Archive for November 1st, 2013

01
Nov
13

What Do We Want? Laughter

Continue reading ‘What Do We Want? Laughter’

01
Nov
13

A Tweet or Two

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Continue reading ‘A Tweet or Two’

01
Nov
13

Media Gossip Debunked

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01
Nov
13

Get Covered

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Chat away!

01
Nov
13

Rise and Shine

First Lady Michelle Obama hugs a young girl during a “Get Out The Vote” rally at Canyon Springs High School in Las Vegas, Nev., Nov. 1, 2010 (Photo by Samantha Appleton)

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Today (all times Eastern):

1:30: Jay Carney briefs the press

2:10: President Obama hosts Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, Vice President Biden will also attend

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The Last Word With Lawrence O’Donnell – Reporters debunk some of the claims made about the Affordable Care Act. Lawrence talks to Michael Hillzik and Wendell Potter

See here

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ThinkProgress: How To Spot A Fake Obamacare Horror Story

Since insurers have begun informing beneficiaries that their health care plans do not meet the new federal requirements of Obamacare, and will be either cancelled or significantly altered, the media has profiled countless middle class Americans who claim that the new health care law will force them to pay more for coverage.

Deborah Cavallaro, for instance, a real estate agent from Los Angeles, was enrolled in an individual plan that cost her just $293 per month. Under Obamacare, Cavallaro says she’ll have to pay over $400 for coverage she doesn’t need or want. But a higher premium doesn’t tell the whole story: while Cavallaro may spend more each month, she’ll be buying more comprehensive insurance with fewer out-of-pocket costs, better benefits that will cover more and cost her less if she actually falls ill, and much more robust consumer protections.

So before you buy into the sticker shock hysteria, here are four questions you should ask….

More here

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Steve Benen: Obamacare’s Winners and ‘losers’

If the Republican National Committee had written the script for the week, it wouldn’t have gone quite this well for the right. The political world took a relatively obscure element of the debate over health care – insurers informing consumers about replacing poor, outdated coverage plans with new, better plans – and turned it into a “controversy.”

In an amazing twist, conservative Republicans who are desperate to take away coverage for millions of Americans are pretending to be outraged on behalf of Americans whose plans are being upgraded.

As we talked about earlier in the week, I’m not terribly impressed by the sudden apoplectic outburst from reporters and Republicans, but let’s consider the above pie chart and get a little more specific.

More here

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Media Matters: Called On To Explain Big Story, Media Botches Obamacare

The rocky rollout of Obamacare has prompted commentators to attack the president and his team for having three years to plan for the launch and still not getting it right. That’s a legitimate critique as problems persist. But the same can be said for an awful lot of reporters doing a very poor job covering Obamacare. They also had three years to prepare themselves to accurately report the story.

So what’s their excuse?

The truth is, the Beltway press rarely bothers to explain, let alone cover, public policy any more. With a media model that almost uniformly revolves around the political process of Washington (who’s winning, who’s losing?), journalists have distanced themselves from the grungy facts of governance, especially in terms of how government programs work and how they effect the citizenry.

But explaining is the job of journalism. It’s one of the crucial roles that newsrooms play in a democracy. And in the recent case of Obamacare, the press has failed badly in its role. Worse, it has actively misinformed about the new health law and routinely highlighted consumers unhappy with Obamacare, while ignoring those who praise it.

More here

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LA Times: Obamacare hysteria: Don’t believe the canceled insurance hype

Obamacare’s critics are going to town on the cancellation letters millions of Americans are receiving from their health insurers, informing them that their health plans won’t conform to the new federal standards for health coverage as of Jan. 1.

We’re supposed to be scandalized by this, since President Obama himself assured everyone that if they liked their insurance they’d be able to keep it. And people just love plans that in some cases cost just $50 a month. At that price, what’s not to love?

Back in March, Consumer Reports published a study of many of these plans and placed them in a special category: “junk health insurance.” Some plans, the magazine declared, may be worse than none at all.

…. It’s time to tamp down the breathless indignation about these health plan cancellations. Many of the departing plans are being outlawed for good reason, and many of the customers losing them have no idea how much financial exposure they were saddled with in the old days. That’s the real scandal in American health insurance, and Obamacare is designed, rightly, to fix it.

More here

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WH.gov: Karmel’s Story: I No Longer Fear My ‘Pre-Existing Condition’

I do not have a pre-existing condition. But I have a pre-existing condition in-waiting that has caused me to live in fear for years.

