News / USA

    Polling Low, Obama Defends Health Reform, Economic Sucesses

    President Barack Obama speaks about the economy at the Port of New Orleans, Nov. 8, 2013.
    President Barack Obama speaks about the economy at the Port of New Orleans, Nov. 8, 2013.
    Facing his lowest public approval ratings yet, President Barack Obama traveled to New Orleans, Louisiana, to speak about continuing challenges to U.S. economic growth.
     
    Facing increased skepticism stemming from the flawed implementation of his health care reform law, Obama, using the port of New Orleans as a backdrop, returned to favorite themes to underscore economic successes and remaining challenges to the economy.
     
    Successes include 7.8 million jobs added, declining deficits and healthcare costs, a recovered auto industry and a stronger housing market.
     
    Challenges include rebuilding the dilapidated infrastructure, providing more support for the middle class, and making investments in education. Another challenge: what the president calls the "constant cycle of manufactured crises and self-inflicted wounds" from Washington.
     
    One of those wounds was the 16-day partial government shutdown triggered by political battles with Republicans over spending and the need to raise the debt limit.
     
    "Over the summer our economy grew at its fastest pace in a year. That's the good news. The bad news is that the very day the economic quarter ended, some folks in Washington decided to shut down the government and default on America's obligations for the first time in more than 200 years," he said. "And it's like, the gears of our economy, every time they are just about to take off, suddenly somebody taps the brakes and says, not so fast."
     
    Obama said there is no question that the shutdown harmed job growth, and could end up affecting other economic data still to come. The Labor Department says 204,000 jobs were added in October, but the overall unemployment rate still rose to 7.3 percent.
     
    The president again highlighted his goals of increasing U.S. exports and increasing productivity and competitiveness. He called on Congress to pass comprehensive immigration reform, though political analysts agree that is not likely to happen this year.
     
    Obama's Friday visits to New Orleans and Miami, Florida, are part of a series of trips across the country to seek public support for his policies and raise money for Democrats.
     
    But recent opinion polls have not been kind to the president: A Pew Research Center poll out Friday put his overall job rating at 41 percent, a 14-point decline from nearly a year ago.
     
    In the poll, 53 percent of respondents disapproved of Obama's job performance, while sixty-five percent disapproved of his performance on the economy.
     
    In an NBC News interview Thursday, the president apologized to Americans for problems afflicting the web site used to enroll in insurance under Obamacare, the health-care reform law that took effect in October.
     
    Obama has had to revise a pledge he made before Obamacare enrollment began, that Americans who liked their existing insurance plans could keep them. Since the law took effect, about five percent of Americans, amounting to millions of people, received cancellation notices from their insurance companies.
     
    On Friday he again defended Obamacare against attacks by Republicans, who have repeatedly attempted to de-fund or dismantle it, saying Obamacare was the right thing to do for Americans.

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    Comments
         
    by: Markt
    November 09, 2013 9:05 AM
    as long as he insists on Obamacare, his approval rating will decline. What the republicans have been saying for more than a year is now becoming evident to the American people; it is flawed and in its current state, it will not work. It was rushed ahead so Obama could get his legacy in place before his second term ends.
    The truth of Obamacare is this; by selling these subsidies to the poor for health care coverage, the burden of paying for it rests on the existing health care providers and the taxpayers, forcing them to raise their rates to cover the costs and again, forcing those with existing health care to pay the higher premiums or drop it and either pay the fines or enroll in the subsidies (and bloat the system even more). Its a lose-lose situation.
    Millions have already lost their health care over this, hardly justifying the few millions who have enrolled. Coverage for my family was scaled back (had to give up dental and vision) to keep costs down, otherwise we couldn't afford to keep our insurance.
    All of this...for a legacy of a selfish man.

    by: Godwin from: Nigeria
    November 09, 2013 6:32 AM
    Obamacare is nothing but blind portrayal of audacity of hope. Wonder still how gullible Americans have become under one man that brings nothing but a third world type corrupt bandwagon system or socialist diversion into a high oscillating society like USA. Why is it always that during election times job performances see astronomical improvement that show no such collateral in alleviating the unemployment ratio in the country? Again, the president is blaming the Republicans for all the failures leading up to the shutdown, why then does his approval rating drop if the Americans hold him guiltless? Personal pride is what the country is suffering in the name of audacity of hope, and by the time the Americans wake up to the reality, one man alone would have been the beneficiary of all the struggle on party lines, and America will end up more divided than ever even in the valueless diplomacy pursued by this administration. Rather than blame game, the president should prove how well the country has fared under his stewardship both internally and externally. Think his approval rating globally reveals all the mysteries he speaks in all the gimmick.

    by: c from: davis
    November 08, 2013 8:29 PM
    Get a clue. You're not going to make friends with the American people until you start forcing the wealthy to pay their fair share (of everything), because we all know that "trickle down" is BS. And tell your boys at the NSA to stop domestic spying. The very idea is completely un-American.

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