U.S. President Barack Obama says the soaring cost of health care is the
single greatest financial challenge facing the United States.
The president spoke Monday to a gathering of the nation's governors and
later to a group of lawmakers and financial experts at a White House
summit on fiscal responsibility.
In closing remarks after the summit, Mr. Obama said both health care
consumers and providers feel the pinch of the struggling economy. He
said it is important to institute reforms.
Earlier Monday, the president told state governors his administration
is releasing $15 billion from a stimulus package this week to help
states cover the health care costs of low-income families.
Mr. Obama also said Monday that he will cut the U.S. government's $1.3
trillion budget deficit in half by the end of his four-year term.
Mr. Obama said the administration must bolster the financial sector and
re-start the stalled economy with loans to banks and spending on
The president may give more details of his plans to aid the economy when he addresses Congress Tuesday.