Archives for White House

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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Hell freezes over! Obama courts Fox News

President Barack Obama is so desperate to sell his flawed health care plan to anyone who will buy into its illusion that he is willing to taking his pitch directly to viewers of right-wing propaganda outlet Fox News. The White House Tuesday announced Obama will submit to an interview with Bret Baier of Fox his Wednesday show. The decision is a reversal for Obama, who normally avoids right-wing media outlets like fox but the move signals his last minute desperate drive for a health care bill passage before he leaves for Australia and Indonesia on Sunday. The President, White House
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Obama caught in another lie: Premiums will rise under plan

Buyers, beware: President Barack Obama says his health care overhaul will lower premiums by double digits, but check the fine print. Premiums are likely to keep going up even if the health care bill passes, experts say. If cost controls work as advertised, annual increases would level off with time. But don’t look for a rollback. Instead, the main reason premiums would be more affordable is that new government tax credits would help cover the cost for millions of people. Listening to Obama pitch his plan, you might not realize that’s how it works. Visiting a Cleveland suburb this week,
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Obama’s style: Take the long view

Just back from a recent day trip to Georgia, President Barack Obama walked into the Oval Office and told his senior staff to get a grip. “We all rise and fall together,” he declared that afternoon, as Washington neared fever pitch over tensions on his team. Keep your eyes on the prize, Obama directed, not on the daily ups and downs. It was classic Obama, again summoning one of his favorite tenets in a crisis: the Long View. It’s a high-minded notion that elected leaders love to invoke, both privately and publicly. It makes politicians seem above the dirtiest aspects
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