PHOTOSTREAM : OBAMA IN MINNESOTA

17/09/2009 Komentar dimatikan
U.S. President Barack Obama arrives with Health and Human Services ...

U.S. President Barack Obama arrives with Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius via Air Force One to hold a rally for his health insurance reform initiatives in Minneapolis, Minnesota, September 12, 2009.

US President Barack Obama (C) greets onlookers with Sen. Amy ...

US President Barack Obama (C) greets onlookers with Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) (2nd R) and Sen. Al Franken (D-MN) (R) as he arrives via Air Force One to hold a rally for his health insurance reform initiatives in Minneapolis, Minnesota, September 12, 2009. Obama broadened his pitch for healthcare reform to Americans who have health insurance on Saturday, reminding them that they risk losing the coverage they have under the current system.

President Barack Obama greets Col. Greg Hasse, Commander of ...

President Barack Obama greets Col. Greg Hasse, Commander of the 133rd Airlift Wing, upon arriving at Minneapolis St. Paul Airport, Saturday, Sept. 12, 2009. Sen. Al Franken, D-Minn. is at right.

US President Barack Obama greets onlookers as he arrives via ...

US President Barack Obama greets onlookers as he arrives via Air Force One to hold a rally for his health insurance reform initiatives in Minneapolis, Minnesota, September 12, 2009. Obama broadened his pitch for healthcare reform to Americans who have health insurance on Saturday, reminding them that they risk losing the coverage they have under the current system.

President Barack Obama greets members of the 133rd Airlift Wing ...

President Barack Obama greets members of the 133rd Airlift Wing and their families upon his arrival at Minneapolis St. Paul Airport, Saturday, Sept. 12, 2009. Sen. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn. is at right.

US President Barack Obama arrives to speak about healthcare ...

US President Barack Obama arrives to speak about healthcare reform during a rally at the Target Center in Minneapolis, Minnesota

President Barack Obama  gestures while addressing a health insurance ...

President Barack Obama gestures while addressing a health insurance reform rally, Saturday, Sept. 12, 2009, in Minneapolis

U.S. President Barack Obama points during a rally for his health ...

U.S. President Barack Obama points during a rally for his health insurance reform initiatives at the Target Center in Minneapolis, Minnesota, September 12, 2009.

President Barack Obama gestures while addressing a health insurance ...

President Barack Obama gestures while addressing a health insurance reform rally, Saturday, Sept. 12, 2009, in Minneapolis.

A doctor examines a patient in Miami as US President Barack ...

A doctor examines a patient in Miami as US President Barack Obama is seen on a television screen discussing health care reform on September 9, 2009. Obama faced down critics of his health care reform plan on Saturday, with a stark warning that any American could lose their coverage under the current system.

US President Barack Obama speaks about healthcare reform during ...

US President Barack Obama speaks about healthcare reform during a rally at the Target Center in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Obama faced down critics of his health care reform plan on Saturday, with a stark warning that any American could lose their coverage under the current system.

US President Barack Obama shakes hands with attendees after ...

US President Barack Obama shakes hands with attendees after a rally for his health insurance reform initiatives at the Target Center in Minneapolis, Minnesota, September 12, 2009.

US President Barack Obama greets attendees after a rally for ...

US President Barack Obama greets attendees after a rally for his health insurance reform initiatives at the Target Center in Minneapolis, Minnesota, September 12, 2009.

U.S. President Barack Obama holds a rally for his health insurance ...

U.S. President Barack Obama holds a rally for his health insurance reform initiatives at the Target Center in Minneapolis, Minnesota September 12, 2009.

A woman with crutches cheers as U.S. President Barack Obama ...

A woman with crutches cheers as U.S. President Barack Obama holds a rally for his health insurance reform initiatives at the Target Center in Minneapolis, Minnesota September 12, 2009.

President Barack Obama holds health insurance reform rally, ...

President Barack Obama holds health insurance reform rally, Saturday, Sept. 12, 2009, in Minneapolis.

President Barack Obama waves to the crowd before addressing ...

President Barack Obama waves to the crowd before addressing a health care reform rally, Saturday, Sept. 12, 2009, at Target Center in Minneapolis.

Hands reach out as President Barack Obama arrives to address ...

Hands reach out as President Barack Obama arrives to address a health care reform rally, Saturday, Sept. 12, 2009, at Target Center in Minneapolis.

U.S. President Barack Obama holds a rally for his health insurance ...

U.S. President Barack Obama holds a rally for his health insurance reform initiatives at the Target Center in Minneap

U.S. President Barack Obama speaks during a rally for his health ...

U.S. President Barack Obama speaks during a rally for his health insurance reform initiatives at the Target Center in Minneapolis, Minnesota September 12, 2009

President Barack Obama holds health insurance reform rally, ...

President Barack Obama holds health insurance reform rally, Saturday, Sept. 12, 2009, in Minneapolis.

US President Barack Obama holds a rally for his health insurance ...

US President Barack Obama holds a rally for his health insurance reform initiatives at the Target Center in Minneapolis, Minnesota, September 12, 2009.

President Barack Obama holds health insurance reform rally, ...

President Barack Obama holds health insurance reform rally, Saturday, Sept. 12, 2009, in Minneapolis

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PHOTOSTREAM : OBAMA AND HEALTH CARE REFORM

17/09/2009 Komentar dimatikan


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President Barack Obama waves as he boards Air Force One at Andrews ...

President Barack Obama waves as he boards Air Force One at Andrews Air Force Base, Md., Tuesday, Aug. 11, 2009

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U.S President Barack Obama waves as he walks to the Marine One ...

U.S President Barack Obama waves as he walks to the Marine One helicopter to depart for a town hall meeting in New Hampshire on health care insurance issues, from the White House in Washington, August 11, 2009.

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President Barack Obama waves prior to departing  Air Force One ...

President Barack Obama waves prior to departing Air Force One at Portsmouth International Airport at Pease in Portsmouth, N.H., Tuesday, Aug. 11, 2009, before attending a town hall in Portsmouth to discuss the need for health insurance reform for the future of our economy and the health of our communities.

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U.S. President Barack Obama steps off Air Force One at Pease ...

U.S. President Barack Obama steps off Air Force One at Pease Air National Guard Base in Portsmouth, New Hampshire, August 11, 2009

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A silhouette of of President Barack Obama is seen in his limousine ...

A silhouette of of President Barack Obama is seen in his limousine at Portsmouth International Airport at Pease in Portsmouth, N.H., Tuesday, Aug. 11, 2009,as he headed to a town hall in Portsmouth to discuss the need for health insurance reform for the future of our economy and the health of our communities

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President Barack Obama arrives at Portsmouth International Airport ...

President Barack Obama arrives at Portsmouth International Airport at Pease in Portsmouth, N.H., Tuesday, Aug. 11, 2009, prior attending a town hall in Portsmouth tol discuss the need for health insurance reform for the future of our economy and the health of our communities

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President Barack Obama talks with Air Force Col. Steven Shepro, ...

President Barack Obama talks with Air Force Col. Steven Shepro, Commander of the 316th Wing, upon his arrival at Andrews Air Force Base Md, Tuesday, Aug. 11, 2009, prior to traveling to New Hampshire.

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President Barack Obama waves as he is escorted to Marine One ...

President Barack Obama waves as he is escorted to Marine One by Air Force Col. Steven Shepro, Commander of the 316th Wing, upon his arrival from a day trip to New Hampshire, Tuesday, Aug. 11, 2009, at Andrews Air Force Base Md.

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US President Barack Obama speaks during a town hall meeting ...

US President Barack Obama speaks during a town hall meeting on health care reform at the Portsmouth High School in Portsmouth, New Hampshire. Obama on Tuesday condemned the wild “scare tactics” peddled by foes of his healthcare reform plan in a passionate defense of his signature domestic priority.

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US President Barack Obama speaks at a town hall meeting in Portsmouth, ...

US President Barack Obama speaks at a town hall meeting in Portsmouth, New Hampshire. Obama on Tuesday condemned the wild “scare tactics” peddled by foes of his healthcare reform plan in a passionate defense of his signature domestic priority.

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An audience member takes the Pledge of Allegiance before the ...

An audience member takes the Pledge of Allegiance before the arrival of U.S. President Barack Obama at a town hall meeting on health insurance reform at Portsmouth High School in Portsmouth, New Hampshire, August 11, 2009.

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US President Barack Obama speaks during a town hall meeting ...

