President Obama had a simple message on Tuesday for those who think his health care reform is dead: “It’s not over.”
“We just have to make sure that we move methodically and that the American people understand what’s in the bill,” Obama said at a town hall forum in Nashua, N.H.
Obama did not provide any specifics about how a health-care bill would make its way procedurally through the Congress. Instead, he told the crowd to pressure lawmakers to keep moving forward with a bill.
“What I will not do is to stop working on this issue because it is the right thing to do for America,” Obama said. “You got to let your members of Congress know they shouldn’t give up.”
Obama hit Republicans again with a charge likely to frustrate GOP lawmakers who feel they demonstrated that they have ideas when the president visited the House Republican caucus in Baltimore on Friday.
“You’ve been sitting on the sidelines criticizing what we’ve got,” Obama said, referring to Republican behavior during the health-care debate. “I just want to see what else you’ve got. If you’ve got a good idea, great.”
The president acknowledged that Republicans have put forward alternative proposals for health-care reform, but said the GOP plan proposes to expand coverage without any cost, and called that idea unrealistic.
Obama asked why, if expanding coverage for nothing was possible, he would have put forward the plan he did.
“That’s how I roll. I’m a glutton for punishment,” he said. “If this was simple, it would have already been done. It’s not. This is one sixth of our economy. It’s extremely complex.”