“The time to take charge of our future is here,” Obama proclaimed this evening in his first address to a joint session of Congress, where he outlined his agenda for rebuilding America. He focused on three priorities– energy, health care and education. President Obama made a historic commitment to comprehensive health care reform and said that he will seek a cure for cancer.
Here are the health care highlights from today’s address:
Already, we’ve done more to advance the cause of health care reform in the last 30 days than we’ve done in the last decade. When it was days old, this Congress passed a law to provide and protect health insurance for 11 million American children whose parents work full-time.
Our recovery plan will invest in electronic health records and new technology that will reduce errors, bring down costs, ensure privacy, and save lives.
It will launch a new effort to conquer a disease that has touched the life of nearly every American, including me, by seeking a cure for cancer in our time.
And — and it makes the largest investment ever in preventive care, because that’s one of the best ways to keep our people healthy and our costs under control.
This budget builds on these reforms. It includes a historic commitment to comprehensive health care reform, a down payment on the principle that we must have quality, affordable health care for every American.
You can read the full transcript here.
Sources: Politico, CNN
California leads the nation on economic and fiscal dysfunction and its problems are self-inflicted and avoidable, writes Matthew Kaminski in today’s Wall Street Journal. He goes on to say that the Golden State “is in a French-like bind: unable to afford a welfare-type state, and unable to overhaul it.” Here are some of his California versus France parallels:
In the last three decades, California expanded the public sector and regulation to Europe-like dimensions. Schools, state employees, health care, even dog kennels, benefited from largesse in flush times. Government workers got 16 official holidays, everyone else six. The state dabbled with universal health care and adopted strict environmental standards. In short, California went where our new president and Nancy Pelosi of San Francisco want America to go.
The French have long experienced the unintended consequences of a large public sector. Ask them about it. As the number of people who get money from government grows, so does the power of constituencies dedicated to keep this honey dripping. Even when voters recognize the model carries drawbacks, such as subpar growth, high taxes, an uncompetitive business climate and above-average unemployment, their elected leaders find it near impossible to tweak the system.
This, according to Kaminski, has been the story of France for years; and now it’s true for California. Read the entire article here.
France and California are among my favorite places. I’m cheering California on — hopefully our government leaders can turn it around.
President Barack Obama signed his $787 billion economic stimulus package into law today in Denver. He touted the bill’s investments in health care, infrastructure, energy, education and job creation.
Here’s a sortable chart to help you understand what’s in the Stimulus Bill. You can also read the full transcript of Obama’s remarks at the signing ceremony or watch CNBC’s TV coverage.
Sources: The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, CNBC
Marvel Comics celebrates the Presidents’ Day holiday by offering a free superheroes digicomic. Gettysburg Distress features Captain American and Spider-Man as they travel back in time to watch Lincoln’s historic Gettysburg Address. This tribute to the Bicentennial of the 16th President’s birth is written by Matt Fraction with art by Andy MacDonald.
The digicomic follows the popular debut of Amazing Spiderman No. 583, where Spidey meets President Obama. The Obamarama continues…
A searchable version of the stimulus bill is available online. Now you can find the documentation and detail you’ve been looking for, but this time, in an easy-to-use format. Check it out here.