A pre-existing condition. What does that mean, anyways? I am a type 1 diabetic, but that diagnosis certainly does not pre-exist me. No – pre-existing is not a medical condition; it is a legal one. Before the health insurance marketplace opened in my state, if I were to seek health insurance, my type 1 diabetes would be a pre-existing condition, and sufficient reason for most insurance companies to shut the door in my face.

… Without insurance, the medication required to keep me alive for more than a few months easily proves untenably expensive – never mind the medication and devices required to keep me healthy and free of long-term complications.

That is the frame of mind I have lived with for the past twenty years, and that was the frame of mind with which I approached CoveredCA.com, my state’s healthcare exchange, last month …. And suddenly I was free….

What does the Affordable Care Act mean for me? It means that I can finally take off the scarlet letter D that has marked me as a pre-existing diabetic, and I can shop for health care knowing that I am protected by American law.

More here

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OFA: Obamacare helped me keep my doctor of 27 years

After being denied insurance, I signed up for Obamacare on Day One.

When I was less than one year old, my mother noticed something strange. My hands and feet were a little blue and a little cold, so my mother took me to the hospital. Turns out, my aorta was narrow (called a coarctation of the aorta) and I required surgery right away.

… It was strange being denied health coverage for something that happened before I was born. Not being able to visit my cardiologist, a doctor I have relied on for 27 years, was extremely unnerving.

That’s why I signed up for Obamacare on Day One.

Thanks to the new law, I will no longer be denied coverage, and I can keep my doctor of 27 years…

More here

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You know how I love linking to GOPolitico? 😕 Well, they’ve a piece today that you might want to read, the GOP’s ‘Obamacare Sabotage Campaign’ – see here

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Steve Benen: Court re-imposes Texas abortion restrictions

Earlier this week, reproductive-rights proponents appeared to have won a partial legal victory. A federal court in Texas blocked implementation of parts of a sweeping new law, signed by Gov. Rick Perry over the summer, which imposed some of the nation’s most severe restrictions on women’s health choices.

Last night, however, the success in the courts was short lived:

A federal appeals court ruled late Thursday that Texas’ abortion restrictions could immediately go into effect, overruling a Monday order from a lower court that found parts of the law unconstitutional. The decision may close the doors of one-third of Texas abortion clinics, many which will likely be unable to meet the requirement of hospital admitting privileges. Of course, that was the point of the law.
     
    “Today’s decision affirms our right to protect both the unborn and the health of the women of Texas,” said Governor Perry in a statement responding to the ruling. “We will continue doing everything we can to protect a culture of life in our state.”

…. We’re occasionally reminded that fights over judicial nominees matter. Last night offered a refresher for those who may have forgotten.

Full post here

More at ThinkProgress

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TPM: If We Can’t Have It, You Can’t Have It Either

There’s a lot of backstory to today’s showdown in the Senate over President Obama’s nominees to DC Circuit Court of Appeals …But there’s more to this particular face-off than the usual opposition to judicial nominees or the fight over whether the use of the filibuster has crippled the Senate. In this case, the underlying battle is just as if not more important than the supposedly larger issues it implicates.

What’s happening in this case is Senate Republicans are blocking wholesale the confirmation of any new judges to the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals. The reason is simple: The D.C. Circuit tilts conservative right now and so long as the empty seats on the bench remain empty, that conservative tilt remains.

Republicans – and the anti-regulation crowd they represent – are particularly concerned about the D.C. Circuit because it has jurisdiction over many of the rules and regulations that the federal government writes. That makes it the front line in the battle between regulators and the regulated, between consumers and business, and between the liberal and conservative legal establishments over the scope and power of the administrative agencies who implement the laws Congress passes.

More here

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On This Day:

President Obama kisses a baby on the tarmac following his arrival at Denver International Airport, Nov. 1, 2012 (Photo by Pete Souza)

Janet Kavandi, Director of Flight Crew Operations at Johnson Space Center, presents President Obama with a jacket during a drop by with the crew of the Space Shuttle Atlantis in the Oval Office, Nov. 1, 2011 (Photo by Pete Souza)

VP Biden in Muscatine, November 1, 2012 (Photo by Christopher Dilts for Obama for America)

Las Vegas, November 1, 2012 (Photo by Scout Tufankjian)

Boulder, November 1, 2012 (Photo by Scout Tufankjian)

Boulder, November 1, 2012 (Photo by Scout Tufankjian)

Boulder, November 1, 2012 (Photo by Scout Tufankjian)

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MoooOOOooorning!

01
Nov
13

Early Bird Chat

On This Day: Green Bay, November 1, 2012 (Photo by Scout Tufankjian)

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MoooOOOooorning!




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