5 things Obama left out of the State of the Union

President Barack Obama, flanked by Vice President Joe Biden and House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH), delivers his State of the Union speech before a joint session of Congress at the U.S. Capitol February 12, 2013 in Washington, DC.
Charles Dharapak-Pool/Getty Images

While President Obama covered a wide range of topics in his speech before Congress Tuesday night, an hour-long address can't be expected to be broach every issue that impacts the state of the union. Some issues may be a lower priority for the president, while he may not care to mention others for political reasons. On some subjects, the president may simply not have much new to say.

Below are five issues left out of the president's address. While some may have never realistically made it into Mr. Obama's remarks, they are nevertheless issues that will impact the state of the union this year.

Upcoming Obamacare changes

Mr. Obama noted in his speech that "the biggest driver of our long-term debt is the rising cost of health care for an aging population." He also noted that "already, the Affordable Care Act is helping to slow the growth of health care costs."

He did not mention, however, the huge changes to the health care system looming on the horizon. The federal and state governments are currently in the process of establishing a network of health care "exchanges" that are supposed to be up and running by next year. Many states are also preparing to expand their Medicaid rolls, while other states are resisting that specific Obamacare initiative. Through those two components of Obamacare -- the exchanges and the Medicaid expansion -- roughly 36 million people are predicted to obtain health insurance by 2022.

Other upcoming changes continue to spur controversy, with some faith-based organizations opposed to news rules mandating full insurance coverage for contraception and some businesses concerned about the cost of covering their employees.

Marijuana policy

"Together, we... can say with renewed confidence that the state of our union is stronger," Mr. Obama said tonight. But without question, the state of the union is in flux when it comes to drug policy.

In November, Colorado and Washington became the first two states to legalize recreational marijuana use, even though it is still banned under federal law. Mr. Obama's Justice Department has yet to say how it will respond to this conflict. Meanwhile, two Democrats have introduced legislation to leave marijuana policy to the states. Mr. Obama has said it's time to have a conversation about marijuana policy, but he didn't use last night's address to start that conversation.