Wednesday, March 31, 2010

President OK's Oil Drilling off
U.S. Coasts

Reversing a ban on oil drilling off most U.S. shores, President Barack Obama on Wednesday announced an expansive new policy that could put new oil and natural gas platforms in waters along the southern Atlantic coastline, the eastern Gulf of Mexico and part of Alaska.

Speaking at Andrews air base outside Washington, Mr. Obama said, "This is not a decision that I've made lightly." He addressed the expected outcry from disappointed environmentalists by saying he had studied the issue for more than a year and concluded it was the right call given the nation's voracious thirst for energy and the need to produce jobs and keep American businesses competitive.

"We're announcing the expansion of offshore oil and gas exploration but in ways that balance the need to harness domestic energy resources and the need to protect America's natural resources," Mr. Obama said, standing in front of a Navy F-18 fighter scheduled to fly on Earth Day with a half-biomass fuel mix.

The president said his decision is part of a broader strategy that also includes expanding the production of nuclear power and clean energy sources, to "move us from an economy that runs on fossil fuels and foreign oil to one that relies more on homegrown fuels and clean energy."

"The only way this transition will succeed is if it strengthens our economy in the short term and the long run," the president said. "To fail to recognize this reality would be a mistake."

Mr. Obama made no secret of the fact that one factor in his decision was attracting Republican support for a sweeping climate change bill that has languished in Congress. "Drill, baby, drill" was a mantra of the GOP during the 2008 presidential campaign.

"While our politics has remained entrenched along worn divides, the ground has shifted beneath our feet," the president said. "Around the world, countries are seeking an edge in the global marketplace by investing in new ways of producing and saving energy."

But Mr. Obama also has long been up front about his support for expanding offshore drilling — as well as other energy sources less popular with die-hard environmentalists. In his State of the Union speech, he said he wanted the United States to build a new generation of nuclear power plans, invest in new coal technologies and make "tough decisions about opening new offshore areas for oil and gas development." (Read rest of article)

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Tucked in Historic Health Care Bill

President Makes COLLEGE More Affordable !

By Jim Kuhnhenn

WASHINGTON -- More needy college students will have access to bigger Pell Grants, and future borrowers of government loans will have an easier time repaying them, under a vast overhaul of higher-education aid on its way to President Obama's desk.

Under the measure, private banks would no longer get fees for acting as middlemen in federal student loans.

The government would use the savings to boost Pell Grants and make it easier for some workers to repay their student loans. In addition, some borrowers could see lower interest rates and higher approval rates on student loans.

The legislation, an Obama domestic priority overshadowed by his health-care victory, has widespread reach. About 8.5 million students are going to college wit

h the help of Pell Grants.

The measure was part of a package of fixes to the health-care legislation Obama signed earlier this week. The House and Senate approved the fixes Thursday.

Key features of the measure include:

• Pell Grants would rise from $5,550 for the coming school year to $5,975 by 2017. Lawmakers had initially hoped to reach a $6,900 cap.

• More eligible students could get a full Pell Grant. Most grants go to students with family income below $20,000, but students with family income of up to $50,000 may also be eligible.

• Some college graduates will have an easier time repaying loans. The government will essentially guarantee that workers in low-paying jobs will be able to reduce their payments. Current law caps monthly payments at 15 percent of these workers' incomes; the new law will lower the cap to 10 percent.


President also tucks in Health Care Bill:


WASHINGTON (AP) — Riding the coattails of a historic health care vote, the House on Sunday also passed a broad reorganization of college aid that affects millions of students and moves President Barack Obama closer to winning yet another of his top domestic policies…

…In the biggest piece of education legislation since No Child Left Behind nine years ago, the bill would also provide more than $4 billion to historically black colleges and community colleges.

B4B NOTE: For those, like Tavis Smiley, who is trying to stay afloat following his shockingly disappointing anti-Obama rhetoric throughout the campaign and his current attempt to get media attention by falsely claiming that the nations first Black President doesn't care about The Black Agenda (I know...sounds ridiculous...but that's Tavis' claim) , this much needed $4B appropriation to HBCU's proves otherwise, while the passing of the monumental, historic health care bill is but one example of The President's care for ALL Americans.
It's not's

Obama Cares...about ALL !!!

