Ted Cruz asks Facebook friends about Obamacare, finds out they like it

Posted by admin | Posted in Politics | Posted on 31-03-2014-05-2008

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Ted Cruz vs Ted Cruz

On second thought, maybe Texas Sen. Ted Cruz won’t ask this question again:

Back on March 24, Cruz posted an informal survey on his verified senatorial Facebook page. It read: “Quick poll: Obamacare was signed into law four years ago yesterday. Are you better off now than you were then? Comment with YES or NO!”

It’s probably fair to say that he didn’t expect the tsunami of “YES” votes that have shown up on the page among the 47,000 that Facebook says have been posted.

Respondents have listed, among other things, their newfound ability to obtain coverage despite preexisting medical conditions, the right of young adults to stay on their parents’ policies to age 26, lower premiums and the end of lifetime benefit limits.

Maybe next time Ted should stick to the freeper boards.

Former U.S. hostages angry about new Iran U.N. envoy appointee

Posted by admin | Posted in Politics | Posted on 31-03-2014-05-2008

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By Louis Charbonneau UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) – Former U.S. embassy workers held hostage in Iran in 1979-1981 are outraged that Tehran has selected a new U.N. envoy who may have played a role in the 444-day crisis and want him barred from U.S. territory, lawyers for the ex-hostages said on Monday. The fact that Hamid Abutalebi, a veteran diplomat who has held key European postings in the past, has been selected by President Hassan Rouhani as Iran’s new ambassador to the United Nations has been well known among U.N. delegations for months. …

Obamacare website stalls briefly ahead of enrollment deadline

Posted by admin | Posted in Politics | Posted on 31-03-2014-05-2008

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By David Morgan WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The federal website for U.S. consumers to enroll in private health insurance under Obamacare ran into problems twice on Monday, amid a surge of people trying to access the site hours before a midnight deadline to sign up for coverage. Technical issues that barred access to HealthCare.gov early in the morning and again around midday underscored the frantic last-minute pace of an enrollment process that could determine the ultimate success or failure of the healthcare law that represents President Barack Obama’s domestic policy achievement. More than 6 million people had signed up for private health coverage through the new Obamacare insurance markets by last week, surpassing a target set after a disastrous October rollout called the enrollment process into question. A successful enrollment would give an important political boost to the administration and its Democratic allies, who are locked in an election year battle with Republicans over the future of Obamacare.

Poll: Support for Obamacare Surges Among Democrats

Posted by admin | Posted in Politics | Posted on 31-03-2014-05-2008

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A new Washington Post/ABC poll shows that support for the health-care law has surged among Democrats, with 76% of Democrats supporting the law — up 11 points since January.Republicans, however, remain firmly against the law, with 78% opposing it.

    



Obamacare support edges opposition for first time in ABC-Washington Post poll

Posted by admin | Posted in Politics | Posted on 31-03-2014-05-2008

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U.S. Senate Democratic leader Harry Reid (C) and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (R) lead a rally to celebrate the start of the Affordable Care Act (commonly known as Obamacare) at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, October 1, 2013. The U.S. government be

Something for Democrats to run on

For the first time since ABC News and Washington Post started polling on public support for Obamacare, the law has more support than opposition. According to their newest survey, conducted nationally from March 26-30 among American adults with a margin of error of ±3.5 points, 49 percent of the country supports Obamacare and 48 percent opposes it.

The numbers aren’t decisive, but they represent a major improvement since November, when problems with the HealthCare.gov website were severe. At that time, just 40 percent supported the law and 57 percent opposed it. Now that gap has shifted by a net margin of 19 points—in favor of the law. Democrats are particularly are  enthusiastic about the law, with 76 percent now supporting it.

This shift provides evidence for what we’ve been predicting now for months: That as the benefits of Obamacare become tangible, support for the law will grow.

It’s worth noting that this poll had two glaring problems. One is that it didn’t ask opponents of the law why they oppose it. As CNN’s polling has repeatedly shown, many Obamacare opponents don’t think it’s progressive enough.

The poll also asked a nonsensical question about whether people supported “efforts by Republicans in Congress to replace the new health care law.” A plurality, 49 percent, said no, compared with 47 percent who said yes, but given that there is not a Republican plan to replace Obamacare, it’s an absurd question to ask. The only thing Republicans have ever voted to replace Obamacare with is nothing, which means the only sensible question to ask is about repeal, since that’s the only thing Republicans have actually supported in any concrete form.