US President Barack Obama speaks during a town hall meeting on health care reform at the Portsmouth High School in Portsmouth, New Hampshire. Obama on Tuesday condemned the wild “scare tactics” peddled by foes of his healthcare reform plan in a passionate defense of his signature domestic priority.

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U.S. President Barack Obama speaks at  a town hall meeting on ...

U.S. President Barack Obama speaks at a town hall meeting on health insurance reform at Portsmouth High School in Portsmouth, New Hampshire August 11, 2009

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President Barack Obama speaks at town hall meeting about health ...

President Barack Obama speaks at town hall meeting about health care, Tuesday, Aug. 11, 2009, at Portsmouth High School in Portsmouth, N.H.

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President Barack Obama speaks at town hall meeting about health ...

President Barack Obama speaks at town hall meeting about health care, Tuesday, Aug. 11, 2009, at Portsmouth High School in Portsmouth, N.H

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President Barack Obama speaks at town hall meeting about health ...
President Barack Obama speaks at town hall meeting about health care, Tuesday, Aug. 11, 2009, at Portsmouth High School in Portsmouth, N.H.

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President Barack Obama speaks at town hall meeting about health ...

President Barack Obama speaks at town hall meeting about health care as a Secret Service Special Agent stands nearby, Tuesday, Aug. 11, 2009, at Portsmouth High School in Portsmouth, N.H.

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President Barack Obama speaks at town hall meeting about health ...

President Barack Obama speaks at town hall meeting about health care, Tuesday, Aug. 11, 2009, at Portsmouth High School in Portsmouth, N.H

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U.S. President Barack Obama attends a town hall meeting on health ...

U.S. President Barack Obama attends a town hall meeting on health insurance reform at Portsmouth High School in Portsmouth, New Hampshire, August 11, 2009.

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President Barack Obama speaks at a town hall meeting about health ...

President Barack Obama speaks at a town hall meeting about health care reform, Tuesday, Aug. 11, 2009, at Portsmouth High School in Portsmouth, N.H.

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U.S. President Barack Obama attends a town hall meeting on health ...

U.S. President Barack Obama attends a town hall meeting on health insurance reform at Portsmouth High School in Portsmouth, New Hampshire, August 11, 2009.

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President Barack Obama speaks at town hall meeting at a Portsmouth ...
President Barack Obama speaks at town hall meeting at a Portsmouth High School in Portsmouth, N.H. Tuesday, Aug. 11, 2009.

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U.S. President Barack Obama speaks at a town hall meeting on ...

U.S. President Barack Obama speaks at a town hall meeting on health insurance reform at Portsmouth High School in Portsmouth, New Hampshire, August 11, 2009

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President Barack Obama speaks at town hall meeting about health ...

President Barack Obama speaks at town hall meeting about health care reform, Tuesday, Aug. 11, 2009, at a high school in Portsmouth, N.H

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President Barack Obama speaks at town hall meeting about health ...
President Barack Obama speaks at town hall meeting about health care, Tuesday, Aug. 11, 2009, at Portsmouth High School in Portsmouth, N.H.

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President Barack Obama speaks at town hall meeting about health ...

President Barack Obama speaks at town hall meeting about health care, Tuesday, Aug. 11, 2009, at Portsmouth High School in Portsmouth, N.H.

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President Barack Obama speaks at town hall meeting about health ...

President Barack Obama speaks at town hall meeting about health care, Tuesday, Aug. 11, 2009, at Portsmouth High School in Portsmouth, N.H.

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President Barack Obama smiles as he enters to speak at a town ...

President Barack Obama smiles as he enters to speak at a town hall meeting about health care reform, Tuesday, Aug. 11, 2009, at Portsmouth High School in Portsmouth, N.H.

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U.S. President Barack Obama greets audience members after speaking ...

U.S. President Barack Obama greets audience members after speaking at a town hall on health insurance reform at Portsmouth High School in Portsmouth, New Hampshire, August 11, 2009

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President Barack Obama shakes hands after speaking at town hall ...


President Barack Obama shakes hands after speaking at town hall meeting at Portsmouth High School in Portsmouth, N.H. Tuesday, Aug. 11, 2009.

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A woman holds a sign as President Barack Obama shakes hands ...


A woman holds a sign as President Barack Obama shakes hands after he spoke at a town hall meeting about health care reform, Tuesday, Aug. 11, 2009, at Portsmouth High School in Portsmouth, N.H

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President Barack Obama holds Candace Rosemary ODonnell, 4, ...

President Barack Obama holds Candace Rosemary ODonnell, 4, from Portsmouth, N.H., as he greeted the crowd after speaking at town hall meeting at Portsmouth High School in Portsmouth, N.H. Tuesday, Aug. 11, 2009.

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President Obama arrives at a town hall on health insurance reform ...

President Obama arrives at a town hall on health insurance reform at Portsmouth High School in Portsmouth, New Hampshire, August 11, 2009.

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U.S. President Barack Obama arrives at a town hall on health ...

U.S. President Barack Obama arrives at a town hall on health insurance reform at Portsmouth High School in Portsmouth, New Hampshire, August 11, 2009.

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US President Barack Obama speaks at a town hall meeting in Portsmouth, ...

US President Barack Obama speaks at a town hall meeting in Portsmouth, New Hampshire. Obama on Tuesday condemned the wild “scare tactics” peddled by foes of his healthcare reform plan in a passionate defense of his top domestic priority.

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President Barack Obama smiles a he pauses while shaking hands ...

President Barack Obama smiles a he pauses while shaking hands after speaking at town hall meeting at Portsmouth High School in Portsmouth, N.H. Tuesday, Aug. 11, 2009.

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The crowd stands and applauds President Barack Obama as he speaks ...

The crowd stands and applauds President Barack Obama as he speaks at a town hall meeting about health care reform, Tuesday, Aug. 11, 2009, at a high school in Portsmouth, N.H.

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REMARKS BY THE PRESIDENT AT A RALLY ON HEALTH INSURANCE REFORM IN MINNESOTA

15/09/2009 Komentar dimatikan
President Barack Obama  gestures while addressing a health insurance ...


(KATAKAMI / WHITEHOUSE.GOV)

THE PRESIDENT :   Hello, Minnesota!  (Applause.)  Hello, Minneapolis!  (Applause.)  Thank you.  Thank you, everybody.  Are you fired up?  (Applause.)  Thank you.  Thank you.  Thank you, everybody.

AUDIENCE: Yes we can!  Yes we can!  Yes we can!  (Applause.)

THE PRESIDENT: Thank you.  Thank you, everybody.  All right, all right.  Thank you.  Everybody — everybody take a seat, take a seat.  Great to see you.  It is good to see you all.  Its good to be back in Minnesota.  (Applause.)

Now, before I do anything else, I want to get to some very important news.  I hear the Gophers have their home opener in their brand new stadium a little later today.  (Applause.)  I want to make sure you know I wish the Gophers luck.  (Applause.)  But they are playing Air Force, and I have to fly back home on one of their planes in a few hours.  (Laughter.)  So I got to be careful about what I say.

Weve got some wonderful people who are here today with me, and I just want to make some special acknowledgments.  First of all, your two outstanding senators, Senator Amy Klobuchar and Senator Al Franken, are in the house.  (Applause.)  My great friend who was part of the Obama for President movement before I decided to run for President, R.T.
Rybak, Mayor of Minneapolis, is in the house.  (Applause.)
The Mayor of the great city of St. Paul, Chris Coleman is in the house.  (Applause.)  Your Attorney General Lori Swanson is in the house.  (Applause.)  Your State Auditor Rebecca Otto is here.  (Applause.)  And one of the finest public servants in the country, my Secretary of Health and Human Services, Kathleen Sebelius is here.  (Applause.)

President Barack Obama gestures while addressing a health insurance ...

Also, the biggest Obama fan in the country is in the house.  (Applause.)  Love this guy.  Michelle has a picture where she looks like Sasha, thanks to this guy.  (Laughter.)  Hes a great supporter, and its great to see you again.  (Applause.)

You know, I don know if any of you caught it on television — you may have been watching “So You Think You Can Dance” — (laughter) — but — Michelle loves that show, by the way.  But the other night I gave a speech to Congress about health care.  (Applause.)  And I have to say, I can already see that this crowd is a lot more fun.  (Laughter and applause.)

