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"Now, despite all the progress and improvements we've made, Republicans in Congress insist that the only acceptable course on health care is to start over. But you know what? The insurance companies aren't starting over," Obama said in his weekly radio and Internet address Saturday.
"I just met with some of them on Thursday, and they couldn't give me a straight answer as to why they keep arbitrarily and massively raising premiums — by as much as 60 percent in states like Illinois. If we do not act, they will continue to do this."
Republicans were not swayed.
"It's not too late: We can, and we must, stop this government takeover of health care," said Rep. Parker Griffith, a retired physician and a first-term congressman from Alabama who switched parties in December and delivered the GOP message.
The competing addresses underscored the urgency behind Obama's last-ditch push for immediate health care reform. Without a victory — and quickly — Democrats move into a fast-approaching election season without a major, tangible accomplishment that affects voters' pocketbooks. And with a chasm remaining between the two parties, Democrats considered passing the overhaul with votes just from their party.
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