U.S. President Barack Obama recounted health care "horror stories" Saturday to push for support for his call for health care reform.
In one anecdote during his weekly radio and Internet address, he said a woman with $700 in monthly insurance premiums found her life-threatening breast cancer not covered, and spent her entire retirement savings to pay for treatment.
Mr. Obama said the situation affects the whole economy, as businesses and government pay ever-growing medical costs.
The president has pledged to reform health care by the end of the year.
Republicans continued to criticize his plan in their weekly address. Senator Jon Kyl from the southwest state of Arizona said Mr. Obama is rushing the plan to avoid scrutiny. He said health care reform "needs to be done right," not "quickly."
In an attempt to stem criticism from many Republicans as well as moderate Democrats, Mr. Obama said he would only sign a bill that would not add to America's deficit, now estimated at $1 trillion.
Health care legislation has cleared two Democratic-controlled committees in the House of Representatives, but there has been strong opposition to some components of the current plan. These include a new tax on the wealthy and a requirement for the government to sell insurance that would compete with private companies.
Democratic party leaders had hoped a vote on legislation could take place before Congress recesses in August, but it now appears that deadline will be difficult to meet.