WH: Obama focused on healthcare progress

The White House refused Thursday to say whether President Barack ObamaBarack Hussein ObamaGOP rep: North Korea wants Iran-type nuclear deal Dems fear lasting damage from Clinton-Sanders fight Iran's president warns US will pay 'high cost' if Trump ditches nuclear deal MORE would sign a healthcare bill that doesn't include the public option plan the president supports.

White House press secretary Robert Gibbs declined to say whether Obama would veto or sign a bill that doesn't include a government-run public option plan, which the Senate Finance Committee is reportedly close to passing. Members of the committee are set to meet with Obama later Thursday morning.

Gibbs said the president "is focused on making sure the process goes forward at this point."

"I'm not going to start drawing those lines in the sand today," Gibbs said.

Gibbs said that Obama's White House meeting with committee members Sens. Max BaucusMax Sieben BaucusBernie Sanders flexes power on single-payer ObamaCare architect supports single-payer system Trump has yet to travel west as president MORE (D-Mont.), Chuck GrassleyCharles (Chuck) Ernest GrassleyGrassley: 'Good chance' Senate panel will consider bills to protect Mueller Overnight Finance: CBO to release limited analysis of ObamaCare repeal bill | DOJ investigates Equifax stock sales | House weighs tougher rules for banks dealing with North Korea GOP state lawmakers meet to plan possible constitutional convention MORE (R-Iowa), Mike EnziMichael (Mike) Bradley EnziWe can't allow Congress to take earned benefits programs away from seniors Senate approves Trump's debt deal with Democrats Senate panel might not take up budget until October MORE (R-Wyo.), Kent Conrad (D-N.D.), Olympia Snowe (R-Maine) and Jeff Bingaman (D-N.M.) is "not a negotiation," but instead a chance for the president to get an update on the legislation.

When asked what message Obama will have for the committee, Gibbs said: "Keep working."

Gibbs said even though Obama wants to see progress from the committee, he is not pressing its members to pass a bill by any certain date, even though his onetime desire for a bill before the August recess lies in waste.

On Thursday, Gibbs said the president "doesn't have any firm deadlines in his head."

"We want them to work; we want them to make progress," Gibbs told reporters.