Health care got more attention on Tuesday than it has had in a State of the Union since 2010, as President Obama defended the Affordable Care Act while using the high-profile speech to make a pitch for enrollment — and he even took a chance to needle the law’s critics.
“Moms, get on your kids to sign up. Kids, call your mom and walk her through the application,” Obama said. The administration is set to spend millions of dollars over the next two months to encourage people to enroll in the health care law’s new coverage option, and Obama’s direct appeal during the State of the Union was another clear sign that the White House believes its best political argument is simply to get as many people covered as possible.
But that didn’t stop the president from taking a few cracks at Republicans for their fixation on repealing Obamacare — or, at least, holding symbolic repeal votes to squeeze Democrats ahead of this year’s midterms.
“If you have specific plans to cut costs, cover more people, and increase choice — tell America what you’d do differently. Let’s see if the numbers add up,” Obama said. “But let’s not have another 40-something votes to repeal a law that’s already helping millions of Americans. … The first 40 were plenty.”
Kentucky Gov. Steve Beshear won a shout-out from the president for successfully implementing a state-run insurance exchange in a deeply red state. Kentucky has one of the most effective exchanges in the country.
“Kentucky’s not the most liberal part of the country, but he’s like a man possessed when it comes to covering his commonwealth’s families,” Obama said.
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"Wikileaks published more than 8,000 documents purportedly taken from the Democratic National Committee Friday, just days before the start of the party's convention in Philadelphia. The documents included briefings on off-the-record fundraisers and candid photographs."
Hillary Clinton "is widely expected to announce her choice" of vice president "in an email to supporters while on a campaign swing in Florida on Friday afternoon." The consensus: it'll be Sen. Tim Kaine of Virginia, although Sen. Cory Booker of New Jersey and Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack are also said to be in the running.
- A Rasmussen Reports poll shows Donald Trump ahead of Hillary Clinton, 43%-42%, the fourth week in a row he's led the poll (one of the few poll in which he's led consistently of late).
- A Reuters/Ipsos survey shows Clinton leading 40%-36%. In a four-way race, she maintains her four-point lead, 39%-35%, with Gary Johnson and Jill Stein pulling 7% and 3%, respectively.
- And the LA Times/USC daily tracking poll shows a dead heat, with Trump ahead by about half a percentage point.