President Barack Obama with Oregon National Guardsman Alek Skarlatos, Air Force Airman 1st Class Spencer Stone, and Anthony Sadler, in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington, Thursday, Sept. 17, 2015, to honor them for heroically subduing a gunman on a Paris-bound passenger train last month
First Lady Michelle Obama greets students at Howard Community College in Columbia, Md as part of her ‘Reach Higher’ initiative
President Barack Obama delivers remarks at the African Union in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. He is the first U.S. president to address the 54-nation body
President Barack Obama shakes hands during a bilateral meeting with African Union Commission chairperson, Dr. Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma, at the African Union
President Barack Obama shows off a ear of corn grown by a farmer participating in the Feed the Future program as he tours the Faffa Food factory in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
President Barack Obama laughs after commenting on the press corps, who were wearing hair nets on a tour of the Faffa Food factory. “You didn’t get the memo about the baseball caps?” President Obama joked
President Barack Obama walks to Air Force One with Ethiopian Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn, as he departs Bole International Airport on the final day of his visit in Ethiopia. Closing a historic visit to Africa, President Barack Obama urged the continent’s leaders to prioritize creating jobs and opportunity for the next generation of young people or risk sacrificing future economic potential to further instability and disorder
IT may have been the most influential magazine article of the past decade. In June of 2009, the doctor and writer Atul Gawande published a piece in The New Yorker called “The Cost Conundrum,” which examined why the small border city of McAllen, Tex., was the most expensive place for health care in the United States. The article became mandatory reading in the White House. President Obama convened an Oval Office meeting to discuss its key finding that the high cost of health care in the country was directly tied to a system that rewarded the overuse of care. Five years later, the situation has changed. Where McAllen once illustrated the problem of American health care, the city is now showing us how the problem can be solved, largely because of the Affordable Care Act that Mr. Obama signed into law in 2010.
The problem was that doctors in McAllen were responding to reimbursement incentives in the American health care system that rewarded activity rather than value. The more procedures and visits a doctor billed, the more he got paid. The Affordable Care Act was designed to change that. One of its provisions created the Medicare Shared Savings Program, which rewards doctors for keeping their patients healthy. Participation in the program requires primary care doctors to create networks, called accountable care organizations, or A.C.O.s, to better coordinate patient care. These networks are reimbursed for delivering high-quality care below a baseline of historical Medicare costs. In 2012, doctors in McAllen formed the Rio Grande Valley Accountable Care Organization Health Providers, and signed up for this experiment. The early results are in, and they are stunning: From April 2012 to the end of 2013, the Rio Grande Valley A.C.O. saved more than $20 million from its Medicare baseline. These changes didn’t just save money; they also improved patients’ health. From 2012 to 2013, the number of patients achieving control of their diabetes rose 11.8 percentage points. The number receiving vaccinations rose 12.2 percentage points.
THESE ARE the depressing facts about boys and young men of color: They are more likely to drop out of school, more likely to be in prison, more likely to be unemployed and more likely to die at an earlier age. That minority men are at disproportionate risk throughout their lives has largely been seen as unavoidable. The beauty of President Obama’s public-private initiative to create better futures for them is its refusal to accept these outcomes as inevitable.
My Brother’s Keeper, a five-year, $200 million effort focused on improving opportunities for black and Hispanic youth, was launched in February. It got a boost this week with the announcement of new commitments from the private sector. Equally important is the decision by 60 of the nation’s largest school districts to join the effort by implementing evidence-based strategies to improve outcomes. The country as a whole will gain when males of color are able to realize their potential, rather than ending up on the streets, in jail or in the morgue.
Valerie Bauman: Federal Money Adds 24 New Medical Residencies In Washington State’s Most Doctor-Starved Regions
As of this year, 24 new primary care residency spots will have been created in Washington through a five-year federal program dedicated to getting doctors to regions that need it most. The latest influx of federal money is $6.3 million, reported earlier this week, more than the combined $2.55 million that the program provided for Washington residencies between 2011-2013. Each new residency position is the equivalent of a three-year, guaranteed residency spot for one new doctor. It’s never been more important for Washington to grow its pipeline of new doctors, particularly in underserved urban and rural areas. The state’s projected doctor shortage has Washington State University considering opening its own medical school in Spokane.
Why people keep doubting Obama, I'll never know. The man turns Republican tears into wine every time.
It is unique because it partners medical residents with community health clinics that typically work with low-income or underserved populations. It benefits the resident by giving a new doctor real world experience, and helps communities by getting more doctors where they are needed most. The program was created in 2010 as part of the Affordable Care Act, and brought the first round of new residency spots to Washington in 2011. Initially, Yakima and Ellensburg received the funding for residents, but as more money has come in through the program, it’s been expanded to Tacoma, Spokane and to the Puyallup Tribal Health Authority.
First Lady Michelle Obama hugs graduate Isiah Guinyard after he was presented with a Student Achievement Award during the DC College Access Program Class of 2014 graduation celebration in Washington, June 19
President Barack Obama is introduced by Vice President Joe Biden as he arrives at the Community College of Allegheny County West Hills Center in Oakdale, Pa., The visit was to announce $600M in grants as part of the administration’s Opportunity for All program to train the work force for careers in fields with a growing demand.
Washington Post: Obama Announces $600M In Grant Programs To Prepare Workforce For Jobs
President Obama on Wednesday announced a pair of grant programs designed to bring academic institutions and businesses closer together to help prepare the American workforce for jobs that may otherwise go unfilled. The grant programs total $600 million, money already in the federal budget. The decision to designate the money for these grants arose from a review of federal jobs programs by Vice President Biden, who joined Obama at a community college here outside Pittsburgh to make the announcement. The grant programs Obama announced fall into two categories. The first, to which $500 million is being dedicated, is a competitive process that seeks the best programs linking community colleges with businesses.
