Usually, we do things bigger in Texas. But right now, when it comes to covering the uninsured, some of our neighboring states are trying to beat us to the draw. In Arkansas, for example, they¹ve cut the total number of uninsured in the state by nearly 14 percent in just over a month.
There’s one big reason for that. Under the Affordable Care Act, states can choose whether or not to expand Medicaid to cover more of its citizens, and Arkansas chose “yes.” If we made that same choice in Texas, it would cover more than one million of our citizens, and save our taxpayers $1.7 billion over the next decade in unpaid hospital bills.
USA Today: Reversing CNN’s Fortunes Proves A Daunting Task
With its heavy emphasis last week on the woes of the new national health insurance exchange website’s rollout, the cable news network registered its lowest weekday primetime ratings in over a year. For the week of Oct. 28 to Nov. 1, the Time Warner-owned network averaged 385,000 viewers – lowest since Aug. 2012 – and 95,000 coveted adults between the ages of 25 and 54.
CNN’s ratings numbers have always popped with national breaking news. But the story about an insurance website – however comprehensive in coverage – likely wasn’t the kind that drives viewers to interrupt their day’s routines to tune in, says Andrew Tyndall, a longtime TV news monitor and publisher of industry newsletter Tyndall Report.
Think Progress: Texans Sharply Disagree With Rick Perry On Obamacare’s Medicaid Expansion
While Perry hasn’t exactly been shy about his opposition to that ACA provision, his constituents have a markedly different view, according to a new poll by the University of Texas and the Texas Tribune.
In addition to wide-ranging support for various ACA components such as insurance subsidies for low-income Americans and tax credits to businesses for providing health coverage, the poll finds that two-thirds of Texans support Medicaid expansion. Over 35 percent of the respondents even said that they “strongly support” the policy
Washington Post: Debt Collectors Face New Rules Under Proposal From Consumer Financial Protection Bureau
The government is preparing restrictions on debt collectors, a loosely regulated industry under increasing scrutiny over complaints of abusive tactics. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is slated to issue a notice of proposed rulemaking to modernize the legal framework governing debt collection.
The government watchdog is seeking public and business comment before formally proposing the rules, which are expected to be finalized by next year. The bureau is asking Americans whether creditors and collection agencies are providing accurate information about their outstanding debts. It also wants to know whether people are receiving threatening calls at all hours of the night or being dragged into court for money they do not owe.
Jamelle Bouie: How High Black Turnout Gave Terry McAuliffe His Win In Virginia
One of the big questions of the next few years of politics is whether Democrats can replicate the “Obama model” of minority turnout without the presence of Obama on the ballot. If the Virginia gubernatorial election was a test case, then the early answer is a clear “yes.” Cuccinelli maintained the GOP’s traditional advantage with white and married women, winning the former by sixteen point spread of 54 percent to 38 percent, and the latter by a solid margin of 51 percent to 42 percent.
Where the change from 2009 was most significant was among black voters. Then, African Americans were 16 percent were of the electorate, a significant drop from the 2008 election. This year, blacks were 20 percent of all voters, which means their turnout was exactly where it was in 2012.
Put another way, for the second year in a row, African Americans turned out at a rate above their percentage of the population, and supported the Democrat by a 9-to–1 margin. This is huge. For McAuliffe, what it meant is that—for almost every black voter who went to the polls—he could count on a vote, giving him crucial support in a tight race. To wit, more than 37 percent of his vote total came from African Americans.
Sy Mukherjee: No, Obamacare Won’t Cause Millions Of Workers To Lose Their Employer Sponsored Health Plans
Forbes contributor and former Mitt Romney health care adviser Avik Roy wrote a piece claiming that the Obama administration knew “93 million Americans will be unable to keep their health plans” under Obamacare and that many of them would actually be workers with employer-sponsored coverage.
Under the “grandfather clause,” a plan issued before the ACA was signed in 2010 could remain in place as long as employers or insurance companies didn’t drastically change its terms in a way that would harm the policy holder, like increasing out-of-pocket costs or dropping benefits. However, if a plan did change, it would lose its “grandfather status.” Then, any new plan issued in its place would be subject to Obamacare’s various requirements.
“So it isn’t like all of a sudden people are going to wake up and find out I don’t have my employer coverage anymore,” said Jost. “It’s just there are going to be some minor changes in those plans that benefit enrollees, and that many employers probably already covered anyway.” These small changes might include things like covering workers’ dependent children, or adding preventative care services, according to Jost.
