Follow Barack Obama prior and during his tenure as the 44th President of the United States. Read about my personal observations along with every day facts as they happen. This blog will only submit factual information about the first black President, now in his 2nd term of office.


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President to Sign Final Health Care Legislation - Is the Fight now Over?

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Spring break is a time that lawmakers go home and stay away from their jobs for two weeks, and it began this week. But this year, it's different than any other year. Have you ever heard the saying "It's not over until it's over" ? Well this year the health care debate is far from over, so what is it going to take to finally put the subject to rest. Apparently the signing of the bill last week by President Obama began a sting of lawsuits claiming that forcing people to buy health insurance depending on their income is against the law. But at the present time, no-one can prevent President Obama to sign the final health care legislation into law this week. The lawmakers have now gone home to their respective districts to take the heat or to start putting on the heat by both Republicans and Democratic Senators alike. For the Democrats, they must try and convince their constituents in their districts that the bill the President signed that they are not yet sold on was the right thing to do. On the other hand, for the Republicans, they will tell their constituents that the bill represents a "takeover" of the health care system, and they vow to "repeal and replace" the health care bill. President Obama welcomes the challenge by saying at an Iowa City event last week, "My attitude is - Go for it" So yes, it is not over, but just beginning all over again, as Minnesota Rep. Michele Bachmann last week introduced a bill to repeal the health care legislation, along with other fellow Republicans. She believes that she has the American people on her side, but at this point it time, it doesn't stand much of a chance to knock down the legislation. It would take another long, drawn out process to do so, and I do not think that the American people want to listen, nor do the legislatures have the time to continue the debates as it would take to introduce a fighting chance to repeal the new health care legislation. But the Republicans are going to try anyway, and most likely will use some of their same old antic scare tactics "by telling small business you're not going to get tax credits to pay for insurance, to tell families you now can't keep children on your policy until (they)'re 26, to tell folks that you're now subject to these abuses of the insurance industry" according to a CNN report. In summation, it is true that most Americans disapprove of the new health care reform legislation, but now that it is law, the Republicans may not have the star power to "repeal and replace" the law as they would like. As this draws out longer and longer, the public will most likely tend to go with the new plan, especially as they learn more and more about it.

As the editor of this blog, I feel that I have the duty to not just inform you of what is actually happening, but to be honest to myself in such difficult times by giving you my honest opinion of this whole thing. First, I am happy that the Democrats did pass a bill which should go to Obama's credit, as no past President for the last 100 years has been able to pass health care legislation. But the question is how did the Democrats pass the bill? They certainly did not have any help from the Republicans. It was totally a non-partisan passed bill, although there is language in the bill that many Republicans support. I started this blog approximately 6 months prior to President Obama's election, because his run for President caught my eye as he did with others, and his motto for "change" and "yes we can". Passing the bill may have been just short of a miracle, but then again, was it. Maybe the time was right, when the Democrats controlled both sides of the House, and the President in his sincere desire to pass 'A' health care bill was able to get it done because his party controlled Congress. But now it gets harder. President Obama now has an uphill battle to keep his job for the next election. It is very apparent that his intentions to become President was not the fact that he wanted to go to Camp David every weekend and read books, but to become the boldest President, the most liberal President of all time, to do what he thinks is right, and hopefully to rally support by the people to back him up. So far, he has done most of this except to get most of the nation to back him up. The upcoming months until the midterm elections in November will be most crucial for the President and the Democratic Party, as there is more than a good chance that the Democrats can loose the majority in both the Senate and the House. Many Senator's jobs are on the line, and I can assure you that Spring Break this year will not be a restful time, especially for the Democrats. My hopes are that things will turn for the better for President Obama, people acquire jobs, and the health care legislation proves to be worth the ink it contains. Since it was so hard to get people to buy onto the President's health care plan before it became law, what makes President Obama think that now after he signed it into law a bill that most Americans will finally support it? I am very afraid for the further of this President. To me, he is and will be one of the best Presidents this country has ever had. Surely better than most past Presidents in recent time. But this country is so divided in its beliefs that I hardly doubt any President could satisfy the majority of Americans that are voting today. Time will tell the outcome of this Presidency.


Unannounced Trip to Afghanistan - WHY?

Sunday, March 28, 2010

(CNN) -- President Obama made an unannounced trip to Afghanistan on Sunday.

The president left his Camp David, Maryland, retreat for the trip and flew to Afghanistan on Air Force One, landing at Bagram Air Base at 7:24 p.m. (around 11 a.m. ET).

Obama then flew on a helicopter to the Presidential Palace for a meeting with Afghanistan's president, Hamid Karzai.


What may be his reasons for going, and why a surprise trip?

Afghanistan, which is an Islamic Republic is located in South-Central Asia, and is borderd by Pakistan in the south and east, Iran in the west, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan and Tajikistan in the north, and China in the far northeast. It is definitely a place I would not want to be. But to his dislike, President Obama found himself sending more and more troops to the area, and now is the time for him to come and visit the troops. President Obama decided it was important in this moment of time to meet with the Afghanistan president, Hamid Karzai. Going back to December 2009, president Obama supported the deployment of 30,000 additional U.S. troops to Afghanistan which is a strategy to reverse the Taliban's momentum and stabilize the country's government. In the past, there were imminent threats of overthrowing the government by the Taliban, but recently, "al Qaeda has not re-emerged in Afghanistan in the same numbers as before 9/11, but they retain their safe-havens along the border.
With this said, President Obama plans to start removing troops from Afghanistan by July 2011, and most troops should be back home by the end of President Obama's current term, which ends in January 2013.
By arriving in Afghanistan, President Obama whats to restate his intentions with the U.S. presence in the country.

