From NBC's Mark Murray
In today's National Journal, Ron Brownstein writes about how the business community is willing to play ball with the Obama White House and the Democratic Congress on key domestic issues. On energy, Brownstein says, the utility trade group Edison Electric Institute praised the compromise Waxman-Markey energy legislation (although it stopped short of a full endorsement). And on health care, industry groups on Monday pledged to the White House to cut $2 trillion in health costs over the next 10 years.
"Although disagreements remain on both fronts, each move suggests that key business interests have decided to cut deals with a dominant Democratic Party rather than bet on a weakened Republican Party," Brownstein says.
That said, today's New York Times reports that health-care industry groups are arguing that Obama overstated their promise to help shave health costs. "They say they agreed to slow health spending in a more gradual way and did not pledge specific year-by-year cuts. 'There's been a lot of misunderstanding that has caused a lot of consternation among our members,' said Richard J. Umbdenstock, the president of the American Hospital Association. 'I've spent the better part of the last three days trying to deal with it.'"
And check this out: "Nancy-Ann DeParle, director of the White House Office of Health Reform, said 'the president misspoke' on Monday and again on Wednesday when he described the industry's commitment in similar terms. After providing that account, Ms. DeParle called back about an hour later on Thursday and said: 'I don't think the president misspoke. His remarks correctly and accurately described the industry's commitment.'"