WASHINGTON -- One day after President Barack Obama's push to reform health care as soon as possible, Senate Democrats let go of plans to vote on the bill before their recess in August.
Obama set the ambitious deadline for the $1 trillion plan last month, but debate over the hefty price tag and what it will pay for has pushed that goal further and further out of sight.
"It's better to have a product based on quality and thoughtfulness rather than try to jam something through," Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., said.
"The decision was made to give them more time and I don't think it's unreasonable," he added.
Obama urged reform to the nation's healthcare system during a prime time televised speech to the nation on Wednesday night.
CBN News White House Correspondent David Brody attented the press conference. Click play for his report. Also, stay with CBN News for continued coverage on the healthcare reform debate.
"If we do not reform health care, your premiums and out-of-pocket costs will continue to skyrocket," Obama said. "If we do not act 14,000 Americans will continue to lose their health insurance every single day."
But finding a way to pay for it and increasing the deficit have become major stumbling blocks, even within the president's own party.
"There's about 10 issues we're concerned with," Rep. Mike Ross, D-Ark., said. "Obviously cost cutting is first on that list."
President Obama said he is deeply concerned about the nation's debt and growing federal deficit.
"I am very worried about federal spending," he said.
But he said cutting healthcare costs will help bring the deficit under control and he made a promise to the American people.
"I have also pledged that health insurance reform will not add to our deficit over the next decade -- and I mean it," Obama told the television audience and a room full of reporters.
Critics are not believing the president's promises and they want to know how he is going to pay for it. Obama is not offering very many specifics, but for the first time, the president said he is open to taxing couples who make $1 million or more.
"To me, that meets my principle that it's not being shouldered by families who are already having a tough time," Obama said.
The president has said he wants a bill on his desk quickly, pushing Congress to act by the August recess, which now seems virtually impossible.
"I'm rushed because I get letters every day from families that are being clobbered by healthcare costs," Obama said. "And they ask me, 'Can you help?'"
But a rush job is just fueling more big government skepticism.
"We saw with the stimulus, the effort to rush and spend," said Senate Minority Leader Mitch Connell, R-Ky. "(That's) what can happen if you jam major legislation through before people have an opportunity to understand what's in it."