BizJournals: To commemorate the third anniversary of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), the Trust for America’s Health (TFAH) released a story bank featuring stories of successful prevention initiatives in action from around the country. Many of the stories focus on Community Transformation Grant (CTG) awardees, and show how this new program, made possible by the ACA, is already helping to improve the health of Americans. CTGs are one of the hallmark programs of the ACA’s Prevention and Public Health Fund, which is a dedicated investment in community prevention and state and local public health programs and workforce.
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Biden Not Giving Up On Assault Weapons Ban
AP: The White House is still pushing for an assault weapons ban, Vice President Joe Biden said Wednesday, even though Senate Democrats all but sealed its fate by dropping it from the gun-control package they plan to consider next month. ”Attitudes are changing,” Biden said in an interview with NPR News. “The president and I are going to continue to push, and we haven’t given up on it.”
“I don’t see this as there’s an automatic endpoint, that, OK, there’s one vote, this is it, fails, now we move on,” Biden said. “We are going to continue to push for logical gun-safety regulations.”
Still, Biden acknowledged that if Congress expanded background checks but failed to adopt the assault weapons ban, the White House would not consider the broader effort a failure. ”That would be gigantic,” Biden said.
U.S. President Barack Obama views the Dead Sea Scrolls with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (not pictured) at the Israel Museum in Jerusalem, March 21, 2013. REUTERS/Pablo Martinez Monsivais/Pool
In this handout image supplied by the Government Press Office of Israel (GPO) Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (R) and U.S. President Barack Obama visit the shrine of the book on March 21, 2013 in Jerusalem, Israel.
U.S. President Barack Obama greets Theresa Hannigan from New York, who is wearing a ReWalk bionic walking assistance system, at an Israeli technology exhibition at the Israel Museum on March 21, 2013 in Jerusalem, Israel.
U.S. President Barack Obama and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu view a robotic snake used in search and rescue at an Israeli technology exhibition in the Israel Museum on March 21, 2013 in Jerusalem, Israel.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (R) and U.S. President Barack Obama visit the shrine of the book on March 21, 2013 in Jerusalem, Israel.
President Obama Visits Israel Museum’s Shrine Of The Book
First lady Michelle Obama talks with Jorge Ortiz during her visit to the Fisher House, located at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda, Md., Wednesday, March 20, 2013, for a pre-Easter celebration with military families and children. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)
First Lady Bears Gifts To Military Families
AP: Michelle Obama marked the first day of spring with an early Easter celebration as she handed out holiday treats to military families and children.
The first lady stopped by the Fisher House at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda, Md., on Wednesday as families decorated Easter cards.
Mrs. Obama, accompanied by first dog Bo, carried a basket full of cookies made by the White House pastry chefs in the shape of the Portuguese water dog.
She also brought tickets for the families to attend the White House Egg Roll on April 1.
Anthony Robinson gets close to the Obama family dog, Bo, as first lady Michelle Obama watches during her visit to the Fisher House, located at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda, Md., Wednesday, March 20, 2013, for a pre-Easter celebration with military families and children. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)
First lady Michelle Obama shares a laugh with, from left, Sanae Bright, Kerry Bright and Ashanti Ferguson, during her visit to the Fisher House, located at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda, Md., Wednesday, March 20, 2013, for a pre-Easter celebration with military families and children. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)
AP: The nation’s views on gay marriage are more favorable in large part because of a shift in attitudes among those who know someone who is gay or became more accepting as they got older of gays and lesbians, according to a national survey. The Pew Research Center poll also finds that a large group of younger adults who tend to be more open to gay rights is driving the numbers upward.
Overall, the poll finds 49 percent of Americans favor allowing gays and lesbians to marry legally, and 44 percent opposed to the idea. That’s more people now favoring gay marriage than opposing it. A decade ago 58 percent opposed it and a third supported it.
The 49 percent who now support same-sex marriage includes 14 percent who said they have changed their minds.
When asked why, almost one-third say it’s because they know someone who is gay — a family member, friend or acquaintance. A quarter said their personal views have changed as they thought more about the issue or just because they’ve grown older and more accepting.
The GOP’s Self-Refuting Argument On Guns
Greg Sargent: The argument that we don’t need expanded background checks because “criminals don’t respect the law,” i.e., they won’t submit themselves to a background check, is a common one among the “gun rights” crowd. But this argument is self-refuting. It is actually an argumentfor expanding background checks, not against it. Here’s why: The loophole in the background check law — which the new proposal would close — is actually a leading reason why those who are prohibited from having guns are able to continue not “respecting the law.” The loophole in the law is a key reason they are able to get guns while not submitting themselves to background checks under the current system.
If the loophole were closed — and private sales were subjected to a background check, which law enforcement officials and other experts believe will severely limit the ability of criminals and/or traffickers to get guns — it would, in the view of those experts, become a lot harder for criminals not to “respect the law.” That is an outcome Boehner presumably wants. The fact that criminals don’t “respect the law” is why we need expanded background checks in the first place. The broader point here is that there’s no coherent policy argument against expanding background checks. That’s why Boehner accidentally admitted that background checks are good policy. That’s why the argument that we should not tighten up the law because criminals don’t obey laws is self-undermining. And that’s why opponents continually resort to the false claim that expanding background checks will create a “national gun registry,” when the law explicitly prohibits that outcome.
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All Times Eastern
11:00AM: President Obama delivers remarks to the Israeli people.
11:00AM: Vice-President Biden joins New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg at City Hall to discuss gun violence.
12:00PM: VP Biden delivers remarks at the 2013 Irish America Hall of Fame luncheon.
12:10PM: President Obama meets with U.S. Embassy Tel Aviv and U.S. Consulate General Jerusalem staff.
2:10PM: President Obama delivers remarks at a dinner hosted by President Peres.