Tuesday, March 23, 2010
Monday, March 22, 2010
Consider the staggering scope of what you have just accomplished:
Because of you, every American will finally be guaranteed high quality, affordable health care coverage.
Every American will be covered under the toughest patient protections in history. Arbitrary premium hikes, insurance cancellations, and discrimination against pre-existing conditions will now be gone forever.
And we'll finally start reducing the cost of care -- creating millions of jobs, preventing families and businesses from plunging into bankruptcy, and removing over a trillion dollars of debt from the backs of our children.
But the victory that matters most tonight goes beyond the laws and far past the numbers.
It is the peace of mind enjoyed by every American, no longer one injury or illness away from catastrophe.
It is the workers and entrepreneurs who are now freed to pursue their slice of the American dream without fear of losing coverage or facing a crippling bill.
And it is the immeasurable joy of families in every part of this great nation, living happier, healthier lives together because they can finally receive the vital care they need.
This is what change looks like.
My gratitude tonight is profound. I am thankful for those in past generations whose heroic efforts brought this great goal within reach for our times. I am thankful for the members of Congress whose months of effort and brave votes made it possible to take this final step. But most of all, I am thankful for you.
This day is not the end of this journey. Much hard work remains, and we have a solemn responsibility to do it right. But we can face that work together with the confidence of those who have moved mountains.
Our journey began three years ago, driven by a shared belief that fundamental change is indeed still possible. We have worked hard together every day since to deliver on that belief.
We have shared moments of tremendous hope, and we've faced setbacks and doubt. We have all been forced to ask if our politics had simply become too polarized and too short-sighted to meet the pressing challenges of our time. This struggle became a test of whether the American people could still rally together when the cause was right -- and actually create the change we believe in.
Tonight, thanks to your mighty efforts, the answer is indisputable: Yes we can.
President Barack Obama
Sunday, March 21, 2010
This morning, speaking before thousands at the Patriot Center in Virginia, the President was perhaps even more passionate about finishing the job on health reform than any time in this year-long debate. It’s probably best to let him speak for himself, so read the full transcript for yourself or a few excerpts below:
Setting the stage:
THE PRESIDENT: A few miles from here, Congress is in the final stages of a fateful debate about the future of health insurance in America. (Applause.) It’s a debate that’s raged not just for the past year but for the past century. One thing when you’re in the White House, you’ve got a lot of history books around you. (Laughter.) And so I’ve been reading up on the history here. Teddy Roosevelt, Republican, was the first to advocate that everybody get health care in this country. (Applause.) Every decade since, we’ve had Presidents, Republicans and Democrats, from Harry Truman to Richard Nixon to JFK to Lyndon Johnson to -- every single President has said we need to fix this system. It’s a debate that’s not only about the cost of health care, not just about what we’re doing about folks who aren’t getting a fair shake from their insurance companies. It’s a debate about the character of our country -– (applause) -- about whether we can still meet the challenges of our time; whether we still have the guts and the courage to give every citizen, not just some, the chance to reach their dreams. (Applause.)Placing the coming vote in the context of history:
At the heart of this debate is the question of whether we’re going to accept a system that works better for the insurance companies than it does for the American people -- (applause) -- because if this vote fails, the insurance industry will continue to run amok. They will continue to deny people coverage. They will continue to deny people care. They will continue to jack up premiums 40 or 50 or 60 percent as they have in the last few weeks without any accountability whatsoever. They know this. And that’s why their lobbyists are stalking the halls of Congress as we speak, and pouring millions of dollars into negative ads. And that’s why they are doing everything they can to kill this bill.
THE PRESIDENT: In just a few days, a century-long struggle will culminate in an historic vote. And when we have faced such decisions in our past, this nation has chosen time and again to extend its promise to more of its people.And in closing:
When the naysayers argued that Social Security would lead to socialism, the men and women of Congress stood fast, and created a program that has lifted millions of poverty.
When the cynics warned that Medicare would lead to a government takeover of our entire health care system, and it didn’t have much support in the polls, Democrats and Republicans refused to back down, and made sure that all of us could enter our golden years with some basic peace of mind.
Generations ago, those who came before made the decision that our seniors and our poor should not be forced to go without health care just because they couldn’t afford it. Today, it falls to this generation to decide whether we will make the same promise to middle-class families, and small businesses, and young Americans like yourselves who are just starting out.
THE PRESIDENT: I still believe we can do what’s right. I still believe we can do what’s hard. The need is great. The opportunity is here. And the time for reform is now.
From OFA Political Director Addisu Demissie:
In just a few hours, the House of Representatives will cast their final vote on health reform. The outcome is still uncertain. Each minute, the race tightens between D.C. lobbyists desperate to block reform and the voters back home calling for change.
Most offices on Capitol Hill are open and taking calls. Please call your representative right now.
Thanks for standing up,
Organizing for America
P.S. -- While there's still time, please pass this note on to any friends or family who support reform and want to help pass it. Every call counts.
Saturday, March 13, 2010
Health Reform Supporters Outnumber Opponents at Events Across the Country: "We are packing rooms with people ready to get involved."
Thursday, March 11, 2010
ARLINGTON, Va. — First lady Michelle Obama challenged software and video game designers Wednesday to develop games and tools that get kids, especially 9- to 12-year-olds, excited about eating better and exercising more.
The carrot? A chance to share in $40,000 in cash prizes.
The Apps for Healthy Kids contest is part of Mrs. Obama's "Let's Move!" campaign to raise public awareness about the national problem of childhood obesity. One in three U.S. children is overweight or obese, putting them at higher risk of developing diabetes, high blood pressure or other medical conditions.
Mrs. Obama said kids spend an average of seven and a half hours a day watching TV or playing with computers, video games or other devices.
