Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010

The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) is a federal statute that was signed into United States law by President Barack Obama on March 23, 2010. This Act and the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act of 2010 (signed into law on March 30, 2010) made up the health care reform of 2010. The laws focus on reform of the private health insurance market, provide better coverage for those with pre-existing conditions, improve prescription drug coverage in Medicare and extend the life of the Medicare Trust fund by at least 12 years.

PPACA passed the Senate on December 24, 2009, by a vote of 60–39 with all Democrats and Independents voting for, and all Republicans voting against. It passed the House of Representatives on March 21, 2010, by a vote of 219–212, with all 178 Republicans and 34 Democrats voting against the bill.

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94 Responses to Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010

  1. CR says:


    Tuesday Mar. 29, 2011

    All Times Eastern

    Press Secretary Jay Carney gaggles aboard Air Force One

    10:30 am
    Vice President Biden meets with the Director of the OMB Jack Lew, Director of the NEC Gene Sperling, and senior advisers to discuss the budget.

    9:30 am
    The President receives the Presidential Daily Briefing
    Oval Office
    Closed Press

    1:00 pm
    The President departs the White House en route Andrews Air Force Base
    South Lawn
    Open Press

    Vice President Biden meets with Deputy President of South Africa Kgalema Motlanthe.

    1:15 pm
    The President departs Andrews Air Force Base en route New York, NY
    Andrews Air Force Base
    Travel Pool Coverage

    2:05 pm
    The President arrives in New York, NY
    John F. Kennedy International Airport
    Open Press

    2:15 pm
    Vice President Biden meets with Rep. Emanuel Cleaver, Chairman of the Congressional Black Caucus.

    4:45 pm
    The President delivers remarks at the dedication of the Ronald H. Brown United States Mission to the United Nations Building
    USUN Building
    Open Press

    7:00 pm
    The President delivers remarks at a DNC event
    Red Rooster Restaurant
    Print Pool

    9:05 pm
    The President delivers remarks at a DNC event
    The Studio Museum
    Pooled Press

    10:10 pm
    The President departs New York, NY
    John F. Kennedy International Airport
    Open Press

    11:00 pm
    The President arrives at Andrews Air Force Base
    Andrews Air Force Base
    Travel Pool Coverage

    11:10 pm
    The President arrives at the White House
    South Lawn
    Open Press

    • CR says:

      POTUS podium

      Mar 29, 2011

      4:55 PM EDT
      President Obama delivers remarks at the dedication of the Ronald H. Brown United States Mission to the United Nations Building (Audio Only)



      9:00 AM EDT
      Replay of President Obama’s Monday night address to the nation about Libya from the National Defense University at Fort McNair in Washington, D.C.

      9:30 AM EDT
      Senate Japan nuclear reactor hearing
      The Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee holds a hearing to gather information on recent events at Japan’s Fukushima Daiichi reactor complex.

      9:30 AM EDT
      U.S. European Command chief Adm. James Stavridis will testify before the Senate Armed Services Committee about the 2012 budget

      9:30 AM EDT
      Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood testifies before the House Transportation, Housing and Urban Development, and Related Agencies Subcommittee on the Transportation Department’s 2012 budget.

      10:00 AM EDT
      Senate Committee Judiciary
      Civil Rights of American Muslims- Richard Durbin

      10:00 AM EDT
      Senate Committee Energy and Natural Resources
      Nuclear Events in Japan- Jeff Bingaman

      10:30 AM EDT
      Pentagon briefing on Afghanistan
      The commanding general for Regional Command West will brief reporters from Afghanistan to discuss current operations in the war-torn country.

      12:30 PM EDT
      British foreign secretary discusses Libya conference
      British Foreign Secretary William Hague briefs reporters on today’s global conference on the Libya conflict in London.

      2:00 AM EDT
      U.S. House of Representatives Session

      2:30 PM EDT
      Senate Committee Homeland Security & Governmental Affairs
      Defense Department Cost Overruns Frank Kendall; Joseph Lieberman

      4:00 PM EDT
      U.S. House of Representatives Session

      4:55 PM EDT
      President Obama delivers remarks at the dedication of the Ronald H. Brown United States Mission to the United Nations Building.

      7:00 PM EDT
      Shuttle crew arrival
      Captain Mark Kelly and crew arrive at Kennedy Space Center’s shuttle landing facility and make a statement.

      9:05 PM EDT
      The President delivers remarks at a DNC event
      The Studio Museum



      9:30 AM EDT
      U.S. European Command chief Adm. James Stavridis will testify before the Senate Armed Services Committee about the 2012 budget

      9:30 AM EDT
      Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood testifies before the House Transportation, Housing and Urban Development, and Related Agencies Subcommittee on the Transportation Department’s 2012 budget.

      10:00 AM EDT
      Senate Committee Judiciary
      Civil Rights of American Muslims- Richard Durbin

      10:00 AM EDT
      Senate Committee Energy and Natural Resources
      Nuclear Events in Japan- Jeff Bingaman

      10:30 AM EDT
      Pentagon briefing on Afghanistan
      The commanding general for Regional Command West will brief reporters from Afghanistan to discuss current operations in the war-torn country.

      2:00 AM EDT
      U.S. House of Representatives Session

      2:30 PM EDT
      Senate Committee Homeland Security & Governmental Affairs
      Defense Department Cost Overruns Frank Kendall; Joseph Lieberman

      4:00 PM EDT
      U.S. House of Representatives Session

      4:55 PM EDT
      President Obama delivers remarks at the dedication of the Ronald H. Brown United States Mission to the United Nations Building.

      9:05 PM EDT
      The President delivers remarks at a DNC event
      The Studio Museum

      Department of Defense

      9:30 AM EDT
      U.S. European Command chief Adm. James Stavridis will testify before the Senate Armed Services Committee about the 2012 budget

      10:30 AM EDT
      Pentagon briefing on Afghanistan
      The commanding general for Regional Command West will brief reporters from Afghanistan to discuss current operations in the war-torn country

      Japan Broadcasting Corporation


      Middle East Protest

      Al Jazeera – English

      Middle East and North Africa unrest- BBC

  2. CR says:


    The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) is a federal statute that was signed into United States law by President Barack Obama on March 23, 2010. This Act and the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act of 2010 (signed into law on March 30, 2010) made up the health care reform of 2010. The laws focus on reform of the private health insurance market, provide better coverage for those with pre-existing conditions, improve prescription drug coverage in Medicare and extend the life of the Medicare Trust fund by at least 12 years.

    PPACA passed the Senate on December 24, 2009, by a vote of 60–39 with all Democrats and Independents voting for, and all Republicans voting against. It passed the House of Representatives on March 21, 2010, by a vote of 219–212, with all 178 Republicans and 34 Democrats voting against the bill.

    Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010 
    Time line:

    February 24, 2009
    President Obama Promises Health Care Reform in His first Address to a Joint Session of Congress
    “But this is America. We don’t do what’s easy. We do what is necessary to move this country forward. For that same reason, we must also address the crushing cost of health care.” — President Barack Obama

    March 23, 2010
    President Obama Signs the Affordable Care Act, an Historic Overhaul of the American Health Care System
    “That our generation is able to succeed in passing this reform is a testament to the persistence –- and the character -– of the American people, who championed this cause; who mobilized; who organized; who believed that people who love this country can change it.”
    — President Barack Obama

    June 10, 2010

    Seniors See the First Benefit of the Affordable Care Act as $250 Rebate Checks Are Sent

    The first $250 rebate checks are sent to seniors who fall into Medicare’s “donut hole” and have to pay all their own drug costs. In the first year of health reform, nearly four million people on Medicare got help with prescription drug costs.

    July 1, 2010

    Now Uninsured Americans with Pre-Existing Conditions Have Access to Coverage

    A temporary health insurance program that makes health coverage available and more affordable for high-risk individuals who are uninsured and have been denied health insurance because of a pre-existing condition launches. Gail O’Brien was the first New Hampshire resident to benefit from this new program.

    September 23, 2010
    Patients Can Now Take Advantage of Their First New Set of Protections

    * New private insurance plans must offer free preventive services without charging a deductible or co-pay.

    * Insurance companies can no longer deny coverage to a customer because of a paperwork error or unintentional mistake

    * Consumers now have two ways to appeal insurance company’s coverage decisions or claims: through their insurer or through an independent decision-maker.

    * Insurance companies can no longer set lifetime limits on key benefits, such as hospital stays.

    * Insurance company’s ability to set annual dollar limits on coverage for individual and group plans are restricted.

    * Insurance companies can no longer deny coverage for children with pre-existing conditions.


     January 1, 2011
    Free Preventive Care for Seniors
    Medicare starts covering annual wellness visits and offering free preventive services including mammograms and colonoscopies.

    January 1, 2011
    Lower Prescription Drug Costs for Seniors
    As of January 1, 2011, seniors who reach the coverage gap received a 50 percent discount when buying Medicare Part D covered brand-name prescription drugs. Over the next ten years, seniors will receive additional savings on brand-name and generic drugs until the coverage gap is closed in 2020.

    September 1, 2011
    Lowering Costs for American Consumers
    Now health insurers seeking to increase their rates by 10 percent or more must submit their request to state or federal reviewers to determine whether they are reasonable or not. These reviews will bring greater transparency, accountability, and may lower costs for families and small business owners who struggle to afford coverage.

    January 1, 2012
    Savings for Small Business Owners
    For the third year, a tax credit is refunding small business owners like Mike Novak, a Montana grocery store owner, up to 35 percent of the premiums they pay for their workers. So far, more than 2 million workers have received coverage because of this benefit.

    August 1, 2012
    Additional women’s preventive services that will be covered with no cost sharing in new health plans include:

    * Well-woman visits
    * Gestational diabetes
    * Breastfeeding support, supplies and counseling
    * Domestic violence screening
    * Contraception and contraceptive counseling
    * HPV DNA testing
    * STI counseling, and HIV screening and counseling

    January 1, 2014
    More Americans Have Access to Coverage
    In 2014, consumers who don’t have coverage through work can use Affordable Insurance Exchanges, one-stop marketplaces where consumers can choose a private health insurance plan that fits their health needs and access the same kinds of insurance choices members of Congress will have. The new law also provides middle class tax credits to families to help pay for private health insurance. And it expands the Medicaid program to families of four with incomes of up to $29,000.

    Affordable Care Act – The Core Principle
    “We are a nation that faces its challenges and accepts its responsibilities. We are a nation that does what is hard. What is necessary. What is right. Here, in this country, we shape our own destiny. That is what we do. That is who we are. That is what makes us the United States of America. And we have now just enshrined, as soon as I sign this bill, the core principle that everybody should have some basic security when it comes to their health care.”
    — President Barack Obama, March 23, 2010

    March 24, 2010

    • CR says:

      June 22, 2010

      Remarks by the President on the Affordable Care Act and the New Patients’ Bill of Rights

      East Room

      12:20 P.M. EDT

      THE PRESIDENT: Thank you. What do you think, Taylor? She did a pretty good job. Yes, she was solid.

