By Tracey Webb Follow @WebbWriterguru
Get your daily scoop of what State of the Union is watching today, December 4, 2013.
1. The President pivots. Back on offense over the Affordable Care Act, the president is citing the health care law as part of his vision for strengthening the economy and the social safety net. In a speech at the liberal-leaning Center for American Progress, President Obama outlined his economic priorities for the next three years, calling income inequality "the most defining challenge of our time" and urging an increase in the federal minimum wage. He also challenged Republicans to offer their own proposals for solving the nation's problems instead of simply opposing his plans. "If you still don't like Obamacare and I know you don't, even though its built on marketplace ideas of choice and competition in the private sector – you should explain how, exactly, you cut costs and cover more people and make insurance more secure," said Obama. "You owe it to the American people to tell us what you are for not just what you are against."
2. Never mind Obamacare, I'll pay the fine. More than a quarter of Americans who don't have health insurance say they're more likely to a pay a government fine rather than sign up for coverage. A new Gallup poll finds that 63 percent of people who currently don't have coverage say they'll sign up by the March 31, 2014 deadline, while 28 percent say they'll probably pay the fine mandated by Obamacare. The survey found self-identified Democrats to be the most invested in the health care law. Only 15 percent of uninsured Democrats said they would pay the penalty instead of signing up for insurance, while 31 percent of Independents and 45 percent of uninsured Republicans would choose to pay a fine.
3. Support for stricter gun control fades. As the one-year anniversary of the Newtown, Connecticut massacre approaches, support for stricter gun control appears to be waning. Last January, just weeks after the Sandy Hook Elementary School tragedy, A CNN/ORC poll found 55 percent support for tighter gun control. A new CNN/ORC survey finds that number has dropped for 49 percent favoring more gun control, with 50 percent opposing stronger gun measures.