The Congressional Budget Office is out with its latest report on the Affordable Care Act, and here are a few bottom lines:
— The ACA is cheaper than it expected.
— It will “markedly increase” the number of Americans with health insurance.
— The risk-adjustment provisions, which Congressional Republicans want to overturn as a “bailout” of the insurance industry, will actually turn a profit to the U.S. Treasury.
…. The ACA will increase the number of Americans with health insurance by 13 million this year, 20 million next year, and 25 million a year from then through 2024. Some 80% of those enrollees will be receiving federal subsidies to keep their coverage affordable.
There will be fewer uninsured people living in the United States, and most of those with individual coverage will be getting help to pay for it. Is there another other conclusion to draw from those statistics than the Affordable Care Act is working?
The Post’s Glenn Kessler today published a fact-checking post breaking some news: No, he wrote, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) never, ever reported that Obamacare would somehow or other kill more than 2 million U.S. jobs.
Okay, to say that Kessler broke this news is a rhetorical exaggeration to highlight the point that many-o-many media outlets misconstrued the CBO findings. For a while this morning, the Internet was hopping with job-killing hype, when in fact the truth was vastly different. Obamacare’s impact, the CBO concluded, would lessen the supply of labor by encouraging certain folks not to work: “The estimated reduction stems almost entirely from a net decline in the amount of labor that workers choose to supply, rather than from a net drop in businesses’ demand for labor, so it will appear almost entirely as a reduction in labor force participation and in hours worked. . . .”
For someone approaching retirement, notes Kessler, Obamacare could well mean that they needn’t hold onto a bad job just to keep health insurance. That’s a far different dynamic from job-killing.
Steve Benen: CBO Delivers Welcome News To Obamacare Backers
If Republican press releases and reports from conservative and major media outlets are any indication, the Congressional Budget Office’s findings on the Affordable Care Act are simply brutal. National Review, which probably published its report before actually looking at the CBO’s findings, ran this headline: “The CBO Just Nuked Obamacare.”
As we discussed earlier, the coverage has been profoundly misleading. Despite what Americans are being told, the CBO did not find that the health care reform law would cost the nation over 2 million jobs. What it actually said is that the law will empower more than 2 million Americans to leave the workforce if they want to, no longer feeling forced to stay at a job in order to have benefits for them and their family.
Why “Obamacare” critics consider this a bad thing remains unclear….
ThinkProgress: Obamacare Finally Gives Workers The Freedom Conservatives Demanded
On Tuesday, the Congressional Budget Office projected that The Affordable Care Act will reduce the number of full-time workers by 2.3 million in 2021, leading critics to seize on the claim as evidence that the health care law is undermining job growth.
But that’s not what the CBO actually said. In fact, CBO economists write that “[t]he estimated reduction [in labor] stems almost entirely from a net decline in the amount of labor that workers choose to supply, rather than from a net drop in businesses’ demand for labor.” Americans won’t be losing their jobs, but people who are only working to maintain access to their employer sponsored health insurance plans will be able to leave the workforce or work fewer hours because they can obtain coverage elsewhere. That’s a goal that prominent Republicans, conservative think tanks and policy analysts have supported for years…..
A new report finds that between 2008 and 2011, the abortion rate hit its lowest point since 1973, when Roe v. Wade declared access to the procedure a Constitutional right.
The rate fell 13 percent to 16.9 per 1,000 women in 2011, down from its peak of 29.3 per 1,000 in 1981.
While conservatives want to claim credit for the decline with onerous restrictions on a woman’s right to choose, the availability of contraception and family planning deserve most of the credit, according to the Guttmacher Institute’s Rachel Jones, the lead author of the study.
Yahoo: New Report: Budget Deficit To Drop To $514B
A new report released Tuesday says the government’s budget deficit is set to fall to $514 billion for the current year, down substantially from last year and the lowest by far since President Barack Obama took office five years ago. The Congressional Budget Office report credits higher tax revenues from the rebounding economy and sharp curbs on agency spending as the chief reason for the deficit’s short-term decline.
Last year’s deficit registered $680 billion. Obama inherited an economy in crisis and first-ever deficits exceeding $1 trillion. The 2009 deficit, swelled by the costs of the Wall Street bailout, hit a record $1.4 trillion, while the deficits of 2010 and 2011 both registered $1.3 trillion. The report predicted the economy will continue to rebound this year and grow at a 3.1 percent rate and by 3.4 percent next year. It foresees the jobless rate holding steady at 6.8 percent this year; the most recent nationwide unemployment rate registered 6.7 percent.