His 3 main objectives are:

1) Deny al Qaeda a safe haven

2) Reverse the Taliban's momentum and deny it the ability to overthrow Afghanistan's government

3) Strengthen Afghanistan's security forces and government

Sending additional troops is a way to achieve these goals. But Afghanistan has a part in it too. The Afghan government leaders must be held accountable for actions concerning corruption, and do what is necessary to try and save lives, along with help securing its own borders with Pakistan. Since Pakistan is very critical in the war against al Qaeda, mainly because the borders are severely infected with these terrorists, and President Obama no doubt is talking with the Afghan President to work a strategy that works on both sides of the border. Nevertheless, each mission has a deadline, and President Obama only sent the troops because he has a plan, to enter, to execute, and to leave in a timely fashion, as to not put our troops in harms way any longer than needed.

President Obama is in Afghanistan today because he wants to refresh his thinking with President Hamid Karzai.


Reader Comment on Heath Care Bill - THANKS CHRIS

Saturday, March 27, 2010

The following is a comment on the article 'Penalties That Will Exist if you DO NOT CARRY Health Insurance'. Comments that are written with conviction and thought as the one below can and will be published with the writers consent. Not all comments will be published. If you feel you would like to give writing a try, please also send your text to for consideration. Here is the comment written by a reader named Chris.

While this bill (now law) did not have bi-partisan support it did have bi-partisan content. Republicans have some changes that they wanted in it. The President said from the beginning (a year ago) that he welcomed the republican suggestions and the ones who had real suggestions saw those ideas realized. They just couldn't go against the party, could they? While some might feel that the penalties are unconstitutional, I cannot comment on that. I can say that it is not without precedent. Look what has happened with auto insurance. The law requires fines if you are pulled over without it. Where's the unconstitutional outcry over that? Then today you have the republicans trying to put amendments into the bill that prevent sex offenders from getting viagra. Are you serious? How about the cries that medicare will be stripped of its money. Wait, are we talking about a government run health plan? People care about that supposedly. By the way, the only ones that would see a negative change from the law would be people using medicare advantage plans. Most would see added benefits such as yearly physicals and preventative visits without having to pay a copay. While I'm skeptical that the government can find all the money it claims it can I do say that if more people are using health benefits how is that not a bad thing? It provides people with health care and provides more jobs in that sector. That's what we're trying to do anyways, right?


GOP Needs to grow up, get back to work

The Republicans are acting suprised that the Democrats snatched victory from the jaws of defeat by passing health care reform. They are also making statements that show the want for non-bipartisan cooperation by the Republicans. Senator John McCain who normally works with Democrats on certain things, now believes that the Republican party will no longer cooperate with Democrats because of the passage of health care. No that sounds pretty dumb....

Excuse me !!!! John McCain seems to be indicating here that his conservative party cooperated in the recent healh care reform vote. But obviously, not one single Republican voted for the bill. McCain said: "There will be no cooperation for the rest of the year. Senator McCain is suggesting here that his party will now stop any future legislation proposed by Barack Obama and the Democratic Party. Wake up John.... If you recall during this past election on health care reform, not one Republican voted for the bill, and it still passed. How and why? The fate of the bill was left in the hands of Democratic Conservatives, but at the end, the border Democrats sided with their own party, supported them, and the Democats won without 1 single vote by the Republicans in support of the bill.

Now look what's happening with McCain. His running mate in the Presidential election, Sarah Palin, is now supporting John McCain as his bid for re-election begins. The defeatists are supporting each other. Now that's a nice piece of work.


Higher Education to Obtain a Degree Right From Home

Friday, March 26, 2010

President Obama is very concerned about education for the children, but also supports programs for pursing higher education objectives for College bound students. Many students today have the priveledge of attending a well known school, but sometimes the costs of attending such a school are high. There are other ways of advancing your education that supports various degrees and programs. One such program is a website linked to Western Governors University. Like on-campus educations, there are various degrees and programs that students may be interested in. At this specific online, accelerated, and affordable online university known simply as WGU, you can experience an online program with the same benefits of a campus college. Counselors are available that can help you with your decisions in persueing your carreer with any specific online program. If you feel that the cost may be out of reach, there are several ways in which to pay for the courses to advance your education. }
How about an online mba (Online Masters in Business Administration. To succeed with a wonderful career in Business, the degree would be just the thing that would provide the skills in management with in-depth knowledge needed to succeed in business.
The areas of study would be centered around management and stategy, along with providing the skills of leadership and professionalism. The total program would provide 40 Competency Units or credit equivalents.


Why Did Obama Use So Many Pens to Sign the Health Care Bill?

Thursday, March 25, 2010

After more than a year of bitter political debate and seemingly inescapable congressional deadlock, President Obama sat down in the White House East Room on March 23 and signed the 2010 Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act into law with a stroke of his pen. And then another pen. And another. Obama used 22 pens to sign the landmark $938 billion health care bill. It would seem that either the President has an undiagnosed case of OCD or the White House needs better office supplies.

Actually, the President was just adhering to an obscure Washington tradition. The practice of using multiple pens to sign important legislation dates at least as far back as Franklin Roosevelt and is now one of our government's frivolous little quirks, much like that oversize gavel Nancy Pelosi carried around the other day.

