On Tuesday, January 24, President Obama delivered his annual State of the Union address a joint session of the United States Congress. This year’s address contained scant mention of the health care reform law. In fact, of the 6,957 word speech, less than 100 words were about the health care reform law. These comments referred opaquely to the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA).
Noting changes to health insurance rules within PPACA, President Obama stated:
“I will not go back to the days when health insurance companies had unchecked power to cancel your policy, deny you coverage, or charge women differently from men.”
President Obama also offered a defense of PPACA as a private market reform rather than as a government program. He explained:
“I’m a Democrat. But I believe what Republican Abraham Lincoln believed: That Government should do for people only what they cannot do better by themselves and no more…. That’s why our health care law relies on a reformed private market, not a Government program.”
The Republican Response, offered by Gov. Mitch Daniels (R-IN) discussed Medicare as part of a broader entitlement reform to combat debt-related issues. Governor Daniels explained:
“There is a second item on our national must-do list: we must unite to save the safety net. Medicare and Social Security have served us well, and that must continue. But after half and three quarters of a century respectively, it’s not surprising that they need some repairs. We can preserve them unchanged and untouched for those now in or near retirement, but we must fashion a new, affordable safety net so future Americans are protected, too.”
Click here to read President Obama’s State of the Union Address.
Click here to read the Republican response by Governor Mitch Daniels (R-IN).