In his last State of the Union address before the election, President Barack Obama spent most of the speech distinguishing himself from the Republican candidates, making only a few remarks on health care.
In Tuesday night’s State of the Union address, President Barack Obama didn’t spend a lot of time on the subject of health care, despite the fact that his health reform bill is being reviewed by the Supreme Court.
In SOTU Obama briefly touched on the promise to rein in the costs of Medicare and Medicaid, as well as a desire to foster innovation in the U.S., such as lab research to find treatments that kill cancer cells, not the health ones. These comments were made about the overall state of research and innovation in the U.S, about supporting start-ups and small businesses.
“Don’t gut these investments in our budget,” Obama said. “Don’t let other countries win the race for the future. Support the same kind of research and innovation that led to the computer chip and the Internet; to new American jobs and new American industries.”
As this was his last SOTU address before he faces voters again in November, Obama was more preoccupied in using the speech to distinguish himself from Republican candidates, calling more attention to the country's economic inequality. He presented a change to the tax code so that those making more than $1 million a year do not pay less than 30% in taxes.
Obama didn't pull any shots at Republicans, who were subdued knowing their own poll numbers are declining and that Americans' view of Congress is so low right now.
Now, you can call this class warfare all you want," he said. "But asking a billionaire to pay at least as much as his secretary in taxes? Most Americans would call that common sense."
There was actually only one remark where Obama r
eferred directly to the controversial health law, under review by the Supreme Court.
“I will not go back to the days when health insurance companies had unchecked power to cancel your policy, deny your coverage, or charge women differently than men,” he said.
The full transcript can be read here.
You can watch the broadcast here.