| GEO World|
| Obama 'cautiously optimistic' on health care|
| Updated at: 0149 PST, Wednesday, December 16, 2009|
WASHINGTON: President Barack Obama said Tuesday he was "cautiously" optimistic over his top priority health care bill, saying Democrats were on the cusp of an achievement that had eluded them for generations.
But Obama warned that compromises would have to be made to get the bill through the Senate, as intense horse-trading takes place with holdout lawmakers to get the required 60 votes in the 100-vote chamber.
"It is clear we are on the precipice of an achievement that has eluded presidents and congresses for generations," Obama said after meeting Democratic senators at the White House.
The meeting at the White House came as Democrats attempt to piece together enough votes to get the legislation through the Senate, with Obama pushing for action before the Christmas break at the end of next week.
Obama said that there were still some "disagreements" that needed to be worked out, but that he was "cautiously optimistic" the Senate would soon pass the bill.