Posts Tagged ‘liberal

02
Jun
14

Elections Matter

Obama Wins

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Washington Post: Obama Judges Tip Appeals Court To Democrats

When President Bush II left the White House in 2009, the 13 U.S. courts of appeal were firmly under Republican appointees’ control. Ten appeals courts had majority GOP judges, two were evenly split and only one had a majority of Democrats. President Obama’s 49 appeals court appointees have dramatically altered the landscape. As of the Senate’s recess on May 23, nine of those courts had majority Democratic appointees and four had Republican majorities.

(There are 10 vacancies in the circuit courts. One Obama nominee is awaiting a Senate vote and three nominees pending in the Senate Judiciary Committee.) The change, much feared by Republicans, is not necessarily shocking. But the transformation, in just 5 1/2 years, said University of Pittsburgh law professor Arthur D. Hellman, an authority on the federal circuit courts, marks ”a huge shift in a very short period of time.” And it means that Democratic appointed judges “have the ability to control every important case if they wish to” in those nine circuits, he said.

More here

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Timothy B. Lee: Obama Has Secured Democratic Majorities On Most Federal Appeals Courts

A president’s Supreme Court nominees get a lot of attention, but presidents shape less visible parts of the judiciary too. Barack Obama is no exception. The Washington Post has a chart showing how the president has changed the composition of the nation’s appeals courts over the last five and a half years: Now, it’s important to say that courts are not supposed to be partisan institutions.

Still, Democratic judicial nominees tend to be more liberal than Republican nominees. And so the growing number of Democrat-appointed judges in our appeals courts will push American jurisprudence to the left on a wide range of issues. And because Obama’s nominees will stay on the bench long after Obama leaves office, these nominations will be one of his most durable legacies.

More here

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Change Is

06
Dec
13

Nelson Mandela – A personal eulogy

As I’m sure you’ve all determined by now, I’m a bit odd. And that was true in my childhood as well.

I was probably the only freshman in high school who would stop off and buy copies of the New York Daily News and New York Times every morning. (Daily News for the sports and local news, NYT for the national and international news.) And Dan Rather’s broadcast was appointment viewing for me every night.

Growing up I was, while not consumed, very mindful of the struggles of black South Africans to secure freedom from apartheid. For most of the 1980s, their struggles dominated the evening news and newspapers. I remember curling my lip in disgust when the Reagan administration pursued “quiet diplomacy” with the racist regime. That told me all I needed to know about Reagan, as if I didn’t know enough already.

Growing up, Nelson Mandela was a mythic figure, the Once and Future King, kept on the isle of Avalon (Robben), awaiting to return to a nation in desperate need of him. And it finally happened in 1990.

Continue reading ‘Nelson Mandela – A personal eulogy’

08
Nov
13

Repeat After Me: There Is No Liberal Media

The previous President, after the attacks of 9/11, engineered a war with a state which, though abysmal to its own people, had had no direct or indirect link with any terror attack on the United States. It was, if anything, a mortal enemy of the group which carried out the attacks, as that group saw the ruling regime as corrupt and un-Islamic. As the history of that war is being written, the regime sought to stave off war, willing to give the previous President anything he wanted, save for the regime’s destruction. Of course, the regime as it existed stood in the way of the grand plan to remake the Middle East; its destruction, not its containment, was the goal. Anything short of political—and literal—suicide would not suit the ultimate purpose. So the country and the world were lied into a war, which cost nearly 5,000 American lives, and hundreds of thousands of Iraqi deaths; a war which was supposed to last a few weeks and pay for itself instead dragged on for nearly a decade, costing over $1 trillion. And the Middle East, far from being remade into a collection of benevolent American satrapies, teetered on the edge of all-out war for the eight years of the George W. Bush administration.

That President, however, was never asked to apologize for the disaster he had wrought. And if ever he had been asked to apologize in a face-to-face interview, he never offered one: no apology for the countless dead, for the treasure wasted, for the lives destroyed. It’s just not the done thing.

Well, it used to not be the done thing.

Continue reading ‘Repeat After Me: There Is No Liberal Media’

25
Sep
13

How the GOP became bad pantomime

Because any article that has “pantomime” in its title needs an appropriate overture, a bit of Monty Python to start things off:

And really, that’s what the GOP has devolved to: a Monty Python skit, but not as humorous, and with much more dire consequences for the country.

Let’s take a short trip down memory lane and dissect the GOP’s behavior since 2009.

