If you have a regular job, so didn't get to hear the President lay it all on the line on health reform, read his remarks here. He was as forceful and fiery and on point as he has been since the debate started a year or so ago.
Now, both during and after last week's summit, Republicans in Congress insisted that the only acceptable course on health care reform is to start over. But given these honest and substantial differences between the parties about the need to regulate the insurance industry and the need to help millions of middle-class families get insurance, I don't see how another year of negotiations would help.
Moreover, the insurance companies aren't starting over. They're continuing to raise premiums and deny coverage as we speak. For us to start over now could simply lead to delay that could last for another decade, or even more. The American people, and the U.S. economy, just can't wait that long. So, no matter which approach you favor, I believe the United States Congress owes the American people a final vote on health care reform. (Applause.)
We have debated this issue thoroughly, not just for the past year but for decades. Reform has already passed the House with a majority. It has already passed the Senate with a supermajority of 60 votes. And now it deserves the same kind of up or down vote that was cast on welfare reform, that was cast on the Children's Health Insurance Program, that was used for COBRA health coverage for the unemployed, and, by the way, for both Bush tax cuts --- all of which had to pass Congress with nothing more than a simple majority.
I, therefore, ask leaders in both houses of Congress to finish their work and schedule a vote in the next few weeks. From now until then, I will do everything in my power to make the case for reform.