Washington — Administration officials defended President Barack Obama’s broad health care proposals on Sunday and urged a skeptical public not to judge the Democrats’ overhaul until Congress writes a final version.
Facing independent budget predictions that contradict the White House’s rhetoric, officials sought to refute Republican objections to massive changes in how Americans receive health care. They emphasized that Congress has not yet settled on an outline for health care legislation and reiterated Obama’s desire for a bipartisan approach.
The United States is the only developed nation that does not have a comprehensive national health care plan for all its citizens, and Obama campaigned on a promise to offer affordable health care to all Americans. However, the recession and a deepening budget deficit have made it difficult to win support for costly new programs.
Paying for the health care plan remains the major challenge, underscored by a nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office report that emerging House legislation would increase deficits by $239 billion over a decade.