Biden: Obama Will Get Specific on Health Care Priorities in Address to Congress

By Natalie Gewargis

Sep 3, 2009 12:03pm

ABC News’ Karen Travers reports: Vice President Biden said that in his speech to Congress next week, President Obama will lay out in “understandable, clear terms” what he wants to happen in his push for healthcare reform legislation. “Stay tuned for Wednesday,” he said. Mr. Biden, speaking at The Brookings Institution in Washington, said he didn’t want to pre-empt his boss’ remarks but the prospects for successful health care reform are “high.” “We’re going to get something substantial,” the vice president said. “It’s going to be an awful lot of screaming and hollering before we get there, but I believe we’re going to get there.” Mr. Biden launched a vigorous defense of the $787 billion stimulus plan, which has drawn steady criticism from Republicans, and offered an optimistic look at how the legislation pulled the country back from the brink. “The Recovery Act has played a significant role in changing the trajectory of our economy, in changing the conversation about the economy in this country,” the vice president said. “Instead of talking about the beginning of a depression, we’re talking about the end of a recession eight months after taking office.” This Saturday marks 200 days since Mr. Obama stimulus bill was signed and Mr. Biden said that while there is much work to be done, “where we are today is a much better place than we could have possibly been without it.” The vice president said that next week the Council of Economic Advisors will release a report on the projections of jobs created and saved because of the Recovery Act. Mr. Biden said he is confident the report will show the Obama administration has exceeded its goals and will back up his prediction that the stimulus will have saved or created 150,000 jobs in the first days and another 600,000 jobs in the second 100 days. Biden laid out a progress report on the administration’s promises and said it has met or exceeded its goals on expanding care in health centers in all 50 states; funding education jobs that were at risk and hiring or keeping 500,000 law enforcement officers on the job.  - Karen Travers

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