20090623 obama 18
U.S. President Barack Obama speaks during a news conference in the James S. Brady Briefing Room of the White House in Washington, D.C. - 


Kai Ryssdal: President Obama had three things he wanted to talk about at his press conference this morning. Iran. Energy policy. And health care. He didn't do so bad. He went two for three. The White House press corps didn't really bite on the energy thing. Iran and what Mr. Obama has had to say so far about their election last week took up a good chunk of time. But there were some questions about his health-care plan in there. How much any overhaul might cost.

PRESIDENT OBAMA: So there's been a lot of talk about a trillion-dollar price tag. What I've said is if we're going to spend that much money then it's going to be largely funded through reallocating dollars that are already in the health-care system, but aren't being spent well.

And what the much-talked about public-insurance option might mean to private companies in the health-care market.

PRESIDENT OBAMA: If private insurers say that the marketplace provides the best quality health-care. If they tell us that they're offering a good deal. Then why is it that the government, which they say can't run anything, suddenly is going to drive them out of business. That's not logical.

Finally, a word about Ben Bernanke. The president was asked how the Fed chairman's been doing of late, and whether he'll re-appoint Mr. Bernanke when his term is up at the end of January. Nice try, the president said. But no dice.

PRESIDENT OBAMA: I'm not going to make news about Ben Bernanke, although I think he has done a fine job under very difficult circumstances.