Obama said that the wars are coming to an end and the economy is healing. "Together, we have cleared away the rubble of crisis, and can say with renewed confidence that the state of our union is stronger," he said.
@Anelni: The orange pins are for a movement that's slogan is "Fix, Not Fight", and the green ribbons are for Newtown.
Julie Rovner, our health-care correspondent, points out:
On health care, President Obama reiterated his offer to make what he called “modest reforms” to the Medicare program. “Otherwise,” he said, “our retirement programs will crowd out the investments we need for our children, and jeopardize the promise of a secure retirement for future generations.”
But the actual proposals the President mentioned, including changing payment mechanisms for Medicare, cutting subsidies to drug companies, and requiring wealthier seniors to pay higher premiums and coinsurance, are all ones he has been offering since 2011.
And on Monday, for the first time, Presidential spokesman Jay Carney said definitively, for the first time, that the administration would not accept an increase in the Medicare eligibility age. That has been something Republicans have sought.
The President also said the 2010 health law, the Affordable Care Act, “is helping to slow the growth of health care costs.” While it is true that health costs have been slowing since the law was passed, experts are still highly uncertain if the law has had much, if anything at all, to do with the slowdown.
yes, Speaker Boehner is a big fan of the pastel tie. Always has been.
Before going into a critique of the large spending cuts scheduled to take effect in March, President Obama continued to riff on the theme of working together.
He said: "The American people don't expect government to solve every problem. They don't expect those of us in this chamber to agree on every issue. But they do expect us to put the nation's interests before party. They do expect us to forge reasonable compromise where we can. For they know that America moves forward only when we do so together; and that the responsibility of improving this union remains the task of us all."