Valerie Jarrett: Today POTUS called Pauline Beck to tell her the home care rule has been finalized—in 07’ he took a walk in her shoes
Reuters: Obama to extend wage law to cover two million home care aides
The Obama administration said on Tuesday it will extend the protection of U.S. minimum wage and overtime law to almost 2 million home health workers who assist the elderly and disabled.
Home health aides, personal care aides and certified nursing assistants will be brought under the coverage of the Fair Labor Standards Act, effective in January 2015, the U.S. Department of Labor said in a statement.
“Today we are taking an important step toward guaranteeing that these professionals receive the wage protections they deserve while protecting the right of individuals to live at home,” said Thomas Perez, who was sworn in on September 4 as President Barack Obama’s new labor secretary.
WTHR: …. Chelsea Wheeler takes nine different medications every day. Pointing to two bottles, she said, “For these alone, it would easily be $3,000 a month.” … she lives with chronic kidney disease …. “When I got sick, I was 13 and it was kidney failure.”
….. Her biggest concern now? Repeal of the Affordable Health Care Act …..
“….. if that goes away, then I’m in a world of hurt, literally”…..
While Chelsea has a good job, because she’s a contract employee she’s not eligible for insurance through the company. With the new law she can continue on her parents’ plan until she turns 26. It pays for all her meds, including those very expensive anti-rejection drugs.
…. “My entire life is based on getting medical care and without the Affordable Health Care Act I would not be able to do it,” she said. “I’d be drowning in debt trying to pay by myself ….. it’s a lifesaver.”
Get the facts – there’s now a permanent link in the sidebar on the right
ThinkProgress: The Remarkable Slowdown In Health Care Costs Since The Passage Of Obamacare
A new survey of health care premiums for employer-sponsored health care coverage shows that health care inflation is slowing, further undermining critics’ predictions that costs would skyrocket in the aftermath of the Affordable Care Act.
…. Other reports have also uncovered a slowdown in cost increases. The number of double-digit rate increases requested by health insurers in the individual market has plummeted over the past four years and Medicare’s projected spending between 2010 and 2020 had dropped by over $500 billion. Under the new cost scenario, the entitlement program would, by 2085, make up 4 percent of the economy instead of the previously projected 7 percent.
Annual growth of medical spending has also slowed “from a high of about 8.8 percent in 2003 to an average of about 3 percent per capita from 2009 to 2011, according to data reported in January by the U.S. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.”
USA Today: States predict more insurance customers
Estimates from 19 states operating health insurance exchanges to help the uninsured find coverage show that at least 8.5 million will use the exchanges to buy insurance. That would far outstrip the federal government’s estimate of 7 million new customers for all 50 states under the 2010 health care law….
…. “It’s not a positive development for the Republican opponents who would like to see this fail,” said Paul Ginsburg, president of the Center for Studying Health System Change…..
Jamelle Bouie: Anti-Obamacare Rage, Once a GOP Hit, Fizzles Despite Town Halls
Tea Party Republicans had a huge hit with their rage against Obamacare. It gave them control of the House of Representatives in 2010, fueled their anti-spending crusade in 2011, inspired the most vocal of the GOP presidential candidates, and elevated a host of right-wing politicians to the Senate, providing a national platform for the crusade against the so-called government takeover of health care.
Hits aren’t built to last, however, and after a while, this one began to fizzle … The magic has fizzled so much that some Republicans have begun to walk away from the project altogether, even as others work to turn Obamacare funding into cause for a government shutdown.
… Heritage can play as many of the old tunes as it likes. When October 1 comes, the Affordable Care Act will be there, ready to confer benefits, provide security, and begin the slow transformation of American health care.
TPM: Rick Perry In Talks To Accept Obamacare Funding For Elderly
Texas Gov. Rick Perry (R), an ardent opponent of the Affordable Care Act, is in talks with Obama administration officials to accept an estimated $100 million in care for the elderly and disabled through Obamacare….
Texas health officials are seeking to enroll in the so-called Community First Choice program available via the law’s Medicaid expansion. Perry officially declined to enroll his state in the program, saying in April that expanding the program for the poor would make Texas “hostage” to the federal government.
