By Michael O'Brien - 10/10/09 10:00 AM EDT
The debate over health reform has reached an "unprecedented consensus," President Barack Obama said in his weekly radio address.
Hailing the Senate Finance Committee's virtually complete process of crafting the last healthcare bill in Congress, Obama said the "final days" of the months-long debate are in sight.
The president underscored what he said was an emerging consensus on healthcare reform, referencing the prominent Republicans who have come out in support of health reform efforts.
"These distinguished leaders understand that health insurance reform isn’t a Democratic issue or a Republican issue, but an American issue that demands a solution," the president said, referencing support from former Senate Majority Leaders Bob Dole (R-Kan.) and Bill Frist (R-Tenn.), as well as former GOP Health and Human Services Secretaries Tommy Thompson and Louis Sullivan.
"The distinguished former congressional leaders who urged us to act on health insurance reform spoke of the historic moment at hand and reminded us that this moment will not soon come again," Obama said. "They called on members of both parties seize this opportunity to finally confront a problem that has plagued us for far too long."
Obama urged supporters to fight on for health reform in the spirit of "national purpose."
"Now is the time to meet our responsibilities to ourselves and to our children, and secure a better, healthier future for generations to come," he said. "That future is within our grasp. So, let’s go finish the job."