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Thursday, March 25, 2010

Despite Repub stall tactics...

Dems Pass Reconciliation Bill !

President Dares Republicans to Try To Repeal New Law

The House of Representatives put the finishing touches on the overhaul by passing a companion package that would make insurance more affordable, raise taxes on the wealthy and close a gap for prescription drug coverage for seniors.

The Senate approved the package earlier in the day. It now goes to Obama to sign.

The votes concluded a yearlong political struggle that tied up lawmakers, dented Obama's popularity and set the stage for a bitter campaign for control of Congress in November.

"This has been a legislative fight that will be in the record books," Democratic Senate leader Harry Reid said.

Obama, launching a public relations blitz to sell the new program, mocked his Republican critics and said their promise to make repeal of the law the centerpiece of the congressional campaign would backfire.

"If they want to have that fight, I welcome that fight," Obama said in Iowa City, Iowa, in his first major speech since signing the law on Tuesday.

"I don't believe the American people are going to put the insurance industry back in the driver's seat. We've been there already and we're not going back," he said.

The overhaul of the $2.5 trillion healthcare system is the most dramatic change in health policy in four decades. It will extend coverage to an estimated 32 million uninsured Americans and bar insurance practices like refusing coverage to those with pre-existing medical conditions.

The final changes approved by Congress on Thursday include an expansion of federal subsidies to make insurance more affordable and more state aid for the Medicaid program for the poor.

They also eliminate a controversial Senate deal exempting Nebraska from paying for Medicaid expansion costs, close a gap in prescription drug coverage for seniors and delay a tax on high-cost insurance plans.

The final package also would extend taxes for Medicare, the federal health insurance program for the elderly, to unearned income. It also includes reform of the student loan program.


Republicans have fought the measure as a costly government takeover of healthcare that would restrict patient choice and drive up insurance premiums.

"This has been a somber week for the American people. With the stroke of a pen, President Obama signed away another share of Americans' freedom," Republican House leader John Boehner said.

But Obama said he would be happy to engage Republicans in a debate over repeal of the law.

"I say go for it," Obama said, goading his critics. "If these congressmen in Washington want to come here to Iowa and tell small business owners that they plan to take away their tax credits and essentially raise their taxes, be my guest."

The House approved the overhaul and the companion package of changes on Sunday after a contentious debate, but had to approve the changes again after the Senate parliamentarian ordered two minor provisions on the student loan revamp be removed. The House vote was 220-207.

The parliamentarian ruled the provisions did not meet reconciliation rules requiring they have a budgetary impact.

The Senate's 56-43 vote on the changes came after Democrats killed about 40 Republican amendments designed to derail the bill or force Democrats into tough political votes before the elections.

As the end of the healthcare debate neared, the Morgan Stanley Healthcare Payor index of health insurers rose 0.4 percent, slightly higher than the broader market. Big insurers UnitedHealth Group rose 0.4 percent, while Aetna increased 0.4 percent.

A second major U.S. manufacturer said the overhaul would cause a huge rise in after-tax costs. Farm equipment maker Deere & Co. said it expected healthcare costs to rise by $150 million this year.

Equipment maker Caterpillar last week estimated the reform would raise its costs by more than $100 million.

White House spokesman Robert Gibbs brushed off the concerns and said the first-year increase occurred because the healthcare law closed an accounting loophole.

"Our bill simply closes the loophole that allows them to deduct that money one time by not counting it as income," he told reporters on Air Force One.

(Additional reporting by Andy Sullivan, Patricia Zengerle, Thomas Ferraro; Editing by David Alexander and Peter Cooney)

Much Credit to our Dems for

Getting It Done !

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Tuesday, March 23, 2010



For the first time in America health care is a RIGHT...
I know I've said it before but...
(Greg Jones)

Yes We DID !!!

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Monday, March 22, 2010

In case you missed it...

The Historic (And Sometimes Insane)
Health Care Debate in 10 Minutes

We at B4B are honored that our site has been selected to be a part of the U.S. Library of Congress' Historic Collection and feel it is our duty to include this informative video recap of the historic debate for future reference and historic purposes.
Also shows our CRAZY democracy at work !