But listen.  I didn go to Congress just to speak to senators or representatives.  I went to speak on behalf of the American people.  (Applause.)  Because, you see, I ran for this office because I believed it was time for a government that once again made possible the dreams of middle-class Americans — that we e looking out for ordinary people — (applause) — a government that understands the quiet struggles that you wrestle with at the kitchen table when you e going through all the bills or when you e lying awake at night at the end of a long day and trying to figure out what you e going to do about health care for your children or what you e going to do about the situation with your mortgage; worrying about how stable your job is and whats happening with the economy; seniors who are worrying about their retirement security.

You know and I know that health care is one of those fundamental struggles — (applause) — because if you e one of the tens of millions of Americans who have no health insurance, you live every day just one accident or illness away from bankruptcy.  And contrary to some of the myths out there, these aren primarily people who are deep in poverty.  A lot of those folks are on Medicaid.  These are people who are working every day.  These are middle-class Americans. (Applause.)

Maybe your employer doesn offer coverage.  Maybe you e self-employed and you can afford it because it costs you three times more in the marketplace than it does for big companies.  (Applause.)  Maybe you e one of the millions of Americans whos denied coverage because of a previous illness or condition — no fault of your own, but the insurance companies decide its too risky or too expensive for you to cover.

In the last 12 months alone, 6 million more Americans lost their health insurance — 6 million more.  Today, we received more disturbing news.  A new report from the Treasury Department found that nearly half of all Americans under 65 will lose their health coverage at some point over the next 10 years.  Think about that.  (Boos.)
More than one-third will go without coverage for longer than one year.  Weve got to do something.  (Applause.)  Weve got to do something because it can happen to anyone.  There but for the grace of God go I.  It could happen to anyone.

U.S. President Barack Obama points during a rally for his health ...

But I don need to tell you that our health care problems don stop with the uninsured.  How many of you who have insurance have ever worried that you might lose it if you lost your jobs or you changed jobs or you had to move?  (Applause.)

How many stories have you heard about folks whose insurance company decided to drop their coverage or water it down when they get sick and need it the most?  (Applause.)  How many of you know somebody who paid their premiums every month only to find out that their insurance company wouldn cover the full cost of their care like they thought they would get?  (Applause.)

Weve all heard these stories.  Theres the father I met in Colorado whose child was diagnosed with severe hemophilia the day after he was born.  Now, they had insurance, but there was a cap on their coverage.  So once the childs medical bills began to pile up, the father was left to frantically search for another option, or face tens of thousands of dollars in medical bills.

Another woman from Texas was about to get a double mastectomy when her insurance company canceled her policy because, they said, she forgot to declare a case of acne — true story.  (Boos.)  By the time she had her insurance reinstated, her breast cancer had more than doubled in size.  Small business people — I got a letter just this week from a small businessman.  He said, “I don know what to do.  Ive always provided health insurance for my families, but here, the attached bill, shows that the premiums have gone up 48 percent in the last year, and I think that Im probably going to have to stop providing health insurance for my employees.  I don want to, but I don have a choice.”
President Barack Obama waves to the crowd before addressing ...

These stories are wrong.  They are heartbreaking.  Nobody should be treated that way in the United States of America, and thats why we e going to bring about change this year.  (Applause.)

It has now been nearly a century since Teddy Roosevelt first called for health reform.  Its been attempted by nearly every President and Congress since.  And our failure to get it done — year after year, decade after decade — it has placed a burden on families, on businesses, and on taxpayers, and we can stand it any longer.  We cannot sustain it any longer.  (Applause.)

If we do nothing, your premiums will continue to rise faster than your wages.  If we do nothing, more businesses will close down; fewer will face — fewer will be able to open in the first place.  If we do nothing, we will eventually spend more on Medicare and Medicaid than every other government program combined.  Thats not an option for the United States of America.  So Minnesota, I may not be the first President to take up the cause of health care reform, but I am determined to be the last.  We are going to get it done this year.  (Applause.)  We are going to get it done this year.

The good news — heres the good news:  We are closer now to reform than weve ever been.  Weve debated this issue for better than a year now.  And theres actually some solid agreement on about 80 percent of what needs to be done.  Thats never happened before.  (Applause.)  Weve got — our overall efforts have been supported by an unprecedented coalition of doctors and nurses and hospitals and seniors groups — even drug companies, many of whom were opposed to reform in the past.  This time they recognize, you know what, this is not going to be stopped; weve got to get on board.

Now, what weve also seen in these last few months is the same partisan spectacle that has left so many of you disappointed in Washington for so long.  (Applause.)  Weve heard scare tactics instead of honest debate.  Too many have used this opportunity to score short-term political points instead of working together to solve long-term challenges.  (Applause.)

I don know if you agree with me, but I think the time for bickering is over.  (Applause.)  The time for games has passed.  Now is the time for action.  Now is the time to deliver on health care for every American.  (Applause.)

AUDIENCE: Yes we can!  Yes we can!  Yes we can!

THE PRESIDENT: Now, because even after the speech theres been a lot of misinformation out there, I want you to know about this plan that I announced on Wednesday so that when you go talk to your neighbors and your friends, and you e at the water cooler or buying Starbucks or whatever it is that you e doing — (laughter) — I want you to be able to say to people, heres whats going on.

The plan I announced will provide more security and stability to those who have health insurance.  (Applause.)  It will provide insurance to those who don .  (Applause.)  And it will slow the growth of health care costs for our families, our businesses, and our government.  (Applause.)

Let me give you some details.  First of all, if you e among the hundreds of millions of Americans who already have health insurance through your job, or youve got health insurance through Medicare or Medicaid or the VA, nothing — nothing in this plan will require you or your employer to change your coverage or your doc.  All right?  I want you to be clear about that.  Let me repeat:  Nothing in this plan requires you to change what you have if you e happy with it.

What this plan will do is to make your insurance work better for you.  (Applause.)  So under this plan — under this plan, it will be against the law for insurance companies to deny you coverage because of a preexisting condition.  (Applause.)

When I sign this bill, it will be against the law for insurance companies to drop your coverage when you get sick, or water it down when you need it the most.  (Applause.)
They will no longer be able to place some arbitrary cap on the amount of coverage you can receive in a given year or a lifetime.  (Applause.)
We will place a limit on how much you can be charged for out-of-pocket expenses, because in the United States of America, nobody should go broke because they got sick.  (Applause.)

And insurance companies — insurance companies will be required to cover, at no extra charge, routine checkups and preventive care, like mammograms and colonoscopies — (applause) — because theres no reason we shouldn be catching diseases like breast cancer or colon cancer before they get worse.  That makes sense, it saves money, it saves lives.  (Applause.)

US President Barack Obama arrives to speak about healthcare ...

Now, if you e one of the 10 million — tens of millions of Americans who don currently have health insurance, the second part of this plan is going to finally offer you affordable choices.  So if you lose your job or change jobs or want to start a business, youll be able to get coverage.  (Applause.)

You will have confidence that affordable coverage is out there for you, and we will do this not, contrary to what folks say, by some government takeover of health care.  We will do this by setting up a new insurance exchange — a marketplace where individuals and small businesses will be able to shop for an affordable health insurance plan that works for them.  And because there will be one big group — because there will be one big group, these uninsured Americans will have the leverage to drive down costs and get a much better deal than they get right now.  (Applause.)

Thats how large companies do it.  Thats how government employees get their health insurance.  Thats how members of Congress get good deals on their insurance.  You should get the same deal that members of Congress get.  (Applause.)

Now, if you still can afford the lower-priced insurance available in the exchange, we e going to provide you or a small business owner tax credits so that they can do it.  And in the first few years that it takes up to the — it takes to set up the exchange — because it will take a few years to get this all set up, even after it passes — but in the meantime, we want to make sure people get some immediate help, so we e going to immediately offer Americans with preexisting conditions who can get coverage right now, we want to give them some low-cost coverage that will provide them protection from financial ruin if they become seriously ill.  (Applause.)

Now, Ive also said that one of the options in the insurance exchange, one of the options — most of the folks who are going to be offering insurance through the exchange are going to be private insurers — Blue Cross Blue Shield, Aetna, all these.  Well, I think one of the options should be a public insurance option.  (Applause.)  Now let me be clear.  Let me be clear.  Let me be clear:  It would only be an option.  Nobody would be forced to choose it.  No one with insurance would be affected by it.  But what it would do is, it would provide more choice and more competition.  (Applause.)  It would keep pressure on private insurers to keep their policies affordable, to treat their customers better.