"Maybe you've seen those dance video games or those exercise games that families are playing together at home, or the ones that kids play using their mobile phones and home computers?" she said at the national Parent Teacher Association conference. "Those are the kinds of games that we're talking about."
A second set of prizes will be awarded for tools designed to help parents make better food choices for their children.
"So if, for example, you're at the grocery store and you're trying to figure out whether one food is healthier than the other, then you can pull up that answer on your iPhone," Mrs. Obama said.
The contest will be run by the Agriculture Department. A panel of judges, including Apple, Inc., co-founder Steve Wozniak, will determine the winners. Entries must be submitted by June 30.
Mrs. Obama also said she will meet next week with food manufacturers to discuss her campaign.
On the Net:
Tuesday, March 9, 2010
Starting today, WhiteHouse.gov is highlighting one key fact or figure each day to show how the numbers make the case for health reform.
Today's number is $1,115: the average premium for employer-sponsored family coverage per month last year. Annually, it adds up to $13,375 -- roughly the amount someone earning a minimum wage makes. If we do nothing on reform, a recent study found that expenses for Americans with health insurance could increase 35 percent over the next ten years.
Find out more on WhiteHouse.gov, and share today’s number with friends and family.
Monday, March 8, 2010
The plan calls for "an aggressive campaign capitalizing on 'fear' of President Barack Obama and a promise to 'save the country from trending toward socialism.'" What's worse, the presentation included offensive caricatures of Democratic leaders, including President Obama as the Joker from Batman.
So while President Obama was organizing a bipartisan meeting to discuss real solutions, and incorporating the best ideas into his proposal, right-wing political operatives and their special interest allies were preparing a campaign of fear and falsehoods to personally attack the President and deny Americans the care we need.
Enough. We cannot let the lowest form of politics derail the progress we've made for the American people. To counter their attacks, we'll need to take our message to the air and to doorsteps across the country -- and with a final vote on health reform expected in a matter of weeks, there's no time to lose.
Please donate $5 or more today to help us defeat the attacks and pass reform. (https://donate.barackobama.com/page/contribute/dnc08rnc?source=20100305_MS_RNC_ND_Test)
There's still hope that some independent-minded Republican members of Congress will embrace the President's bipartisan proposal. But there's no doubt that reform will face politically-motivated attacks and flat-out lies from those who put politics above an honest debate and the well-being of the American people.
In fact, next week, the lobbyist arm of the insurance industry is setting up headquarters at the Ritz-Carlton in D.C. to direct their own desperate blitz on Congress to block reform.
The final march for reform will be a pitched battle between entrenched special interests who profit from the status quo, and Americans -- of all parties -- who want control over their own health care.
This is an all-hands-on-deck moment, and everything we've fought for is on the line. Please give what you can to help us beat back the lies and deliver reform:
Organizing for America
Paid for by Organizing for America, a project of the Democratic National Committee -- 430 South Capitol Street SE, Washington, D.C. 20003. This communication is not authorized by any candidate or candidate's committee.
Contributions or gifts to the Democratic National Committee are not deductible as charitable contributions for income tax purposes.
Thursday, March 4, 2010
Last Thursday's first-of-its-kind summit capped off a debate that has lasted nearly a year. Every idea has now been put on the table. Every argument has been made. Both parties agree that the status quo is unacceptable and gets more dire each day. Today, I want to state as clearly and forcefully as I know how: Now is the time to make a decision about the future of health care in America.
The final proposal I've put forward draws on the best ideas from all sides, including several put forward by Republicans at last week's summit. It will put Americans in charge of their own health care, ensuring that neither government nor insurance company bureaucrats can ration, deny, or put out of financial reach the care our families need and deserve.
I strongly believe that Congress now owes the American people a final vote on health care reform. Reform has already passed the House with bipartisan support and the Senate with a super-majority of sixty votes. Now it deserves the same kind of up-or-down vote that has been routinely used and has passed such landmark measures as welfare reform and both Bush tax cuts.
Earlier today, I asked leaders in both houses of Congress to finish their work and schedule a vote in the next few weeks. From now until then, I will do everything in my power to make the case for reform. And now, I'm asking you, the members of the Organizing for America community, to raise your voice and do the same.
The final march for reform has begun, and your participation is crucial. Please commit to join with me to take reform across the finish line.
Essentially, my proposal would change three things about the current health care system:
First, it would protect all Americans from the worst practices of insurance companies. Never again will the mother with breast cancer have her coverage revoked, see her premiums arbitrarily raised, or be forced to live in fear that a pre-existing condition will bar her from future coverage.
Second, my proposal would give individuals and small businesses the same choice of private health insurance that members of Congress get for themselves. And my proposal says that if you still can't afford the insurance in this new marketplace, we will offer you tax credits based on your income -- tax credits that add up to the largest middle class tax cut for health care in history.
Finally, my proposal would bring down the cost of health care for everyone -- families, businesses, and the federal government -- and bring down our deficit by as much as $1 trillion over the next two decades. These savings mean businesses small and large will finally be freed up to create jobs and increase wages. With costs currently skyrocketing, reform is vital to remaining economically strong in the years and decades to come.
In the few crucial weeks ahead, you can help make sure this proposal becomes law. Please sign up to join the Organizing for America campaign in the final march for reform:
When I talked about change on the campaign, this is what I was talking about: coming together to solve a huge problem that has been troubling America for 100 years and standing up to the special interests to deliver a brighter, smarter future for generations to come.
I look forward to signing this historic reform into law. And when I do, it will be because your organizing played an essential role in making change possible.
President Barack Obama
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- "Capitalizing on fear"
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OBAMA and Economy