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Friday, February 20, 2009

Obama Gives Shout-Out to Newsom on Universal Health Care

Posted By on Fri, Feb 20, 2009 at 5:03 PM

click to enlarge The president told Gavin Newsom that universal health care is a capital idea
  • The president told Gavin Newsom that universal health care is a capital idea
In our story about the city's plastic bag ban, this paper said it best: San Francisco is a city that likes to be scratched behind the ears by an adoring world. 

The city got its adoration from high places today: President Barack Obama gave a shout out to Mayor Gavin Newsom for the city's universal health care program in his speech this morning to mayors across the country gathered at the White House. Universal health care was a key part of Obama's platform in the presidential race.

"Instead of just talking about health care, mayors like Gavin Newsom in San Francisco have been ensuring that those in need receive it," Obama said, also commending Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villagairosa for work combatting poverty, and Seattle Mayor Greg Nickels on work greening his city.

"You shouldn't have to succeed, though, despite Washington; you should be succeeding with a hand from Washington, and that's what you're going to get now."

Obama spoke also of his own plans for health care: "We're going to computerize America's meidcal records while maintaining rigorous policy standards, saving billions of dollars and countless lives. We'll focus on prevention, keeping millions of Americans from having to sit in the doctor's office in the first place. Taken together with the earlier enactment this month of long-delayed laws to extend health care to millions more children of working families, we've done more in 30 days to advance the cause of helath care reform than this country has done in a decade."

Of course, the glamorous Newsom gets all the credit. We're sure that Assemblyman Tom Ammiano, who drafted the Health Care Security Ordinance while a supervisor, which was then passed by the board and signed by Newsom, is just a tad bit jealous.

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Lauren Smiley

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