Speaker Pelosi has agreed to postpone a healthcare vote until the autumn
Democrats in the US House of Representatives have reached agreement on proposals to reform the American healthcare system.
The deal, brokered between fiscally conservative Democrats and party leaders, means the House could be in a position to pass a bill in the autumn.
But the US Senate will also need to agree on a bill before a final version can pass.
Healthcare reform is President Barack Obama's top political priority in 2009.
Some 47 million Americans currently do not have health insurance, and rising healthcare costs are a major contributing factor to America's spiralling budget deficit.
HEALTHCARE IN THE US
47 million uninsured, 25 million under-insured
Healthcare costs represent 16% of GDP, almost twice OECD average
Reform plans would require all Americans to get insurance
Some propose public insurance option to compete with private insurers
Although the exact details of the deal agreed by Democrats in the House of Representatives have yet to emerge, reports suggest the House's bill will include a public insurance option.
But after much lobbying from the House Blue Dog Caucus, a group of fiscally conservative Democrats, the cost of the $1tn (£600bn) bill will be cut by $100bn.
Speaking at a town hall meeting in Raleigh, North Carolina, Mr Obama said healthcare reform would provide Americans with "more stability and more security".
"What we need, and what we will have when we pass these reforms, are health insurance consumer protections to make sure that those who have insurance are treated fairly and insurance companies are held accountable," he said.
The BBC's Adam Brookes in Washington says Mr Obama's references to security and consumer protection represent a change in tack for the president.
The US president is trying to shift the discussion away from dry policy debates and instead persuade Americans that his reforms will benefit them personally, our correspondent adds.
Earlier this year, Mr Obama called on both chambers of Congress to pass bills before the beginning of August, but lawmakers now say that will not be possible.
A number of different committees are working on bills, and there is disagreement about the details of the proposed reforms.
Lawmakers are divided on whether to set up a public health insurance scheme for Americans without employer-sponsored coverage.
There is also much disagreement about how to raise revenue to fund the proposed expansion of healthcare coverage.
Under the terms of the agreement, the House Democratic leadership, including Speaker Nancy Pelosi, have pledged not to hold a vote on the bill on the floor of the House until after the August recess.
Meanwhile, in the other chamber of Congress, the Senate Finance Committee is still debating the details of its reform proposals.
After it does so, the full Senate will vote on a bill.
Once the House and the Senate have approved their own versions of healthcare reform, a committee made up of members of both houses will attempt to create a combined version, which - if approved again by both chambers - will go to President Obama for his signature.