Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Washington Watch: Week 27: "Scared of Her?"

(Official White House Photo by Lawrence Jackson)
Potential 2016 presidential candidate Hillary Clinton seems to be a target of opponents even though she has not yet stated if she is running.

First, there were the Benghazi hearings, now the Republican National Committee is threatening to pull their presidential debates from CBS and CNN because of documentaries the networks are planning to air on the former First Lady and Secretary of State.

RNC chairman Reince Priebus stated:

"It's appalling to know executives at major networks like NBC and CNN who have donated to Democrats and Hillary Clinton have taken it upon themselves to be Hillary Clinton's campaign operatives, their actions to promote Secretary Clinton are disturbing and disappointing."
The CNN documentary is being planned for TV and theaters. NBC Entertainment (separate from NBC News) is developing a Hillary Clinton mini-series with actress Diane Lane in the title role. Clinton has led an interesting life and the projects might be good TV. The concern is when the shows are being aired.

The GOP obviously thinks the networks are trying to boost Clinton's status prior to the 2016 election. They found support for this argument from a surprising source -- the liberal-leaning Media Matters group also questions the timing of the film projects.

I remember an anti-Obama movie that made the theater circuit prior to the 2012 election. Didn't seem to make a difference.

Obamacare Repeal...Again? Anything Else?

Before leaving for their August break, the House Republicans voted for the 40th time to repeal the Affordable Care Act. They wanted to make sure they did this one more time before returning to their conservative-laden districts and reporting that they are indeed working for their constituencies.  They didn't do too much else this past session.

The House finally voted on lowering student loan rates for entering freshmen, however a HuffPo analysis shows what they really did was kick the ball down the road (sound familiar)...raising the loan costs for future students.

Surely there could have been 39 other things to vote on during their exercise in futility (the anti-Obamacare bills will never pass the Senate or the President's veto).

Bills they didn't vote on:  Immigration Reform (we knew they would leave this one dangling) and ending the Sequester (YES...workers, including many at military bases, are still facing furloughs);

The GOP seems to be prepping for their 2014 talking points which will include the IRS and Obamacare --probably includes linking the President with the non-partisan IRS and putting forth all kinds of conspiracy theories. Coming soon to your mailbox and the airwaves.

It's gotten so bad, that some factions are encouraging young people not to sign up for Obamacare -- realizing the system is based on those with fewer health costs (young folk) signing up to balance the older generation which tends to have higher health-related costs.

Salon called it -- The most insane anti-Obamacare gambit ever. The article begins:
"In a last-ditch effort to stop Obamacare, Tea Party groups are trying to sabotage the healthcare law in a way that could leave young people without coverage and increase insurance premiums for everyone else. It assumes that the end of “repealing Obamacare” justifies the means of potentially years of worse health."

Not to be outdone...Organizing for Action released 40 Ways Obamacare is working, and because so many don't know and won't look it up, I'm going to list what is covered:  (from

1. Say goodbye to lifetime limits: Insurance companies will no longer be able to place an arbitrary cap on coverage.
2. Children can no longer be denied health insurance because of a pre-existing condition.
3. Starting in 2014, adults will no longer be denied health insurance because of a pre-existing condition.
Free preventive care, including:
4. Annual check-ups
5. Contraception
6. Vaccinations
7. Gestational diabetes screenings
8. Mammograms
9. Screening and counselling for HIV
10. Cholesterol screenings
11. Colonoscopies
12. Blood pressure screenings
13. Cancer screenings
14. Osteoporosis screenings
15. Young adults can stay on their parents' insurance plans until the age of 26.
16. If insurance companies aren't spending your premium dollars on your health care—at least 80 percent—they've got to give you some money back.
17. Insurance companies can't raise your rates by double-digits without justification.
18. Insurance plans can’t require higher co-payments or co-insurance if you get emergency care from an out-of-network hospital.
19. Women will no longer be charged more than men just because they're women.
20. The health insurance marketplace will be ready to go in every state starting October 1 of this year.
21. No-hassle comparisons: The online marketplace provides easy access to information on all available plans, so you can do a side-by-side comparison and find a plan that works for you.
22. Many Americans will be eligible for financial assistance to help them buy health insurance on their own, so you can afford a plan that will be there if you get sick.
23. When you buy insurance through the marketplace, premiums can be determined based only on these four factors: where you live, how old your are, how large your family is, and whether or not you are a smoker.
24. In the marketplace, you can choose a plan that matches your budget and needs: Platinum, Gold, Silver or Bronze.
25. By 2020, the Medicare prescriptions drug "donut hole" will be closed for good.
These are the essential benefits that all health plans in the marketplace must cover:
26. Ambulatory patient services
27. Emergency services
28. Hospitalization
29. Prenatal care
30. Neonatal care
31. Mental health services
32. Prescription drugs
33. Rehabilitative services and devices
34. Laboratory services like bloodwork
35. Preventive care
36. Wellness services
37. Chronic disease management
38. Pediatric services, including oral and vision care
39. Lower prescription drug costs for people on Medicare.
40. These states are already foreseeing dramatic drops in premiums: New York, California, Nevada, Connecticut, Oregon.


President Obama's First Term

National Scene 7/29-8/4/2009
By Linnie Frank Bailey

  • The “Beer Summit” -- Diffusing tensions, as well as the media frenzy that ensued following the President’s comments on the arrest of Harvard Professor Henry Gates—Obama and Vice President Joe Biden sat down with Gates and arresting officer Sergeant James Crowley for a beer in the Rose Garden of the White House.
  • “This Too Shall Pass” -- In his weekly address to the nation, President Obama reminded Americans of the progress the Administration is making in turning the economy back to positive footing. Describing the Recovery Act as, “helping to put the brakes on this recession,” the President continued to stress the need to weather the storm.
  • Even in the face of an American success—the large number of Americans trading in cars through the “Cash for Clunkers” program—the critics find fault with Obama. Economic indicators however, show signs of hope that the country is moving past the recession Obama inherited when he became President.
  • President Obama celebrated his 48th Birthday on August 4, 2009.

Read more of the blog, including an Obama health-care town hall in July of 2009, where he stated what the bill would include (compare to above list of Obamacare benefits.)


And Once again...back to 2013

Happy Birthday Mr. President. (No, the birthers have not gone away...these same folk are also spotting Elvis across the country.)

A glance at the certificate reminds us that his mother was just 18...a teen mom...when she had him. 
Only in America folks!!

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