Doubling Down

Obama Hits Prime Time Again

With the health-care debate not quite in shambles, Obama's betting that his speech next week, slated to explicitly lay out his plan for overhauling the nation's health system, will be a game-changer. The Los Angeles Times reports that the president had initially laid out broad goals for health-care reform and left the specifics to Congress in order to keep the legislative wheels turning, but the strategy backfired, leaving supporters confused about where Obama stands and handing control of the debate to conservative critics. White House strategists say that next Wednesday's joint session speech will eliminate that confusion and shift the administration from defense to offense. The president will likely offer some compromises on cost containment, Medicare, and creation of a government insurance plan.