On This Day: President Barack Obama holds the baby daughter of former staff members Darienne Page Rakestraw and London Rakestraw in the Ground Floor Corridor of the White House, July 1, 2014 (Photo by Pete Souza)
11:0 EDT: The President makes a statement on Cuba, Rose Garden
11:45 EDT: Departs White House
12:35 CT: Arrives Nashville, Tennessee
1:30 CT: Participates in a discussion about the Affordable Care Act; Taylor Stratton Elementary School, Madison, Tennessee
3:35 CT: Departs Nashville
6:15 EDT: Arrives White House
On This Day: President Obama, followed by first lady Michelle Obama, does a dance upon his arrival ceremony with Tanzanian President Jakaya Kikwete, July 1, 2013, at Julius Nyerere International Airport in Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania
Sarah Kliff: Under Obamacare, America’s Uninsured Rate Has Fallen 35 Percent
14.1 million Americans have gained health plans since Obamacare’s coverage expansion began in 2014.
An additional 2.3 million young adults gained coverage between 2010 and 2013 — after Obamacare began requiring employer plans to offer dependent coverage through age 26. Federal officials say this is the largest drop in the uninsured rate since 1965, when Medicare and Medicaid began.
A new report from Health and Human Services finds that the uninsured rate has fallen from 20.3 percent prior to the health-care law down to 13.2 percent at the start of 2015. This is a 7.1 percentage-point decrease in the uninsured rate — or, to put it another way, a 35-percent decline in the number of Americans who lack insurance coverage. “Nothing since the implementation of Medicare and Medicaid has come close to this kind of change,” says Richard Frank, assistant secretary for evaluation and planning at Health and Human Services.
It’s been a good few days for America. On Thursday, the Supreme Court reaffirmed the Affordable Care Act. It is here to stay. And, Democrats and Republicans in Congress paved the way for the United States to rewrite the rules of global trade to benefit American workers and American businesses. On Friday, the Court recognized the Constitutional guarantee of marriage equality. With that ruling, our union became a little more perfect — a place where more people are treated equally, no matter who they are or who they love. These steps build upon America’s steady progress in recent years. Out of the depths of recession, we’ve emerged ready to write our own future. Our businesses have created 12.6 million new jobs over the past 63 months — the longest streak on record. More than 16 million Americans have gained health insurance. More kids are graduating from high school and college than ever before. But more work lies ahead, if we are to succeed in making sure this recovery reaches all hardworking Americans and their families.
We’ve got to keep making sure hard work is rewarded. Right now, too many Americans are working long days for less pay than they deserve. That’s partly because we’ve failed to update overtime regulations for years — and an exemption meant for highly paid, white collar employees now leaves out workers making as little as $23,660 a year — no matter how many hours they work. This week, I’ll head to Wisconsin to discuss my plan to extend overtime protections to nearly 5 million workers in 2016, covering all salaried workers making up to about $50,400 next year. That’s good for workers who want fair pay, and it’s good for business owners who are already paying their employees what they deserve — since those who are doing right by their employees are undercut by competitors who aren’t. That’s how America should do business. In this country, a hard day’s work deserves a fair day’s pay.
Mike Dorning: Obama Plans To Expand Overtime Eligibility For Millions
The Obama administration plans to raise the wages of millions of Americans who work more than 40 hours a week by requiring their employers to pay them overtime. Workers who earn as much as $970 a week would have to be paid overtime even if they’re classified as a manager or professional, based on draft rules to be announced as soon as Tuesday, said an administration official. Many employees now receiving as little as $455 a week, or $23,660 a year — below the federal poverty line for a family of four — aren’t entitled to overtime pay because they are classified as managers exempt from overtime pay. The regulations, from the Labor Department, would take effect in 2016, said the official, who asked for anonymity because the plan hasn’t been announced. Workers in retail stores and restaurants are among most likely to be affected.
“You would be hard pressed to find a rule change or an executive order that would reach more middle class workers than this one,” said Jared Bernstein, a former economic adviser to Vice President Joe Biden who is now a senior fellow at the Center for Budget and Policy Priorities. The median U.S. household income of $54,600 in April was $1,600 short of the amount at the start of the recession in December 2007, according to inflation-adjusted estimates from Sentier Research. Ross Eisenbrey, vice president of the Economic Policy Institute, a research group partly funded by labor unions, has estimated that the higher salary threshold would expand overtime to as many as 15 million additional workers.