Obama to Create $634B Fund for Health Care

By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 25, 2009 3:56 PM CST
President Barack Obama addresses the media today.   (AP Photo)
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(Newser) – President Obama plans to create a $634 billion fund over the next 10 years to help the nation pay for comprehensive health care reform, the Washington Post reports. Obama—who will announce the fund when he unveils his budget tomorrow—plans to pay for it by cutting tax breaks for the wealthy and trimming government spending to insurers, hospitals, and doctors.

The president is making a point to put money "on the table" before he begins negotiating specifics with Congress, said one administration official. "This is a reserve fund, instead of a 700-page plan," the official said. "We learned the lessons of the past and want to work interactively with Congress. This is a first step." About half of the money will come from reducing tax deductions for families that make more than $250,000.