WASHINGTON — Touting a new initiative to reduce waste in Medicare, Medicaid and other government programs, President Barack Obama traveled to suburban St. Louis on Wednesday to keep up momentum behind his push to complete work on a health care overhaul this month.
Obama redoubled his warning that failing to step up regulation of the insurance industry as part of a broader health overhaul would leave more Americans struggling with rising premiums.
And in a campaign-style speech delivered with his shirt-sleeves rolled up, Obama called for an end to political gamesmanship in Washington and a swift vote on his health care plan.
"The time for talk is over," Obama told a crowd in St. Charles, Mo. "I'm tired of talking about it."
The president's trip — the second this week — came as administration officials and senior Democrats on Capitol Hill worked on arranging a series of votes that will be needed to send Obama health legislation before Congress recesses for its Easter break.
With Republicans opposed to a sweeping overhaul, Democrats are trying to hold the first vote next week in the House, where party leaders hope to pass the health care bill that the Senate passed in December.
They then hope to use a process known as budget reconciliation to push a package of changes through the House and Senate.