"We need health care -- I think everybody understands that America is chaotic now -- but you can't be putting out a 2,000 page bill, which the Senate did, and President Obama has not been able to explain it," O'Reilly, who has been a leading critic of Democrats' health care efforts, told "Good Morning America's" Robin Roberts today, adding that he doesn't understand any of it.
Obama made a rare appearance on Capitol Hill this weekend to rally Democrats on both the health care bill and jobs. In the 40-minute closed-door meeting, sources say he told lawmakers, "You need to finish the job. The most costly outcome for everyone would be from a failure to finish."
The Senate's bill, estimated to cost $849 billion over 10 years, has been hailed as a milestone by Democrats. Obama called the health care overhaul bill the "most important piece of domestic legislation since Social Security," which was signed into law in 1935. He said the legislation would be something talked about decades from now.
But O'Reilly says the president needs to explain to the public what's really in it.
"We won't understand what it is that's historic," the conservative talk show host told "GMA." "All I'm pleading for is, I want to understand the bill that's going to cost a trillion dollars and nobody can understand it and he can't explain it."
In the meeting devoid of Republicans, the president urged that despite everything the legislation and the Democrats have been through -- the town halls in August, the "dishonest Republican attacks," and more, the four key components of the bill remain: help for small businesses, getting millions of uninsured Americans covered, bringing health care costs down, and reducing the deficit.
"It's very very encouraged that this month the unemployment rate actually went down," he said. "We had chaos and Obama stepped in and he did a lot of things that people criticized him for, but I think he stabilized the economy to some extent so I'm giving him a B right now on the jobs front because it's a tremendously difficult situation."
On Tuesday, the president will give a speech in Washington, D.C., in which he will tell Congress what he wants to do to help create jobs. White House sources say the president will talk about proposals in three main areas: energy, small businesses, and infrastructure.
The president will push for creating more green jobs, especially for weatherization of businesses and homes, providing incentives for small businesses so they can hire more and expand, and encourage infrastructure spending, particularly for roads and bridges, building on the stimulus dollars slated for such projects.