The rationale is fairly simple. The pen used to sign historic legislation itself becomes a historical artifact. The more pens a President uses, the more thank-you gifts he can offer to those who helped create that piece of history. The White House often engraves the pens, which are then given as keepsakes to key proponents or supporters of the newly signed legislation. When Lyndon Johnson signed the Civil Rights Act in 1964, he reportedly used more than 75 pens and gave one of the first ones to Martin Luther King Jr. Senators Hubert Humphrey and Everett McKinley Dirksen also received pens for their aid in shuttling the bill through Congress. And in 1996, President Clinton gave the four pens he used to sign the Line-Item Veto bill — which allowed Presidents to veto individual sections of legislation rather than the entire thing — to those most likely to appreciate the bill's impact: Gerald Ford, Jimmy Carter, Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush.

But how does a President even sign his name with so many pens? Does he print it? Does his signature come out looking disconnected and wobbly? What if he runs out of letters? "I've been practicing signing my name slowly," President Obama joked in January 2009 when he signed the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act — for which he used seven pens. President Kennedy had the process figured out: when he needed more letters, he wasted ink by spelling out his middle name and adding a flourish under his signature.

Once they're given away, some pens wind up in museums; others are displayed proudly in recipients' offices or homes. But they sometimes pop up again, like in the 2008 presidential campaign, when John McCain vowed to use the same pen given to him by President Reagan to cut pork from the federal budget.

Not every President goes for the multipen signature, however. President George W. Bush preferred signing bills with only one pen and then offering several unused "gift" pens as souvenirs. Even a piece of legislation as famous as the Homeland Security Act got only one line of ink. When it was over, the President is rumored to have pocketed it.


Online Formal training on Information Technology Data Security

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Information technology in todays world is the medium that we use to communicate with each other. Information technology (IT) is "the study, design, development, implementation, support or management of computer-based information systems, particularly software applications and computer hardware." IT deals with the use of electronic computers and computer software to convert, store, protect, process, transmit, and securely retrieve information.
Some information can be delicate in nature, and needs to be protected from people who could and would use the information to harm others. The United States government headed by President Barack Obama are taking steps to secure sensitive classified and non-classified information from getting into the wrong hands. There are many methods in developing the proper skills required to be successful in protecting sensitive information. But at one specific place called, you can obtain an information security masters degree which would give you all the proper experience needed to protect data. There are two different ways to approach the method to attain your skill to protect information, maily manigerial or technical concentration. Places like help you to learn what it takes to make data secure. All this information can be optained online in a very easy to use website with online courses to help you again your goals.
When you take courses like this, you can attain positions that you may know, but do not know how to attain, such as a Database Administrator, Network Systems or Data Communications Analysist, Information Systems Manger, Web Adminstrator, or even manager of Global IT Security. The online programs are CNSS Certifed (Committee on National Security Systems, so there should be no doublt that practiced training standards at this school are at a very high level.


Emotions on Health Care and Jobs a Major Concern

Emotions centering around the health care debate are very high, and is the number one concern amongst people today, at least for now. Since the new health care reform laws will now take effect, there are other issues facing the country that are just as important as health care, and the one at the very top are 'JOBS'. People want to be able to afford health care. They do not want to be the few who cannot afford it, thinking that they might have to take a handout from the Federal Government. People want to work, as they want the best for their families, and in this moment of time, just want to survive. The economic situation in this country has effectively put this country back 15 years in time, and has contributed the the highest fiscal deficit in American History of all time. Still, for the main part, it was necessary. Opponents say that most people are capable of tending for themselves, and do not need help from the Federal government. These people must be dreaming. How can you help yourself if you don't have a job, or if you have a pre-existing medical condition that would prevent you from being able to afford or attain health insurance. People across the isle must be dreaming. Like manna from heaven, the conservative believers in this country just think that they can fend for themselves from nothing.
Actually, I truly believe that even the conservatives believe that they need help, that is the affluent members of the Conservative party. They display a form of tunnel vision, only seeing what is best for themselves, and they attempt to portray that what is best for them is definitely what is best for the entire country.
Now ask a poor person, or even a person from the middle class these days. They don't see things the way conservatives do. People that try and survive on food stamps do not look at the world from a conservative standpoint. How would they survive if they didn't have government help?
Scuffling over a bill that could help all individual citizens in this country is almost a crime. But it is a crime that you can get away with. But what bothers me is that some people can outwardly display their conservative beliefs, even though it is pure and simple that they are the only ones that would benefit from their actions and not be concerned about anyone else.


