President Obama on Trumpcare

 Posted by at 17:16  Politics
Jun 222017
 

President Obama reacted to the health care bill put forth by the Republicans today. It is somewhat longer than the 140 character tweet our current “president” is capable of composing, so it may take you a minute longer to read…

Our politics are divided. They have been for a long time. And while I know that division makes it difficult to listen to Americans with whom we disagree, that’s what we need to do today.

I recognize that repealing and replacing the Affordable Care Act has become a core tenet of the Republican Party. Still, I hope that our Senators, many of whom I know well, step back and measure what’s really at stake, and consider that the rationale for action, on health care or any other issue, must be something more than simply undoing something that Democrats did.

We didn’t fight for the Affordable Care Act for more than a year in the public square for any personal or political gain – we fought for it because we knew it would save lives, prevent financial misery, and ultimately set this country we love on a better, healthier course.

Nor did we fight for it alone. Thousands upon thousands of Americans, including Republicans, threw themselves into that collective effort, not for political reasons, but for intensely personal ones – a sick child, a parent lost to cancer, the memory of medical bills that threatened to derail their dreams.

And you made a difference. For the first time, more than ninety percent of Americans know the security of health insurance. Health care costs, while still rising, have been rising at the slowest pace in fifty years. Women can’t be charged more for their insurance, young adults can stay on their parents’ plan until they turn 26, contraceptive care and preventive care are now free. Paying more, or being denied insurance altogether due to a preexisting condition – we made that a thing of the past.

We did these things together. So many of you made that change possible.

At the same time, I was careful to say again and again that while the Affordable Care Act represented a significant step forward for America, it was not perfect, nor could it be the end of our efforts – and that if Republicans could put together a plan that is demonstrably better than the improvements we made to our health care system, that covers as many people at less cost, I would gladly and publicly support it.

That remains true. So I still hope that there are enough Republicans in Congress who remember that public service is not about sport or notching a political win, that there’s a reason we all chose to serve in the first place, and that hopefully, it’s to make people’s lives better, not worse.

But right now, after eight years, the legislation rushed through the House and the Senate without public hearings or debate would do the opposite. It would raise costs, reduce coverage, roll back protections, and ruin Medicaid as we know it. That’s not my opinion, but rather the conclusion of all objective analyses, from the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office, which found that 23 million Americans would lose insurance, to America’s doctors, nurses, and hospitals on the front lines of our health care system.

The Senate bill, unveiled today, is not a health care bill. It’s a massive transfer of wealth from middle-class and poor families to the richest people in America. It hands enormous tax cuts to the rich and to the drug and insurance industries, paid for by cutting health care for everybody else. Those with private insurance will experience higher premiums and higher deductibles, with lower tax credits to help working families cover the costs, even as their plans might no longer cover pregnancy, mental health care, or expensive prescriptions. Discrimination based on pre-existing conditions could become the norm again. Millions of families will lose coverage entirely.

Simply put, if there’s a chance you might get sick, get old, or start a family – this bill will do you harm. And small tweaks over the course of the next couple weeks, under the guise of making these bills easier to stomach, cannot change the fundamental meanness at the core of this legislation.

I hope our Senators ask themselves – what will happen to the Americans grappling with opioid addiction who suddenly lose their coverage? What will happen to pregnant mothers, children with disabilities, poor adults and seniors who need long-term care once they can no longer count on Medicaid? What will happen if you have a medical emergency when insurance companies are once again allowed to exclude the benefits you need, send you unlimited bills, or set unaffordable deductibles? What impossible choices will working parents be forced to make if their child’s cancer treatment costs them more than their life savings?

To put the American people through that pain – while giving billionaires and corporations a massive tax cut in return – that’s tough to fathom. But it’s what’s at stake right now. So it remains my fervent hope that we step back and try to deliver on what the American people need.

That might take some time and compromise between Democrats and Republicans. But I believe that’s what people want to see. I believe it would demonstrate the kind of leadership that appeals to Americans across party lines. And I believe that it’s possible – if you are willing to make a difference again. If you’re willing to call your members of Congress. If you are willing to visit their offices. If you are willing to speak out, let them and the country know, in very real terms, what this means for you and your family.

After all, this debate has always been about something bigger than politics. It’s about the character of our country – who we are, and who we aspire to be. And that’s always worth fighting for.

Weekly Address 01-14-17

 Posted by at 10:51  Politics
Jan 142017
 

“The Honor of Serving You as President”

From the White House weblog:

This week, President Obama delivered his final weekly address thanking the American people for making him a better President and a better man. Over the past eight years, we have seen the goodness, resilience, and hope of the American people. We’ve seen what’s possible when we come together in the hard, but vital work of self-government – but we can’t take our democracy for granted. Our success as a Nation depends on our participation. It’s up to all of us to be guardians of our democracy, and to embrace the task of continually trying to improve our Nation. Despite our differences, we all share the same title: Citizen. And that is why President Obama looks forward to working by your side, as a citizen, for all of his remaining days.

