Obama Will Defend Health Approach but Not Offer Legislation

Posted September 8, 2009 at 2:55pm

During his address to Congress Wednesday evening, President Barack Obama will offer his specific vision of health care reform and an avid defense of his ideas, but he will not present legislation for Congress to consider, White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs said Tuesday.

There will not be “truckloads of paper— or “our own legislation,— Gibbs said. But listeners will not “walk away confused about where he is,— Gibbs said. “I think the president will outline his plan going forward, and also his plan about how to get it passed.—

But Obama will not use the address to appeal mainly to any specific segment of Congress, instead trying to satisfy a broad cross-section of Members, Gibbs suggested. “The president will have a chance to address the concerns by some on the left, concerns by some on the right, concerns by some in the middle,— he said.

Obama will also try to alleviate worries and what the White House views as misconceptions about the public insurance option by offering a detailed discussion of the proposal. But Gibbs did not suggest that the president will insist that it be part of legislation.

The speech is expected to last 30 to 35 minutes, not counting time for applause.