September 8, 2009

Obama Plagued On Both Sides As Speech To Congress Looms

President Barack Obama is receiving advice and opinions on what to speak about in his health care discussion with Congress.

His largest challenge is owning up to the legislation that has been affected by conflicts in Congress. Obama was reviewing his new health care plan in a Labor Day speech Monday in Cincinnati.

The president continues to work to find the perfect message on health care. Polls indicate that some Americans are losing assurance in the idea of a new system with definite coverage and lower costs.

"I'm hoping for wisdom on Wednesday night," said Sen. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., to CNN's "State of the Union."

Klobuchar noted that the heated emotions of the August public meetings have fallen and people are now concentrating on how costs will increase if Congress does not act.

Former Democratic Party chairman Howard Dean thinks that Obama has to accept that he will not receive much support from Republicans. Instead, Obama should focus on rallying the Democrats.

"What people value more than anything else in a president is strength, and that's what we've got to see," Dean said on "Fox News Sunday."

Sen. Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn., thinks that going all the way would cause a dead-end.

"He should say, 'I'm going to clear the deck. ... Here are the four or five things that we can get done, and we can do them in a bipartisan way,'" Alexander said, also on Fox.

The president's focus on a government health insurance option is still unclear as White House officials emphasized support.

Obama "believes it should be in the plan, and he expects to be in the plan, and that's our position," political adviser David Axelrod said to The Associated Press.

Meanwhile, the chairman of the Senate Finance Committee has suggested a fee charged to insurance companies to help fund health coverage for Americans without insurance.

Sen. Max Baucus has sent his proposal to the five members of a bipartisan group working on constructing the bill. It is uncertain how the idea will go over with Republicans in the group, notably Chuck Grassley of Iowa and Mike Enzi of Wyoming.

The plan was announced Monday anonymously due to ongoing negotiations. The idea would create coverage access for uninsured people. Baucus' group will meet Tuesday, one day before President Barack Obama speaks to Congress.