President Obama plans next week to make his case for a healthcare overhaul to a group that has helped block major changes before -- the nation's doctors.
White House spokesman Robert Gibbs announced today that the president will speak next Monday to the American Medical Association's annual gathering in Chicago.
"He'll start with the recognition that the healthcare system status quo is unsustainable and he'll outline the case for healthcare reform," Gibbs told reporters at his daily briefing. "He'll make clear why we can't afford to wait another year or another administration to bring down costs that are crushing families, businesses, and government.
"In the speech the president will discuss the reasons why past efforts have failed and he'll address the consequences of failing to act again this year," Gibbs added. He'll lay out plainly what healthcare reform will mean for American families and their doctors and what it won't. The president will also address the importance of making sure that reform doesn't add to our deficit, and what we can do to strengthen what works in our health care system and to fix what's broken so that we can build -- what we build provides the best care in the world at the lowest cost.
Earlier today, Obama summoned key lawmakers to the White House again today to push them to reach a deal. Afterwards, there were reports that key Democratic and Republican said a compromise may be emerging on one of the biggest disputes -- whether to create a government-sponsored health plan to compete with private insurers.
The compromise would create nonprofit health cooperatives owned by groups of patients, similar to how electric or other cooperatives operate, and without the government involvement that troubles Republicans and business groups about the public plan, the Associate Press reported.
The senators said Obama was willing to listen to all sides but insisted that Congress must pass a bill this year that reins in costs and helps provide coverage to nearly 50 million uninsured people.
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Glen Johnson is Politics Editor at boston.com and lead blogger for "Political Intelligence." He moved to Massachusetts in the fourth grade, and has covered local, state, and national politics for over 25 years. E-mail him at email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter @globeglen.