WASHINGTON (AP) - Two hours into a sometimes-contentious televised health care summit, President Barack Obama and Republican lawmakers outlined a few areas where they agree.
Among them: ending annual and lifetime monetary limits on health insurance, and banning insurance companies' practice of denying coverage to people with preexisting medical conditions.
Obama said Thursday there may be disagreement among lawmakers about how to achieve these changes, but the important thing was they all agreed the changes need to be made.
Obama is urging Democrats and Republicans to put aside differences and fix "one of the biggest drags on the economy."
Obama said "everybody understands that the problem is not getting better, it's getting worse." He said projections anticipate health insurance premiums rising substantially. He also said businesses are having to make decisions about dropping health care coverage for their employees.
He also said the escalating costs of medical care in this country are aggravating a deepening federal deficit. He acknowledged to the lawmakers sitting before him at the Blair House, "I know I'm telling you things you already know."