Sen. Joseph Lieberman suggested over the weekend that President Obama should slow down efforts to change the U.S. health care system.

The country may have to put off the more expensive reform efforts until the recession is over, Lieberman, an Independent from Connecticut, said Sunday on CNN.

“There’s no reason we have to do it all now, but we do have to get started,” Lieberman said. “And I think the place to start is health delivery reform and insurance market reforms.” Lieberman also spoke out against trying to “jam through … total health insurance reform” in an interview with the Associated Press.

Lieberman is a member of the Senate Small Business and Entrepreneurship Committee.

In response to reporters’ questions about Lieberman’s remarks, White House Deputy Press Secretary Bill Burton countered that both Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., and Sen. Kent Conrad, D-N.D., a moderate Democrat, have stated that there is great agreement on many aspects of health reform,

The economic argument in favor of health reform is clear, Burton said today during a press briefing in Oak Bluffs, Mass., near where Obama and is family are vacationing.

The way costs are “going up is causing the health insurance industry to shed tens of thousands of Americans each month as a result of rising costs,” Burton said. “And those higher costs are causing Medicare and Medicaid and state-run health care programs to create budgetary problems that are just fiscally unsustainable…. Costs have gotten to a point where they’re completely out of control.”

This article is a heavily updated version of an article that first appeared here under another headline.