Entries in Obama (4)


Gingrich Blasts Obama’s Birth Control Policy

Jessica McGowan/Getty Images(LAS VEGAS) -- Newt Gingrich upped his attacks against President Obama Sunday over his administration’s requirement that some religious hospitals offer co-pay-free birth control under the new health care law.

Gingrich’s comments come after a week of outrage from the Catholic Church and his fellow GOP presidential candidates over the policy.

“This is a tremendous infringement of religious liberty,” Newt Gingrich said on NBC’s Meet the Press. “Every time you turn around the secular government is shrinking the rights of religious institutions in America.”

While the policy was proposed in August, the issue resurfaced last week after Catholic churches across America read letters from the church’s leadership last Sunday condemning the administration’s policy.

The letters came in response to a Jan. 20 announcement that Catholic hospitals where the majority of employees are not Catholic will be required under the new law to provide free contraception.

“The fact is what you’re saying is there cannot be a genuine Catholic hospital,” said Gingrich, who converted to Catholicism in 2009. “It will have to be subordinated to a secular government.”

Gingrich, also appearing Sunday on CBS’s Face the Nation, added that the policy proved that the Obama administration was at “war” with the Catholic church and launching “the most outrageous assault on religious freedom in American history.”

The former House speaker said policies such as this prove that Obama is “so unacceptable” that he will support his rival Mitt Romney in the general election if the former Massachusetts governor is the Republican nominee.

“I believe President Obama is such a direct threat to the future of this country that I will support the Republican nominee because I believe that President Obama is a disaster,” Gingrich said.

But with the primary season still raging on, Gingrich vowed that his campaign was nowhere near over.

The former speaker was is projected to finish a distant second behind Romney Saturday in the Nevada caucuses, but said Sunday on Meet the Press that he will be in “much more favorable territory” by Super Tuesday, when his home state of Georgia goes to the polls.

Gingrich vowed that “by the time Texas is over, we’ll be very, very competitive in delegate count.”

Texas’s primary is currently set for April 3, but a Supreme Court legal battle over the Lone Star state’s redistricting maps threatens to delay the primary until later in the year.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Obama to Sign Food Safety Act into Law; Funding for Implementation Unclear with GOP in Control of House

Photo Courtesy - Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- Health & Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius and the head of the FDA held a conference call with reporters Monday on The Food Safety and Modernization Act, which the President will sign into law Tuesday. Secretary Sebelius said that the act would finally bring U.S. food safety laws up to date and help with efforts to keep the food supply safe as the number of foodborne diseases and outbreaks have increased in recent years. Sebelius said that in the 1990s there were about 100 foodborne outbreaks every year but that now there are an estimated 350 outbreaks every year in the United States.
Because of these increased outbreaks Sebelius said that it is estimated that one out of six Americans is struck with food-related illnesses every year and that as many as 3,000 people die each year from foodborne illness.
The key part of the act that was discussed on the call involved providing the FDA with mandatory recall authority and the ability of the FDA to access food producers' records. Asked on the call about the costs of implementing the act, FDA Commissioner Dr. Margaret Hamburg said the estimated costs over five years to implement the act was $1.4 billion. It is unclear if the new incoming Republican Congress will fully fund the act’s implementation.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Gibbs: President Obama Nine Months Smoke-Free

Photo Courtesy -- ABC News/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) – President Obama hasn’t smoked in nine months, according to White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs.

At Thursday's White House briefing, Gibbs told reporters he has "not seen or witnessed evidence of the president smoking in nine months," after he was asked a question about the president’s nicotine needs given recent statements by the Surgeon General that he has been working hard to quit.

"It's not something he's proud of," Gibbs said of Obama's struggles with kicking tobacco. "He knows it's not good for him. He doesn't like children to know about it, particularly his own."

Gibbs suggested it has been difficult for the president not to light up, especially during recent political fights over the tax-cut compromise and the START nuclear disarmament treaty.

 “When he might have found comfort in" a cigarette, said Gibbs of Obama, he "pushed it away."

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio


New Health Care Benefits to Start Thursday, Americans Still Confused

(NEW YORK) -- Starting Thursday, new health care benefits will go into effect in a move that can have an impact on millions of Americans.  Insurance plans renewing on or after Sept. 23 will be required to eliminate lifetime limits on insurance coverage, offer coverage for children with pre-existing conditions, remove lifetime caps on coverage, provide free preventive care and allow young adults up to the age of 26 to remain on their parents' health plans, among other changes.

The Obama administration has ramped up efforts to tout the new law. President Obama will hold a "backyard event" in Virginia on Wednesday at the home of a person who is benefiting from the Affordable Care Act.

But six months after the landmark bill was signed into law, people are still largely unclear about what the changes mean for them as health care remains embroiled in a heated political debate. According to an Associated Press poll released Tuesday, More than half of all Americans believe the changes will raise taxes for most people this year. About a quarter of respondents thought the law would set up panels of bureaucrats who would make decisions about people's health.

Overall support for the health care law also remains low, although it goes up when people are asked about specific provisions, demonstrating the confusion among consumers.

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio.  Image Courtesy: ABC News

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