WASHINGTON (CNN) - President Obama pledged Tuesday night to cure Americans from what he called "the crushing cost of health costs," saying the country could not afford to put health-care reform on hold.
"This is a cost that now causes a bankruptcy in America every 30 seconds. By the end of the year, it could cause 1.5 million Americans to lose their homes," Obama said in his speech to a joint session of Congress.
Obama pointed to the increasing number of uninsured and rapidly rising health-care premiums, which he said was one reason small business closed their doors and corporations moved overseas.
Obama's prescription for health-care reform included making "the largest investment ever" in preventive care, rooting out Medicare fraud and investing in electronic health records and new technology in an effort to reduce errors, bring down costs, ensure privacy and save lives.
WASHINGTON (CNN) – A new national poll indicates that two-thirds of those who watched President Obama's address to a joint session of Congress reacted favorably to his speech.
Sixty-eight percent of speech-watchers questioned in a CNN/Opinion Research Corporation survey Tuesday night had a very positive reaction to the president's address, with 24 percent suggesting they had a somewhat positive response and 8 percent indicating they had a negative reaction.
Since the president is a Democrat, the audience watching his speech is a bit out of line with the nation's breakdown by party. The speech audience questioned in the CNN/Opinion Research Corporation poll is about 8 to 10 points more Democratic than the general public.
(CNN) - For political impact, the President deserves a strong A for his speech tonight - it was inspiring, spoke to the chief concerns most Americans appear to have about his economic program, and explained the bailouts for banks and autos in terms that were very understandable.
It was also the most ambitious speech that we have heard from a President in decades - the first half sounded like FDR fighting for the New Deal, the second half, Lyndon Johnson fighting for the Great Society. Rhetorically, I thought the speech was a B - it had very little music. Clearly, as he himself said, he wanted to speak plainly and until near the end, he avoided soaring language. In short, I don't think it will find its way into an anthology of great speeches, but it will serve the President extremely well with the public.
(CNN) - I give him an A. As flat as his inaugural address was, this speech was the opposite - positive, vigorous, and forward-looking. The language was bipartisan, even if many of his proposals were not. His best moment yet as President - except he needs to get a tie which doesn't vibrate on television.
(CNN) - I'd give the president's performance tonight a solid B: Substantive, not inspirational. Sober, more programs than hope. Lots of promises - details to come.
WASHINGTON (CNN) – President Barack Obama said Tuesday that he'll soon be laying out specifics on how to win the war in Afghanistan and responsibly end the one in Iraq.
"We are now carefully reviewing our policies in both wars, and I will soon announce a way forward in Iraq that leaves Iraq to its people and responsibly ends this war," he told a joint session of Congress.
Meanwhile, he said, both Afghanistan and its border with Pakistan will remain a key focus.
"With our friends and allies, we will forge a new and comprehensive strategy for Afghanistan and Pakistan to defeat al Qaeda and combat extremism," Obama said. "Because I will not allow terrorists to plot against the American people from safe havens half a world away."
He said his budget will pay for more soldiers and Marines, increase their pay and improve veterans' benefits.
WASHINGTON (CNN) – President Obama said Tuesday that his administration has identified $2 trillion in government spending cuts that can be made over the next decade.
Speaking in his first address to a joint session of Congress, Obama said the cuts were identified as his staff has gone "line by line" over the federal budget, with a goal of cutting the federal deficit in half by the end of his first term.
"In this budget, we will end education programs that don't work and end direct payments to large agribusinesses that don't need them," Obama said.
Watch: Obama lays out budget goals
"We'll eliminate the no-bid contracts that have wasted billions in Iraq, and reform our defense budget so that we're not paying for Cold War-era weapons systems we don't use."
He also said he will target waste, fraud and abuse in the Medicare system and "restore fairness and balance" to the tax code.
WASHINGTON (CNN) – The Theater: when President Obama said we have to do something about the deficit so we don’t pass it on to our children, the Republicans responded with their heartiest cheer yet - so much so it made the president laugh. Next sentence, he talked about the debt “we inherited,” and all the Democrats lept to their feet to cheer with gusto.
(CNN) - President Obama has made his priorities very clear: health care, energy and education. The speech is more like a standard State of the Union address - with an added element of extreme urgency, given the fiscal crisis.
If it somehow seems that we have heard this before from Obama, it's because we have. Which raises the question: have we been seeing him too much?
My answer is no. We know where he stands and what he intends to do. Now voters can hold him to his promises.
WASHINGTON (CNN) – President Barack Obama on Tuesday called for all Americans to commit to at least one year of higher education or career training.
"This can be community college or a four-year school; vocational training or an apprenticeship," he said in his address to a joint session of Congress.
"But whatever the training may be, every American will need to get more than a high school diploma."
He touted the billions for education - from early childhood education expansion to college-loan programs - in his recently approved economic stimulus package and set a goal of having the highest college graduation rate in the world by 2020.