Tal Kopan: Emmitt Smith Gives Wendy Davis Committee $10K
Team Wendy just landed an all-star running back. Former Dallas Cowboys running back and NFL MVP Emmitt Smith donated $10,000 to the committee backing Wendy Davis’s campaign for Texas governor last month. According to campaign filings, the CEO of EJSmith Enterprises donated the money on Jan. 8 to Texas Victory Committee, a joint effort from Wendy Davis for Governor and Battleground Texas, a group that supports Democrats in the state.
Jonathan Chait: ‘Obamacare Bailout’ Does Not Exist, Confirms Government; House Republicans Demand Its Repeal Anyway
As of yesterday, House Republicans were torn, Sophie’s Choice-style, over what to demand in return for lifting the debt ceiling to accommodate the budget they passed. (Caveat: I’ve never seen Sophie’s Choice; I assume it’s a movie about a bungling kidnapper who has to choose what ransom she should demand.) One option was the Keystone XL pipeline. The other was the risk corridor provision in Obamacare, which they falsely call a “bailout.”
Here’s what happened next. First, the Congressional Budget Office released its annual budget report, and, among other things, it utterly annihilated the premise that there is any such thing as an “Obamacare bailout.” Having seen their imaginary claim conclusively debunked, Republicans are now leaning toward demanding its repeal anyway…
…. Today’s report projects that the bungled launch will mean enrollment in the exchanges will collapse all the way from seven million people to … six million people. Now, the number of people in the plan isn’t the only or best measure of its success, but it is a measure critics have seized upon. The existence of the nefarious Obamacare Bailout was a second reason – as the House Republican hearing asks, why the need for a bailout, if not to save a doomed law? There’s no reason why the lack of an Obamacare bailout should prevent conservatives from feeling anger at it anyway.
NYT: Karzai Arranged Secret Contacts With the Taliban
President Hamid Karzai of Afghanistan has been engaged in secret contacts with the Taliban about reaching a peace agreement without the involvement of his American and Western allies, further corroding already strained relations with the United States.
The secret contacts appear to help explain a string of actions by Mr. Karzai that seem intended to antagonize his American backers, Western and Afghan officials said. In recent weeks, Mr. Karzai has continued to refuse to sign a long-term security agreement with Washington that he negotiated, insisted on releasing hardened Taliban militants from prison and distributed distorted evidence of what he called American war crimes.
The clandestine contacts with the Taliban have borne little fruit, according to people who have been told about them. But they have helped undermine the remaining confidence between the United States and Mr. Karzai, making the already messy endgame of the Afghan conflict even more volatile. Support for the war effort in Congress has deteriorated sharply, and American officials say they are uncertain whether they can maintain even minimal security cooperation with Mr. Karzai’s government or its successor after coming elections.
DeadSpin: Now A Champion, Richard Sherman Deals With An Insult In The Best Way
Colin Kaepernick had an excellent method of dealing with people who hated him by favoriting their anger on Twitter. Seahawks corner Richard Sherman—now a Super Bowl champion—handled an angry Twitter person in a less passive but equally fantastic way.
Bryce Covert: GM’s First Female CEO Will Make Half Of What Her Predecessor Made
In December, General Motors (GM) made headlines for picking Mary Barra to replace Dan Akerson as its new CEO. That meant she would not only be the first woman at the helm of the carmaker, but any global carmaker. But while she may have shattered that glass ceiling, her pay is another story. Looking at the company’s filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission, Elizabeth MacDonald notes that Barra will be paid $4.4 million in total compensation, which includes a base salary of $1.6 million.
Akerson, on the other hand, made an estimated $9 million, with a $1.7 million base salary and $7.3 million in stock. That means Barra will make less than half of what he made. In fact, Akerson will continue to make more as her, as GM will pay him $4.68 million as an outside senior adviser.Worse, Barra comes to the job with an outsized amount of previous experience. She’s been with the company since 1980 and was most recently serving as senior vice president of global product development. Akerson, on the other hand, came into the role without a background running a car company
Caitlin McNeal: WaPo Rebuts Its Own Columnist On Claim That Obamacare Is Killing Jobs
The Affordable Care Act is killing jobs, or not, depending on which portion of the Washington Post you read on Tuesday. The paper’s conservative columnist Jennifer Rubin wrote that Obamacare was “killing jobs and squelching growth” based on a newly released CBO report.
