Washington On the cusp of a key legislative push, President Barack Obama on Monday filled the Rose Garden with doctors supportive of his health care overhaul, saying “nobody has more credibility with the American people on this issue than you do.”
Obama’s White House event gave him another chance to frame the debate on his terms as his top domestic priority enters its most critical phase with legislation moving toward floor debates in the Senate and the House.
The Senate Finance Committee is expected to clear its long-debated, intensely scrutinized bill this week. Sen. Debbie Stabenow, D-Mich., said a vote originally expected by today has been pushed back, because the Congressional Budget Office is still crunching cost and coverage numbers.
The latest version of the Finance bill will cover fewer people, after senators last week softened penalties for not carrying health insurance. Stabenow said she expects it will cover 92 percent or 93 percent of Americans, down from about 95 percent in earlier versions. The penalties were reduced because there’s not enough money in the $900-billion, 10-year bill to provide subsidies for all middle-class households.