(Thanks HuffPo)

Despite it all...Yes We DID !

CLICK HERE if video did not appear through email server

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Photo: Moment President Obama heard
Health Care Bill passed with 219 votes

This was another long battle...Just want to Thank ALL of you Warriors who have fought, kicked, worried, prayed, harassed, bombarded and inspired others toward this Historic Day. Thanks to YOU...Americans will now have the basic right to quality health
You ALL helped make history !

Warning: Following this historic accomplishment the right wing/media and 'haters' in general will work hard to spin and MINIMIZE this monumental feat...with non-stop lies, constant fake unconstitutionality claims...fake claims to repeal....the usual 'does this spell doom' or 'the Dems next big problem'...etc., etc.,...

MEANWHILE, here's a VERY honest assessment from well known REPUBLICAN strategist David Frum who confesses that, despite what you'll hear, this health care win for America actually spells DISASTER for the Republicans.
A great read...following A GREAT VICTORY for America !
Click: David Frum's The REPUBLICAN'S Waterloo

p.s. Rush Limbaugh said that if the health care bill passed he would move to Costa Rica.
Email him at to ask him when is he packing !

B4B Home Page

Saturday, March 20, 2010


Tea Party Protests:
" Ni**er, Fa**ot " Shouted At Members of Congress-
Spit On !

By Sam Stein

(Saturday) Abusive, derogatory and even racist behavior directed at House Democrats by Tea Party protesters on Saturday left several lawmakers in shock.

Preceding the president's speech to a gathering of House Democrats, thousands of protesters descended around the Capitol to protest the passage of health care reform. The gathering quickly turned into abusive heckling, as members of Congress passing through Longworth House office building were subjected to epithets and even mild physical abuse.

A staffer for Rep. James Clyburn (D-S.C.) relayed word to reporters that Rep. Emanuel Cleaver (D-M.D.) had been spit on by a protestor (the protestor was reportedly arrested by Capitol Hill police). Rep. John Lewis (D-G.A.) a hero of the civil rights movement was called a "n----r." And Rep. Barney Frank (D-Mass.) was called a "faggot," as protestors shouted at him with deliberately lisp-y screams. Frank, approached in the halls after the president's speech, shrugged off the incident.

But Clyburn was downright incredulous, saying he had not witnessed such treatment since he was leading civil rights protests in South Carolina in the 1960s.

"It was absolutely shocking to me," Clyburn said, in response to a question from the Huffington Post. "Last Monday, this past Monday, I stayed home to meet on the campus of Claflin University where fifty years ago as of last Monday... I led the first demonstrations in South Carolina, the sit ins... And quite frankly I heard some things today I have not heard since that day. I heard people saying things that I have not heard since March 15, 1960 when I was marching to try and get off the back of the bus."

"It doesn't make me nervous as all," the congressman said, when asked how the mob-like atmosphere made him feel. "In fact, as I said to one heckler, I am the hardest person in the world to intimidate, so they better go somewhere else."

Asked if he wanted an apology from the group of Republican lawmakers who had addressed the crowd and, in many ways, played on their worst fears of health care legislation, the Democratic Party, and the president, Clyburn replied:

"A lot of us have been saying for a long time that much of this, much of this is not about health care a all. And I think a lot of those people today demonstrated that this is not about health care... it is about trying to extend a basic fundamental right to people who are less powerful."

B4B NOTE: Despite the obstructionists and even the hatred and ignorance of the few, through Unity, we are on our way to an Historic Achievement which will save American Lives ! Amazing how much they CAN'T STAND to LOSE to PRESIDENT Barack Obama ! Hope ALL Democrat undecideds know that THIS is what a NO vote will be siding with ! (and we're taking names)

Together...Yes We WILL !
(and they know it ! )

B4B Home Page

Great interactive link below to contact your rep TODAY !

ABSOLUTELY PATHETIC the number of lost minded 'people' who are fighting FOR the continuation of 44,000 American deaths per year due to the lack of access to quality health care...simply because they CAN'T STAND the idea of President Obama being successful. But despite all of the obstructionists and MILLIONS of's
The Power of The People that shall prevail (again).