      Welcome to the White House, everybody. And thank you, Amy, for the wonderful introduction. Thank you, Taylor, for being here. Stories like Amy’s and Taylor’s are exactly why we passed the Affordable Care Act. And the courage that you and so many Americans have shown in sharing your stories is what kept us going until we actually got it done. And so we’re very grateful to you.

      I want to thank all the members of Congress who are here today who helped to make reform a reality. The Secretary of Health and Human Services, Kathleen Sebelius, is here, as is Secretary of Labor Hilda Solis. And they are two of the members of my Cabinet who are helping to implement this law.

      For the entire article:

    • CR says:

      June 22, 2010

      Background and Fact Sheet on the President’s Event today on the Affordable Care Act and The New Patients’ Bill of Rights



      One day after the 90-day anniversary of the signing of the Affordable Care Act, the President will deliver remarks in the East Room regarding the ongoing effort to implement the new law and announce the release of new regulations implementing the patients’ bill of rights protections included in the Affordable Care Act. The remarks will take place immediately after a meeting with Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, Secretary Hilda Solis, state insurance commissioners, and insurance company CEOs in the Roosevelt Room. A fact sheet of the Affordable Care Act and the New Patients’ Bill of Rights is attached.

      The audience (approx. 160) will include Americans who are already benefiting from the new law (bios below), as well members of Congress, consumer and disease groups, labor and the business and insurer communities (including insurance company CEOs and state insurance commissioners).

      For the entire article:

    • CR says:

      January 19, 2011
      Patient Groups: What They’re Saying About the Affordable Care Act

      As Congress considers legislation that would repeal the Affordable Care Act, it’s important to take a look at who is opposing repeal. Here’s what organizations representing patients with disease and illness are saying:

      American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network
      Easter Seals
      American Heart Association
      American Lung Association
      More than 100 AIDS Service Organizations

      For the entire article:

    • CR says:

      Improving Medicare in 2011: Closing the Doughnut Hole

      Uploaded by USGOVHHS on Mar 18, 2011

      The Affordable Care Act helps people with Medicare prescription drug coverage by closing the gap in coverage, also called the doughnut hole

    • CR says:


      GOP report makes bogus ‘Obamacare’ claims

      Apr 10, 2012 By Steve Benen – maddowblog

      One of the more enduring falsehoods surrounding the Affordable Care Act has to do with its price tag and its effect on the nation’s financing. To be sure, “Obamacare” is a sweeping reform measure, but when its detractors say it’s “too expensive” or “America can’t afford this,” it’s an inherently dubious claim: the law lowers the debt and saves the nation hundreds of billions of dollars.

      For the right, this poses an important problem. If Republicans can argue Obamacare makes the country’s finances worse, they’ll have a stronger case to undo the recent progress (unless the Supreme Court beats them to it). If this talking point falls apart, GOP officials have to explain why they want to make the debt smaller by making the debt bigger.

      To that end, the Washington Post reports today, “Health-care law will add $340 billion to deficit, new study finds.” The article cites the research of conservative policy analyst Charles Blahous, a former Bush administration official, who, despite all available evidence, insists that the health care will add roughly a third of a trillion dollars to the debt over the next decade.

      The problem, which the Post article didn’t mention, is that Blahous’ research falls apart under scrutiny. The Center on Budget and Policy Priorities’ Paul N. Van de Water easily dismissed the Republican’s report.

      Blahous claims the Congressional Budget Office’s cost estimate for the health reform law “double-counts” a considerable portion of the law’s Medicare savings. By subtracting these savings, Blahous asserts that — contrary to CBO — health reform increases the deficit.

      But there’s no double-counting involved in recognizing that Medicare savings improve the status of both the federal budget and the Medicare trust funds. The outlooks for the budget and for the Medicare trust funds are two different things; some changes in law may affect one and not the other, but other changes affect both.

      CBO estimates that health reform will modestly reduce the federal budget deficit. The Medicare actuary says that health reform will extend the solvency of the Hospital Insurance trust fund by eight years.

      I can appreciate the fact that these budget figures can seem complex, but certainly a guy who worked on entitlement policy for Bush/Cheney should understand the basics here, and the basics tell us that Obama’s health care law helps lower the national debt. Whether the right finds this inconvenient or not is irrelevant.

      For the entire article:

      • CR says:

        Hobby Lobby Opposes Obamacare

        Court rejects Hobby Lobby’s challenge to contraceptive mandate

        11/19/12 Steve Olafson – Reuters

        OKLAHOMA CITY (Reuters) – A federal judge on Monday denied a legal challenge to President Barack Obama’s signature health reforms, ruling that the owners of a $3 billion arts and crafts chain must provide emergency contraceptives in their group health care plan.

        The owners of Hobby Lobby asked to be exempted from providing the “morning after” and “week after” pills on religious grounds, arguing this would violate their Christian belief that abortion is wrong.

        Judge Joe Heaton of the U.S. District for the Western District of Oklahoma denied the request for a preliminary injunction.

        Heaton ruled that while individual members of the family that owns and operates Hobby Lobby have religious rights, the companies the family owns are secular, for-profit enterprises that do not possess the same rights.

        Kyle Duncan, general counsel for the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty in Washington, D.C., which assisted Hobby Lobby in the legal challenge, said Monday’s ruling will be appealed.

        Hobby Lobby, the largest non-Catholic U.S. company to go to court over the issue of contraceptives in the Affordable Care Act, is owned by the Green family of Oklahoma City. Patriarch David Green is ranked 79th on Forbes Magazine’s list of the 400 richest Americans with a net worth of $4.5 billion.

        The family operate 514 Hobby Lobby stores in 41 states and employ 13,240 people. It funds a variety of Christian charities, closes its stores on Sundays and plays inspirational Christian music in its stores.

        For more;

    • CR says:

      Mercury News editorial: The path to reducing America’s health care costs

      4/10/12 Mercury News Editorial

      President Barack Obama’s health care reforms offer Americans the best chance to start getting a handle on out-of-control medical costs. If you don’t believe the president, then ask the nonpartisan Government Accountability Office. The GAO reported last week that health care costs will go up considerably if the Supreme Court, as expected, rejects the reforms.

      It would be a shame because these initial reforms are just the first step toward attacking the problem of skyrocketing medical costs, as even the president admits. Major restructuring of medical care is what’s needed to curb costs while continuing to lead the world in medical innovation. Fortunately, doctors around the country are beginning to offer insights into how to do that. And no, death panels aren’t on the list.

      Physicians representing the American Board of Internal Medicine Foundation last week released an important study recommending that doctors stop routinely performing 45 tests and procedures that are of questionable value under many circumstances. The Congressional Budget Office estimated in 2008 that as much as 30 percent of the $2.6 trillion the United States spends on health care — $700 billion every year — is squandered on unnecessary tests, procedures, medications and hospital stays.

      Critics already are proclaiming this as the start of rationing. But in a 2011 survey of doctors reported by the Archives of Internal Medicine, 80 percent said they order tests they know are unnecessary. Some fear being sued for malpractice. Others don’t want to deny patients procedures they believe will benefit them, even if the doctor disagrees.

      For the entire article:

    • CR says:

      Supreme Court upholds Obamacare individual mandate as a tax

      6/28/12 By Liz Goodwin, Yahoo! News | The Ticket

      In a victory for President Obama, the Supreme Court decided to uphold his signature health care law’s individual mandate in a split decision, upending speculation after hostile-seeming oral arguments in March that the justices would overturn the law. The mandate has been upheld as a tax, according to SCOTUSblog, with Chief Justice John Roberts joining the liberal wing of the court. Tom Goldstein of SCOTUSblog says Roberts’ vote “saved’ the Affordable Care Act.

      Twenty six states sued over the law, arguing that the individual mandate, which requires people to buy health insurance or face a fine starting in 2014, was unconstitutional. Opponents cast the individual mandate as the government forcing Americans to enter a market and buy a product against their will, while the government countered that the law was actually only regulating a market that everyone is already in, since almost everyone will seek health care at some point in his or her life.

      Before oral arguments in March, polls of Supreme Court experts and scholars showed that most believed the mandate would be upheld as an exercise of Congress’ power to regulate interstate commerce. But after justices seemed deeply skeptical of the mandate in oral arguments in March, the consensus flipped, with most experts guessing the court would strike down the law.

      House Republicans have vowed to repeal the entire law, though it’s unlikely the Democratic-controlled Senate would let that happen, and this decision will most likely slow momentum for that move.

      For more;

      • CR says:

        Health care law’s mandate unlikely to affect many people

        6/29/2012 By Tony Pugh – McClatchy Newspapers

        WASHINGTON — Despite all the spin and punditry about the national health care law’s mandate that Americans buy health insurance or pay a penalty, the vast majority wouldn’t be forced to buy anything or pay any penalty.

        A recent study by the Urban Institute, a nonpartisan research center that focuses on economic and social policy, found that if the law had been fully implemented last year, 93 percent of the population under age 65 wouldn’t have faced a penalty or had to buy insurance under the mandate.

        In fact, only 6 percent of Americans, about 18 million people, would have to “newly purchase” insurance under the law, the study found. And of this group, roughly 11 million would be eligible for subsidies to help buy their coverage from new insurance marketplaces, or “exchanges,” created by the law.

        The remaining 7 million, about 2 percent of the total population and 3 percent of all Americans under age 65, wouldn’t receive any financial help and could face penalties for lacking coverage, said Linda Blumberg, a health economist and senior fellow in the Urban Institute’s Health Policy Center.

        This thin sliver of Americans who would be required to pay for full coverage belies the dominant public perception that the mandate would be a financial strain for wide swaths of the population.

        “That was one of the reasons we wanted to do this study, because we felt like the real impact was being blown out of proportion,” said Blumberg, who was the lead researcher on the study.

        A closer look at numbers shows that 87.4 million of the 268.8 million Americans under age 65 would be exempt from the mandate because they are illegal immigrants, have incomes below the law’s tax-filing threshold or can’t get coverage because the premiums would eat up too much of their income.

        Nearly 75 percent of this group — 63.4 million — already have coverage, while 24 million do not. Blumberg said these 24 million comprised 7.3 million illegal immigrants, 14.3 million people whose incomes are below the tax-filing threshold and 2.4 million people who can’t get affordable coverage.

        That leaves 181 million Americans under age 65 who could be subject to the mandate, Blumberg said. But 86 percent of this group, 155 million people, already have coverage.

