PLANNING

Rethinking Health Care

President Obama sought to seize the advantage in the decades-long fight over health care Thursday at a White House summit on the issue. With small discussions planned for the 120 participants, the gathering was aimed at providing momentum for his planned restructuring of the nation's health care system. "I guess we could wait another few years, as families in this country have waited for quite some time for somebody to step forward and take control and bring down health care costs," spokesman Robert Gibbs said. "But the president has decided that instead of waiting as has been done before, he's going to step forward and try to do that, starting now." With that in mind, Obama's budget included a "down payment" of $634 billion toward health care—just part of the $1 trillion-plus likely to be needed. The summit included a report about health care compiled from more than 30,000 participants nationwide.