Continue reading ‘How the GOP became bad pantomime’

18
Sep
13

Comedy chat – The genius of “HISHE”

When it seems like the world is whirling too much in a maelstrom, one needs to stand back, take a breath, and laugh.

“HISHE” is the Youtube sensation “How It Should Have Ended”. They’re short animation clips which present alternate—and more logical—endings for Hollywood blockbusters.

So, without further ado, it’s time for the funny.

(FYI, there are spoilers in these clips, so if you haven’t seen the movies and still want to see them, don’t play the clips.)

“Oblivion”

Continue reading ‘Comedy chat – The genius of “HISHE”’

18
Sep
13

More adventures in our failed media experiment: Part 1,382

Esteemed NBC White House correspondent and political director Chuck Todd caused quite a furor this morning.

Speaking on Morning Joe, he said quite openly what many of us have just assumed to be the truth by virtue of careful observation: that it’s not the media’s job to correct misinformation and falsehoods. He made this comment in relation to the Obamacare debate, saying that the GOP has been better at “messaging”—i.e. getting the media to repeat its lies ad nauseam—while the Obama administration and Democrats have failed to make their case.

Confronted with significant pushback on Twitter, he had this to say:

Oh no! He was “trolled”, because someone—actually, several someones—called into question why he even has the job of “journalist” if he’s saying that it isn’t his job to fulfill a journalist’s prime responsibility, which is to give his readers/viewers/listeners accurate information about the world around them.

Continue reading ‘More adventures in our failed media experiment: Part 1,382’

16
Sep
13

When will it be enough

Columbine came and went. We mourned, we vowed never again, we resolved to be a better nation. But it wasn’t enough.

Ft. Hood came and went. We mourned, we vowed “Terror won’t win”, we resolved to learn the lessons imparted. But it wasn’t enough.

Gabby Giffords will never be the same, and members from both sides of the aisle heaped praise on her. It wasn’t enough.

Newtown scarred us as nothing had before. Twenty innocent children mowed down in a mix of easy access to weapons of war, mental illness, and a society at war with itself. We wept, we beat our chests, we vowed to honor their memories. It, too, wasn’t enough, the words of resolve as evaporating steam.

Eight thousand have died at the end of a bullet since Newtown. All of them loved by someone, all of them precious to someone’s heart. Their deaths weren’t enough.

And now, another shooting, this time on a military base. And I will say it right here: it won’t be enough.

Continue reading ‘When will it be enough’

14
Sep
13

How “Obama Derangement Syndrome” is unlike that of Bush

When we accuse some right-winger of having “Obama Derangement Syndrome”, he will just scoff and point out that the Left was consumed with “Bush Derangement Syndrome” from 2001-2009. And to a certain extent, they’d be somewhat correct. For myself, I could only grudgingly applaud Mr. Bush for such things as AIDS initiatives for Africa, and his support for immigration reform.

But here’s the difference: I could acknowledge his (few) successes. For a Republican, reaching out to Africa and immigrants were things which went against the base, and required a certain bravery. The thing is, however, that the rest of his policies were so disastrous for the country that his few successes were dwarfed by them. From squandering record surpluses to crashing the economy to getting us mired in two mismanaged wars, his administration was a catalog of failure. It was already heading toward failure before 9/11; there was no doubt that he’d be a one term president. When the attacks occurred, he was able to refashion himself as a “war president”—a war he proceeded to prosecute in the most incompetent manner, sullying the nation’s ideals and honor. There was “Bush Derangement Syndrome” because everything he touched turned to lead. He didn’t kill bin Laden; he trapped us in disastrous wars; he oversaw a mass transfer of wealth to the already wealthy. So, while I agree that in some things he did well, they were drowned by his cacophony of failure.

Now let us turn to President Obama’s record. It began by him being the first African American elected president. He was able to pass a stimulus package which stanched the bleeding of the Great Recession. The US economy runs on two pillars: real estate and automobile manufacturing; real estate was on its knees; he saved the auto industry, without which the whole world would have sunk into a depression. He then fulfilled the great Democratic dream, passing comprehensive health reform, which would bring affordable health care to nearly every American. That achievement led to the GOP takeover of the House in 2010 in backlash, because some on the Left had a snit (more on that later). With the GOP in control of one house, he brilliantly conducted actions which stymied their most cherished goals, and preserved his priorities in the budget. Then against all the caterwauling of the media, he won a second term, in a convincing fashion. Then just this weekend, rattling a saber which opponents know he will use, he achieved a diplomatic resolution to Syria’s chemical weapon use, making the Autocrat of All the Russias climb down from his recalcitrant stance. And, of course, we can’t forget his other great triumph, along with Obamacare: healing that great wound in the American psyche by finally bringing Osama bin Laden to justice.