Yahoo: Starbucks Wants To Recruit 10,000 Vets, Spouses To Its Ranks
Starbucks Corp is looking for thousands of good men – and women. The world’s biggest coffee chain said on Wednesday it would commit to hiring at least 10,000 veterans and spouses of active military in five years.
It also said five new and existing U.S. Starbucks cafes on or near military bases will share a portion of each sale with non-profit organizations that help veterans re-enter the workforce.
Many U.S. companies have committed to hiring thousands of military veterans who served in Iraq and Afghanistan. Seattle-based Starbucks said it will have specialized recruiters to match the unique skills of veterans and their spouses with company jobs.
Alec MacGillis: The Pundits Are Wrong. The Virginia Election Was A Big Win For Obamacare
Last night, the prospects for Robin L. and the estimated 400,000 Virginians who would be eligible under a Medicaid expansion brightened considerably. The gubernatorial election was won by Terry McAuliffe. So, the election was a clear win for Obamacare, right? Nope, say the pundits.
I’m not sure when I last saw such a stark example of election spin and punditry floating away from the substantive reality of governing and its impact on actual people. There is no mention in these accounts of the greatly enhanced prospects for the Medicaid expansion in Virginia as a result of McAuliffe’s win. No, it’s all about the exit polls and what it might mean for Obama and the Democrats.
All we know right now is that after a very rough patch for the law, the guy who ran strongly in support of it beat a guy who was strongly opposed to it, in the most purple state in the country. And as a result, hundreds of thousands of working poor may get health insurance coverage. How removed from the reality of these people’s lives does one have to be to chalk up such a result as a loss for Obamacare?
The US economy grew at an annualised pace of 2.8% in the third quarter of the year, latest figures have shown. The growth rate was faster than expected, and was an improvement on the 2.5% pace seen in the previous quarter. Growth was lifted by rising exports, businesses restocking shelves and a pick-up in home construction.
Keith Boykin: Despite What Conservatives Try To Argue, Black People Do Vote For White Candidates
Although no Democrat has run New York City since Dinkins, New Yorkers on Tuesday chose a progressive white Democrat, Bill de Blasio, who was swept into office with enormous Black support, an accomplished African-American wife and a highly publicized interracial family, all of which served as a rebuke to the racial polarization of the Rudy Giuliani regime and the racist stop-and-frisk policies of the Michael Bloomberg era.
On the same day de Blasio was elected, voters also chose Letitia James to succeed him as the city’s public advocate, making her the first Black woman in New York history to hold citywide office. The real story was about the influence of Black women, who voted 91 percent for McAuliffe while only 38 percent of white women did so, according to a New York Times exit poll.
That’s a lesson Democrats should remember as they suit up for 2014 and 2016. Democrats win when they attract a wide and diverse group of voters, just as President Obama did.
President Obama, first lady Michelle Obama and their daughters Sasha and Malia walk from Marine One to board Air Force One at Chicago O’Hare International Airport, Nov. 7, 2012, in Chicago, the day after the presidential election.
On This Day:
President Obama hugs House Speaker Nancy Pelosi at the Cannon House Office Building at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C., Nov. 7, 2009 (Photo by Pete Souza)
Nov. 7, 2010: “In India, the President was finally persuaded to join the First Lady on the dance floor at Holy Name High School in Mumbai.” (Photo by Pete Souza)
President Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama greet young dancers at a Diwali candle lighting and performance at Holy Name High School in Mumbai, India, Nov. 7, 2010 (Photo by Pete Souza)
President Obama greets students following a town hall meeting at St. Xavier College in Mumbai, India, Nov. 7, 2010 (Photo by Pete Souza)
President Obama, First Lady Michelle and their daughters Sasha and Malia appear on stage on election night November 6, 2012 in Chicago
Today (all times Eastern):
2:0: President Obama departs the White House
3:15: VP Biden delivers remarks at the CSX Northwest Ohio in North Baltimore, Ohio
3:45: Michelle Obama attends DNC fundraising event in Pittsburgh
5:10: President Obama arrives in Dallas
5:40: Participates in an Affordable Care Act event, Linz Hall, Temple Emanu-El
6:15: VP Biden attends DSCC event in Cleveland
7:40: President Obama delivers remarks at a DSCC event (private residence)
8:40: President Obama delivers remarks at a DSCC event and answers questions (private residence)
9:45: Departs Dallas
12:30: Arrives the White House
USA Today: Obama congratulates McAuliffe, de Blasio and Walsh
President Obama made congratulatory calls late Tuesday to three East Coast Democrats that emerged as Election Night winners.
