News

White House says America on 'Verge' of Health Care Reform

One big hurdle remains before the needed legislation can be signed into law.

White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs (file photo)
White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs (file photo)

Multimedia

Audio

The White House says the American people are on the "verge" of health-care reform.  One big hurdle remains before the needed legislation can be signed into law.

This may be the most difficult part of all.

When Congress returns in the new year, negotiators for the House and Senate will begin the tough task of merging their different versions of health-care reform legislation into one bill the president can sign.

White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs (file photo)
White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs (file photo)

White House spokesman Robert Gibbs is optimistic. "I think the American people are on the verge of a very big win in health care reform early in the next year," he said.

He told the NBC television program Meet the Press that both the Senate and House versions of the bill achieve the main goal set by the president: making health care more affordable and accessible for all Americans.

"The major parts of health-care reform that the president sought to have enacted as a candidate are now very close to happening and he thinks the commonality between the two proposals overlaps quite a bit," said Gibbs.

But they differ on one major point.  Most Americans now pay for health care through private insurance.  The House wants a government-run health care program to compete in the insurance marketplace.   The Senate does not.

Senator Robert Menendez - a New Jersey Democrat - served for many years in the House and has some advice for his former colleagues.

He spoke on the Fox News Sunday television program. "I am sure there will be some compromises but at the end of the day, I would expect that it would look very much like the Senate version," said Menendez.

Republicans maintain both versions of the bills are bad.  All the members of the minority party voted against the Senate measure, and only one supported the legislation passed in the House.

South Carolina Senator Jim DeMint told Fox News that the fight over health-care reform is far from over.  "And the only think worse than the policy itself has been the process that the Democrats have followed to get this passed," he said.

He said special deals were struck with some Democratic Senators to get them to support the bill.

Pennsylvania Senator Arlen Specter - who switched parties from Republican to Democrat earlier this year - says the Democratic Party leadership had no choice.

"I think the process was very bad, but the process was really caused in large measure by the refusal of Republicans to deal in any way," he said.

Specter also appeared on Fox News Sunday.  

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Rolling Thunder Run Reveals Changed Attitudes Towards Vietnam Wari
X
Katherine Gypson
May 25, 2015 1:32 AM
For many US war veterans, the Memorial Day holiday is an opportunity to look back at a divisive conflict in the nation’s history and to remember those who did not make it home.
Video

Video Rolling Thunder Run Reveals Changed Attitudes Towards Vietnam War

For many US war veterans, the Memorial Day holiday is an opportunity to look back at a divisive conflict in the nation’s history and to remember those who did not make it home.
Video

Video Female American Soldiers: Healing Through Filmmaking

According to the United States Defense Department, there are more than 200-thousand women serving in the U.S. Armed Forces.  Like their male counterparts, females have experiences that can be very traumatic.  VOA's Bernard Shusman tells us about a program that is helping some American women in the military heal through filmmaking.
Video

Video Iowa Family's Sacrifice Shaped US Military Service for Generations

Few places in America have experienced war like Waterloo. This small town in the Midwest state of Iowa became famous during World War II not for what it accomplished, but what it lost. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, the legacy of one family’s sacrifice is still a reminder today of the real cost of war for all families on the homefront.
Video

Video On Film: How Dance Defies Iran's Political Oppression

'Desert Dancer' by filmmaker Richard Raymond is based on the true story of a group of young Iranians, who form an underground dance troupe in the Islamic Republic of Iran. This is the latest in a genre of films that focus on dance as a form of freedom of expression against political oppression and social injustice. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.
Video

Video Turkey's Ruling Party Trying to Lure Voters in Opposition Stronghold

Turkey’s AK (Justice and Development) Party is seeking a fourth successive general election victory, with the goal of securing two-thirds of the seats in Parliament to rewrite the constitution and change the country's parliamentary system into a presidential one. To achieve that, the party will need to win seats in opposition strongholds like the western city of Izmir. Dorian Jones reports.
Video

Video Millions Flock to Ethiopia Polls

Millions of Ethiopians cast their votes Sunday in the first national election since the 2012 death of longtime leader Meles Zenawi. Mr. Meles' party, the Ethiopian People's Revolutionary Democratic Front, is almost certain of victory again. VOA's Anita Powell reports from Addis Ababa.
Video

Video Scientists Testing Space Propulsion by Light

Can the sun - the heart of our solar system - power a spacecraft to the edge of our solar system? The answer may come from a just-launched small satellite designed to test the efficiency of solar sail propulsion. Once deployed, its large sail will catch the so-called solar wind and slowly reach what scientists hope to be substantial speed. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video FIFA Trains Somali Referees

As stability returns to the once lawless nation of Somalia, the world football governing body, FIFA, is helping to rebuild the country’s sport sector by training referees as well as its young footballers. Abdulaziz Billow has more from Mogadishu.
Video

Video With US Child Obesity Rates on the Rise, Program Promotes Health Eating

In its fifth year, FoodCorps puts more than 180 young Americans into 500 schools across the United States, where they focus on teaching students about nutrition, engaging them with hands-on activities, and improving their access to healthy foods whether in the cafeteria or the greater community. Aru Pande has more.
Video

Video Virginia Neighborhood Draws People to Nostalgic Main Street

In the U.S., people used to grow up in small towns with a main street lined by family-owned shops and restaurants. Today, however, many main streets are worn down and empty because shoppers have been lured away by shopping malls. But in the Del Ray neighborhood of Alexandria, Virginia, main street is thriving. VOA’s Deborah Block reports it has a nostalgic feel with its small restaurants and unique stores.

VOA Blogs