President Obama described the stakes of this weekend's health care vote in stark terms today, using words uttered so rarely out of the White House that they seem all but banned: "If this vote fails." What then? "The insurance industry will continue to run amok," the president declared, pointing to rising rates, denials of coverage and limits on care.
With Sunday's expected vote hanging on the support of just a handful of wavering Democrats, Obama delivered an energetic, 25-minute closing argument for the goal to which he has devoted much of his presidency and on which its future could pivot, at least for a time. Before an amped-up, campaign-style rally of several thousand at George Mason University in suburban Virginia, the president said the bill, if it becomes law, will deliver "the toughest insurance reforms in history" and "the largest middle class tax cut for health care in history."