U.S. President Barack Obama is taking his campaign for health-care reform on the road, with events in the southern states of Virginia and North Carolina. Mr. Obama has pushed back his timetable for Congressional action, saying he expects to get the necessary legislation in September.
As the president began his latest round of appearances to push health-care reform, he got some good news from Capitol Hill.
Democrats in the House of Representatives announced they had reached a compromise on just how to pay for the costly reform measure. President Obama, who had set an early August deadline, now predicts necessary action in September when Congress returns from a month-long recess.
Republican lawmakers say Democrats are trying to push through a bill without enough time for proper Congressional scrutiny. The president says they no longer have reason to complain.
"Congress will have time to read the bill," Mr. Obama said. "They will have time to debate the bill. They will have all of August to review the various legislative proposals."
President Obama told a community meeting at a school in Raleigh, North Carolina, that he will be available to talk to any member of Congress who has questions.
"If they want to come over to the White House and go over line-by-line what is going on, I will be happy to do that," Mr. Obama said.
Mr. Obama said he does not want to see - what he called - "petty politics" get in the way of reform. He said some opponents are trying to delay the process as much as they can, in hopes of killing the entire reform effort.
"The American people cannot wait any longer," Mr. Obama said. "They want action this year. I want action this year. And with your help, we are going to make it happen, North Carolina."
From Raleigh, Mr. Obama traveled to the town of Bristol, Virginia for another town-hall meeting on health care reform - this time with employees at a local supermarket.