On October 1st, 25 million uninsured Americans will be able to sign up for health insurance through new health insurance marketplaces.
Don't be fooled by extremist members of Congress and their pointless efforts to repeal the healthcare law. Obamacare is the law of the land and on October 1st of this year, 25 million uninsured Americans will be able to enroll in health insurance plans through the newly created health insurance marketplaces.
Obamacare has already delivered benefits to 100 million Americans by:
- Providing preventive health services like well child visits, cancer screenings
and annual checkups at no additional cost;
- Allowing young adults to stay on a parent’s health insurance plan if they’re
- Saving seniors on prescription medicines if they participate in Medicare;
- Providing coverage for people with pre-existing conditions; and
- Ending the worst insurance company abuses like charging women more than men for
the same coverage and putting arbitrary dollar limits on care.
Health insurance coverage will begin on January 1, 2014. Make sure everyone you know who is uninsured understands that healthcare access is close at hand.
Whole Foods announced Friday that it plans to start labeling all genetically modified food it sells, requiring all of its stores to do so by 2018. But it's not paranoia, co-CEO Walter Robb says, the chain is just reacting to the "steady drumbeat" of customer demand. In November, California shot down a ballot measure in favor of such labeling, and now some see the company as doing what the government won't.
Whole Foods Co-Chief Executive Walter Robb described customer demand for the labeling as "a steady drumbeat."
"This is an issue whose time has come," he said. "With cases like horse meat discovered in the U.K., plastic in milk in China, the recalls of almond and peanut butter in the U.S., customers have a fundamental right to know what's in their food."
Activists have long pushed for more transparency on supermarket shelves. Some see Whole Foods' pledge as evidence of retailers' growing power to force policy changes when voters and regulators can't.
Voters in California struck down Proposition 37 last November, a controversial ballot meaure that called for labeling of certain genetically modified products. But agriculture, food and beverage companies opposed to the measure poured millions of dollars into advertising and lobbying to defeat the measure.
Monsanto alone poured $8.1 million into the attack campaign and Pepsi contributed $2.5 million, according to a MapLight analysis of data from the California secretary of state. By voting day, opponents had raised $46 million against Proposition 37 -- five times the $9.2 million pieced together by supporters.
Whole Foods, with more than 300 locations, including seven British stores that already require such labeling, had endorsed the measure. "We are growing, we need more supply and that's compelling for manufacturers who want to be part of that," Robb said of the chain's new labeling initiative. "If a supplier chooses not to do that, they won't be in Whole Foods."
Now if Whole Foods CEO John Mackey would just stop referring to Obamacare as "fascist," climate change as something we "can successfully adapt to," and "perfectly natural," his attitude towards labor unions...
In a revealing interview with The Wall Street Journal, House Speaker John Boehner discussed the conversations he had with President Obama during closed-door fiscal-cliff negotiations. Appearing to have a case of battle fatigue after weeks of negotiations, at one point in the interview Boehner said "I need this job like I need a hole in the head." He says he was most shocked by Obama saying that Washington doesn’t have a spending problem. The speaker, just entering his second term, also explained his notorious “Go f--k yourself” snap at Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid. “I was in Ohio, and Harry’s on the Senate floor calling me a dictator and all kinds of nasty things. You know, I don’t lose my temper. I never do. But I was shocked at what Harry was saying about me,” he said. Boehner also discussed his decision to vote for the Senate tax package, saying a "no" vote would do "serious damage to the economy.”
"What stunned House Speaker John Boehner more than anything else during his prolonged closed-door budget negotiations with Barack Obama was this revelation: "At one point several weeks ago," Mr. Boehner says, "the president said to me, 'We don't have a spending problem.' "
"I am talking to Mr. Boehner in his office on the second floor of the Capitol, 72 hours after the historic House vote to take America off the so-called fiscal cliff by making permanent the Bush tax cuts on most Americans, but also to raise taxes on high earners. In the interim, Mr. Boehner had been elected to serve his second term as speaker of the House. Throughout our hourlong conversation, as is his custom, he takes long drags on one cigarette after another."
"Mr. Boehner looks battle weary from five weeks of grappling with the White House. He's frustrated that the final deal failed to make progress toward his primary goal of "making a down payment on solving the debt crisis and setting a path to get real entitlement reform." At one point he grimly says: "I need this job like I need a hole in the head."'
"The president's insistence that Washington doesn't have a spending problem, Mr. Boehner says, is predicated on the belief that massive federal deficits stem from what Mr. Obama called "a health-care problem." Mr. Boehner says that after he recovered from his astonishment—"They blame all of the fiscal woes on our health-care system"—he replied: "Clearly we have a health-care problem, which is about to get worse with ObamaCare. But, Mr. President, we have a very serious spending problem." He repeated this message so often, he says, that toward the end of the negotiations, the president became irritated and said: "I'm getting tired of hearing you say that."'
