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

Video Is West Doing Enough to Tackle Islamic State?

There is growing uncertainty over whether West’s response to ISIS is adequate More

China Crackdown on Dual Citizens Causes Concern

New policy encourages reporting people who obtain citizenship in another country, but retain Chinese citizenship; move spurs sharp debate More

Video Coalition to Fight Islamic State Could Reward Assad

Losing ground to Islamic State fighters, Syria's government says it is ready to cooperate with international community More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Is West Doing Enough to Tackle Islamic State?i
X
Henry Ridgwell
August 29, 2014 12:26 AM
U.S. President Barack Obama has ruled out sending ground troops to Iraq to fight militants of the so-called Islamic State, or ISIS, despite officials in Washington describing the extremist group as the biggest threat the United States has faced in years. Henry Ridgwell reports from London on the growing uncertainty over whether the West’s response to ISIS will be enough to defeat the terrorist threat.
Video

Video Is West Doing Enough to Tackle Islamic State?

U.S. President Barack Obama has ruled out sending ground troops to Iraq to fight militants of the so-called Islamic State, or ISIS, despite officials in Washington describing the extremist group as the biggest threat the United States has faced in years. Henry Ridgwell reports from London on the growing uncertainty over whether the West’s response to ISIS will be enough to defeat the terrorist threat.
Video

Video Pachyderms Play Polo to Raise Money for Elephants

Polo, the ancient team competition typically played on horseback, is known as the “sport of kings.” However, the royal version for one annual event in Thailand swaps the horse for the kingdom’s national symbol - the elephant. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman in Samut Prakan reports that the King’s Cup Elephant Polo tournament is all for a good cause.
Video

Video Coalition to Fight Islamic State Could Reward Assad

The United States along with European and Mideast allies are considering a broader assault against Islamic State fighters who have spread from Syria into Iraq and risk further destabilizing an already troubled region. But as VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns reports, confronting those militants could end up helping the embattled Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.
Video

Video Made in America Socks Get Toehold in Online Fashion Market

Three young entrepreneurs are hoping to revolutionize the high-end sock industry by introducing all-American creations of their own. And they’re doing most of it the old-fashioned way. VOA’s Julie Taboh recently caught up with them to learn what goes into making their one-of-a-kind socks.
Video

Video Americans, Ex-Pats Send Relief Supplies to West Africa

Health organizations from around the world are sending supplies and specialists to the West African countries that are dealing with the worst Ebola outbreak in history. On a smaller scale, ordinary Americans and African expatriates living in the United States are doing the same. VOA's Carol Pearson reports.
Video

Video America's Most Popular Artworks Displayed in Public Places

Public places in cities across America were turned into open-air art galleries in August. Pictures of the nation’s most popular artworks were displayed on billboards, bus shelters, subway platforms and more. The idea behind “Art Everywhere,” a collaborative campaign by five major museums is to allow more people to enjoy art and learn about the country’s culture and history. Faiza Elmasry has more.
Video

Video Chinese Doctors Use 3-D Spinal Implant

A Chinese boy suffering from a debilitating bone disease has become the first patient with a part of his spine created in a three-dimensional printer. Doctors say he will soon regain normal mobility. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Uneasy Calm Settles Over Israel, Gaza Strip

Israel and the Gaza Strip have been calm since a cease-fire set in Tuesday evening, ending seven weeks of hostilities. Hamas, which controls Gaza, declared victory. Israelis were more wart. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from Jerusalem.
Video

Video India’s Leprosy Battle Stymied by Continuing Stigma

Medical advancements in the treatment of leprosy have greatly diminished its impact around the world, largely eliminating the disease from most countries. India made great strides in combating leprosy, but still accounts for a majority of the world’s new cases each year, and the number of newly infected Indians is rising - more than 130,000 recorded last year. Doctors there say the problem has more to do with society than science. Shaikh Azizur Rahman reports from Kolkata.
Video

Video Scientists Unlock Mystery of Bird Flocks

How can flocks of birds, schools of fish or herds of antelope suddenly change direction -- all the individuals adjusting their movement in concert, at seemingly the same time? British researchers now have some insights into this behavior, which has puzzled scientists for a long time. VOA's George Putic has more.

AppleAndroid