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U.S.: Obama Calls on Actions to Reduce Cost of Health Care, National Debt
Source: cri.cn
Source Date: Tuesday, January 22, 2013
Focus: Electronic and Mobile Government, ICT for MDGs, Knowledge Management in Government, Citizen Engagement, Institution and HR Management
Country: United States
Created: Jan 28, 2013

U.S. President Barack Obama said Monday that the country must make tough choices to reduce the cost of health care and address its national debt.

"We must make the hard choices to reduce the cost of health care and the size of our deficit. 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," Obama told audience in his inaugural address for his second term.

Speaking at the U.S. Capitol, the president said every U.S. citizen deserves a basic measure of security and dignity, and he held that Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security as commitments that strengthen America.

While briefly laying out the vision for his second term, Obama noted that efforts are also needed to remake the U.S. government and revamp the tax code.

Fierce fights over fiscal issues, such as debt ceiling and entitlement program reforms, are looming for the early months of Obama's second term.

The U.S. federal government reached its debt limit of 16.4 trillion U.S. dollars on Dec. 31, 2012, and the Treasury Department was taking extraordinary measures to temporarily postpone the date of a possible default. The U.S. government is expected to run out of ways to meet all of its obligations between mid-February and early March.

Backing down from their hard-line stance on increasing the debt ceiling with accompanying steep spending cuts, top Republican lawmakers said on Friday that the House would vote on a bill this week to extend the nation's borrowing authority by three months in order to force the Senate to pass a budget to cut government outlays.
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