Archives for White House

Obama signs executive order banning payments for abortions

President Barack Obama signed an executive order barring taxpayer dollars from being used to pay for abortions, keeping to a pledge he made to help push his health care reform through Congress. The White House issued a photograph of Obama signing the measure in the Oval Office, surrounded by pro-life Democrats led by Representative Bart Stupak, whose votes were crucial in the 216-212 passage of the historic health bill on Sunday. Stupak last year co-sponsored a bipartisan amendment to the bill that severely restricted federal funding for abortions in the United States. In negotiations before Sunday’s vote in the House,
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Obama signs health care overhaul

A broadly smiling President Barack Obama on Tuesday signed a historic $938 billion health care overhaul that guarantees coverage for 32 million uninsured Americans and will touch nearly every citizen’s life, presiding over the biggest shift in U.S. domestic policy since the 1960s and capping a divisive, yearlong debate that could define the November elections. Celebrating “a new season in America” — the biggest accomplishment of his White House and one denied to a line of presidents before him — Obama made the massive bill law with an East Room signing ceremony. He was joined by jubilant House and Senate
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Crippled health care bill headed to Obama for signature

It took more than a year, a lot of compromise and back-room dealing and — finally — some legislative sleight-of-hand for Congress to pass and send President Barack Obama a health care “reform” bill that falls far short of the lofty goals originally promises. While the package extends — and mandates — coverage for 32 million uninsured Americans and denies insurance companies the right to reject insurance for “pre-existing” conditions, it does not provide a “public option” nor will it reduce the skyrocketing cost of insurance premiums. A last minute deal with pro-life Democratic moderate Bart Stupak and his followers
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Obama succeeded where so many others failed

Rarely does the government, that big, clumsy, poorly regarded oaf, pull off anything short of war that touches all lives with one act, one stroke of a president’s pen. Such a moment has come. After a year of riotous argument, decades of failure and a century of spoiled hopes, the United States is reaching for a system of medical care that extends coverage nearly to all citizens. The change that’s coming will reshape a sixth of the economy and shatter the status quo. To the ardent liberal, President Barack Obama’s health care plan, passed by the House on Sunday night,
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Obama buys health care passage with executive order on abortion

President Barack Obama and House Democratic leaders struck a last-minute deal Sunday with abortion foes to secure the final few votes needed to remake America’s health care system, writing a climactic chapter in a century-old quest for near universal coverage. The House argued its way through a thicket of Republican objections toward an evening vote on the bill to extend coverage to 32 million Americans who lack it, ban insurers from denying coverage on the basis of pre-existing medical conditions and cut deficits by an estimated $138 billion over a decade. A shouting band of protesters outside the Capitol dramatized
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Obama makes his final pitch

Claiming unstoppable momentum but still short of the goal line, President Barack Obama is heading to Capitol Hill to rally House Democrats for a final push on landmark health care legislation. The battle tilted in Obama’s direction Friday as more Democrats revealed their positions. But with a hardly a vote to spare, the divisive issue of how to keep federal funds from being used to pay for abortions emerged once again as a potential last-minute obstacle. With the showdown vote set for Sunday in the House, Obama decided to make one final, personal appeal to rank-and-file Democrats, arranging a visit
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Final health care plan falls short of Obama’s promises

It was a bold response to skyrocketing health insurance premiums. President Barack Obama would give federal authorities the power to block unreasonable rate hikes. Yet when Democrats unveiled the final, incarnation of their health care bill this week, the proposal was nowhere to be found. Ditto with several Republican ideas that Obama had said he wanted to include after a televised bipartisan summit last month, including a plan by Sen. Tom Coburn of Oklahoma to send investigators disguised as patients to hospitals in search of waste, fraud and abuse. And those “special deals” that Obama railed against and said he
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Obama to Dems: Health vote a make or break decision

In seeking enough votes to overhaul the nation’s health care system, President Barack Obama is telling nervous Democratic lawmakers that their political fates are linked to the bill’s passage, discouraging the notion that they can save themselves by opposing it, House members say. They also say the president’s not asking lawmakers to save his skin either, while the White House insists that no special favors in exchange for votes are being offered or accepted. The president has pushed aside almost all other matters, including a long-planned Asia trip, now rescheduled for June, to try to embolden House Democrats who have
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Obama missed self-imposed immigration deadline

President Barack Obama promised to make overhauling the immigration system a top priority in his first year as president. He’s now in Year Two, and the odds that he’ll get to sign a bill before the November midterm elections appear long. Grass-roots activists are frustrated by the wait for a new system and are organizing a rally Sunday on the National Mall by what they hope will be thousands of people from across the country loudly voicing their displeasure at the pace of action. In meetings last week, Obama sought to assure activists and senators who are drafting a bill
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Obama’s fun return to campaign-style politics

After a rousing campaign rally for New Jersey Gov. Jon Corzine last summer, President Barack Obama flashed a broad smile to an aide as he boarded his helicopter back to the White House. “That was the most fun I’ve had in a while,” he said. Obama likes campaigning. And it shows. He relishes the chance to shed his jacket, roll up his sleeves, dust off his rhetoric and energize a political crowd. During this week’s health care push on Capitol Hill, Obama and senior advisers have been telling lawmakers that they will not be left standing alone in a difficult
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