Archives for White House

Obama flip flops on health care mandates

President Barack Obama says he's open to requiring all Americans to buy health insurance, as long as the plan provides a "hardship waiver" to exempt poor people from having to pay.

Obama opposed such an individual mandate during his campaign, but Congress increasingly is moving to embrace the idea.

In providing the first real details on how he wants to reshape the nation's health care system, the president urged Congress on Wednesday toward a sweeping overhaul that would allow Americans to buy into a government insurance plan.

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Tim Geithner’s laid-back approach

Rarely has a Cabinet agency seen such a dramatic change of style as the one that has occurred at the Treasury Department. Gone is Hank the hammer and in his place is Tim the mild bureaucrat.

That change was on display in abundant fashion during Timothy Geithner's first trip to China as Treasury secretary.

And judging from the reaction of the Chinese, Geithner may have struck on a winning formula that will reap more benefits for the United States than Henry Paulson's more belligerent style of operation during the Bush administration.

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Obama launches Mid-East peace mission

President Barack Obama embarks on his first Middle East mission, seeking Arab backing for his bid to revive peace moves while a US confrontation steadily builds with staunch ally Israel.

The highlight of the trip will be a much-anticipated address to the Muslim world from Cairo, but Obama will also attempt to prod moribund regional peacemaking back to life.

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Obama: Cheney got his facts wrong

President Barack Obama on Monday struck back at one of his toughest critics, saying former Vice President Dick Cheney was wrong when he criticized White House plans to close the U.S. prison at Guantanamo Bay.

"He also happens to be wrong. Last time, immediately after his speech, I think there was a fact check on his speech that didn't get a very good grade," Obama told NPR News.

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White House: Health care is economic problem

Fixing the economy requires overhauling the U.S. health care system, a White House report concludes — just the message the administration needs to help implement a sweeping new social welfare program during a recession.

The report by the White House Council of Economic Advisers says that health care costs — now about 18 percent of the gross domestic product — will rise to 34 percent in 30 years if left unchecked, wreaking havoc on the federal deficit, businesses and working Americans.

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A serious move towards open government?

President Obama, it seems, is more than just talking a good game about the need to cut down on the amount of excess government secrecy.

The day after he took office, Obama issued an executive order reversing a Bush administration directive encouraging agencies to err on the side of secrecy. Instead, he said, he wanted "a presumption in favor of openness."

He might have left it at that, knowing that over time the bureaucracies would revert to that protective iteration: When in doubt, stamp it secret.

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In the end, Obama couldn’t let GM fail

President Barack Obama couldn't let General Motors fail, but he won't concede he's taking over the company.

With a 60 percent equity stake in the carmaker and $50 billion in taxpayer money riding on GM's success, the federal government isn't exactly a hands-off investor.

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Geithner: Obama will reduce deficits

Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner sought to assure America's biggest creditors on Monday that the Obama administration is committed to attacking soaring budget deficits.

Facing skeptical students at China's prestigious Peking University, Geithner said that once the current recession and financial crisis are over, the administration will get America's fiscal deficit in order.

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Obama confirms plan for cyberspace czar

President Barack Obama said he will name a White House-level czar to coordinate government efforts to fight an epidemic of cybercrime, which even touched his presidential campaign.

"Cyberspace is real and so are the risks that come with it," said Obama in remarks Friday at the White House in which he discussed threats to the nation's digital infrastructure from organized crime, industrial spies and international espionage.

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Obama, Pentagon plan cyberspace war command

The Pentagon plans to create a new military command for cyberspace, stepping up preparations by the armed forces to conduct both offensive and defensive computer warfare, the New York Times said on Friday.

The military command will complement a civilian effort President Barack Obama plans to announce on Friday that will overhaul the way the United States safeguards its computer networks, the newspaper said on its website.

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