        “So they’re not going to be subject to any penalty. They don’t have to change anything that they’re doing,” Blumberg said. “Some of them have public coverage already, some of them are buying coverage on their own, some of them are in employer-based insurance.”

        Blumberg’s estimates reflect the participation of all states in the expanded Medicaid coverage envisioned under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.


      • CR says:


        “Rarely are they [Presidents] presented with the kind of defining moment that President Barack Obama experienced when the Supreme Court upheld his health care law.

        It’s one that will transcend his presidency, change America’s social safety net and shape how he is likely to be remembered.

        Then there’s the catch.

        If Obama does not win a second term in November, he risks losing both the [Affordable Care Act] law and the core of his legacy. Republican Mitt Romney will try to gut the law and impose something else. “

        6/23/12 By BEN FELLER | Associated Press




        • CR says:

          How the Medicaid expansion also saves states money

          July 5, 2012 at 1:15 pm Posted by Suzy Khimm – washingtonpost

          Republican governors opposing the Medicaid expansion have focused on the costs their states would have to take on. But there are also ways that the expansion would save state governments money, helping to offset at least some of the new upfront Medicaid costs.

          First, many state and local governments help hospitals offset the cost of care they provide to uninsured patients who can’t pay for medical care — paying about $10.5 billion, or 18.5 percent, of the cost of uncompensated care, according to a 2008 study cited by the Urban Institute. Having more patients on Medicaid would help bring down those costs for everyone, which is why hospitals are lobbying hard for states to participate in the expansion.

          Second, the Medicaid expansion would also reduce state spending on mental health services for lower-income and uninsured patients, which has also grown over time. State and local governments covered 42 percent of the cost of state mental health expenditures in 2009, totaling $16.3 billion. That covered mental health services provided by state mental hospitals, emergency ER visits and, increasingly, community health clinics.

          Enrolling more state residents into Medicaid would help offset some of the spending on mental health that state and local governments are shouldering already. States will have to begin contributing to Medicaid coverage as well, starting in 2017, but they will still be matched by federal dollars at a 9:1 ratio, getting more bang for the buck on the money they do spend.

          Advocates for mental health are appealing for states to join the Medicaid expansion on similar grounds. “The expansion of Medicaid also requires those who are newly eligible to receive mental health and substance use services at parity with other benefits. State participation in the Medicaid expansion is therefore critically important,” Mental Health America said in a statement after the ruling.

          Overall, the savings will likely bring down the upfront costs to states of the Medicaid expansion. The Center on Budget and Policy Priorities calculates that state Medicaid spending will ultimately rise by 2.8 percent by 2022 if they join the expansion. However, that figure “actually overstates the net impact on state budgets because it does not reflect the savings that state and local governments will realize in health-care costs for the uninsured,” says CBPP spokesperson Shannon Spillane. “In fact, states could end up with a net gain.”

          For more:

      • CR says:

        More Answers To Your Questions About The Health Care Law

        7/6/12 by JULIE ROVNER – npr

        Now that the Supreme Court has upheld almost all of the Affordable Care Act, many Americans are scrambling to remember — or learn for the first time – what’s in the law and how it works.

        We asked for questions from our audiences online and on air. Here’s are some, edited for clarity and length, and the answers:

        Q: Will the penalty for not having health insurance affect people at all income levels, or will low-income people be spared?

        A: The short answer is no, if you can’t afford insurance you don’t have to buy it.

        Here is the slightly longer answer.

        For starters, if you don’t earn enough to have to file a federal tax return, you’re exempt. In 2010 that was $9,350 for an individual, or $18,700 for a married couple.

        You’re also exempt if you would have to pay more than 8 percent of your household’s income for health insurance, after whatever help you might get from an employer or subsidies from the federal government.

        Q: If someone is only insured for six or seven months a year, will there still be a fine?

        A: Possibly, but it would be prorated for only the months you didn’t have insurance.

        There is one exception. There’s no penalty in the law for a single gap of less than three months in a year. That’s because many employers impose a waiting period. There’s also a separate provision in the health law that forbids employers from imposing waiting periods of longer than three months. So no one will have to pay a penalty specifically because a new employer makes them wait to qualify for coverage.

        Q: I understand that businesses above a certain size have to provide a health care insurance option, but do they have to pay for it? Does the law require a certain contribution from the employer, or can the employer make the employees just pay, say, 99 percent of the premiums?

        A: This is where the law seems a little bit tricky. It doesn’t stipulate how much of the premiums employers have to pay, but it does say that overall, employers with more than 50 workers have to provide a plan that covers 60 percent of the covered expenses for a typical population. And that plan can’t cost more than 9.5 percent of family income.

        Q: How does the law affect Medicare recipients? I heard it cuts billions of dollars from the program. Does it have other effects?

        A: Let’s take these one at a time. Yes, the law does reduce Medicare spending by roughly $500 billion less than it would have been without the law. That’s over 10 years, by the way, and Medicare will cost a little under $500 billion this year. But none of that comes out of benefits guaranteed under the law.

        The biggest single chunk comes from reducing what had been overpayments to private HMOs and other health plans that serve about 20 percent of Medicare patients.

        The next biggest chunk comes from hospitals and other providers of health care that hope to get that money back because more people will have insurance.

        As to other changes to Medicare, there are actually some new benefits. The doughnut hole, that gap in coverage for prescription drugs, is being gradually closed. And Medicare patients are now getting new preventive screenings, like mammograms, without having to pay a deductible.

        Q: My son lives overseas, where he is covered by the national health insurance plan. As an American citizen, would he be required to pay the fee for not being covered under an American plan?

        A: No, only residents of the U.S. and its territories are subject to the insurance requirements.

        Q: I am a veteran getting my medical care from Veterans Affairs. Am I correct that this counts as having insurance, when it comes to the requirement that everyone be covered or pay a penalty?

        A: Yes, the VA counts. So does TRICARE and other military health plans. In fact, just about all government health care program, including Medicare and Medicaid, count as well. That’s why the Urban Institute estimates that come 2014, only about 7 million people out of the U.S. population of well over 300 million will have to either purchase insurance or be subject to paying the penalty.

        Q: If my current insurance policy does not meet the minimum requirements in the Affordable Care Act, and my insurer must raise the standards of my policy, can my insurer raise the premiums I pay?

        A: In a word, yes. That was part of the goal of the law, not just to get people without insurance to have it, but to get people with what was considered substandard insurance up to par. This is controversial, and it’s the part that leads to claims that the government is interfering in the private insurance market, which in this case it is. But it’s in the law because Congress heard about lots and lots and lots of cases where people who had insurance nevertheless ended up bankrupt because the insurance didn’t cover what they thought it did. So will this make healthy people who have to spend more unhappy? Yes. But will it protect people better when they do get sick? Yes, it will do that, too. And will the arguments about it continue? Yes, undoubtedly.

        For the audio interview:

    • CR says:

      June 02, 2010

      Presidential Memorandum-Extension of Benefits to Same-Sex Domestic Partners of Federal Employees


      SUBJECT: Extension of Benefits to Same-Sex Domestic Partners of Federal Employees

      For far too long, many of our Government’s hard-working, dedicated LGBT employees have been denied equal access to the basic rights and benefits their colleagues enjoy. This kind of systemic inequality undermines the health, well-being, and security not just of our Federal workforce, but also of their families and communities. That is why, last June, I directed the heads of executive departments and agencies (agencies), in consultation with the Office of Personnel Management (OPM), to conduct a thorough review of the benefits they provide and to identify any that could be extended to LGBT employees and their partners and families. Although legislative action is necessary to provide full equality to LGBT Federal employees, the agencies have identified a number of benefits that can be extended under existing law. OPM, in consultation with the Department of Justice, has provided me with a report recommending that all of the identified benefits be extended.

      Accordingly, I hereby direct the following:

      Section 1. Immediate Actions To Extend Benefits. Agencies should immediately take the following actions, consistent with existing law, in order to extend benefits to the same-sex domestic partners of Federal employees, and, where applicable, to the children of same-sex domestic partners of Federal employees:

      (a) The Director of OPM should take appropriate action to:

      (i) clarify that the children of employees’same-sex domestic partners fall within the definition of “child” for purposes of Federal child-care subsidies, and, where appropriate, for child-care services;

      (ii) clarify that, for purposes of employee assistance programs, same-sex domestic partners and their children qualify as “family members”;

      (iii) issue a proposed rule that would clarify that employees’ same-sex domestic partners qualify as “family members” for purposes of noncompetitive appointments made pursuant to Executive Order 12721 of July 30, 1990;

      (iv) issue a proposed rule that would add a Federal retiree’s same-sex domestic partner to the list of individuals presumed to have an insurable interest in the employee pursuant to 5 U.S.C. 8339(k)(1), 8420;

      (v) clarify that under appropriate circumstances, employees’ same-sex domestic partners and their children qualify as dependents for purposes of evacuation payments made under 5 U.S.C. 5522-5523;

      (vi) amend its guidance on implementing President Clinton’s April 11, 1997, memorandum to heads of executive departments and agencies on “Expanded Family and Medical Leave Policies” to specify that the 24 hours of unpaid leave made available to Federal employees in connection with (i) school and early childhood educational activities; (ii) routine family medical purposes; and (iii) elderly relatives’ health or care needs, may be used to meet the needs of an employee’s same-sex domestic partner or the same-sex domestic partner’s children; and

      (vii) clarify that employees’ same-sex domestic partners qualify as dependents for purposes of calculating the extra allowance payable under 5 U.S.C. 5942a to assist employees stationed on Johnston Island, subject to any limitations applicable to spouses.

      For the entire article:

      • CR says:

        ‘Obamacare’ extends health care benefits to same-sex partners’ children

        By JASON MILLMAN | 7/20/12 2:31 PM EDT

        The Obama administration is giving a new health benefit to same-sex partners — and it’s built on one of the most popular provisions of “Obamacare.”

        On Friday, the administration published a proposed rule that would extend one of the health care law’s best-known provisions — allowing children to stay on their parents’ health plans until age 26 — to same-sex partners of federal workers.

        The rule would extend eligibility in the Federal Employee Health Benefits Program to the children of an enrollee’s same-sex partner. It also would extend coverage in the federal employees’ dental and vision insurance programs.

        The Obama administration decision stemmed from a June 17, 2009, administration memorandum asking the Office of Personnel Management to provide certain benefits to federal employees’ same-sex domestic partners.

        According to the OPM’s website, same-sex partners are not currently eligible for benefits under the FEHBP, but the OPM determined it was able to extend the Affordable Care Act’s under-26 provision to the kids of federal workers’ same-sex domestic partners by tweaking the regulatory definition of “stepchild.”


