WASHINGTON (CNN) - Compromise is coming on a health care reform bill, President Barack Obama's senior adviser said Sunday.
Speaking on the ABC program "This Week," David Axelrod dodged direct questions about whether Obama would sign a bill without a government-run public insurance option.
He noted that the five proposals passed so far by House and Senate committees would eventually be melded into one through further negotiations and debate.
"I believe that there is a fundamental belief on the Hill at this time that we can't fail now," Axelrod said. He added that he thinks that determination "will overcome these differences. … There will be compromise."
Obama and liberal Democrats in Congress support a public insurance option, calling it necessary competition for private insurers in order to expand coverage and bring down costs. Republicans are unanimously opposed to a public option, calling it a first step toward a government takeover of the health care system.
Some moderate Democrats also reject a public option, and a compromise bill passed last week by the Senate Finance Committee lacks the provision. It is the first health care proposal so far to receive any Republican backing, with moderate Sen. Olympia Snowe joining committee Democrats to send the measure to the full chamber.
Axelrod said Obama continues to believe the public option would help deliver his goals of health care reform: lower costs; coverage for Americans currently without health coverage; an end to practices such as denial of coverage for pre-existing conditions, and more regulation of the insurance industry.
On Saturday, Obama delivered a blistering attack on the health insurance industry in his weekly radio address.
In unusually direct language, the president accused the industry of deliberately misleading the public in an effort to defeat substantive health care reform.
"They're filling the airwaves with deceptive and dishonest ads," Obama said. "They're flooding Capitol Hill with lobbyists and campaign contributions.
And they're funding studies designed to mislead the American people."
Axelrod echoed that theme Sunday, saying the health insurance industry "has decided now at the 11th hour that they don't want to go along with this."
At the same time, though, Axelrod said controversial provisions in the bill would change as debate continues.
"I think that this thing is going to be adjusted as we go along," Axelrod said.