TPM: Only One in Four Young Adults Know About Obamacare Exchanges
Only one in four young American adults are aware of the online health insurance marketplaces that will open on Oct. 1 as part of the federal health care reform law, according to a report released Wednesday.
In a survey of adults ages 19 to 29 by the non-profit nonpartisan Commonwealth Fund, just 27 percent said they knew they would be able to purchase insurance on the marketplaces, also known as exchanges, starting Oct. 1.
The young adult population has been the focal point of the Obama administration’s campaign to promote the marketplaces. The White House has said that it wants to enroll 2.7 million people ages 18 to 35 in the exchanges by next year; 7 million people in total are expected to sign up for health coverage.
The new report underlines the challenge that the administration faces in reaching that population….
Michael Tomasky: Republicans Move to the Center? Nope, They’re Crazier Than Ever
If you thought the GOP would adopt more moderate positions after its 2012 debacle, you were wrong. From debate threats to defunding Obamacare and even more purges, Michael Tomasky on how the insanity’s only increasing.
If you’d asked me six months ago whether the Republican Party would manage to find a few ways to sidle back toward the center between now and 2016, I’d have said yes. But today, on the basis of evidence offered so far this year, I’d have to say a big fat no. With every passing month, the party contrives new ways to go crazier. There’s a lot of time between now and 2016, but it’s hard to watch recent events without concluding that the extreme part of the base is gaining more and more internal control.
On this day, Aug. 8, 2012 – Pete Souza: “Overcome with emotion, eight-year old Make-A-Wish child Janiya Penny reacts just after meeting the President as he welcomes her family to the Oval Office.”
Today (all times Eastern)
12:30: Jay Carney briefs the press
2:55: President Obama holds a bilateral meeting with Prime Minister Antonis Samaras of Greece
President Obama greets Marines and their families before a speech in Camp Pendleton, Calif., August 7
Steve Benen: Jobless claims inch higher, but remain near five-year low
It’s never good news when initial unemployment claims climb, but the new figures out this morning are better than expected and are still near a five-year low:
The number of people who applied for new unemployment benefits rose by 5,000 to 333,000 in the week ended Aug. 3, but the level of initial claims remained close to a five-year low in a possible sign of some improvement in the U.S. labor market. Economists surveyed by MarketWatch expected claims to climb to 339,000 on a seasonally adjusted basis. The average of new claims over the past month, a more reliable gauge than the volatile weekly number, fell by 6,250 to 335,500 to the lowest level since November 2007.
ThinkProgress: These Six States Want To Allow Health Insurers To Deny Coverage To Sick People
Officials in Texas and five other GOP-led states are refusing to oversee even Obamacare’s most basic — and popular — consumer protections and insurance market reforms. That includes the law’s ban on denying coverage or charging more because of a pre-existing condition and discriminating against women on the basis of gender. The decision could present major hurdles to Americans who buy health insurance through federally-run marketplaces in the Lone Star State, Arizona, Alabama, Missouri, Oklahoma, and Wyoming.
Watch “Serve” highlighting the incredible story of Alejandro Morales, a young undocumented immigrant who was brought to the United States when he was only seven months old. Alejandro was the highest ranking cadet in Chicago JROTC and his biggest dream is to serve his county in the U.S. Marines. He is an American; this is the only country he’s ever known. He wants to serve and protect his country, but our broken immigration system prevents him from doing so because he is an undocumented immigrant:
Greg Sargent: The conventional wisdom on immigration reform is wrong
The chances that comprehensive immigration reform will ever pass the House are very slim. However, the easy conventional wisdom about what’s happening now — which holds that the conservative base controls the outcome completely, that the death of reform is preordained, and that House Republicans are only looking for a way to kill reform blamelessly — is overly simplistic and is increasingly looking like it’s just wrong.
To understand what’s really happening, the key question to ask is: Are House Republicans just playing for time, or are they actually grappling with the issue of immigration reform and what to do about the 11 million undocumented immigrants?
ThinkProgress: How A Powerful Group Of Corporations Quietly Tried To Roll Back Clean Energy Standards, And Failed Miserably
When the American Legislative Exchange Council, or ALEC, wants a law passed, the law typically gets passed.
