a new paper shows one place where the law has been a clear success: narrowing the race gap in health insurance. So why aren’t more Democrats shouting that from the rooftops. In 2013, the year before most of the law’s provisions for subsidized insurance took effect, non-elderly blacks were 47 percent more likely than whites to be uninsured.
For American Indians, that figure was 93 percent; for Hispanics, 120 percent. In 2014, not only did the share of whites without insurance fall; the share of blacks and Asian Americans fell by more. The difference between whites and Hispanics shrank, from 14 percentage points to 11.8 percentage points. What’s odd about the race gap isn’t its persistence, but that its narrowing isn’t more celebrated as one of the law’s accomplishments. Narrowing the race gap in health insurance counts unequivocally as progress.
A total of 17.6 million people have gained coverage under ObamaCare, according to a revised government estimate. The newest figure, which is based on national survey data, shows that 1.2 million more people had signed up for healthcare over the last five years than previously thought. The revised total includes 15.3 million people who gained coverage through the individual marketplace or through Medicaid. It also includes 2.3 million young adults who gained coverage because they were able to remain on a parent’s plan until they turn 26.
The new data also puts the Obama administration ahead of the health insurance gains estimated by the Congressional Budget Office for 2015. The CBO had predicted roughly 17 million people would gain coverage by 2015. Health and Human Services (HHS) chief Sylvia Mathews Burwell announced the new figure Tuesday during a speech at Howard University Hospital, where she also highlighted the law’s impact on black and Hispanic populations. “This progress has been even bigger for people of color,” she said, pointing to the 10 percent drop in the uninsured rate among black Americans.
2:45 ET: Michelle Obama speaks at a campaign event at Ohio Wesleyan University, Delaware
5:45 ET: Michelle Obama speaks at a campaign event at Cuyahoga County Community College, Cleveland
NYT Editorial: There are many unanswered questions about the vicious assault in Benghazi last month that killed four Americans, including Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens. And Congress has a responsibility to raise them. But Republican lawmakers leading the charge on Capitol Hill seem more interested in attacking President Obama than in formulating an effective response.
It doesn’t take a partisan to draw that conclusion. The ugly truth is that the same people who are accusing the administration of not providing sufficient security for the American consulate in Benghazi have voted to cut the State Department budget, which includes financing for diplomatic security. The most self-righteous critics don’t seem to get the hypocrisy, or maybe they do and figure that if they hurl enough doubts and complaints at the administration, they will deflect attention from their own poor judgments on the State Department’s needs.
Newport News/Williamsburg International Airport, October 13 (Jonathan Ernst/Reuters)
Washington Post: President Obama is regarded as significantly more honest and trustworthy than Mitt Romney in a new Washington Post-ABC News poll — a finding that could inform the incumbent’s strategy heading into the second debate of the general election Tuesday night.
Fifty-five percent of likely voters said that Obama is “honest and trustworthy,” while 41 percent said he was not. For Romney, on the other hand, 47 percent said he could be described as honest and trustworthy, while an equal 47 percent said that he could not.
…. But in the handful of swing states identified by the Post (along with Democratic-leaning Ohio), Obama’s lead is even more pronounced on the question. Fifty-six percent of swing-state voters said the incumbent is honest and trustworthy, while just 44 percent said the same of Romney.
Virginia Gazette: …. The president arrived at the office, where he came into the lobby carrying a stack of pizzas …. he introduced himself to a small group of campaign workers in the lobby before heading into a back room, where 11 volunteers were phone banking. Obama introduced himself to the volunteers before taking a seat between Alexa Kissinger and Suzanne Stern to make his own phone calls to local volunteers. “I’ve got to get to work,” Obama said.
After joking with Stern about “old school” phones Obama …. then called Ellen and Chuck Hawkins. “Is this Ellen?” Obama asked. “Ellen this is Barack Obama.” Hawkins seemed not to believe she was getting a call from the president of the United States.
“It is. It is. Really, truly,” Obama said. “I’m over here in the Williamsburg office. They have told me some of the great folks that have been doing work, and I know you and Chuck have been working so hard.”
