Obama Calls for Health Care Reform Now ... or Never

"If we don't get it done this year we are not going to get it done."

President Barack Obama warned on Thursday that if health care reform didn't take place this year, it won't be completed during his presidency.

"We need health care reform legislation that works, that preserves what works about health care, that fixes the things that are broken. And I think the status quo is unacceptable " said the president, on a conference call with volunteers for his leftover campaign arm, Organizing for America. "And we have to get it done this year. If we don't get it done this year we are not going to get it done."

Underscoring the high stakes of the debate, Obama called on his supporters to make the same organizational effort on behalf of health care that they did during the election. There were, he said, few more important issues facing his administration.

"Now we are moving to one of our biggest priorities," he said, "something that all of us on the phone have been talking about since the earliest moments of this campaign... We know what is at stake; we know we need reforms... Americans now spend more on health care than on housing or food."

The conference call, in which Obama participated while onboard Air Force One, is one of several moves on the part of Organizing for America to help set the table for the upcoming battle over health care reform. Organizing for America is also distributing a video message from the president and hosting a kick-off event for its health care reform campaign on June 6.

Sam Stein is a Political Reporter at the Huffington Post, based in Washington, D.C.
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