James Rowley and Nicole Gaouette
July 29, 2009

[efoods]U.S. House Democratic leaders, struggling to reach an accord with party dissidents on health care, said they’re likely to miss President Barack Obama’s August deadline for legislation overhauling the medical system.

“It doesn’t look like it to me,” House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Charles Rangel said in an interview. “I really hoped that we could have gotten a bill out of here by now,” he said, adding that he has a “heavy political heart.”

Obama, who has made revamping health care the centerpiece of his domestic agenda, had urged the House and Senate to each pass versions of the bill before their monthlong August recess so negotiations on a compromise could begin when they return. He’s seeking to provide health coverage to tens of millions of Americans who lack it and curb the soaring cost of care.

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