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State of the Union: President Obama’s Vision for the Future

On Tuesday, President Obama delivered his final State of the Union Address to a joint session of Congress. Instead of the usual mapping out of proposals for the year, the President spoke on his larger vision and aspiration for America’s future. He focused much of his speech on the importance of creating opportunity for everyone in a rapidly changing economy, making technology work for ordinary Americans, keeping America safe, and new ways to pursue a less partisan vision that improves the United States’ standing in the world.

President Obama noted improvements in the economy: the creation of 14 million new jobs, the strongest job growth since the 1990’s, and an unemployment rate that has been cut in half. He pointed out areas of agreement between the two parties, acknowledging that “real opportunity requires every American to get the education and training they need for a good-paying job.” He then went on to discuss technology and innovation, something that he believes needs more work in clean energy sources, mentioning that investing in new energy sources can create jobs and protect future generations. President Obama then made it clear that these larger goals for the country are not possible with broken politics and distrust between citizens.

At the same time the President acknowledged the two parties were unlikely to agree on health care but touted the Affordable Care Act as a basic benefit saying, “That's what the Affordable Care Act is all about. It's about filling the gaps in employer-based care so that when we lose a job, or go back to school, or start that new business, we'll still have coverage. Nearly 18 million have gained coverage so far. Health care inflation has slowed. And our businesses have created jobs every single month since it became law.”

While outlining his idea of what strong 21st century American leadership would mean, he told the nation that “we are on track to end the scourge of HIV/AIDS, and we have the capacity to accomplish the same thing with malaria.” It is unclear from this statement whether he is proposing changes or an increase to funding for HIV/AIDS and/or malaria. He also announced a new national effort to cure cancer and placed Vice President Joe Biden in “Mission Control” of that venture.

AIDS United shares President Obama’s enthusiasm in ending the HIV epidemic and we will continue to urge Congress to provide enough funding to end HIV/AIDS in the U.S. and worldwide.

Posted By: AIDS United Policy Department - Friday, January 15, 2016

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