How Important Is Health Care to Americans?

The U.S. dollar hit a new low for the year overnight and there is talk at the United Nations of ending the dollar's long role as the principal unit of international trade.

The U.S. unemployment rate continues to climb, reaching 9.7 percent in the past week.

The federal deficit is expected to reach $1.6 trillion this year, more than triple last year's post-war record.

The situation in Afghanistan is deteriorating and the president faces a critical decisions amid growing opposition to the idea of sending more American forces.

Iran, meanwhile, is openly defying the U.S. and the U.N. on its nuclear program and seeking common cause with the likes of Venezuela's Hugo Chavez.

Small wonder, then, that the president will address a joint session of Congress on Wednesday night.

But his subject will not be any of the matters listed above. Instead, he will again be talking about health care reform, an issue that ranked well behind both the economy and deficit reduction in recent polling on the public's top priorities. This despite months of Obama speechmaking, and massive news coverage of the issue.

If you are looking for a simple explanation of the difficulty Obama and his party are having with this issue, this is it: It's by far not the public's top priority, it will do nothing to help the economy and it is estimated to do much to worsen the budget deficit.

Brit Hume is the senior political analyst for FOX News Channel.