Some Republicans already saying no to Obama's proposed health care 'starting point'

The Kansas City StarFebruary 23, 2010 

The Obama administration released a $950 billion health care proposal Monday as a "starting point" for a possible compromise with Republicans during this week's planned health care summit.

The White House version tweaks the Senate and House health care reform bills, but it does not dramatically change them.

Within hours, however, leading Republicans firmly rejected the administration's blueprint.

"The president has crippled the credibility of this week's summit by proposing the same massive government takeover of health care based on a partisan bill the American people have already rejected," Rep. John Boehner of Ohio, the House minority leader, said in a statement.

His Senate counterpart, Sen. Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, echoed that assessment.

"Our constituents don't want yet another partisan, back-room bill," McConnell said.

But Democrats and the White House vowed to continue pressing for passage of a health care overhaul plan at Thursday's health care summit, which is to start at 9 a.m. in Washington and will be televised on C-SPAN and perhaps on cable news networks.

"Health care reform is too important to be sidelined by partisan motives," said Sen. Patrick Leahy, a Vermont Democrat.

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