Continue reading ‘How “Obama Derangement Syndrome” is unlike that of Bush’

01
Sep
13

War and peace in a democracy

Cross-posted at The People’s View

Even if you were stuffing yourself full of the first weekend of college football, by now you know that President Barack Obama conducted one of the most important Rose Garden addresses in the history of the modern Presidency.

Taking the baton from his Secretary of State John Kerry, he again laid out, in forceful, passionate language, the situation as it was in Syria. He explained that the intelligence community had concluded with great certainty that Syrian President Bashar al-Assad was responsible for the chemical attacks in contested areas of Damascus the week before. He passionately argued that American values and national interest dictated that Assad’s regime be punished militarily for the use of those chemical weapons against civilians. He stated that the military had assets in place and was ready to go at any time.

And then he did something no modern president had done. Even though he believed he had the authority to act, he knew that this was a divisive issue, and that the people’s representatives had to join in the decision. He called for Congress to debate and vote on a resolution granting him specific authority to militarily strike Assad for violating international treaties banning the use of chemical weaponry, some of the oldest weapons conventions in international law. He had heard the rumblings from Congress saying that he had to seek approval before any strike, and agreed.

But why did he agree? This is where he pivots beyond what all the pundits and talking heads expected. Just before declaring that he would seek Congressional approval, he reiterated that he believed that he had the authority to conduct the attacks with or without Congressional approval. But such an action, in a region of the world where such action could quickly spiral out of control, needed more than just Barack Obama’s say-so as Commander in Chief. Syria is not Libya. In the Libyan crisis, the President had a UN resolution with which to work. As a signatory to the UN charter, all member nations had a duty to enforce Security Council resolutions. That was all the authorization he needed.

Continue reading ‘War and peace in a democracy’

30
Aug
13

The Problem of Syria

Crossposted on The People’s View.

Map released by the White House detailing the Syrian government’s nerve gas attack – more at WH.gov

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I am far from sanguine about the inevitable strikes against Syria in retaliation for the government gassing civilians.

The pitfalls to such an action are legion. The UN Security Council is unlikely to give the US (and France) the green light to go ahead and bomb the Assad regime. Any strikes against the regime will likely inflame the Middle East, with Iran going even further in on supporting their co-sectarians in Damascus. A strike may push Hezbollah to strike against Israel in retaliation. And, of course, there’s Russia, the unknown factor. It’s Vladimir Putin’s greatest dream to claw back Russia’s superpower status, lost in 1991. Its interest in the Middle East has nothing to do with resources; Russia has more than enough oil and gas, and delights in upping production when OPEC tamps down its drilling. But what having a client state in Syria allows it to do is to continue to operate in the world’s pre-eminent region for power politics. Going against Western, specifically American, interests in the Middle East allows it to believe it’s still a major world power, able to affect the course of events. The fact that Russia has devolved to basically a kleptocratic, autocratic, quasi-mafia state which is now protecting a regime which has blatantly violated the conventions against the use of chemical weapons hasn’t intruded on its bubble; Putin sees himself as the restorer of Russia’s greatness, of its destiny, and his reaction to a US intervention in Syria is both hard to predict and frightening. In fact, it’s the Russian factor which scares me the most, specifically because of Putin’s megalomania.

But then we come back to the simple fact: Bashar al-Assad has gassed his own people. The evidence of that attack will be released by the Obama Administration. The Syrian regime has violated the oldest convention against the use of weapons of mass destruction in international law.

Continue reading ‘The Problem of Syria’

26
Jul
13

(No) fear of a black planet

I don’t remember how old I was; maybe 10 or 11. And I don’t remember what occasioned the discussion; possibly because my social circle was a rainbow coalition of different races, ethnicities, genders. But I remember what my mother told me one day: Yes, you have to fear all black people, because when we had just moved to this country, your father was mugged by a black man. And maybe I’m just imagining my response to her, all these years later, but to my recollection I didn’t let her say that without push-back. I questioned why I should fear an entire group because of the actions of one person. Although now I’m of the opinion that I am my brother’s keeper, I’m also of the opinion that at some point my brother must answer for his own actions. I don’t own them, only what I do and say. Likewise, the African Americans who come into my library shouldn’t have to answer for the bad decisions of another African American. At some point, we all have to stand alone before the world and justify our actions. The hundred are not responsible for the criminality of the one.

