Mar 112010

President Barack Obama declared on Wednesday the “time for talk is over” and urged the U.S. Congress to vote on healthcare as his health secretary directly challenged insurers to forgo profits to make coverage more affordable.

U.S. President Obama speaks about healthcare reform at the White House Washington
U.S. President Barack Obama speaks about healthcare reform from the East Room of the White House in Washington March 3, 2010. President Obama on Wednesday said it is time to pass his healthcare overhaul using only a slim Democratic majority in Congress if necessary. (Reuters Photo / Kevin Lamarque)

Visiting America’s heartland, Obama tried to rally support for his healthcare legislation among wavering Democrats. He urged them to set aside their worries about a political backlash and support the legislation.

“Folks in Washington, they like to talk. So Washington is doing right now what Washington does,” he told a crowd at a high school in St. Charles, Missouri. “They’re speculating breathlessly day or night. Every columnist. Every pundit. Every talking head. Is this proposal going to help the Republicans or is this proposal going to help the Democrats?”

“The time to talk is over. It’s time to vote,” he said. “I don’t know about the politics, but I know that it is the right thing to do and that is why I am fighting so hard to get it done.”

His campaign-style visit was part of a final push to pass an overhaul of the $2.5 trillion healthcare system

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