    • CR says:

      CBO Confirms: The Health Care Law Reduces the Deficit

      Nancy-Ann DeParleJuly 24, 2012 05:39 PM EDT

      This afternoon, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) released its latest look at the Affordable Care Act – the health care law. This report affirms that repealing the health care law would deny tax credits for millions of middle class families and result in higher deficits and fewer Americans with insurance.

      Once again, the Congressional Budget Office has found that repealing the health care law will increase the federal budget deficit by more than $100 billion in the first decade and more than a trillion dollars in the next decade. CBO also found that 30 million Americans would remain uninsured without the Affordable Care Act.

      And CBO projects that most Governors will choose to expand their Medicaid programs. The Medicaid expansion is completely paid for by the Federal government in the first three years, and the Federal government will cover at least 90 percent of these costs in the years ahead. According to CBO “…states and local governments will probably realize savings in existing programs that provide direct care to people who are uninsured or that cover uncompensated costs incurred by providers serving uninsured residents.” Other independent analysts have also found that states that fully implement the Affordable Care Act could save money through reductions in the amount they spend to care for the uninsured.

      We hope states will take advantage of the options in the health care law to improve access to affordable coverage. And history suggests that they will act. All but two states implemented Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) within five years of enactment – despite less generous financial support than the Affordable Care Act provided for this Medicaid expansion.

      As the President has said, this law is here to stay, and we will continue our efforts to work with States to deliver the benefits of the law to the American people.

    • CR says:

      Meet the woman who has used (almost) every Obamacare benefit

      Posted by Sarah Kliff on July 26, 2012 at 2:59 pm washingtonpost

      Louisa McQueeney has taken advantage of just about every Obamacare benefit possible (Photograph provided by Louisa McQueeney)

      Louisa McQueeney is a 53-year-old mother living in Southern Florida. She works for a company that ships Florida orange gift baskets across the United States (for an extra $7, they ship to Canada as well).

      Over the past two years, McQueeney has taken advantage of just about every Obamacare benefit she can get her hands on.

      Free preventive care? She got that with her annual well-care visit. The extension of family coverage for young adults? Her 22-year-old daughter, a recent college graduate, uses that to stay on her plan.

      Then there’s the small-business tax credit that two-thirds of businesses don’t even know about. McQueeney used that to net Palm Beach Groves, the company where she’s the general manager, $7,400 in savings. Another health law rebate, for just over $1,500, has brought her haul to $9,000.

      “Filing out the paperwork on the tax credit took about 2 or 3 hours, so I guess there was a bit more to do,” she says. “But those are things you do as a business. I have to spend more time on forms from the Florida Department of Citrus.”

      McQueeney’s experience is in stark contrast to Florida Gov. Rick Scott, an adamant opponent of the law. He has said his state will refuse to build a health insurance exchange, nor will it participate in the Medicaid expansion.

      The contrast speaks to an important truth about the health-care law: Governors can only do so much to stand in the way. Many benefits — the end of pre-existing conditions, limits on premium increases and subsidies to buy coverage — will take effect in 2014, no matter what stance a state takes on the issue.

      McQueeney describes herself as a supporter of the health-care law from the “get-go,” attending rallies when Congress was debating the issue. She manages the health-care benefits for Palm Beach Groves employees, and became accustomed to double-digit premium increases.

      She tried shopping around to insurance agents. No one would quote her company a cheaper rate. Most of the employees are in their 50s and 60s and have a few pre-existing conditions among them. McQueeney herself has had arthritis for about a decade.

      “We’ve forgone raises for seven or eight years,” McQueeney says. “I do talk to everybody and say this is a choice we have to make, between a raise and health insurance. We could drop out and all do this on our own. Or we keep the policy, and don’t get raises.”

      Premiums were rising at the same time that business was taking a turn for the worse. The recession hit Palm Beach Groves hard. As McQueeney puts it, “We’re discretionary spending: Nobody has to send a box of fruit for the holidays.”

      The health-care law, she says, has brought her business some relief. First, there was the small-business tax credit that she heard about from the Internal Revenue Services’ small business mailing list.

      Earlier this month, she got more good news: Her business would receive a $1,582 insurance rebate. Her health insurer had not met the “80/20 rule,” which requires insurers to spend at least 80 percent of premiums on medical care. Palm Beach Grove’s carrier did not hit the requirement, and had to pay back the difference.

      “I was so excited I thought, I’m going to frame this,” McQueeney says, of receiving the check. She decided that there were better uses for the new money than art work, however, and ended up depositing the check within an hour of receipt.

      I asked McQueeney — a clearly enthusiastic supporter of the Affordable Care Act — why she thinks the law has not gotten more popular. In Florida, its approval rating hovers around 43 percent.

      “I don’t think it was every properly explained,” she says. “It’s a complicated law. As people are getting rebate checks, I think it will start clicking. The dynamics are changing.”

      For more:

    • CR says:

      Executive Order — Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act’s Consistency with Longstanding Restrictions on the Use of Federal Funds for Abortion



      By the authority vested in me as President by the Constitution and the laws of the United States of America, including the “Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act” (Public Law 111-148), I hereby order as follows:

      Section. 1. Policy. Following the recent enactment of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (the “Act”), it is necessary to establish an adequate enforcement mechanism to ensure that Federal funds are not used for abortion services (except in cases of rape or incest, or when the life of the woman would be endangered), consistent with a longstanding Federal statutory restriction that is commonly known as the Hyde Amendment. The purpose of this order is to establish a comprehensive, Government-wide set of policies and procedures to achieve this goal and to make certain that all relevant actors — Federal officials, State officials (including insurance regulators) and health care providers — are aware of their responsibilities, new and old.

      For the entire article:

    • CR says:

      February 10, 2012

      FACT SHEET: Women’s Preventive Services and Religious Institutions

      Thanks to the Affordable Care Act, most health insurance plans will cover women’s preventive services, including contraception, without charging a co-pay or deductible beginning in August, 2012. This new law will save money for millions of Americans and ensure Americans nationwide get the high-quality care they need to stay healthy.

      Today, President Obama will announce that his Administration will implement a policy that accommodates religious liberty while protecting the health of women. Today, nearly 99 percent of all women have used contraception at some point in their lives, but more than half of all women between the ages of 18-34 struggle to afford it.

      Under the new policy to be announced today, women will have free preventive care that includes contraceptive services no matter where she works. The policy also ensures that if a woman works for a religious employer with objections to providing contraceptive services as part of its health plan, the religious employer will not be required to provide, pay for or refer for contraception coverage, but her insurance company will be required to directly offer her contraceptive care free of charge.

      The new policy ensures women can get contraception without paying a co-pay and fully accomodates important concerns raised by religious groups by ensuring that objecting non-profit religious employers will not have to provide contraceptive coverage or refer women to organizations that provide contraception. Background on this policy is included below:

      • Under Section 2713 of the Affordable Care Act, the Administration adopted new guidelines that will require most private health plans to cover preventive services for women without charging a co-pay starting on August 1, 2012. These preventive services include well women visits, domestic violence screening, and contraception, and all were recommended to the Secretary of Health and Human Services by the independent Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Science.

      • Today, the Obama Administration will publish final rules in the Federal Register that:

      o Exempts churches, other houses of worship, and similar organizations from covering contraception on the basis of their religious objections.

      o Establishes a one-year transition period for religious organizations while this policy is being implemented.

      • The President will also announce that his Administration will propose and finalize a new regulation during this transition year to address the religious objections of the non-exempted non-profit religious organizations. The new regulation will require insurance companies to cover contraception if the religious organization chooses not to. Under the policy:

      o Religious organizations will not have to provide contraceptive coverage or refer their employees to organizations that provide contraception.

      o Religious organizations will not be required to subsidize the cost of contraception.

      o Contraception coverage will be offered to women by their employers’ insurance companies directly, with no role for religious employers who oppose contraception.

      o Insurance companies will be required to provide contraception coverage to these women free of charge.

      o The new policy does not affect existing state requirements concerning contraception coverage.

      Covering contraception is cost neutral since it saves money by keeping women healthy and preventing spending on other health services. For example, there was no increase in premiums when contraception was added to the Federal Employees Health Benefit System and required of non-religious employers in Hawaii. One study found that covering contraception saved employees $97 per year, per employee.

    • CR says:

      Doctors back contraception without prescription

      11/21/2012 01:01:21 AM PST BY THE ASSOCIATED PRESS

      WASHINGTON (AP) — No prescription or doctor’s exam needed: The nation’s largest group of obstetricians and gynecologists says birth control pills should be sold over the counter, like condoms.
      Tuesday’s surprise opinion from these gatekeepers of contraception could boost longtime efforts by women’s advocates to make the pill more accessible.

      But no one expects the pill to be sold without a prescription any time soon: A company would have to seek government permission first, and it’s not clear if any are considering it. Plus there are big questions about what such a move would mean for many women’s wallets if it were no longer covered by insurance.

      Still, momentum may be building.

      Already, anyone 17 or older doesn’t need to see a doctor before buying the morning-after pill — a higher-dose version of regular birth control that can prevent pregnancy if taken shortly after unprotected sex. Earlier this year, the Food and Drug Administration held a meeting to gather ideas about how to sell regular oral contraceptives without a prescription, too.

      Now the influential American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists is declaring it’s safe to sell the pill that way.

      Wait, why would doctors who make money from women’s yearly visits for a birth-control prescription advocate giving that up?

      Half of the nation’s pregnancies every year are unintended, a rate that hasn’t changed in 20 years — and easier access to birth control pills could help, said

      For more;

      • CR says:

        When you think about it why is it that men can cheaply purchase condoms over the counter at any drug store, super market or convince store.

        Women have to incur the time and cost to get a physical exam by a doctor in order to get a prescription for birth control.

    • CR says:

      February 1, 2013

      Administration issues Notice of Proposed Rulemaking on recommended preventive services policy

      The Obama administration today issued proposed rules for public comment regarding contraceptive coverage with no cost sharing under the health care law. The proposed rules provide women with coverage for preventive care that includes contraceptive services with no co-pays, while also respecting the concerns of some religious organizations.

      Today’s Notice of Proposed Rulemaking reflects public feedback received through the Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking issued in March 2012. In addition, these proposed rules are open for public comment through April 8, 2013.

      “Today, the administration is taking the next step in providing women across the nation with coverage of recommended preventive care at no cost, while respecting religious concerns,” said Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius. “We will continue to work with faith-based organizations, women’s organizations, insurers and others to achieve these goals.”

      The proposed rules lay out how non-profit religious organizations, such as non-profit religious hospitals or institutions of higher education, that object to contraception on religious grounds can receive an accommodation that provides their enrollees separate contraceptive coverage, and with no co-pays, but at no cost to the religious organization.

