriate.
"And that we needed to have a civil discussion about the health care issues," said Wilson.
Words right out of the President's mouth.
"We all make mistakes. He apologized quickly," the president said Thursday.
But republican leaders warned many Americans remain frustrated and said the basic obama plan still needs to be changed.