Three major hospital associations have offered to contribute about $155 billion over 10 years to help pay for a U.S. healthcare overhaul, The Washington Post reported on Monday, citing industry sources.


U.S. President Barack Obama hugs cancer patient Debby Smith of Appalachia, Virginia, during a forum on health care at Northern Virginia Community College in Annandale, Virginia July 1, 2009

The agreement with the Obama administration and leaders of the Senate Finance Committee was expected to be announced on Tuesday by Vice President Biden, the newspaper said.

Two hospital sources said most of the savings -- about $100 billion -- would come through lower-than-expected Medicare and Medicaid payments to hospitals, the Post reported.

About $40 billion would be saved by slowly reducing the subsidies paid to hospitals to care for the uninsured.

The Post said White House officials declined comment.

A source close to the negotiations said agreement was reached after discussions about the shared responsibility of the entire health-care system, the report said.

Two weeks ago, the pharmaceutical industry offered some $80 billion in prescription discounts over the next decade to help defray the cost of healthcare reform proposals.

The reported agreement with the hospitals comes as the U.S. Congress resumes efforts to find common ground on the huge and costly healthcare overhaul that is President Barack Obama's top legislative priority.

Lawmakers are struggling to meld five separate healthcare bills into versions that can pass the Senate and House of Representatives by the August 8 start of a month-long recess.

They are trying to trim costs, find ways to cover a price tag of $1 trillion or more, and gather Republican support for a Democratic-backed government-run public insurance option to cover about 46 million uninsured Americans.

The president has called for Congress to pass legislation he can sign by the end of the year.