President Bush’s Inaugural Address Notes Ownership in Health Care
President Bush on Thursday in his Inaugural address opened his second term "with an ode to 'the force of human freedom,'" and he referred to his support for an "ownership society" in regards to health care, the Chicago Tribune reports. In a 21-minute address that mostly focused on issues other than health care, Bush said, "We will widen the ownership of homes and businesses, retirement savings and health insurance, preparing our people for the challenges of life in a free society" (Silva, Chicago Tribune, 1/21). He added, "By making every citizen an agent of his or her own destiny, we will give our fellow Americans greater freedom from want and fear, and make our society more prosperous and just and equal" (Klein, Boston Globe, 1/21).
The speech lacked "detailed references" to administration policies, as the president sought "not so much to describe a road map for the next four years as to make a provocative statement about the nation's long-term mission over the next several decades -- the 'concentrated work of generations,' as Bush put it," the Washington Post reports (Harris, Washington Post, 1/21).
The speech text is available online. NPR's "Talk of the Nation" on Thursday included a discussion of the "top" domestic issues for Bush's second term. Time Washington Bureau Chief Michael Duffy, one of the guests on the program, said it is a "mystery" to him why health care has not "been a bigger issue" and is not on the president's current agenda (Conan, "Talk of the Nation," NPR, 1/20). The complete segment is available online in RealPlayer.