President Obama met with five governors Wednesday, including Wisconsin's Jim Doyle, to get their views on revamping the nation's health care system.
The group included three Democrats and two Republicans and Obama said they all agreed that the priorities include controlling costs, assuring a choice of doctors and providing a high quality of care.
The president said it's essential to pass wide-ranging health reform this year. And on a televised ABC forum Wednesday night, the president said he was open to the idea of taxing health benefits provided by employers.
Obama continues to seek a government-run plan to compete with private coverage.
The president says it would keep the private insurers honest, providing more competition and lower rates.
But Rep. Republican Paul Ryan, R-Janesville, is among those who believe a government plan would eventually drive the private carriers out of business.
Obama is letting Congress work out the details, but they have not agreed to anything yet.
Harold Schaefer, the CEO of Schaefer Brush of Waukesha, says he's wary of government health insurance but he's keeping an open mind about it, saying there's not enough competition in the private market.
Wayne Corey of the Wisconsin Independent Businesses says small companies need stability in pricing.
He says no small firms can budget for insurance now. That's because their rates hinge on the health of their workers.