Obama Faces Hurdles on Health Care, Stimulus

There is also heated debate about whether there should be a public-option plan, which would entail a government-run insurance program to compete with the private industry. Democrats like House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., have said that any plan going through Congress will have some form of public option, but Republicans argue that it will stifle the private market and dent competition.

As he takes his stimulus and health care push to Warren, Mich., Tuesday, the president is likely to push lawmakers to come together around a set of common principles and press them to find ways to compromise on key issues and put a system in place that would strip inefficiencies and help small businesses and families.

Heated Battle on the Stimulus

The president's stimulus plan is also drawing the ire of some Republicans.

In an op-ed in the Washington Post Sunday, the president defended his $787 billion stimulus plan from concerns and criticism that it has been ineffective, asking Americans to be patient.

"The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act was not expected to restore the economy to full health on its own but to provide the boost necessary to stop the free fall," Obama wrote. "So far, it has done that. It was, from the start, a two-year program, and it will steadily save and create jobs as it ramps up over this summer and fall."

Administration officials point to the roughly $100 billion that has been invested in infrastructure projects and tax cuts, and say that the bulk of the stimulus spending will occur in the next 12 months.

But some Republicans say the stimulus plan has failed to work the way it was intended.

There is also the issue of expectations. Asked by ABC News how Americans should measure whether his economic plans are correct, the president said, "My initial measure of success is creating or saving 4 million jobs."

But unemployment is a lagging economic indicator, meaning job growth will likely be one of the last parts of the recovery to start working. With unemployment rising to nearly 10 percent, critics say the stimulus hasn't begun to save or create 4 million jobs.

"I think it's now acknowledged, it hasn't done what it set out to do," Kyl said.

"All governors like 'free money' coming to the state. My governor is no different. But the reality is that it has added to our deficit. ... It promised to ... save 4 million jobs. We've now lost another 2 million jobs. The reality is it hasn't helped yet."

Critics are not buying the president's argument that the economic situation could be worse without the recovery package.

"We're finding out only 10 percent of the money has been spent, a lot of it has been on ridiculous projects," Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., said on NBC's "Meet The Press" Sunday. "It included tax cuts, but a lot of them were in the wrong direction. ... So what they promised us would be the result of this stimulus in a short-term has turned out not to be true."

Talk of a second stimulus -- which some Democratic lawmakers support -- has elicited an even harsher response from the GOP.

"I think it's a dumb idea, I think it will not work," the ranking Republican on the Senate Banking Committee, Sen. Richard Shelby, R-Ala, told Fox News. "I know a second stimulus would be a mistake because we're going to borrow that money. And it won't turn the economy around. A lot of things will turn the economy around, but I don't believe the stimulus will."

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