Penalties That Will Exist if you DO NOT CARRY Health Insurance

Many people who are skeptical of the new heath care reform law mainly because a question exists that what if you do not get yourself covered by health insurance.
Actually, having to get health insurance is supposed to be an incentive, but may people all across the land feel that they are being forced to buy it, and they believe that it is against the law. Presently, over a dozen states now have filed suit against the Federal Government stating that the new law is actually not constitutional. It is not unheard of that a law has been appealed that was put in force by Congress, but such an overturn here would absolutely be ridicules. Apparently, those who express their fears having to buy this insurance may not understand the details, or they absolutely refuse to understand simply because they are 'on the other side' of the isle', meaning they are from the 'Conservative' platform.
So here is an outline of the penalties for not having health insurance.
By 2014, that would be the year such a penalty could affect someone for not having health insurance. You would be penalized $95 or 1 percent of your income, or the greater amount, as long as this amount does not exceed the price tag of a basic health plan.
That doesn't sound too bad, but still it is a penalty that you can incur if you do not buy something. The penalty is increased just two years later in 2016, when the amount jumps to $695 for an uninsured adult, and can cost up to $2,085 per household, or 2.5 % of your income, whichever is greater.
As an example, what if your family income was just $50,000 and you did not have health insurance. You would be fined the maximum of $2,085 per household.
Some people look at this as an incentive, but others look at it as a law that the Federal Government cannot possibly enforce.
As a totally non-bipartisan effort as not one single Republican supporter from the Senate or the House, another bill has been introduced that contains changes so that the new law could get enough support in the House to pass the measure. As expected, the Republicans have promised to do whatever it takes to do undermine the law as it now stands for health insurance. There has never been such a non-partisan uprising for such a very long time in Congress. It is hard to determine if President Obama can ever bring to two parties together to vote on anything. Up to this point, maybe there wasn't enough effort, but even if there was, I still believe that it still wouldn't be enough to bring the parties together to work together on any bill. Another unfortunate circumstance certain to show its ugly head would be the fate of the midterm elections this year. Many seats will exchange hands, and my hope would be that the Democrats would keep control over the House and Senate, because unless they do, future Obama political decisions stand may not turn out in his favor. It is truly unfortunate that the members of the House and Senate hasn't learned by now to work together, instead of being so polar against each other. It is also the opinion of this editor that the Democrats have strained their hands in future political decisions that will need to be made and future attempts for bi-partisanship will be unlikely.
As an outsider, I have watched both parties desperately attempt to destroy each other, while false criticisms and incorrect facts that make both parties guilty of failing to do what it takes to promote bi-partisanship for the betterment of the nation. Still, most people have different opinions and beliefs, as that fact is undeniable and in this country, you are not condemned for displaying them.


Obama signs health care bill; Senate takes up House changes

Washington (CNN) -- President Obama signed sweeping health care reform legislation into law Tuesday, hailing the moment as the latest example of America facing up to major challenges for the benefit of all its people.

The bill constitutes the biggest expansion of federal health care guarantees in more than four decades, and its enactment was a giant victory for Obama and Democrats after a brutal legislative battle dating back to the start of his presidency.

No Republicans supported the bill in either the House or Senate, and Democratic leaders needed a separate bill that calls for changes in the new law in order to get enough support in the House to pass the measure.

The Senate started debate on the accompanying House bill later Tuesday, with Republican opponents promising to use every possible parliamentary tool or technique to undermine it.

Obama and Democratic leaders celebrated the new law at the White House signing ceremony, with a crowd packing the East Room repeatedly standing to applaud and cheer the president.

"It's been easy at times to doubt our ability to do such a big thing, such a complicated thing, to wonder if there are limits to what we as a people can still achieve," Obama said.

"We are not a nation that scales back its aspirations," he continued. "We are not a nation that falls prey to doubt or mistrust. We don't fall prey to fear."

Rather, "we are a nation that does what is hard, what is necessary, what is right," Obama said. In the end, he said, the bill delivered the "core principle that everybody should have some basic security when it comes to their health care."

Among those on hand for the signing ceremony was Vicki Kennedy, the widow of Sen. Edward Kennedy of Massachusetts, who championed health care reform for decades before his death last year.

Also present were several people who wrote Obama in the past year about their personal woes over losing or being unable to get health insurance. Obama had told their stories when campaigning for the health care bill in recent months.

Among the private citizens attending Tuesday's ceremony were 11-year-old Marcelas Owens of Washington state and Ryan Smith, a small-business owner from California.

And Obama said, "I'm signing this reform bill into law on behalf of my mother, who argued with insurance companies even as she battled cancer in her final days."

Watch what Obama has to say about his mother and others Video

Democratic senators and representatives filled the crowd, and all stood to cheer and applaud after Obama used 22 pens to sign the bill.

Republicans and social conservatives are vowing to try to repeal the law or have it declared unconstitutional. Attorneys general from 13 states filed a lawsuit Tuesday against the measure, claiming its mandate for people to purchase coverage and the costs it forces states to assume violate the Constitution.

Twelve of the 13 attorneys general filing the lawsuit are Republican. A separate lawsuit filed by the Republican attorney general of Virginia makes a similar claim.

Watch what Florida's attorney general has to say Video

Obama's comments at the signing ceremony and a later appearance before staff and supporters at the Department of the Interior focused on the immediate benefits of the new health care law.

The president emphasized that this year, some 4 million small-business owners will be able to get tax credits to help cover the cost of providing health insurance to their employees, while insurance companies will no longer be able to deny coverage for children because of pre-existing medical conditions.

Insurance companies also will no longer be allowed to drop people from coverage when they get sick, or to place lifetime or annual limits on the amount of health care people receive, Obama said.

In addition, he warned senior citizens to ignore claims by Republicans that the new law will reduce Medicare benefits.

Obama will hit the road to sell the measure to a still-skeptical public, giving a speech Thursday in Iowa City, Iowa, where he launched his grass-roots drive for health care reform in May 2007, according to White House press secretary Robert Gibbs.

iReport: What will health care reform mean to you?

Passage of the bill was a huge boost for Obama, who made health care reform a top domestic priority of his presidency.

"I haven't seen the president so happy about anything other than his family since I've known him," senior adviser David Axelrod told CNN on Monday, adding that Obama's jubilation when the bill passed exceeded his election victory in November 2008. "He was excited that night, but not like last night."

Senior Republicans in Congress warned that voters will judge Democrats harshly in November's mid-term elections, with Sen. John McCain of Arizona saying the Democratic-passed bill killed any chance of bipartisan support on legislation for the rest of the year.

