News / USA

Washington Week: Focus on Economy, Health Care

Washington Week: Focus on Economy, Health Carei
X
August 18, 2013 8:03 PM
After a week-long vacation, U.S. President Barack Obama will focus on proposals to strengthen the still-recovering American economy. VOA’s Michael Bowman reports, the agenda includes implementation of his signature - and politically polarizing - initiative to reform the nation’s health care system.

Washington Week: Focus on Economy, Health Care

Michael Bowman
— After a week-long vacation, U.S. President Barack Obama will focus on proposals to strengthen the still-recovering American economy.  The agenda includes implementation of his signature - and politically polarizing - initiative to reform the nation’s health care system.

The Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare as some call it, expands federal health care programs for the needy and encourages Americans of all income groups to purchase private health care insurance.

“If you do not have insurance, beginning on October 1st, private plans will actually compete for your business.  You can comparison shop in an online marketplace, just like you would for cell phone plans or plane tickets.  You may be eligible for new tax credits to help you afford the plan that’s right for you.  And if you are in the up to half of all Americans who have been sick or have a preexisting condition, this law means that beginning January 1st, insurance companies have to cover you," he said.

Health-care spending accounts for one-seventh of U.S. economic activity, and is projected to increase to one-fifth in coming years.  The cost has a direct bearing on America’s economic and fiscal wellbeing.  Enacted in 2010, the Affordable Care Act aims to control costs and expand access to health care.  The effort is a colossal failure, according to Republican lawmakers like Tim Griffin and Todd Young.

“Republicans will continue to do everything we can to protect all Americans from the president's top-down, one-size-fits-all, Washington-knows-best approach to health care that is driving up costs and hurting our economy," said Griffin.

Young added, “The sooner we can delay, dismantle, and repeal the president's health-care law, the sooner we can get people back to work and focus on expanding opportunity for everyone.”

The president accuses Republicans of putting partisanship ahead of Americans’ health-care needs. “A lot of Republicans seem to believe that if they can gum up the works and make this law fail, they will somehow be sticking it to me.  But they would just be sticking it to you.  Your health insurance is not something to play politics with.  Our economy is not something to play politics with," he said.

The success or failure of Obamacare could shape the president’s legacy long after he leaves office.

You May Like

Koreas Mark 61st Anniversary of War Armistice

Muted observances on both sides of heavily-armed Demilitarized Zone that separates two decades-long enemies More

Judge Declares Washington DC Ban on Public Handguns Unconstitutional

Ruling overturns capital city's prohibition on carrying guns in pubic More

Pricey Hepatitis C Drug Draws Criticism

Activists are using the International AIDS Conference to criticize drug companies for charging high prices for life-saving therapies More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Students in Business for Themselvesi
X
Mike O'Sullivan
July 26, 2014 11:04 AM
They're only high school students, but they are making accessories for shoes, fabricating backpacks and doing product photography - all through their own businesses. It's the result of a partnership between a non-profit organization that teaches entrepreneurship and their schools. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan and Deyane Moses met the budding entrepreneurs near Los Angeles.
Video

Video Students in Business for Themselves

They're only high school students, but they are making accessories for shoes, fabricating backpacks and doing product photography - all through their own businesses. It's the result of a partnership between a non-profit organization that teaches entrepreneurship and their schools. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan and Deyane Moses met the budding entrepreneurs near Los Angeles.
Video

Video Astronauts Train in Underwater Lab

In the world’s only underwater laboratory, four U.S. astronauts train for a planned visit to an asteroid. The lab - called Aquarius- is located five kilometers off Key Largo, in southern Florida. Living in close quarters and making excursions only into the surrounding ocean, they try to simulate the daily routine of a crew that will someday travel to collect samples of a rock orbiting far away from earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Not Even Monks Spared From Thailand’s Junta-Backed Morality Push

With Thailand’s military government firmly in control after May’s bloodless coup, authorities are carrying out plans they say are aimed at restoring discipline, morality and patriotism to all Thais. The measures include a crackdown on illegal gambling, education reforms to promote students’ moral development, and a new 24-hour phone hotline for citizens to report misbehaving monks. Steve Sandford reports from Bangkok.
Video

Video Virtual Program Teaches Farming Skills

In a fast-changing world beset by unpredictable climate conditions, farmers cannot afford to ignore new technology. Researchers in Australia are developing an online virtual world program to share information about climate change and more sustainable farming techniques for sugar cane growers. As VOA's Zlatica Hoke reports, the idea is to create a wider support network for farmers.
Video

Video Airline Expert: Missile will Show Signature on Debris

The debris field from Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 is spread over a 21-kilometer radius in eastern Ukraine. It is expected to take investigators months to sort through the airplane pieces to learn about the missile that brought down the jetliner and who fired it. VOAs Carolyn Presutti explains how this work will be done.
Video

Video Treatment for Childhood Epilepsy Heats up Medical Marijuana Debate

In the United States, marijuana is classed as an illegal drug by the federal government. But nearly half the states have legalized it, to some degree. Proponents say some strains of marijuana might have exceptional health benefits, for treating pain or inflammation in chronic conditions such as cancer, multiple sclerosis and epilepsy. Shelley Schlender reports on a strain of medical marijuana developed in Colorado that is reputed to reduce seizures in childhood epilepsy
Video

Video Airbus Adds Metal 3D Printed Parts to New Jets

By the end of this year, European aircraft manufacturing consortium Airbus plans to deliver the first of its new, extra-wide-body passenger jets, the A350-XWB. Among other technological innovations, the new plane will also incorporate metal parts made in a 3-D printer. VOA's George Putic has more.
Video

Video AIDS Conference Welcomes Exciting Developments in HIV Treatment, Prevention

Significant strides have been made in recent years toward the treatment and prevention of HIV, the virus that causes AIDS. This year, at the International AIDS Conference, the AIDS community welcomed progress on a new pill that may prevent transmission of the deadly virus. VOA’s Anita Powell reports from Melbourne, Australia.
Video

Video IAEA: Iran Turns its Enriched Uranium Into Less Harmful Form

Iran has converted its stockpiles of enriched uranium into a less dangerous form that is more difficult to use for nuclear weapons, according to the United Nations’ Atomic Energy Agency. The move complies with an interim deal reached with Western powers on Iran's nuclear program last year, in exchange for easing of sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.

AppleAndroid