I mean, think about it.  Its the same way that public colleges and universities provide additional choice and competition to students.  That doesn inhibit private colleges and universities from thriving out there.  The same should be true on the health care front.  (Applause.)

President Barack Obama holds health insurance reform rally, ...


Now, Minnesota, I have said that Im open to different ideas on how to set this up.  But Im not going to back down from the basic principle that if Americans can find affordable coverage, we e going to provide you a choice.  (Applause.)  And I will make sure that no government bureaucrat or insurance company bureaucrat gets between you and the coverage that you need.  Thats a promise I will make.  (Applause.)

Now — now, a lot of you might think this plan sounds pretty good, or when you e talking to your friends or neighbors, they might say, yes, that sounds all right, but let me ask you this:  How are you going to pay for it?  And thats a legitimate concern.  Weve got — we inherited some big deficits and some big debt.  And weve had a big economic crisis that has required us to take some extraordinary steps.  So we e going to have to get control of our federal budget.  We have to do it.

So its a legitimate question, but heres what you need to know:

First of all, I will not sign a plan that adds one dime to our deficits — either now or in the future.  No ifs, ands, or buts.  (Applause.)  Part of the reason I faced these trillion-dollar deficits when I walked into the door of the White House is because there were a lot of initiatives over the last decade that weren paid for — from the Iraq war to tax breaks for the wealthy.  I will not make the same mistake when it comes to health care.  (Applause.)

Second of all, weve estimated that most of this plan can be paid for by finding savings within the existing health care system — money thats already being spent but spent badly, wasted and abused.  Right now, too much of your taxpayer dollars and too much of your savings, frankly, are spent on health care that doesn make us healthier.  Thats not my judgment — that is the judgment of medical experts and doctors and nurses — health care professionals all across the country.  We love nurses.  I love them.  (Applause.)

As I said on Wednesday night, this is also true when it comes to Medicare and Medicaid.  And Medicare is one of these issues that has been really distorted in the debate.  So I want — I spoke directly to seniors on Wednesday; I want to repeat what I said.  We have stood up for four decades for the principle that after a lifetime of hard work, our seniors should not be left to struggle with medical bills they can pay.  (Applause.)  Thats the essence of Medicare.  Thats how Medicare was born.  It remains a sacred trust.  It needs to be passed on from one generation to the next.

Thats why not a dollar of the Medicare trust fund will be used to pay for this plan — not one dollar.  (Applause.)  We will not be lowering benefits for senior citizens.  The only thing that we will be doing is eliminating hundreds of billions of dollars of waste and fraud, as well as subsidies that are going to insurance company HMOs — (applause) — subsidies that pad their profits but don improve care.

The other thing we want to do is we want to create an independent commission of doctors and medical experts charged with identifying more waste in the years ahead.  And thats going to ensure that Americans, seniors, get the benefits that theyve been promised.  Well ensure that Medicare is there for future generations, and we can use some of the savings we get to actually fill the gap of costs on prescription drugs that so many seniors are struggling with.  We can save them thousands of dollars on prescription drug costs.  Thats what the plan will do for senior citizens.  (Applause.)

So don pay attention to these scary stories about how your benefits will be cut.  That will not happen on my watch.  (Applause.)  In fact, the folks who are making the accusations, they e the ones who have been talking about cutting Medicare in the past.  I will protect Medicare.  (Applause.)

And heres the best thing — and this is important, especially for Minnesota.  Because Medicare is such a big part of the health care system, making that program more efficient can help usher in changes in the way that we deliver health care that reduces costs for everybody.  We have long known that some places, including Minnesota, offer high-quality care at costs below average.  (Applause.)

Look at what the Mayo Clinic is able to do.  Its got the best quality and the lowest cost of just about any system in the country.  (Applause.)  So what we want to do is we want to help the whole country learn from what Mayo is doing.  (Applause.)

We want to help the whole country learn some of the good things that are going on in Minnesota.  That will save everybody money.

The commission can help encourage the adoption of common-sense best practices — everything from reducing infection rates for hospitals to helping teach doctors how to work together so when you go to the doctors office, you don have to take a test each time you see a doctor; you take one test and they e-mail it to every doctor.  Common-sense stuff like that.  (Applause.)

Now, this is the plan Im proposing.  It incorporates ideas from Democrats and Republicans.  And Im going to keep on seeking common ground in the weeks ahead.  And Ive said to everybody in Congress, if you come to me with a set of serious proposals, Im going to be there to listen and my door is going to be open.  But I also said — some of you heard me on Wednesday night — I will not waste time with people who think that its just good politics to kill health care.  (Applause.)

Im not going to — Im not going to allow the special interests to use the same old tactics to keep things the way they are.  Im not going to let people misrepresent whats in my plan.  (Applause.)  I will not accept the status quo.  (Applause.)
Not this time.  Not now.

Minnesota, we are closer to reform than weve ever been before, but this is the hard part.  This is when the special interests and the insurance companies and the folks who think, you know, this is a good way to bring Obama down — (boos) — this is when they e going to fight with everything theyve got.  This is when theyll spread all kinds of wild rumors designed to scare and intimidate people.  Thats why I need your help.  (Applause.)

AUDIENCE: Yes we can!  Yes we can!  Yes we can!

THE PRESIDENT: You know, there have been — there have been some of the pundits in Washington who have been saying, well, maybe youve been trying to do too much.

AUDIENCE: No!

THE PRESIDENT: Maybe youve been pushing too far too fast.

AUDIENCE: No!

THE PRESIDENT: And I try to remind them, I said, listen, I never said change would be easy.  (Applause.)  Change is hard.  Its always been hard.  When FDR — when FDR decided that Social Security was something that seniors needed — (applause) — when FDR decided — when FDR introduced Social Security, you know what happened?  They called it socialism.  But senior citizens decided that, you know what?  If Ive got some protection in my golden years, thats something thats worth fighting for.  (Applause.)  When Medicare — when Medicare was introduced as an idea, they said this is going to be a government takeover of Medicare.  But imagine what seniors would be dealing with right now if they didn have Medicare.  Every time weve made progress its because ordinary people banded together and they stood up and they said, weve got to make progress, and we e going to push and we e going to prod until Washington finally reacts, finally responds.  (Applause.)

Ive always believed — because Ive always believed that change doesn come from the top down; it comes from the bottom up.  It doesn start in Washington, D.C.; it begins in places like Minneapolis, it begins in places like St. Paul.  (Applause.)  It begins with you sharing your stories, fighting for something better.  (Applause.)  Thats how change happens.  Thats whats happening right now.  (Applause.)

AUDIENCE: Yes we can!  Yes we can!  Yes we can!

THE PRESIDENT: You know, I asked you — I asked you at the beginning of the rally whether you were fired up.  (Applause.)  Some of you may have heard where that story comes from.  But for those of you who don know, I want to just tell this story real quick.  My staff loves this story, so they always tell me, “Tell that story.”  (Laughter.)  But it bears on whats happening with health care today.

This is back at the beginning, when I was running for President.  Nobody thought I could win; nobody could pronounce my name.  (Laughter.)  Nobody except R.T., that was the only person who believed.  (Applause.)

So I went down to — it was right at the beginning of the campaign.  I went down to South Carolina to a legislative conference where I was supposed to be one of the speakers.  And I was sitting next to a state representative there — nobody was that excited to see me.  (Laughter.)  You know, I was — but I really needed some support and endorsements because South Carolina was an early state.  So I said to this state representative, “Will you endorse my campaign?”  And she looked at me and she said, “I will endorse your campaign if you come to my hometown of Greenwood, South Carolina.”  So I had had some wine and I was feeling kind of desperate.  (Laughter.)  I said, “Yes, Ill come to Greenwood.  Be happy to do it.”  Only to find out that Greenwood is like an hour and a half from everyplace else.  (Laughter.)  You can fly into Greenwood.

About a month later, Ive been campaigning in Iowa for weeks — (applause) — haven seen my family — got some Iowa folks in the house?  (Applause.)  Im exhausted.  I get into Greenville, South Carolina, about midnight.  I get to my hotel about 1:00 a.m.  Im dragging to the hotel.  Im carrying my bags, ready to hit the pillow.  And suddenly my staff says, “Sir?”  I said, “What?”  (Laughter.)
They said, “Sir, you have to be in the car at 6:30 a.m. tomorrow — in the morning.”  (Laughter.)  I said, “Why is that?”  They said, “Because youve got to go to Greenwood like you promised.”