      For more:

  3. CR says:

    The Week Ahead: Libya, nukes, budget

    03/28/11 By Emily Cahn –

    Three topics will be dominating Capitol Hill this week: the situation in Libya, the fallout from the nuclear crisis in Japan and the federal budget.

    Both the House and the Senate will continue their talks to come up with a compromise on cuts to the 2011 budget this week, before the current stopgap measure funding the government expires April 8.

    Congress is on its sixth continuing resolution since the fiscal year started on Oct. 1, and Republicans and Democrats in both legislative chambers have indicated they are through passing stopgap measures, and are ready to let the government shut down if no agreement on the budget is reached.

    At the same time, President Obama’s 2012 budget proposal is still under review, and members of Obama’s cabinet and leaders from other federal agencies will testify before the House and Senate on the proposal, which was released in February…

    Tuesday March 29

    Obama will be in New York City to deliver remarks at the dedication of the Ronald H. Brown United States Mission to the United Nations building.

    Secretary of State Hillary Clinton travels to London to attend an international conference on the Libyan crisis.

    U.S. European Command chief Adm. James Stavridis is scheduled to testify before the Senate Armed Services Committee about the 2012 budget but the situation in Libya is likely to come up. Stavridis also is NATO’s supreme allied commander, and has been at the center of Libya planning and offensive operations. The hearing begins at 9:30 a.m. in Dirksen G-50.

    Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood testifies before the House Transportation, Housing and Urban Development, and Related Agencies Subcommittee on the Transportation Department’s budget. The hearing starts at 9:30 a.m. in Rayburn 2358.

    The Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee will hold a hearing on the nuclear crisis at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear reactor, following the devastating earthquake and tsunami in northern Japan earlier this month. Acting Assistant Energy Secretary of the Office of Nuclear Energy Peter Lyons and other experts on nuclear technology will testify at the 10 a.m. hearing in Dirksen 366.

    The Senate Constitution, Civil Rights, Human Rights, and the Law Subcommittee will meet for a hearing entitled “Protecting the Civil Rights of American Muslims.” Assistant Attorney General of the Civil Rights Division Thomas Perez, and others, will testify. The hearing starts at 10 a.m. in Dirksen 226.

    A panel of government and military insiders – including Gen. Peter Pace, former chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and Lewis Libby, former chief of staff to former Vice President Dick Cheney – will discuss former Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld’s recent memoir “Known and Unknown.” Rumseld will later respond to the panel’s comments. The invitation-only event begins at 3 p.m. at the Hudson Institute on 1015 15th Street NW.

    For the entire article:

  4. CR says:

    On to Britain
    In London, Clinton to discuss Libya

    03/25/11 By POLITICO STAFF

    Hillary Clinton will travel to London on March 29 to attend a conference on the Libyan conflict, which will include discussion of the United Nations Security Council Resolution of 1970 and 1973 and the humanitarian needs of those involved in the ongoing Libyan situation, according to a release from the Department of State.

    Ahead of Clinton’s trip, Philip H. Gordon, the Assistant Secretary for European and Eurasian Affairs, will travel to Brussels and London starting Friday, the State Department announced late Friday. Gordon “will consult with senior NATO officials and meet with the Supreme Allied Commander.” Libya, one would assume, would be top on the agenda at his meetings.

    • jacquelineoboomer says:

      Good luck in London, Secretary Clinton. (I think she’s doing a great job on behalf of President Obama.)

  5. CR says:

    Britain, France Urge Libyans to Drop Gadhafi Before It’s ‘Too Late’


    Britain and France are urging Libyans to drop leader Moammar Gadhafi before it is, in their words, “too late.”

    British Prime Minister David Cameron and French President Nicolas Sarkozy issued a joint statement Monday calling on all Libyans who believe that Gadhafi is leading them into disaster to form a transition process.

    NATO officials say arming Libyan rebels is not an option, even if coalition airstrikes are allowing the rebels to advance on government-controlled areas.

    NATO commanders said they are not taking sides in the conflict. They say their sole mission is to protect civilians as spelled out by the U.N. Security Council resolution.

    Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said Monday that the coalition attacks on pro-Gadhafi forces are not sanctioned by the U.N. resolution.

    Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said Monday that the coalition attacks on pro-Gadhafi forces are not sanctioned by the U.N. resolution.

    Lavrov called the international actions intervention in a civil war. Russia abstained from the vote on the resolution.

    For the entire article:–118798064.html

    • CR says:

      Libyan Regime Forces Feel Effects of Coalition Attacks

      March 28, 2011 By Jim Garamone
      American Forces Press Service

      WASHINGTON – Moammar Gadhafi’s forces are feeling the effects of the coalition attacking command and control centers and logistics hubs, as evidenced by the progress the Libyan opposition has made, the director of the Joint Staff said during a Pentagon briefing today.

      Coalition aircraft – now including Air Force A-10 Warthogs and AC-130s – have attacked regime forces threatening civilians. They also have hit command and control centers, ammunition supply points, missile sites and radars.

      On March 25, regime forces were outside Ajdabiyah and the city was contested, Navy Vice Adm. William E. Gortney said. Today, opposition forces have control of Ajdabiyah and have pushed west to within 80 miles of Surt — a strategic port on the Mediterranean.

      Coalition officials believe Gadhafi’s troops are digging in and placing tanks and armored vehicles in and around the city, he said. Farther west, regime forces are digging in around Zintan, and fighting continues in Misrata.

      Most of the targets hit in the last 24 hours were targets of opportunity, Gortney said. The coalition hit forces still attacking civilians and also the command and control nodes of the 32nd Brigade — a loyal regime strike force allegedly commanded by one of Gadhafi’s sons and still attacking civilians.

      For the entire article:

  6. CR says:

    Time short, tempers flare in budget showdown

    3/28/11 ANDREW TAYLOR, AP

    WASHINGTON – With the clock ticking toward a possible government shutdown, spending-cut talks between Senate Democrats and the Republicans controlling the House have broken off in a whom-do-you-trust battle over legislation to keep operations running for another six months.

    Democrats have readied a proposal to cut $20 billion more from this year’s budget, a party official said, but they haven’t yet sent it to House Republicans. That’s because they say it’s unclear whether the majority Republicans would accept a split-the-difference bargain they’d earlier hinted at or will yield to demands of tea party-backed GOP freshmen for a tougher measure.

    The official spoke only on condition of anonymity to discuss internal deliberations.

    “Republicans refuse to negotiate,” Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid declared on Monday. “The infighting between the tea party and the rest of the Republican Party — including the Republican leadership in Congress — is keeping our negotiating partner from the negotiating table. And it’s pretty hard to negotiate without someone else on the other side of the table,” the Nevada Democrat said.

    For the entire article:

  7. CR says:

    New Republic: Obama Deserves More Credit On Libya

    3/28/11 by Tom Malinowski – NPR

    Tom Malinowski is the Washington director of Human Rights Watch.

    Here is one lesson we can draw from the mostly negative media commentary about the Obama administration’s actions in Libya: Presidents get more credit for stopping atrocities after they begin than for preventing them before they get out of hand.

    The U.S.-led NATO intervention that stopped mass killing in Bosnia in 1995, for example, came only after 200,000 people had already been killed. But because we had witnessed massacre after massacre after massacre over three years of fighting in Bosnia, the difference NATO made when it ended the carnage was palpable, and Bill Clinton’s achievement in mobilizing the intervention and then negotiating a peace accord was broadly recognized.

    Four years later, NATO acted more quickly to stop atrocities in Kosovo, but still not fast enough to prevent Serbian troops from driving nearly a million Kosovar civilians from their homes. When NATO’s military intervention eventually allowed those people to return to their homes, most deemed it a success. We had seen horrifying crimes unfold before our eyes, and then those crimes ceased; again we could see and feel the difference Clinton and NATO had made.

    For the entire article:

    • CR says:

      Power: Obama gave ‘meaning and content’ to human rights, democracy

      March 28, 2011 Ben Smith – POLITICO

      A foreign policy adviser to President Obama said this evening that the Administration has “rehabilitated” the concept of human rights, tarnished by the Iraq war, in a way that laid the groundwork for international collaboration.

      Samantha Power, a senior director on the National Security Council best known for her human rights advocacy before she entered the White House, spoke at Columbia University in New York City two hours before the president’s planned speech in Libya tonight.

      Obama “has used his pulpit and a number of speeches … to kind of clear the brush that had gathered around the norms in previous years, rehabilitating some of the principles and cleaning up some fo the associations,” she said, referring to international values of democracy and human rights.

      “The words ‘democracy’ and ‘human rights’ have come to acquire meaning and content that Barack Obama and his administration provided,” she said.

      “His success in rehabilitating those norms or providing that ocntent has actually made it easier for other governments to stand with us,” she said. She didn’t refer directly to the coalition now battling the Libyan government.

      One of the key elements of this “clearing of the brush,” she said, had been “recognizing that human rights had to begin at home, and that his task and the Administration’s task was to strenghten the power of our example.”

      For the entire article:

  8. CR says:

    March 28, 2011
    Remarks by the President in Address to the Nation on Libya

    National Defense University
    Washington, D.C.

    7:31 P.M. EDT

    THE PRESIDENT: Tonight, I’d like to update the American people on the international effort that we have led in Libya –- what we’ve done, what we plan to do, and why this matters to us.

    I want to begin by paying tribute to our men and women in uniform who, once again, have acted with courage, professionalism and patriotism. They have moved with incredible speed and strength. Because of them and our dedicated diplomats, a coalition has been forged and countless lives have been saved.

    Meanwhile, as we speak, our troops are supporting our ally Japan, leaving Iraq to its people, stopping the Taliban’s momentum in Afghanistan, and going after al Qaeda all across the globe. As Commander-in-Chief, I’m grateful to our soldiers, sailors, airmen, Marines, Coast Guardsmen, and to their families. And I know all Americans share in that sentiment.

    For generations, the United States of America has played a unique role as an anchor of global security and as an advocate for human freedom. Mindful of the risks and costs of military action, we are naturally reluctant to use force to solve the world’s many challenges. But when our interests and values are at stake, we have a responsibility to act. That’s what happened in Libya over the course of these last six weeks.

    For the entire article:

  9. CR says:

    Thank you President Obama, our US Military and Coalition Forces for fighting for democracy in the world!

    • jacquelineoboomer says:

      Boy, I join you in that, CR. What a magnificent speech about our involvement in Libya. I was awestruck. President Obama hit every point out of the park, and took on the naysayers on the far left and far right. He explained everything so well, and I sincerely thank him for it. His policy so far – and going forward – is commendable.

      See you tomorrow!