"There will be no cooperation for the rest of this year," McCain said in an interview Monday with KFYI radio in Arizona. "They have poisoned the well in what they have done and how they have done it."

Gibbs, however, said the administration expects to win any lawsuits filed against the bill, and he challenged McCain and other Republicans to campaign for the November election against the benefits of the health care bill.

The overall $940 billion plan is projected to extend insurance coverage to roughly 32 million additional Americans.

The compromise package would expand insurance subsidies for middle- and lower-income families, and scale back the bill's taxes on expensive insurance plans.

iReport: Share your views on health care reform

Observers warn, however, that the road ahead for health care reform in the Senate may be rocky. Democratic leaders are using a legislative maneuver called reconciliation, which will allow the compromise plan to clear the Senate with a simple majority of 51 votes. But according to Senate rules, members are still allowed to offer unlimited amendments and challenges.

In one of the first of many attempts Republicans say they will make to try to amend or kill the package, GOP aides went to Senate Parliamentarian Alan Frumin on Monday to argue that the compromise bill violates rules of the reconciliation process because of the way it affects Social Security. For that reason, GOP aides said they argued, the bill should not even be allowed to be debated.

However, Frumin, according to a senior Republican and a Democratic aide, informed both parties he disagreed with the GOP assessment, and would not block the bill from reaching the Senate floor.

House Democrats unhappy with the Senate bill have been continually reassured that the compromise package will be approved by the more conservative Senate.

So far, two of the 59 senators in the Democratic caucus -- Ben Nelson of Nebraska and Blanche Lincoln of Arkansas -- have said they will oppose the compromise package.


"Baby Killer" yelped out by Rep. Randy Neugebauer

Monday, March 22, 2010

So now we know. The Republican House member that yelled out when Rep. Bart Stupak was speaking was Texas Rep. Randy Neugebauer. He admits to have yelled out the words "baby killer" but he also claimed that two other words preceded it. So he claims that the statement that was yelped out was "It's a baby killer." Now this may be true, as there were several Senators mumbling over what has just happened, when the Health Reform bill was passed, and most of the Republican Senators were mumbling in disbelief.


So yes, there may have been the chance that Neugebauer said "Its a baby killer", instead of intentionally calling Mr. Stupak a "baby killer". It was not the time to yelp out such irresponsible comments by someone in the Senate Chamber. Now, Mr. Randy Neugebauer will forever be known as the person who yelled out "baby killer" during one of the most important sessions by that executive body of all time. He will be noted in history as having said it. He has already formally apologized to Rep. Bart Stupak, and one can only guess what other motives he had for doing it. On such a stage, and such a historical time in America,this man decided to utter out the works. How irresponsible, how embarrassing, and how uneasy he must have made it for his fellow Republican Senators. Nevertheless, his name will be written in the history books.
Actually, what had actually happened was that Randy Neugebauer was just openly stating the feelings of not just his beliefs, but of his fellow Republican Senators. They were desperately trying to do whatever it took to kill the bill, and even tried to keep the bill from President Obamas desk, but the refuted motion after the health care bill was also killed.
In another desperate move, 10 different states are now entering a suit over the health care bill, saying that it is unconstitutional. Yes, the Republicans are throwing out all of the stops to kill it, but its like the mouse trying to chase the cat. They will never succeed. This will be another future story on its own.




James --

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.

Thank you,


Criticism of the Health Care Bill

A historic bill that has been argued over the past 100 years has been passed, but some people, especially those from the conservative side of the ranks, are against the health care reform bill. This became very evident as the bill passed in a completely non-partisan measure. No Republicans voted for the bill and 36 Democrats voted against it, but still it will now be the law of the land. The Senate amendment will be debated for a long time to come.

Another fact that seems to hold is that most Americans are not on-board with the health care reform bill as passed. The Republicans will use this fact in an attempt to regain control of Congress in November.

What do you think of the Health Care Reform Bill as it stands now? Do you feel comfortable that health care will improve?

If you make lots of money, say $250,000 each year, are you willing to now pay at least $4000 in Medicare taxes?

Who actually would have lost more if the health care bill did not pass? The poor or the rich!!

If you feel you would like to state your opinion on these issues, and would like to make your comments public, feel free to write an article of your own, and I will publish them, whether pro or con for health care. Well thought out articles will be published here with permission to do so. Everyone has the right to comment on health care. It affects everyone. 



How the Health Care Bill Could Affect You

Now that health care reform is finally done, what is actually going to happen and when?

To start, Americans will now see some immediate changes. But other changes, including mandated coverage for all U.S. residents, wouldn't take effect until several years later.

The following information have been reported on CNN by Danielle Dellorto, Ed Hornick and Alan Silverleib.

What would happen right away.

1) NO MORE ANNUAL OR LIFETIME CAPS - If you by a policy, a health care company will not be able to place a lifetime -- or annual -- cap on how much it will cover. This would be especially important for those diagnosed with serious illnesses, such as cancer, who face steep medical bills.

2) HELP FOR THE UNINSURED WITH PRE-EXISTING CONDITIONS - There would be $5 billion set aside to provide temporary coverage to uninsured Americans with pre-existing conditions. The money would help those people until the new health care exchanges are put into effect in 2014.

3) COVERAGE FOR OLDER CHILDREN - Insurers would be required to provide coverage options for non-dependent children up to age 26. This would help recent graduates as well as young adults who are between jobs and uninsured.

