Not Counting Chickens Before They're Hatched, President Obama Thanks Snowe for Being "Extraordinarily Diligent"

After a working lunch with President Zapatero of Spain, President Obama and his counterpart made remarks and took questions in the Oval Office.

Afterwards, your humble reporter shouted out for a response to Maine GOP Sen. Olympia Snowe's announcement that she will vote for the health care reform legislation in the Senate Finance Committee today.

"I know the vote has not taken place yet," President Obama said, "but I just want to thank the Senate Finance Committee for plowing forward on what we all acknowledge is an extraordinarily complicated issue.

"I think they’ve done excellent work and not only Chairman (Max) Baucus (D-Mont.) but others," he continued, "but in particular Senator Snowe has been extraordinary dil – extraordinarily diligent in working together so that we can: reduce costs of health care; make sure that people who don’t have it are covered; to make sure that people who do have insurance have more security and stability; and therefore over the long term we’re saving families, businesses and our government money.

"So I never...count chickens before they are hatched," the president concluded, "but this is obviously another step forward in bringing about a better deal for the American people.”

- jpt

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