WASHINGTON, July 24 (Xinhua) -- U.S. President Barack
Obama's administration remained optimistic about the passage of the overhaul
healthcare reform at Congress by the end of the year, said a White House
official on Friday.
U.S. President Barack Obama signs a
proclamation celebrating the 19th anniversary of the Americans with
Disabilities Act in Washington July 24, 2009.(Xinhua/Reuters
White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel said in a
radio interview that the president would stick to the healthcare reform as his
domestic policy objective although the Senate failed to meet the deadline he has
set for the passage of the bill by August.
"I think we will have a bill by the end of the year
for the president to sign on healthcare reform that controls costs, expands
coverage and provides choice," Emanuel told National Public Radio.
He made these remarks after Senate Democratic
Majority Leader Harry Reid announced on Thursday that his floor would rather
have a product "that is one that is based on quality and thoughtfulness" than
"trying to jam something through."
"The decision was made to give them more time for the
finance committee part of what we're trying to do and I don't think it is
unreasonable. This is a complex, difficult issue," he said.
U.S. President Barack Obama makes
remarks at an event for the signing of a proclamation celebrating the 19th
anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act with Secretary of State
Hillary Clinton in the East Room at the White House in Washington, July
24, 2009.(Xinhua/Reuters Photo)
In recent weeks, Obama has stepped up his efforts to
push forward his overhaul healthcare reform at Congress, which is aimed at
curbing rapidly rising costs and expanding health insurance coverage to the 46
million uninsured Americans.
The president has earlier set a timetable for
Congress to vote on the healthcare reform bill before its month-long recess
starting Aug. 7.
To push the legislation forward in the House of
Representatives, Democratic Party leaders said on Friday that they are likely to
go ahead with a vote in the full House next week without reaching agreement with
fiscally conservative Democrats who objected to the bill for concern on its high
Emanuel said during the interview that the White
House is also urging Congress to present a proposal for an outside commission on
health care costs cutting.
"If you want to control costs, one of the things the
president talked about is to have a group of health experts to ensure that, in
fact, the changes that are necessary to the system so the system is more
efficient, more cost effective, are done," he said.
The White House also dismissed that the delay in
voting on the reform in the Senate would frustrate Obama's administration.
"Nobody thought we were having a signing ceremony before the beginning of the August recess," White House spokesman Robert Gibbs told reporters. "The end probably isn't going to happen one way or the other until sometime in the fall."