Tell them they

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Thursday, March 18, 2010

A Quick Health Care Note To

The Fight Is ON...and Yes We WILL !!!

By: Greg Jones
National Director

TO MY PROGRESSIVE FRIENDS concerned with the imperfections of this historic-and greatly needed-accomplishment, I remind you of one key word...PROGRESS ! ALL....yes ALL major legislation was passed in an imperfect state...DID YOU KNOW that when Social Security passed in 1935 it did not include (benefit) women or blacks ! DID YOU KNOW that when the Civil Rights Act was first proposed it did not prohibit police brutality ! DID YOU KNOW that although many Women's Rights Laws were passed throughout the years it was not until just last year-through President Obama-that the Lily Ledbetter Law was put in place to make it illegal for women to be paid less than men doing the exact same job ! (and the list goes on)

Although this HC Bill is far from perfect, it is a foundation to grow (PROGRESS) upon as we have throughout history. It will be much easier to make incremental changes to this bill once passed than it will ever be to pass 'the perfect bill' all at once. There are MANY great things about this bill....and once passed...Warriors like yourselves (including me) will work hard to tweak/improve the bill along the way. But looking back on history...our country should be thankful in so many ways, that they did not KILL THE BILLS of the past due to their imperfections.

It's Fight Time !!! Yes We WILL !!!

p.s. We should no longer have thousands of hard working Americans standing in lines for as long as 4 hours WHILE SICK, at make-shift traveling free clinics just to be seen by a doctor, like a third-world country....and we should definitely not continue to allow 44,000 Americans to DIE each year due to the lack of access to quality health care. Lastly, I find it interesting that the majority of folks complaining about the imperfections...HAVE COVERAGE !...while 46 MILLION DON'T !!!

The Time Is NOW...


Health Care Bill details released. Will cover MORE Americans than original bill ! ALL obstructionists are aiding and abetting in the deaths of 44, ooo Americans per year who DIE due to the lack of access to quality health care.

CBO: Health Care Bill LOWERS Deficit $130B

Details from FireDogLake
By David Dayen

The long awaited CBO scores on the health care bill are out, though they haven’t showed up at the CBO’s website yet. The Hill describes them:

" The comprehensive health reform legislation will cost $940 billion over the next decade, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) said Thursday.

The nonpartisan budget office told lawmakers that the health bill set for a vote this weekend would cut the deficit by $130 billion over the next decade, and $1.2 trillion in the second decade of the plan’s implementation. "

That would certainly satisfy the requirements of reconciliation. Previously the bill cut the deficit by $118 billion in the first ten years and around $1 trillion in the next ten.

With this release, the House can then vote on the bill within 72 hours, as per their pledge to post the text and the CBO analysis in that period of time before a vote.

More when I have it.

UPDATE: Ezra Klein says the coverage estimates have been revised upwards, to 32 million more Americans covered by 2019.

UPDATE II: A Democratic source tells me that the text and CBO analysis won’t get online for a couple hours yet. But one more piece of the puzzle: the bill extends the solvency of Medicare by 9 years, and reduces the growth of Medicare expenditures in the 10-year budget window by 1.4 percentage points.

The Fight is ON...

B4B Home Page

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Yes ! My Congressman Kucinich
To Vote FOR
Health Care Bill

From Cleveland, Ohio...home of The Senator Sherrod Brown...Congresswoman Marcia Fudge...cancer victim Natoma Canfield (who wrote The White House explaining her health care nightmare) and more.

We're Almost There...
Keep Fighting The Good Fight

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Monday, March 15, 2010

Toward Making Health Care HISTORY

The President came to a suburb of our city, Cleveland, Ohio today (Strongsville) to give a final push for health care reform. President Obama chose our city in response to a heart felt letter he received from a local resident Natoma Canfield, a 50-year-old cancer survivor who had written the White House in late December about her inability to afford insurance. The President was so touched by her health care nightmare that not only did he answer her letter, but he came to the Cleveland area to personally answer and address her needs as well as the needs of millions more. It had originally been planned that Natoma would introduce The President at today's event but that plan was curtailed when Natoma was unable to attend due to her illness, so her sister Connie Anderson took her spot. Thanks to The President's continued fight, we're in the final push toward health care reform which will-after decades of attempts-finally address the health care needs of millions of Americans just like Natoma.