"With the two sides so far from agreeing even on the nature of the country's fiscal challenge, making progress on how to address it was difficult. Mr. Boehner became so agitated with the lack of progress that he cursed at Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid. "Those days after Christmas," he explains, "I was in Ohio, and Harry's on the Senate floor calling me a dictator and all kinds of nasty things. You know, I don't lose my temper. I never do. But I was shocked at what Harry was saying about me. I came back to town. Saw Harry at the White House. And that was when that was said," he says, referring to a pointed "go [blank] yourself" addressed to Mr. Reid."
"Mr. Boehner confirms that at one critical juncture he asked Mr. Obama, after conceding on $800 billion in new taxes, "What am I getting?" and the president replied: "You don't get anything for it. I'm taking that anyway."'
Guest Post by Jim Messina, Campaign Manager, Obama for America
For this video, we asked people to compare Mitt Romney's real positions with the ones he's claimed to support in the final weeks of the campaign.
We know Mitt Romney will say anything to win, even if it’s not true – just like he did in Massachusetts and in the first debate. The real Mitt Romney has been running on his “severely conservative” positions for years, but now – just weeks before Election Day – he’s trying to hide them because they’ll hurt the middle class and his chances of winning.
We saw this clearly in the first presidential debate on Oct. 3, as Governor Romney cynically and dishonestly hid the self-described “severely conservative” positions he’s been running on – and there’s no doubt he’s memorizing more deceptions as he prepares for Tuesday’s second debate.
On Tuesday, Romney will be asked some simple questions by Americans from diverse backgrounds about how his plans will impact their lives. So we’ve provided some simple translations to help voters – and the media – interpret the deceptive answers he’s most likely to give in return.
Question #1: What’s your tax plan and what will it mean for middle-class families?
What he’ll say: “I will not, under any circumstances, raise taxes on middle-income families.” – Mitt Romney, Denver Presidential Debate, 10/3/12
Translation: As part of his tax plan, Romney has proposed $5 trillion in specific tax cuts. As independent, non-partisan analysts have highlighted, to pay for his plan, Mitt Romney has promised $1 trillion more in tax cuts for the rich than there are tax benefits to close. As a result, he would have to cut popular tax deductions that middle class families rely on, like the mortgage interest and charitable deductions, to pay for $250,000 tax cuts to multi-millionaires. Paying for Romney’s tax cuts would mean the average middle class family with kids would see their taxes go up by $2,000 a year.
Reality under President Obama: The typical middle class family has seen their taxes cut by $3,600 by President Obama over the course of his first term, and he has a detailed plan that would keep income taxes low for 98% of families and 97% of small businesses, while asking the wealthiest to pay their fair share to help create an economy built to last.
Question #2: What about that $5 trillion tax cut skewed toward the wealthiest I’ve heard about?
What he’ll say: “First of all, I don't have a $5 trillion tax cut…I’m not going to reduce the share of taxes paid by high-income people.” – Mitt Romney, Denver Presidential Debate, 10/3/12
Translation: Mitt Romney has detailed a specific tax plan that provides $5 trillion in tax cuts weighted towards millionaires and billionaires – a combination of a 20 percent cut in individual income taxes, eliminating the Alternative Minimum Tax, repealing the estate tax and the high-income Medicare tax, and cutting taxes for corporations by $1.1 trillion. That math is clear, but when it comes to paying for these tax cuts, Romney hasn’t specified a single loophole he’d close. Even if he eliminated every deduction for high-income taxpayers and enough loopholes to pay for his corporate tax cut, he’d still need to increase middle class taxes by $1 trillion to pay for his plan.
Reality under President Obama: President Obama has already signed $1 trillion in spending cuts as part of a balanced plan to reduce the deficit by more than $4 trillion, while maintaining critical investments in innovation, education, and infrastructure needed to create jobs now and grow our economy in the coming decades.
Question #3: So how can you claim your tax cuts won’t result in more taxes for the middle class?
What he’ll say: “Six studies have guaranteed…that this math adds up…even their own deputy campaign manager acknowledged that it wasn't correct.” – Paul Ryan, Vice Presidential Debate, 10/11/12
Translation: While Romney will cite “studies” to back up his wild suggestion that he won’t raise taxes on middle-class families, independent fact checkers and journalists have noted time and time again, those so-called “studies” are actually partisan op-eds, blog posts and analyses by conservative think tanks. None have disputed the total cost of his plan or the fact that it is a large tax cut for those at the top – so none prove that he can pay for his tax plan without raising middle-class taxes. He’s trying to take statements out of context to get around the truth: he’s proposed $5 trillion in specific tax cuts, and even if he closes every deduction for the wealthy, he’ll still fall $1 trillion short. That means he has to either raise taxes on middle-class families or explode the deficit.
