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Obama agenda: Turning to health care

The AP writes: “President Barack Obama is turning his attention back to his signature health-care bill and trying to win over the most skeptical constituency: seniors. Mr. Obama was set to pitch the bill at a senior center in Wheaton, Md., Tuesday. The event will be broadcast live and seniors will be able to listen by phone and ask questions at dozens of gatherings around the country.”

“The timing coincides with the release later this week of the first batch of $250 checks to seniors who fall into Medicare's prescription drug coverage gap, known as the 'doughnut hole.' The checks will be the first tangible benefits most of them will be seeing from the law Mr. Obama signed in March. Some 4 million elderly and disabled people will get checks this year, and the first batch of 80,000 is supposed to go out Thursday.”

And he’s also turning to cutting spending. The Washington Post: “The White House is directing agencies to develop plans for trimming at least 5 percent from their budgets by identifying programs that do little to advance their missions or President Obama's agenda.”

The New York Daily News picks up on Matt Lauer's interview on TODAY: "In his toughest words yet on the billion-dollar oil disaster, President Obama said Monday that he's been boning up on 'whose ass to kick.'" And: "Asked about BP CEO Tony Hayward downplaying the environmental impact as being 'very very modest' and the volume of the spill as 'tiny' in relation to the Gulf of Mexico, Obama bristled. 'He wouldn't be working for me after any of those statements,' Obama told Matt Lauer."

Vote 2010 or Bust: "Organizing for America, the grass-roots arm of the Democratic National Committee, is kicking off a campaign to try to re-create the fervor of Barack Obama’s 2008 presidential campaign and lure those first-time voters back to the polls to help Democratic candidates this fall," Roll Call writes. "But even OFA’s plan to pour $50 million into the effort may not be enough to convince House Members that OFA is an effective ally since some feel that it failed to deliver help during the contentious health care debate when they needed it the most. OFA launched its Vote 2010 campaign Saturday by dispatching 16,000 volunteers to participate in 1,300 canvasses and phone banks nationwide."

President Obama meets with Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas tomorrow at the White House, and Abbas has an op-ed in The Hill today: "This round of negotiations provides an 11th-hour opportunity to achieve a permanent and lasting peace based on the two-state solution. For the opportunity not to be lost, courage and bold leadership are required," he writes.