So where does Obama's March 18th deadline for the government health takeover come from?

So we have a deadline for rushing through something as important as health care reform because the president has to go traveling abroad? Is this a serious reason for a deadline to quickly pass such a bill?

Barack Obama has given Democrats a March 18 deadline for the House to pass the Senate version of a healthcare reform bill before he leaves on a trip to Asia, leading to a frenzy of arm-twisting and vote tallying on Capitol Hill. . . .

From an interview with Georgia congressman Congressman Phil Gingrey:

He also said President Obama's reform effort, which he has pushed almost relentlessly in recent weeks, will lose momentum when he embarks March 18 on a official trip to Indonesia, Guam and Australia.

"He's so heck bent and determined to run off to Indonesia, Guam and all of those places to improve our image across the world," Mr. Gingrey said.

White House spokesman Robert Gibbs told reporters he thinks the House is on schedule to approve the landmark legislation by March 18, when the president leaves for an Asian trip, and he can sign it into law "shortly thereafter," according to the Associated Press.

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