President Takes Charge on Health Care

After staying above the fray for months, President Obama has jumped feet first into health-care negotiations. Legislation is in its final stretch and Obama has led the debate between Democratic leaders over how to reconcile the House and Senate versions of the bills, holing up with lawmakers until 1 A.M at one point this week. “It was always our sense that once the bills were passed that he would have to play a much more direct role in helping work out the details,” Obama's senior adviser, David Axelrod, told the New York Times. The group recently made a breakthrough in how to pay for the bill, with new concessions on exempting certain workers from a tax on high-end insurance policies. While major issues remain, lawmakers say Obama's presence is crucial to securing a final deal. “I think the president has to do this or there won’t be a bill, candidly.” Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) told the Times.