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Obama Forces the Health-Care Issue

President Obama is getting tired of waiting for Democrats to put aside their differences, so next week he'll release his own proposal—a mashup of the Senate and House bill—as Democratic legislators struggle to find common ground within their own party. Rep. Chris Van Hollen (D-MD) said that he doesn't know "whether the president is going to put one particular piece of legislation on the table," and a spokesman for Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) deferred questions regarding a finalized proposal by saying that Democrats are "continuing to make progress on winnowing the differences between the House and Senate proposals." Why all the sudden hurry? Obama has invited both Democrats and Republicans to the White House for a televised meeting on health care next week. Meanwhile, administration officials continued attacks on insurance companies, following up on an inquiry into a particular insurer's proposed 39 percent premium increase for Californians. Insurers, for their part, pushed back by calling for an end of what an industry spokeswoman called "the politics of vilification."