After making phone calls Obama, shook hands with and hugged a line of roughly 20 volunteers standing outside in front of the office, before heading back to Kingsmill to continue preparing for the debate.
With campaign volunteer Suzanne Stern at a campaign office in Williamsburg, October 14 (Jonathan Ernst/Reuters)
…. greeting supporters outside the Williamsburg campaign office (Jonathan Ernst/Reuters)
NYT: BOSTON — When the ceiling collapsed in the Big Dig tunnel here, Gov. Mitt Romney was at his vacation home in New Hampshire. When the Bush administration warned that the nation was at high risk of a terror attack in December 2003, he was at his Utah retreat. And for much of the time the legislature was negotiating changes to his landmark health care bill, he was on the road.
During Mr. Romney’s four-year term as governor of Massachusetts, he cumulatively spent more than a year – part or all of 417 days – out of the state, according to a review of his schedule and other records. More than 70 percent of that time was spent on personal or political trips unrelated to his job, a New York Times analysis found.
Reuters: U.S. retail sales rose in September as Americans bought more cars and gasoline, while a gauge of consumer spending pointed to stronger-than-expected economic growth in the third quarter.
Retail sales increased 1.1 percent, the Commerce Department said on Monday, beating expectations after an upwardly revised 1.2 percent rise in August.
…. The details of the report showed broad strength across retailers, with sales of motor vehicles and parts up 1.3 percent … Other categories were also strong, with sales at electronics retailers up 4.5 percent, while sales at food and beverage stores rose 1.2 percent.
2:25: President Obama honors the 2012 NCAA Women’s Basketball Champion Baylor Bears (White House live)
4:15: Michelle Obama is briefed on tornado recovery by local officials in Birmingham, Alabama and meets children affected by the storm (CBS live streaming)
5:40 President Obama attends a campaign event at The Mandarin Oriental Hotel (Closed press)
6:00: Michelle Obama delivers remarks at a campaign fundraising event in Birmingham
Steve Benen: In 2008, Latino voters overwhelmingly supported Barack Obama over John McCain, siding with the Democrat by a 36-point margin, 67% to 31%, according to exit polls. The president won’t be able to improve upon this, will he?
Actually, he might. Latino Decisions released a new poll this morning, pointing to an even larger gap between Obama and Republican Mitt Romney, with the president leading 70% to 22%. It’s the first time in nearly two years of Latino Decisions polls that Obama has reached this level of support.
Workers listen as Mitt Romney speaks during a campaign stop at Gregory Industries in Canton, Ohio, March 5
Latino Fox News (!!!): …. Latino voters favor President Barack Obama by six-to-one over any of the Republican presidential hopefuls, showed a Fox News Latino poll released Monday.
…… 73% of Latino voters approved of Obama’s performance in office, with over half those questioned looking favorably upon his handling of the healthcare debate and the economy, at 66% and 58% respectively.
…. the poll shows Mitt Romney with 35% of Latino voter support, to Ron Paul’s 13%, Newt Gingrich’s 12%, and fRick Santorum’s 9%.
….. In head-to-head match-ups none of the GOP candidates would garner more than 14% of the Latino vote come November…
“This is what we’re seeing across the country,” said Gabriela Domenzain, Obama campaign spokesperson. “The more Latinos learn about the candidates, the more they reject them.”
TPM: On a day when the number of companies fleeing from Rush Limbaugh has snowballed, the conservative talk radio personality’s program is being immediately discontinued by a Hawaii-based station. Chris Leonard, the President and General Manager of New West Broadcasting, announced today that Limbaugh’s program will no longer be broadcast on KPUA AM 670 in Hilo, HI.
Energy.gov: Energy Secretary Steven Chu today announced that four new corporate partners – Best Buy, Johnson Controls, Pacific Gas and Electric, and Veolia – are joining the Energy Department’s National Clean Fleets Partnership, a broad public-private partnership that assists the nation’s largest fleet operators in reducing the amount of gasoline and diesel they use nationwide. The new partners announced today join with 14 other major national companies in committing to improve the fuel economy of the commercial fleets, integrate alternative technology vehicles like natural gas trucks and electric vehicles into their fleets, and reduce their overall fuel use. Collectively, the National Clean Fleets Partners operate more than a million commercial vehicles nationwide, accounting for more than 12 percent of all commercial vehicles on American roads.
