Obama Exclusive on Health Care: 'We Intend to Get Something Done'

Obama said he will provide a more detailed health care plan before Congress.

ByABC News via logo
September 8, 2009, 10:46 PM

Sept. 9, 2009— -- In his highly anticipated address to Congress today, President Obama told ABC News that he would provide a much more detailed health care plan, saying that while he was still open to ideas, he is determined to get health care reform passed this year.

"So, the intent of the speech on [Wednesday] is to, A, make sure that the American people are clear exactly what it is that we are proposing," Obama told "Good Morning America" co-anchor Robin Roberts in an exclusive interview. "[And] B, to make sure that Democrats and Republicans understand that I'm open to new ideas, that we're not being rigid and ideological about this thing, but we do intend to get something done this year."

The president admitted he made mistakes during the national debate on health care reform that has gripped the country for months.

"I, out of an effort to give Congress the ability to do their thing and not step on their toes, probably left too much ambiguity out there, which allowed then opponents of reform to come in and to fill up the airwaves with a lot of nonsense," Obama said.

Obama said the health care debate has been caught up in the "politics of the moment."

"I think there are some in the Republican Party who made a strategic decision that we can duplicate what happened in 1993, '94," Obama said, referring to former President Clinton's failed attempt at health care reform and the Republicans winning back control over Congress soon thereafter. "I think that folks are dusting off that old playbook."

Obama specifically mentioned the "ridiculous" idea of the government setting up "death panels to pull the plug on Grandma" and that reform would lead to a "government takeover" of the health care system.