ABC's Ann Compton reports: Calling this the "9th inning" for health care reform, White House senior advisor David Axelrod tells ABC NEWS President Obama is getting in the game and is "at the point where he can close this" debate.
"The President has a big megaphone," Axelrod said, "and he intends to use that megaphone in these final weeks to, to really make clear to the American people what, what’s on the table and how it might help them."
Axelrod describes an address to the nation from the Oval Office as one option. Personal jawboning of a reluctant Congress is a definite.
"I think when the President of the United States looks you in the eye and makes the case I think that there is, there is a gravitas to that that most legislators understand," Axelrod said.
Until now, the White House seemed to resist calls from supporters and critics alike demanding that the President put down on the table his own specific version of health care reform. Now, Axelrod indicates the president is ready, adding "It’s time to wrap them up and move this thing forward. And the President is going to be central to that."
As to the fate of a government option plan to compete with private insurance, Axelrod suggested the controversial concept is gone but not forgotten: "The spirit that led him to support a public option is still very much at play here and so you know he wants competition. He wants choice. "