President Barack Obama has spelled out one key goal of his health care summit, saying political leaders must determine whether there is "too big a gulf" to find consensus on the divisive issue.
Obama said he hopes some agreement can be found. But an hour into the Blair House meeting Thursday, he said officials must "figure out" areas of agreement and disagreement. He said after that, it will be necessary to "make an honest assessment whether we can bridge these differences."
If not, the president said, it would be necessary to "proceed from there."
In advance of the talks, Republicans said they believed the White House was strongly committed to their $1 trillion, 10-year plan. Democrats have been considering pushing ahead with no GOP support.
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