On This Day: President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama greet guests at the Cinco de Mayo reception in the Rose Garden of the White House, May 5, 2010 (Photo by Pete Souza)
Today (all times Eastern)
10:55: The President holds a bilateral meeting with President Ismail Omar Guelleh of Djibouti
1:0: Press Briefing by Jay Carney
2:0: Vice President Biden Speaks to the American Psychiatric Association Annual Meeting
5:50: The President hosts a Cinco de Mayo reception, Rose Garden
The Week Ahead
Tuesday: The President attends meetings at the White House.
Wednesday: Travels to Los Angeles to participate in a joint DSCC/DCCC event. In the evening, the President will be honored at a dinner hosted by the USC Shoah Foundation. He will remain overnight in Los Angeles.
Thursday: Participates in a DNC roundtable in Los Angeles before traveling to San Diego to participate in a DCCC event. The President will then travel to San Jose where he will participate in two DNC events and remain overnight.
Friday: Participates in an event on energy in the San Jose area. Following the event the President will return to Washington, DC.
Jonathan Cohn: Gallup: Number of Uninsured Lowest We’ve Ever Recorded
Obamacare is reducing the number of Americans without health insurance. And while nobody can say for sure exactly how many people are getting coverage, Gallup just provided a pretty big clue.
According to the organization, the proportion of adults without coverage last month fell to 13.4 percent. That’s lower than it was last yaer. That’s lower than it was when the Affordable Care Act became law—and when President Obama took office.
In fact, that’s lower than it’s ever been since the beginning of 2008, before the economic crisis, which is when Gallup started taking regular monthly polls on this question.
It probably didn’t get as much attention as it deserved, but something unusual happened last week: House Republicans, including House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) got caught telling a rather brazen lie.
GOP officials issued a “report” arguing that “only 67 percent” of consumers who enrolled in the Affordable Care Act’s exchanges paid their first month’s premiums. In this case, Republicans were lying – they deliberately published a document that included fraudulent claims, intended to deceive the public, and once caught, the officials made no real effort to deny what they’d done.
Paul Krugman took Republicans to task in his new column, condemning them for “spreading disinformation about health reform because it works, and because they can – there is no sign that they pay any political price when their accusations are proved false.”
But the GOP’s failed attempt at a con arguably looks even worse this morning, with new evidence of the Affordable Care Act’s success.
Eclectablog: Obamacare success stories keep coming, with a rosy forecast for 2015
Karen is just one of 272,500 Michiganders who signed up for coverage through Healthcare.gov, where a strong finish to 2014 enrollment bodes well for next year.
So much good news, it’s hard to know where to begin.
On Thursday, Obama administration officials predicted health insurance premiums would be stable in 2015, thanks to a large and varied pool of insured Americans. This is according to the Kaiser Family Foundation, which reported that about 28 percent of the 8 million Americans who enrolled in private health insurance through Healthcare.gov were in the 18-34-year-old age range needed to help keep the risk pool balanced and keep premiums down — the demographic naysayers predicted would not sign up. Yet another “horror story” debunked.
In Michigan, 272,539 people signed up for coverage through Healthcare.gov, in addition to thousands more who have enrolled in the Healthy Michigan Plan, the state’s Medicaid expansion program that launched April 1.
Last week, House Republicans released a deliberately misleading report on the status of health reform, crudely rigging the numbers to sustain the illusion of failure in the face of unexpected success. Are you shocked?
You aren’t, but you should be. Mainstream politicians didn’t always try to advance their agenda through lies, damned lies and — in this case — bogus statistics. And the fact that this has become standard operating procedure for a major party bodes ill for America’s future.
About that report: The really big policy news of 2014, at least so far, is the spectacular recovery of the Affordable Care Act from its stumbling start, thanks to an extraordinary late surge that took enrollment beyond early projections….
This is a problem for Republicans, who have bet the ranch on the proposition that health reform is an unfixable failure … How can they respond to good news?
Well, they could graciously admit that they were wrong, and offer constructive suggestions about how to make the law work even better. Oh, sorry — I forgot that I wasn’t writing jokes for the White House Correspondents’ Dinner.
Michael Hiltzik: Medicaid expansion is the final battle in war over Obamacare
The final battles of any war often are the bloodiest. They’re waged by the last holdouts, dead-enders desperate to prove to themselves and their dwindling followers that their efforts were not in vain.
The final battle of the war over the Affordable Care Act is being waged today over expanding Medicaid. As the act was originally conceived, Medicaid would provide healthcare for more than 10 million of the poorest uninsured Americans, most of them childless adults with earnings up to 138% of the federal poverty level. (This year, that income ceiling is about $16,000.)
