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In Speech On The Economy, A Health Care Plug

It's become one of the White House's favorite new talking points on health care. Today, President Obama again posited that his reform effort is part of the cure for an ailing economy.

Speaking at Hudson Valley Community College, Obama said that rising health care costs leave small and large businesses at a competitive disadvantage, particularly in a global economy.

"We will never know the enormity of the costs of our economy to the countless Americans unable to become entrepreneurs or to start a small business, to follow their dreams, because they're afraid of losing their health insurance," he said. "So, to lead in the global economy, we must pass health insurance reform that brings down costs and provides more security for people who have insurance, and offers options to people who don't have health insurance."

Obama, joined by Dr. Jill Biden, a community college professor in Virginia, also made a pitch for his elements of his education policy, and also pushed for an effort to end subsidies to banks who provide student loans.

"If we just cut out the middle-man, the banks, and lent directly to the students, the federal government would save that money, and we could use it for what's actually important: helping students afford and succeed in college," he said.