Gearing up for a bipartisan meeting it hopes will help seize back control of the healthcare debate, the White House will unveil its own plan on Monday for how to overhaul the $2.5 trillion medical care system.
Obama will add a measure targeting insurance companies, a White House official said, something that had not been included in Democratic healthcare overhaul bills reached after months of debate and compromise in the House of Representatives and Senate.
The White House has been targeting health insurers with particular vehemence as it makes its case for the overhaul in recent days, seeing corporate profits as a relatively easy target for public anger in the face of flagging voter interest in the healthcare fight.
Obama's plan will be posted on the White House's website at 10 a.m. EST Monday to allow ample time for review before Obama and his fellow Democrats in Congress meet Republicans on Thursday for a televised conference on the proposed overhaul, one of Obama's top domestic policy priorities.
As bad as things are today, they'll only get worse if we fail to act. We'll see exploding premiums and out-of-pocket costs burn through more and more family budgets, Obama said on Saturday.
White House officials have said little on the record about what exactly will be posted, as they wait for official word from the president, beyond saying they expect it will combine the best features of the House and Senate bills.
The bills are broadly similar. Both would extend coverage to many of the 46 million Americans who now lack health insurance and impose restrictions on insurance companies such as requiring them to cover people with pre-existing medical conditions.
Congressional Republicans, who have remained solidly united in opposition to the healthcare bills, have called on Democrats to scrap both and start over with a far less sweeping agenda.
They had not formally accepted the invitation to the summit, expressing wariness about the Democrats' intentions, but Republican leaders have said they planned to attend.