Obama ‘open’ to four GOP ideas on health care |

March 2, 2010 by Post Team 

Obama open to four GOP ideas on health careObama ‘open’ to four GOP ideas on health care | Obama said Tuesday that he is “open” to four Republican ideas on health-care — including a greater investment in medical malpractice reform and a further crackdown on fraud — as he begins what aides said was the “final act” in the administration’s efforts to revamp the health-care system.

In a letter to Republican and Democratic leaders in Congress, Obama said he is also open to increased Medicaid reimbursements for doctors and efforts to ensure that people could choose Health Savings Accounts if they participate in the health-care exchange that Democratic bills would create.

Health Care pitch from the presidentAll were ideas brought up by Republicans at the televised health summit held by the White House last week.

“I said throughout this process that I’d continue to draw on the best ideas from both parties, and I’m open to these proposals in that spirit,” Obama wrote in the letter, which the White House released Tuesday afternoon.

The concessions to the Republicans do not go to the core of their objections and are unlikely to change the dynamic in Washington, where Democrats are preparing for final passage without a single Republican vote.

But the White House is hoping that by appearing willing to compromise in the face of unanimous opposition, the president will provide Democratic lawmakers with more ammunition against their Republican adversaries.

In the letter, Obama also noted that his health care proposal now pending on Capitol Hill stripped the previous Democratic legislation of some of the most egregious provisions that Republicans had complained about.

“There are provisions that were added to the legislation that shouldn’t have been,” he wrote, noting changes to the Medicare Advantage program that Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) had complained about were gone. He said he had also proposed eliminating a special deal given to Nebraska Sen. Ben Nelson (D) earlier in the process.

But in the letter, Obama reiterated his belief that “piecemeal reform” is not the way to go. And earlier, Press Secretary Robert Gibbs told reporters that the debate over health care is finally nearing a conclusion.

Asked by a reporter whether the country is in the “final act” of the health care fight, Gibbs responded quickly and with no equivocation.

“Yes,” he said.

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