While the President’s Away, Health Care will Stray?

Jul 10, 2009 10:58am

ABC News' Sunlen Miller reports: At the tail end of his trip abroad, President Obama was asked to refocus on his domestic agenda that has faced some setback in the United States during his 7-day trip to Russia, Italy and Ghana this week. At issue is the president’s promise for health care reform to be done by the end of this year, a goal that has recently hit roadblocks on Capitol Hill. While the president works his agenda abroad, members of his own party — the Blue Dog Democrats — announced that they have strong reservations about the cost of the president's plan, which is slowly working it’s way though the House of Representatives. In a press conference where the president touted the process made internationally at the G-8 Summit in L’Aquila, Italy, Mr. Obama faced a question about the lagging momentum of his health care push. “Well, we jumped in with both feet. Our team is working with members of Congress every day on this issue, and it is my highest legislative priority over the next month,” the president answered. “We're closer to that significant reform than at any time in recent history. That doesn't make it easy. It's hard.” The president said that despite his absence physically in the U.S., his team at home is in “constant negotiations” that will continue to be tough going forward. “But I'm confident that we're going to get it done,” he said. Is this do-or-die before Congress goes home for August recess? “I never believe anything is do-or-die,” Obama answered quickly and then paused. “But I really want to get it done by the August recess.” The president will return to the states late Saturday evening where his sights will quickly shift from foreign to domestic policy. He holds a health care town hall in Warren, Michigan two days after returning home. — Sunlen Miller

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