First Edition: July 23, 2009

President Obama's prime time press conference is today's hot topic, with timelines, politics and public opinions also in the mix.  

Polls Show Growing Anxiety About Health Overhaul
Most Americans support an overhaul of the health system, but the percentage who believe they (and their family) will be worse off from the change has nearly doubled in the past five months, according to a poll being released today (Kaiser Health News).

Obama: Health Overhaul Central To Economic Fix
President Obama argued during a prime-time news conference Wednesday that the American economy cannot be rebuilt without overhauling the nation's health care system (National Public Radio).

Obama Moves To Reclaim The Debate On Health Care
President Obama tried on Wednesday to rally public support for overhauling the nation’s health care system and said for the first time that he would be willing to help pay for the plan by raising income taxes on families earning more than $1 million a year ( New York Times).

Obama's Toughest Sales Pitch Also His Most Critical
Since taking office, President Obama has preached the urgency of implementing the big items on his long list of policy priorities. And he has been largely successful at bending public opinion, and Congress, to his will -- on the stimulus package, financial bailouts and his budget, with unprecedented new investments in education and renewable energy (Washington Post).

Obama Strives To Personalize Healthcare Debate For Americans
With many Americans growing anxious about his plans to overhaul the nation's healthcare system, President Obama on Wednesday sought to lay out in personal terms how they stand to gain from the legislation that he has made one of the top goals of his presidency (LA Times).

Primetime Pitch Seeks To Ease Fears, Intensify Pressure For Healthcare Plan
President Obama sought to calm middle-class fears about a major healthcare overhaul last night, telling Americans in a prime-time news conference that people who already have insurance would benefit as much as those who do not (Boston Globe).

Obama Defends Health-Care Overhaul In Prime-Time News Conference
With many Americans doubtful about his plans to overhaul the U.S. health-care system, President Barack Obama on Wednesday sought to lay out in personal terms how they stand to gain from the legislation that he has made one of the top goals of his presidency (Chicago Tribune).

Experts Dispute Some Points In Health Talk
President Obama showed great fluency in the intricate details of health policy at his news conference on Wednesday night, but experts said some of his points were debatable (New York Times).

In Drive For Health Reform, Obama Must Win Over Independents
When President Obama takes the podium Wednesday night at his prime-time press conference, he will have many audiences – the news media, Washington partisans actively hashing out the details on healthcare reform, and the American people (Christian Science Monitor).

White House Official Links Health Care To Fiscal Balance
A comprehensive overhaul of the health care system, eliminating inefficiencies and wasteful practices, will be crucial in correcting the nation’s unsustainable fiscal excesses, the White House budget director said on Wednesday. The Obama administration is increasing its pressure on Congress to act before the August recess (New York Times).

Pelosi: I Have The Votes To Pass Health Bill
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said Wednesday there is “no question” that she has the votes to pass healthcare reform legislation even as key Democrats retreated from their predictions of progress (The Hill).

GOP Leaders Fear Anti-Obama Tone
Senate GOP leaders worry that some of their colleagues are misplaying their hand on health care reform by suggesting that they want to kill the plan in order to hurt the president. Sen. Jim DeMint (R-S.C.) said last week that, if Republicans are able to stop Barack Obama on health care, “it will be his Waterloo, it will break him” (Politico).

Democrats Spar Over Medicare
Several senior House Democrats voiced strong concern Wednesday with a proposal to empower the executive branch to restrain Medicare spending, adding fresh uncertainty to White House efforts to build support for health legislation (Wall Street Journal).

Dick Durbin Says August Health-care Deadline Not Possible
President Barack Obama's goal for action on health care reform before the August recess suffered what appeared to be a fatal blow when Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin declared the deadline unworkable in the Senate (Politico).

Replicating Cleveland Clinic's Success Poses Major Challenges
President Barack Obama plans to visit the Cleveland Clinic Thursday, an institution he has held up as a model for delivering high-quality and cost-effective health care. But trying to replicate the clinic's approach across the U.S. would pose difficult challenges (Wall Street Journal).

Employers Are Far From Unified Against Overhaul
Even as the national business lobby ramps up its opposition to health-care reform, there are signs that employers around the country are divided on the issue, reducing the force of an opposition push (Washington Post). 
 

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