Skip to content Skip to navigation

President Obama Mentions Medicare and Medicaid in his Second Inaugural Speech

January 22, 2013
by Mark Hagland
| Reprints
President Obama briefly mentioned Medicare and Medicaid in his second inaugural address on Jan. 21


In a speech with a strong focus on unity among Americans and with a heavy emphasis on social progress, President Barack Obama briefly mentioned healthcare in his second inaugural address on Jan. 21 outside the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C., as he addressed a crowd estimated at approximately 600,000 people on the side of the Capitol and spreading across the National Mall, as well as millions on live television. “We must make the hard choices to reduce the cost of healthcare and the size of our deficit,” the President said. “But we reject the belief that America must choose between caring for the generation that built this country and investing in the generation that will build its future. For we remember the lessons of our past, when twilight years were spent in poverty, and parents of a child with a disability had nowhere to turn.” Instead, the President said a moment later, “The commitments we make to each other—through Medicare and Medicaid and Social Security—these things do not sap our initiative; they strengthen us. They do not make us a nation of takers; they free us to take the risks that make this country great.”
The new Congress goes back into session on Jan. 22, with Medicare spending in contention in a series of upcoming legislative showdowns, including discussions over whether and when to raise the federal debt ceiling; whether and how to fund the federal budget for another year, or possibly allow the federal government to temporarily shut down; and how to handle still-unresolved issues around the budget sequestration that was temporarily delayed by the Jan. 1 vote to avert the so-called “fiscal cliff.” All three of those issues will have to be resolved within the next few months, and the exact disposition of each of the three issues remains uncertain.



Insurers to CBO: Consider Private Insurers’ Data in Evaluations of Telemedicine

Eleven private insurers, including Aetna, Humana and Anthem, are urging the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) to consider the experience of commercial insurers when evaluating the impact of telemedicine coverage in Medicare.

AHRQ Developing New Patient Safety Surveillance Tool

With the aim of improving patient safety monitoring, the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) is currently developing and testing an improved patient safety surveillance system.

Gates Foundation Awards $210M to UW's Population Health Initiative

The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation is awarding $210 million to Seattle-based University of Washington’s Population Health Initiative, with the funds going toward the construction of a new building to serve as the initiative’s hub.

AHA Offers Interoperability Standards Recommendations to ONC

The American Hospital Association (AHA) has offered feedback to the ONC on the agency’s draft Interoperability Standards Advisory (ISA) that it issued in August.

Survey: Healthcare Orgs Not Taking Mobile Security Seriously Enough

More than half (56 percent) of healthcare professionals believe their organization could be doing more to educate employees on HIPAA compliance and the rules around sharing protected health information.

Mount Sinai’s Research Arm Using Data Analytics to Address Health Inequities

The Arnhold Institute for Global Health at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai is partnering with DigitalGlobe to create the Health Equity Atlas Initiative (ATLAS), a platform that standardizes and maps population data in order to generate insights that address health inequities.