WASHINGTON – Most Republicans are standing firm, and some Democrats are looking for ways to meet in the middle. President Obama is struggling to hold his party together as he wages his biggest fight yet over fixing health care.
President Obama said, “I can’t bring about the change I promised by myself in the Oval Office.”
The President is pushing for a so-called public option, a government-run program that would compete with private insurers.
Senator Bernie Sanders from Vermont said, “In terms of public policy a strong public option is absolutely right in terms of politics of doing what the American people want. A strong public option is what we gotta do.”
Republicans disagree – they believe the plan will break a bank that’s already broke. Representative Mike Castle from Delaware said, “One of the central themes needs to be cost containment in some way or another. We have a huge cost issue with healthcare to individuals, to businesses and to the government.”
Some Democrats agree and they are lining up behind an alternative …a non-profit, non-government co-op. The President is also facing some pushback on his plan to give more power to Federal Reserve. Critics note the Fed did little to prevent the economic meltdown.
Tim Geithner, Treasury Secretary said, “I don’t think there is any regulator or any supervisor in our country and I think it’s true for all the other major economies, that can look at their record and not find things that they did not do well enough.”
Meanwhile, the President got plenty of Republican support as the senate passed an emergency spending bill for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan; 106 billion dollars, enough to fund the fighting until September.