Biden Appears to Seek Divine Help on Health Care

As if appealing for divine intervention in the health care debate, Vice President Joe Biden crossed himself when asked this morning about the prospects for enacting the plan President Obama wants.

"I do foreign policy, I don't do health care," said Biden, sounding as though he was looking for a way to weasel out of the question.

He said the reason he prefers foreign policy: "it's a lot easier than health care and a lot less complicated. And that's not a joke."

Biden did speak with passion about administration plans to modernize the health care system by computerizing all our medical records. He called the current system "absolutely archaic."

It would be another example, he said, of spending money to save money. "If we modernize health care record-keeping," said Biden, "we will save billions of dollars."

As for more details about what Mr. Obama will ask for in his health care address to a Joint Session of Congress on Wednesday evening, Biden urged his audience at the Brookings Institution in Washington to "stay tuned."

"One thing I've learned -- don't step on your bosses lines," said the veep.

He said the president will "lay out in understandable clear terms what our Administration wants to happen with regard to health care."

And Biden said he thinks the prospects for the White House getting the health care plan it wants "are very high." In fact, he said the president "will get something substantial."

"There's going to be an awful lot of screaming and hollering before we get there but I believe we're gonna get there," said Biden.

CBSNews.com Special Report: Health Care

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(CBS)
Mark Knoller is a CBS News White House correspondent. You can read more of his posts in Hotsheet here. You can also follow him on Twitter here: http://twitter.com/markknoller.

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    Mark Knoller is a CBS News White House correspondent.

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