WATCH: (6:10)

CLICK HERE if video did not appear through email server

On The Verge of History...
Keep Fighting...Calls/Emails
Yes We WILL !

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Sunday, March 14, 2010

Be Inspired...Be Informed...

Since day one, The President has stated that he can not make Change by himself...
that he would need OUR help. Maybe he DID anticipate the obstructionism-from both sides of the aisle-he would face due to legalized bribery aka lobby money, as he worked toward The Recovery of America. It is up to We The People to join President Obama and unite in The Fight against all obstructionists, for the future of
Our Country.

Together, We WILL
Make The Difference !

(again and again)

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Wednesday, March 10, 2010

B4B PHOTOS of the WEEK !
Our Wonderful First Lady Donates
Inaugural Gown to Smithsonian Museum

From Our First Lady,

"When I look at my gown -- which I, in fact, have not seen since the day that I took it off -- memories of that moment truly come rushing back. I remember that it was freezing cold in Washington. I know we all remember that. Yet, despite the frigid temperatures, hundreds of thousands of people flooded the Mall. Nothing was going to stop them from being part of history.

That day was so hectic for us. And I remember the inaugural parade and how the President and I stood and we waved until every last band walked by.

Then we only had less than an hour -- ladies, if you can believe that -- (laughter) -- all of my friends left us in the stands, by the way. (Laughter.) "See ya, good luck!" (Laughter.) I was like, "Yeah, thanks." (Laughter.) "We have to get ready for the ball." (Laughter.) Like, "Yeah, so do I." (Laughter.) So at the time I wasn't really focused on what I was wearing that evening -- I was really just trying to stay warm.

But I'll never forget the moment that I slipped on this beautiful gown. I remember how just luscious I felt as the President and I were announced onto the stage for the first of many dances. And I'll cherish that moment for the rest of my life. " (First Lady Michelle Obama)

B4B NOTE: The beautiful historic gown, which was designed by Jason Wu, will be part of a new gallery at The Smithsonian National Museum of American History in Washington D.C. called " A First Lady's Debut " which will showcase 11 dresses worn by first ladies. Our First Lady said she's "a little embarrassed by all the fuss made over my dress. Like many of you, I'm not used to people wanting to put things I've worn on display. "

We Are SO Proud...
Of Our First Lady !

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Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Here's Another MAJOR Reason
To Fight for HCR

Rush Limbaugh:
" I'll Leave US if Health Care Reform Passes "

B4B NOTE: Senator Chris Dodd is in so we're up to 37 Senators who have signed-on FOR the Public Option. (We think Speaker Pelosi is waiting until we get 50 before Congress will pass the Senate version). Keep making those calls...sending emails/faxes to FIGHT For Public Option ! Need just 13 more to sign-on. Here's the list of who has and has not yet signed-on. Of course 44,000 Americans dying per year due to the lack of access to quality health care is reason enough to Fight but I must say...this Rush statement is absolutely INSPIRATIONAL !

UPDATE ! has just launched their " 2 For 1: Pass Health Care and Ship Rush Limbaugh Out Of The Country " petition drive which you can SIGN HERE.

Fight...Fight...Fight !!!

CLICK HERE if video did not appear through email server

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President Obama Asks Net/Grassroots to
Help Push for Health Care Reform

"...Knock on Doors, Talk to your neighbors,
Pick Up The Phone "

Jason Djang

It was a beautiful day in the Keystone State where earlier today President Obama spoke at Arcadia University in Glenside, PA. He addressed an energized crowd about the urgent need for health care reform in the face of rapidly rising health care costs. The President cited a recent conference call by Goldman Sachs in which an insurance broker told investors to expect insurance companies to continue to raise premiums because they know that they can turn more of a profit on customers they keep, despite pricing more and more people out of the market.

