Obama Trumpets Health Bill Endorsements From AARP, AMA
President Barack Obama on Thursday made an unscheduled appearance in the White House briefing room to tout the AARP’s and the American Medical Association’s endorsements of the House health care reform bill. Obama, who spoke briefly and took no questions, said the backing of the two organizations was good reason for lawmakers to support the legislation.“This is no small endorsement,— Obama said of the AARP decision. He said Members should consider the AARP’s support when they hear the “same tired arguments— against the bill from the health insurance industry and view “misleading ads— about it.Obama said the support of the AMA was important because doctors would not back the bill if they thought it would harm the practice of medicine or damage “the doctor-patient— relationship.“They’ve seen first-hand— the problems of the health insurance system, Obama said. “The doctors of America know what needs to be fixed.—Obama urged House Members to “listen to the AARP, listen to the AMA, and pass this reform.—Obama lately has resisted public appearances on behalf of his health care reform effort, and the decision to come to the briefing room is a sign of his personal involvement in White House lobbying for the bill. The president meets later Thursday afternoon with leaders of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus and will head to Capitol Hill on Friday to work for the bill’s passage.