News / USA

Obama Pushes Congress to Pass Health Reform

US President is also expressing urgency on the issue because he will leave on March 18 for a week-long trip to Indonesia and Australia.

US President Barack Obama delivers the weekly address, 06 Mar 2010
US President Barack Obama delivers the weekly address, 06 Mar 2010
Kent Klein

U.S. President Barack Obama is battling for passage of his health-care reform proposal.  The president is appealing to Democratic lawmakers, who will likely decide whether the main item in his domestic agenda is approved.  

In his weekly radio and Internet address, President Obama asks lawmakers to cast a final vote soon on his top priority, which has dominated public debate for the past year.

"I know it has been a long and hard road to this point.  And we are not finished with our journey just yet.  But we are close.  We are very close.  And so I ask Congress to finish its work.  I ask them to give the American people an up or down vote," he said.

Opposition Republicans have indicated they will not support the plan, so Mr. Obama will likely need "yes" votes from an overwhelming majority of Democrats, not all of whom agree on the proposal.  

Republicans, meanwhile, are again calling on the president to start over on the issue.  The party's weekly message comes from Congressman Parker Griffith of the Southern state of Alabama, a retired physician who recently switched from the Democratic Party to the Republican.

"In the next 10 days, Democrats in Washington will try and jam through a massive government takeover of health care.  It would raise taxes, slash Medicare benefits and destroy American jobs.  It would put federal bureaucrats in charge of medical decisions that should be made by patients and doctors, and it must be stopped," he said.

The president again rejects the Republicans' demand that he start over, and says it is time to act. "But you know what?  The insurance companies aren't starting over.  I just met with some of them on Thursday and they couldn't give me a straight answer as to why they keep arbitrarily and massively raising premiums - by as much as 60% in states like Illinois.  If we do not act, they will continue to do this," said Mr. Obama.

The entire House of Representatives and one-third of the Senate will be up for election in November.  Passing a health-care overhaul would give Democrats a domestic accomplishment on which they could campaign.  It would also move health reform off the agenda and allow the president to concentrate on voters' main concern, the economy.

Mr. Obama is also expressing urgency on the issue because he will leave on March 18 for a week-long trip to Indonesia and Australia.  White House officials have said they expect health reform to pass before then, and that there will be no need to postpone the trip. 

You May Like

At Khmer Rouge Court, Long-Awaited Verdict Approaches

First phase of trial, which is coming to an end, has focused on forced exodus of Phnom Penh in 1975 - and now many are hopeful justice will be served More

Video When Fighting Eases, Gazans Line Up at Bakeries

When there is a lull in the conflict, residents who have been hunkered down in their apartments rush out to stock up on food and other necessities More

Video Information War Rages Alongside Real One in Ukraine

Downing of Malaysian airliner, allegations of cross-border shelling move information war in war-torn country to a new level More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Information War Rages Alongside Real One in Ukrainei
X
Al Pessin
July 31, 2014 8:13 PM
The downing of the Malaysian airliner two weeks ago, and allegations that Russians are shelling Ukrainian troops across the border, have moved the information war swirling around the Ukrainian conflict to a new level. VOA's Al Pessin reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video Information War Rages Alongside Real One in Ukraine

The downing of the Malaysian airliner two weeks ago, and allegations that Russians are shelling Ukrainian troops across the border, have moved the information war swirling around the Ukrainian conflict to a new level. VOA's Al Pessin reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video When Fighting Eases, Gazans Line Up at Bakeries

When there is a lull in the conflict in Gaza, residents who have been hunkered down in their apartments rush out to stock up on food and other necessities. Probably the most important destination is the local bakery. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from Gaza City.
Video

Video US-Funded Program Offers Honduran Children Alternative to Illegal Immigration

President Obama and Central American leaders recently agreed to come up with a plan to address poverty and crime in the region that is fueling the surge of young migrants trying to illegally enter the United States. VOA’s Brian Padden looks at one such program in Honduras - funded in part by the United States - which gives street kids not only food and safety but a chance for a better life without, crossing the border.
Video

Video 'Fab Lab' Igniting Revolution in Kenya

The University of Nairobi’s Science and Technology Park is banking on 3-D prototyping to spark a manufacturing revolution in the country. Lenny Ruvaga has more for from Nairobi's so-called “FabLab” for VOA.
Video

Video Gazans in Shelled School Sought Shelter

Israel's air and ground assault against Hamas-led fighters in Gaza has forced many Palestinians to flee their homes, seeking safety. But safe places are hard to find, as VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from Jabaliya.
Video

Video Rapid Spread of Ebola in West Africa Prompts Global Alert

Across West Africa, health officials are struggling to keep up with what the World Health Organization describes as the worst ebola outbreak on record. The virus has killed hundreds of people this year. U.S. President Barack Obama and other world leaders are watching the developments closely as they weigh what actions, if any, are needed to help contain the disease.
Video

Video Michelle Obama: Young Africans Need to Embrace Women's Rights

U.S. first lady Michelle Obama urged some of Africa's best and brightest to advocate for women's rights in their home countries. As VOA's Pam Dockins explains, Obama spoke to some 500 participants of the Young African Leaders Initiative, a six-week U.S.-based training and development program.
Video

Video Immigrant Influx on Texas Border Heats Up Political Debate

Immigrants from Central America continue to cross the U.S.-Mexico border in south Texas, seeking asylum in the United States, as officials grapple with ways to deal with the problem and provide shelter for thousands of minors among the illegal border crossers. As VOA's Greg Flakus reports from Houston, the issue is complicated by internal U.S. politics and U.S. relations with the troubled nations that immigrants are fleeing.
Video

Video Study: Latino Students Most Segregated in California

Even though legal school segregation ended in the United States 60 years ago, one study finds segregation still occurs in the U.S. based on income and race. The University of California Los Angeles Civil Rights Project finds that students in California are more segregated by race than ever before, especially Latinos. Elizabeth Lee reports for VOA from Los Angeles.

AppleAndroid