WASHINGTON (ABC)-- Democrats in congress say they've reached crucial agreements on healthcare and a deal is all but done.
Confident his landmark health insurance reform plan will be passed within a week, President Obama was defiant, speaking Wednesday at a St. Louis fundraiser. Administration officials believe the tide of public support is turning in their favor.
Kathleen Sebelius, Secretary of Health & Human Services, says "Americans will continue to dread opening the next premium statement or the next bill."
The White House and Congressional Democrats are still fighting for votes, but cite near agreement on crucial issues. Republicans, committed to blocking the bill, insist opposition to the president's plan is also united.
Sen. Mitch McConnell, (R) Minority Leaders, says "The fact that we're still even talking about a health care bill that raises costs, increases premiums, and increases government spending is a complete mystery to most people."
As the debate rages on in Washington, 34 states have filed or proposed measures rejecting the anticipated health insurance mandates. Wednesday, Virginia's General Assembly, led by a Republican Governor, became the first in the nation to approve such legislation.
Governor Bob McDonnell, (R) Virginia, says "The obvious intent of the legislation, I think, was the state government saying to the United State Congress that if you if you have a provision in there mandating that Virginians are required under federal law to buy health insurance, we object to that."
All 41 Republican Senators vowed in a letter Wednesday to do everything in their power to kill the health care legislation.