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Dr. Shirley, who calls the opponents of Mr. Obama’s plan “the distractors,” said he doubts they’ll ever come around.

“I don’t think there’s anything you could say that would make a difference to them because they’re lying hypocrites,” he said.

Republicans have pressed the issue of having members of Congress enrolled in any new “public option” plan. At one point, they forced a committee vote on an amendment that would have done just that. The House Ways and Means Committee defeated the amendment 21-18, though three Democrats voted with the committee’s Republicans in favor of forcing the change.

Even Mr. Obama hasn’t been immune to challenges to personally live up to his pledges. At a White House town-hall meeting on health care, broadcast by ABC earlier this summer, Dr. Orrin Devinsky asked Mr. Obama if a national health plan is imposed, would he forgo extra care for his wife or children beyond what was included in that plan.

The president said that “families all across America are going through decisions like that all the time. And you’re absolutely right that, if it’s my family member, it’s my wife, if it’s my children, if it’s my grandmother, I always want them to get the very best care.”

He then blamed the current health care system for pushing for too much care that, in some cases, he said is not making people healthier.