Obama Pushes Last Ditch Effort for HC Reform

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WASHINGTON - Less than two weeks-- that's how long Democrats in Congress have to meet President Obama's deadline to pass health care reform.

The plan is unpopular with the public, but the president is on a road trip to change that, stopping first just outside the City of Brotherly Love.

"We can't have a health care system that works better for the insurance companies than it does for the American people," Obama said in Philadelphia, Penn., Monday.

This is the president's last ditch effort to pass reform and win a major presidential victory early in his term.

Obama wants to expand health care to Americans who don't have coverage and ban insurance companies from denying coverage based on pre-existing conditions. He's armed with a recent report by investment bank Goldman Sachs.

The report found the lack of market competition makes it beneficial for insurers to raise rates on existing customers while ignoring potential new ones.

House Republican leader John Boehner called the president's message, "Heavy on snake oil and light on the harsh reality Americans would face under his plan."

"Higher taxes, reduced Medicare benefits and lost jobs," Boehner added.

He and his Republican colleagues are painting Democrats as out of touch with Americans.

"People are very, very skeptical about starting a whole new government program when we're drowning in a sea of debt," GOP Sen. Mitch McConnell said.

But the real challenge for the White House is convincing skeptical Democrats.

"I don't see how I could support a bill that doesn't help our business community and create more jobs," New Jersey Rep. John Adler said.

A group of a dozen or so pro-life Democrats is also demanding stronger guarantees that tax dollars won't be used to fund abortions.

The president has already met with two groups of Democrats in an effort to change their minds.

Tuesday he travels west to deliver his message in St. Louis, Mo.

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Jennifer Wishon

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Jennifer Wishon is the White House correspondent for CBN News based in the network’s Washington, D.C. Bureau.  Before taking over the White House beat, Jennifer covered Capitol Hill and other national news, from the economy to the 2010 oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.  Follow Jennifer on Twitter @JenniferWishon and "like" her at Facebook.com/JennWishon.