Archive for November 15th, 2013

15
Nov
13

Make Your Voices Heard

****

Written by our very own Judith Fardig

Letters to the editor, The Oregonian

R.E. front-page article, Obama bends on health cancellations 11/15/13

If you received a cancellation letter from your insurance company, don’t try to hang on to your sub-standard policy without calling Cover Oregon first at 1-855-268-3767 to find out if you could get a better deal. Individuals making up to $45,960 and families of 4 up to $92,400 may be eligible for federal subsidies which you won’t get if you keep your old policy.

The Affordable Care Act grandfathered all the individual policies that were in place at the time the law was enacted, hence President Obama’s statement that you could keep your plan if you liked it. There were limits on the amount of increase in premiums or deductibles to keep this grandfathered status. The plans being cancelled because they don’t meet the minimal standards were introduced by private insurers after passage of the ACA, knowing they wouldn’t be in compliance by 1/1/14. The insurers should have disclosed this when they issued the policy. Now they are trying to blame their lack of transparency on the President.

****

A great way to be proactive about ObamaCare, is to write to your local paper if there is an avenue for that. Thanks Judith, for the inspiration and for doing your part to spread facts about the wonderful law that is the Affordable Care Act.

****

15
Nov
13

The President Likes Superheroes!

BZIhouxCMAA_qgh.jpg-large

@SFWish

****

SF Gate: Thousands Of Volunteers To Welcome Batkid To S.F.

Five-year-old Miles already has experience fighting villains – he’s been facing off with acute lymphoblastic leukemia since he was 20 months old. With his cancer in remission and his last bout of chemotherapy finished in June, his biggest wish was to continue living his life heroically. “He wanted to be Batman,” said Patricia Wilson, the Make-A-Wish Foundation’s Bay Area executive director. We can do that, Wilson thought, and she began putting the call out to volunteers to help turn San Francisco into Gotham City for a day for the boy from Tulelake (Siskiyou County).

It might as well have been a worldwide Bat-Signal. Word of the foundation’s efforts spread quickly on social media, and soon what started as a small effort to make a 5-year-old boy a hero for the day turned into a citywide extravaganza, with support and volunteers coming in from all over. On Friday, by Make-A-Wish’s count, thousands of volunteers will cheer on “Batkid” as he defeats the Riddler and the Penguin at locations around San Francisco. The mayor will present Miles with a key to the city. Police Chief Greg Suhr will step in as Commissioner Gordon to alert Miles when his heroics are needed.

More here

****

****

****

8341814352_5b4e8d1e41_b

15
Nov
13

A Tweet or Two

****

****

****

****

****

****

****

****

****

****

****

****

****

****

****

****

****

15
Nov
13

A Democrat with a backbone: Gov Deval Patrick

Letter From Governor Patrick to the Massachusetts Congressional Delegation on the Affordable Care Act

Friday, November 15, 2013 – Governor Deval Patrick today sent the following letter regarding the Affordable Care Act to the Massachusetts Congressional Delegation:

As you consider current proposals to change the Affordable Care Act (ACA), I write to remind you about what we have learned from health care reform in Massachusetts, and to inform you of some of our experiences so far with implementing it.

We have seen firsthand the positive changes brought about by a strong individual insurance market with protections that ensure a basic level of care. Individuals are protected from being dropped from insurance when they need it most, or being denied coverage because of a pre-existing condition. Benefits must meet minimum standards, and there are limits on individuals’ exposure to out-of-pocket costs for needed health care. And the rest of us are protected against having our premiums inflated or our taxes tapped to pick up the tab for the uninsured or underinsured. With these basic features in place, we have achieved near universal coverage, better health and slower growth in health costs. With the ACA, the same can and will happen for the country.

Much has been made of the fact that some Americans have had their current policies canceled by their insurers. Some of that, we know, is in the normal course of annual insurance renewals. Some is because the existing policies do not provide the minimum level of coverage required by the ACA. So long as the means for individuals to learn about and enroll in affordable alternatives is available, through an improved website, a call center or otherwise, the transition of people from non-compliant policies to compliant ones should proceed.

Nonetheless, the public has been poorly informed about this transition, and too many consumers are unable to enroll conveniently in compliant plans. For some, the temporary delay proposed yesterday by the President may be appropriate. Our experience in Massachusetts tells us that our health plans and their customers have prepared for the transition and are unlikely to need or to use the additional time.

