Obama: We Will Get the Votes for Health Care Reform Bill

The president tells ABC he thinks bill will pass, in an exclusive interview.

ByABC News
March 15, 2010, 4:30 PM

March 15, 2010— -- President Obama told ABC News today he is confident that health care reform legislation will pass.

"I believe we are going to get the votes, we're going to make this happen," Obama told ABC's Jake Tapper in an exclusive interview. Obama said Democrats continue to work to get a bill ready for a vote by the end of the week.

Today, a fiery Obama made a passionate plea for Congress to pass reform legislation by highlighting the struggle of one Ohio woman who faces a serious illness without health insurance.

Natoma Canfield is a 50-year-old cleaning woman and cancer survivor from Medina, Ohio. She says she had to drop her Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield insurance because her monthly premiums kept skyrocketing.

"You want to know why I'm here, Ohio? I'm here because of Natoma," Obama said in remarks at a senior center. "I'm here because of the countless others who have been forced to face the most terrifying challenges in their lives with the added burden of medical bills they can't pay. I don't think that's right."

After the event, Obama told ABC News that if Congress passes this health care reform legislation, Canfield and millions of Americans like her could not be denied coverage because of a pre-existing condition and would not face difficult financial decisions that Canfield is facing.

"Natoma would have been able to be part of this exchange, this marketplace that gave her a choice of plans, just like members of Congress have," the president said. "But, because she'd be a part of a million people who are in a pool, her rates would be lowered and so you wouldn't have seen her being put into a choice where she's got to chose between her house or her health care."

Tapper asked Obama about what his message is to Americans and the members of Congress who are worried about this bill. The president did not directly answer the question but said that most of the "misinformation" circulating about things like so-called "death panels" and a government takeover of health care "turned out not to be true."