The Big Sell

Obama's Prime-Time Health Pitch

Save health care, save the economy, was President Obama's message in a televised prime-time speech and appearance Wednesday. After recounting successes with the economy and job market, Obama argued that reining in health-care costs and moving away from an employer-centered insurance system will help "rebuild [the economy] stronger than before." The president discussed protecting individuals from overspending on health care and underscored his pledge not to increase the national deficit. The president also took on his right-wing detractors, quoting (but not naming) Bill Kristol's urge for Republicans to "go for the kill" and South Carolina Sen. Jim DeMint's desire to "break" him: "This isn't about me. I have great health insurance, and so does every member of Congress.... This debate is not a game." During the question and answer session, Obama reiterated his desire to keep health-care costs off "the backs of middle-class families," noting that the Senate Finance Committee is still working on their portion of the bill. He'll try to win the support of "Democrats and some Republicans."