  10. CR says:

    Next Up…

    9:30 M EDT
    U.S. European Command chief Adm. James Stavridis will testify before the Senate Armed Services Committee about the 2012 budget



    Department of Defense

    • CR says:

      Stavridis Cites Value of Partnerships

      March 29, 2011 By Cheryl Pellerin
      American Forces Press Service

      WASHINGTON– Partnership building is an important aspect of operations and training at the U.S. European Command, including operations in Afghanistan and Libya, the command’s top officer said here today.

      Navy Adm. James G. Stavridis, commander of Eucom and NATO’s supreme allied commander for Europe, testified before the Senate Armed Services Committee, taking questions about Afghanistan, Libya and other topics.

      “Any time the United States can operate in a coalition environment, it’s in our advantage,” Stavridis told the senators. “Afghanistan is a good example, with 49 partner nations.” At Eucom, he added, 51 nations participate in military-to-military relationships.

      “Last year, for example, we did 33 major exercises engaging about 50,000 folks. We do a significant amount of training across the spectrum,” the admiral said.

      Such partnerships, he said, make a significant difference in available resources, exchange of ideas and geographic access.

      “I think partnership building is why there are 45,000 non-U.S. troops today with us in Afghanistan,” fighting alongside 98,000 U.S. troops, Stavridis added. “That’s a significant resource contribution.” Roughly 40 ships are operating in general support of the operation in Libya, he added, and only about 12 are U.S. ships.

      Partnerships also promote an exchange of ideas, the admiral said.

      “In Libya today, where we have 28 NATO and Arab nations coming together, you have different ways of looking at things,” Stavridis said. “That can, at times, create friction, but I would argue over time it creates better ideas, because no one of us is as smart as all of us thinking and working together.”

      For the entire article:

  11. CR says:

    Good Tuesday morning everyone! I HOPE that you have a good day! :)

  12. Good Morning everyone! HOPE-ing for a great Tuesday.

  13. Good morning Sandy and CR. HOPE you have a terrific Tuesday.

  14. Kat 4 Obama says:

    Happy Tuesday, CR and all friends.


    Kat's Obama Administration Report, 3/29/11, Part 1

    Part 1 features:

    – The President's address to the nation on Libya.

    – A statement on the President's videoconference with President Sarkozy, Chancellor Merkel and Prime Minister Cameron that included particular attention on Libya and Egypt.

    – A note on Secretary of State Clinton's attendance at an international conference to discuss the Libyan crisis, including ongoing implementation of United Nations Security Council Resolutions 1970 and 1973 and the humanitarian needs of those affected by the conflict.

    – Description of the international conference and its participants.,-3-29-11,-Part-1

  15. CR says:

    Now streaming…

    10:30 AM EDT
    Pentagon briefing on Afghanistan
    The commanding general for Regional Command West will brief reporters from Afghanistan to discuss current operations in the war-torn country.



    Department of Defense

  16. CR says:

    America’s Next Top Energy Innovator

    Posted by Ginny Simmons on March 29, 2011

    Ed. Note: This was originally posted on the Department of Energy blog.

    Secretary Chu announced a new program today, called “America’s Next Top Energy Innovator,” to reduce the cost and paperwork for start-up companies to purchase the Department’s many thousand unlicensed patents and start bringing more of these new energy technologies to the U.S. marketplace. “Our goal is simple,” said Secretary Chu, “unleash America’s innovation machine and win the global race for the clean energy jobs of the future.”

    Starting on Monday, May 2, entrepreneurs will be able to apply for any of these patents by submitting a business plan for how they propose to use them. Best of all, within the scope of this challenge, a portfolio of up to three patents will cost an upfront fee of just $1,000 — a total savings of $10,000 – $50,000.

    For the entire article:

  17. CR says:

    Remarks at the International Conference on Libya

    Hillary Rodham Clinton -Secretary of State
    Lancaster House, London, United Kingdom

    March 29, 2011

    Thank you very much, Prime Minister, and thanks to you and your government for the critical leadership effort you have demonstrated in our common effort. Thanks too to France, which has been at the forefront of this mission, including by hosting many of us last week in Paris, and really thanks to everyone around this table. We have prevented a potential massacre, established a no-fly zone, stopped an advancing army, added more partners to this coalition, and transferred command of the military effort to NATO. That’s not bad for a week of work at a time of great, intense international concern.

    The United States has been proud to stand with our NATO, Arab, and European partners. We’ve been responding to the appeals of the Libyan people and to the Arab League’s call for urgent action. And we have joined with countries around the world, including all three countries representing Africa on the United Nations Security Council, to pass two strong resolutions. So this has been truly an international effort and a reflection of our shared concern for the safety of civilians and our support for the legitimate aspirations of the Libyan people.

    For the entire article:

  18. CR says:

    Obama Finalizes Reelection Plans
    A video announcement, a Chicago fundraiser, and a ‘go’ for independent ads

    3/29/11 Marc Ambinder -National Journal

    President Obama is fewer than three weeks away from formally announcing his reelection campaign, and will make it public with an online video his aides will post on his new campaign website, Democratic sources familiar with the plans said.

    Obama’s team will try to keep the exact date and time a surprise, letting supporters know first by text message and e-mail. By that point, Obama would have opened his campaign account with the Federal Election Commission.

    But a major Democratic National Committee fundraiser is set for April 14 in Chicago, and Democratic donors are being told that it will coincide with the announcement. Obama will attend the event.

    The campaign-in-waiting, led by manager Jim Messina, will use the announcement as a mechanism to organize online, test responses, and perhaps even solicit donations.

    Obama advisers envision the next year as a series of phases. The first is to get the operation up and running.

    For the entire article:

    • CR says:

      HA! Pres Obama will not be using that troll-infested OFA web site and I am glad of it!

      • Kat 4 Obama says:

        “New campaign website”!!! Yes!

        • jacquelineoboomer says:

          CR and Kat – This is great news! If it’s a new website, lots of new folks will probably post – thus further marginalizing the awful trolls from OFA. Yee-haw!

          • jacquelineoboomer says:

            BTW, I do credit all of the “real” people on OFA, who have stuck with it to fight the good fight over there. I didn’t have the stomach for it, but I am glad some did. Made a lot of Obama buddies there and I applaud those who stayed!

  19. CR says:

    Latest developments in Arab world’s unrest

    3/29/11 AP

    A look at the latest developments in political unrest across the Middle East on Tuesday:



    Moammar Gadhafi’s tanks and rockets drive back rebels from near his hometown of Sirte, a key government stronghold on the road to the capital Tripoli, as international leaders struggle at a London conference to figure out an endgame for his tottering regime.

    After the rebels’ push westward restored all the territory they lost over the past week, Gadhafi’s troops manage to drive them out of Bin Jawwad, a hamlet east of Sirte.

    There were no international airstrikes in Bin Jawwad during the hourslong battle.



    Cabinet resigns to help quell a wave of popular fury that erupted more than a week ago, threatening President Bashar Assad’s 11-year rule.

    Human Rights Watch says more than 60 people have died since March 18 as security forces cracked down on protesters.

    Government-sanctioned rallies bring hundreds of thousands into the streets in the provinces of Aleppo and Hasakeh in the north, and the central cities of Hama and Homs.



    Parliament accepts resignations of 11 lawmakers from the Shiite opposition, a sign that the political and sectarian crisis in the tiny Gulf monarchy is deepening.

    The resignations were submitted last month over the deadly crackdown on anti-government protesters in the Sunni-ruled island nation with a Shiite majority.



    Members of the ultranconservative Muslim Salafi sect clash with villagers south of Cairo over demands that a liquor store and coffee shops be closed. One villager is dead and eight injured in the clash that erupted late Monday.

    Dozens of Salafis protest in Cairo, accusing the church of abducting a Coptic priest’s wife who some believe converted to Islam and is being held against her will.

    Ex-President Hosni Mubarak tolerated the Salafis to counterweight his top foe, the Muslim Brotherhood group, but the fundamentalist movement has been increasingly assertive.

  20. CR says:

    Race against time
    Budget team confers with Biden

    | 03/29/11 By MATT NEGRIN – POLITICO

    The government is set to shut down April 8 unless the parties can reach an agreement. AP Photo Close

    Vice President Biden will start his day with an update on the budget negotiations as he meets with budget director Jack Lew, economic adviser Gene Sperling and “senior advisors,” the White House says.

    Without giving details, the White House said Biden and the team will “discuss the budget” Tuesday morning. The government is set to shut down April 8 unless the parties can reach an agreement on how to fund the government while making cuts.

    POLITICO reported Monday that despite being anointed the point man on the budget by President Obama in early March, Biden hasn’t played a major role in the negotiations, instead waiting until staff-level discussions near an end so he can come in to finish brokering a deal. In the meantime, he’s been talking with members of Congress by phone every day.

    • jacquelineoboomer says:

      My take: “Talking with members of Congress by phone every day” on the budget is definitely playing a “major role” in the negotiations.

      Thank you, Vice President Biden.

  21. Kat 4 Obama says:

    Kat’s Obama Administration Report, 3/29/11, Part 2

    Part 2 features:

    – Video and text of the President’s remarks at the Univision Town Hall “Es El Momento” on the importance of education to Latinos. (Thanks to CR for heads-up on this video.)

    – The Executive Director of the White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for Hispanics provides an overview of some of the challenges and goals for the Latino community.

    – The Education Secretary on the Administration’s steps to reshape education in America by recruiting and training the next generation of great American teachers.,-3-29-11,-Part-2

  22. CR says:

    Muslims face rising discrimination: official

    3/29/11 By David Morgan – Reuters

    WASHINGTON – American Muslims face a rising tide of religious discrimination in U.S. communities, workplaces and schools nearly a decade after the September 11 attacks, a senior Justice Department official said on Tuesday.

    Evidence of growing anti-Muslim bigotry, aired at a Senate Judiciary hearing, poses a challenge for President Barack Obama as his administration works to foster good relations with American Muslims at a time when the United States is threatened by home-grown terrorism.

    “We should all agree that it’s wrong to blame an entire community for the wrongdoing of a few. Guilt by association is not the American way,” said Democratic Senator Dick Durbin, who chaired the hearing.

    He said Muslims account for less than 1 percent of the U.S. population but more than 14 percent of religious discrimination cases investigated by the federal government and 25 percent of religious discrimination cases involving workplaces.

    The Justice Department has investigated over 800 incidents of violence, vandalism and arson against people believed to be Muslim, Arab or South Asian, since the September 11 attacks.

    For the entire article:

    • jacquelineoboomer says:

      Thank you, “my” Senator Durbin, for chairing this meeting. This is atrocious. I hope the people who inspired this bigotry can sleep at night, but I really don’t know how they can.

