While Republicans may want the White House to start from scratch on health care reform during bipartisan negotiations this month, that is not what Americans want, White House Domestic Policy Adviser Melody Barnes said on "Washington Unplugged" Wednesday.
"I don't think the American people want to start over. This isn't like a boardgame we used to play as kids where you go back to the starting line if you happen to land on the wrong block. In fact the American people are clammoring for this," she said from the snowy White House driveway.
She added that, "people don't want to start at the beginning. In fact, they want to do what the President is saying he wants to do in two weeks. Sit down. Look at the issues that are important to Republicans, talk about the bill that we have been working on, take the best of that information."
Barnes had just come from a conference on childhood obesity, First Lady Michelle Obama's latest initiative.
"What we intend to do is to come together to marshall federal resources to support this effort while at the same time reaching out to the private sector, working in concert with the sports leagues, working with the pediatricians."
Moderator Bill Plante asked what she would say to critics who argue that the issue of childhood weight is not something the federal government should be overseeing.
"We know that the answers to all of this won't come from the White House - that the government won't be sitting at people's dinner tables, nor should they be," Barnes said. "In fact parents will be making those decisions, but in order to make those decisions they need the right tools and information."
Watch the full show, which also includes praise for Washingtonians in the snow with Washington Post reporter Paul Schwartzmann.