For the first time in our nation’s history, Congress has passed comprehensive health care reform. America waited a hundred years and fought for decades to reach this moment. Tonight, thanks to you, we are finally here.
Consider the staggering scope of what you have just accomplished:
Because of you, every American will finally be guaranteed high quality, affordable health care coverage.
Every American will be covered under the toughest patient protections in history. Arbitrary premium hikes, insurance cancellations, and discrimination against pre-existing conditions will now be gone forever.
And we’ll finally start reducing the cost of care — creating millions of jobs, preventing families and businesses from plunging into bankruptcy, and removing over a trillion dollars of debt from the backs of our children.
But the victory that matters most tonight goes beyond the laws and far past the numbers.
It is the peace of mind enjoyed by every American, no longer one injury or illness away from catastrophe.
It is the workers and entrepreneurs who are now freed to pursue their slice of the American dream without fear of losing coverage or facing a crippling bill.
And it is the immeasurable joy of families in every part of this great nation, living happier, healthier lives together because they can finally receive the vital care they need.
This is what change looks like.
My gratitude tonight is profound. I am thankful for those in past generations whose heroic efforts brought this great goal within reach for our times. I am thankful for the members of Congress whose months of effort and brave votes made it possible to take this final step. But most of all, I am thankful for you.
This day is not the end of this journey. Much hard work remains, and we have a solemn responsibility to do it right. But we can face that work together with the confidence of those who have moved mountains.
Our journey began three years ago, driven by a shared belief that fundamental change is indeed still possible. We have worked hard together every day since to deliver on that belief.
We have shared moments of tremendous hope, and we’ve faced setbacks and doubt. We have all been forced to ask if our politics had simply become too polarized and too short-sighted to meet the pressing challenges of our time. This struggle became a test of whether the American people could still rally together when the cause was right — and actually create the change we believe in.
Tonight, thanks to your mighty efforts, the answer is indisputable: Yes we can.
President Barack Obama
Last Thursday’s first-of-its-kind summit capped off a debate that has lasted nearly a year. Every idea has now been put on the table. Every argument has been made. Both parties agree that the status quo is unacceptable and gets more dire each day. Today, I want to state as clearly and forcefully as I know how: Now is the time to make a decision about the future of health care in America.
The final proposal I’ve put forward draws on the best ideas from all sides, including several put forward by Republicans at last week’s summit. It will put Americans in charge of their own health care, ensuring that neither government nor insurance company bureaucrats can ration, deny, or put out of financial reach the care our families need and deserve.
I strongly believe that Congress now owes the American people a final vote on health care reform. Reform has already passed the House with bipartisan support and the Senate with a super-majority of sixty votes. Now it deserves the same kind of up-or-down vote that has been routinely used and has passed such landmark measures as welfare reform and both Bush tax cuts.
Earlier today, I asked leaders in both houses of Congress to finish their work and schedule a vote in the next few weeks. From now until then, I will do everything in my power to make the case for reform. And now, I’m asking you, the members of the Organizing for America community, to raise your voice and do the same.
The final march for reform has begun, and your participation is crucial. Please commit to join with me to take reform across the finish line.
Essentially, my proposal would change three things about the current health care system:
First, it would protect all Americans from the worst practices of insurance companies. Never again will the mother with breast cancer have her coverage revoked, see her premiums arbitrarily raised, or be forced to live in fear that a pre-existing condition will bar her from future coverage.
Second, my proposal would give individuals and small businesses the same choice of private health insurance that members of Congress get for themselves. And my proposal says that if you still can’t afford the insurance in this new marketplace, we will offer you tax credits based on your income — tax credits that add up to the largest middle class tax cut for health care in history.
Finally, my proposal would bring down the cost of health care for everyone — families, businesses, and the federal government — and bring down our deficit by as much as $1 trillion over the next two decades. These savings mean businesses small and large will finally be freed up to create jobs and increase wages. With costs currently skyrocketing, reform is vital to remaining economically strong in the years and decades to come.
In the few crucial weeks ahead, you can help make sure this proposal becomes law. Please sign up to join the Organizing for America campaign in the final march for reform:
When I talked about change on the campaign, this is what I was talking about: coming together to solve a huge problem that has been troubling America for 100 years and standing up to the special interests to deliver a brighter, smarter future for generations to come.
I look forward to signing this historic reform into law. And when I do, it will be because your organizing played an essential role in making change possible.
President Barack Obama
Meneer de president, waarom heeft u in de State of the Union, de mensenrechtenschendingen van Israel en Egypte tegenover de Palastijnen niet veroordeeld?
Tja, daar sta je dan als president met je mond vol tanden. Je ziet hem denken, wat ga ik hier op antwoorden. Uiteindelijk dus niets, behalve dan een standaard praatje.
I just finished delivering my first State of the Union, and I wanted to send you a quick note.
We face big and difficult challenges. Change on the scale we seek does not come easily. But I will never accept second place for the United States of America.
That is why I called for a robust jobs bill without delay. It’s why I proposed a small businesses tax credit, new investments in infrastructure, and pushed for climate legislation to create a clean energy economy.
It’s why we’re taking on big banks, reforming Wall Street, revitalizing our education system, increasing transparency — and finishing the job on health insurance reform.
It’s why I need your help — because I am determined to fight to defend the middle class, and special interest lobbyists will go all out to fight us.
Help me show that the American people are ready to join this fight for the middle class — add your name to a letter to Congress today:
We have finished a difficult year. We have come through a difficult decade. But we don’t quit. I don’t quit.
