The First Draft: Q and A

July 22, 2009

All eyes on President Barack Obama’s news conference tonight at 8 p.m.

With his almost daily statements on healthcare, it’s going to take skill to say it all again in a new way. USA-HEALTHCARE/

Obama is also facing the press when public opinion polls show falling support of his handling of the issue and as some lawmakers from his own party balk at the hefty pricetag.

The August recess deadline for Congress to pass healthcare legislation  appears to be slipping away.

But there are no signs that Obama is wavering in his push for this signature issue. The outcome is being watched as a test of his still young presidency.

This blog will be providing live updates of tonight’s news conference, so be sure to check back here when it starts.

But before all that, Obama deals with domestic and foreign economic issues earlier in the day in meetings with Treasury Secretary Geithner at 11 a.m.  and  Iraqi Prime Minister Maliki at 2 p.m.

WATERGATEAnd in another sign of the economic times, there were no bidders for a piece of history tied to the downfall of an American president.

The Washington Post , which broke THE STORY nearly 40 years ago, reports no one bid at a public auction for the Watergate Hotel.

Click here for more Reuters political coverage

Photo credit: Reuters/Jason Reed (Obama talsk about healthcare reform on July 21), Reuters/Hyungwon Kang (Watergate Hotel and condominium complex)


We welcome comments that advance the story through relevant opinion, anecdotes, links and data. If you see a comment that you believe is irrelevant or inappropriate, you can flag it to our editors by using the report abuse links. Views expressed in the comments do not represent those of Reuters. For more information on our comment policy, see

He’s running out of options for his healthcare plan. I am glad to see it losing support for I do not want the federal government to control healthcare especially when they cannot control themselves. The feds literally screw up EVERYTHING they touch! Tell your representatives NO govt healthcare!

Posted by jason Southard | Report as abusive

How to cut healthcare costs? Easy – just check who is making the big profits. Then eliminate all the HBOs, insurance companies and all the other big business parasites in their shiny new office buildings who don’t actually treat patients or provide medicines but who are making billions off of the health care of American citizens – or just tax them at 90% to pay for universal health care for all citizens.

Healthcare in the US is controlled by greedy un-regulated (“free market”) big business profiteers like HBOs and insurance companies who are only interested in making lots of money for their bottom lines and paychecks and to hell with stupid US consumers.

The healthcare ‘industry’ is the only one still making billions in profits in this economy.

Now our politicians are planning to give these same HMOs and insurance companies an additional two trillion dollars over the next ten years in the hope that they will play nice and fix our healthcare system.

Posted by w smith | Report as abusive

What is all this fuss about the cost of healthcare? I only pay $70 per month out of my paycheck for a nice
healthcare plan and I can choose my doctor. $70 isn’t very much – less than I pay for coffee each month. Why
is everyone complaining about the cost of healthcare? Its stupid.

I think American healthcare is the greatest in the whole world.

Posted by joe | Report as abusive

Joe, some people like myself are not as fortunate as you are. My job doesn’t offer health insurance so I have to choose between over priced independent coverage and keeping my lights on. I broke my ankle a few weeks ago and will need surgery to fix it, however this surgery (or any surgery for that matter) will cost thousands of dollars I simply don’t have. Without the surgery, I will never walk again.
How can you say that we have the greatest health care in the world when young people like myself a piratically thrown out of hospitals in wheel chairs because we aren’t rich enough.

By the way, to allot of people $70 a month is a HUGE amount of money, count yourself blessed.

Posted by john | Report as abusive

i talked to three friends of mine yesterday all are owners of business employing more than 50 people.each one of them are seeing no increase in demand for their services.things are not improving they are each trying to keep their staff to the extent that they have reduced their own about changes in health care obligations and cap and trade and tax hikes are not making them very optimistic as to the direction the country going.more bankruptcies and unemployment seems imminent,in their opinion

Posted by brian lee | Report as abusive

ford had a sizable profit in the last quarter of trading,how is that possible with out government money or government part ownership?does this highlight that government involvement is not the only answer?can we compare how government autos and ford motors fair in the future,as the fed continually subsidize one and the other one sells improved cars that people want to this a foresight of what we could see in the future between a government run heath care system,and a one that is privately run with better oversight.

Posted by brian lee | Report as abusive