Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius took the Obama administration's health care platform to the Democratic Leadership Council's policy forum today, reiterating the administration's plan to make its health reform efforts deficit neutral.
"In the days ahead, we will work with Congress and address other proposals for funding health reform. We are open to good ideas. But we are not open to deficit spending," Sebelius said.
"Health reform will be paid for and it will be deficit neutral over ten years."
Whether this is possible is a big debate right now, and it depends to some degree on possible cost savings in Medicare, health cost savings across the board, Congress's ability to stick to proposed budget rules, and finding money to pay for early deficits within ten years.
The realism of deficit-neutral health reform is something that's doubted by many, but the administration is sticking to it, and Sebelius laid it out in black-and-white terms today.