Let’s seize this moment — to start anew, to carry the dream forward, and to strengthen our union once more.
President Barack Obama
Early this morning, the Senate made history and health reform cleared its most important hurdle yet — garnering the 60 votes needed to move toward a final vote in that chamber later this week.
This marks the first time in our nation’s history that comprehensive health reform has come to this point. And it appears that the American people will soon realize the genuine reform that offers security to those who have health insurance and affordable options to those who do not.
I’m grateful to Senator Harry Reid and every senator who’s been working around the clock to make this happen. And I’m grateful to you, and every member of the Organizing for America community, for all the work you have done to make this progress possible.
After a nearly century-long struggle, we are now on the cusp of making health insurance reform a reality in the United States of America.
As with any legislation, compromise is part of the process. But I’m pleased that recently added provisions have made this landmark bill even stronger. Between the time when the bill passes and the time when the insurance exchanges get up and running, insurance companies that try to jack up their rates do so at their own peril. Those who hike their prices may be barred from selling plans on the exchanges.
And while insurance companies will be prevented from denying coverage on the basis of pre-existing conditions once the exchanges are open, in the meantime there will be a high-risk pool where people with pre-existing conditions can purchase affordable coverage.
A recent amendment has made these protections even stronger. Insurance companies will now be prohibited from denying coverage to children immediately after this bill passes. There’s also explicit language in this bill that will protect a patient’s choice of doctor. And small businesses will get additional assistance as well.
These protections are in addition to the ones we’ve been talking about for some time. No longer will insurance companies be able to drop your coverage if you become sick and no longer will you have to pay unlimited amounts out of your own pocket for treatments that you need.
Under this bill families will save on their premiums; businesses that would see their costs rise if we don’t act will save money now and in the future. This bill will strengthen Medicare and extend the life of the program. Because it’s paid for and gets rid of waste and inefficiency in our health care system, this will be the largest deficit reduction plan in over a decade.
Finally, this reform will extend coverage to more than 30 million Americans who don’t have it.
These are not small changes. These are big changes. They’re fundamental reforms. They will save money. They will save lives.
And your passion, your work, your organizing helped make all of this possible. Now it’s time to finish the job.
President Barack Obama
Tomorrow, Thanksgiving Day, Americans across the country will sit down together, count our blessings, and give thanks for our families and our loved ones.
American families reflect the diversity of this great nation. No two are exactly alike, but there is a common thread they each share.
Our families are bound together through times of joy and times of grief. They shape us, support us, instill the values that guide us as individuals, and make possible all that we achieve.
So tomorrow, I’ll be giving thanks for my family — for all the wisdom, support, and love they have brought into my life.
But tomorrow is also a day to remember those who cannot sit down to break bread with those they love.
The soldier overseas holding down a lonely post and missing his kids. The sailor who left her home to serve a higher calling. The folks who must spend tomorrow apart from their families to work a second job, so they can keep food on the table or send a child to school.
We are grateful beyond words for the service and hard work of so many Americans who make our country great through their sacrifice. And this year, we know that far too many face a daily struggle that puts the comfort and security we all deserve painfully out of reach.
So when we gather tomorrow, let us also use the occasion to renew our commitment to building a more peaceful and prosperous future that every American family can enjoy.
It seems like a lifetime ago that a crowd met on a frigid February morning in Springfield, Illinois to set out on an improbable course to change our nation.
In the years since, Michelle and I have been blessed with the support and friendship of the millions of Americans who have come together to form this ongoing movement for change.
You have been there through victories and setbacks. You have given of yourselves beyond measure. You have enabled all that we have accomplished — and you have had the courage to dream yet bigger dreams for what we can still achieve.
So in this season of thanks giving, I want to take a moment to express my gratitude to you, and my anticipation of the brighter future we are creating together.
With warmest wishes for a happy holiday season from my family to yours,
President Barack Obama
Ik sta nog steeds op de mailinglist van mijn vriend Barack Obama. Na 1000 en 1 mailtjes van Barack en zijn gevolg, eindelijk weer een mailtje dat de moeite van het lezen waard is. Als kritisch fan van het eerste uur moet ik toegeven dat het mij wel wat doet. Hoewel het onwaarschijnlijk is dat Obama de problemen in de wereld gaat oplossen ben ik toch een beetje trots.
This morning, Michelle and I awoke to some surprising and humbling news. At 6 a.m., we received word that I’d been awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for 2009.
To be honest, I do not feel that I deserve to be in the company of so many of the transformative figures who’ve been honored by this prize — men and women who’ve inspired me and inspired the entire world through their courageous pursuit of peace.
But I also know that throughout history the Nobel Peace Prize has not just been used to honor specific achievement; it’s also been used as a means to give momentum to a set of causes.
That is why I’ve said that I will accept this award as a call to action, a call for all nations and all peoples to confront the common challenges of the 21st century. These challenges won’t all be met during my presidency, or even my lifetime. But I know these challenges can be met so long as it’s recognized that they will not be met by one person or one nation alone.
This award — and the call to action that comes with it — does not belong simply to me or my administration; it belongs to all people around the world who have fought for justice and for peace. And most of all, it belongs to you, the men and women of America, who have dared to hope and have worked so hard to make our world a little better.
So today we humbly recommit to the important work that we’ve begun together. I’m grateful that you’ve stood with me thus far, and I’m honored to continue our vital work in the years to come.
President Barack Obama