Where Does Obama Go From Here On Health? : Shots - Health News President Obama seeks a breakthrough on health legislation with an speech to Congress next week, but exactly what he'll say and what he'll get remain unclear.
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Where Does Obama Go From Here On Health?

If now isn't the last chapter in the administration's plan to overhaul health care, it's certainly the end of the beginning.

President Obama heads to Capitol Hill next week to sell health-care plan. Alex Wong/Getty Images hide caption

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Alex Wong/Getty Images

President Obama heads to Capitol Hill next week to sell health-care plan.

Alex Wong/Getty Images

President Obama is heading to Capitol Hill next week to press Congress to buck up and pass something. He's also expected to be more direct about what he wants to see.

NPR's Mara Liasson reports the president aims to clear up confusion about how the health system he has in mind would work, particularly for Americans with health insurance. He's expected to offer some info on how the changes would cut costs.

Still, comments by David Axelrod, Obama's top political guru, leave us a wee bit more confused. "All the ideas are on the table now, we're well down the road, 90 yards down the field," Axelrod told Liasson. "And now we have to go the last 10 yards together and the best way to start that is for the president to address this issue with force and clarity and that's what he's going to do Wednesday night."

If everything's open for discussion does that make a deal easier or harder? We wonder.

The New York Times reports Obama will stop short of offering a detailed legislative plan but will give more prescriptive advice on what he wants out of Congress. He supposedly hasn't given up on a government-run public option, a lightning rod for criticism, but that could change. An unnamed White House official told the Times, Obama "will do almost anything it takes to get" a deal.

Another view comes from the Washington Post's Ezra Klein, who reports deep divisions still exist in the White House. Everyone seems to agree the cost of an overhaul has to drop, but there's disagreement about how much and what can be thrown overboard.

One camp, Klein says, is "universal-lite" and seeks to preserve most of the president's ideas while trimming costs some. The other group sees a need to sharply scale back health ambitions, figuring it may be better to get a deal that covers 20 million uninsured people now and worrying about the rest later.