March 9th, 2010
Obama is on a mission to pass healthcare no matter what
In private pitches to Democrats, President Barack Obama says he will persuade Congress to pass his health care overhaul even if it kills him and even if he has to ask deeply distrustful lawmakers to trust him on a promise the White House doesn’t have the power to keep.
That, in a sometimes darkly joking way, is what the president is telling Democratic House members as he begins an all-out push to coax Congress into passing his proposals despite voters’ misgivings and Republicans’ dire warnings.
“He made the case, ‘Listen, we put in a very hard year working on health care reform and the time for action is now,’” said Rep. Ron Kind, D-Wis., one of several Democrats who met with Obama at the White House on Thursday.
Obama joked that the political battle has contributed to the recent rise in his cholesterol, Kind said, and the president noted how ironic it would be if health care drove him to his grave.
But Obama is anything but sickly these days, making health care pitches Monday in Philadelphia and Wednesday in St. Louis, and instructing aides to address every question or concern Democratic lawmakers possibly can raise.