PART 4: HEALTH, AMERICA IN THE WORLD
By ED FINKELSTEIN
With America’s aging population and the turmoil across the globe, the issues of quality health care and the need for America to stand up for freedom has become paramount. These issues are the focus of this final report in our four-part series on the President Biden’s State of the Union report to America in February in which he detailed his Administration’s efforts in the past two years. (See box at below.)
“The story of America is a story of progress and resilience,” President Biden said proudly and forcefully. “Of always moving forward. Of never giving up. A story that is unique among all nations. We are the only country that has emerged from every crisis stronger than when we entered it.”
The President’s presentation was a not only a reminder of what the Democrats have championed and won in his first two years, it was a challenge to the Republicans in Congress to move forward in supporting the needs of America, our people, our economy and meeting our responsibilities to the rest of the Free World.
On this pressing issue, President Biden reported on these accomplishments:
- Opioids: Passing a law making it easier for doctors to prescribe effective treatments for opioid addiction.
- Medical Breakthroughs: Launching a drive to discover breakthroughs in the fight against cancer, Alzheimer’s, diabetes and other diseases.
- Veterans: Passing the Heath Robinson PACT Act, to get health care and compensation to vets exposed to toxic burn pits.
- Cancer Fight: Reigniting the Cancer Moonshot (that President Obama charged then Vice President Biden to lead) to cut the cancer deaths at least 50 percent over the next 25 years by finding more treatable options; providing more support for patients and families.
- Protecting Social Security, Medicare: Making it clear that Social Security and Medicare are a lifeline for millions of seniors. Americans have been paying into them with every single paycheck since they started working. “And if anyone tries to cut Medicare, I will stop them. I will not allow them to be taken away. Not today. Not tomorrow. Not ever.”
- Overcoming COVID: Broken COVID’s grip on us. COVID deaths are down nearly 90 percent. “We’ve saved millions of lives and opened our country back up. And soon we’ll end the public health emergency (which was recently announced). Today, COVID no longer controls our lives.”
- Gun Safety: Passing a gun safety law.
- Mental Health: Making historic investments in mental health.
AMERICA IN THE WORLD
And finally, on the issue of maintaining America’s strong presence on the world stage:
- “I’ve made clear with President Xi that we seek competition, not conflict. I will make no apologies that we are investing to make America strong. Today, we’re in the strongest position in decades to compete with China or anyone else in the world. I am committed to work with China where it can advance American interests and benefit the world.
- “In the past two years, democracies have become stronger, not weaker. Autocracies have grown weaker, not stronger. America is rallying the world again to meet those challenges, from climate and global health to food insecurity, to terrorism and territorial aggression.”
‘WORKERS FIRST’ BLUEPRINT
AFL-CIO President Liz Shuler said of his remarks:
“President Biden delivered a bold blueprint for an economy that, at long last, puts working people first. Instead of catering to the wealthy and well-connected, the President declared that workers are America’s backbone and good union jobs are the keystone of an economy that works for all.
“The administration’s accomplishments in the last two years are just the beginning. As President Biden said tonight, it’s time to finish the job. The Labor Movement is organized, we are mobilized, and we are ready to ensure all workers—no matter who we are or where we’re from—have the future we and our families deserve.”
And that’s exactly what President Biden’s presentation was about: recounting the Past in preparation for advances in the Future.
About this series
In the hyperbole that abounds in Washington where Republicans are constantly using smokescreens and outright lies to downplay the Biden Administration’s accomplishments, President Joe Biden used his State of the Union speech Feb. 7 to outline the Democrats’ incredible accomplishments the past two years.
In this series we highlighted the administration’s accomplishments:
• Part 1 – improving our economy, deficit reduction, fighting inflation, uniting the world against Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
• Part 2 – Fight for equality, fairness, protecting the vote and most importantly to our readers, his incredible infrastructure package that funded more than 20,000 projects that includes over 2,000 projects in Missouri and Illinois.
• Part 3 – Successful efforts at creating jobs, protecting workers’ rights and defending Democracy.
• Part 4 – Meeting the challenges of health care and America’s challenges around the globe.