President Obama says he will “own” health care reform if a bill passes Congress, so he plans to get it done right.
In an interview that aired on CBS’ “60 Minutes” Sunday, Obama said he thought the political climate was too coarse, but said it was not necessary to censure Rep. Joe Wilson (R-S.C.) for heckling him on the House floor last week. Obama also acknowledged his critics' legitimacy in feeling "sticker shock" on health care reform because of the economic climate. But he said a good health bill, his top domestic priority, held the key to long term deficit reduction.
"You know, I intend to be president for a while and once this bill passes, I own it," Obama said in the pre-taped interview. “And if people look and say, 'You know what? This hasn't reduced my costs. My premiums are still going up 25 percent, insurance companies are still jerking me around,' I'm the one who's going to be held responsible."
The president's CBS interview topped a weekend push for positive momentum on the health care debate that included messages on radio, TV and the Internet. Obama also appeared in front of 15,000 people in Minneapolis in a campaign-style event Saturday, pledging to support a controversial public option but not to force people to sign up for it.