According to the White House, Obama telephoned Virginia Governor-elect Terry McAuliffe, New York Mayor-elect Bill de Blasio and Boston Mayor-elect Martin Walsh.
….. Obama “congratulated each of them on their election victories and vowed to work with them in the months ahead to expand economic opportunity for middle-class families in their communities,” the White House said in a statement.
In a contest that attracted the attention of Vice President Joe Biden and spending by the national conservative group Americans for Prosperity, Coralville’s three incumbent candidates are staying for another term. Unofficial results Tuesday showed John Lundell winning the mayoral contest and Tom Gill, Bill Hoeft and Laurie Goodrich winning seats on the council in an election with record-breaking turnout.
Shortly after Lundell’s victory became apparent, the City Council member said, he received a surprise phone call from Biden. “He indicated that he was very proud of our city, that we took on the Koch brothers and successfully beat them by such a huge margin,” Lundell said. “That was another aspect of this election that was unanticipated, that after the polls closed that I’d be speaking to the vice president of the United States.”
Steve Benen: Far-right suffers another setback in Virginia
On paper, Republicans were poised to have a very good year in Virginia’s off-year elections. For over a generation, whichever party controls the White House invariably loses in the commonwealth, in Virginia this year, Democrats nominated a gubernatorial candidate who’d never held elected office, didn’t have deep political roots in the state, and wasn’t especially well liked by voters.
It looked like a recipe for GOP success. It wasn’t. As the dust settles on Election Day, Terry McAuliffe (D) has narrowly won Virginia’s gubernatorial race, Ralph Northam (D) was easily elected Virginia’s next lieutenant governor, and Mark Herring (D) very narrowly leads the still-uncalled race for state attorney general.
The Tea Party wing of Virginia’s Republican Party got the extremist candidates they wanted, and it looks like they lost in a clean sweep.
Democrat Terry McAuliffe defeated Republican Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli II on Tuesday to become the next governor of Virginia — in a race that Cuccinelli had termed a “referendum on Obamacare.” But an examination of the issues the made up the battleground of the race shows that the Affordable Care Act was just one of several progressive ideas that McAuliffe fully embraced and Cuccinelli fully opposed.
Virginia has historically been a conservative-leaning swing state. It backed every Republican presidential nominee from Richard Nixon through George W. Bush and elected a Republican governor by a 59 to 41 landslide in 2009. While the state has one of the highest percentages of federal employees, polls showed McAuliffe’s lead remained fairly steady before and after the shutdown and Cuccinelli himself dismissed it as largely forgotten factor before Election Day.
ThinkProgress: The Biggest Winner From Last Night’s Election? Obamacare
Virginia’s Ken Cuccinelli — the loudest critic of health care reform — went down in defeat on Tuesday night, paving the the way for the “bellwether for national politics” to expand Obamacare to nearly 400,000 Virginians.
A 10-member panel is currently considering whether the state should accept federal dollars to provide insurance to individuals and families below 133 percent of the federal poverty line ($31,321 in income for a family of four) through its Medicaid program. The decision still has to be approved by a majority of delegates and senators on the panel, though McAuliffe could bypass the GOP-controlled group “by deciding whether to include the federal Medicaid money in the state budget.” On the campaign trail, he repeatedly promised to build bipartisan consensus over the measure, going so far as to say that “he would not sign a budget that did not include Medicaid expansion.”
Tonight’s lesson for Republicans: Hug Obama and expand Medicaid.
NPR: In Colorado, A Couple Finds Relief In Obamacare
There’s plenty of criticism of the Affordable Care Act and how it’s being implemented.
But let’s introduce you to someone who is quite pleased with her Obamacare experience: Lela Petersen of Flagler, Colo. She’s a small business owner with a very big health insurance bill.
But thanks to the health law, she expects that bill will be cut by more than half in January.
Petersen is 57, and her husband, Mike, is 60. They have some pre-existing conditions. He has diabetes. She has a back injury. The HMO policy they’ve carried since 1992 has risen over the years to $1,950 per month, just for the two of them.
…. At the beginning of October she checked out Colorado’s insurance exchange and found the exact same policy from the same insurer for only $832 a month. “It’s dropping us down about $1,100 a month. We can retire. We can go fishing. We can actually see a future,” says Petersen.
ThinkProgress: Senator Obliterates GOP Talking Point On Obamacare’s Maternity Coverage In 60 Seconds
During a hearing on Obamacare implementation Tuesday, Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) committee chairman Sen. Tom Harkin (D-IA) offered a powerful rebuttal to those criticizing the Affordable Care Act’s inclusion of maternity care coverage as one of ten “essential health benefits” categories that insurance companies must offer consumers under the health law.
