Yesterday President Obama convened a health reform summit in an effort to bring together key members of Congress and administration personnel to discuss ways to move forward on health reform. After a long day of policy debate, however, the summit failed to result in a bipartisan breakthrough on reform legislation. While isolated areas of agreement were indentified, such as in the area of fraud and abuse efforts and certain aspects of insurance market reforms, the meeting largely highlighted the divisions between the two parties on fundamental aspects of reform. In particular, Democrats and Republicans at the meeting were far apart on such basic questions about how large a role the federal government should play in establishing insurance market rules, whether insurance coverage should be mandated, and how to achieve cost-savings in the health care system, among others. The summit is widely viewed as laying the groundwork for Democratic leaders to forge ahead with comprehensive health reform without Republican support -- if compromise can be reached among Democrats. In particular, Democrats appear to be ready to use a Senate parliamentary procedure known as “budget reconciliation” that would require only 51 Senate votes for passage in order to enact a bill in the coming weeks. Additional background information on current health reform legislative efforts is available here.