President Obama on Wednesday was upbeat about the progress the Senate was making on health care legislation. He praised the "creative framework" that may let a deal be cut.
With the public option health insurance plan not going anywhere, a group of Senate moderates and liberals are proposing to open up Medicare to uninsured Americans beginning at age 55--to be in effect in 2011. Note: this is for 55 year olds with no insurance, not to replace existing insurance.
Obama, at an event for local health centers commented on the Senate debate.
"Let me just end by -- by saying a little bit about this broader effort. I know it's been a long road. (Laughter.) I know it's been a tough fight. But I also know the reason we've taken up this cause is the very same reason why so many members from both parties are here today -- because no matter what our politics are, we know that when it comes to health care, the people we serve deserve better. The legislation in Congress today contains both Democratic ideas and Republican ideas, and plenty of compromises in between. The Senate made critical progress last night with a creative new framework that I believe will help pave the way for final passage and a historic achievement on behalf of the American people.
I support this effort, especially since it's aimed at increasing choice and competition, and lowering cost. So I want to thank all of you for sticking with it -- for all those late nights, all the long weekends that you -- you guys have put in. With so much at stake, this is well worth all of our efforts.
It is now my pleasure to sign the memo that will direct Secretary Sebelius to get started on that medical home demonstration. So let's do that."