However, the report notes that the reduction in hours worked by Americans will “almost entirely” be due to workers’ choice to leave the work force — not because they lost their jobs or can’t find a full-time job. Glenn Kessler, the Post’s “Fact Checker,” followed up a few hours later giving the claim made by Rubin and other news organizations three Pinocchios out of four.
Josh Barro: The Buried Lede In The CBO Report: Obamacare Will Raise Wages
Obamacare will drive wages up. The price of labor, like any good or service, is determined by supply and demand. If producers of labor (workers) become less inclined to sell it, but consumers of labor (firms) are unchanged in their interest in buying, then the price of labor has to rise in order to bring the quantity supplied and the quantity demanded into line. If (as CBO predicts) the decline in work is driven almost entirely by a decline in labor supply, the upshot will be very different. Employers will be left holding the bag economically. Workers will choose to work fewer hours; since firms won’t be any less interested in hiring, they’ll have to pay more per hour to get those workers in the door.
The positive wage effect should be concentrated among low-skill workers, who will face the greatest discouragement to work from Obamacare, and therefore will be able to command the greatest wage increases in order to keep working. More broadly, Obamacare alters the employer-employee relationship in a way that empowers employees. When an employee is dependent on his job not just for a wage but for health insurance, he is less able to threaten to leave if he doesn’t get a raise. Severing the work-insurance link strengthens the employee’s hand in bargaining — which is bad for employers and good for workers.
Sen. Barack Obama and Michelle Obama during a Super Tuesday primary campaign rally at the Hyatt Hotel in Chicago, February 5, 2008
The President is applauded by House Democrats as he is introduced to speak at the House Democrats Issues Conference at the Kingsmill Resort in Williamsburg, Va, Feb. 5, 2009 (Photo by Pete Souza)
President Obama wears a AF1 jacket on his first flight aboard Air Force One from Andrews Air Force Base to Newport News, Va., Feb. 5. 2009 (Photo by Pete Souza)
President Obama talks with Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel in the Oval Office, Feb. 5, 2009 (Photo by Pete Souza)
President Obama shows Washington, D.C. area students, who were featured in the Washington Post, the valet button on his desk during their surprise visit to the Oval Office, Feb. 5, 2010 (Photo by Pete Souza)
Feb. 5, 2011 – Pete Souza: “The two coaches for Sasha Obama’s basketball team couldn’t make it to one of her games, so the President and his then personal aide, Reggie Love, filled in as coaches for this game one Saturday. Here they along with Sasha’s teammates react during the game.”
Washington Post: That February morning in 2008 found Barack Obama decidedly out of sorts.
He was locked in one battle with Hillary Rodham Clinton for the Democratic nomination that showed no signs of ending — and another with a vicious cold that felt the same way.
As he rode the service elevator in the backway of a convention hotel here, the snowy-haired African American operating it turned suddenly. He held out a black-and-gold bit of fabric embroidered with a screaming eagle.
“Senator Obama, I have something I want to give you,” the man said. “I’ve carried this military patch with me every day for 40 years, and I want you to carry it, and it will keep you safe in your journey.” Obama tried to refuse, but the older man persisted.
Big endeavors can find their meaning in small moments.
Later that day, Obama and his aides discussed the encounter. The future president pulled the patch from his pocket, along with about a dozen other items people had pressed upon him.
“This is why I do this,” he said. “Because people have their hopes and dreams about what we can do together.”
BuzzFeed: Kennedy Attacked Romney For Lack Of Women At Bain In 1994 Ad: “Exclusively White And Male”
Manchester, New Hampshire, Oct 18 (Darren McCollester/Getty)
The Alfred E Smith Dinner, Oct 18 (Mario Tama/Getty)
Chron: A defaced painting of President Barack Obama, across the street from The Breakfast Klub restaurant in midtown, will be redone with a new design, said the original artist, Reginald C. Adams.
…. The original mural, done during the presidential election campaign in 2008, was damaged sometime early Monday by vandals who threw red paint on the larger-than-life image across the street from the popular restaurant at Travis and Alabama.
…. Marcus Davis, the restaurant owner, said he discovered the damage when he got to work about 7 a.m. Monday.
“When this happened it was a sad occasion, and yet there was some excitement there in terms of the opportunity it presents,” Davis said. “Just as President Obama has not given up and has turned a negative into a positive, that’s the example I will follow.”
President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama greet the family of Specialist Leslie H. Sabo, Jr., U.S. Army, outside the Oval Office prior to a Medal of Honor ceremony honoring Specialist Sabo, May 16, 2012. Pictured, from left, are: Kathleen Starkey, sister-in-law; Rose Sabo-Brown, widow; Frances Buccelli, mother-in-law. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)
Washington Post/AP: When Republican presidential hopeful Mitt Romney decried the “prairie fire” of U.S. debt Tuesday, he ignored some of the sparks that set it ablaze.
