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Obama Promises Active Role in Health Bill Conference

President Barack Obama on Thursday appeared at the White House to trumpet Senate passage of the health care reform bill, saying Congress stands “incredibly close— to approving sweeping changes to the health care system.“With passage of reform bills in both the House and the Senate, we are now finally poised to deliver on the promise of real, meaningful health insurance reform that will bring additional security and stability to the American people,— Obama said. “Let’s make 2010 the year we finally reform health care.—Obama pledged to help steer the bill toward final passage next year as conferees meet to iron out differences between the House and Senate bills.“I look forward to working with Members of Congress in both chambers in coming weeks,— Obama said.The president toasted both Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) and Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) for their roles in steering the House and Senate bills toward passage.“I want to commend Senator Harry Reid, extraordinary work that he did, Speaker Pelosi, for her extraordinary leadership and dedication,— he said.Obama compared the legislation to historic bills that have come before. “If passed, this will be the most important piece of social legislation since the Social Security Act passed in the 1930s and the most important reform of our health care system since Medicare passed in the 1960s,— he said.

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