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Washington Highlights

President Obama Delivers State of the Union Address

January 27, 2012—President Obama Jan. 24 delivered the State of the Union address before a joint session of Congress, with a focus primarily on the economy and the role of government.  The importance of investing in education, research, and health care played an important role in the speech.

While discussing the costs associated with higher education, President Obama urged Congress “to stop the interest rates on student loans from doubling in July” and to extend the tuition tax credit to make education more affordable.  He cautioned, “We can’t just keep subsidizing skyrocketing tuition; we’ll run out of money. States also need to do their part, by making higher education a higher priority in their budgets. And colleges and universities have to do their part by working to keep costs down.” A Jan. 27 press release provides more details on the president's plan to make education more affordable. President Obama also argued to provide immigration opportunities to foreign students, saying “let’s at least agree to stop expelling responsible young people who want to staff our labs, start new businesses, and defend this country.”

President Obama stressed the importance of government funding for research, noting “Today, the discoveries taking place in our federally-financed labs and universities could lead to new treatments that kill cancer cells but leave healthy ones untouched….  Support the same kind of research and innovation that led to the computer chip and the Internet; to new American jobs and new American industries.”

The president also reaffirmed his commitment to the new health care reform law, funding for the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), and to reforming the costs associated with Medicare and Medicaid.


Matthew Shick, JD
Director, Gov't Relations & Regulatory Affairs
Telephone: 202-862-6116

Dave Moore
Senior Director, Government Relations
Telephone: 202-828-0559


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Washington Highlights, a weekly electronic newsletter, features brief updates on the latest legislative and regulatory activities affecting medical schools and teaching hospitals.

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Jason Kleinman
Sr. Legislative Analyst, Govt. Relations
Telephone: 202-903-0806