In a rare address to a joint session of Congress next Wednesday night, President Obama plans to present the “nuts and bolts” of health care reform before Congress.
What’s he going to say that people haven’t already heard from him?
"We’re at a point in this debate where we’ve been talking for months and months, all the ideas are on the table," senior adviser David Axelrod told ABC News. "We’re 90 yards down the field. Now we have to pull those strands together and deliver an overall vision of where to go and that’s what he’s going to do."
How specific will the president get? Will he explain how the bill must be paid for? Will he declare one way or another whether a government-run public health care option should be in the bill?
"I think that people will have a very clear sense of his vision for how to bring stability and security to folks who have insurance and to help those who don’t get the insurance they need."
The White House is still working out how specific he will be, aides said.
Don't read this as an acknowledgment that the president's health care reform push has had a bad August, Axelrod said. "It’s an acknowledgment that we’re entering a new phase of the debate. We've been going through the legislative process for months. We’ve had a month of discussion. And now it’s time to close the deal. And that’s when you make your final appeal."
In recent days two of the three GOP senators at the negotiating table — Mike Enzi of Wyoming and Chuck Grassley of Iowa — denigrated Democratic health care reform efforts.
"Those were unfortunate comments," Axelrod said. "They weren’t encouraging. But we’re going to summon people to their higher responsibilities as public officials."