President Obama Grilled on Superbowl Sunday

Obama addresses health care, economy and national security in interview.

ByABC News
February 7, 2010, 8:15 PM

WASHINGTON, Feb. 7, 2010— -- The Indianapolis Colts and New Orlean Saints weren't the only ones under pressure on Superbowl Sunday.

President Obama, wearing a casual blue button-down shirt and tan khakis, was grilled in a live, pre-game interview by CBS's Katie Couric on issues ranging from health care reform, national-deficit reduction, and national security.

The president defended his push for health care reform, saying health insurance premiums would "keep on beating down families, small businesses, large businesses -- it's going to be a huge drain on the economy. We're going to have to do something about it. I think we can."

President Obama Argues He Brought 'Change' to White House

The president said he would meet later this month with Republican and Democratic Congressional leaders to "go through systematically all the best ideas that are out there and move it forward."

He dismissed the notion he was starting back at "square one."

"What I want to do is look at the Republican ideas that are out there," he said. "I want to be very specific: 'How do you guys want to lower costs? How do you guys intend to reform the insurance markets so that people with preexisting conditions, for example, can get health care? How do you want to make sure the 30 million people who don't have health insurance can get it? What are your ideas specifically?'

"If we can go step-by-step through these issues, and arrive at some agreements, then procedurely there's no reason why we can't do it a lot faster than the process took last year," he said.

On health care reform Couric said people watched the "sausage being made, and quite frankly, it made them pretty sick to their stomachs."

"What is absolutely true is that getting something passed through Congress, with 535 members, is hard," the president said. "It's especially hard with something as big as health care."

Couric asked the president to respond to those who said there was no change in Washington.

The president cited making the White House visitor's log public for the first time in "the history of the Republic," eliminating lobbyists from boards and commissions, and encouraging more transparency on the recovery act and how taxpayer dollars are being spent.