President Obama hosts health summit

March 5, 2009 7:37:23 AM PST
President Barack Obama launches his bid to overhaul health care today with a White House summit on how to proceed. The summit of lawmakers, doctors and drug and insurance executives seeks to get the ball rolling.

Obama's budget makes a $634 billion reform down payment. But in a sign of how tough it'll be getting agreement, the upper-income tax hikes and cuts in Medicare and Medicaid he wants to help pay for reform are drawing objections from Republicans and insurers.

The president campaigned on a plan that aims to build on America's existing employer-based system to supply universal coverage. But aides maintain he's also absolutely open to ideas from elsewhere and will not be sending Congress a fully formed bill, just kicking off the process with "principles."

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