Exclusive: President Obama Pushes Forward on Health Care Pitch

In exclusive interview, President Obama says, "America has to win it here."

ByABC News
July 23, 2009, 9:32 AM

July 23, 2009— -- President Obama continued to push forward on health care reform today, despite suffering a setback with news that a health care reform bill would not come to a vote in the Senate before the August deadline Obama had imposed.

"Our general view is we can get this done by the fall, and so this doesn't set back that schedule," Obama told ABC News' Terry Moran, in an exclusive interview.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., announced the Senate's delay, but assured that the Senate Finance Committee will produce a health care bill before the month-long recess, which will then be voted on come fall.

In an interview with Moran, Obama remained optimistic.

"Frankly if you don't express a sense of urgency about this thing then people always say, 'Let's put it off.' And I really do think that the families that I talk to who are struggling with health care right now can't afford it to be put off," he said.

On the heels of a primetime news conference pushing health care reform, Obama traveled to Ohio and held a town hall meeting on health care, where he addressed fears and stigmas associated with a public plan.

"Nightline's" Terry Moran joined the president on the road as he attempted to rally public support.

Read the interview transcript here.

A recent ABC News/Washington Post poll found that tepid support for President Obama's health care efforts have weakened his popularity, with his job approval rating falling to 59 percent.

Speaking with Moran, Obama reinforced that the time for substantive health care reform is now.

"The country has to reform its health care system or else not only are you going to continue to have people really going through a hard time, we're also going see a continuing escalation of our budget problems that can't get under control," Obama told Moran. "I think America has to win it here."