Press Let Obama Off Easy on Health Details

By Jason Farago,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 23, 2009 5:20 AM CDT

(Newser) – Barack Obama maintained his trademark cool at last night's press conference, but he seemed back in campaign mode as he offered "well-honed arguments and sound bites" in favor of health care reform, writes Jane Sasseen of BusinessWeek. The president did a good job selling his plan, but he steadfastly avoided any specifics on the most contentious questions. The result: a press conference "devoid of much insight" that allowed the president to frame the debate, Sasseen concludes.

In recent days the Congressional Budget Office has questioned the efficacy of the health plan, saying it will make only negligible cuts to costs and may actually increase federal spending. But Obama asserted the opposite multiple times, and nobody in the press corps pressed him on it. The White House may have succeeded it its goal to shore up public support, but "the primetime hour may not have done much to move the needle in Congress," Sasseen notes.