President Opens High Stakes Healthcare Summit

02.25.10 | FL News Team

(Washington, DC)  --  President Obama says the costly and complex U.S. healthcare system is fundamentally flawed and must be reformed.  Opening a bipartisan healthcare summit, Obama called healthcare reform "absolutely critical" and said soaring healthcare costs impact everyone, including struggling families and businesses.  The President said healthcare also represents the "single biggest driver of our federal deficit."  

The President invited congressional Democratic and Republican leaders to the summit in an effort to push healthcare reform legislation over the finish line.  Health insurance reform has stalled after the House and Senate passed different bills last year.  Obama challenged Republican critics to come to the table with better ideas.  Some Republicans, however, call the summit political theater and a six-hour infomercial.  This week, the White House unveiled a revised proposal that would extend healthcare coverage to about 31-million Americans.  The roughly 950-billion-dollar, ten-year plan would boost regulations on health insurers while raising taxes on the wealthy.  Republicans pronounced the revised plan dead on arrival.