■オバマ大統領の週末演説（２００９年７月２５日）を読んで、『究極の英単語』（アルク発行、全４巻、１万２０００語）か『ＪＡＣＥＴ８０００英単語』（桐原書店発行、８０００語）のどちらかに収録されている英単語は黒い四角で塗りつぶします。 まず英語の原文↓↓↓ I recently heard from a small business owner from New Jersey who wrote that he employs eight people and provides health insurance for all of them. But his policy goes up at least 20 percent each year, and today, it costs almost $1,400 per family per month – his highest business expense besides his employees’ salaries. He’s already had to let two of them go, and he may be forced to eliminate health insurance altogether.
He wrote, simply: "I am not looking for free health care, I would just like to get my premiums reduced enough to be able to afford it."
Day after day, I hear from people just like him. Workers worried they may lose their coverage if they become too sick, or lose their job, or change jobs. Families who fear they may not be able to get insurance, or change insurance, if someone in their family has a pre-existing condition. And small business owners trying to make a living and do right by the people they employ.
These are the mom and pop stores and restaurants, beauty shops and construction companies that support families and sustain communities. They’re the tiny startups with big ideas, hoping to become the next Google or Apple or HP. And, as shown in a new report released today by the White House Council of Economic Advisers, right now they are getting crushed by skyrocketing health care costs.
Because they lack the bargaining power that large businesses have and face higher administrative costs per person, small businesses pay up to 18 percent more for the very same health insurance plans – costs that eat into their profits and get passed on to their employees.
As a result, small businesses are much less likely to offer health insurance. Those that do tend to have less generous plans. In a recent survey, one third of small businesses reported cutting benefits. Many have dropped coverage altogether. And many have shed jobs, or shut their doors entirely.
This is unsustainable, it’s unacceptable, and it’s going to change when I sign health insurance reform into law.
Under the reform plans in Congress, small businesses will be able to purchase health insurance through an "insurance exchange," a marketplace where they can compare the price, quality and services of a wide variety of plans, many of which will provide better coverage at lower costs than the plans they have now. They can then pick the one that works best for them and their employees.
Small businesses that choose to insure their employees will also receive a tax credit to help them pay for it. If a small business chooses not to provide coverage, its employees can purchase high quality, affordable coverage through the insurance exchange on their own. Low-income workers – folks who are more likely to be working at small businesses – will qualify for a subsidy to help them cover the costs.
And no matter how you get your insurance, insurance companies will no longer be allowed to deny you coverage because of a pre-existing condition. They won’t be able to drop your coverage if you get too sick or lose your job or change jobs. And we’ll limit the amount your insurance company can force you to pay out of your own pocket.
To view the new report and learn more about how health insurance reform will help small businesses, go to WhiteHouse.gov, and send us your questions and comments – we’ll answer as many of them as we can later this week.
Over the past few months, I’ve been pushing hard to make sure we finally address the need for health insurance reform, which has been deferred year after year, decade after decade. And today, after a lot of hard work in Congress, we are closer than ever before to finally passing reform that will reduce costs, expand coverage, and provide more choices for our families and businesses.
It has taken months to reach this point, and once this legislation passes, we’ll need to move thoughtfully and deliberately to implement these reforms over a period of several years. That is why I feel such a sense of urgency about moving this process forward.
Now I know there are those who are urging us to delay reform. And some of them have actually admitted that this is a tactic designed to stop any reform at all. Some have even suggested that, regardless of its merits, health care reform should be stopped as a way to inflict political damage on my Administration. I’ll leave it to them to explain that to the American people.
What I’m concerned about is the damage that’s being done right now to the health of our families, the success of our businesses, and the long-term fiscal stability of our government. I’m concerned about hard working folks who want nothing more than the security that comes with knowing they can get the care they need, when they need it. I’m concerned about the small business owners who are asking for nothing more than a chance to seize their piece of the American Dream. I’m concerned about our children and grandchildren who will be saddled with deficits that will continue piling up year after year unless we pass reform.
This debate is not a political game for these Americans, and they cannot afford to keep waiting for reform. We owe it to them to finally get it done – and to get it done this year. Thank you. （９３４語）
■オバマ大統領の週末演説（２００９年７月１８日）を読んで、『究極の英単語』（アルク発行、全４巻、１万２０００語）か『ＪＡＣＥＴ８０００英単語』（桐原書店発行、８０００語）のどちらかに収録されている英単語は黒い四角で塗りつぶします。 まず英語の原文↓↓↓ Right now in Washington, our Senate and House of Representatives are both debating proposals for health insurance reform. Today, I want to speak with you about the stakes of this debate, for our people and for the future of our nation.