Next morning, I wake up and I feel awful, I feel terrible.  Im exhausted.  And I stagger over to the window to pull open the blinds, and its pouring down rain outside, terrible day.  I go out and I get some coffee and open up the newspaper — bad story about me in The New York Times.  (Laughter.)  I pack up, I go downstairs.  As Im walking to the car my umbrella blows open and I get drenched.  (Laughter.)  So by the time Im in the car Im wet and Im sleepy and Im mad.  (Laughter.)

And I drive — and we drive and we drive and we drive — hour and a half, we just keep on driving.  (Laughter.)

Finally we get to Greenwood — although you don know that you e in Greenwood right away.  (Laughter.)  Its not like Minneapolis.  (Laughter.)  So theres a little field house in a park, and we go into the field house, I walk in, I get a little more wet.  I walk in — lo and behold, 20 people there.  (Laughter.)  Twenty people.  And Im already thinking about the fact Ive got another hour and a half Ive got to drive back.  (Laughter.)  And they e all kind of damp and they don look like they e that happy to be there.  The state rep had dragged them to the meeting.

Hands reach out as President Barack Obama arrives to address ...

But thats okay.  I have a job to do.  Im running for President, I shake their hand, I say, “How do you do, what do you do, nice to meet you.”  Suddenly I hear this voice should out behind me:  “Fired up?”  (Laughter.)

And I almost jumped out of my shoes.  (Laughter.)

But everybody else acts like this is normal and they all say, “Fired up!”  And then I hear this voice:  “Ready to go?”  And the people around me, they just say, “Ready to go!”  I don know whats going on.  So I look behind me, and theres this little woman there.  Shes about 52″, 53″, shes maybe 50, 60 years old.  And she looks like shes dressed for church.  Shes got a big church hat.  (Laughter.)  And shes just grinning at me, just smiling.  And she points at me and she says “Fired up?”  (Laughter and applause.)

Wait, wait, the story gets better here.  It turns out that she is a city councilwoman from Greenwood named Edith Childs — thats her name — and shes also known as the chant lady because she does this chant wherever she goes.  She goes, “Fired up?”  “Fired up!”  “Ready to go?”  “Ready to go!”  (Laughter.)

And she does this at every event she goes to.  Shes also, by the way, we discovered later, she also moonlights as a private detective but thats a — (laughter) — true story.  True story.

But shes well known for her chant, so for the next five minutes, she starts chanting.  She says, “Fired up?”  And everybody says, “Fired up!”  “Ready to go?”  “Ready to go!”  And this just keeps on going.  And I realize Im being upstaged by this woman.  (Laughter.)  And Im — shes getting all the attention, and Im standing there looking at my staff and they e shrugging their shoulders.  (Laughter.)  But heres the thing, Minneapolis.  After about a minute, maybe two, Im feeling kind of fired up.  (Laughter and applause.)
Im feeling — Im feeling like Im ready to go.  (Applause.)

And so — so for the rest of the day, every time I saw my staff, Id say, “Are you fired up?”  Theyd say, “Im fired up.”  “Are you ready to go?”  Theyd say, “Im ready to go.”  (Applause.)  And it goes to show you how one voice can change a room.  (Applause.)

And if it changes a room it can change a city.  And if it can change a city it can change a state.  And if it can change a state it can change a nation.  If it changes the nation it can change the world.  (Applause.)

It can bring health care to every American.  It can lower our costs.  It can make your insurance more secure.  I want to know, Minnesota, are you fired up?


AUDIENCE: Fired up!

THE PRESIDENT: Ready to go?


AUDIENCE: Ready to go!


THE PRESIDENT: Fired up?


AUDIENCE: Fired up!


THE PRESIDENT: Ready to go?


AUDIENCE: Ready to go!


THE PRESIDENT: Fired up?


AUDIENCE: Fired up!


THE PRESIDENT: Ready to go?


AUDIENCE: Ready to go!


THE PRESIDENT: They can stop us.  Lets go get this done.  Thank you, everybody.  God bless you.  (Applause.)

PHOTOSTREAM : OBAMA IN OHIO

14/09/2009 Komentar dimatikan

Obama’s Labor Day Speech : A Message Of Hope & Responsibility For America’s Students

President Barack Obama waves from Air Force One upon his arrival ...
President Barack Obama waves from Air Force One upon his arrival at Andrews Air Force Base, Md., on Monday, Sept. 7, 2009, after a day trip to Cincinnati, where he attended a AFL-CIO Labor Day picnic.
President Barack Obama holds an umbrella as he disembarks Air ...
President Barack Obama holds an umbrella as he disembarks Air Force One in the rain at Andrews Air Force Base, Md., after traveling to Cincinnati, Ohio, for the AFL-CIO Labor Day picnic, Monday, Sept. 7, 2009.
U.S. President Barack Obama arrives at the Cincinnati/Northern ...
U.S. President Barack Obama arrives at the Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport after attending an AFL-CIO Labor Day picnic at Coney Island in Cincinnati September 7, 2009
U.S. President Barack Obama greets a supporter at the Cincinnati/Northern ...
U.S. President Barack Obama greets a supporter at the Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport before attending an AFL-CIO Labor Day picnic at Coney Island in Cincinnati
President Barack Obama greets the crowd as he arrives at Cincinnati-Northern ...
President Barack Obama greets the crowd as he arrives at Cincinnati-Northern Kentucky International Airport in Hebron, Ky., en route to Cincinnati, Ohio, for the AFL-CIO Labor Day picnic,
President Barack Obama shakes hands with supporters and their ...
President Barack Obama shakes hands with supporters and their children at the Greater Cincinnati Northern Kentucky Airport in Hebron, Ky., Monday Sept. 7, 2009, prior to going to Cincinnati for a Labor Day speech to AFL-CIO members during their annual picnic
President Barack Obama greets children as we works a rope line ...
President Barack Obama greets children as we works a rope line upon his arrival at Cincinnati-Northern Kentucky International Airport in Hebron, Ky., en route to Cincinnati, Ohio
President Barack Obama greets the crowd as he arrives at Cincinnati-Northern ...
President Barack Obama greets the crowd as he arrives at Cincinnati-Northern Kentucky International Airport in Hebron, Ky., en route to Cincinnati, Ohio, for the AFL-CIO Labor Day picnic, Monday
Supporters of President Barack Obama's health care plan ...
Supporters of President Barack Obamas health care plan cheer his speech at a Labor Day picnic at Coney Island, Ohio. Obama faces a major test of leadership and political mettle, in a crucial address to Congress designed to convince Americans to back his battered health care reform plan.
Students and faculty watch as US President Barack Obama speaks ...
Students and faculty watch as US President Barack Obama speaks at Wakefield High School in Arlington, Virginia. Obama Tuesday held up his personal journey from wayward youth to the presidency to challenge US children to excel, in a back-to-school speech which sparked conservative fury.
US President Barack Obama, seen here AFL-CIO Labor Day Picnic ...
US President Barack Obama, seen here AFL-CIO Labor Day Picnic in Cincinnati, Ohio, said the United States is on the “road to recovery” nearly one year after teetering Wall Street giants sparked global panic and worldwide financial

President Barack Obama speaks about the importance of education ...
President Barack Obama speaks about the importance of education while at an event at Wakefield High School in Arlington, Virginia, September 8, 2009.