My mother has mellowed as she’s grown older. I’d like to think that my brothers and me have helped her see the ludicrousness of her fears. It also helped that her mother, my grandmother, shuffled off her mortal coil two decades ago; her skin was translucent, her eyes blue, and she made it clear that she was superior to anyone whose skin was even a shade darker than hers. She was the motive force of the racism in my family. But something happened at my library which brought that childhood incident back fresh into my mind.

Continue reading ‘(No) fear of a black planet’

22
Jul
13

1200 days

We have reached a point where the GOP doesn’t even hide that they have no interest in governing.

Chris Cilliza and Aaron Blake have a piece in the Washington Post. In it, they have a remarkable quote from Speaker John Boehner:

“We should not be judged by how many new laws we create,” Boehner told CBS’ Bob Schieffer in an interview that aired Sunday. “We ought to be judged on how many laws we repeal. We’ve got more laws than the administration could ever enforce.”

Let that sink in for a moment.

Of course, Mr. Boehner states that he’s merely sticking to ideas of Republican governance, which is to govern as little as possible. And he’s also sticking to Grover Norquist’s ideology of making government small enough to drown in the bathtub.

But, in general, most people send their representatives to Congress in the hope that they’ll get something done. They may grumble about “big government”, but they want roads fixed, pensions paid, and all the other goodies they get from the evil government.

Continue reading ‘1200 days’

21
Jul
13

Red and Blue United. No, Seriously.

I always thought it more likely that Republicans would cooperate with President Obama, for the good of the country, than it would be for Manchester United and Chelsea supporters to work together.

I was wrong.

Drum roll please:

As of today, UTAustinLiberal – also known as @NerdyWonka – is a completely and totally official TOD ‘Administrator’.

What does that snazzy WordPress term mean?

Well, the main thing is that she can now access all the inner workings of the blog, so she can actually edit my posts and insert Chelsea photos and similarly horrible things. :???:

But, other than that, nothing changes hugely around here because UT was already contributing so much, it just means that Chelsea Girl is now, officially, the joint runner of our teeny little corner of cyberspace.

And that’s ridiculously fabulous.

Her taste in soccer/football might be shocking….

…. but she has brought sooooooo much to this place with her posts and highlighting of issues, like women’s rights in Texas and the benefits of ‘ObamaCare’, so it’s a very, very lovely honor to have her team up in this way.

It also means that if I, say, disappear after kidnapping Wayne Rooney to stop him from signing for Chelsea, UT will be here to keep things going while international law enforcement agencies track me down.

So, that’s good.

Meanwhile, we’ll always be thrilled and hugely grateful to have the other blog tyrants contribute here, and any other regulars who have something they’d like to say – this place is, and will always be, open to you all.

We partied over our 20 million hits only a little while ago, and we’re already up to 20,311,000 – and that’s largely down to the contributions of UT, LL, LP and Zizi, whose posts have attracted huge traffic.

Together, we’ve created a really lovely community, with so many smart and powerful voices, and I’m thrilled beyond description that UT has agreed to team up and run it all.

So, say hello to your new half of TOD, the legend that is: UT Austin Chelsea Nerdy Liberal Wonka Girl.

Wayne sends his best:

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PS How lovely is this?

14
Jul
13

This is the work

In every nation’s life, there come breaking points.

Breaking points are many. They’re points in the road where the great mass of humanity says “Enough”; things as they were are no longer good enough, no longer just enough, no longer decent—human—enough. A point of disgust is reached, where what went before will no longer suffice. Where, indeed, what went before was exactly the problem. Where what went before was a Gordian knot of injustice, unfairness, veritable evil.

We have reached such a point.

The election of a black president, buoyed by a coalition which didn’t conform to the lineaments of the previous holders of power, have made that old, decrepit, dying coalition erupt in one last blast of fury.

We saw it in Texas, in Ohio, in North Carolina, where legislatures have made it known that women are to be kept down, subservient, subject to the will of their betters.

