Speech mostly omits health-related issues

President Obama noted in his final State of the Union address that healthcare inflation has slowed and businesses continue to create jobs.
President Obama noted in his final State of the Union address that healthcare inflation has slowed and businesses continue to create jobs.

Providers looking for President Barack Obama to tackle long-term care and other health-related issues in his final State of the Union address were left disappointed.

Obama largely overlooked healthcare in his address, despite major policy issues on the horizon such as a proposed regulatory overhaul for nursing homes.

Instead, the president called on legislators to strengthen Medicare and Social Security, calling them “more important than ever.”

In the president's last turn at the SotU podium, he did tout the Affordable Care Act, citing a slowdown in healthcare inflation and the 18 million Americans who have gained coverage since the law went into effect. He also noted a revitalized economy, citing more than 14 million new jobs and an unemployment rate (about 5%) that is about half the 2010 rate.

Precision medicine and cancer research also were highlighted during the address, with Obama announcing a renewed “moonshot” approach to cancer treatments helmed by Vice President Joe Biden. Biden's son Beau died of cancer in 2015 at age 46.