Obama to address vets on Iraq withdrawal
By The Post's Lisa Rein
President Obama heads to Atlanta Monday morning to give a speech on the war in Iraq to the Disabled American Veterans group. He's expected to discuss the upcoming milestone on Aug. 31, when the U.S. combat mission in Iraq ends and a transitional mission takes over. Thousands of troops will remain in the country for years, but by the end of August, 90,000 troops will have returned home since February 2009, my colleague Mike Shear reports. The troops that stay (about 50,000) will train Iraqi troops, conduct anti-terrorist raids and help protect U.S. civilian and military operations.
In other news, actor Andy Griffith has a new role: pitching President Barack Obama's health care law to seniors in a cable television ad paid for by Medicare. Read the rest of the story by the Associated Press:
The TV star — whose role as sheriff of Mayberry made him an enduring symbol of small-town American values — tells seniors that “good things are coming” under the health care overhaul, including free preventive checkups and lower-cost prescriptions for Medicare recipients.
Polls show that seniors are more skeptical of the health care law than are younger people because Medicare cuts provide much of the financing to expand coverage for the uninsured. That could be a problem for Democrats in the fall congressional elections, because seniors vote in large numbers.
Medicare says the national ad is not political, but part of its outreach to educate seniors about new benefits available next year. The ad is slated to run on channels seniors watch, such as the Weather Channel, CNN, Hallmark and Lifetime, at an initial cost of $700,000.
Not even the 84-year-old Griffith could keep the ad from being pulled into the partisan politics of health care.
Said Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky: “It's going to take more than slick taxpayer-funded ads to convince skeptical seniors that cutting a half-trillion dollars from Medicare is good for them.”
But presidential adviser Stephanie Cutter said the law strengthens Medicare by reducing wasteful spending. “Seniors were the target of a major misinformation campaign,” she wrote on the White House blog, saying the ads will help correct the record
| August 2, 2010; 8:43 AM ET
Categories: Administration, Agencies and Departments, Eye Opener
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