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Weekly Address

Transcript after the break.

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Weekly Address 01-07-17

 Posted by at 11:34  Politics
Jan 072017
 

“President Obama’s Farewell Address to the Nation”

From the White House weblog:

In this week’s address, President Obama discussed his upcoming farewell address to the nation. In 1796, as George Washington set the precedent for a peaceful, democratic transfer of power, he also set a precedent by penning a farewell address to the American people. And over the 220 years since, many American presidents have followed his lead. Next week, the President will return to his hometown of Chicago to say a grateful farewell to the nation. This will mark the first time that a President has returned to his hometown to deliver such a speech. The President has said that the running thread through his career has been the notion that when ordinary people get involved, get engaged and come together, things change for the better. This belief is at the heart of the American experiment in self-government – and it gives purpose to new generations. Through his address, the President will thank his supporters, celebrate the ways we have changed this country for the better these past eight years, and offer his vision on where we all go from here. The President will deliver his farewell address at 9:00 PM EST on Tuesday, January 10, at McCormick Place in Chicago, Illinois. To tune in on Tuesday, visit WhiteHouse.gov/live.

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Weekly Address 12-31-16

 Posted by at 10:41  Politics
Dec 312016
 

“Working Together to Keep America Moving Forward”

From the White House weblog:

In this week’s address, President Obama reflected on the significant progress we’ve made since he took office in 2009. Over the past eight years, we’ve turned the recession into recovery; 20 million more Americans have health insurance; we’ve brought 165,000 troops from Iraq and Afghanistan; we took out Osama bin Laden; and we brought nearly 200 nations together around a climate agreement that could save the planet for our kids. The President reminded us that this extraordinary progress wasn’t inevitable – it was the result of tough choices, and the hard work and resilience of the American people. It will take all of us working together to sustain and build on all that we’ve achieved – that’s how we keep America moving forward.

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Weekly Address

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Weekly Address 12-24-16

 Posted by at 11:20  Politics
Dec 242016
 

“Merry Christmas from the President and the First Lady”

From the White House weblog:

In this week’s address, the President and the First Lady wished all Americans a Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays. They reflected on the honor of serving the American people as President and First Lady over the past eight years and the progress that has been made. The President and the First Lady recognized our troops and their families for their service, and they encouraged everyone to visit JoiningForces.gov to find out how to support service members, veterans, and military families in your community.

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Weekly Address

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Weekly Address 12-17-16

 Posted by at 11:12  Politics
Dec 172016
 

“Ensuring a Fair and Competitive Marketplace”

From the White House weblog:

In this week’s address, President Obama discussed the importance of fair competition in the marketplace. The principle of fair competition isn’t a Democratic or a Republican idea – it’s an American idea. Over the past eight years, the Obama Administration has taken many actions to keep the marketplace fair, including: defending a free, open, and accessible internet; cracking down on conflicts of interest by making sure professionals who give retirement advice do so in the consumer’s best interest; and – just this week – standing up for beef, pork, and poultry growers when they’re treated unfairly. The President believes our free-market economy only works when there’s competition and rules are in place to keep it fair, open, and honest. That’s what this is all about – ensuring that everyone has a chance to compete by leveling the playing field and keeping the rules clear and consistent.

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Weekly Address

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Weekly Address 12-10-16

 Posted by at 11:05  Politics
Dec 102016
 

“It’s Time to Get Covered on the Health Insurance Marketplace”

From the White House weblog:

In this week’s address, President Obama discussed Open Enrollment on the Health Insurance Marketplace, which began November 1. The deadline to sign up for coverage beginning on January 1 is this Thursday, December 15, and the final deadline to sign up for 2017 coverage is January 31. Today, thanks to the Affordable Care Act, every American with insurance is covered by the strongest set of consumer protections in history. For every person with insurance, preventive care is available with no cost sharing; there are no more annual or lifetime limits on essential health care; you can’t get charged more just for being a woman; young people can stay on a parent’s plan until they turn 26; seniors get discounts on their prescriptions; and no one can be denied coverage because of a pre-existing condition. Although Republicans in Congress want to repeal this law, the President emphasized that we should build on the progress we’ve already made. To sign up for health care coverage, visit HealthCare.gov or call 1-800-318-2596.

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Weekly Address

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Weekly Address 12-03-16

 Posted by at 11:12  Politics
Dec 032016
 

“Pass the 21st Century Cures Act”

From the White House weblog:

In this week’s address, President Obama highlighted the 21st Century Cures Act, a bill in Congress that could help us find a cure for Alzheimer’s, end cancer as we know it, and help those who are seeking treatment for opioid addiction. This week, the House passed the bill overwhelmingly with bipartisan support – and the President called on the Senate to do the same when they vote in a few days. Because that’s what this is all about: coming to a compromise based on the belief that we should seize every chance we have to find cures as soon as possible.

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POTUS Weekly Address

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