Statement by the President on Marriage Equality in Illinois
Tonight, I applaud the men and women of the Illinois General Assembly, a body in which I was proud to serve, for voting to legalize marriage equality in my home state.
As President, I have always believed that gay and lesbian Americans should be treated fairly and equally under the law. Over time, I also came to believe that same-sex couples should be able to get married like anyone else. So tonight, Michelle and I are overjoyed for all the committed couples in Illinois whose love will now be as legal as ours – and for their friends and family who have long wanted nothing more than to see their loved ones treated fairly and equally under the law.
I also commend the members of the General Assembly for approaching this issue in a fair and open way, and for recognizing the importance of our commitment to religious freedom by engaging the religious community in this conversation. Throughout this debate, they’ve made it clear that this is about civil marriages and civil laws, and made sure that churches and other institutions of faith are still free to make their own decisions that conform to their own teachings.
As I said in my Inaugural Address last January, our journey as a nation is not complete until our gay brothers and sisters are treated like anyone else under the law, for if we are truly created equal, then surely the love we commit to one another must be equal as well. And tonight, I’m so proud that the men and women elected to serve the people of the great state of Illinois have chosen to take us one step further on that journey to perfect our union.
Gov. Chris Christie pushed for an overwhelming re-election victory and met his goal, winning a second term by a whopping 22-point margin, besting his Democratic rival, state Sen. Barbara Buono, in 19 of New Jersey’s 21 counties.
The point, of course, was to position the governor for his national campaign – Christie very nearly launched a presidential campaign last night during his victory speech – which will be a major topic of conversation for the political world today and in the near future.
…. I’d recommend at least some caution …. hristie’s ability to crush Buono doesn’t tell us much about how he’d fare against, say, Hillary Clinton. Indeed, New Jersey voters were asked yesterday who’d they support in a hypothetical Christie-Clinton match-up. While the governor was winning his re-election bid by 22 points, the exact same New Jersey voters still preferred Clinton by six points.
…. Given all of this, I’d recommend keep the coronation plans on hold.
My Most Loved Election Photo Ever: Despite all the voter suppression efforts, the people spoke….
William Wright and India Johnson wait in line to vote at Larchmont Elementary School in Norfolk, Va., Nov 6, 2012. Wright and Johnson, both from Richmond, were casting their first votes in a Presidential election.
President Obama is embraced by a volunteer as he visits a campaign office the morning of the 2012 election in Chicago, November 6, 2012
President Obama talks on the phone with Mitt Romney in the Presidential Suite at the Fairmont Chicago Millennium Park in Chicago (Pete Souza)
Des Moines, Nov 5, 2012 – the final rally of the campaign
Today (all times Eastern):
11:30: President Obama and VP Biden meet with business leaders to talk about the impact overhauling immigration laws will have on U.S. economy
2:10: President Obama departs the White House en route Bethesda, Md. where he will visit wounded troops at the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center. He will also visit Fisher House, a program that supports military families
4:0: Michelle Obama makes remarks at White House Diwali celebration
6:30: VP Biden and Jill Biden host reception for Breast Cancer Awareness Month
Video of President Obama addressing OFA yesterday – see here
Today (Tuesday, November 5th) is election day. Get all the information you need vote411.org
Then go V-O-T-E.
Kelli Cauley’s fingers raced over her keyboard as she asked the anxious woman at her side a series of questions. What was her income? How many people lived in her household? Did she smoke? (“That’s the only health question it asks,” Ms. Cauley said of the application they were completing.)
The woman, a thin 61-year-old who refused to give her name, citing privacy concerns, had come to the public library here to sign up for health insurance through Kentucky’s new online exchange. She had a painful lump on the back of her hand and other health problems that worried her deeply, she said, but had been unable to afford insurance as a home health care worker who earns $9 an hour.
Within a minute, the system checked her information and flashed its conclusion on Ms. Cauley’s laptop: eligible for Medicaid.
The woman began to weep with relief. Without insurance, she said as she left, “it’s cheaper to die.”
Jonathan Cohn: ‘I Would Jump At It’ The media labeled her an Obamacare victim. Here’s what she really thinks.
