One of Barack Obama's closest aides hinted on Wednesday that fight for health care reform has been taxing to the administration -- but she declared that the process in the "home stretch."
Speaking before the annual National Jewish Democratic Council conference, White House senior adviser Valerie Jarrett said the administration is "almost there" in achieving its goals for comprehensive health care reform.
"To have five committees for the first time ever to approve legislation and to now be in the final stretch... we are over 90 percent there," said Jarrett. "We appreciate all your support as we move closer than we have ever been in our nations history towards passing health care reform."
But in a speech that covered topics both foreign and domestic, Jarrett also indicated that the administration's first nine months in office have taken their toll on the president. Recounting how, in nine months, the president and his team have been forced to tackle two wars, a "global economic meltdown", a health care crisis, an energy crisis, and a public education crisis, she quipped: "I can see many, many new gray hairs," she said of her own mane.
Speaking at length about health care, Jarett applauded the Jewish Democratic community for the hand it has lent in getting reform passed.
"We want to thank you for launching your 'Rabbis for Health Insurance Reform' [campaign] to bring together religious leaders from across the country to learn more abut and share in this moral imperative to drive health insurance reform and all of the important work we are going to do together."