Obama Crafts Scaled-Down Health Care Plan B
Fallback measure would cover 15M uninsured
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 25, 2010 1:23 AM CST
Updated Feb 25, 2010 6:39 AM CST
President Barack Obama discusses the economy with the Business Roundtable as they meet at the St. Regis Hotel in Washington yesterday.   (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

(Newser) – The White House has a less ambitious health care plan waiting in the wings if today's health care summit fails to win enough support for sweeping change. The scaled-back plan would provide health insurance to some 15 million Americans, about half the number the larger bill would cover, for a quarter of the comprehensive bill's $950 billion 10-year cost, officials tell the Wall Street Journal.

The plan emerged in the wake of the Democrats' Senate setback after President Obama asked staff to show him what a scaled-down plan would look like, officials say. The more incremental change it offers is more in line with what Republicans seek, although the president still hopes to pass the more comprehensive bill. Aides hope Obama's explanation of his proposals tonight will give lawmakers the boost to get the bill past the finish line.