The organization is known for helping to advance corporate interests by writing and then pushing to pass conservative legislation at the state level. With funding to the tune of $500,000 from billionaire brothers Charles and David Koch’s foundations from 2005-2011, and $1.4 million from Exxon Mobil this past decade, it shouldn’t be a surprise that ALEC has had many successes in its 40 years of existence. ALEC has most notably pushed “Stand Your Ground” and “Right-to-Work” legislation through state legislatures across the country. The organization has also created model legislation with intended loopholes that allow energy companies to withhold names of certain chemicals used during hydraulic fracturing, or fracking.
This year ALEC decided to prioritize the dismantling of states’ renewable energy standards and targets across the country. Their record? 0 for 13. In the states where ALEC and its members sought to repeal or weaken renewable energy standards or targets, not a single bill passed in 2013….
Aug. 8, 2010 – Pete Souza: “The President has made several trips to Walter Reed Army Medical Center and several other hospitals to visit wounded soldiers and personally award Purple Heart medals. Although I do take photographs of him meeting these soldiers, we make these pictures only available to the soldiers themselves. Here, he’s about to enter the room of a wounded soldier who received a Purple Heart.”
ThinkProgress: After Airing Pro-Keystone XL Ads, NBC Station Rejects Ad Opposing The Pipeline
NBC has rejected an ad opposing the Keystone XL pipeline, despite running ads in favor of its construction. The climate group NextGen Climate Action says it was notified at the last minute Tuesday night that a Washington, D.C. NBC station rejected its ad, submitted for President Obama’s appearance on the Tonight Show. A representative for the group suggested that the station may have bowed to oil corporate pressure in rejecting the ad and challenged the station to disavow that polluter interests played a role in the decision.
Aug. 8, 2010: President Obama greets First Lady Michelle Obama and daughter Sasha upon their arrival at a barbecue in celebration of his 49th birthday on the South Lawn of the White House (Photo by Pete Souza)
Aug. 8, 2010: President Obama sits with daughter Sasha during a barbecue with family and friends in celebration of his 49th birthday on the South Lawn of the White House (Photo by Pete Souza)
Aug. 8, 2010 – Pete Souza: “We were walking through a locker room at the University of Texas when White House Trip Director Marvin Nicholson stopped to weigh himself on a scale. Unbeknownst to him, the President was stepping on the back of the scale, as Marvin continued to slide the scale lever. Everyone but Marvin was in on the joke.”
“THERE is no shortage of economic growth in Africa. Six of the world’s ten fastest growing economies of the past decade are in sub-Saharan Africa. A clutch of countries have enjoyed growth in income per person of more than 5% a year since 2007.”
Dakar, Senegal (c) mostroneddo
Nothing demonstrates the vapidity of the corporate media than the rancid ignorance they display when they are gung-ho to score cheap shots at President Obama on important matters, rather than do basic research!!!
And so it is that on Pres. Obama undertaking a long overdue working visit to three countries on the continent of Africa, the corporate media including FOXNews universe display once again the national embarrassment that they have become. But for the fact that they’d bleat about threats to their “First Amendment Rights”, I’d rather Pres Obama left them behind to indulge in muffin stories and similar shiny objects they chase best. Foreign media ALWAYS outshine ours anyway, so their absence would actually improve the media pool at these foreign pressers. And the public would be better informed for it.
So cynical journos like David Nakamura of @WAPO , and colleagues at AtlanticWire @NYT , Moonie News, @ABC, @NBC, @MSNBC, @CBS, @CNN, @FOX, @YahooNews, here are 12 FACTS to get into their heads before they utter any more inanities about the President’s trip to Africa, and carping endlessly about “costs of trip” versus sequestered White House tours. Without the 80% of Coltan produced from the Congo belt running your iPhone/iPad or other tablet LED screens, they’d be pecking away at an old typewriter (well, assuming even the steel in the machine’s housing isn’t from African iron ore).
We are talking about Africa in the 21st Century, not some Henry Stanley 19th century racist travelogue you read about “natives doing quaint tribal dances”, or as the late Literary maestro Chinua Achebe snarkily penned at the end of his seminal novel Things Fall Apart, the colonizer’s version of history in which the indigenous African only warrants a passing line about his own history. No we are talking about a forward moving continent, warts and all that brooks no nonsense from anybody, superpower or not!
