Obama: We Will Get Health Care Reform This Year

Exclusive: Obama says Americans sharing his urgency.

ByABC News via logo
June 23, 2009, 11:19 AM

June 23, 2009— -- President Barack Obama said he "absolutely" expects to achieve health care reform by the end of this year because he believes the American people share his urgency.

"The reason it's going to get done is because the American people understand it has to get done," Obama said in an exclusive interview with ABC's Diane Sawyer airing Wednesday on "Good Morning America."

Watch Diane Sawyer's full interview with President Obama on "Good Morning America" Wednesday, June 24, at 7:00 a.m. ET

Obama would not consider what it means for his domestic agenda if he does not sign health care legislation this year. Despite recent partisan setbacks on Capitol Hill, the president said he is confident a solution can be achieved.

"We're dealing here in Washington with an enormous federal deficit and debt that is largely driven by health care costs. So, whether it's families, business or government, we know that we're going to have to reform this system," he said.

Watch "ABC News Primetime: Questions for the President -- Prescription for America," Wednesday, June 24, at 10 p.m. ET

Obama said his experiences on the campaign trail and the personal stories Americans share with him solidify his belief that putting off this issue is non-negotiable.

"I travel all across the country and I've done so for the last two years now. Every town I visit, every city I go, people ask me, 'Why is it that my premiums have gone up two, three times in the last nine, 10 years? What can I do when my employer says to me we just can't afford to provide health care anymore?'" he said.