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Today's Question: Is Obama's health care reform bill losing steam?

Tuesday, July 21, 2009 | 2:55 p.m. CDT; updated 11:16 a.m. CDT, Thursday, September 3, 2009

The August recess for the House and Senate is drawing near, and President Barack Obama's health care reform plan is taking more and more flak from both Democrats and Republicans. There is a rising opposition that could spell disaster for the president's ever-shrinking window of opportunity.

Opposition from the president's own party has been coming from Blue Dog Coalition, which is a group of U.S. representatives known for its fiscal conservatism, according to the coalition's Web site. Without a solid voting bloc, Obama will need to enlist bipartisan support. Public approval of Obama's actions in the area of health care reform recently dropped to 49 percent, according to a Washington Post-ABC News poll, though the Post reported that the poll had a margin of sampling error of plus or minus three percentage points.

With a $1 trillion price tag, some legislators are opposing the bill, saying that the bigger concerns are continuous spending and rising unemployment.

The Congressional Budget Office, a nonpartisan entity that analyzes the budget and makes cost predictions about legislation, looked at the bill recently and concluded that passing it would increase the national debt. According to a Post article, CBO Director Douglas Elmendorf, while answering questions from the Senate Budget Committee about the health care proposals, said, "The curve is being raised."

On the other hand, with the passing of Obama's plan, some of the 46 million previously uninsured U.S. residents would have health coverage. This idea served as Obama's main platform during the presidential race, and he declared it his top priority on the day he got into the White House.

On Friday, Sen. Jim DeMint, R- S.C., made a controversial statement regarding the Republican strategy for stopping the bill. A Politico report quoted him as saying, "If we're able to stop Obama on this, it will be his Waterloo. It will break him." Obama has since focused on the senator's remarks, saying, "This isn't about me. This isn't about politics. This is about a health care system that is breaking America's families."

Is Obama's health care reform bill losing steam?


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