However, any delay in requiring plans to meet the basic standards of the ACA must only be temporary. Leaving non-compliant plans to remain permanently in place means we revert to the status quo: a broken health care system where many people carry policies that don’t cover them when they get seriously ill, and where those with comprehensive coverage pay for those uninsured or underinsured in higher premiums and taxes. Permitting plans to be permanently non-compliant means the pool of individuals who do purchase plans through the marketplaces will likely be sicker on average, and their options will be more expensive and constrained. And it will disrupt the market-based model on which premiums and policy options hinge.

We benefit in Massachusetts from broad, bipartisan support for health reform and the willingness of our legislature — encouraged by business, labor, industry, patient advocates and others — to make refinements to our plan as we go. The President does not enjoy that collaboration with the Congress, and the American people suffer as a result. If you wish to take further legislative action to ensure the successful extension of the benefits of the ACA to all our citizens, I would humbly propose that you consider granting the administration broader authority to make adjustments to the ACA by regulation so long as such regulations advance the fundamental goal. That way any administration can make changes in the details of implementation quickly in response to lessons learned along the way.

The fundamental goal of the Affordable Care Act is to give all Americans access to reliable, quality health insurance at a reasonable cost. Guaranteeing a basic level of coverage for everyone is the first step towards fixing our broken health care system and promoting a healthier population. We have seen in Massachusetts how well it works and how important it is. While the transition is challenging for some, I urge you not to lose sight of the long-term good for all as you consider any changes or adjustments to the Affordable Care Act.

For these reasons, I urge you to oppose any bill that extends access to non-compliant plans beyond a short transition period.

With continued thanks for your partnership, I am

Respectfully yours,

Governor Deval L. Patrick

15
Nov
13

Rise and Shine

On This Day: President Obama greets residents on Cedar Grove Avenue during a walking tour of Hurricane Sandy storm damage in Staten Island, N.Y., Nov. 15, 2012 (Photo by Pete Souza)

****

Today (all times Eastern):

President Obama meets with with health insurance industry CEOs

12:45: Jay Carney briefs the press

12:45: VP Biden attends event for Sen. Hagan in Chapel Hill, N.C.

****

****

****

****

Spandan (The People’s View): President Obama Check-Mates Health Insurance Lobby

There are a lot opinions going around about President Obama’s press conference this morning on the Affordable Care Act and its implementation. I see it as a singular thing: check mate. Once again, to quote my fellow contributor here at TPV, the president saved the Democrats’ bacon, and once again, with his back to the wall, he delivered a masterful stroke of political genius curved out to avoid any interference with policy.

The headlines tell you that Obama will let Americans who are being dropped from their plans keep those plans for another year, and that is absolutely true. But the headlines do not tell the whole story. With the withering assault on health reform from the media, the Republicans and some Democrats, the president took the most blistering attack line against him, and turned it into a weapon against reform opponents. Here is what I believe were the two most important sentence the president spoke in the nearly hourlong presser:

We’re also requiring insurers to extend current plans to inform their customers about two things: One, that protections — what protections these renewed plans don’t include. Number two, that the marketplace offers new options with better coverage and tax credits that might help you bring down the cost.

This, my fellow progressives, is how you keep your eyes on the prize….

More here

****

****

****

Tommy Christopher (Mediaite): Ezra Klein Rodent-Fornicates Obamacare on MSNBC’s The Last Word

The weeks since the rollout of Obamacare have seen a level of media rodent-fornication worthy of a midnight screening of Willard in a dumpster, but most of that has been die to some rather transparent motives and deficiencies in the mainstream media. Less obvious, though, is the reason behind the egregious rodential sexcapades of Washington Post scribe and MSNBC contributor Ezra Klein, whose appearance on Thursday night’s The Last Word was a veritable clinic in misleading and misinforming on Obamacare.

…. Klein took heavy criticism from liberals over his early coverage of the Obamacare rollout, focusing on things like the hold music on the ACA phone line, and while the overall “adults in the room” tone gets grating, Wonkblog has also put out lots of great, clarifying information. Things like this, or referring to insurance commissioners doing exactly what the President wants as “backlash,” smack of burnishing an independent veneer, at the expense of the truth. There are enough rats on the other side already.

Full post here

****

****

****

****

****

****

****

SmartyPants: Can we accept leaders that are human? That is the question President Obama posed today

All of us have essentially two choices in life: to try and risk the possibility of failure, or to never try at all. When we chose the former, we then have the option of either learning from our failures (they are inevitable) or letting our egos strip us of that potential.