So how much higher do premiums have to rise until we do something about it? How many more Americans have to lose their health insurance? How many more businesses have to drop coverage?


The President emphasized the sky-rocketing costs of health care, as exemplified by the woman who introduced him. Leslie Banks is a self-employed single mother with type 2 diabetes whose insurance provider recently notified her that her premiums would be more than doubling. To maintain the same monthly rate, her deductible would shoot from $500 to $5,000 and she would lose preventative care and prescription coverage. With a pre-existing condition keeping her from joining the company's HMO, Leslie is stuck between a rock and a hard place. With health reform, people like Leslie and her daughter will experience relief from such practices.

The President also called for an up-or-down vote from Congress, and said it is what the American people deserve.

The United States Congress owes the American people a final, up or down vote on health care. It’s time to make a decision. The time for talk is over. We need to see where people stand.

B4B NOTE: With Senator Chris Dodd's YES nod, we're up to 37 Senators who have signed-on FOR the Public Option. Keep making those calls...sending emails/faxes to FIGHT For Public Option ! Need just 13 more to sign-on. Here's the list of who has and has not yet signed-on.

Join The President...
Fight For LIFE !

CLICK HERE if video did not appear through email server

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Sunday, March 7, 2010

WATCH: President's Weekly Address

What Health Care Reform
Will Deliver THIS YEAR !

President Obama describes how more American families will have more control over their health care this year, after health reform passes.

Here are a few more points about how health insurance reform measures will benefit Americans this year:

Hold Insurance Companies Accountable:

* Eliminate lifetime limits and restrictive annual limits on benefits in all new plans;
* Prohibit rescissions of health insurance policies in all individual plans;
* Prohibit pre-existing condition exclusions for children in all new plans;
* Require premium rebates to enrollees from insurers with high administrative expenditures and require public disclosure of the percent of premiums applied to overhead costs;
* Establish a process for the annual review of unreasonable increases in premiums, requiring State insurance commissioners to work with the HHS Secretary and States.

Protect Consumers:

* Provide grants to States to support health insurance consumer assistance and ombudsman programs to help consumers;
* Ensure consumers have access to an effective internal and external appeals process to appeal new insurance plan decisions;
* Require all insurance plans to use uniform coverage documents so consumers can make easy comparisons when shopping for health insurance;
* Establish an internet portal to assist Americans in identifying coverage options;
* Prohibit insurers from discriminating in favor of highly compensated employees by charging them lower premiums.

Ensure Affordable Choices and Quality Care:

* Provide immediate access to insurance for uninsured Americans who are uninsured because of a pre-existing condition through a temporary high-risk pool;
* Create a temporary re-insurance program for early retirees;
* Require new plans to cover an enrollee’s dependent children until age 26;
* Require new plans to cover preventive services and immunizations without cost-sharing;
* Offer tax credits to small businesses to purchase coverage;
* Facilitate administrative simplification to lower health system costs.

The Time Is NOW...
To Join The FIGHT !

CLICK HERE if video did not appear through email server

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Saturday, March 6, 2010

Bart Stupak Abortion Claims are FALSE:
Health Bill would NOT Force Federal Spending on Abortion.

Wondering why Bart is outright LYING to The People ?


(political cult ?)
ALSO: Rachel Maddow exposes Stupak/The Family

We Must Fight Lies...
With TRUTH !

B4B NOTE: If the media does NOT declare Stupak's HC abortion statements as false, they will expose their complicity to deceive and manipulate The American People through false, third-world style " reporting ".

CLICK HERE if video did not appear through email server

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Wednesday, March 3, 2010

No More Mr. Nice Guy !

President Drops The Hammer Down...


(To All Warriors)

Last Thursday's first-of-its-kind summit capped off a debate that has lasted nearly a year. Every idea has now been put on the table. Every argument has been made. Both parties agree that the status quo is unacceptable and gets more dire each day. Today, I want to state as clearly and forcefully as I know how: Now is the time to make a decision about the future of health care in America.

The final proposal I've put forward draws on the best ideas from all sides, including several put forward by Republicans at last week's summit. It will put Americans in charge of their own health care, ensuring that neither government nor insurance company bureaucrats can ration, deny, or put out of financial reach the care our families need and deserve.

