Obama seeks bipartisanship, so long as it happens his way

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AHCA/NCAL President and CEO Mark Parkinson
AHCA/NCAL President and CEO Mark Parkinson

In a State of the Union address that largely touted objectives favored by Democrats, President Obama called on Republicans to be less partisan.

“The American people don't expect government to solve every problem. They don't expect those of us in this chamber to agree on every issue. But they do expect us to put the nation's interests before party,” he said. The body language of many GOP lawmakers suggested visible irritation with the lecture. Several tweeted afterwards that cooperation does not necessarily mean concession.

When it came to long-term care, the speech danced on peripheral topics: vaguely addressing sequestration, Medicare, hikes in the minimum wage and immigration.

American Health Care Association President and CEO Mark Parkinson said that while the speech did not offer specific answers to long-term care challenges, “We are ready with solutions whose first prescription is not further cuts, but rather structural changes.” 

LeadingAge President and CEO Larry Minnix praised Obama for taking a balanced approach to the deficit, and targeting the minimum wage. 

“Support for lower-income workers reinforces the importance of direct care staff in our member organizations,” he said.