Obama Open to Compromise on Health Care

He tells summit: 'I just want to figure out what works'
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Mar 5, 2009 5:01 PM CST
President Barack Obama speaks at the White House Forum on Health Reform in the East Room of the White House in Washington, Thursday, March 5, 2009.   (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)
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(Newser) – President Barack Obama said today's health care summit at the White House made clear the immediate need for reform, and he signaled he's open to compromise. Obama told participants at the end of the summit that although he offered a plan during last year's campaign, he isn't wedded to that proposal. He told Republicans and Democrats, doctors, and insurers that "I just want to figure out what works."

The president said there are some elements that all sides can agree on such as electronic health records that will save lives and money. Other issues—such as his $634 billion down payment for expanded coverage—are certain to create deep divisions. "We just have to keep an open mind." Obama called on Ted Kennedy first after making his brief remarks, and the ailing senator said, "This time we will not fail."