4) DRUG DISCOUNT FOR SENIORS - Americans who fall into the Medicare Part D Drug Benefit coverage gap, also known as the "doughnut hole," would receive $250 to help pay for prescriptions. The coverage gap would be expected to narrow in 2011 as drug manufacturers discount brand-name drugs by 50 percent, and it would be expected to close in 2020 as all drugs are discounted by 75 percent.


1) HEALTH INSURANCES EXCHANGES - Health insurance exchanges would be created to make it easier for small businesses, the self-employed and the unemployed to pool resources and buy less expensive coverage.

Once the exchanges open, insurers will no longer be able to turn away people with pre-existing conditions or change them more.

2) MANDATED COVERAGE - Individuals would be required to buy coverage in 2014 or face a fine of $95 or 1 percent of income, whichever is greater. This fine would increase in 2015 to $325 or 2 percent of income, and in 2016 it would rise to $695 or 2.5 percent of income.

The Plan, however, includes a hardship exemption for poorer Americans, and subsidies would be provided to families of four making up to $88,000 annually, or 400 percent of the federal poverty level.

3) MEDICAID EXPANSION - Medicaid would be expanded to include more Americans, including childless adults living near poverty.

4) TAX BREAK FOR FAMILIES - Tax credits would be provided to families to help offset the costs of health care premiums. The amount of tax credits would be bases on annual household income.
What does the overhaul in health care affect premiums on health insurance?
1) If you acquire your insurnace through your job, your premiums will stay the same.
2) If you buy insurance on your own and make over 88K or more, your insurance costs will go up.
3) If you make less than $88,000 or less, and you buy it on your own, your premiums will go down.
4) Community health centers will be created and at least 20 million more people will be able to see a doctor right away, a far cry that presently exists where people have to wait up to a week to see a doctor. 
By 2014, you will be required to buy health insurance or take a penalty.

 By 2014, 95 percent of the people in America will have health insurance.



Sunday, March 21, 2010

President Obama is expected to sign the new health care reform bill on Tuesday March 23, 2010 that was just passed by Congress today. In a most crucial vote, the bill squeaked by with a 219 to 212 vote. This now means that eventually at least 32 million more people will now be able to attain health insurance. No longer will insurance companies be able to deny coverages because of pre-existing conditions. That's just the tip of the iceberg in the landmark bill that most likely will define the Presidency of Barack Obama. Most presidents before him, including Bush and Clinton, tried to come up with a plan to change health care, but it looks like President Obama finally got it done. Even with the win, there was extreme opposition from the Republican party and moderate wing Democrats, but the Democrats finally did swing back to favor the bill. Now, only time will tell how this bill actually affects the people, and how much the passage of this bill will play in the future win or defeat in re-election of President Obama in 2012. Future reactions of people regarding this bill passage will be published as soon as it is known.

Right after the vote, the Republicans introduced a motion to kill the health care bill by sending it back to committee. As expected, the bill failed to a vote of 225 to 196, which means that President Obama will be able to sign the bill into law as soon as possible.  In a dramatic ending, one Republican yelled out at Congressman Bart Stupak, "BABY KILLER", which was totally out of line in a form of disrespect for his colleagues. A complete update as to the Congressman that shouted out the slur against Congressman Bart Stupak will be highlighted in another article.

The final vote of the night was for the Reconciliation bill which passed by a vote of 217 to 205 to go back to the Senate which would be the introduced fixes to the health care reform bill. Now, only a simple majority will be needed by the Senate. 
The final activity of the night concerning Health Care reform is a speech given by President Obama after his long 13 month fight to get health care reform passed. He will be speaking to the media in the East Room of the White House.


House nears the Historical Vote - Very likely that Obama may sign bill into law within the next 24 hours

It appears that shortly the Health Care Reform bill will become law. The Health Care bill was passed in the Senate last December, and now the House is set to take an historic vote that most likely will pass through the House.  Many people are still wondering whether or not if the Democrats still have the votes to pull it through. Up until the final vote, Democrats continue to try and round up the 216 necessary votes to pass the bill in the House. The Chairman of the House Democratic Caucus, Rep. John Larson, told CNN that "We've got the votes."
With all this said, the Democrats confirm that they actually don't have 216 solid votes, but with a little work, the Democrats can see that they will have the necessary vote count. As of last count, 33 Democrats are determined to vote against the bill. To actually kill the bill, there must be at least 38 Democrats against it, and so it looks like there is a pad of about 5 Democrats now that should push the bill through.
Since Democrats control Congress, it is highly unlikely now that the opposition party can stop the bill. Also, there is a package of changes that is being considered, even if the bill passes as it stands. That means that in a few days there may be another vote, if the package proposition passes tonight, which would mean another vote in the Senate.
There is allot of manipulation going on amongst the Senators on both the Republican and Democratic sides of Congress. Members seem to be positioning themselves to face their constituents after the vote. Whether they individually vote 'yea' or 'neah' can mean allot in their future as the Senator representing their district.
It is obvious that some of the Senators are voting the way they are because they are worried about their jobs, but others are voting because they are doing what they believe is right. After the vote this evening, there will be a sigh of relieve amongst the Democrats, including President Obama, as now he will have been successful in passing one of the largest legislation's since Medicare or Social Security. This is definitely major, but the fact of the matter is that most of the people without health care or people that cannot afford health care now will not be able to benefit from the new health care reform right away. It may take as long as 2013 or 2014 before a total of approximately 32 million people can acquire the necessary health care that they need. This will be when the workshops take effect.
The next thing that must happen will be that the economy needs to rebound, and rebound quickly. The outcome of jobs can and will directly effect the mid term elections in November, and there is a good chance that several key Democratic seats may be lost, and likewise, if the job market dramatically increases by then, there may be a big jump on Democratic Senators in November.


elixirdelamorydelavida - FOLLOWER #200

Congratulations to elixirdelamorydelavida for being the 200th follower of the 'Obama in the White House' blog. It's taken a few years to break that milestone, but I wanted to outwardly thank this reader and supporter of the blog for believing in the cause and reasons why this blog exists today. I am especially honored that this reader became a follower on a most historic day in American history, when there will finally be a FINAL vote on Health Care Reform. 

