President Clinton seemed to back off on what had so far been a nonnegotiable position on health care: universal coverage for all Americans. "You cannot physically cover 100 percent," he allowed at the National Governors Association. "It's impossible. Nobody can do that. We don't cover 100 percent of the people in Social Security, and it's universal." He also dodged the issue of how to pay for a less-than-universal plan, ducking a categorical assertion that employers should be forced to pay. "I have never said that we had to have the employer mandate, although I think that's the best and fairest way," he said.Clinton's chief opponent on the issue, Republican Senator Bob Dole, interpreted the remarks as "an effort by the President to break the deadlock."