US President Barack Obama speaks while attending the AFL-CIO ...
US President Barack Obama speaks while attending the AFL-CIO Labor Day Picnic in Cincinnati, Ohio. Obama planned to urge children to study hard and make the most of their educations in a back-to-school address that some conservatives worried had a political cast
President Barack Obama attends an AFL-CIO Labor Day picnic at ...
President Barack Obama attends an AFL-CIO Labor Day picnic at Coney Island in Cincinnati, September 7, 2009.
U.S. President Barack Obama attends an AFL-CIO Labor Day picnic ...
U.S. President Barack Obama attends an AFL-CIO Labor Day picnic at Coney Island in Cincinnati, September 7, 2009
President Barack Obama speaks at the AFL-CIO Labor Day picnic ...
President Barack Obama speaks at the AFL-CIO Labor Day picnic at Coney Island in Cincinnati, Monday, Sept. 7, 2009
Wakefield High School students react as President Barack Obama ...
Wakefield High School students react as President Barack Obama arrives to give a speech about education, Tuesday, Sept. 8, 2009, at school in Arlington, Va
Rep. Steve Driehaus of Cincinnati, middle, stands with his daughters ...
Rep. Steve Driehaus of Cincinnati, middle, stands with his daughters Alex, left, and Claire, right, as he speaks during an interview before President Barack Obamas speech at the AFL-CIO Labor Day picnic at Coney Island in Cincinnati, Monday, Sept. 7, 2009. (AP Photo/David Kohl President Barack Obama speaks at the AFL-CIO Labor Day picnic at Coney Island in Cincinnati
President Barack Obama gestures as he delivers a speech about ...
President Barack Obama gestures as he delivers a speech about education, Tuesday, Sept. 8, 2009, at Wakefield High School in Arlington, Va.
President Barack Obama gestures upon his arrival to deliver ...
President Barack Obama gestures upon his arrival to deliver a speech on education at Wakefield High School in Arlington, Va., Tuesday, Sept. 8, 2009.
U.S. President Barack Obama sits next to U.S. Secretary of Education ...
U.S. President Barack Obama sits next to U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan as he speaks about the importance of education while at an event at Wakefield High School in Arlington, Virginia, September 8, 2009.
President Barack Obama talks to students prior to delivering ...
President Barack Obama talks to students prior to delivering a speech on education, Tuesday, Sept. 8, 2009, at Wakefield High School in Arlington, Va
Supporters cheer as U.S. President Barack Obama (R) attends ...
Supporters cheer as U.S. President Barack Obama (R) attends an AFL-CIO Labor Day picnic at Coney Island in Cincinnati, Ohio September 7, 2009.
President Barack Obama greets people after delivering his speech ...
President Barack Obama greets people after delivering his speech about education, Tuesday, Sept. 8, 2009, at Wakefield High School in Arlington, Va

President Barack Obama greets students after delivering a speech ...
President Barack Obama greets students after delivering a speech on education at Wakefield High School in Arlington, Va., Tuesday, Sept. 8, 2009.
President Barack Obama shakes with students at Wakefield High ...
President Barack Obama shakes with students at Wakefield High School in Arlington, Va., Tuesday, Sept. 8, 2009, after delivering a speech about education.
Supporters hold up signs as U.S. President Barack Obama attends ...
Supporters hold up signs as U.S. President Barack Obama attends an AFL-CIO Labor Day picnic at Coney Island in Cincinnati, Ohio
President Barack Obama (L) shakes hands with union member Charlie ...
President Barack Obama (L) shakes hands with union member Charlie Dilbert as he attends an AFL-CIO Labor Day picnic at Coney Island in Cincinnati
President Barack Obama waves as he arrives to deliver a speech ...
President Barack Obama waves as he arrives to deliver a speech on education at Wakefield High School in Arlington, Va., Tuesday, Sept. 8, 2009.
Colette Carl listens to U.S. President Barack Obama speak at ...
Colette Carl listens to U.S. President Barack Obama speak at an AFL-CIO Labor Day picnic at Coney Island in Cincinnati, Ohio September 7, 2009.
U.S. President Barack Obama (L) shakes hands with students after ...
U.S. President Barack Obama (L) shakes hands with students after delivering remarks on education on the first day of classes at Wakefield High School in Arlington, Virginia, September 8, 2009.
President Barack Obama greets students after delivering a speech ...
President Barack Obama greets students after delivering a speech on education at Wakefield High School in Arlington, Va., Tuesday, Sept. 8, 2009.
President Barack Obama talks with White House Press Secretary ...
President Barack Obama talks with White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs on Marine One helicopter before boarding Air Force One at Cincinnati-Northern Kentucky International Airport in Hebron, Ky., after he arrived from Cincinnati, after attending a AFL-CIO Labor Day picnic, Monday, Sept. 7, 2009.
President Barack Obama holds an umbrella as he walks with Colonel ...
President Barack Obama holds an umbrella as he walks with Colonel Steven Shep Shepro, the Commander of the 316th Wing and Installation Commander of Andrews Air Force Base, he boards Marine One helicopter in the rain at Andrews Air Force Base, Md., after traveling to Cincinnati, for a AFL-CIO Labor Day picnic Monday
President Barack Obama holds his umbrella as he steps in Marine ...

President Barack Obama holds his umbrella as he steps in Marine One at Andrews Air Force Base, Md., Monday Sept. 7, 2009, after a day trip to Cincinnati

PHOTOSTREAM : OBAMA IN COLORADO

11/09/2009 Komentar dimatikan


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President Barack Obama speaks to the issue of "death panels" ...
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President Barack Obama speaks about heath care during a town ...
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US President Barack Obama answers a question during a health ...

US President Barack Obama answers a question during a health care meeting in Grand Junction, Colorado. Obama invoked his personal agony over his late grandmother’s death, in his most emotional defense yet of his difficult health care reform drive.

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President Barack Obama speaks about heath care during a town ...

President Barack Obama speaks about heath care during a town hall meeting at Central High School in Grand Junction, Colo. Saturday, Aug. 15, 2009.

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President Barack Obama talks about health care during a town ...

President Barack Obama talks about health care during a town hall meeting in Grand Junction, Colo., Saturday, Aug. 15, 2009.

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U.S. President Barack Obama holds a town hall meeting on healthcare ...

U.S. President Barack Obama holds a town hall meeting on healthcare at the Central High School in Grand Junction, Colorado, August 15, 2009.

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President Barack Obama speaks about heath care during a town ...

President Barack Obama speaks about heath care during a town hall meeting at Central High School in Grand Junction, Colo. Saturday, Aug. 15, 2009.

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President Barack Obama speaks about heath care during a town ...

President Barack Obama speaks about heath care during a town hall meeting at Central High School in Grand Junction, Colo. Saturday, Aug. 15, 2009.

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President Barack Obama speaks about heath care during a town ...

President Barack Obama speaks about heath care during a town hall meeting at Central High School in Grand Junction, Colo. Saturday, Aug. 15, 2009.

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President Barack Obama speaks about heath care during a town ...

President Barack Obama speaks about heath care during a town hall meeting at Central High School in Grand Junction, Colo. Saturday, Aug. 15, 2009.

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US President Barack Obama speaks at a health care meeting in ...

US President Barack Obama speaks at a health care meeting in Grand Junction, Colorado. Obama invoked his personal agony over his late grandmother’s death, in his most emotional defense yet of his difficult health care reform drive.

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President Barack Obama speaks about heath care during a town ...

President Barack Obama speaks about heath care during a town hall meeting at Central High School in Grand Junction, Colo. Saturday, Aug. 15, 2009.

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The audience listen to U.S. President Barack Obama at a town ...

The audience listen to U.S. President Barack Obama at a town hall meeting on healthcare at the Central High School in Grand Junction, Colorado August 15, 2009

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U.S. President Barack Obama holds a town hall meeting on healthcare ...

U.S. President Barack Obama holds a town hall meeting on healthcare at the Central High School in Grand Junction, Colorado August 15, 2009.

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President Barack Obama speaks about heath care during a town ...

President Barack Obama speaks about heath care during a town hall meeting at Central High School in Grand Junction, Colo. Saturday, Aug. 15, 2009.

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US President Barack Obama speaks during a town hall meeting ...

US President Barack Obama speaks during a town hall meeting on health care at Central High School in Grand Junction, Colorado. Obama invoked his personal agony over his late grandmother’s death, in his most emotional defense yet of his difficult health care reform drive.

https://i1.wp.com/www.apples4theteacher.com/images/icons/animated-flag-star.gifhttps://i1.wp.com/www.apples4theteacher.com/images/icons/animated-flag-star.gifhttps://i1.wp.com/www.apples4theteacher.com/images/icons/animated-flag-star.gif

President Barack Obama speaks about heath care during a town ...

President Barack Obama speaks about heath care during a town hall meeting at Central High School in Grand Junction, Colo. Saturday, Aug. 15, 2009

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President Barack Obama speaks about heath care during a town ...

President Barack Obama speaks about heath care during a town hall meeting at Central High School in Grand Junction, Colo. Saturday, Aug. 15, 2009.

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U.S. President Barack Obama shakes hands after holding a town ...

U.S. President Barack Obama shakes hands after holding a town hall meeting on healthcare at the Central High School in Grand Junction, Colorado, August 15, 2009.

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President Barack Obama talks about health care during a town ...

President Barack Obama talks about health care during a town hall meeting in Grand Junction, Colo., Saturday, Aug. 15, 2009.

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President Barack Obama talks about health care during a town ...

President Barack Obama talks about health care during a town hall meeting in Grand Junction, Colo., Saturday, Aug. 15, 2009.