White House: ACA Data Shows ‘Determination of the President’

Posted by admin | Posted in Politics | Posted on 31-03-2014-05-2008

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White House Press Secretary Jay Carney talks about the latest Affordable Care Act enrollment data.

    



Republican Paul Ryan to unveil U.S. budget plan on Tuesday

Posted by admin | Posted in Politics | Posted on 31-03-2014-05-2008

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Rep. Paul Ryan attends Conservative Political Action Conference in suburban Washington DCWASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. Representative Paul Ryan on Tuesday plans to unveil a 10-year balanced budget plan that seeks to bolster Republicans' campaign credentials as the party of fiscal prudence but also leaves them open to fresh attacks over deep cuts to social programs. The House Budget Committee, which Ryan chairs, said in a statement that it has scheduled a vote on a budget resolution on Wednesday. Under House rules, the document must be made public at least 24 hours before it can be considered by a committee. …

Midday open thread: Beck sued over Boston bombing-related defamation, smart crows, dumb judge

Posted by admin | Posted in Politics | Posted on 31-03-2014-05-2008

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Take heart Republicans. You’ve kept millions of kids from getting health coverage

Posted by admin | Posted in Politics | Posted on 31-03-2014-05-2008

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Child patient being examined by doctor.

Republicans can take heart on this sad Obamacare enrollment good news day because they’ve achieved something in their relentless war on health insurance: They’ve kept millions of children off of the health care coverage rolls.

The majority of children not covered by any kind of insurance are in red states, and in those states that refused to take Medicaid expansion. In those states, the Kaiser Family Foundation finds,
75 percent of the uninsured are children.

While all states have already significantly expanded coverage to children through Medicaid and CHIP, not all eligible children are enrolled in the program due to lack of parent knowledge about their eligibility and historic enrollment barriers. Over 5.2 million of the 14 million (37%) currently uninsured individuals who are estimated to be eligible for Medicaid in 2014 are children. In states not implementing the Medicaid expansion, children account for 75% of the uninsured eligible for Medicaid or CHIP.

Chart showing percentages of uninsured chilldren and adults, showing that 75 percent of the uninsured in states that didn't take Medicaid expansion are children.

Medicaid expansion in those states, as well as outreach efforts by the states, would let more parents know about their eligibility for health care coverage through Medicaid. That would bring more children into both Medicaid and SCHIP as the parents discovered their eligibility. That would make Republicans sad.

Climate change impacts will kick our butts, and the poor will get it worst

Posted by admin | Posted in Politics | Posted on 31-03-2014-05-2008

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Intensifying storms are one of the scores of impacts that human-caused
climate change is already having on the world.

It was an epic British understatement. “The picture it paints with respect to the consequences of continued climate change is rather bleak,” wrote The Guardian‘s Dana Nuccitelli of the latest report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. The panel’s summary and full report were released Sunday in Yokohoma, Japan, after five days of final discussions and final tweaks of their contents. It is the second of four reports in the fifth assessment by the IPCC. This one is Working Group II’s look at “Impacts, Adaptation, and Vulnerability.” More than 300 authors contributed.

The bleakness:

Heat waves, droughts, floods, wildfires, more intense storms and other extreme weather, rising seas, saltwater intrusion, whole islands made uninhabitable, ocean acidification, reduced fish populations, crop yield declines, food shortages, species extinctions, severe health effects from spreading disease, massive displacement of human populations and violent conflicts will be or already are the lethal products of climate change that will all worsen even if action is taken immediately. And get much, much worse if it is not.

As the report puts it: “Increasing magnitudes of warming increase the likelihood of severe, pervasive, and irreversible impacts.” And, “Throughout the 21st century, climate-change impacts are projected to slow down economic growth, make poverty reduction more difficult, further erode food security, and prolong existing and create new poverty traps, the latter particularly in urban areas and emerging hotspots of hunger.”

But as Greg Readfern of The Guardian noted, the first IPCC report, which was begun in 1988 and published nearly a quarter of a century ago in 1990, concluded that climate change was “potentially the greatest global environmental challenge facing humankind.”

Since that report was issued just two years after NASA scientist James Hansen testified on the problem before Congress, greenhouse gas emissions have risen 60 percent.

Why should anyone pay attention to this fifth report from the panel? Because, IPCC Chairman Rajendra K Pachauri said Sunday, “Nobody on this planet is going to be untouched by the impacts of climate change.” As with so many other issues, the poor will catch it worst. They are the most vulnerable, already living on the edge, already burdened by malnutrition and living in marginal areas where climate change will make staying untenable.

More about this and the rest of the report can be found below the fold.