“None of this is easy,” Obama Budget Director Peter Orszag said Sunday on CNN’s State of the Union, “there’s a reason why this hasn’t happened in 50 years and we’re making a lot of progress.”
Orszag reiterated the president’s commitment to sign a health care reform bill only if it is deficit-neutral over the first ten years after passage and Orszag acknowledged that “in the short run, some additional revenue is going to be required” to meet that condition.
Orszag revealed Sunday the White House has proposed to Congressional leaders legislative text relating to an independent commission of doctors. That panel, the administration believes, would help make the policymaking process more flexible by ultimately leading to lower health care costs and higher quality over time.
Orszag also told CNN Chief National Correspondent John King that getting the legislation done by August remains the White House’s “goal.”
“We think we can make that. We’re working towards that,” Orszag said. “There are some who are advocating delay simply because they don’t have anything to put on the table,” the Obama aide added.
Orszag rejected the suggestion that the president is taking a too hands-off approach to moving the legislation forward.
“People are reacting too much to the ebb and flow of what’s happening on a day-to-day basis,” Orszag told King. “It’s complicated. The legislative process is working. I think people are sort of reaching judgment about who is going to win the marathon based on who is ahead at, like, mile 19. Not a good way of judging things. We’re making a lot of progress.”