In his never-ending quest to make America like him, Mitt Romney talked to the Columbus Dispatch this week about healthcare. Probably the most troublesome part of the healthcare plan that Romney doesn't have yet, (Okay, this is all he has thus far.) is eliminating Obamacare’s preexisting condition guaranteed coverage. How does an evil vulture capitalist deal with such an abomination?
Romney, in a meeting with The Dispatch’s editorial board, said those who currently don’t carry insurance would have a chance to make a “choice” to be covered without fear of being denied. But he didn’t specify how long Americans would have to make that choice, or what would happen to those who chose not to be covered and later fell sick.
A clever crafting of words, enough to make it sound as if he actually has some sort of plan, but without any details at all. Romney may well be referring to the choice one has to purchase anything on their own, it isn't a plan at all, so of course there are no details.
“We don’t have a setting across this country where if you don’t have insurance, we just say to you, ‘Tough luck, you’re going to die when you have your heart attack,’ ” he said as he offered more hints as to what he would put in place of “Obamacare,” which he has pledged to repeal.
“No, you go to the hospital, you get treated, you get care, and it’s paid for, either by charity, the government or by the hospital. We don’t have people that become ill, who die in their apartment because they don’t have insurance.”
I know those of you who have ever been uninsured, or underinsured and had the misfortune to need medical treatment are shaking your heads and thinking "What a moron." But, he really said that. Nobody dies in their apartment anymore because they don’t have health insurance. Well, unfortunately 45,000 a year do:
Nearly 45,000 people die in the United States each year -- one every 12 minutes -- in large part because they lack health insurance and can not get good care, Harvard Medical School researchers found in an analysis...
So yes, Mitt Romney, Americans without health insurance do die in their apartments or on the street if they have no home, and as they can't get preventative care in the emergency room, or treatment for chronic illness, with you in the White House they would be dying faster than one every 12 minutes!
Did you notice how this "go to the emergency room for health care" plan sounds a lot like Romney's other plans? Say education, for instance. Romney says he would cut pell grants for college students. What is he going to replace them with? He says go home and borrow money from your parents.
This takes us back to Romney's disconnect from mainstream America. He doesn't have a clue how the world operates for the majority of Americans. He has no real plans or policies that would help the majority of Americans. The worst part of it all is that he doesn't really even give a damn.
President Obama, spoke in Fairfax, Virginia on Friday, and had the chance to address one important issue that didn’t come up in the debate – the way that Obamacare, and supporting women’s decisions about their health care, is not only better for women’s health, but for women’s lives, families, and as a result, the economy.
"Governor Romney said he would get rid of Planned Parenthood funding. Apparently, this, along with Big Bird, is a driving the deficits," Obama said to much laughter from the crowd.
"And he would have supported an extreme measure in Massachusetts that would have outlawed some forms of contraception. He joined the far-right of his party to support a bill that would allow employers to deny contraceptive coverage to their employees."
"I mean think about that. Your boss telling you what’s best for your health and safety. Let me tell you something, Virginia, I don’t think your boss should control the care you get. I don’t think insurance companies should control the care you get. I definitely don’t think politicians on Capitol Hill should control the care you get. We’ve seen some of their attitudes. We’ve read about those. I think there’s one person who gets to make decisions about your health care. That’s you."
No long story of personal opinion, or religious beliefs, just straight to the point and sensible. More than a little refreshing in this long campaign that has exposed a lot of backwards, and dangerous thinking in regards to women's health and reproductive rights.
Mitt Romney has stated publicly that he likes being able to fire people. But Big Bird? Yes Big Bird was put on notice, as was the debate moderator, Jim Lehrer of PBS and the entire PBS network.
Debate moderator Jim Lehrer of PBS asked each candidate to describe the difference between his plan to attack the deficit and his opponent’s.
“I’m glad you raised that,” Romney said. “I think it’s frankly not moral for my generation to keep spending massively more than we take in, knowing that those burdens are going to be passed on to the next generation. They’re going to be paying the interest and the principal all their lives, and the amount of debt we’re adding -- at a trillion a year -- is simply not moral.”
Cutting the deficit, said Romney, can be done by cutting taxes, cutting spending and growing the economy. And finally, after being accused continually of failing to give specifics about things like which loopholes he would close in the tax code to offset the tax reductions he’d like to make, Romney spelled out some cuts he’d enforce. “Obamacare is on the list,” Romney said. “I apologize, Mr. President. I used that term with all respect.”
