Time Winding Down on Health Care Deadline

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WASHINGTON -- Time is dwindling for President Barack Obama to meet his self-imposed August deadline for lawmakers to deliver on health care reform.

Congress has seen major advancements this week, but there have also been setbacks.

Costs associated with the plan have divided senior Democrats on the issue. Those issues appear to be putting Obama's timeline further out of reach.

In response, the president called together a last-minute press conference, Friday, to get ahead of growing concern about the $1.2 billion price tag of his healthcare plan.

"If we don't get healthcare reform done now, then no one's health insurance is going to be secure," he said.

Click play for comments from Dan Gainor of the Business and Media Institute on the tax increases Americans could see under Democrats' plan for health care reform.

Republicans and conservative Democrats have already questioned how to pay for the plan.

Making matters worse, Doug Elmendorf, director of the Congressional Budget Office, told lawmakers earlier Friday that reform wouldn't rein in the sky-rocketing costs like the Obama Administration was hoping.

"We do not see the sort of fundamental changes that would be necessary to reduce the trajectory of federal health spending by a significant amount," Elmendorf said.

"On the contrary, the legislation significantly expands the federal responsibility for health care costs," he added.

The recent comments smack squarely against savings Obama has promised in the past.

Still, it's not all bad news for the White House.

Democrats announced Friday that two committees had advanced major pieces of healthcare legislation that would expand coverage to millions of uninsured Americans.

"This level of progress has never been made before," House speaker Nancy Pelosi said.

But that progress comes at a price.

The House Ways and Means Committee voted for a new 10-year tax increase on the wealthy to help pay for the reform.

One more key piece of legislation for the healthcare revamp is still pending in the House, but moderates and conservatives are demanding changes and threatening to block the measure.

The Senate is also working on its own version of the plan.

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CBN News
John Jessup

John Jessup

CBN News Anchor

John Jessup serves as the main news anchor for CBN, a position he assumed after 10 years reporting for the network in Washington, D.C. His work in broadcast news has earned him several awards in reporting, producing, and coordinating elections coverage. Follow John on Twitter @JohnCBNNews and "like" him at Facebook.com/John.V.Jessup.