One was the Great Recession that took hold before Barack Obama became president. That landmark event went unmentioned in Romney’s speech. Another was a series of Bush-era tax cuts that Romney wants to follow with even lower rates.
Instead he laid the blame on Obama, a president who has certainly increased the nation’s eye-popping debt — but not, as Romney claimed, by nearly as much as all other presidents combined.
A look at some of Romney’s assertions and how they compare with the facts:
ROMNEY: “America counted on President Obama to rescue the economy, tame the deficit and help create jobs. Instead, he bailed out the public sector, gave billions of your dollars to the companies of his friends, and added almost as much debt as all the prior presidents combined.”
THE FACTS. Hardly. Presidents from George Washington through George W. Bush ran the national debt up to $10.62 trillion, the amount it was on the day Obama took office. Today, it is $15.67 trillion, according to the Treasury Department’s Bureau of Public Debt. So it has gone up by $5.05 trillion under Obama. That’s roughly half of the amount amassed by all the other presidents combined.
In short, the debt has gone up by about half under Obama. Under Ronald Reagan, it tripled.
Miami Herald: Welcome to FL, Mitt. Now why did Bain Capital lay off so many people in Miami?
As Mitt Romney returns to Florida on Wednesday for two days of campaigning and money-raising, Democrats are trying to ensure Floridians keep two words in mind: Dade Behring.
It’s the name of a former medical equipment manufacturer in Miami that Romney’s venture capital firm bought and then closed in the late 1990s, walking away with $242 million in profits.
“Obviously you need to make a profit to be successful,” Cindy Hewitt, Dade Behring’s former human resources officer, said Tuesday, at a Miami news conference organized by President Barack Obama’s campaign. “My concern is when businesses are used to generate wealth for a small number of people and businesses are run to the ground and the lifeblood is sucked out of it and all of their employees lose their jobs.”
The case of Dade Behring in Miami, where some 850 jobs were lost while Romney led Bain has been well-documented. But there’s a new wrinkle: The company under Bain’s leadership sought and received millions of dollars in tax breaks for creating jobs in Puerto Rico — shortly before closing its facilities, costing nearly 300 jobs.
In case anyone missed this today … it’s unmissable:
Thursday: The President will attend meetings at the White House.
Friday: PBO will deliver the opening keynote to the Symposium on Global Agriculture and Food Security at the Ronald Reagan Building in Washington, DC. Later on Friday, the President will travel to Camp David for the G-8 Summit, which will address a broad range of economic, political and security issues. The President will remain overnight at Camp David.
Saturday: PBO will remain at Camp David for the G-8 Summit. Later on Saturday, the President will travel to Chicago, Illinois, where he will welcome NATO allies and partners to his hometown for the NATO Summit on May 20-21. The First Lady will travel to Chicago with the President.
A gazillion congratulations to Collegekay on her fantastic fundraising effort – and to everyone here who supported her.
The leaderboard is gone from the OFA site, but last I looked – near midnight – she was way ahead.
Collegekay, when you can, will you confirm you finished top?
Either way, you’re a winner!!
First Lady Michelle Obama with Deborah Dauman and Viacom President/CEO Philippe Dauman at Nickelodeon’s 25th Annual Kids’ Choice Awards held at Galen Center on March 31 in Los Angeles
…. greeted by host Will Smith
… congratulating singer Taylor Swift after presenting her with The Big Help award
Monday: The President will host Prime Minister Stephen Harper of Canada and President Felipe Calderon of Mexico for the North American Leaders’ Summit (NALS) in Washington, DC.
Tuesday: PBO will deliver remarks at the AP Luncheon during the ASNE Convention.
Wednesday: PBO will host an Easter Prayer Breakfast at the White House. Christian leaders from across the country will join the President at this breakfast for a time of prayer, reflection, and celebration of Easter. Also on Wednesday, the President will sign the STOCK Act, which makes clear that Members of Congress are subject to the same insider trading laws that apply to everyone else. This was legislation the President called on Congress to pass in his 2012 State of the Union Address.
Thursday: PBO will sign the JOBS Act, which includes key initiatives the President proposed last fall to help small businesses and startups grow and create jobs.
Friday: PBO will deliver remarks at the White House Forum on Women and the Economy. Later, the President and the First Lady will mark the beginning of Passover with a Seder at the White House with friends and staff.