Then the Supreme Court ruled in 2012 that Congress couldn’t impose the expansion on state governments, but had to make it voluntary. Republican legislators and governors in 28 states turned the expansion down. A handful later reversed themselves. These include four that, with federal permission, are temporarily trying out novel Medicaid formats.
The refusal of more than half the states to cover so many of their neediest citizens — the number who have fallen into the “coverage gap” is estimated at 5 million — amazes and frustrates health experts. That’s especially so because the federal government covers 100% of the cost of expansion through 2016. After that, the federal share will slowly decline to 90% in 2020 and beyond.
Salon: Diagnosing Paul Ryan’s psychopathy: Arrogant, manipulative, deceitful, remorseless
Paul Krugman revealed Ryan’s big con years ago. It’s gotten worse. Why does anyone take him seriously on policy?
If the GOP as a whole has pretty much given up on the whole “rebranding” thing, their 2012 vice presidential nominee, Congressman Paul Ryan, most definitely has not. In fact, rebranding is pretty much his thing, regardless of how credible — or incredible, actually — his efforts may be.
For years, Ryan touted himself as an avid Ayn Rand disciple, until he didn’t in early 2012, even calling it “an urban legend” that he had anything serious to do with Rand at all. He then tried to present the latest iteration of his draconian soak-the-poor/shower the rich budget proposal as grounded in Catholic social teaching, rather than Rand’s fiercely anti-Christian philosophy, a claim that the conservative U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops soundly rejected, writing that his proposed budget failed to meet certain “moral criteria” by disproportionately cutting programs that “serve poor and vulnerable people.”
Now, seeking to put all memory of the “47 percent” campaign behind him, Ryan’s trying to take that reinvention to a whole new level.
Senator Obama walks out to address supporters at a campaign stop at the American Legion Mall in Indianapolis, May 5, 2008
President Obama and Vice President Biden wait in line to place their orders during an unannounced lunch-time visit to Ray’s Hell Burger in Arlington, Va., May 5, 2009
President Obama, joined by First Lady Michelle Obama, Dr. Jill Biden, Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric K. Shinseki, Members of Congress and guests, signs the Caregivers and Veterans Omnibus Health Services Act in the State Dining Room of the White House, May 5, 2010 (Photo by Chuck Kennedy)
May 5, 2010: “After doing a series of posed photos, the President started joking around with the First Lady in the Diplomatic Reception Room of the White House before a Cinco de Mayo event.” (Photo by Pete Souza)
President Obama walks along the South Lawn Drive of the White House with Sen. John Kerry, May 5, 2010 (Photo by Pete Souza)
May 5, 2011: “A few days after the mission against bin Laden, the President traveled to New York City to meet with families of the 9/11 victims. He also visited at Engine 54, Ladder 4, Battalion 9 Firehouse. The firehouse, known as the “Pride of Midtown,” lost 15 firefighters on 9/11 — an entire shift and more than any other New York firehouse. Here, the firefighters offer an impromptu toast to the President in honor of their fallen comrades during a lunch at the station house.” (Photo by Pete Souza)
President Obama meets with firefighters and first responders at Engine 54, Ladder 4, Battalion 9, before visiting the National Sept. 11 Memorial at Ground Zero in New York, May 5, 2011
President Obama speaks with New York City Police Sergeant Stephanie Moses after laying a wreath at the 9/11 Memorial at Ground Zero in Lower Manhattan May 5, 2011
President Obama greets family members after laying a wreath at the 9/11 Memorial in New York on May 5, 2011
President Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama at a Cinco de Mayo reception in the White House, May 5, 2011
Leaving the White House, May 5, 2012
President Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama embrace at Schottenstein Center, Columbus, May 5, 2012
Schottenstein Center, Columbus
First Lady Michelle Obama at Virginia Commonwealth University May 5, 2012 in Richmond
President Obama steps down from Air Force One with Rep. Joyce Beatty (D-Ohio) at Rickenbacker International Airport in Columbus, Ohio, en route to speak at the Ohio State University spring commencement, May 5, 2013
President Obama delivers the address during The Ohio State University commencement at Ohio Stadium in Columbus, Ohio, May 5, 2013 (Photo by Pete Souza)
On This Day: President Obama puts his arm around First Lady Michelle Obama after joking with her during a Cinco de Mayo reception in the East Room of the White House on May 5, 2011. Obama said “You do not want to be between Michelle and a tamale.”