The Hill: President Obama’s health law has eliminated lifetime coverage limits for 105 million Americans, the administration says in a new report released Monday.
The state-by-state report is part of the White House’s push to highlight popular provisions of the law ahead of its second anniversary later this month. Public opinion about the law remains split, but the administration hopes that its strategy will turn voters against Republicans’ plans to scrap the whole thing.
…. According to the report, 59 percent of workers covered by their employers and 89 percent of people with individual market plans had lifetime limits on their coverage in 2009. That translates to 70 million people in large employer plans, 25 million people in small employer plans and 10 million people with individually purchased health insurance.
CNN: Republican party leaders may be surprised by the results of a new poll of institutional investors: A majority of them want Washington to fix the deficit the Obama way, with both spending cuts and tax hikes.
“They tend to be as a population more fiscally conservative than the general public, but they’re not as fiscally conservative as the most conservative elements of the Republican party,” said Brent McGoldrick, who coordinated the poll. “You see the pragmatism of investors coming through here.”
In fact, on this issue at least, the 56% who favor a mixed approach are largely aligned with President Obama.
Steve Benen: A few months ago, Mitt Romney sat down with Fox News’ Bret Baier, who asked the former governor about his support for a health care mandate. Romney, visibly agitated, repeatedly denied ever advocating a national mandate policy.
When Baier reminded Romney, “Governor you did say on camera and other places that, at times, you thought it would be a model for the nation,” the Republican presidential hopeful got even angrier, snapping back, “You’re wrong, Bret.”
From White House press secretary Jay Carney: “In May, the United States looks forward to hosting the G-8 and NATO Summits. To facilitate a free-flowing discussion with our close G-8 partners, the President is inviting his fellow G-8 leaders to Camp David on May 18-19 for the G-8 Summit, which will address a broad range of economic, political and security issues.”
“The President will then welcome NATO allies and partners to his hometown of Chicago for the NATO Summit on May 20-21, which will be the premier opportunity this year for the President to continue his efforts to strengthen NATO in order to ensure that the Atlantic Alliance remains the most successful alliance in history, while charting the way forward in Afghanistan.”
Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton will host the 2012 International Women of Courage Awards Ceremony with special guest First Lady Michelle Obama on Thursday, March 8. Ambassador-at-Large for Global Women’s Issues Melanne Verveer and other U.S. and foreign dignitaries will also participate. Special guests this year include Ms. Leymah Gbowee and Ms. Tawakkol Karman, 2011 Nobel Peace Prize Laureates. The event will be held at approximately 11:00 a.m. in the Dean Acheson Auditorium of the U.S. Department of State.
March 2010: A 100-square-meter brick art tribute to U.S. President Barack Obama is unveiled in Sydney, Australia. The tribute wall was erected as a lead-up to Obama’s scheduled visit to Australia which was later cancelled
Tomorrow: The President leaves for Hawaii, stopping en route in San Diego.
Saturday: Hosts a meeting of the Trans-Pacific Partnership; attends the APEC CEO Business Summit; holds bilateral meetings with Prime Minister Nodo of Japan, President Medvedev of Russia and President Hu Jintao of China. In the evening, hosts a dinner and a cultural program for the APEC leaders in Honolulu, makes remarks. First Lady Michelle Obama will hold a farm-to-table agricultural education event at MA‘O Organic Farms in Waianae.
Sunday: Makes opening comments at the APEC Summit and attends sessions through the day; holds a press conference to wrap up the summit. In the evening meets with the Mexican President and the Canadian Prime Minister at the North American Leaders Summit. The First Lady hosts a luncheon with APEC leaders’ spouses at Kualoa Ranch.
Monday: Holds a fundraiser in the morning. That will be his only event for the day before he leaves on Tuesday morning for Canberra, Australia.
