Insurance and the State of the Union Address

President ObamaThe State of the Union address is something that the President of the United States gives once a year. President Obama recently gave the 2013 State of the Union address. The topics can be about anything that the President feels is important. This year, some of the speech related to insurance.

The State of the Union is an annual speech that the President of the United States presents to the United States Congress. It has several purposes. The State of the Union address is a report on the condition of the nation. The speech allows the current President to outline his legislative agenda, which he will, obviously, require the help of Congress in order to implement. It is also a way for the President to state his national priorities.

Last year’s State of the Union address was not primarily focused on insurance, but it did cover some insurance related topics. The same is true for this year’s address. It is not primarily about insurance, but it did include some mentions of insurance. You can read the entire 2013 State of the Union Address on the White House website. Here are some quotes from that speech:

… On Medicare, I’m prepared to enact reforms that will achieve the same amount of health care savings by the beginning of the next decade as the reforms proposed by the bipartisan Simpson-Bowles commission.

Already, the Affordable Care Act is helping to slow the growth of health care costs. And the reforms I’m proposing go even further. We’ll reduce taxpayer subsidies to prescription drug companies and ask more from the wealthiest seniors. We’ll bring down costs by changing the way our government pays for Medicare, because our medical bills shouldn’t be based on the number or tests ordered or days spend in the hospital; they should be based on the quality of care that our seniors receive.

… To hit the rest of our deficit reduction target, we should do what leaders in both parties have already suggested, and save hundreds of billions of dollars by getting rid of tax loopholes and deductions for the well-off and the well-connected. After all, why would we choose to make deeper cuts to education and Medicare just to protect special interest tax breaks? How is that fair? Why is it that deficit reduction is a big emergency justifying making cuts in Social Security benefits by not closing some loopholes? How does that promote growth?

… We will keep faith with our veterans, investing in world-class care, including mental health care, for our wounded warriors — supporting our military families, giving our veterans the benefits and education and job opportunities that they have earned.

Image by Steve Jurvetson on Flickr

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