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President Barack Obama speaks about heath care during a town ...

President Barack Obama speaks about heath care during a town hall meeting at Central High School in Grand Junction, Colo. Saturday, Aug. 15, 2009.

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U.S. President Barack Obama holds a town hall meeting on healthcare ...

U.S. President Barack Obama holds a town hall meeting on healthcare at the Central High School in Grand Junction, Colorado, August 15, 2009.

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President Barack Obama talks about health care during a town ...

President Barack Obama talks about health care during a town hall meeting in Grand Junction, Colo., Saturday, Aug. 15, 2009.

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President Barack Obama talks about health care during a town ...

President Barack Obama talks about health care during a town hall meeting in Grand Junction, Colo., Saturday, Aug. 15, 2009.

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President Barack Obama waves during a town hall meeting in Grand ...

President Barack Obama waves during a town hall meeting in Grand Junction, Colo., Saturday, Aug. 15, 2009.

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President Barack Obama talks about health care during a town ...

President Barack Obama talks about health care during a town hall meeting in Grand Junction, Colo., Saturday, Aug. 15, 2009.

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U.S. President Barack Obama holds a town hall meeting on healthcare ...

U.S. President Barack Obama holds a town hall meeting on healthcare at the Central High School in Grand Junction, Colorado August 15, 2009.

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U.S. President Barack Obama holds a town hall meeting on healthcare ...

U.S. President Barack Obama holds a town hall meeting on healthcare at the Central High School in Grand Junction, Colorado August 15, 2009.

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President Barack Obama speaks at a town hall meeting about health ...

President Barack Obama speaks at a town hall meeting about health care at Central High School in Grand Junction, Colo. Saturday, Aug. 15, 2009.

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Dilema Obama Pada Peringatan 8 Tahun Serangan 9/11, Always Remember !

07/09/2009 Komentar dimatikan

amd_obama_portrait

OLEH : MEGA SIMARMATA, Direktur & Pemimpin Redaksi KATAKAMI

Presidential Proclamation National Days Of Prayer & Remembrance 2009

(KATAKAMI 6/9/2009) Always remember ! Ya, itulah sebuah kalimat yang paling pantas digunakan jika berbicara tentang serangan keji 11 September 2001 yang menewaskan ribuan orang. Serangan terorisme yang menelan ribuan korban jiwa dan meluluh-lantakkan sebuah negara adidaya yang sepanjang masa sesungguhnya sangat disegani oleh negara mana saja di dunia ini.

Yang patut diingat dari serangan 9/11 itu, bukan cuma soal kekejaman dari Osama Bin Laden dan konco-konconya. Tetapi yang lebih utama adalah ribuan korban yang diberangus oleh kekejaman terorisme yang tak sungguh berperikemanusiaan.

Ketika serangan itu terjadi, satu-satunya televisi di Indonesia yang menyiarkan secara langsung adalah METRO TV. Semua tersentak. Semua terkejut. Semua bersedih. Semua merasa ikut “tersakiti”.

Dunia mengutuk serangan 9/11 itu !

Bisakah dibayangkan, bagaimana kepanikan dari para korban di detik-detik terakhir hidup mereka saat serangan itu terjadi ? Apalagi yang berada di ketinggian gedung-gedung pencakar langit. Sebagian terjun bebas dari atas karena sudah sangat frustasi. Sebagian mati terbakar karena api yang berkobar begitu ganas. Dan hanya dalam hitungan detik, gedung yang menjulang tinggi itu luluh lantak.

Rata dengan tanah ! Agak sulit diterima oleh akal sehat, jika tragedi 9/11 itu dilupakan. Tidak cuma Amerika, siapapun didunia ini akan mengingat brutalisme serangan yang dirancang dan dilakukan secara destruktif sekali.

 

Tak ada yang bisa dibanggakan dari serangan 9/11 itu.

Apa yang mau dibanggakan Osama Bin Laden dan konco-konconya terkait serangan 9/11 itu  ?

Tidak ada !

Terorisme adalah sebuah kejahatan kemanusiaan yang harus diperangi sampai akhir hayat. Terorisme adalah sebuah kekejaman yang mengangkangi hukum, ham, nilai-nilai kemanusiaan dan universal.

Serangan 9/11 akan menjadi luka yang “abadi” di hati setiap rakyat Amerika.

Itu pasti !

mp_main_wide_CheneyBushRoseGarden

Dan luka itu, tidak cuma menjadi luka di hati mantan presiden George W. Bush, mantan wapres Dick Cheney dan anggota kabinet mereka dulu. Luka atas kekejaman tragedi 9/11 itu adalah luka bagi semua rakyat Amerika dan warga dunia.

Terutama bagi keluarga korban. Mereka pasti akan menangis sedih setiap memperingati tanggal 11 September.

Akan selalu ada airmata, kerinduan dan perihnya mengenang anggota keluarga yang menjadi korban.

Akan selalu ada “rasa missing”, rasa kehilangan yang begitu menyesakkan dada.

Barangkali mereka tidak tahu bahwa anggota keluarga mereka yang menjadi korban keganasan serangan 9/11 di alam baka, juga sangat “merindukan” keluarga dan orang-orang terdekat mereka yang masih hidup didunia ini.

Perpisahan diantara mereka adalah perpisahan yang diciptakan dan dipaksakan oleh kekejaman terorisme yang tak ubahnya merupakan sebuah kebiadaban yang tingkatannya paling tinggi.

 

Kalau mau jujur, ada sisi baik dari Bush ketika serangan 9/11 itu terjadi. Semua melihat, bagaimana Bush secara tulus dan sangat “menyentuh hati” mendatangi lokasi serangan, merangkul setiap keluarga korban dan mengajak rakyat Amerika untuk “bersatu”.

Tetapi yang mungkin dilupakan oleh Bush (dan Cheney) adalah peradaban dunia akan menjadi nihil dan sia-sia jika penegakan hukum dinistakan atau ditiadakan dalam menangani setiap kejahatan dan pelanggaran terhadap nilai-nilai apapun juga di muka bumi ini.

Tidak bisa, jika atas nama dendam dan sakit hati maka WAR ON TERROR di wujukan dengan cara menyiksa siapa saja yang dicurigai menjadi bagian dari jaringan terorisme.

Tidak bisa, jika atas nama komitmen dan tanggung-jawab melindungi bangsa dan rakyat Amerika, maka semua metode kekerasan yang melanggar hukum diperintahkan untuk dilakukan menghajar dan membantai siapa saja yang dicurigai sebagai orang yang menjadi mata rantai jaringan terorisme.

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Delapan tahun peringatan serangan 9/11 tampaknya menjadi DILEMA yang sangat pelik bagi Presiden Barack Hussein Obama.

Langkah apapun yang diambil Obama (demi kebaikan dan penegakan hukum), sekarang sudah menjadi bias dan serba dipolitisir.

Saat Obama melarang semua tindak kekerasan dalam metode interogasi tahanan terorisme di penjara Guantanamo misalnya, langsung dalam sekejap muncul reaksi sinisme dari kubu Bush dan Cheney.

Obama dianggap “sok tahu” oleh kubu Bush dan Cheney karena metode kekerasan dalam proses investigasi kasus terorisme itu justru dianggap sebagai bagian dari upaya melindungi bangsa dan rakyat Amerika !

Oh really ? Ah yang benar ?

Apakah menggunakan metode interogasi WATER BOARDING atau lewat cara bengis menggunakan BOR LISTRIK, adalah bagian dari kecerdasan dan unjuk gigi untuk memamerkan bahwa Bush & Cheney adalah pemimpin dunia yang paling tahu cara menangani terorisme ?

Apakah dengan menginvasi negara lain atas nama WAR ON TERROR atau perang melawan teror, adalah bagian dari realisasi kegeniusan Bush & Cheney ?

Sudahkah duet pasangan pemimpin masa lalu ini menghitung, berapa jumlah prajurit AMERIKA & pasukan multinasional yang mati dalam operasi bersama di negara-negara yang diinvasi atas inisiatif dan perintah dari Bush di era kepemimpinannya ?

Dan coba dihitung berapa jumlah korban di pihak lawan dan terutama korban di pihak sipil tak bersenjata ?

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Jadi untuk apa hukum itu dibuat di muka bumi ini jika ada pemimpin dunia yang enak saja menyiksa, membantai dan menganggap murah nyawa manusia ?

