“Period. End of story.” As recently as an April news conference, Obama underscored that the effects of the Affordable Care Act was already underway for the approximately 85% of insured Americans.”And their only impact is that their insurance is stronger, better, more secure than it was before. Full stop,” Obama said. “That’s it. They don’t have to worry about anything else.” But administration officials said Tuesday that it should be no surprise that a slice of the 5% of U.S. consumers who are on the individual insurance market would be forced to switch plans as a result of insurance providers dealing with meeting the minimum benefit requirement established under the law.
This is a new dynamic for them. If Obama and senior officials at the White House were unaware of the scope of the program, so, too, were key lawmakers, including Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), the head of the Senate Intelligence Committee, who said Monday that her panel had not been properly informed of activities going back a decade or more. With respect to NSA collection of intelligence on leaders of U.S. allies including France, Spain, Mexico and Germany let me state unequivocally: I am totally opposed, Feinstein said in a statement, adding that her committee would initiate a major review into all intelligence collection programs. Unless the United States is engaged in hostilities against a country or there is an emergency need for this type of surveillance, she said, I do not believe the United States should be collecting phone calls or emails of friendly presidents and prime ministers. The president should be required to approve any collection of this sort. White House officials said Obama was not told about the extent of the world leader surveillance program before this summer because briefings are tailored to the presidents priorities. Iran, China, counterterrorism and other concerns ranked ahead of an accounting of intelligence collected about leaders of allied nations such as Germany, the officials said.
While it is generally popular, the 2006 law hasnt been universally embraced in Massachusetts. Like the federal law, the state law includes a penalty charged individuals deemed able to purchase insurance, but who refuse. Since the law took effect, thousands of Massachusetts taxpayers have opted not to get insurance and pay the penalty instead, meaning the state has fallen short of the elusive goal of coverage for all. Other challenges have come about since the law took effect, including a critical shortage of primary care physicians, according to a report by the Massachusetts Medical Society. Jon Kingsdale, the former head of the agency that oversees state health care law, disputed claims of a doctor shortage, saying its very clear that people got more care and care they needed after the law went into effect.
President Barack Obama welcomes Derrick Rose back to the NBA via Twitter
Meanwhile, Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius is scheduled to come before the House Energy and Commerce Committee Wednesday where she’s expected to take heat for the failed rollout of healthcare.gov, the website designed to help those without insurance shop for and sign up for plans. The new law requires Americans to secure health care coverage by March or pay a fine. But the website has been plagued with trouble, leaving many unable to sign-up. In testimony made public ahead of the hearing , Sebelius seems to blame the contractors who constructed the website for the messy unveiling. [ READ:Sebelius Set to Face Off With House Republicans ] “CMS has a track record of successfully overseeing the many contractors our programs depend on to function. Unfortunately, a subset of those contracts for HealthCare.gov have not met expectations,” she is expected to say, according to written testimony.
Obama vs. Putin — is the Cold War about to return to the Middle East?
In contrast to Obama, Putin has been the most-outspoken world leader to defend Morsis removal. Obamas October 9 decision to freeze about a third of this year’s $1.6 billion aid package to Egypt, and his http://www.obamastudentloanforgiveness.net/ coldly criticalreaction to the popularly-demanded ouster of President Mohammed Morsi and his Muslim Brotherhood (MB) organization from power on July 3, have predictably angered most Egyptians. After all, the Obama administration had not only helped Morsi and the MB gain power, but rewarded them with increased assistance even as they created a terror-supporting Islamist dictatorship during its year-long rule. And now, the revelation in an October 27 analysis by Mark Landler in The New York Timesthat the Obama administration no longer views Egypt — “once a central pillar of U.S. foreign policy” — as very important can only inflame that opinion further. National Security Adviser Susan Rice told Landler that the president is now fixed mainly on concluding an agreement with Iran over its nuclear program, solving the crisis in Syria and trying to get results from almost invisible ongoing Israeli-Palestinian talks (about holding real talks) quixotically pushed by Secretary of State John Kerry.
Obama is expected to highlight how Massachusetts’ health overhaul, which relied on similar insurance exchanges, also got off to a slow start. The people at risk for policy cancellations are a portion of those in the pool of 15 million consumers, often self-employed, who do not get coverage through their employers or the government and have individual policies. The dropped policies are also reviving debate on a core premise of the healthcare law – that all Americans should have adequate coverage so that the costs of healthcare are spread across the population. Democrats are also saying Obama could have phrased his plan retention pledge more accurately. “I think preciseness would have been better,” House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer, the second-ranking Democrat in the House, told reporters. Obama in 2009, while building support for the bill that would become the Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare, repeatedly said that Americans who liked their doctors or current healthcare plans could keep them.
The former Memphis standout also spoke of the importance of Obama becoming the first African-American president in the history of the United States. He gives you hope, Rose said. Just like no one thought he would become President, no one thought that I could grow up and become the first pick in the draft. I think it gives people everywhere a little extra hope. And now, with Rose about to make his long-awaited return, it’s Obama and Bulls fans everywhere who find themselves ecstatic at the hope of a new day for their favored franchise. Funny how that works out, huh? – – – – – – – Dan Devine is an editor for Ball Don’t Lie on Yahoo Sports.