I strongly believe that Congress now owes the American people a final vote on health care reform. Reform has already passed the House with bipartisan support and the Senate with a super-majority of sixty votes. Now it deserves the same kind of up-or-down vote that has been routinely used and has passed such landmark measures as welfare reform and both Bush tax cuts.

Earlier today, I asked leaders in both houses of Congress to finish their work and schedule a vote in the next few weeks. From now until then, I will do everything in my power to make the case for reform. And now, I'm asking you, the members of the Organizing for America community, to raise your voice and do the same.

The final march for reform has begun, and your participation is crucial. Please commit to join with me to take reform across the finish line.

Essentially, my proposal would change three things about the current health care system:

First, it would protect all Americans from the worst practices of insurance companies. Never again will the mother with breast cancer have her coverage revoked, see her premiums arbitrarily raised, or be forced to live in fear that a pre-existing condition will bar her from future coverage.

Second, my proposal would give individuals and small businesses the same choice of private health insurance that members of Congress get for themselves. And my proposal says that if you still can't afford the insurance in this new marketplace, we will offer you tax credits based on your income -- tax credits that add up to the largest middle class tax cut for health care in history.

Finally, my proposal would bring down the cost of health care for everyone -- families, businesses, and the federal government -- and bring down our deficit by as much as $1 trillion over the next two decades. These savings mean businesses small and large will finally be freed up to create jobs and increase wages. With costs currently skyrocketing, reform is vital to remaining economically strong in the years and decades to come.

In the few crucial weeks ahead, you can help make sure this proposal becomes law. Please sign up to join the Organizing for America campaign in the final march for reform:

When I talked about change on the campaign, this is what I was talking about: coming together to solve a huge problem that has been troubling America for 100 years and standing up to the special interests to deliver a brighter, smarter future for generations to come.

I look forward to signing this historic reform into law. And when I do, it will be because your organizing played an essential role in making change possible.

Thank you,
President Barack Obama

Join The President...

B4B NOTE: ACTION TIME: To date...34 Senators have signed-on FOR Public Option ! Has Yours ? Here's a useful list of who has and has not yets...and their contact info. Make The Calls...Send The Emails...Time To FIGHT for a Strong Public Option.
Yes We WILL ! (the list is growing everyday)

Click for list:

CLICK HERE if video did not appear through email server

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Tuesday, March 2, 2010

President Obama Announces Steps to Reduce Dropout Rate and Prepare Students for College and Careers


WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, President Barack Obama highlighted steps his Administration will take to combat the dropout crisis and invest in strategies to ensure students graduate prepared for college and careers.

President Obama challenged states to identify high schools with graduation rates below 60% and discussed the Administration’s investments to help them turn those schools around. The Obama Administration has committed $3.5 billion to fund transformational changes in America’s persistently low-performing schools. Additionally, the President’s FY 2011 budget includes $900 million to support School Turnaround Grants. budget President Obama also emphasized the importance of investing in dropout prevention and recovery strategies to help make learning more engaging and relevant for students, and announced new efforts to invest $100 million in a College Pathways program to promote a college readiness culture in high schools, through programs that allow students to earn a high school diploma and college credit at the same time.

“This is a problem we can’t afford to accept or ignore,” President Obama said. “The stakes are too high – for our children, for our economy, for our country. It’s time for all of us to come together – parents and students, principals and teachers, business leaders and elected officials – to end America’s dropout crisis.”

President Obama spoke at the America’s Promise Alliance GradNation event hosted by Alliance Founding Chairman General Colin Powell and his wife and Alliance Chair Alma Powell. America’s Promise Alliance is the nation’s largest partnership organization dedicated to improving the lives of children and youth.


Reducing the Dropout Rate and Helping All Students Graduate College and Career Ready

“It is time for all of us, no matter what our backgrounds, to come together and solve this epidemic. Stemming the tide of dropouts will require turning around our low-performing schools. Just 2,000 high schools in cities like Detroit, Los Angeles, and Philadelphia produce over 50% of America’s dropouts… Let us all make turning around our schools our collective responsibility as Americans.” President Barack Obama

March 10, 2009

Every school day, about 7,000 students decide to drop out of school – a total of 1.2 million students each year – and only about 70% of entering high school freshman graduate every year. Without a high school diploma, young people are less likely to succeed in the workforce. Each year, our nation loses $319 billion in potential earnings associated with the dropout crisis.

