Health Care Reform, Unemployment Top Obama's Domestic Agenda

Administration officials say they are doling out the money slowly so it goes to projects that are most deserving. Vice President Joe Biden said Thursday the Obama administration aims to have obligated 60 percent of government spending by the end of the year.

In his radio address Saturday, Obama said his administration is doing what they can to accelerate employment.

"I'm working closely with my economic advisers to explore any and all additional options and measures that we might take to promote job creation," the president said.

Some experts say the president needs to step up action on the jobs front. Others say the president has to be careful about doing too much.

"I think the focus has got to be on trying to get the economy going, but you also have to be careful that in trying to do too much you can actually be counterproductive," former Federal Reserve chairman Alan Greenspan said on "This Week." "It is true, the last couple of weeks that some of the numbers that are coming in have been a little bit soft. But this is what a recovery looks like."

Greenspan said he expects the unemployment rate to surpass 10 percent and remain at that level for a while, but said he doesn't believe a second stimulus should be passed.

Health Care Debacle

Senators face a tough week ahead as the Finance Committee gets ready to vote on the bill proposed by Sen. Max Baucus, D-Mont. Much to the chagrin of many of his Democratic colleagues, the legislation does not include the option for a government-run insurance plan. Baucus has said a bill containing a public option will not win the necessary 60 votes on the Senate floor, and so he voted against two amendments that wanted to introduce a government option.

The president has linked the creation of jobs to health care reform. Meanwhile, Republicans and Democrats continue to spar over what should be included in the final bill.

"What's fundamental for me is a way to bend that cost curve and keep the insurance companies honest," Boxer said. "My vote will depend on the entire bill, and if there's no way to bend the cost curve and help people who have insurance in addition to those who don't, I'll vote no."

GOP leaders say they want to see more provisions in the health care bill for medical malpractice reform.

"We're for health care reform, but we're not for a government takeover of the health care system, which is going to do nothing but increase health care costs and basically cannibalize Medicare to the tune of $500 billion in order to pay for a new government entitlement program," Sen. Cornyn said.

Republican amendments calling for more stringent measures against federal funding for abortion were struck down by the Finance Committee on Thursday. Republicans also argue that making health care coverage necessary, which both House and Senate Democrats are proposing, entails an additional tax on American people.

"We've been putting things up in the committee, and the other party of 'no,' the Democrat Party, voted no on any every one of our amendments," Sen. Jon Kyl, R-Ariz., said. "The biggest tax of all, according to the Congressional Budget Office, would be the taxes imposed in the health care bill in the finance committee. As they pointed out, all of the taxes that are imposed, both on individuals directly, as well as on the providers of health care and the insurers of health care, are passed on to the employees who have it and to the people who buy the policies through premium increases."

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