Mild Expectations for WH Health Care Summit

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The White House health care summit is set for Thursday, and already the battle lines for the televised showdown are drawn.

However, Republicans and Democrats can agree on one thing -- don't expect any big breakthroughs.

Jesse Fink owns and operates a California coffee shop and is one of many across the state getting hit with a 39 percent rate hike by his insurance provider, Anthem Blue Cross.

"I feel like someone has a gun to my head and they are saying take it or leave it," he said.

Cases like this are expected to part of the conversation when President Obama and congressional Democrats meet with Republicans at Thursday's White House health care summit -- making the case that the time for reform is now.

Stay with, Thursday, to watch a live stream of the summit.

Ahead of the televised event, the president tried to sell his proposal -- released this week-- as a way to expand coverage and bring down the deficit.

"I know there are many who have been skeptical of our reform efforts," Obama said. "In the wake of the extraordinary measures we took to rescue our economy, it's been an easy political tactic to characterize any effort at health reform as a 'big government takeover.'"

But both Republicans and Democrats are equally skeptical that the summit will amount to anything more than political theater. One day before the summit, House lawmakers decided they didn't need to wait to start the debate.

"America is yearning from Republicans and Democrats to come together on something that will help bring down the cost of health care insurance," said Democratic Rep. David Scott.

"The Democrats time and again tout their plan will increase competition and lower premiums," GOP Rep. Virginia Fox responded. "We don't think that's true."

The effort to reform health care has been stalled in Congress since Democrats lost their 60-seat supermajority, after Scott Brown won the special election in Massachusetts.

The White House is hoping the summit will break through that log jam and produce the momentum needed to pass health care reform -- an issue congressional Democrats spent a lot of political capital on in the last year.

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John Jessup

John Jessup

CBN News Anchor

John Jessup serves as the main news anchor for CBN, a position he assumed after 10 years reporting for the network in Washington, D.C. His work in broadcast news has earned him several awards in reporting, producing, and coordinating elections coverage. Follow John on Twitter @JohnCBNNews and "like" him at