OMAHA, Neb. (AP) – Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius says Americans need a new government-sponsored insurance plan to guarantee choice and competition – especially in rural America.

Sebelius made the comments at a round-table discussion in Omaha, where she delivered a sales pitch for President Barack Obama’s health care overhaul.

The new public plan option – favored by Obama but opposed by Republicans – is proving a stumbling block as Congress attempts to craft a health overhaul bill.

Sebelius’ appearance was part of an aggressive new administration push to build a groundswell of public support for action by Congress in time for Obama to sign legislation in the fall.

Obama himself held a town hall meeting in Green Bay, Wis., on Thursday.

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