Archive for January, 2010

From the State of the Union Speech, Excerpts on health care, foreclosure and immigration

Here is the transcript of the sections of the President’s speech dealing with foreclosure, health care and immigration.
Strong support for comprehensive health reform.: “I will not walk away from these Americans, and neither should the people in this chamber…the people expect us to solve some problems, not run for the hills.”


…That’s why we’re working to lift the value of a family’s single largest investment — their home. The steps we took last year to shore up the housing market have allowed millions of Americans to take out new loans and save an average of $1,500 on mortgage payments. This year, we will step up re-financing so that homeowners can move into more affordable mortgages.

Health care Reform

…And it is precisely to relieve the burden on middle-class families that we still need health insurance reform.

Now let’s clear a few things up — I did not choose to tackle this issue to get some legislative victory under my belt. And by now it should be fairly obvious that I didn’t take on health care because it was good politics.

I took on health care because of the stories I’ve heard from Americans with pre-existing conditions whose lives depend on getting coverage; patients who’ve been denied coverage; and families — even those with insurance — who are just one illness away from financial ruin.

After nearly a century of trying, we are closer than ever to bringing more security to the lives of so many Americans. The approach we’ve taken would protect every American from the worst practices of the insurance industry. It would give small businesses and uninsured Americans a chance to choose an affordable health care plan in a competitive market. It would require every insurance plan to cover preventive care. And by the way, I want to acknowledge our first lady, Michelle Obama, who this year is creating a national movement to tackle the epidemic of childhood obesity and make kids healthier.

Our approach would preserve the right of Americans who have insurance to keep their doctor and their plan. It would reduce costs and premiums for millions of families and businesses. And according to the Congressional Budget Office — the independent organization that both parties have cited as the official scorekeeper for Congress — our approach would bring down the deficit by as much as $1 trillion over the next two decades.

Still, this is a complex issue, and the longer it was debated, the more skeptical people became. I take my share of the blame for not explaining it more clearly to the American people. And I know that with all the lobbying and horse-trading, this process left most Americans wondering “what’s in it for me?”

But I also know this problem is not going away. By the time I’m finished speaking tonight, more Americans will have lost their health insurance. Millions will lose it this year. Our deficit will grow. Premiums will go up. Patients will be denied the care they need. Small business owners will continue to drop coverage altogether. I will not walk away from these Americans, and neither should the people in this chamber.

As temperatures cool, I want everyone to take another look at the plan we’ve proposed. There’s a reason why many doctors, nurses and health care experts who know our system best consider this approach a vast improvement over the status quo. But if anyone from either party has a better approach that will bring down premiums, bring down the deficit, cover the uninsured, strengthen Medicare for seniors and stop insurance company abuses, let me know. Here’s what I ask of Congress, though: Do not walk away from reform. Not now. Not when we are so close. Let us find a way to come together and finish the job for the American people.

Now, even as health care reform would reduce our deficit, it’s not enough to dig us out of a massive fiscal hole in which we find ourselves. It’s a challenge that makes all others that much harder to solve, and one that’s been subject to a lot of political posturing.


So no, I will not give up on trying to change the tone of our politics. I know it’s an election year. And after last week, it is clear that campaign fever has come even earlier than usual. But we still need to govern. To Democrats, I would remind you that we still have the largest majority in decades, and the people expect us to solve some problems, not run for the hills. And if the Republican leadership is going to insist that 60 votes in the Senate are required to do any business at all in this town, then the responsibility to govern is now yours as well. Just saying no to everything may be good short-term politics, but it’s not leadership. We were sent here to serve our citizens, not our ambitions. So let’s show the American people that we can do it together. This week, I’ll be addressing a meeting of the House Republicans. And I would like to begin monthly meetings with both the Democratic and Republican leadership. I know you can’t wait.


And we should continue the work of fixing our broken immigration system — to secure our borders, enforce our laws, and ensure that everyone who plays by the rules can contribute to our economy and enrich our nations.

In the end, it is our ideals, our values, that built America — values that allowed us to forge a nation made up of immigrants from every corner of the globe; values that drive our citizens still. Every day, Americans meet their responsibilities to their families and their employers. Time and again, they lend a hand to their neighbors and give back to their country. They take pride in their labor, and are generous in spirit. These aren’t Republican values or Democratic values they’re living by; business values or labor values. They are American values


Congressman Dennis Moore Addresses Health Care Concerns at CCO Action


"I'm hopeful we'll get something passed this year."

Congressman Moore Addresses Health Care Questions

“I’ve told people (that) congress should have done something about this 40 years ago,” said Rep. Moore. “We can’t change what didn’t happen for 40 years, but I’m hopeful we’ll get something passed this year.”

Moore, who is stepping down at the end of his term, said that at this point, there is really no way to tell if health care reform still has any shot of passing this year.

Dave Froelich — WDAF-TV

Faith Groups Press Congress to Stand Up for Families; Health Reform

National Call-in Day Monday to mobilize hundreds of thousands of people of faith

After a week of political twists and turns in Washington, people of faith across the country are stepping up with a massive effort to remind Congress that the urgent need for reform has not abated for suffering families. In the face of uncertainty, they are telling their elected representatives that the millions of Americans who cannot afford health care need leaders to fight for them, not fold.

Numerous religious groups are mounting a national call-in day on Monday, January 25, to tell Congress that we need strong, courageous leadership to ensure that the lives and livelihoods of Americans no longer fall victim to insurance companies’ greed. Partners in this effort to mobilize hundreds of thousands of contacts to Congress include: Faithful America; PICO National Network; Faithful Reform in Health Care; African Methodist Episcopal Church (AME); Sojourners; United Methodist Church, General Board of Church and Society; Gamaliel Foundation; Interfaith Worker Justice; NETWORK – A National Catholic Social Justice Lobby; Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) Washington Office; Union of Reform Judaism; Mennonite Central Committee U.S. Washington Office; United Church of Christ; Jewish Reconstructionist Federation; Islamic Medical Association of North America; and Greater New York Labor-Religion Coalition.

In addition to the these call-ins, the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism is bringing hundreds of high school student advocates for health reform to Capitol Hill for visits with Members of Congress.

“One election half-way across the country has done nothing to change the desperate need of children and families in our community for affordable health care,” says Rev. Rayfield Burns, a PICO leader from Communities Creating Opportunity in Kansas City, MO.

Faith leaders across the country who have worked hard for reform all year are keeping up the fight for desperately needed legislation and demanding that their political leaders do the same. We cannot quit now – there are too many lives at stake.

Contact: Tim Lilienthal, PICO, 413-537-0631 (

January 2010
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