The Edmond Sun

Nation/World

August 10, 2009

Obama predicts 'sensible' health care win

GUADALAJARA, Mexico — President Barack Obama predicted Monday that Congress would pass his sweeping health care overhaul this fall as more "sensible and reasoned arguments" prevail. But he said immigration changes, another politically explosive subject, would have to wait until next year.

At a North American summit in Mexico, the president also delivered an animated defense of U.S. efforts to help restore Honduran President Manuel Zelaya, who was ousted in a June 28 coup. He said criticism of his policy in Honduras smacked of "hypocrisy," faulting the United States for being too heavyhanded in Latin America and yet telling him he has not intervened enough in Honduras.

Obama spoke at a news conference with Mexican President Felipe Calderon and Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper, capping a swift summit among the three leaders. Harper rallied behind Obama's stand on Honduras.

"If I were an American, I would be really fed up with this kind of hypocrisy," Harper said.

Targeting the long and painful recession, Obama said that he and the other two leaders agreed to take "aggressive, coordinated action" to restore growth across North America.

Noting the huge trading partnership among the three neighbors, Obama said that commerce must be expanded, not restricted.

Obama said that a "Buy America" provision in the giant economic stimulus package earlier this year had not hurt trade with Canada. "I do think it's important to keep this in perspective," he said. "This in no way has endangered the billions of dollars in trade taking place between our two countries."

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