Obama pushes for healthcare, to lobby House Democrats

10:04, March 20, 2010      

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U.S. President Barack Obama attends an event highlighting the health insurance reform at George Mason University in Fairfax, Virginia, about 30 kilometers outside the US capitol Washington D.C., March 19, 2010. (Xinhua/Zhang Jun)

Two days before a make-or- break vote in the House of Representatives, U.S. President Barack Obama visited a Washington suburbs university Friday to push the health insurance reform. He is also to meet with House Democrats on Saturday, making a last-ditch effort to win over votes desperately needed.

"We are at the point where we are going to do something historic this weekend... The time for reform is right now," Obama told a cheering crowd of 8,500 at George Mason University in Fairfax, Virginia.

He assailed the health insurance industry once again, saying " starting this year, insurance companies will be banned from dropping your coverage when you get sick," and the practice of weeding out people who are sick will end.

Meanwhile at Capitol Hill, Democratic leaders received a piece of good news, as Congressman John Boccieri, a Democrat from Ohio, switched his position to support the bill. He is the fourth House Democrat who opposed an earlier version of the bill to switch sides. His fellow Ohio Congressman Dennis Kucinich also switched Wednesday.

With House Republicans in rock-solid opposition against the bill, Democrats need every "yes" they can muster within their own rank-and-file. Local media outlets are reporting Obama is to meet with House Democrats Saturday, lobbying their support.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi predicted the Democrats will have the 216 votes they need on Sunday.

Source: Xinhua
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