This is pretty significant because the one thing that has always gotten in the way of universal health care is the massive cost. But if the health insurance providers are willing to look for ways to tighten their belts, it’ll make it much more fiscally realistic.

From USA Today:

WASHINGTON — President Obama will announce today that the health care industry will try to cut $2 trillion in expenses over the next decade to slow the rising cost of medical care, two White House officials familiar with the plan said.

If successful, the cuts could help reduce costs for families and provide money for an expansion of health care coverage backed by Obama and some Democrats in Congress, said the officials, who briefed reporters but refused to be identified ahead of Obama’s announcement.

“If these savings are truly achieved, this may be the most significant development on the path to health care reform,” said Ron Pollack, executive director of Families USA, which advocates for expanded health care coverage. “It would cut health costs for families and businesses, and it would enable adequate subsidies to be offered so that everyone has access to quality affordable health care.”

But there’s also another piece to this, and that’s the unity between the two sides of the health care debate…insurance providers and health care worker unions

The President of the United States was able to get the major union associated with health care and the major lobby associated with health insurance companies to come together, under his aegis, at an event that White House hopes will be the public kick off of the president’s engagement with Congress as its committees write the health care bill. “This fundamentally allies these groups with the President’s goal of getting health care reform this year and that’s a game changer, in our opinion,” a senior administration official told reporters last night. “And it makes clearer than ever that health care reform is going to happen this year in Congress.”

So, is this the type of bridge building that this debate needs in order to pass legislation? Because if big business is behind this, won’t that give cover to some Republicans to join the Dems and vote this in?

More as it develops…

Business Big Health Care Promises To Cut $2 Trillion Over 10 Years