If Romney was trying to throw Obama onto the defensive, it didn’t work. “I like it,” the president interjected.
“OK, good. So I get rid of that.”
Then, looking at moderator Lehrer, Romney said, “I’m sorry, Jim, I’m gonna stop the subsidy to PBS…. I like PBS, I love Big Bird -- I actually like, you too -- but I am not going to keep spending money on things [we have] to borrow money from China to pay for.”
Romney vowed to return the control of some federal government programs to states, though he didn’t specify which programs, and reduce the number of government agencies and departments, and the number of federal employees, though he hastened to add that would be through attrition.
And finally, he slapped at the president for promising to reduce the deficit and instead presiding over a massive increase.
“The president said he’d cut the deficit in half,” Romney said. “Unfortunately, he doubled it -- trillion-dollar deficits for the last four years. The president has put in place almost as much debt held by the public as all presidents combined.”
Whoa...Mitt Romney needs to spend a little more time with his budget reports. It seems that Romney not only likes to fire people, he seemed to really enjoy tossing out bogus "facts." The statement above on the deficit and public held debt? Romney’s claim is close to true, though he’s using a different debt measure than the one his party used at his nominating convention. On the day Obama took office, the total public debt was $10.6 trillion, according to the Treasury Department’s website. Today, it’s $16.2 trillion. That $5.6 trillion increase is a bit more than half of the debt incurred by the chief executives who preceded Obama in the White House. Looking only at the debt held by the public, the measure quoted by Romney, Obama has added about $5 trillion while the presidents who came before him ran up a $6.3 trillion tab.
Of course, a truly honest debate over the deficit and debt reduction can't be had without mention of the pattern of obstructionism on the part of the Republican congress, largely influenced by Romney's running mate, Paul Ryan:
Mr. Ryan’s enormous influence was apparent last summer when Representative Eric Cantor, the second most powerful House Republican, told Mr. Obama during negotiations over an attempted bipartisan “grand bargain” that Mr. Ryan disliked its policy and was concerned that a deal would pave the way for Mr. Obama’s easy re-election, according to a Democrat and a Republican who were briefed on the conversation.
When President Obama pointed out that Ryan’s budget plan offers a “deeply pessimistic” vision for America that would cut crucial investments in the middle class and jeopardize health care for seniors, Ryan took the criticism personally and said it “definitely damage[d]” the chances that he’d accept a bipartisan grand bargain on debt reduction.
And back to Big Bird, someone in the Twitterverse responded to Romney's threat to terminate the beloved Sesame Street Character by creating a @FiredBigBird account, which, as of this writing had almost 23,000 followers.
Portland, Ore., resident Sam Chapman responded to the buzz by creating an indiegogo.com campaign to "Save Big Bird." All funds from the campaign go to PBS, according to the indiegogo site. "Let's show PBS some love," the webpage read.
This is the response from the Obama campaign to Mitt Romney for suggesting on CBS's "60 Minutes" that emergency rooms and ambulances suffice as a substitute for health care for the uninsured.
Here's Romney's statement:
“Well, we do provide care for people who don’t have insurance. If someone has a heart attack, they don’t sit in their apartment and die. We pick them up in an ambulance, and take them to the hospital, and give them care. And different states have different ways of providing for that care.”
Romney's current view on caring for the uninsured created quite an uproar, so once again, team Romney has been forced to rebuke you:
Amanda Henneberg, a spokeswoman for Mr. Romney’s campaign, said Monday evening that Mr. Romney had made “a statement of fact, that Americans without health insurance are still able to receive critical care including in some cases through emergency rooms” and that it was “an absurd misreading of his comments to imply that he offered emergency rooms as a ‘solution’ to our nation’s health care challenges.”
Another non-responsive response, but it is accurate. Romney wasn't offering emergency rooms as a "solution" for Americans who would be left without health care under his hypothetical administration that would repeal Obamacare. What he said is that millions of Americans without health care wouldn't be a problem for him. No problem, so there's no solution necessary. However, if you moochers feel you must seek medical treatment you can still go to the emergency room, if the debt collectors let you through the gates.
Now here's a message for Mitt Romney and his little pal Paul Ryan:
[Caution: Some language may not be suitable for work.]
A satirical comedy short by Qualified Laughter about the Republican National Convention. Made by Negin Farsad (@NeginFarsad), Lee Camp (@LeeCamp), Justin Krebs, and Katie Halper. Featuring Negin Farsad, Lee Camp, Neil Potter, and Ted Alexandro.