If you’ve followed the stories of insurance cancellations related to Obamacare, you may have heard about Dianne Barrette. She’s the 57-year-old Florida realtor who was paying $54 a month for a Blue Cross insurance plan. The plan won’t be available after December. And while FloridaBlue offered her a new plan, the company told her the premium would be $591 a month. Barrette, who makes $30,000 a year and could not pay for such a plan, was flabbergasted. Jan Crawford of CBS News made her the key source for a story about plan cancellations. An appearance on Fox News followed, as did multiple cameos in press releases from Obamacare critics. For at least a few days, she was the poster child for the Obamacare cancellation story.
But Barrette’s situation defies quick and easy description. It’s true that she can’t keep her current policy—and that most policies available to her for next year have higher premiums. But those plans also offer real coverage, and her current plan does not. Some people might resent government effectively prohibiting her current plan. Barrette doesn’t appear to be one of them. Based on conversations we’ve had over the past few days, she wants more comprehensive insurance and, within reason, she’s willing to pay more for it.
Bob Cesca: Another Obamacare ‘Horror Story’ Debunked; And, No, the President Didn’t Lie About the Law
As the week began, another “Obamacare” horror story hit the press, instigating a fleet of outrage-pornographers and concern trolls across the political spectrum to resume its self-flagellation and screeching about the disastrous Affordable Care Act — selectively forgetting about actual healthcare horror stories that existed before the law was implemented. It was a story focusing on yet another vague, anecdotal tale about a hapless ACA victim whose insurance policy was canceled, thus vindicating the accusation that the president lied about “keeping your existing insurance policy if you like it.”
Before we dive into the lie accusation, let’s take a closer look at an op/ed for the Wall Street Journal written by a stage-4 gallbladder cancer survivor, Edie Littlefield Sundby.
Sally Kohn: 6 other Obamacare promises – and these are very much coming true
Republicans recently pounced on the fact that, yes, some Americans will lose their current crummy insurance plans that don’t meet the new standards set by the Affordable Care Act.
These Republicans are accusing President Obama of having misled the American public – or worse, having lied.
I think that’s a ridiculous claim. If you like your crummy plan, you can’t keep your crummy plan under Obamacare, but odds are you will find a better plan that is also more affordable, with subsidies available to more than half of Americans.
Aside from parsing this promise that you could keep your plan, it is wrong to say that this alone was how Obamacare was sold to the public.
…. here, for the record, are a few of the Affordable Care kept promises:
Washington Post: Congratulations, America! Your deficit fell 37 percent in 2013
The federal government’s 2013 fiscal year ended Sept. 30, though most of us were so busy focusing on the government shutdown that accompanied the new fiscal year that there wasn’t much time to reflect on the year that had passed.
Now the Treasury and Office of Management and Budget is out with the final budget results. Surprise! The deficit fell quite a bit in 2013. The federal government took in $680 billion less revenue than it spent, or about 4.1 percent of gross domestic product. In 2012, those numbers were $1.087 trillion and 6.8 percent of GDP. That means the deficit fell a whopping 37 percent in one year.
This is the first sub-$1 trillion and sub-5 percent of GDP deficit since the 2008 fiscal year, which ended the very month that Lehman Brothers fell and a deep crisis set in.
ThinkProgress: Three Progressive Measures On Tuesday’s Ballot That You Should Know About
Congress may not be up for grabs, but Election Day 2013 still comes with high stakes for progressive economic policy ideas. On Tuesday, voters in Colorado, New Jersey, and a small Washington town are getting an up-or-down vote on some proposals that would improve lives both today and decades from now. Here’s a rundown of the three ballot initiatives:
Colorado’s Amendment 66 would raise income taxes and commit $1 billion in new revenue to public schools….
New Jersey’s Question 2 would raise the minimum wage and keep it rising….
SeaTac, Washington’s Proposition 1 would mean a $15 minimum wage for one of the country’s busiest airports….
After Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) was caught presenting others’ work as his own by The Rachel Maddow Show, BuzzFeed, and Politico, the senator’s office seemed to realize Paul had a problem on his hands. It reached the point late Friday that the senator’s aides started making it more difficult to access Paul’s speeches, perhaps fearful more evidence would come to light.
Unfortunately for the senator, it’s too late to hide op-eds Paul has already written and published…
President Barack Obama cheering Chelsea to victory and yes, Chelsea won the cup.
Prime Minister David Cameron of the United Kingdom, President Barack Obama, Chancellor Angela Merkel of Germany, José Manuel Barroso, President of the European Commission, and others watch the overtime shootout of the Chelsea vs. Bayern Munich Champions League final, in the Laurel Cabin conference room during the G8 Summit at Camp David, Md., May 19, 2012. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)