  23. CR says:

    United States and European Union Launch Formal Negotiations for an Agreement to Protect Personal Information Exchanged in the Context of Fighting Crime and Terrorism

    March 29, 2011

    The following is a joint statement on behalf of the United States and the European Union:

    On March 28, 2011, the European Union and the United States opened negotiations on an agreement to protect personal information exchanged in the context of fighting crime and terrorism. The negotiations will build on our long-standing, robust cooperation and agreements in this area. The United States and the European Union are committed to ensuring a high level of protection of personal information, while fighting crime and terrorism. The United States and the European Union are strongly determined to reach, without delay, an agreement that will advance our mutual goals.

  24. CR says:

    Part 2: Help Solve an Open Murder Case


    On June 30, 1999, sheriff’s officers in St. Louis, Missouri discovered the body of 41-year-old Ricky McCormick. He had been murdered and dumped in a field. The only clues regarding the homicide were two encrypted notes found in the victim’s pants pockets.

    Despite extensive work by our Cryptanalysis and Racketeering Records Unit (CRRU), as well as help from the American Cryptogram Association, the meanings of those two coded notes remain a mystery to this day, and Ricky McCormick’s murderer has yet to face justice.

    “We are really good at what we do,” said CRRU chief Dan Olson, “but we could use some help with this one.”

    In fact, Ricky McCormick’s encrypted notes are one of CRRU’s top unsolved cases. “Breaking the code,” said Olson, “could reveal the victim’s whereabouts before his death and could lead to the solution of a homicide. Not every cipher we get arrives at our door under those circumstances.”

    For the entire article and image of notes:

  25. CR says:

    Public Comment Period For New School Meal Nutrition Standards Ends Soon

    USDA seeks citizen input…

    March 29, 2011

    In January, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vislack unveiled a proposed rule establishing new nutrition standards for the National School Lunch and School Breakfast Programs as part of the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act 2010, the legislative cornerstone of First Lady Michelle Obama’s Let’s Move! campaign. The Act allows the Agriculture Secretary to set nutrition standards for all American schools for the first time in history, and the new rule will create sweeping changes in the kinds of foods that can be served during the school day. There are just two weeks left in the required public comment period for the proposed rule.

    A post explaining the new rule is here. Comments close on April 13; go here to leave a comment at

    For the entire article:

  26. CR says:

    Next Up…

    10:30 AM EDT
    Pentagon briefing on Afghanistan
    The commanding general for Regional Command West will brief reporters from Afghanistan to discuss current operations in the war-torn country


    CSPAN h

    Department of Defense

  27. jacquelineoboomer says:

    Hey, everybody … are you as “fired up” as I still am after last evening’s speech by President Obama?

    Every time he opens his mouth to talk to us, I extend the “time limit” for my total support! (Actually, my time limit seems to have no expiration date!)

  28. jacquelineoboomer says:

    According to TPM, Indiana Democrats have returned to their state, with some GOP concessions – on behalf of the people of Indiana. I’m so proud my new state (Illinois) welcomed the state elected officials from Wisconsin and Indiana while they were in a holding pattern!

    From the article:

    Just about a month ago, dozens of Indiana state House Democrats fled to Illinois to shut down what they said was a Republican agenda that targeted workers rights and the public schools. Now they’re set to return, having won several concessions from the GOP that will change the face of what Gov. Mitch Daniels (R) was hoping would be a signature session.

    Rep. Patrick Bauer, leader of the state House Democrats, called the deal “not perfect” but said the deal shows the standoff — which shut down the state legislature in Indiana for weeks — paid off in the end.
    “The principled stand by House Democrats forced concessions by the House Republicans that reflected the concerns expressed by so many people who came to the Statehouse in recent weeks,” he told TPM in a statement. “Today we can announce compromises that are great steps forward for working Hoosiers.”

  29. CR says:

    Clinton Urges Aid to Libya, Pressure on Gadhafi

    March 29, 2011 By Karen Parrish -American Forces Press Service

    WASHINGTON – The international community must work toward three goals in Libya, America’s senior diplomat said today: delivering humanitarian assistance, pressuring and isolating Moammar Gadhafi’s regime, and supporting Libyans’ efforts for political change.

    Speaking at the International Conference on Libya in London, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton said the United States has been proud to stand with its NATO, Arab and European partners in protecting Libya’s people.

    “We have prevented a potential massacre, established a no-fly zone, stopped an advancing army, added more partners to this coalition, and transferred command of the military effort to NATO,” she said.

    Today’s conference in London marks a turning point, Clinton said. While military actions will continue under NATO command, she explained, international attention must focus on humanitarian assistance and political transition in Libya.

    Clinton said coalition military actions will continue until Gadhafi ceases attacks on civilians, pulls his troops back from places they have forcibly entered and allows key services and humanitarian assistance to reach all Libyans.

    The coalition military campaign has made it possible for more help to get through, Clinton said.

    For the entire article:

  30. CR says:

    Iran Sanctions Act Announcement

    Department of State Office of the Spokesman
    Washington, DC

    March 29, 2011

    Today, the United States is taking further action to increase pressure on Iran for its failure to meet its international obligations with regard to its nuclear program. A key element of our strategy focuses on Iran’s oil and gas production capacity, which — as UN Security Council Resolution 1929 recognized — Iran uses to fund its proliferation activities as well as to mask procurement for the importation of dual-use items. As part of that strategy, the State Department is sanctioning Belarusneft, a state-owned Belarusian energy company, under the Iran Sanctions Act (ISA) of 1996 as amended by the Comprehensive Iran Sanctions, Accountability, and Divestment Act (CISADA) of 2010, for its involvement in the Iranian petroleum sector.

    In a thorough review, the Department confirmed that Belarusneft entered into a $500 million contract with the NaftIran Intertrade Company in 2007 for the development of the Jofeir oilfield in Iran. The ISA requires that sanctions be imposed on companies that make certain investments over $20 million.

    This action on Belarusneft is another application of U.S. sanctions on Iran. In September, 2010, the State Department announced sanctions on the NaftIran Intertrade Company and the Department has applied the “Special Rule” in CISADA to persuade five major multinational energy companies to pledge to end their investments in Iran and provide assurances not to undertake new energy-related activity in Iran that may be sanctionable. The companies are: Total of France, Statoil of Norway, ENI of Italy, Royal Dutch Shell of the Netherlands, and INPEX of Japan.

    For the entire article:

  31. CR says:

    London agreement sends strong message, says NATO Secretary General

    29 Mar. 2011

    Today’s creation in London of an international Contact Group on Libya is a strong expression of international community support for the Libyan people’s wish for freedom, democracy and human rights, says NATO Secretary General, Anders Fogh Rasmussen. The group will give political guidance to the international community’s actions in response to the Libyan crisis.

    The London conference brought together more than 40 Foreign Ministers and representatives from key international and regional organisations.

    ‘NATO is playing its role as part of the broad international effort. A number of NATO partner nations have already indicated that they wish to participate in our operation off the coast and in the air above Libya’, Mr Rasmussen said at the Conference. ‘We also have tried-and-tested arrangements for ensuring that these partners are fully involved in the decision-shaping’.

    NATO has long-standing relations with partner countries from the region, notably through its Mediterranean Dialogue programme and the Istanbul Cooperation Initiative. Regular political consultations with the United Nations, the European Union, the Arab League, the African Union and other key players have been taking place since the beginning of the Libyan crisis.

    On 27 March 2011, NATO agreed to take on the full military operation protecting the Libyan people under threat of attack, through the full implementation of the United Nations Security Council Resolutions 1970 and 1973. ‘The way forward is not violence, but a peaceful transition to democracy as soon as possible,’ Mr Rasmussen insisted.

  32. CR says:

    Next Up…

    4:45 PM EDT

    President Obama speaks at the Dedication of the Ronald H. Brown United States Mission to the United Nations Building – New York, New (Audio Only)



    • CR says:

      US Ambassador to the UN Susan Rice (whose parents were Ronald H Brown’s neighbor) opened the event

      Patti Le Belle sang The Star Spangled Banner

      Former President Bill Clinton spoke



      3/29/11 POLITICO44

      Bill Clinton is at the dedication of the Ron Brown U.N. building with President Obama. Speaking before Obama, Clinton, who appears not to be using any sort of prepared text, is talking about a pick-up basketball game he played with Brown.

      “He made us all laugh,” Clinton recalls after telling some jokes — Obama, meanwhile, is sitting next to Clinton, mostly not laughing. (5:11 p.m.)

      Clinton brings up his wife, Hillary, and says, “I’m sorry, and the president’s sorry, that the secretary of state isn’t here.” Obama gestures with his hand, and Clinton says, “But he sent her to London, where Ron Brown would want her to be.”

      Continuing to talk about Brown, Clinton offers Obama some high praise. “He would be very proud that Barack Obama became president of the United States, and very proud, Mr. President, of what you’re doing in Libya with the international community.” (5:18 p.m.)

    • CR says:

      March 29, 2011
      Remarks by the President at Dedication of the Ronald H. Brown United States Mission to the United Nations Building
      USUN Building New York, New York

      5:19 P.M. EDT

      THE PRESIDENT: Thank you. (Applause.) Everybody, please be seated.

      I am so grateful to be here in this beautiful space. Let me begin by thanking the Brown family for making me a part of this celebration. I want to thank President Clinton for his leadership and his outstanding example when it comes to foreign affairs. I want to thank my outstanding — and I mean outstanding — U.N. Ambassador, Susan Rice. (Applause.) And the members of the diplomatic community who are here for your wonderful work. Our dedicated U.N. Mission staff. I want to thank Charlie Rangel for helping to make this day possible. Mayor Dinkins, it’s wonderful to see you. All the great friends of Ron Brown.

      It is a pleasure to be here. I only met Ron Brown once. I was primarily an admirer from afar. Thank you, Patti, also for your pipes. (Laughter.)

      Unlike Ambassador Rice, I didn’t grow up next-door playing basketball on the Brown family court. Although now I know where she got her jump shot and where her brother John got his jump shot. We play occasionally in the “way over 40 league.” (Laughter.)

      Unlike many of you, I didn’t directly experience his irrepressible spirit —- always the best-dressed guy in the room. I’m sure he gave some tips to these two. (Laughter.) And the most confident, never losing his cool; an outlook -— as Ted Kennedy put it -— where “no, you can’t” always became “yes, you can.” So Ron Brown was my kind of guy. (Laughter.)

      Unlike President Clinton, I didn’t serve with Ron Brown, whose legacy is measured in the lives he touched and the memories that all of you carry. And coming to the podium as the final speaker, I was thinking —- once again, everything has been said, and, once again, Bill Clinton has said it better than I could. (Laughter.)

      For the entire article:

      • jacquelineoboomer says:

        Once again, President Obama gets the “most gracious” award! Love him.

