Washington (CNN) - Michelle Obama expressed confidence Tuesday that Congress will enact some sort of change to improve the nation's health care system.
"We don't have a choice," the first lady told CNN's Larry King in an interview that aired Tuesday night. "When we look at these statistics, we're spending billions of dollars on preventable diseases, and new health care legislation could go a long way to improving prevention, first and foremost."
She addressed the need for people to have access to specialists such as pediatricians who can gather critical information and track it.
"So we have to get this done and I'm hopeful that Congress will come together, that the American people will recognize that doing nothing is absolutely not an option."
Washington (CNN) – Civil rights songs were the soundtrack of the movement that helped bring President Obama to the White House. On Tuesday, Obama welcomed an array of artists to celebrate those songs.
An all-star lineup including Bob Dylan, Joan Baez, Natalie Cole, Smokey Robinson, the Blind Boys of Alabama, John Mellencamp, gospel singer Yolanda Adams and others performed some of the best-known numbers from what Obama called the "soundtrack" of the civil rights movement.
The concert, "In Performance at the White House: A Celebration of Music from the Civil Rights Movement," was originally scheduled for Wednesday night but was moved to Tuesday as another snow storm moved into the Washington area. According to the White House Web site, the concert marked the beginning of the 2010 White House music series and celebrated Black History month.
Black leaders such as Martin Luther King Jr. decided on communities to organize when they saw the people were "disciplined and serious enough to be singing freedom songs," Obama said.
"I try not to make or set opinions about people I haven't had any substantive interaction with," Michelle Obama said in an interview scheduled to air on CNN's Larry King Live. "I mean, I know what you see on TV."
Asked later if she considered the 2008 vice presidential nominee to be a "phenomenon," the first lady again withheld criticizing Palin.
"Again, I mean, I think it's wonderful to have strong, female voices out there, but I don't know her," Obama said.
With her keynote address at last week's Tea Party convention, Palin has continued a pattern of hard-hitting critiques of President Obama that began on the campaign trail in 2008.
The first lady did defend her husband's record after a year in the Oval Office. "Democracy is about critique and the president is not immune to criticism," she said.
Washington (CNN) – New York Gov. David Paterson vowed Tuesday that he would not allow unfounded rumors to drive him from office and pledged to run for his own four year term in November.
"Let me let you know this: The only way I am not going to be governor next year is at the ballot box and the only way that I will be leaving office before is in a box," Paterson said at news conference he called Tuesday to discuss the winter storm headed for his state.
While the focus of the news conference was supposed to be about the weather, Paterson was peppered with questions about his personal life. The governor has been dogged for weeks by rumors of womanizing and illegal drug use.
"There hasn't been one shred of evidence that any of these charges that were made against me were even true," said a defiant Paterson, who stood behind a podium with the state seal.
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