This is an issue that affects the health and financial well-being of every single American and the stability of our entire economy.
It’s about every family unable to keep up with soaring out of pocket costs and premiums rising three times faster than wages. Every worker afraid of losing health insurance if they lose their job, or change jobs. Everyone who’s worried that they may not be able to get insurance or change insurance if someone in their family has a pre-existing condition.
It’s about a woman in Colorado who told us that when she was diagnosed with breast cancer, her insurance company – the one she’d paid over $700 a month to – refused to pay for her treatment. She had to use up her retirement funds to save her own life.
It’s about a man from Maryland who sent us his story – a middle class college graduate whose health insurance expired when he changed jobs. During that time, he needed emergency surgery, and woke up $10,000 in debt – debt that has left him unable to save, buy a home, or make a career change.
It’s about every business forced to shut their doors, or shed jobs, or ship them overseas. It’s about state governments overwhelmed by Medicaid, federal budgets consumed by Medicare, and deficits piling higher year after year.
This is the status quo. This is the system we have today. This is what the debate in Congress is all about: Whether we’ll keep talking and tinkering and letting this problem fester as more families and businesses go under, and more Americans lose their coverage. Or whether we’ll seize this opportunity – one we might not have again for generations – and finally pass health insurance reform this year, in 2009.
Now we know there are those who will oppose reform no matter what. We know the same special interests and their agents in Congress will make the same old arguments, and use the same scare tactics that have stopped reform before because they profit from this relentless escalation in health care costs. And I know that once you’ve seen enough ads and heard enough people yelling on TV, you might begin to wonder whether there’s a grain of truth to what they’re saying. So let me take a moment to answer a few of their arguments.
First, the same folks who controlled the White House and Congress for the past eight years as we ran up record deficits will argue – believe it or not – that health reform will lead to record deficits. That’s simply not true. Our proposals cut hundreds of billions of dollars in unnecessary spending and unwarranted giveaways to insurance companies in Medicare and Medicaid. They change incentives so providers will give patients the best care, not just the most expensive care, which will mean big savings over time. And we have urged Congress to include a proposal for a standing commission of doctors and medical experts to oversee cost-saving measures.
I want to be very clear: I will not sign on to any health plan that adds to our deficits over the next decade. And by helping improve quality and efficiency, the reforms we make will help bring our deficits under control in the long-term.
Those who oppose reform will also tell you that under our plan, you won’t get to choose your doctor – that some bureaucrat will choose for you. That’s also not true. Michelle and I don’t want anyone telling us who our family’s doctor should be – and no one should decide that for you either. Under our proposals, if you like your doctor, you keep your doctor. If you like your current insurance, you keep that insurance. Period, end of story.
Finally, opponents of health reform warn that this is all some big plot for socialized medicine or government-run health care with long lines and rationed care. That’s not true either. I don’t believe that government can or should run health care. But I also don’t think insurance companies should have free reign to do as they please.
That’s why any plan I sign must include an insurance exchange: a one-stop shopping marketplace where you can compare the benefits, cost and track records of a variety of plans – including a public option to increase competition and keep insurance companies honest – and choose what’s best for your family. And that’s why we’ll put an end to the worst practices of the insurance industry: no more yearly caps or lifetime caps; no more denying people care because of pre-existing conditions; and no more dropping people from a plan when they get too sick. No longer will you be without health insurance, even if you lose your job or change jobs.
The good news is that people who know the system best are rallying to the cause of change. Just this past week, the American Nurses Association, representing millions of nurses across America, and the American Medical Association, representing doctors across our nation, announced their support because they’ve seen first-hand the need for health insurance reform.
They know we cannot continue to cling to health industry practices that are bankrupting families, and undermining American businesses, large and small. They know we cannot let special interests and partisan politics stand in the way of reform – not this time around.
The opponents of health insurance reform would have us do nothing. But think about what doing nothing, in the face of ever increasing costs, will do to you and your family.
