Obama's unwillingness to reveal his bottom line (in order to maintain maximum flexibility in negotiations) has freed the opposition -- both on Capitol Hill and in the media -- to pick apart this fuzzy notion of "government healthcare."
That's not to say that the plans on the table don't raise serious questions. When the president suggests that ridding healthcare of waste and inefficiency will, by itself, save enough money to insure millions more Americans without any new taxes, that strains credulity.
The consolidation of records online and elimination of duplicate care promise to save billions of dollars over time, to be sure. But the full savings would take years to realize, and the exact dollar value remains impossible to measure.
Even loyal liberal foot soldier Barney Frank conceded to CNN's Larry King after Wednesday's speech that he was "not convinced that we will find all of the savings that we want."