AGAIN, THANK YOU  elixirdelamorydelavida, for becoming a FOLLOWER. I hope that others soon join and become followers of  the 'Obama in the White House' blog.


Health-care vote may hinge on abortion issues

216 votes needed to pass; cliffhanger expected on Sunday

Understanding the health care overhaul

If enacted, the reconciliation bill combined with the Senate-passed bill would:

-Spend $794 billion on expanding insurance coverage

-Expand Medicaid coverage to 16 million additional people

-Provide coverage through an insurance exchange to 24 million people

-Reduce the number of uninsured by 32 million people

By Lori Montgomery and Paul Kane

House leaders decided Saturday to stage a vote on the Senate's health-care bill, dropping a much-criticized strategy of allowing lawmakers to "deem" the landmark legislation into law. But the outcome of that vote remained in doubt as a pivotal bloc of Democrats continued to withhold its support over fears that the bill would open the door to the federal funding of abortion.

House leaders were working to secure their votes late Saturday with the promise of an executive order affirming President Obama's commitment to a longstanding ban on public abortion funding except in cases of rape or incest, or to save the life of the mother. Rep. Marcy Kaptur (D-Ohio), a key antiabortion vote, said she thought the document would be insufficient to bring the entire group of about 10 antiabortion Democrats onboard.

Senior Democrats predicted a cliffhanger when the House is expected to vote Sunday night, saying they are likely to clear the 216-vote threshold for final passage by the narrowest of margins. Democratic leaders huddled in the office of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) late into the evening, reviewing the final list of commitments.
Throughout the day, thousands of angry protesters milled outside the Capitol; some hurled insults at black and gay lawmakers and shouted at Democrats to "kill the bill!" Meanwhile, Obama made a final pitch for reform, exhorting wavering lawmakers to rise to the aid of millions of uninsured Americans by taking "the single most important step that we have taken on health care since Medicare" was created in 1965.

Pelosi's decision to have the House hold two votes, one on the Senate bill and one on a separate package of revisions, reversed an apparent plan laid earlier in the week, when Pelosi said she preferred not to force rank-and-file Democrats to cast a separate vote on the unpopular Senate bill. Republicans had accused her of trying to dodge responsibility for health reform, and even some Democrats complained about the move.

On Saturday, House Minority Leader John A. Boehner (R-Ohio) hailed Pelosi's decision as "a victory for the American people." He vowed to force Democrats to stand up, one by one, to announce their vote for the Senate bill, which contains a number of politically fraught provisions, including a special deal for Sen. Ben Nelson (D-Neb.) that would require taxpayers nationally to pay for an expansion of Medicaid in his state.
"Now House Democrats will face two crucial votes tomorrow," Boehner said in a statement. "They will have to vote on the Senate-passed bill, stuffed with tax hikes, Medicare cuts, and infamous backroom deals -- and they will vote on something worse: their 'fix' with more taxes, more Medicare cuts, and new special deals."
For the first time since Wednesday, Democrats lost a vote. Rep. Zack Space, a second-term lawmaker from a swing district in eastern Ohio, said he would vote "no" Sunday, a switch from his vote for health care in November.

"This is not over," Boehner told reporters. "They do not have the votes yet. We've got to keep working to make sure that they never, ever, ever, ever get the votes to pass this bill."
House passage would immediately send the slightly narrower Senate version of the health bill to the White House for Obama's signature, allowing the president to claim victory on his most important domestic initiative. The package of revisions would go to the Senate for action next week under special rules that protect it from a GOP filibuster. On Saturday, Senate Majority Leader Harry M. Reid (D-Nev.) publicly assured House Democrats that he has the votes to approve their changes, making "a good law even better."
In a fiery closing argument for health reform, Obama urged lawmakers to focus not on the impact to his presidency or even the impact to their own political fortunes when they cast what he acknowledged will be a "tough vote." Instead, Obama reminded them of the nation's 100-year quest for universal health coverage, and told them to vote against the bill only if "you honestly believe in your heart of hearts" that it is not a "vast improvement over the status quo."

"This is a middle-of-the-road bill that is designed to help the American people in an area of their lives where they urgently need help," Obama told Democrats in the underground Capitol Visitor Center. "We have been debating health care for decades. . . . It is in your hands. It is time to pass health care, and I am confident you are going to do it tomorrow."