Most of us face those kinds of options either alone or with a small group of friends/family/co-workers. And yet we know the shame that can cripple us in the process of admitting we failed.

Perhaps that’s why we so rarely witness that kind of admission on a large platform like national politics. We’ve built up a whole culture that assumes the worst thing our leaders can do is admit that they’re human and sometimes make mistakes. Rather than seeing them as opportunities to learn, we view them as defeat. And in the blood-sport that national politics has become, we assume that exposing them is the kiss of death.

More here

****

****

Jim Stuart: Our Integral President

Watch the announcement/press conference and you will see how an integral leader responds to a serious, possibly existential crisis. I have never witnessed anything like this in public political life. I’ve seen officials apologize publicly before; I have never seen a major leader enter what I’ll call the “zone of apology” (that mental and conversational space where apology is present, looked at, reviewed, analyzed and engaged) and remain there so gracefully and with such powerful presence.

Before saying more, let me offer a David Whyte poem that, for me, wonderfully expresses the power an integral leader must have to hold difficult questions easily and to face directly into the “fierce heat of living”….

More here

****

****

ThinkProgress: Koch Brothers’ Americans for Prosperity Spent Record $122 Million In 2012

Americans for Prosperity, the tax-exempt conservative political organization created by oil billionaires David and Charles Koch, spent $122 million in 2012 — more than it spent in all previous years combined. While the group’s $33.5 million campaign to defeat President Barack Obama failed, AFP has successfully helped like-minded candidates at the state and local level.

The Center for Public Integrity reported Thursday that from 2004 through 2011, AFP spent a total of $72 million. The group spent $21.7 million of that in 2010, after the Supreme Court’s 5 to 4 Citizens United ruling made it easier for tax-exempt organizations to influence elections. But documents filed in Colorado show that number more than quintupled in 2012. The group does not disclose its donors.

More here

****

****

ThinkProgress: America Produced More Oil Than It Imported For The First Time Since 1995

The United States produced more crude oil than it imported in October for the first time in almost 20 years, the federal Energy Information Administration announced Wednesday. U.S. crude oil production averaged 7.7 million barrels per day in October while 7.6 million barrels per day were imported. Total petroleum net imports were the lowest since February 1991.

The U.S. also produced more oil in September than it has in any one-month period over the last 24 years. The U.S. remains the world’s largest consumer of oil and the largest importer of crude oil.

More here

****

Charles Pierce on Mark Halperin:

“For going on three decades now, there has not been a hackier hack on this little blue marble than Mark Halperin. He is the worst thing to happen to political journalism since the mob in Alton iced Elijah Lovejoy. He is walking journalistic potato blight. He is a living, breathing, suppurating punditizing boil on the asscheeks of a once-proud profession.”

Sublime!

****

On This Day:

Nov. 15, 2010 – Pete Souza: “It had been more than 40 years since a President had presented a Medal of Honor to a living recipient. Staff Sergeant Salvatore Giunta was that man, and he walked along the White House Colonnade with the President en route from the Oval Office to the public ceremony honoring him in the East Room.”

President Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama greet members of Staff Sergeant Salvatore Giunta’s family in the Blue Room of the White House, Nov. 15, 2010. The President presented the Medal of Honor to Staff Sergeant Giunta for his courageous actions during combat operations in the Korengal Valley of Afghanistan. (Photo by Pete Souza)

****

MoooOOOooorning!

15
Nov
13

Early Bird Chat

On This Day: President Barack Obama jokingly mimics U.S. Olympic gymnast McKayla Maroney’s “not impressed” look while greeting members of the 2012 U.S. Olympic gymnastics teams in the Oval Office, Nov. 15, 2012. Steve Penny, USA Gymnastics President, and Savannah Vinsant laugh at left (Photo by Pete Souza)

****

MoooOOOooorning, Happy Friday!




@POTUS

@BarackObama

@WhiteHouse

@FLOTUS

@MichelleObama

@PeteSouza

Enter your email address to receive notifications of new posts by email.

@TheObamaDiary

@NerdyWonka

RSS Obama White House.gov

  • An error has occurred; the feed is probably down. Try again later.

RSS WH Tumblr

  • An error has occurred; the feed is probably down. Try again later.

Categories

Archives

Blog Stats

  • 42,165,407 hits
November 2013
M T W T F S S
« Oct   Dec »
 123
45678910
11121314151617
18192021222324
252627282930  

WH Flickr