February 23, 2009
$15 Billion In Stimulus Payments For Health Care
The Obama administration announced on Monday it would spend $15 billion of economic stimulus payments for safeguarding health care for low-income families, the AFP reported.
The White House made the announcement to show how regular Americans will benefit from the $787 billion stimulus package signed into law last week.President Obama told a White House meeting of US state governors that the money would be waiting for them once they returned to their home states.
"Children with asthma will be able to breathe easier, seniors won't need to fear losing their doctors, and pregnant women with limited means won't have to worry about the health of their babies," Obama said.
While some 45 million Americans have no health care coverage, Obama made improving health care a focal point of his election campaign and this latest announcement appears to be the first of many promised follow-ups.
He has pledged to press on with the initiative despite a budget crunch brought on by the economic crisis.
The stimulus payments are designed to help alleviate the burden of providing health care for many of those states that have been hit hardest by the economic crisis.
Obama also appointed Earl Devaney, a veteran government cost cutter, to monitor any wasteful spending under the stimulus plan. Devaney is a former top Secret Service official and has been inspector general at the Interior Department for years.
"He looks like an inspector, he's tough, you know he barely cracks a smile," Obama joked.
Devaney also broke the scandal over disgraced Republican lobbyist Jack Abramoff.
"We are addressing the greatest economic crisis we have seen in decades by investing unprecedented amounts of the American people's hard-earned money," said Obama.
"With that comes an unprecedented obligation to do so wisely, free from politics and personal agendas and on this I will not compromise or tolerate short cuts."
The White House will also be hosting a "Fiscal Responsibility Summit" where the President will speak further about responsible stimulus payment management.
President Obama will also address a joint session of Congress on Tuesday.
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