President Barack Obama hosts a white police officer and an eminent black scholar at the White House on Thursday, hoping in the process to quell a heated national furor over racial profiling.
Obama was to welcome distinguished Harvard University professor Henry Louis Gates and police sergeant Jim Crowley for 6 pm (2200 GMT) beers at the White House, hoping to turn the page on a controversy over race that erupted during a July 16 incident at the scholar's home.
A strong force, perhaps as powerful in Congress as President Barack Obama, is keeping the drive for health care going even as lawmakers seem hopelessly at odds.
The drug industry, the American Medical Association, hospital groups and the insurance lobby are all saying Congress must make major changes this year. Television ads paid for by drug companies and insurers continued to emphasize the benefits of a health care overhaul — not the groups' objections to some of the proposals.
President Barack Obama, citing a new White House study suggesting that small businesses pay far more per employee for health insurance than big companies, said Saturday the disparity is "unsustainable — it's unacceptable."
"And it's going to change when I sign health insurance reform into law," the president said in his weekly Internet and radio address.
President Barack Obama's assertion Wednesday that government will stay out of health care decisions in an overhauled system is hard to square with the proposals coming out of Congress and with his own rhetoric.
Even now, nearly half the costs of health care in the U.S. are paid for by government at all levels. Federal authority would only grow under any proposal in play.
A look at some of Obama's claims in his prime-time news conference:
Administration officials began talking privately to major players in the health care industry within a few weeks of President Barack Obama's inauguration, a newly released list of White House visitors shows.
Obama on Wednesday night released the list of visits by health care executives after a government watchdog group, Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, announced it planned to sue to try to get White House visitor logs. Only names and dates were released, not the visitors' titles or employers.
In cutting deals with hospitals and drug makers, President Barack Obama is giving a private inside track to special interests that's at odds with his promise to make policy in the open.
Obama promised Americans he would hold special interests at arm's length — that it would no longer be business as usual in Washington. He pledged to open government and let the public and press hold his administration accountable.
Despite occasional talk of pragmatism -- of simply doing what works and is necessary -- the Obama administration has veered to the far left with a hang-the-expenses, collectivist agenda that will turn our society upside down while likely wrecking its economy, and here comes the big question.
Is America going to say yes?
Six months into his historic presidency, Americans are beginning to show the first real signs of doubt that President Barack Obama can deliver on his promise of change.
A new poll out Monday suggested that amid the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression of the 1930s, rising unemployment, and a ballooning deficit, the honeymoon could be waning for Obama.
And the president's determination to push through a radical reform of the creaking US healthcare system could come to define the success or failure of his fledgling presidency.
President Barack Obama used to command sky-high approval ratings from Americans in the polls.
The President's job approval rating is down to 55 percent -- below the two-thirds popularity enjoyed by former Presidents Jimmy Carter and George H.W. Bush at the end of their first six months in office.
Both Carter and the elder Bush were one-term Presidents.
Obama's inability to deal effectively with the many problems affecting the nation, along with growing dissatisfaction not only among rank-and-file Americans but also within his own party, signals trouble for the young, inexperienced President.
The White House is being forced to acknowledge the wide gap between its once-upbeat predictions about the economy and today's bleak landscape.
The administration's annual midsummer budget update is sure to show higher deficits and unemployment and slower growth than projected in President Barack Obama's budget in February and update in May, and that could complicate his efforts to get his signature health care and global-warming proposals through Congress.