Supporters engulf Democratic presidential hopeful Sen. Barack Obama (D-IL) during a rally at the Xcel Energy Center June 3, 2008 in St. Paul, Minnesota. Obama clinched the Democratic presidential nomination following primaries in South Dakota and Montana
Michael Cohen (The Guardian): What makes the Republican position on Medicaid expansion truly sick – In their ideological vendetta against Obamacare, red states seem more willing to let low-income people die than get healthcare
If you want to get a sense of the enfeebled and wanton state of the modern Republican party, there really is no better place to start than on the issue of Medicaid, the federal program that provides healthcare coverage for the poor.
In a desperate effort to undermine the law they hate, Obamacare, Republican governors and state legislatures in half the states have either rejected or intend to reject a key part of the president’s signature domestic initiative – namely, billions in federal dollars to extend Medicaid coverage to their poorest citizens. While Republicans argue they are acting out of high-minded fiscal rectitude, the reality speaks to something else altogether – petulance and hyper-partisanship.
…. Republicans are searching for ways to rehabilitate their image. It ain’t gonna be easy so long as they operate as though saving money – and keeping their ideological purity intact – is more important than reducing suffering and saving lives.
Jonathan Cohn (New Republic): If you want to know why we can’t have an honest debate about Obamacare, all you have to do is pay attention to some recent news from California – and the way a highly distorted version of it, by one irresponsible writer, has rippled through the conservative press.
Two years ago: President Obama greets people in Toledo, Ohio, June 3, 2011 (Photo by Pete Souza)
9:40: President Obama delivers opening remarks to the White House Mental Health Conference
12:30: Jay Carney briefs the press
2:0: VP Biden delivers closing remarks at the National Conference on Mental Health at the White House
3:30: Sec. of State Kerry Addresses 2013 American Jewish Committee Forum (C-Span)
Tuesday: The President will host President Sebastián Piñera of Chile at the White House.
Wednesday: The President will welcome the Super Bowl Champion Baltimore Ravens to the White House.
Thursday: The President will travel to the Charlotte area as part of his middle-class jobs and opportunity tour. From there, he’ll travel to San José, California to attend an event for the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee. He will spend the night in San José.
Friday: The President will travel to Los Angeles to attend an event for the Democratic National Committee. He will then travel to Palm Springs, California to meet with President Xi Jinping of The People’s Republic of China at Sunnylands, the Walter and Leonore Annenberg estate. He will remain overnight in Palm Springs.
Saturday: The President will wrap up his meetings with the Chinese President and then will return to Washington, D.C.
Washington Post: President Obama is scheduled to deliver remarks Monday on the issue of mental health, raising it in connection with the sweeping gun-control agenda he unveiled earlier this year.
The morning address will open what the White House has dubbed a National Conference on Mental Health, a gathering of advocates, elected officials, faith leaders and others aimed at increasing awareness of mental illness and highlighting ways that the mentally ill can seek help. Actress Glenn Close and Vice President Joe Biden are slated to speak at the event.
During his speech, Obama is expected to announce a series of “summits” coordinated by Veterans Affairs health centers aimed at bolstering mental health services for veterans.
Steve Benen: ….. Unlike Issa’s rhetorical jabs, Plouffe’s brush-back pitch at least has the benefit of accuracy …. Issa, the man Republicans have tasked with leading investigations into alleged administration misdeeds, really has spent a fair amount of his adult life as a suspected criminal. This Ryan Lizza piece in the New Yorker from a couple of years ago remains relevant.
“Many politicians have committed indiscretions in earlier years: maybe they had an affair or hired an illegal immigrant as a nanny. Issa, it turned out, had, among other things, been indicted for stealing a car, arrested for carrying a concealed weapon, and accused by former associates of burning down a building.”
…… It’s not a secret – Issa’s background is the subject of insider jokes and private chatter – but it’s considered impolite to broach the subject publicly.
Which makes Plouffe’s rhetorical shot all the more interesting.
ThinkProgress: The Medicare Trustees had great news for American seniors on Friday: the program’s solvency has been extended for two full years past what the trustees predicted in 2012.
In their annual report, the trustees wrote that Medicare’s hospital insurance trust fund will be fully solvent through 2026. That’s over a decade longer than what the trustees projected back in 2009….
