Obama: Health Care Is 'Most Significant' Legislation Since Medicare : The Two-Way President Barack Obama says the health care legislation hammered out by Democrats is the "most significant piece of domestic legislation at least since Medicare and maybe since Social Security."
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Obama: Health Care Is 'Most Significant' Legislation Since Medicare

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Obama: Health Care Is 'Most Significant' Legislation Since Medicare

Obama: Health Care Is 'Most Significant' Legislation Since Medicare

"We did really well," on health care legislation, President Barack Obama just told NPR's Robert Siegel and Julie Rovner in the latest of a series of interviews he's doing at the White House.

"This notion, I know, among some on the left that somehow this bill is not everything that it should be -- that we still need a single-payer plan ... just ignores the real human reality that this will help millions of people and end up being the most significant piece of domestic legislation at least since Medicare and maybe since Social Security."

The president made the case that the bills from the House and Senate (which still have to be reconciled), accomplish nearly all the reforms he's been pushing for. "And we're doing it in a way that is fiscally responsible," he argued.

Here's part of the interview, starting with Julie's last question for the president:

Obama: Health Care Is 'Most Significant' Legislation Since Medicare

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Much more from the interview will be on today's edition of All Things Considered. Click here to find an NPR station near you that broadcasts the show and check here later for more of the audio.

NPR's health blog, Shots, will also be following the story.

Update at 3:43 p.m. ET. NPR's Scott Horsley adds that:

Obama said he hopes a final health care bill will reach his desk with some combination of funding mechanisms from both the House and Senate versions. That would include a tax on so-called "Cadillac" insurance plans.

Once the Senate approves its health care bill -- in a vote expected tomorrow -- its plan will have to reconciled with the House version. One key difference to be ironed out is how to pay for expanding health care coverage. The Senate wants to impose a tax on high-end health insurance plans, while the House wants to tax rich people.

In the interview with NPR, Mr. Obama said both ideas will likely be included.

"Taxing Cadillac plans that don't make people healthier, but just take money out of their pockets because they're paying more for insurance than they need to -- that's actually a good idea and that helps bend the cost curve," the president said.