[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/POLITICS/08/22/obama.health.care/art.obama.health.afp.gi.jpg caption=" President Obama talks about health care reform Thursday in Washington."]WASHINGTON (CNN) - Facing a recent erosion of public support for health-care overhaul, President Obama lashed out at his opponents Saturday for spreading "outrageous myths" on the Internet, television, and at town hall forums.
Republican leaders, in turn, said it was Obama who is guilty of playing "fast and loose with the facts."
They repeated their assertion that the president's proposed government-funded public health insurance option would destroy the current private insurance-based system.
"I'm glad that so many are engaged," Obama said in his weekly radio address. But it should "be an honest debate, not one dominated by willful misrepresentations and outright distortions, spread by the very folks who would benefit the most by keeping things exactly as they are."
Obama emphasized that, contrary to the assertions of many, illegal immigrants will not get health insurance under a reform plan.
"That idea has never even been on the table," he said.