Obama in Ohio: ‘There Are Things That Have to Get Done’

Posted January 22, 2010 at 2:40pm

President Barack Obama on Friday said he will continue to seek broad health care reform, suggesting that the more limited insurance reform options that might find broader Congressional support were dependent on revamping the entire system.“I just want to be clear, there are things that have to get done,— he said at a town hall meeting in Elyria, Ohio. “There are things that have to get done. This is our best chance to do it.—“We can’t shy away from it,— he added. “We can’t start saying America or Congress can’t do big things.—Obama spoke just three days after Democrats lost their filibuster-proof majority by dropping the Massachusetts Senate seat to the Republicans, throwing the health care debate into disarray.Obama said universal insurance was necessary to enact a smaller step like forcing insurers not to bar customers because of pre-existing conditions, because otherwise, people would simply wait until they were sick to buy insurance.He continued to press for measures included in the larger bill that Democrats had been negotiating, including insurance buying pools and steps to decrease health care costs. Amid criticism of special benefits carved out of the bill by several Senators, Obama acknowledged, “the process has been less than pretty.— He said the bill started to look like a “monstrosity,— adding, “that makes people fearful.—But even as he appeared to suggest an end to such special deals, he argued that lawmakers who got them were “not trying to do something wrong— but merely looking out for their constituents.The president’s message was clearly rejiggered by the White House to put him in campaign-style “fighting— mode. In his remarks he repeatedly used the word “fight— to describe his upcoming efforts. “I want to fight for you,— he told the crowd. He promised to fight the insurers and to get all the money lent to banks back for taxpayers.“I promise you there will be more fights ahead,— Obama said.