So today, I am urging the House and the Senate, Democrats and Republicans, to seize this opportunity, and vote for reform that gives the American people the best care at the lowest cost; that reins in insurance companies, strengthens businesses and finally gives families the choices they need and the security they deserve.Thanks.（１００２語）
まず英語の原文↓↓↓ This week, we’ve made important progress toward the goal of bringing about change abroad and change at home. During my visit to Russia, we began the process of resetting relations so that we can address key national priorities like the threat of nuclear weapons and extremism. At the G8 summit, leaders from nearly thirty nations met to discuss how we will collectively confront the urgent challenges of our time, from managing the global recession to fighting global warming to addressing global hunger and poverty. And in Ghana, I laid out my agenda for supporting democracy and development in Africa and around the world.
But even as we make progress on these challenges abroad, my thoughts are on the state of our economy at home. And that’s what I want to talk to you about today.
We came into office facing the most severe economic downturn since the Great Depression. At the time, we were losing, on average 700,000 jobs a month. And many feared that our financial system was on the verge of collapse.
As a result of the swift and aggressive action we took in the first few months of this year, we’ve been able to pull our financial system and our economy back from the brink. We took steps to re-start lending to families and businesses, stabilize our major financial institutions, and help homeowners stay in their homes and pay their mortgages. We also passed the largest and most sweeping economic recovery plan in our nation’s history.
The Recovery Act wasn’t designed to restore the economy to full health on its own, but to provide the boost necessary to stop the free fall. It was designed to spur demand and get people spending again and cushion those who had borne the brunt of the crisis. And it was designed to save jobs and create new ones.
In a little over one hundred days, this Recovery Act has worked as intended. It has already extended unemployment insurance and health insurance to those who have lost their jobs in this recession. It has delivered $43 billion in tax relief to American working families and businesses. Without the help the Recovery Act has provided to struggling states, its estimated that state deficits would be nearly twice as large as they are now, resulting in tens of thousands of additional layoffs – layoffs that would affect police officers, teachers, and firefighters.
The Recovery Act has allowed small businesses and clean energy companies to hire new workers or scrap their plans for eliminating current jobs. And it’s led to new jobs building roads, bridges and other infrastructure projects, thousands of which are only beginning now. In the months to come, thousands more projects will begin, leading to additional jobs.
Now, I realize that when we passed this Recovery Act, there were those who felt that doing nothing was somehow an answer. Today, some of those same critics are already judging the effort a failure although they have yet to offer a plausible alternative. Others believed that the recovery plan should have been even larger, and are already calling for a second recovery plan.
But, as I made clear at the time it was passed, the Recovery Act was not designed to work in four months – it was designed to work over two years. We also knew that it would take some time for the money to get out the door, because we are committed to spending it in a way that is effective and transparent. Crucially, this is a plan that will also accelerate greatly throughout the summer and the fall. We must let it work the way it’s supposed to, with the understanding that in any recession, unemployment tends to recover more slowly than other measures of economic activity.
I am confident that the United States of America will weather this economic storm. But once we clear away the wreckage, the real question is what we will build in its place. Even as we rescue this economy from a full blown crisis, I have insisted that we must rebuild it better than before.
Without serious reforms, we are destined to either see more crises, or suffer stagnant growth rates for the foreseeable future, or a combination of the two. That’s a future I absolutely reject. And that’s why we’re laying a new foundation that’s not only strong enough to withstand the challenges of the 21st century, but one that will allow us to thrive and compete in a global economy. That means investing in the jobs of the future, training our workers to compete for those jobs, and controlling the health care costs that are driving us into debt.
Through the clean energy investments we’ve made in the Recovery Act, we’re already seeing start-ups and small businesses make plans to create thousands of new jobs. In California, 3000 people will be employed to build a new solar plant. In Michigan, investment in wind turbines and wind technology is expected to create over 2,600 jobs. And a few weeks ago, the House of Representatives passed historic legislation that would finally make clean energy the profitable kind of energy, leading to whole new industries and jobs that can’t be outsourced.
To give our workers the skills and education they need to compete for the high-tech, high-wage jobs of the future, we’re working on reforms that will close achievement gaps, ensure that our schools meet high standards, reward our teachers for performance and give them new pathways to advancement.
Finally, we have made important progress in the last few weeks on health care reform that will finally control the costs that are driving our families, our businesses, and our government into debt. Both the Senate and the House have now produced legislation that will bring down costs, provide better care for patients, and curb the worst practices of insurance companies, so that they can no longer deny Americans coverage based on a pre-existing medical condition. It’s a plan that would also allow Americans to keep their health insurance if they lose their job or if they change their job. And it would set up a health insurance exchange – a marketplace that will allow families and small businesses to access one-stop-shopping for quality, affordable coverage, and help them compare prices and choose the plan that best suits their needs. One such choice would be a public option that would make health care more affordable through competition that keeps the insurance companies honest.
