Health care debate continues in Washington - WMBFNews.com, Myrtle Beach/Florence SC, Weather

Health care debate continues in Washington

Washington -

(NBC) - President Barack Obama is pressuring Congress to pass his health care package within the next 10 days, before lawmakers leave for a two-week break.

Adding to his reform push, Obama signed an order giving private auditors permission to root out health care fraud. Bounty hunters of sorts would get a cut of the fraud they expose.

It's a bipartisan idea and has the President fired up this week.

"The need is great, the opportunity is here, let's seize reform," Obama said. "It's within our grasp."

Equal passion is on display on Washington's streets. Protesters for reform were outside a conference of insurers.

"Many Americans from all walks of life really care about this," protester Zach Pelchat said. "It's very important to them and it's something that we need now."

Tea party activists against the Obama bill lean on lawmakers in person.

"The objective here is to forestall and to ultimately defeat Obamacare," said Mark Skoda, chairman of Memphis Tea Party.

South Carolina's James Clyburn's job is to whip up Democrats' yes votes. That could depend on how the Senate reform plan would get fixed.

"When we get that language then we will start our whipping operation," said Clyburn.

Republicans mock the strategy.

"What the President is doing is asking House Democrats to hold hands, jump off a cliff, and hope Harry Reid catches them," Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-TN) said.

One new poll shows half of Americans want the health care system changed a lot. Only 4 percent say not at all.

Large majorities want bipartisanship on health care nowhere in sight.

Copyright 2010 NBC. All rights reserved.

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