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President Obama opens the health summit after a lunch break

CQ Transcriptions
Thursday, February 25, 2010; 4:03 PM

OBAMA: (inaudible) There were several people who were still in the queue who didn't have a chance to speak prior to us breaking. The topic was still insurance reform, although obviously these things interrelate and I suspect that people may, you know, have other issues that they want to raise.

After this, we're going to go to the issue of deficit and -- which touches on some of the issues related to Medicare that have been raised already. And I'm going to actually have Joe Biden open that up.

RANGEL: (OFF-MIKE)

OBAMA: Well, no, no. I mean, we will be -- we will be talking about health reform, Charlie. I guarantee you will be called on before -- you'll have a chance to talk about all these issues. All right?

(UNKNOWN): Mr. President, what time do you expect to end the meeting?

OBAMA: My hope is that we get out of here -- we're running a little bit late, but for having a lot of elected officials sitting around a table, we're not too late.

(LAUGHTER)

My hope is, is that we can adjourn by 4:15. All right? OK. 4:15. Originally it was scheduled to go to 4, we're starting a little bit late on this front, you know. So we'll see if we can get out of here by 4:15. All right?

That will require probably a little more discipline on all our parts, including myself, than was shown in the morning session, although let me just say that I thought the tone of the discussion was helpful and I appreciate everybody's participation so far.

With that, I'm going to go to Mike Enzi. (inaudible) I'm going to go to...

DINGELL: (OFF-MIKE)

(CROSSTALK)

DINGELL: ... talking about leaving, Mr. President, please put me on the list.

OBAMA: Well, I guarantee, you guys are all going to have a chance to speak.

But we're going to go to Mike Enzi, and then we're going to go to Tom Harkin. I know that we had Jay Rockefeller was still on the list. Was there another Republican that wanted to speak just on the insurance reform issues?

(CROSSTALK)

OBAMA: You want to go to John Barrasso?

Well, all right, we'll let -- we'll let you guys split time on this one.

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