WASHINGTON — Declaring the nation is "waiting for us to act," President Barack Obama urged Congress Wednesday to enact sweeping health care legislation quickly. He embraced a handful of modest Republican suggestions in the process.
Less than a week after convening a bipartisan summit, Obama said the latest health care proposal reflected "an approach that has been debated and changed and I believe improved over the last year. It incorporates the best ideas from Democrats and Republicans."
His comments were in excerpts officials released in advance of his afternoon appearance at the White House.
Obama's appeal came as congressional Democrats worked to mount a party-line rescue mission for the health care legislation that appeared on the cusp of passage late last year, only to be derailed when Republicans won a Massachusetts Senate seat that gave them the ability to stop it.
There is still no certainty about the outcome — or even that Democrats will agree to a series of changes that Obama outlined earlier in the week that he said represented Republican contributions to the measure.
More than a year after he summoned Congress to act, Obama said, "This is where we've ended up."
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