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Obama Hails Health Care Effort

President Barack Obama on Monday announced a new initiative by leading health care organizations that he believes will cut federal spending on health care and save families thousands of dollars through new efficiencies.

Obama spoke at the White House after what he termed an “extraordinarily productive meeting— with officials from groups including the American Medical Association, the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America, the American Hospital Association, America’s Health Insurance Plans and the Service Employees International Union.

Obama hailed the meeting as a harbinger of what he hopes will be a broadly cooperative health care reform effort that will include a diverse group of stakeholders. He said the groups involved in the new initiative showed they recognize that, “When it comes to health care spending, we are on an unsustainable course that affects the financial stability of families, government and business as well.—

He noted that some of the organizations involved opposed previous health system overhauls — presumably a reference to successful efforts by business groups to sink former President Bill Clinton’s health care initiative in 1994.

The plan unveiled Monday would reduce the rise in the nation’s health care costs by 1.5 percent a year, saving some $2 trillion over 10 years and resulting in a $2,500 cut in health care bills for an average family of four.