Calculating the costs and benefits of health care reform

The health care debate heating up in Washington makes most people really nervous, and rightfully so. At this point, the plan is complicated and the benefits have not been clearly conveyed, which is one reason Americans seem to be less pleased with the way President Obama is handling the issue, judging by recent polls.

During last night's prime time news conference, the president made a convincing argument for spending a trillion dollars on health care reform in the midst of a severe recession, after already committing to an enormous economic stimulus package. He explained how health care reform is crucial to his plan to rejuvenate the economy, and he made it clear that "health insurance reform will not add to the deficit." While that's reassuring, many people will likely remain wary until they learn how the plan relates to their own lives.