…. The upward projections are likely a consequence of several factors. First, the 10-year revision from 2009 is a direct result of Obamacare. The health law takes $700 billion of excessive and wasteful payments made to private providers that service the Medicare Advantage program and reallocates it to traditional Medicare. Conservatives have made the outlandish claim that this “robs Medicare,” when in fact it does the exact opposite, and Republicans have included the same savings in their own budgets.
Paul Krugman: Last month the Congressional Budget Office released its much-anticipated projections for debt and deficits, and there were cries of lamentation from the deficit scolds who have had so much influence on our policy discourse. The problem, you see, was that the budget office numbers looked, well, O.K.: deficits are falling fast, and the ratio of debt to gross domestic product is projected to remain roughly stable over the next decade. Obviously it would be nice, eventually, to actually reduce debt. But if you’ve built your career around proclamations of imminent fiscal doom, this definitely wasn’t the report you wanted to see.
Still, we can always count on the baby boomers to deliver disaster, can’t we? Doesn’t the rising tide of retirees mean that Social Security and Medicare are doomed unless we radically change those programs now now now?
Michael Tomasky: Who’s Mark Pryor Kidding? …. Arkansas Democratic Senator Mark Pryor has a new reelection ad up in which he says: “The mayor of New York City is running ADS again me, because I oppose President Obama’s gun-control legislation. … I’m Mark Pryor. And I approve this message because NO ONE from New York or Washington tells ME what to do. I listen to ARKANSAS.”
New poll: 60/31 support for background checks in Arkansas
…. So, Senator: bullfeathers. You’re not listening to Arkansas. You’re listening to the NRA…..
TPM: A lawmaker who helped negotiate a bipartisan bill to overhaul immigration predicted on Sunday that comprehensive legislation would overwhelmingly pass the Senate by July 4 while House Republicans cautioned that they would write their own version, one piece at a time.
Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., said he anticipates as many as 70 of the 100 senators will vote for the measure heading to the full Senate on June 10. Even if it passes there, the proposal faces tough prospects in the Republican-led House, where lawmakers are at work on their own piecemeal approach that could stall a pathway to citizenship for the estimated 11 million immigrants living in this country illegally.
Woah, am I the last to know about the conditions George Preston Marshall left in his will??
Michael Tomasky: There’s a debate brewing – yet again – about whether the name of Washington’s football team is racist. Of course it is.
When George Preston Marshall died in 1969, he … directed that the bulk of his estate be used to set up a foundation in his name. He attached, however, one firm condition: that the foundation, operating out of Washington, D.C., should not direct a single dollar toward “any purpose which supports or employs the principle of racial integration in any form.” Think about that. This was not 1929 or 1949….
This is the man who gave the Washington Redskins their name. He was one of the most despicable racists in the American sporting arena of the entire 20th century. He thought Redskins was funny, just as he thought the war paint and feather headdress he made the head coach wear were funny. And this is the legacy that current Redskins owner Dan Snyder wants to uphold?
Washington Post: Doing the same thing over and over again — and expecting a different result — is supposed to be the definition of insanity. On Thursday, it is the only thing on the calendar for the House of Representatives.
Since Republicans took over in 2011, the House has voted five times to repeal President Obama’s health-care law. It has also voted 31 other times to repeal individual pieces of the law or to strip away its funding.
Still, on Thursday the House will do it all once more — voting on a new bill to repeal the law. It will pass again. Then it will die in the Senate, again.
Joy-Ann Reid: Amid the uproar, and calls for investigations, over IRS employees using inappropriate criteria and questions to vet applications for 501(c)4 non-profit status by tea party groups, a few facts are falling through the cracks. Among them: tea party groups weren’t the only ones subjected to unfair scrutiny. And while none of the dozens of tea party groups who complained of bias had their applications denied, in the case of at least one Democratic leaning organization, the IRS said “no” to their request to be declared tax exempt.
Ed Kilgore: Well, it doesn’t get much more official than this: an VandeHei/Allen “Behind the Curtain” column announcing that D.C. (“the town”) is “turning on” Barack Obama, and there will be nothing but venom coming from any direction for the foreseeable future
Too bad, voters, and all those who have an interest in their federal government doing something constructive; Obama has to have his spanking from “D.C. stakeholders,” so enjoy it or look the other way.
What amazes me the most about this column is the forthright announcement that the MSM are going to make explicit common cause with the GOP