January 21, 2015
President Obama Delivers Annual State of the Union Address
On Tuesday, January 20, President Obama delivered his annual State of the Union address to a joint session of Congress. While the President did not explicitly mention the Affordable Care Act, he renewed his calls for improved access to health care coverage and lowering health care costs.
During the State of the Union, President Obama claimed “health care inflation [is] at its lowest rate in fifty years” and threatened to veto any legislation that “put the security of families at risk by taking away their health insurance.”
President Obama also made reference to the importance of health care workers fighting Ebola and the impact of climate change on health. In a focus on improving health care, the President announced the creation of a Precision Medicine Initiative, which would “bring us closer to curing diseases like cancer and diabetes — and to give all of us access to the personalized information we need to keep ourselves and our families healthier.”
While discussing protections for Veterans, President Obama said “Already, we’ve made strides towards ensuring that every veteran has access to the highest quality care.” ASA hopes that this emphasis will encourage the VA to remove anesthesia provisions from the proposed VHA Nursing Handbook and to renew its support for physician-led anesthesia care for Veterans.
The Republican response, offered by Senator Joni Ernst (R-IA), included the same commitment to Veterans: “We must also honor America’s veterans. These men and women have sacrificed so much in defense of our freedoms, and our way of life. They deserve nothing less than the benefits they were promised and a quality of care we can be all be proud of.”
Senator Ernst noted the negative impacts of higher health insurance bills and pledged to “keep fighting to repeal and replace a health care law that’s hurt so many hardworking families.”
Read the State of the Union address.
Read Senator Joni Ernst’s Republican response.