Health care overhaul: $646 billion
February 25, 2009: 5:12 PM ET
WASHINGTON (CNN) — Two White House officials told CNN Wednesday that the proposed budget to be released Thursday will include a $646 billion health care “reserve fund,” which is intended to help pay to overhaul the nation’s health care system.
One of the officials said the administration sees health care as key to the nation’s fiscal health and called the fund a down payment on President Barack Obama’s effort to reform health care.
Money for the reserve fund is expected to come from limiting tax breaks for the wealthy and tightening payments to insurers, hospitals and physicians.
OMB Director Peter Orszag told CNN on Tuesday that a massive overhaul of the health care system can be achieved this year and that it should provide “universal coverage.”
“We’re going to try to avoid the mistakes of the past and not lay down a fully detailed plan, rather work constructively with Congress,” he added.