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Leaders mull health summit ultimatums

U.S. House Minority Leader John Boehner (R-OH) speaks to the media after President Obama's health care reform summit while Senate Minority Whip Jon Kyl (R-AZ) looks on.

TEXT OF STORY

Steve Chiotakis: As the day breaks in our nation's capital, President Obama and congressional leaders are mulling ultimatums in the health care reform debate. That's after a marathon session yesterday with no agreement and lots of frayed nerves and uneasy smiles. Marketplace's Gregory Warner reports.


Gregory Warner: Health care was the subject and cost was the context of yesterday's summit. President Obama made the case for reform:

President Obama: It's absolutely critical for us to begin now moving on what is one of the biggest drags on our economy and represents one of the biggest hardships that families face.

The president defended the Democratic legislation, which would create a new marketplace for insurance. That plus an expansion of Medicaid would cover 31 million more people.

Republicans called for a do-over on the Democratic effort. Senator Tom Coburn, speaking for his party, said the Democratic proposal did not fix the misincentives in the health care system.

Tom Coburn: One out of every $3 that gets spent doesn't help anybody get well and doesn't prevent anybody from gettin sick.

Beyond the position statements, the president expressed new support for malpractice reform, which many doctors and Republicans support. But he told Repubicans he'll move forward with a bill without them.

The president's challenge will be getting Democrats on the same page. Democrats said they'd like to reconcile their House and Senate bills before March.

In Philadelphia, I'm Gregory Warner for Marketplace.

About the author

Gregory Warner is a senior reporter covering the economics and business of healthcare for the entire Marketplace portfolio.

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