WASHINGTON - Tucked into President Barack Obama's speech to the U.S. Congress was a new talking point -- that his aim is to get health insurance for 30 million uninsured people, instead of 46 million.

There are now more than 30 million American citizens who cannot get coverage, he said on Wednesday. Back in August, he had said: We've got 46-47 million people without health insurance in our country.

Why the change?

An administration official said the 30 million figure referred to total uninsured minus illegal immigrants and a smaller group of people who fall through the cracks.

One of Republicans' main objections to Democratic healthcare proposals has been the claim that illegal immigrants would get healthcare coverage subsidized by American taxpayers.

Obama declared in his Wednesday speech that one of the scare tactics used by his opponents is that Democratic healthcare proposals would insure illegal immigrants.

The reforms I'm proposing would not apply to those who are here illegally, he said, prompting South Carolina Republican Representative Joe Wilson to shout, You lie. Wilson said later he regretted the comment.

(Reporting by Matt Spetalnick and Steve Holland; Editing by Bill Trott)