Press Briefing by Press Secretary Jay Carney, 7/31/2013

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By The White House

James S. Brady Press Briefing Room

1:04 P.M. EDT

MR. CARNEY: I know you all welcomed her back on Monday when I wasn’t here, but it is great to have Jamie Smith back, a new mom, and a new, proud mom at that. If you haven't seen her little girl, she is beautiful, truly beautiful. So it’s great to have Jamie back. And it’s great to be here. (Laughter.) Now she’s going to have to go straight to daycare and check in on her. (Laughter.) I remember how that felt.

It’s great to be back here with you today. I have, before I take your questions, just a couple of things I want to note for you.

First, on Tuesday, August 6th, the President will travel to the Phoenix, Arizona area, to continue talking with Americans about his better bargain for the middle class. On Tuesday in Tennessee, the President laid out one cornerstone of that vision, a plan to create good jobs that pay decent wages by investing in manufacturing and infrastructure. Next week in Arizona, the President will lay out his plan to continue to help responsible homeowners and those Americans who seek to own their own homes as another cornerstone of how we can strengthen the middle class in America.

That afternoon, the President will then travel to Burbank, California, to tape an appearance on the Tonight Show with Jay Leno. The following day, Wednesday, August 7th — there’s a Leno fan in the front row I can tell. (Laughter.) The following day, on Wednesday, August 7th, the President will travel to Camp Pendleton to visit with troops and their families and to thank them for their extraordinary service to our nation.

My next announcement is in here somewhere — I thought. So with that — it’s not a big one — (laughter) — it’s just a meeting I'm sure you’d be interested in. No, I just wanted to note — and I will as much as I can off the cuff that today is the 49th anniversary of Medicare, and millions and millions of Americans — senior citizens — have led richer and healthier lives because of this extraordinary program and its success.

The President has, through a number of actions, and most noticeably, through the Affordable Care Act, strengthened Medicare and provided more benefits to seniors. And we are seeing a reduction in the growth rate of costs in Medicare, historic change in that growth rate, and we've seen it, obviously, in the private sector health care market as well. And that is a direct benefit of the Affordable Care Act as we implement it. And so that is a welcome thing.

We have over the years experienced debates about Medicare, calls to see it wither on the vine by some, efforts to turn it into a voucher program, essentially efforts to disrupt, dismantle and, in some ways, ultimately defeat Medicare. …read more

Source: FULL ARTICLE at The White House Press Office

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