Obama reiterates his commitment to healthcare reform

17:25, January 28, 2010      

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U.S. President Barack Obama on Wednesday reiterated his commitment to healthcare overhaul efforts despite recent setbacks.

"The approach we've taken would protect every American from the worst practices of the insurance industry. It would give small businesses and uninsured Americans a chance to choose an affordable health care plan in a competitive market," Obama said in his first State of the Union address.

The president promised he would not "walk away" from needy Americans although healthcare overhaul, one of his top domestic legislative priorities, is now caught in a deadlock.

Democratic Party lost its "supermajority" in a recent Massachusetts Senate race, being deprived of the 60th Senate vote necessary to block filibuster -- a procedure used to stall and defeat legislation -- by Republican Senators.

Obama also admitted that he should be blamed for not explaining his healthcare plan more clearly to the American people given the complex nature of this issue.

"This is a complex issue, and the longer it was debated, the more skeptical people became," he conceded.

Fifty-five percent of Americans said Congress should suspend work on the current healthcare bill the House and Senate are working on and consider alternative bills that can receive more Republican support, a recent Gallup survey showed.

With all those challenges ahead, a scaled-back healthcare bill is more possible, as many analysts suggested. But some analysts doubted whether any compromised deal could eventually be achieved.

U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said on Wednesday she thought Democrats in Congress would still produce healthcare legislation despite recent difficulties.

"I don't see that (no bill) as a possibility; we will have something," Pelosi told reporters.

Source: Xinhua
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