President Obama has outlined his final version of a health care bill and has urged Congress to bring the plan to a conclusive vote within the next few weeks. The President said his nearly 1-trillion dollar proposal is a compromise plan that combines the best ideas of both Democrats and Republicans.
Mr. Obama also came out in support of reconciliation, which would allow changes to the health care bill to be passed by the Senate with only 51 votes -- a bare legislative majority. The arguments both for and against health care reform have not changed for either political party.
Top Republicans have repeatedly said Obama's proposal amounts to a government takeover of the private health care system that will do little to control spiraling medical inflation. In recent weeks, they have reiterated their calls for the President to scrap his plan and start over.
The President's proposal includes significant reductions in Medicare spending, in part through changes in payments made under the Medicare Advantage program. It does not include a government-run public health insurance option but it does include Medicaid reimbursement increases to doctors in certain states, and supports language ensuring certain high-deductible health plans can be offered in the health exchange.