Health Secretary Kathleen Sebelius says healthcare reform would have been "dead on arrival" if the White House had sent a finished proposal to Congress last year.
The secretary also blames delays in passing the measure on President Barack Obama's having to spend "far too much time talking about what's not in the bill" and trying to counter "wild accusations" by Republicans.
She says it's realistic to expect the administration to keep at it even if the House doesn't act by March 18 — when Obama leaves on an Asian trip.
Sebelius says "conversations will continue" if necessary to overcome the objections of a key House Democrat, Michigan Rep. Bart Stupak, over abortion funding.
Sebelius appeared on ABC's "This Week" and NBC's "Meet the Press."
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