We saw it in the halls of Congress, where the Republican House doesn’t pretend to care about immigrants, but is doing everything it can to stanch the coming tide, hoping that if it engages in one more bit of obstruction their power will be secure. But the future that is coming is as sure as that tide, and the leaders of that House haven’t the wisdom of King Canute, who displayed before his court that he was merely human, and had no power over nature, or the forces of history.

And we saw it, most heartbreakingly, in the verdict which decreed that one could shoot an unarmed black teenager in the street as nothing more than an animal, less than one, and walk away, freedom intact, rights preserved. (We have to ask how free Mr. Zimmerman will be; if he has any shred of humanity, his remaining life will be one of anguish and regret. But at the moment, I’m not feeling so charitable.)

Continue reading ‘This is the work’

03
Jul
13

The Good That Is ObamaCare

Information is power. ObamaCare works and is here to stay, so go out into the world and educate people. 2014 is around the corner and we have to be our own news and become even more proactive. Don’t let the media, so called progressive experts or the GOP demoralize you. Even if you only inform one person about the fantastic awesomeness that is ObamaCare, you have created a ripple effect because that person will tell another and another and another. Nobody said implementation of ObamaCare would be easy; Medicare and Social Security had a rough ride initially, but now? Try to mess with them negatively and watch the backlash explode. I will keep on providing tools that will help you disseminate facts and stop the lies. :D

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RWJF: Traditionally, individuals considering leaving their job to strike out on their own have worried that they may be denied health insurance coverage because they have preexisting conditions, fear losing access to a trusted physician, or are unable to afford the premiums without an employer sharing the costs. The result is that some U.S. workers feel “job lock,” being tethered to their jobs and unable to leave, even if their skills and talents no longer match their position.

New research estimates that the number of self-employed Americans will be 1.5 million higher in 2014 because of the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Beginning next year, access to high-quality, subsidized health insurance coverage will no longer be exclusively tied to employment, which could lead people to pursue their own businesses as self-employed entrepreneurs.

More here

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Denise Early: Around 900,000 people living in Arizona do not have health insurance. Over 90% of them will get help from Obamacare. 94% of uninsured people in Tucson will get help paying for their health insurance under Obamacare, according to Enroll America. Based on census data, 50%  of the uninsured in Tucson would qualify for expanded Medicaid. In Arizona, Medicaid is run by AHCCCS, pronounced “access” (Arizona Health Care Cost Containment System). 44% of uninsured Tucsonans would qualify for help with their health insurance premium.

More here

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The White House Blog: The Medicare Trustees reported some good news for seniors and taxpayers: The Medicare program will be solvent through 2026, nearly a decade longer than projected at the time of passage of the Affordable Care Act. This is 2 years longer than projected last year. Their annual report also shows that the long run actuarial deficit in the Hospital Insurance Trust Fund – a measure of its long-term fiscal health – has been cut by more than 70 percent since enactment of the health care law. The long-run Medicare deficit has fallen from 3.88 percent of taxable payroll in the 2009 Trustees Report to 1.11 percent in this report.

These long-run gains are matched by short-term relief: the Trustees also project that the Part B premium will not increase between 2013 and 2014, keeping out-of-pocket costs for beneficiaries down. Medicare cost growth has remained at historically low levels over the past three years even as new benefits for preventive care and prescription drugs have helped tens of millions of beneficiaries access care at lower cost. The law reduces prescription drug costs by closing the donut hole, a policy that has already saved more than 6 million seniors more than $700 each. And more than 32 million seniors have accessed a free preventive service under the law, helping them stay healthy and avoid future illness.

More here

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Obamacare-Bumper-Sticker2

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Ezra Klein and Evan Soltas: In 2009, the Congressional Budget Office predicted that a medium-level “silver” plan — which covers 70 percent of a beneficiary’s expected health costs — on the California health exchange would cost $5,200 annually. More recently, a report from the consulting firm Milliman predicted it would carry a $450 monthly premium. Yesterday, we got the real numbers. And they’re lower than anyone thought.

The way this competition can drive down rates is already evident in Oregon. There, one insurer came in with monthly premium costs in the $169 range, while other insurers asked to charge more than $400. But then, seeing  what their competitors were charging, two insurers came back to the state’s regulators and asked if they could refile at lower rates. Otherwise, they wouldn’t be competitive in the exchange. The Obama administration was ecstatic to see this: It’s exactly what they’re hoping will happen across the country.

