Obama Puts a Face on Health Care Reform

For the third day in a row, President Obama has attempted to steer the national health care reform conversation in the direction of his party, as his fellow democrats took action on the Hill.

Flanked by representatives from the American Nurses Association in the Rose Garden Wednesday, the president made his pitch, "[I]t’s safe to say few understand why we have to pass reform as intimately as our nation's nurses," Obama said. "They see first-hand the heartbreaking cost of our health care crisis."

Emphasizing the urgency of the situation, he added, "This is a problem we can no longer wait to fix. Deferring reform is nothing more than defending the status quo - and those who would oppose our efforts should take a hard look at just what it is they're defending," Obama said.

The president went on to praise the both the House and Senate for their actions.

A Senate committee Wednesday passed a Democratic health care reform plan on a 13-10 party-line vote, while House Democrats introduced their own proposal on Tuesday.

Republicans are critical of the Democrats' approach, saying they too want to fix health care, but don't believe the plans being considered will bring down health care costs and fix the problem.

"Everybody wants to do something to help health care reform along, but this is nothing but a job-killing, tax-raising measure that will actually take away the quality of care that we've become used to, and in a recessionary time that we're in, will kill jobs," said House Republican Whip Eric Cantor of the Democrats' proposal.

Still, President Obama continues to push his own brand of health care reform.

On Monday, the president worked health care reform remarks into the introduction of his choice for Surgeon General, Dr. Regina Benjamin.

He repeated that pattern Tuesday, at an event at a Michigan Junior College on education and the economy.

By Mike Emanuel & Kelly Chernenkoff