Ben Rhodes (Deputy National Security Advisor for Strategic Communications): “Now, because of the wonders of the world, the flight to Australia takes us forward a day on the clock. So we now move to Wednesday, November 16th, in terms of the schedule here. And this is Australia time.”
Check here for the transcript of Rhodes trying to talk time zones with the press, the confusion was hilarious – and I’m hopelessly confused too😳
Wednesday: Arrives in Australia. Has a bilateral meeting with Prime Minister Gillard, the two leaders then holding a joint press conference. Attends a parliamentary dinner at the Australian Parliament House that night where he will make remarks about the U.S.-Australian relationship.
Thursday: Begins his day by laying a wreath at an Australian war memorial; meets with opposition leader Tony Abbott; addresses the Australian Parliament; visits a local primary school with PM Gillard; visits the US embassy. Leaves Canberra for Darwin. Visits a memorial to the USS Peary and lays a wreath. The President and PM Gillard together address Australian troops. That concludes the Australia portion of the visit. The President flies that night to Bali, Indonesia.
Friday: Attends a number of bilateral meetings. Meets with the Prime Minister of India and the leaders of Thailand, the Philippines and Malaysia. Meets with the ASEAN nations, the 10 Southeast Asian nations. Meets with President Yudhoyono of Indonesia; attends an East Asia dinner that night.
Saturday: The East Asian Summit takes place through the day. At its conclusion the President returns to the United States.
If only Huntsman took on Romney in debates half as well as his ad people take him on in videos:
Univision: President Obama says he is confident in his ability to win over Latino voters before next year’s elections, thanks to some added help from his Republican opponents.
…. “I don’t think it requires us to go negative in the sense of us running a bunch of ads that are false, or character assassinations,” Obama told Univision News. “It will be based on facts … We may just run clips of the Republican debates verbatim. We won’t even comment on them, we’ll just run those in a loop on Univision and Telemundo, and people can make up their own minds.”
That’s one of the strongest rebukes thus far from Obama against Republicans when it comes to their desire to chip away at his base of Latino support. And it underscores the president’s eagerness to go toe-to-toe with his GOP opponents although the beginning of the general election campaign is still months away.
…. “That’s not to say the Latino community is going to think my administration is perfect. But I think they know where my heart is and they know the kind of America that I want to see for all of our children,” he said. “The values and the vision I have is going to match up much more closely with where the Latino community wants to see the country going.”
TPM: With Recovery Act funding running out, that old TPM favorite – the anti-stimulus Republican who takes credit for stimulus funding in their district – is becoming somewhat of a rarity. But Rep. Frank Guinta (R-NH) kicked it old school on Thursday by cutting the ribbon on a new road that received millions from the same spending bill he opposed.
TPM: …. last week a Quinnipiac national poll showed the President’s approval rating rising while he led Romney nationally by five points … Five days later an NBC/WSJ poll showed the same trend, as Obama expanded his lead on the former Mass Gov. from 2 points to 6 in that poll. In both cases none of the other GOP candidates came close to the President.
…. Gallup released new data polling Obama versus a generic Republican, which for the last year has been the only hypothetical contest that Obama has consistently lost. But in this week’s matchup, Obama actually took a one point lead against the faceless Republican, a major change in Gallup’s tracking, which had the generic candidate ahead by eight points just a month ago.
It’s a sign both that Obama’s message on jobs is resonating …. It seems that as the race moves along, and a Romney-Obama matchup becomes more likely, the generic candidate is morphing into Romney. And as that happens, Obama starts to do better.
President Barack Obama meets with senior advisors in the Oval Office, Nov. 10, 2011. Attending, from left, are: Director of Communications Dan Pfeiffer; Senior Advisor Valerie Jarrett; Press Secretary Jay Carney; Senior Advisor David Plouffe; Chief of Staff Bill Daley; and Counselor to the President Pete Rouse. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)
President Obama shakes hands with U.S. Army Sgt. First Class Leroy Arthur Petry of Santa Fe, N.M., after being introduced by Petry, who received the Medal of Honor, before speaking at the White House Forum on American Latino Heritage