One other point. Part of what makes our current economic situation so challenging is that we already had massive deficits as the recession gathered force. And although the Recovery Act represents just a small fraction of our long term debt, people have legitimate questions as to whether we can afford reform without making our deficits much worse.
So let me be clear; I have been firm in insisting that both health care reform and clean energy legislation cannot add to our deficit. And I intend to continue the work of reducing waste, eliminating programs that don’t work, and reforming our entitlement programs to ensure that our long term deficits are brought under control.
I said when I took office that it would take many months to move our economy from recession to recovery and ultimately to prosperity. We are not there yet, and I continue to believe that even one American out of work is one too many. But we are moving in the right direction. We are cleaning up the wreckage of this storm. And we are laying a firmer, stronger foundation so that we may better weather whatever future storms may come. This year has been and will continue to be a year of rescuing our economy from disaster.
But just as important will be the work of rebuilding a long term engine for economic growth. It won’t be easy, and there will continue to be those who argue that we have to put off hard decisions that we have already deferred for far too long. But earlier generations of Americans didn’t build this great country by fearing the future and shrinking our dreams.
This generation – our generation - has to show that same courage and determination. I believe we will.Thanks for listening. （１４０１語）
まず、英語の原文↓↓↓ Hello and Happy Fourth of July, everybody. This weekend is a time to get together with family and friends, kick back, and enjoy a little time off. And I hope that’s exactly what all of you do. But I also want to take a moment today to reflect on what I believe is the meaning of this distinctly American holiday.
Today, we are called to remember not only the day our country was born – we are also called to remember the indomitable spirit of the first American citizens who made that day possible.
We are called to remember how unlikely it was that our American experiment would succeed at all; that a small band of patriots would declare independence from a powerful empire; and that they would form, in the new world, what the old world had never known – a government of, by, and for the people.
That unyielding spirit is what defines us as Americans. It is what led generations of pioneers to blaze a westward trail.
It is what led my grandparents’ generation to persevere in the face of a Depression and triumph in the face of tyranny.
It is what led generations of American workers to build an industrial economy unrivalled around the world.
It is what has always led us, as a people, not to wilt or cower at a difficult moment, but to face down any trial and rise to any challenge, understanding that each of us has a hand in writing America’s destiny.
That is the spirit we are called to show once more. We are facing an array of challenges on a scale unseen in our time. We are waging two wars. We are battling a deep recession. And our economy – and our nation itself – are endangered by festering problems we have kicked down the road for far too long: spiraling health care costs; inadequate schools; and a dependence on foreign oil.
Meeting these extraordinary challenges will require an extraordinary effort on the part of every American. And that is an effort we cannot defer any longer.
Now is the time to lay a new foundation for growth and prosperity. Now is the time to revamp our education system, demand more from teachers, parents, and students alike, and build schools that prepare every child in America to outcompete any worker in the world.
Now is the time to reform an unsustainable health care system that is imposing crushing costs on families, businesses, large and small, and state and federal budgets. We need to protect what works, fix what’s broken, and bring down costs for all Americans. No more talk. No more delay. Health care reform must happen this year.
And now is the time to meet our energy challenge – one of the greatest challenges we have ever confronted as a people or as a planet. For the sake of our economy and our children, we must build on the historic bill passed by the House of Representatives, and make clean energy the profitable kind of energy so that we can end our dependence on foreign oil and reclaim America’s future.
These are some of the challenges that our generation has been called to meet. And yet, there are those who would have us try what has already failed; who would defend the status quo. They argue that our health care system is fine the way it is and that a clean energy economy can wait. They say we are trying to do too much, that we are moving too quickly, and that we all ought to just take a deep breath and scale back our goals.
These naysayers have short memories. They forget that we, as a people, did not get here by standing pat in a time of change. We did not get here by doing what was easy. That is not how a cluster of 13 colonies became the United States of America.
We are not a people who fear the future. We are a people who make it. And on this July 4th, we need to summon that spirit once more. We need to summon the same spirit that inhabited Independence Hall two hundred and thirty-three years ago today.
That is how this generation of Americans will make its mark on history. That is how we will make the most of this extraordinary moment. And that is how we will write the next chapter in the great American story. Thank you, and Happy Fourth of July.（７５２語）