  33. CR says:

    March 29, 2011

    Readout of Vice President Biden’s Meeting with South African Deputy President Motlanthe

    Earlier today, the Vice President met with South African Deputy President Motlanthe at the White House, building upon a conversation begun during the Vice President’s June 2010 trip to South Africa. In a substantive and wide-ranging discussion, the Vice President noted the importance of South Africa’s leadership across Africa and within the international community. Both leaders welcomed continued and increased cooperation through the Strategic Dialogue, established between our two nations last year, to address many pressing issues of mutual importance. The Vice President also lauded our bilateral partnerships in support of South Africa’s commitment to increase trade and investment, counter the scourge of HIV and AIDS, improve access to education and promote agricultural development. The Vice President and Deputy President Motlanthe discussed common efforts to meet aggressive global goals on climate change, nuclear security and nonproliferation, and to promote regional security, including progress toward peaceful outcomes in Libya, Cote D’Ivoire, Sudan and Zimbabwe. The meeting reflected the continuing strength and breadth of the bilateral relationship and both leaders agreed to continue the conversation on key issues of mutual interest.

  34. CR says:

    Please join me in lighting a candle for our President, First Family and our Nation. Please also light one for those suffering from natural disasters and political strife.

  35. CR says:

    The White House Blog
    America’s Future Leaders

    Posted by Eduardo Ochoa on March 29, 2011

    En español.

    Earlier this month I had the great opportunity to address the national meeting of the American Student Association of Community Colleges (ASACC) in Washington, DC. ASACC’s student members are America’s future leaders, and they were in Washington to help spread the word about community colleges among policymakers and their elected representatives. Their energy and enthusiasm were infectious. Community colleges are an important part of America’s higher education system, and they are also where a majority of Latinos and other minorities who are traditionally underserved by higher education are now reaching for a college degree in ever-greater numbers.

    At the Department of Education, we know that community colleges play an important role in strengthening the American workforce, which is why we recently launched a series of Regional Community College Summits. However, community colleges are just one part of America’s education system, and under the dynamic leadership of Secretary Duncan, we are transforming the face of all American education.

    For the entire article:

  36. CR says:

    Next Up…

    7:00 PM EDT
    The President delivers remarks at a DNC event
    Red Rooster Restaurant – New York, New York


    • CR says:

      March 29, 2011

      Remarks by the President at a DNC Event

      Red Rooster Restaurant
      New York, New York

      6:52 P.M. EDT

      THE PRESIDENT: Hello, everybody. Thank you. Thank you, everybody. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Everybody, have a seat. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you so much. You guys are applauding the cornbread — (laughter) — which is basically cake. So those of you who think that you’re passing on dessert but are having two pieces of cornbread, I know those tricks. (Laughter.)

      Look, it’s wonderful to see all of you. I’m going to be coming from table to table so I’m not going to give a long speech. The first thing I want to do — there has been some speculation about our DNC chair plunging back into the hurly-burly of electoral politics. I don’t know if these rumors are true, but what I do know is that I cannot imagine somebody who has been a better partner to me and a better friend to me than our DNC chair, Tim Kaine. (Applause.)

      Since he happened to be a really great governor for the Commonwealth of Virginia, I suspect that, should he choose to do so, he would also be an outstanding senator from the Commonwealth of Virginia. But whatever decisions he makes, I just want everybody here to know that he has done an outstanding job for me and an outstanding job for the country. And so I could not be prouder of him.

      For the entire article:

  37. CR says:

    Prudential Building Headquarters For Obama 2012

    03/29/11 LYNN SWEET

    WASHINGTON — The Obama 2012 national headquarters will be at One Prudential Plaza, I’ve learned exclusively, a skyscraper whose south front faces Grant Park, where President Obama held his 2008 election night victory rally.

    The building — completed in 1955 and known to Chicagoans by its original name, the Prudential Building — at 130 E. Randolph is a very short walk from Obama’s 2008 headquarters, which was on the 11th floor of 233 N. Michigan. Obama’s team has been scouting locations in Chicago for weeks and settled on the Prudential Building in part because of the ability to make it a secure location.

    A source inside the Obama operation confirmed what I learned on my own — that the headquarters will be in the Prudential Building and that a skeleton crew of Obama 2012 staffers is already in Chicago, including Obama 2012 campaign manager Jim Messina. The headquarters is not yet up and running; it will open for business at a later date.

    I’ve also learned that when President Obama hits Chicago for a Democratic National Committee event April 14, it will be one of a series of gatherings around the country in April — at Democrats’ best donor cities — kicking off the Obama 2012 campaign.

    For the entire article:

  38. CR says:

    Next Up…

    9:05 PM EDT
    The President delivers remarks at a DNC event
    The Studio Museum



    • jacquelineoboomer says:

      Thank you!

    • CR says:

      March 29, 2011

      Remarks by the President at a DNC Event

      Studio Museum in Harlem
      New York, New York

      8:51 P.M. EDT

      THE PRESIDENT: Hello, everybody.

      AUDIENCE: Hello!

      THE PRESIDENT: Hello, New York. (Applause.) Hello, Harlem. (Applause.) It is good to be here tonight. Hey, you, how did you get up there so high? (Laughter.)

      I’ve got some acknowledgements I need to make. Everybody here is important, but there are a few people I want to mention.

      First of all, we are in the district of somebody who helped us to deliver on a historic legislative session over the last couple of years and has been a leader here for a very long time — he doesn’t like to remember how long it’s been — but Congressman Charlie Rangel is in the house. (Applause.)

      We’ve got your outstanding attorney general. Eric Schneiderman is here. (Applause.) The former mayor of New York City, David Dinkins, is in the house. (Applause.) Several of Harlem’s outstanding leaders — a great friend, one of my earliest supporters here in New York City, Senator Bill Perkins is in the house. (Applause.) Assemblyman Keith Wright is here. (Applause.) Councilwoman Inez Dickens is here. (Applause.)

      And finally, I just want to say how thankful I am for our Democratic National Committee Chairman. I think some people obviously have seen Tim Kaine on television, and know that he was a governor of the great Commonwealth of Virginia. What some of you may not know is Tim was the first person, the first elected official outside of the state of Illinois to endorse my candidacy for President. (Applause.)

      For the entire article:

  39. COS says:

    Good evening CR and O friends. Here’s PBO’s interview with Brian Williams today.

  40. CR says:

    Administration Implements Affordable Care Act Provision to Improve Care, Lower Costs

    Value-Based Purchasing Will Reward Hospitals Based on Quality of Care for Patients


    The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) today launched a new initiative which will reward hospitals for the quality of care they provide to people with Medicare and help reduce health care costs. Authorized by the Affordable Care Act, the Hospital Value-Based Purchasing program marks the beginning of an historic change in how Medicare pays health care providers and facilities—for the first time, 3,500 hospitals across the country will be paid for inpatient acute care services based on care quality, not just the quantity of the services they provide.

    This initiative helps support the goals of the Partnership for Patients, a new public-private partnership that will help improve the quality, safety and affordability of health care for all Americans. The Partnership for Patients has the potential over the next three years to save 60,000 lives and save up to $35 billion in U.S. health care costs, including up to $10 billion for Medicare. Over the next ten years, the Partnership for Patients could reduce costs to Medicare by about $50 billion and result in billions more in Medicaid savings.

    “Changing the way we pay hospitals will improve the quality of care for seniors and save money for all of us,” said HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius. “Under this initiative, Medicare will reward hospitals that provide high-quality care and keep their patients healthy. It’s an important part of our work to improve the health of our nation and drive down costs. As hospitals work to improve their performance on these measures, all patients – not just Medicare patients – will benefit.”

    For the entire article:

  41. CR says:

    New Report Shows “Significant” Drop in Uninsured Young People, Thanks to Affordable Care Act

    Posted by Colleen Curtis on September 21, 2011

    A new poll finds that there has been a significant drop in the number of uninsured young Americans, thanks to provisions in the Affordable Care Act that allow them to stay on their parents’ plans.

    According to Gallup research, about one in four (24.2%) 18- to 25-year-olds reported being uninsured in the second quarter of this year, down from 28% in the third quarter of 2010, and nearly the lowest Gallup has measured at any point since it began tracking health insurance coverage rates in 2008.

    And Gallup reports that the Affordable Care Act is responsible for the good news:

    “The provision of the Affordable Care Act that allows children up to the age of 26 to remain on their parents’ plans appears to be having an immediate effect on the number of Americans who report they have health insurance. Since it went into effect in September 2010, the percentage of 18- to 25-year-olds who report being uninsured has significantly declined by four percentage points.”
    And the Associated Press notes “The new Gallup poll findings translate to about 1 million more young adults with health insurance.”

    This afternoon, the Department of Health and Human Services will have another important announcement about the Affordable Care Act and young adults. Be sure to check back this afternoon for more details.

    • CR says:

      One Million More Young Adults Have Coverage Thanks to Health Law

      Posted by Secretary Kathleen Sebelius on September 21, 2011

      Last week we all got some great news when the Census Bureau released data showing that 500,000 more young adults in 2010 gained health coverage thanks to a provision of the Affordable Care Act that allows young adults to stay on their parents’ plans until they turn 26.

      Today, we got new data and even better news – the number of young adults with health coverage has climbed even higher.

      A new report shows that as of March 31, 2011, approximately one million more young adults have coverage, compared with one year ago.

      The CDC’s National Health Interview Survey (NHIS) shows that in the first quarter of 2011, the percentage of adults between the ages of 19 and 25 with health insurance increased to 69.6%, from 66.1% in 2010. This amounts to 1 million more young adults with insurance than last year, because of the health law signed by President Obama. The Census Bureau’s results only included data through the end of 2010. The report released from the CDC today includes data from a portion of 2011.

      These data are one more sign that the Affordable Care Act is working – especially for young adults all across the country. We know young adults are the group least likely to have health insurance and while most are in great health, everyone needs insurance in case they experience an injury or illness.

      The data released today is also consistent with reports from a newly released Gallup survey which found that the Affordable Care Act has been successful at covering young adults in the first part of 2011. Gallup wrote:

      The provision of the Affordable Care Act that allows children up to the age of 26 to remain on their parents’ plans appears to be having an immediate effect on the number of Americans who report they have health insurance.

      These three national surveys show a consistent pattern: more young adults are getting the health insurance they need. of expanded health coverage for young people. This expansion of health coverage sets the tone as we move towards 2014, when more Americans than ever will have access to affordable insurance options.

      To read more about the data release today, please visit this page.

  42. CR says:


    NBLB Come on over to my newest post

    titled: “Omnibus Public Land Management Act of 2009 ”

    To get to newest post click on “HOME” at the top of the page and click on the title of the newest post


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