"I understand people being scared that this is going to be way too costly," Obama said. "It's not that costly if we start making changes right now."
"I felt that the initial House version of the bill didn't do enough to contain costs and therefore needed too much revenue," Rep. Jared Polis, D-Colo., said Friday on ABCNews.com's "Top Line." "There's a lot of opportunities out there, including some of Obama's own proposals for cost-cutting, which weren't in the initial House version of the bill and I hope will work its way into future House versions of the bill, reducing the need to raise taxes at all."
Late Monday night, Blue Dog Democrat Rep. Mike Ross, D-Ark., said the group talked through their cost concerns with Waxman. Ross said his group is waiting for the Congressional Budget Office to prepare cost estimates of what was proposed, and will then consider what their course of action should be.
The public option: The deal now being considered by the Senate's six negotiators does not appear to include a government insurance option that Obama wanted. Instead, they are tweaking a proposal by Sen. Kent Conrad, D-N.D., to create a system of non-profit, but independent co-ops to provide insurance options outside the normal insurance industry.
Kerry, for one, prefers otherwise.
"Look my first choice is to have a public plan and to have a public option, but we all understand that there is going to be some compromise," he said today.
The public option provision faces strong opposition from most Republicans. The powerful health insurance industry, still at the table, has also made clear that a public option would be cause for the insurance industry to turn against a bill.
"We do not support a new, government-run insurance plan, but there is still the Senate Finance Committee," Robert Zirkelbach of America's Health Insurance Plans said on ABCNews.com's "Top Line." "There's a real hope that we can get bipartisan reform coming out of that committee."
To be sure, everyone has an opinion on the slew of reforms being proposed.
A Monday letter to Senate Finance Committee leaders Max Baucus, D-Mont., and Charles Grassley, R-Iowa, from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce argued that the proposal being pushed by Democrats in the House would not drive down costs and would drive private insurers out of business.
"The business community vitally needs better policy alternatives to be proposed by Congress," the letter said.
"It really matters what happens here," former President Bill Clinton said Monday at a conference focused on obesity prevention. "It matters whether we save this generation of kids. It matters whether we save our country's health system."
"Every time somebody comes along, like the president's trying to do now, and fix it, all the naysayers say, 'Oh, this is only going to make it worse and more expensive' -- as if they are totally blameless for this wonderful, beautiful Mona Lisa system we have now," Clinton said.
Waxman said Monday night there would not be an Energy and Commerce committee markup of the bill today.
"A lot depends on when the Energy and Commerce Committee finishes its work," Pelosi said earlier Monday.
"I've also said that we need to see the direction that the Senate is going, so that we can do as much work in advance of September, so that when we come back, when we go to conference, we are a good way down the road," Pelosi also said.