Nightly News   |  March 10, 2010

Health care debate moved to Midwest

President Obama traveled to Missouri Wednesday to continue his push for health care reform. NBC's Savannah Guthrie reports

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>> myers, nbc news, washington.

>>> president obama traveled to missouri today as he continues a series of what could be considered closing arguments in his case for health care reform . white house correspondent savannah guthrie with us with more on the trip tonight. good evening.

>> reporter: good evening, brian. as aides here try to put together the votes the president is trying to build some public momentum for his health care plan in the st. louis area today he invoked that famous missourian to try to put this all in historical perspective.

>> you know who was pushing health care reform ? harry truman . harry truman was pushing health care reform . and by the way, you know what they said? they said he's pushing socialized medicine . harry truman .

>> reporter: well, the white house has made a concerted decision to really lean hard on insurance companies lately. today health and human services secretary kathleen sebelius appeared before an insurance group in washington to confront them about premium increases. she did soften her tone a little bit than she planned in her prepared remarks. tonight the president's chief of staff is on capitol hill meeting with congressional leaders to plot a strategy to go forward and build this to a close. they are hoping right now to have the house vote on the health plan march 18th or so before the president leaves for indonesia. the president's next road trip is to ohio, to the very same region where the woman whose letter he read to insurance executives at the white house this week is from, brian.

>> savannah guthrie across town from us here at the white house tonight. thanks.