Obama says it’s time to ‘buck up’ on reform

OBAMA SAYS IT’S TIME TO ‘BUCK UP’ ON REFORM…. When the White House signaled that the president would spend this week investing time and attention on health care reform, officials weren’t kidding. With the pressure on, the president and his team are clearly stepping up. Whether that’s enough remains to be seen, but I don’t imagine anyone will be accusing Obama of watching from the sidelines.

Earlier, Obama hosted a brief event in the Rose Garden, ostensibly to tout the endorsement of the American Nurses’ Association of the reform campaign. The president’s remarks, however, while thanking the ANA for the valuable support, turned once again to an aggressive public push for Congress to pass a good bill.

“I just want to be clear: We are going to get this done,” Obama said. “Becky and I were talking in the Oval Office. Becky just pointed out, ‘We need to buck up people a little bit here.’ And that’s what nurses do all the time — they buck up patients, sometimes they buck up some young resident who doesn’t quite know what they’re doing. You look at Becky, you can tell she knows what she’s doing. And what she’s saying is it’s time for us to buck up — Congress, this administration, the entire federal government — to be clear that we’ve got to get this done.

“Our nurses are on board. The American people are on board. It’s now up to us. We can do what we’ve done for so long and defer tough decisions for another day — or we can step up and meet our responsibilities. In other words, we can lead. We can look beyond the next news cycle and the next election to the next generation, and come together to build a system that works not just for these nurses, but for the patients they care for; for doctors and hospitals; for families and businesses — and for our very future as a nation.

“I’m confident it’s going to get done because we’ve got a great team behind us. And we are going to be continually talking about this for the next two to three weeks until we’ve got a bill off the Senate and we’ve got a bill out of the House. Then we’ll deserve a few weeks’ rest before we come back and finally get a bill done so we can sign it right here in the Rose Garden.”

I found it interesting, by the way, that the “buck up” rhetoric was not in the prepared text.

Nevertheless, as nice as it was to see the president speak with some enthusiasm, it’s still not entirely up to him to get this done.