Democrats Kill 'Deem and Pass' - Obama makes final plea before vote

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Below you will see President Obama speak on Capitol Hill today in his last attempt to get a 'yes' vote on his most important piece of legislation to date called Health Care Reform. The Democratic leaders have decided to abandon the idea as to bypass a direct vote on the Senate bill.  President Obama pleaded with Democrats to "Let's get this done."
President Obama believes strongly that the present health care system doesn't work for ordinary families, especially for the ones without work, or the ones with pre-existing illnesses. Obama mentioned to the Senators on Capitol Hill today, "If you agree that the system is not working for ordinary families, if you've heard the same stories that I've heard everywhere, all across the country, then help us fix the system."
As much as President Obama knows how much this vote can effect his ability to push future legislation forward, he says  "Don't do it for me. Don't do it for Nancy Pelosi or Harry Reid," he said. "Do it for all those people out there who are struggling."
Obama's speech came just hours after Democratic leaders decided to abandon the controversial legislative mechanism know as "deem and pass" to avoid a direct vote on the health care legislation. They will now hold an up-or-down vote on the $875 billion reform plan that the Senate has already passed.


Who is Truly the BAD GUY, President Obama, or President Bush

Well finally it will not be long before the vote this weekend on health care reform. President Obama seems pretty disgusted at all his opponents lies and distortions of the truth when it comes to his plea on health care reform. President Obama is made out to be the bad guy. But what has the bad guy done? Does a bad guy win the Nobel Peace Prize, especially in only his first year in office? Does the bad guy travel all over the world in an attempt to spread peace to other nations and speaks as honest from his heart as any political persuader in any modern time? Does this so called bad guy deserve all of the negative critisism that his opponents have been spreading. On conservative radio all over the nation, President Obama is perceived to be one of the worst Presidents of all time. Where were these conservatives during the prior Presidency of George Bush. You didn't hear too much from the critics because they were too busy trying to hide from the outrageous works of their dear President Bush. These conservatives have the gull to compare their President to President Obama. Now that is an outrage.

Now lets compare just a little. Did President Bush put his Presidency on the line with his decision making here at home? Not really, because he was too busy putting our troops, our sons and daughters in harms way, to try and rebuild a country on the other side of the world. To be fair, he was dealt a bad hand right from the start in his presidency when September 11, 2001 became reality. Unfortunately, he took the war on terrorism right in the homes of Americans all over our great nation, by taking sons and daughters from their loved ones and putting them in harms way. Now, who's fault is that? Is it Osama bin Laden's or President Obama's fault? Absolutely not. It was the inept decision of a President who was ill-advised from his advisors and then started a war that he could not control. The American deaths in Iraq and Afghanistan are staggering, and who actually started the war?  The one and only President  George Bush.

He then left office, and left the burden in the hands of the next President, President Obama. So now it's President Obama's fault. Again not true, but President Obama will own up to his decisions that he makes in office as the Commander and Chief of the United States.

President Obama attempts to eliminate Guantanamo Bay Cuba jails, and he gets highly criticised for it.

President Obama attempts to lower health care costs to Americans and to provide health care to people who cannot afford it, and even devises a plan to provide insurance to people who do not even have a job. He put his job on the line by doing the right thing.

President Obama devises a plan to bring all Americans back to work. Now does that sound like the workings of a bad guy. Nevertheless, he will be known as the President who spent more money than any other President. Now stop and think about this for a moment. Did President Bush spend his time trying to devise a plan to help people acquire more jobs and better health care? Absolutely not. So what did President Bush do? The fact is that he spent lots of money on war causes, not benefiting anyone at home. President Bush used his own form of terrorism to defeat terrorism and to think that he is actually getting away with it.
Did President Obama really have a choice here to continue with the war that President Bush started? Actually he did not, and he recognized the needs of the people and has done more for the American people than the prior President George Bush did accomplish in his 8 years in office. He also very reluctantly had to send more troops now to Afghanistan in an attempt to defeat terrorism in that country, a place that hides the one and only Osama bin Laden. Why didn't President Bush concentrate his efforts in finding Osama bin Laden, since he wanted so much to defeat terrorism? I don't think anyone knows the answer to that question.

President Obama has only been in office less than 2 years. That means that he has a minimum of 2years to go. Will he survive re-election in 2012? Actually, I believe that this issue is the farthest from his mind. His main concentration during his tenure so far has been about jobs and health care. Hopefully by then, the economic recovery will truly take hold and the American people will recognize that what he had to do and has done was necessary and they may re-elect him.

Because of President Obama, the American people will gain jobs, and will have better health care. If President Bush only succeeds in these two issues, in my eyes, he will have been a much more successful President then his predecessor George Bush. Even if he doesn't get re-elected in 2012, at least President Obama can hang his head up high and reflect on what he has accomplished, and how much better off the American people are because of him. What can Pesident Bush reflect on?
So as the saying goes, 'comparing apples to oranges', who actually is the better President? Then you can determine who should be considered the bad guy.


Dirty Politics? Maybe not

Saturday, March 13, 2010

For the longest time now, the Democratic party led by President Obama have been feverishly working to get a campaign promise, to pass a Health Care bill that will help protect the American people from high medical costs, along with providing insurance to people who cannot afford insurance for their families as it stands now. Lately, things haven't been going in the best interests of the Democrats, starting with a Republican Senator in Massachusetts, and loosing filibuster power in Congress.
But now if Democrats play their cards right, there seems to still be enough light in the tunnel to get a Health Care Bill passed by using a method called 'reconciliation', that's if the House acts to approve the Senate Bill by March 18th, 2010. What does that mean? Basically, all that would be needed to get the bill passed through the Senate would be only a simple majority of 51 votes instead of 60.

Is this the right thing to do? Of course Republicans are in total disagreement of it, as they are on record to go against everything and anything that would help the health care bill pass. It may be a sneaky measure, but the President of the United States is willing to put his job on the line, and in the end, it may be considered very smart politics.

In such a short time in office, President Obama has already defined his Presidency. A future article to explain this will be forthcoming soon.


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