First, individuals and businesses have already gotten a billion dollars in refunds from insurance companies because the new law requires 80 to 85 percent of your premium to go to your healthcare — not profits or promotions.
…Second, more than three million young people between 19 and 25 are insured for the first time ‘cause their parents’ policies can cover them.
Third, millions of seniors are receiving preventive care all the way from breast cancer screenings to tests for heart problems, and scores of other things — and younger people are getting them, too.
Fourth, soon the insurance companies — not the government — will have millions of new customers, many of them middle-class people with pre-existing conditions who never could get insurance before.
Finally — listen to this — for the last two years, after going up at three times the rate of inflation for a decade… health care costs have been under four percent in both years for the first time in 50 years.
So, lemme ask you something: are we better off because President Obama fought for healthcare reform? You bet we are. — President BILL CLINTON (via inothernews)
Republicans have ushered in The New Irrationality.
- The state of Texas can cut off funding for Planned Parenthood, pending a court case to decide whether state funds can be used to pay for abortions; Planned Parenthood in Texas currently does NOT provide abortions, but DOES provide other health services to low-income women and others.
- A Republican Senate candidate — who is currently a Congressman — uses the word “legitimate” to describe rape and says that the body possesses a biological capacity for preventing pregnancies resulting from rape, while yet another GOP representative essentially claims that pregnancies never result from rape or incest. Moreover, the Republican Party is (apparently) less disturbed by Todd Akin’s rape comment and more that they’re going to lose the majority in the Senate.
- The GOP is taking unprecedented steps to suppress voters — in most if not all cases, among constituents likely to vote Democratic — under the guise of combating the non-existent plague of voter fraud.
- The Republican Party’s presidential candidate won’t release tax returns that will likely prove that he has tens if not hundreds of millions in assets that he’s hiding in off-shore bank accounts — despite his own father setting a precedent that’s been followed by every presidential candidate since.
JON STEWART, on Mitt Romney’s claim that, while he was listed as CEO, president and managing director at Bain Capital through 2002, he “did not manage Bain” and actually “retired retroactively” to 1999, on The Daily Show.
Mitt Romneycan’t even do semantics right.
Mitt Romney wants you to think…
- …that the Affordable Care Act is a tax. Too bad his own senior campaign adviser very clearly says it isn’t.
- …that he doesn’t support universal health care. Too bad he signed it into law in Massachusetts.
- …that it’s perfectly fine to stash away tens of millions of dollars in Swiss bank accounts and offshore tax havens like the Cayman Islands and Luxembourg.
- …that he cares about the very poor when he has said he doesn’t.
- …that he’s unemployed.
- …that he hasn’t declared a war on women.
- …that he doesn’t like firing people.
Mitt Romney calls for these things that are already part of Obamacare during his press conference calling for the repeal of Obamacare:
- “We have to make sure that people who want to keep their current insurance will be able to do so.”
- “We also have to assure that we do our very best to help each state in their effort to assure (sic) that every American has access to affordable healthcare.”
- “We’ve gotta make sure that those people who have pre-existing conditions know that they will be able to be insured.”
(via The Daily Show)
So the Republican electoral strategy is, in effect, a gigantic con game: it depends on convincing voters that the bad economy is the result of big-spending policies that President Obama hasn’t followed (in large part because the G.O.P. wouldn’t let him), and that our woes can be cured by pursuing more of the same policies that have already failed.
For some reason, however, neither the press nor Mr. Obama’s political team has done a very good job of exposing the con.
What do I mean by saying that this is already a Republican economy? Look first at total government spending — federal, state and local. Adjusted for population growth and inflation, such spending has recently been falling at a rate not seen since the demobilization that followed the Korean War.
How is that possible? Isn’t Mr. Obama a big spender? Actually, no; there was a brief burst of spending in late 2009 and early 2010 as the stimulus kicked in, but that boost is long behind us. Since then it has been all downhill. Cash-strapped state and local governments have laid off teachers, firefighters and police officers; meanwhile, unemployment benefits have been trailing off even though unemployment remains extremely high.
Over all, the picture for America in 2012 bears a stunning resemblance to the great mistake of 1937, when F.D.R. prematurely slashed spending, sending the U.S. economy — which had actually been recovering fairly fast until that point — into the second leg of the Great Depression. In F.D.R.’s case, however, this was an unforced error, since he had a solidly Democratic Congress. In President Obama’s case, much though not all of the responsibility for the policy wrong turn lies with a completely obstructionist Republican majority in the House.
That same obstructionist House majority effectively blackmailed the president into continuing all the Bush tax cuts for the wealthy, so that federal taxes as a share of G.D.P. are near historic lows — much lower, in particular, than at any point during Ronald Reagan’s presidency.
As I said, for all practical purposes this is already a Republican economy.— PAUL KRUGMAN, in the New York Times, “This Republican Economy” (via inothernews)
With emotions still raw from the fight over President Obama’s contraception mandate, Senate Democrats are beginning a push to renew the Violence Against Women Act, the once broadly bipartisan 1994 legislation that now faces fierce opposition from conservatives.
The fight over the law, which would expand financing for and broaden the reach of domestic violence programs, will be joined Thursday when Senate Democratic women plan to march to the Senate floor to demand quick action on its extension. Senator Harry Reid of Nevada, the majority leader, has suggested he will push for a vote by the end of March.
Democrats, confident they have the political upper hand with women, insist that Republican opposition falls into a larger picture of insensitivity toward women that has progressed from abortion fights to contraception to preventive health care coverage — and now to domestic violence.
“I am furious,” said Senator Maria Cantwell, Democrat of Washington. “We’re mad, and we’re tired of it.”
Republicans are bracing for a battle where substantive arguments could be swamped by political optics and the intensity of the clash over women’s issues. At a closed-door Senate Republican lunch on Tuesday, Senator Lisa Murkowski of Alaska sternly warned her colleagues that the party was at risk of being successfully painted as antiwoman — with potentially grievous political consequences in the fall, several Republican senators said Wednesday.
Some conservatives are feeling trapped.
“I favor the Violence Against Women Act and have supported it at various points over the years, but there are matters put on that bill that almost seem to invite opposition,” said Senator Jeff Sessions, Republican of Alabama, who opposed the latest version last month in the Judiciary Committee. “You think that’s possible? You think they might have put things in there we couldn’t support that maybe then they could accuse you of not being supportive of fighting violence against women?”
The legislation would continue existing grant programs to local law enforcement and battered women shelters, but would expand efforts to reach Indian tribes and rural areas. It would increase the availability of free legal assistance to victims of domestic violence, extend the definition of violence against women to include stalking, and provide training for civil and criminal court personnel to deal with families with a history of violence. It would also allow more battered illegal immigrants to claim temporary visas, and would include same-sex couples in programs for domestic violence.—
Just so we get this straight: conservatives have a problem with renewing the Violence Against Women Act because 1) it would actually protect more people than the original 1994 law, and 2) semantics.
Got it. And BTW according to some conservatives there is no war on women, LOL.
MITT ROMNEY, praising the Chinese government’s ability to “seize property by fiat and marshal state-owned industries to build large projects,” we guess.
Mitt’s new campaign slogan: “yay Communism.”