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Obama Weekly Address Focuses on Colorado Wildfires

June 30, 2012

U.S. President Barack Obama says the effort to bring the Waldo Canyon wildfires in Colorado under control has resulted in "unprecedented" coordination among federal, state and local communities.

The president said Saturday in his weekly address he will continue to make sure all available federal resources are "brought to bear in fighting this fire."

President Obama thanked the firefighters for their "courage and... discipline."

He also noted the volunteers who are providing the firefighters with food, water and other necessities.

The president spoke to the American people from Colorado. On Friday, Obama toured the Colorado neighborhoods torched by the rampaging wildfires that have left two people dead and have forced 35,000 people to evacuate their homes.

Waldo Canyon Fire - A rapidly spreading smoke cloud surrounds the U.S. Air Force Academy's airfield in Colorado Springs, Colo., June 26, 2012. The Waldo Canyon fire is burning in the area of the Air Force Academy. (U.S. Air Force photo/ Mike Kaplan)

U.S. Senator John Barrasso said in the weekly Republican address that President Barack Obama's health care plan will not lower the cost of health care in America.

Senator Barrasso, who is also a doctor, said Saturday the new health care law amounts to a "new tax," enabling the Internal Revenue Service to hire more agents to make sure Americans buy health insurance. He said the new law does not address the shortage of nurses and doctors.

The senator described the president's health plan as "unworkable, unaffordable and very unpopular." He said the Republicans in Congress will fight to "repeal the president's failed health care law."

President Obama hailed the 5-4 Supreme Court decision this week that upheld his health care plan. The president said the court decision reaffirmed that in the U.S. - the wealthiest nation on Earth - no illness or accident should lead any family to financial ruin.

Obama's Republican challenger in the 2012 election, Mitt Romney, has promised to repeal the law on his first day in office, if elected.

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