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Obama Confident on Health Bill, Regardless of Schedule

President Barack Obama on Friday gave the Senate a bit of wiggle room in reaching a self-imposed deadline of approving an initial health overhaul bill by the August recess, suggesting it would not necessarily kill the effort if lawmakers fail to reach their goal.“I never believe anything is do or die,— Obama said during a press conference in L’Aquila, Italy. “But I really want to get it done by the August recess.—Senators have been struggling to move legislation through the Finance and Health, Education, Labor and Pensions committees, and seem far off from combining the bills and moving a final package on the floor.But Obama continued to exude confidence that the overall effort to pass legislation will succeed. “There are going to be some tough negotiations in the days and weeks to come, but I’m confident that we’re going to get it done,— he said.The president vowed an aggressive effort to push the legislation. “It is my highest legislative priority over the next month,— he said. “My biggest job, even as my staff is working on the day-to-day negotiations with the House and Senate staffs … is to explain to the American people why this is so important and give them confidence that we can do better than we’re doing right now.—

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