I'm Michel Martin and this is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. First of all, you might be noticing that the program sounds a little bit different today. We are having some technical difficulties that are not allowing us to play some of the music and other elements you're used to hearing. But we're still going to have great conversations.
I'm Michel Martin and this is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. Coming up, we will talk about why the government doesn't want to send you a Social Security or veterans' benefits check anymore. Don't panic. They're going to send you the money. They just don't want to send you a check. We'll tell you why in just a few minutes.
The governor is preparing to release a report by a commission he created to study the availability and rising cost of homeowners insurance.
Gov. Robert Bentley directed the Affordable Homeowners Insurance Commission to address insurance issues caused by hurricanes along the coast and the massive tornado outbreak that hit the state in April 2011. A spokesman for the governor says he will release the report at 1 p.m. Wednesday.
The White House seemed surprised last month when President Obama's inaugural address was characterized in some quarters as a liberal manifesto. So Tuesday night's State of the Union speech was firmly grounded in the bread-and-butter pocketbook issues facing the middle class.
It's MORNING EDITION from NPR News with Linda Wertheimer. I'm Renee Montagne.
STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:
And I'm Steve Inskeep.
Throughout today's program, we're hearing parts of President Obama's State of the Union Address and many reactions to it. This is the part of the program where we take a close read of the speech. We've done this nine years running. In some cases we're checking facts. And in other cases we're asking what some parts of the speech really mean.
Senate Democrats say their priority for the 2013 legislative session is getting Alabama to expand its Medicaid program.
The Senate Democratic Caucus announced at a news conference Tuesday that it hopes to get Republican Gov. Robert Bentley to reverse his decision not to expand the program under the federal Affordable Care Act. Bentley, a physician, is opposed to enlarging the Medicaid program under the current structure.
President Obama is expected to put specifics behind the vision he outlined in his inaugural address a few weeks ago. Get live updates from the speech and join NPR journalists in analyzing what it could mean for the future.
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Something that President Obama is not likely to dwell on tonight is the feeble state of campaign finance laws. It was three years ago that he used the State of the Union to challenge the Supreme Court on its Citizens United decision, which encouraged more corporate money in politics. This year, though, he has his own tax-exempt social welfare group backed with corporate contributions to help advance his agenda. NPR's Peter Overby reports.