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Obama's intervention crucial to save health reform: expert
Last Updated(Beijing Time):2010-03-04 15:17

U.S. President Barack Obama made a last-ditch effort on health insurance reform on Wednesday when unveiling a revised version of his proposal.

Urging the Congress to vote on the bill in the next several weeks, President Obama said he's going to do everything in his power to make the case for reform.

Igor Volsky, a healthcare researcher affiliated with the Center for American Progress, explained in an interview with Xinhua that although it's late in the game, Obama's involvement is still crucial for the legislation.

"When you go back through history to look at how major pieces of legislation were passed, presidential involvement was just so important," Volsky said, noting there were instances when a president would call a senator over a dozen times to secure the vote.

After almost a year's efforts, the health reform has divided the Congress, with Republicans standing against it in a rock-solid position, making Democratic unity ever more important.

According to the White House, Obama invited 31 congressional Democrats to a White House reception Wednesday night, many of them members of the so-called Blue Dog Coalition in the House of Representatives, a caucus of conservative members of the Democratic party, which favors financial discretion. Those members remained unconvinced of the health reform partly because of its 100-billion-dollar price tag.

Volsky said Obama needs to reach out to the more conservative part of the party, and ask for their votes.

"It's very important for a president to reach out to those reluctant members" of the Congress when a legislation needs some major push, he said.

"It's going to take a lot of facetime from the President, and it's gonna take a good deal of administration pressure."

Source:Xinhuanet 
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