Students at risk of dropping out of school can be identified as early as sixth grade by reviewing records of attendance, behavior, and course failure. Research has demonstrated that by making learning environments safe and relevant, better engaging parents and their communities in schools, and helping students get back on-track academically, the dropout rate can be lowered.

Approximately 2,000 of America’s high schools produce half of the nation’s school dropouts. President Obama is committed to a strategy for reform in America’s middle and high schools – including bold interventions to drive improvement in America’s lowest performing schools – to help prepare all students to graduate college and career ready.

Today, the President will discuss efforts to help curb the dropout crisis and better prepare students for college and careers:

A national effort to help turn around America’s persistently low-performing schools.

It takes more time, stronger interventions, and a larger investment of funds to help turn around persistently low-performing schools. The Obama Administration has committed $3.5 billion to fund transformational changes in America’s persistently low-performing schools, including assisting states in identifying and prioritizing high schools with graduation rates below 60%. Under the leadership of Secretary Arne Duncan, the U.S. Department of Education’s School Turnaround Grants will support vigorous interventions for 5,000 of the nation’s lowest-performing schools over the next five years, designed to drive change, improve student achievement, and transform school culture. The President’s FY 2011 budget includes an additional $900 million to support School Turnaround Grants. To access school improvement funds, states and school districts will choose among four reform models to change their lowest-performing schools:

  • Turnaround Model: Among other actions, the school district must replace the principal and at least half of the school staff, adopt a new governance structure for the school, and implement a new or revised instructional program.
  • Restart Model: The school district must close and reopen the school under the management of a charter school operator, a charter management organization or an educational management organization selected through a rigorous review process. A restart school would be required to admit, within the grades it serves, any former student who wishes to attend.
  • School Closure: The school district must close the failing school and enroll the students who attended that school in other, higher-achieving schools in the district.
  • Transformational Model: The school must address four areas of reform, including (1) developing teacher and school leader effectiveness (and replacing the principal who led the school prior to commencement of the transformational model); (2) implementing comprehensive instructional reform strategies; (3) extending learning and teacher planning time and creating community-oriented schools; and (4) providing operating flexibility and sustained support.

Keeping students engaged and on-track to graduation.

One study found that when asked why they left school, about half of dropouts responded that they did not find school interesting, and over two-thirds reported that school did not motivate or inspire them. The Obama Administration is committed to investing in innovative dropout recovery and prevention strategies to better engage youth in their learning and to help them catch-up academically. The Obama Administration will support effective dropout prevention strategies – through $50 million committed to the Graduation Promise Fund and through reforms supported under the Student Aid and Fiscal Responsibility Act, which has passed the U.S. House of Representatives. These efforts include:

· Personalized and individualized instruction and support to keep students engaged in their learning and focused on success.

· Multiple pathways and credit recovery programs, such as high-quality alternative high schools, transfer schools, or career- and work-based experiences to help students catch-up and keep-up academically, and to get back on track toward a high school diploma.

· Better use of data and information to identify and respond to students at risk of failure, and assist with important transitions to high school and college.

Promoting a culture of college readiness.

Participation in a challenging high school curriculum has a greater impact on whether a student will earn a four-year college degree than his or her high school test scores, class rank, or grades. The President’s FY 2011 budget supports a new $100 million College Pathways Program to increase access to college-level, dual credit, and other accelerated courses in high-need high schools, and to support college-going strategies and models that will help students succeed. For example, early college high schools allow students to earn a high school degree and an Associate’s degree (or 2 years of college credit), simultaneously, and dual enrollment programs provide college-level courses and opportunities for students to earn post-secondary credit while still in high school. The Obama Administration will also launch new efforts to better support completion and submission of the FAFSA – or Free Application for Federal Student Aid – to increase the likelihood that students will enroll in college.


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