As he prepares to address a joint session of Congress Wednesday on health care, President Obama tells ABC News that his administration is "open to new ideas" about reform, but that "we do intend to get something done this year."
Watch Robin Roberts' exclusive interview with President Obama Wednesday on "Good Morning America" at 7 a.m. ET.
When asked if Americans will learn whether or not he is willing to sign a health care reform bill without a government-run insurance plan or "public option," Obama said, "Well, I think what the country is going to know is exactly what I think will solve our health care crisis."
The president is expected to speak specifically about the public option and how it would affect coverage, to address criticism of the health care bill and to try to rally public support.
Obama told Roberts that the speech will be directed both at the American people and at members of Congress, stressing the importance of clearly laying out the proposal for the public and encouraging both parties to come together and reach an agreement.
"The intent of the speech is to, A, make sure that the American people are clear exactly what it is that we are proposing," Obama said. "[And] B, to make sure that Democrats and Republicans understand that I'm open to new ideas, that we're not being rigid and ideological about this thing, but we do intend to get something done this year."
At an AFL-CIO event on Labor Day, Obama said, "I continue to believe that a public option within the basket of insurance choices would help improve quality and bring down costs."
His speech also hinted at the focus of his address to Congress.
"We've been fighting for quality, affordable health care for every American for nearly a century since Teddy Roosevelt. The Congress and the country have been engaged in a vigorous debate for many months," Obama said. "And debate is good, because we have to get this right. But in every debate, at some point comes to an end. There comes a time to decide, a time to act. ... It's time to act and get this thing done."