"On all of those issues, one after another, Democrats rejected each effort to strengthen our free market economy or bring about tort reform," said Rep. Mike Pence, R-Ind., on Fox News. "This is really just about launching a massive government takeover of health care and paying for it with about $1 trillion in tax increases."
It's not just Republicans raising their voices against the president's or the Democrat's plan. Even some fiscally conservative Blue Dog Democrats have raised opposition.
House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Henry Waxman, D-Calif., told reporters he was cancelling a drafting session on Tuesday so members could continue talking and working with Blue Dog Democrats.
"We're having conversations with different members to work out some of the issues so we can make this thing move forward," Waxman said.
As for why House Democrats are having trouble amongst themselves in crafting a health care reform bill, Minority Leader John Boehner, R-Ohio, said Tuesday: "There are some members on the Democrat side that got both arms broken during the cap-and-trade fight on the floor, now there're no more arms to break. That's why they're having problems."
Health care has jumped to the top of Obama's agenda as an urgent national priority.
Referring to comments by Sen. Jim DeMint, R-S.C., Friday that "If we're able to stop Obama on this, it will be his Waterloo. It will break him," the president responded: "This isn't about me. This isn't about politics. This is about a health care system that is breaking America's families, breaking America's businesses and breaking America's economy, and we can't afford the politics of delay and defeat when it comes to health care -- not this time, not now."
Administration officials continue to express optimism about lawmakers achieving legislation by August, but critics have ramped up their assaults, calling the deadline too hurried, and public support for the plan has also dropped.
In an ABC News/Washington Post poll released today, just under half of the respondents, 49 percent, said they approve of Obama's handling of health care, down 8 percent since he took office in January.
On Wednesday, Obama will hold a primetime news conference in which health care is likely to dominate, and he will then take the discussion to the masses in a town hall Thursday.
"I want this done now. Now, if there are no deadlines, nothing gets done in this town," the president said in an interview with PBS Monday.
When asked about the ABC News/Washington Post poll by PBS' Jim Lehrer, the president responded, "It means that what we're doing is hard and, you know, the truth is I feel pretty good about the fact that our polls have held up under extraordinarily difficult circumstances."
"There's a reason why this hasn't been done in 50 years, and that is because this is a big, complex situation -- a lot of special interests here in Washington who are very protective of the status quo," he added.
Yet, when asked whether he was confident Congress would reach agreement on a health care bill before its August recess, the president demurred.