The president will lay out his priorities for 2014 Tuesday night in his annual State of the Union address so we decided to hit the streets of New York City to hear what the American people what to hear from their commander in chief.
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Here’s what we found out:
Samantha Northart, a 33-year-old actress from New York says she’s an ObamaCare success story since she was able to obtain coverage she likes via the state’s health exchange under the Affordable Care Act. But she still wants answers from President Obama about the future of his signature legislation.
“I want to hear how it’s fared over the last two months,” Northart says. “I signed up through the exchange, and even though I have multiple jobs, I still qualified for subsidized care. But I want to hear how the law is being put into action.”
As of mid-January, the administration has reported more than 3 three million people have enrolled in insurance plans via state and federal exchanges under the law that may come to define Obama’s presidency.
While the economy has many significant strides in the last few years, job growth remains slow with 74,000 jobs added in December and a 6.7% unemployment rate. Also on the president’s mind when address the nation will be his 43% approval rating.
Emma Sidders, a retired school superintendent from northwest Oklahoma says she wants “straight talk and answers” from the president. “I want to hear about the economy, unemployment and the Affordable Care Act,” she says. “They are all a drain on our resources. And the national debt is soaring—he is not solely responsible for that, but what will he do to address it?”
Jonathan Card, a 42-year-old architect from San Antonio, Texas, says he is most interested in hearing the president’s plans for the country’s minimum wage. The president will make his address on the same day the White House announced an executive order that would hike the minimum wage for federal contract workers to $10.10 an hour from $7.25.
“I would rather allow the market to drive wages than to have the government dictate them,” says Card.
New Yorker Robert Kitchens, a 29-year-old theater promoter, is more focused on the president’s plans to create jobs.
“I am interested to hear him talk about jobs—I know growth has been really slow,” Kitchens says. He also wants to hear more about the Affordable Care Act despite being covered through his employer.
Northart agreed she’d like to hear about job growth as well.
“I want to hear about job growth over the last year, and the concept of minimum wage increases,” she says. “And, I want to hear about arts funding and offshore drilling.”