The idea is to expand the programs nationally, in part by linking them with industry associations. The other is also competitive and provides $100 million in grants to expand apprentice programs across the country. The United States has far fewer apprentice positions than do European nations, which look to on-the-job training as vital to maintaining capable workforces. Because the money has already been allocated, the grant programs allow the president to bypass a divided Congress, as Obama has made clear he intends to do when he thinks it necessary.
Steve Benen: ….. “It’s safe to say Speaker John Boehner does not agree with President Obama’s suggestion on Tuesday that Americans are better off now than they were when he took office. “Are you kidding me?!” Boehner said loudly in response to a reporter’s question on the comment.”
…. Obviously, national conditions aren’t close to where they need to be. …. Maybe, if guys like Boehner would start passing jobs bills and stop holding the economy back on purpose, the public would start to feel like the country is on the right track again.
But for those who take reality seriously, there’s no real question as to whether the country is better off now than in January 2009:
Then the nation was hemorrhaging jobs; now it’s gaining jobs.
Then the economy was shrinking; now the economy is growing.
Then the American automotive industry was on the verge of collapse; now it’s starting to thrive.
Then taxpayers were sending money to Wall Street; now taxpayers are being paid back.
Then Osama bin Laden was targeting Americans and our allies; now he’s dead and al Qaeda’s leadership has been decimated.
Then U.S. troops were headed into the Middle East in greater numbers; now they’re headed home with their heads held high.
Republicans, including John Boehner, drove the United States into a pretty deep ditch during the Bush/Cheney era, and conditions are still pretty ugly. That doesn’t change the simple fact that the nation is much stronger now than the day the president was inaugurated ….
AP: A third former employee considered filing a workplace complaint against Herman Cain over what she deemed aggressive and unwanted behavior when she and Cain, now a Republican presidential candidate, worked together during the late 1990s, the woman told The Associated Press on Wednesday. She said the behavior included a private invitation to his corporate apartment.
The woman said he made sexually suggestive remarks or gestures about the same time that two co-workers had settled separate harassment complaints against Cain, who was then the head of the National Restaurant Association.
Washington Post: Car buyers were out in force in October, snapping up trucks and SUVs and taking advantage of deals on Japanese cars.
U.S. car and truck sales were expected to top 1 million in October, a surprising number for a month when sales are usually slow. When adjusted for seasonal factors, that would be the best pace since the Cash for Clunkers program in August 2009.
Mediaite: In a Quinnipiac poll taken Oct. 25-31, embattled GOP juggernaut Herman Cain continued to show amazing staying power …. (but) The real news from this poll, taken before most of the fallout from Politico‘s alleged sexual harassment expose, might be that some rays of sunshine are finally hitting President Obama.
….. President Obama gained six points on his approval rating … and is now beating all Republican challengers by margins of 5-16 points. The President has seen steady progress in the polls since rolling out his American Jobs Act in September, taking it on the road, and taking the fight to the Republicans who oppose it.
Elsewhere in the poll, Democrats opened up a lead on the generic House ballot, beating Republicans 42-36, after tying them at 39 in October.
AP: Michelle Obama has presented national arts and humanities awards to 12 community-based, after-school programs, including for at-risk kids.
The programs use dance, theater, writing, music, history and other art mediums to inspire teen moms and other young people and help them reach their potential. The first lady said at a White House ceremony Wednesday that the programs show that the arts are a lifeline – not a luxury – for many of these kids.
Most of the participants graduate from high school or earn a GED and go on to college.
The 2011 National Arts and Humanities Youth Program Awards are presented on behalf of the President’s Committee on the Arts and Humanities in partnership with three national cultural agencies.
Continuing a tradition that goes all the way back to 1962 when President Kennedy welcomed young people to the White House, President Obama greeted student delegates from the US Senate Youth Program and talked with them about the importance of leadership, and his belief in how young people can and do change the world for the better.
White House: …. in the last days of the Session, both the House and the Senate passed a Bill, S. 3447, that significantly enhanced and changed the Post 9/11 GI Bill and other educational benefits…. This Bill made a lot of important changes to these programs specifically for wounded warriors and disabled veterans….
Vocational Rehabilitation Program Stipend. …. a disabled veteran receiving the housing stipend under the Vocational Rehabilitation Program …. can now opt to receive the more generous amount under the Post 9/11 GI Bill …. this will be hundreds of dollars more per month for tens of thousands of eligible beneficiaries.
Vocational School Training and Apprenticeships Now Covered. The Post 9/11 GI Bill can now be used at many more vocational schools, apprenticeships, and on-the-job-training programs, which means that you can use it to enter into almost any field that you want.
Housing Allowance for Online Learners. A housing allowance is now available for exclusively online learners, so even while you are recuperating and cannot attend class in person on a campus, you can start your education online and receive the housing support allowance you need.
Book Allowance for Active Duty. If you are still on active duty, and want to start your education, you can now receive the $1,000/year book stipend that was previously not available for active duty personnel.
Prep Courses and Test Fees Now Covered. If you have not yet applied for schools, and want to bring your SAT/ACT scores up, the Post 9/11 GI Bill can now be used to fund prep courses and the test fees themselves so you can be more competitive when you apply.
Time for Eligibility Tolled During Recovery and for Caretakers. The Montgomery GI Bill (Chapter 30), which has a 10-year expiration date, has been extended for wounded, injured, and ill veterans and their caretakers for the length of their recovery time…