Dendam tak akan pernah menyelesaikan masalah !

Dendam tidak diadopsi dan tidak diatur dalam kitab hukum manapun dimuka bumi ini !

Sekali lagi, hukum yang harus menjadi PANGLIMA di negaranya masing-masing.

Hukum adalah sebuah landasan utama dalam setiap lembaran kehidupan bagi negara manapun didunia ini.

Obama hanya punya waktu 3 bulan lagi untuk menepati janjinya menutup penjara Guantanamo. Presiden AS yang ke-44 ini menghadapi sebuah dilema besar.

Akan mampukah ia menutup penjara sadis itu, di tengah kontroversi yang sangat tajam di negaranya sendiri ?

Kritikan-kritikan yang berbau sinisme dari lawan politik Obama, patutkah dapat diduga bahwa itu adalah strategi tingkat tinggi dari lawan politik Obama untuk menngulur waktu, menunda atau bahkan membatalkan rencana penutupan penjara Guantanamo ?

Tentu ini harus diwaspadai sebagai upaya yang sangat serius dari pihak-pihak yang tidak ingin penjara itu ditutup agar waktu yang akan berlalu ini akan membawa Obama ke dalam sebuah situasi yang tidak memungkinkannya untuk menutup “kamp pembantaian” GITMO.

Yang kini harus dipertanyakan kepada AMERIKA adalah apakah mereka memang secara tulus masih mengingat bagaimana pengorbanan dari seluruh korban serangan 9/11 itu ?

Always remember !

Mengenang serangan 9/11 itu bukanlah dengan cara menciptakan kontroversi yang berkepanjangan dan penuh dengan intrik politik.

Mengenang serangan 9/11 itu bukanlah dengan cara menyodok, memojokkan dan menghantami kepala negara mereka sendiri di hadapan semua warga dunia.

AMERIKA kini menjadi tontonan dunia.

Atas nama persaingan dan dendam politik, cara mereka mengenang serangan 9/11 itu sudah mulai bergeser dari nilai-nilai kemanusiaan yang harusnya mereka lakukan secara tulus.

Apa artinya rasa nasionalisme yang dibangkitkan secara heroik oleh Bush di hari-hari awal — pasca serangan 9/11 pada 8 tahun yang lalu — jika kini mereka bersatu padu menyodok, memojokkan dan menghantami simbol dari bangsa AMERIKA sendiri ?

Always remember !

Kenanglah serangan 9/11 itu secara manusiawi, tulus dan menyentuh hati. Bukan dengan cara yang kasar, kotor dan penuh intrik politik.

Seandainya ada kemauan dan kemampuan untuk mendengar melalui “KESUNYIAN, KESENYAPAN & KEJERNIHAN HATI” dari setiap rakyat Amerika yang kini akan mengenang tragedi 9/11 itu, maka mereka akan dapat mendengar jeritan tangis dan pedihnya kesedihan dari seluruh korban serangan 9/11 itu di alam baka.

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Seandainya saja boleh berandai-andai, barangkali ada diantara korban tewas itu yang sampai saat ini menangis pilu seraya berkata, “We want home, Barack ! We want home !”.

Atau, ada yang menjerit histeris, “Mom, where are you, I miss you !”.

Tapi ini semua hanyalah berandai-andai saja. Dan sebagai umat beriman, doa yang tulus dan tak putus-putusnya harus tetap dikirimkan untuk mereka.

Kenang, kenanglah mereka (seluruh korban serangan 9/11), dengan hati yang tulus !

Kenang, kenanglah mereka (seluruh korban serangan 9/11), dengan doa yang tulus !

BUKAN DENGAN INTRIK POLITIK !

(MS)

President Obama Announces New Initiatives for Retirement Savings

06/09/2009 Komentar dimatikan
Presiden Barack Obama (Foto : Whitehouse.Gov)Presiden Barack Obama (Foto : Whitehouse.Gov)

WASHINGTON (KATAKAMI – WHITEHOUSE.GOV) As we spend time with family and friends this Labor Day weekend, many of us will also be thinking about the state of working America.

Yesterday, we received a report showing that job losses have slowed dramatically compared to just a few months ago.

Earlier in the week, we learned that the manufacturing sector has posted its first gains in eighteen months, and that many of the banks that borrowed money at the height of the financial crisis are now returning it to taxpayers with interest.

These are only the most recent signs that the economy is turning around, though these signs are little comfort to those who’ve experienced the pain of losing a job in the previous month, or in the previous two years of this recession. That’s why it is so important that we remain focused on speeding our economic recovery.

Throughout America today, tens of thousands of recovery projects are underway, repairing our nation’s roads, bridges, ports and waterways; renovating schools; and developing renewable energy.

We’re putting Americans back to work doing to the work America needs done – and mostly in private sector jobs.

But even as we take aggressive steps to put people back to work, it is also important that we keep faith with men and women looking back on a lifetime of labor; hard-working Americans who deserve to know that their efforts have resulted in a secure future, including a secure retirement. For this recession has not only led to the loss of jobs, but also the loss of savings.

The drop in home values, for example, has also meant a drop in the value of the largest single investment most families have. And the decline in the financial markets has led to a decline in the value of 401(k)s and other sources of savings and retirement security.

As a result, over the past two years, the American people have lost about $2 trillion in retirement savings.

This carries a painful toll. I’ve heard from so many who’ve had to put off retirement, or come out of retirement, to make ends meet.

I’ve heard from seniors who worked hard their whole lives but now, in their golden years, are unsure of where to turn to pay the bills, afford the prescriptions, or keep the home in which they raised a family. And having too little in savings not only leaves people financially ill-prepared for retirement, but also for whatever challenges life brings. It places in jeopardy so many dreams, from owning a home to attending college.

The fact is, even before this recession hit, the savings rate was essentially zero, while borrowing had risen and credit card debt had increased. Many were simply struggling to stay afloat as incomes were stagnant – or falling – and jobs were scarce; that’s important to remember. But there were also those who spent beyond their means.

And more broadly, tens of millions of families have been, for a variety of reasons, unable to put away enough money for a secure retirement. Half of America’s workforce doesn’t have access to a retirement plan at work. And fewer than 10 percent of those without workplace retirement plans have one of their own.

We cannot continue on this course. And we certainly cannot go back to an economy based on inflated profits and maxed-out credit cards; the cycles of speculative booms and painful busts; a system that put the interests of the short-term ahead of the needs of long-term. We have to revive this economy and rebuild it stronger than before.

And making sure that folks have the opportunity and incentive to save – for a home or college, for retirement or a rainy day – is essential to that effort. If you work hard and meet your responsibilities, this country is going to honor our collective responsibility to you: to ensure that you can save and secure your retirement. That is why we are announcing several common-sense changes that will help families put away money for the future.

First, we’re going to make it easier for small businesses to do what large businesses do: allow workers to automatically enroll in a 401(k) or an individual retirement account. We know that automatic enrollment has made a big difference in participation rates by making it simpler for workers to save – and that’s why we’re going to expand it to more people.

Second, we’ll make it easier for people to save their federal tax refunds, which 100 million families receive. Today, if you have a retirement account, you can have your refund deposited directly into your account. With this change, we’ll make it easier for those without retirement plans to save their refunds as well. You’ll be able to check a box on your tax return to receive your refund as a savings bond.

Third, we’ll make it possible for employees to put payments for unused vacation and sick days into their retirement plan if they wish. Right now, most workers don’t have that option.

And fourth, the IRS and the Treasury Department are creating a plain-English, easy-to-follow guide, as well as a website, to help folks navigate what are often very complicated waters, especially for workers changing jobs who often are unsure how best to continue saving for retirement. Because the rules ought to be written to encourage people to save – instead of discouraging them.

We’ll also build on these steps by working with Congress. As part of my budget, I’ve proposed ensuring that nearly every American has access to a retirement savings account through his or her job.

This plan would make it possible for workers to automatically enroll in IRAs through payroll contributions. And the budget simplifies and expands a tax credit for millions of families, matching half of a family’s savings up to $1,000 per year and depositing the tax credit directly into a retirement account.

This is a difficult time for our country. But I am confident that we can meet the challenges we face and leave behind something better; that we are ready to take responsibility for our future once again – as individuals and as a nation.

I hope that all of you have the chance to enjoy this Labor Day weekend with family and friends. But my larger hope and expectation is that next Labor Day, the economic storms we’re weathering now will have given way to brighter and more prosperous times.

Thank you.