More here

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USA TODAY: Market forces and an impetus to attract younger, healthier people into the insurance market will help keep health insurance premiums lower as the 2010 health care law takes effect on Jan. 1, industry analysts and insurance officials say.

“If they price too high, young people won’t buy insurance, and that’s going to hurt the companies,” said Jay Angoff, who led initial implementation of the law for HHS. “They need these people to come in. It’s an industry problem.”

More here

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Ezra Klein: Last week, California released early information on the rates insurers intend to charge on the new insurance marketplaces — known as “exchanges” — that the state is setting up under Obamacare. They were far lower than anyone expected. “This is a home run for consumers in every region of California,” crowed Peter Lee, director of the state’s exchanges. The Affordable Care Act’s critics saw it differently. Avik Roy, a conservative health writer at Forbes, said Lee was being “misleading” and that “Obamacare, in fact, will increase individual-market premiums in California by as much as 146 percent.” Obamacare, he said, would trigger “rate shock,” the jolt people feel when they see higher rates.  Roy got his 146 percent by heading to eHealthInsurance.com, running a search for insurance plans in California and comparing the cost of the cheapest plans to the cost of the plans being offered in the exchanges. That’s not just comparing apples to oranges. It’s comparing apples to oranges that the fruit guy may not even let you buy.

Obamacare-WeLove-Siign

Click to buy the plan and eventually you’ll have to answer pages and pages of questions about your health history. Ever had cancer? How about an ulcer? How about a headache? Do you feel sad when it rains?  Is there a history of cardiovascular disease in your family? Have you ever known anyone who had the flu? The actual cost of the plan will depend on how you answer those questions. According to HealthCare.gov, 14 percent of people who try to buy that plan are turned away outright. Another 12 percent are told they’ll have to pay more than $109.

Comparing the pre-underwriting price of this plan to those in Obamacare’s exchanges is ridiculous. The plans in Obamacare’s exchanges have to include those people. They can’t turn anyone away or jack up rates because of a history of arthritis or heart disease. They also have to offer insurance that meets a certain minimum standard. Under Obamacare, for instance, the out-of-pocket limit for someone making 100 to 200 percent of the poverty line is $1,983. Under the Value 4500, you could spend up to $9,500 before the out-of-pocket limit kicked in. Obamacare also has subsidies for people making up to four times the poverty line. The poor pay next to nothing. The rich pay full freight.

More here

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Sy Mukherjee: Golden State small businesses and their employees got some great news: two of the state’s largest insurers will have to give them over $36 million in insurance rebates because of an Obamacare consumer protection.

The health law forces insurers to spend at least 80 percent of the premiums they charge on paying for actual medical services, rather than administrative overhead or profits. That means more money for ordinary consumers — and less for profitable insurance companies.

The so-called “80/20 rule” put $1.5 billion back into Americans’ pockets in 2011 alone. The average rebate was $151 per family across all insurance markets, and in states where insurers blatantly gouged prices, average rebates topped a whopping $500 per family.

Now, the benefits for Californians with small business health plans are beginning to materialize. Blue Shield of California will be forced to pay back $24.5 million in rebates. Anthem Blue Cross will have to pay back another $12 million.

More here

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Tara Culp-Ressler: A new study focusing on low-income women in St. Louis, MO concludes that expanding access to free contraception — just as the health care reform law does through its provision to provide birth control without a co-pay — leads to significantly lower rates of unintended teen pregnancy and abortion. Researchers found that when women weren’t prohibited by cost, they chose more effective, long-lasting forms of birth control and experienced many fewer unintended pregnancies as a result.

More here

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ThinkProgress: Americans who bought individual health plans in 2012 saved $2.1 billion thanks to Obamacare consumer protections that limit how much insurers can profit off of Americans’ premiums, according to a new study by the Kaiser Family Foundation (KFF). The vast majority of those savings stem from individual health plan providers lowering the premiums they charge Americans in an effort to comply with the reform law.

The Kaiser study comes shortly after several major California insurers announced that they would have to pay back $36 million to small businesses and their employees after charging them too much. Obamacare mandates that insurers on the individual market spend at least 80 percent of the premiums they charge on actual medical services, or reimburse the amount they overspent to their customers.

But insurers can avoid writing those checks after-the-fact if they just lower their premiums to begin with — and KFF’s study concludes that’s what many individual plan providers have been doing.

More here

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obama-signs-obamacare

President Obama signing the Affordable Care Act into law on March 23rd, 2010.

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