Thursday, January 28, 2010

'Let's Get it Done': Obama Digs in on Health Care in State of the Union Address

By Kathleen Gilbert

WASHINGTON, DC, January 28, 2010 ( - In his first State of the Union address last night, President Barack Obama did not shirk from issuing a stubborn push for his top domestic priority - the struggling health care overhaul.

"Here's what I ask Congress, though: Don't walk away from reform. Not now. Not when we are so close. Let us find a way to come together and finish the job for the American people. Let's get it done. Let's get it done," said Obama, to cheers from Democrats in the chamber.

Liberal groups had hoped to hear firm support for the reform effort that would unleash federal funds for abortion and abortion providers. Planned Parenthood, which has been hit hard by the economic downturn, has lobbied aggressively for the bill to go through without Hyde-amendment restrictions on abortion funding.

But ever since Republican Scott Brown's victory in Massachusetts robbed Senate Democrats of a filibuster-proof majority last Tuesday, Democrats have been at a loss on how to push the massive reform effort past the GOP. The Massachusetts loss was widely interpreted not only as signaling deep national dissatisfaction with the overhaul, but also as a warning shot to pro-health care Democrats as they face their own re-election battles in November. Accordingly, some experts expected Obama to slim down his enthusiasm for the measure.

Instead, Obama's tone was unyielding. Full story.

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