A coalition of consumer, labor and business groups exhorted President Obama to "send a clear signal" by including healthcare reform funding in his first budget request to Congress.

The chief executives of the AARP, the Business Roundtable, the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) and the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB) -- which together make up the Divided We Fail coalition -- wrote Obama Friday to reemphasize their support for comprehensive health reform this year.

"Because of our belief that bipartisan healthcare reform is critical to a strong economy, personal financial security and long-term fiscal stability, we are writing to urge you to make health reform legislation a top priority this year," reads the letter, signed by AARP CEO Bill Novelli, Roundtable President John Castellani, SEIU President Andy Stern and NFIB President and CEO Dan Danner.

"We ask you to send a clear signal on the importance of healthcare reform by including in your budget submission policies that would moderate cost growth and reinvest savings into providing the tools necessary to support a modernized healthcare delivery system that provides access to quality, affordable coverage for all Americans," the letter says.

-Jeffrey Young