Thursday, September 10, 2009

Picspam: Last nights Presidental Address to Congress... and a Firecracker Red Pantsuit!

Last night was President Obama's much anticipated speech to Congress on Health Care. Hillary Rodham Clinton was there, in true rockstar fashion, sitting front row sporting a firecracker red pantsuit. The entire text of Obama's address to Congress is here.

Here are a few of my favorite parts:

But we did not come here just to clean up crises. We came here to build a future. So tonight, I return to speak to all of you about an issue that is central to that future -- and that is the issue of health care.

I am not the first President to take up this cause, but I am determined to be the last...

Our collective failure to meet this challenge -- year after year, decade after decade -- has led us to the breaking point. Everyone understands the extraordinary hardships that are placed on the uninsured, who live every day just one accident or illness away from bankruptcy...

We are the only democracy -- the only advanced democracy on Earth -- the only wealthy nation -- that allows such hardship for millions of its people...

In Obama's speech he laid out his plan in a very clear way. He said:
The plan I'm announcing tonight would meet three basic goals. It will provide more security and stability to those who have health insurance. It will provide insurance for those who don't. And it will slow the growth of health care costs for our families, our businesses, and our government...

You can read more details on what the White House has released of the new Health Care Plan here. There isn't much so far but it definitely helps to explain and lay out clearly what the vision is for reform.

Let's not forget the part of the speech that will most likely be remembered for a long time. When North Carolina Representative shouted out, "You lie!" after Obama mentioned that his plan will not protect citizens that are living in the U.S. illegally.

Almost immediately after the speech Wilson released an apology statement. Appearing on ABC's "Good Morning America" this morning, Vice President Joe Biden said the incident made him "embarrassed for the chamber and a Congress I love." Biden also said he hadn't spoken with Obama, but was "sure he accepted the apology."

The President toward the end of his speech brought almost everyone to tears when he stunned everyone by revealing a letter that Ted Kennedy had written to him on May 12, 2009. He wrote about Health Care and the hope he had that THIS is the year it will finally pass. Read the entire letter from Ted Kennedy here or catch a moving excerpt below:

For me, this cause stretched across decades; it has been disappointed, but never finally defeated. It was the cause of my life. And in the past year, the prospect of victory sustained me-and the work of achieving it summoned my energy and determination.

There will be struggles – there always have been – and they are already underway again. But as we moved forward in these months, I learned that you will not yield to calls to retreat - that you will stay with the cause until it is won. I saw your conviction that the time is now and witnessed your unwavering commitment and understanding that health care is a decisive issue for our future prosperity. But you have also reminded all of us that it concerns more than material things; that what we face is above all a moral issue; that at stake are not just the details of policy, but fundamental principles of social justice and the character of our country.

View President Obama's full speech in its entirety below:

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