Day: June 28, 2012

What A Day – Wrap-up

 Rep. Jean Smith Goes Nuts Thinking The Mandate Was Struck Down!

David Shuster, host of Take Action News, announces the Supreme Court decision

 

The ED Show – Issa’s witch hunt leads to a vote

 

Finally, the gist of today’s events:

 

 

GOP Votes for Contempt as “Fast and Furious” Blows Up in Its Face

How are tons of US guns getting to Mexico? Ask conservatives Flickr/Brian.ch

I really don’t like the GOP leadership in The House…

Mother Jones

The “Fast and Furious” imbroglio may have just gone sideways on House Republicans. Just prior to them leading a House vote for contempt against Attorney General Eric Holder on Thursday, a far-reaching investigation published by Fortune magazine poked major holes in the conservative storyline about the alleged gun operation. Claims that law enforcement engaged in a deadly plot to let Mexican outlaws smuggle US guns, the magazine reports, are based on allegations by a lone whistleblower who may in fact be the only person who did any illegal gun-smuggling. The real cause of violence and crime south of the border, it reports, is lax gun laws in Arizona and elsewhere pushed by Republicans and their friends at the National Rifle Association.

To review the allegations in brief: Agents from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF) supposedly recruited local sellers in Arizona to hawk guns to known smugglers, then monitored the flow of those guns to criminal gangs in Mexico in the hopes of catching “big fish,” in a tactic known as “gunwalking” (as opposed to “gun-running”). Two of these ATF-monitored assault weapons ended up at the crime scene where Brian Terry, a US Border Patrol agent, was shot and killed in December 2010. An ATF agent with a crisis of conscience blew the whistle on the operation, dubbed Fast and Furious, and Republicans in Congress began asking questions.

Now, Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.), chairman of the House government oversight committee, suspects the White House of involvement in the affair, and has demanded the administration turn over scores of internal communications. The White House has acknowledged that mistakes were made and turned over more than 7,600 pages of documents related to the case. But Issa demanded another 100,000 pages of internal administration communications, and President Obama invoked executive privilege to keep the documents confidential. Issa responded by pursuing the contempt-of-Congress vote against Holder—the first ever against a sitting attorney general—on the notion that DOJ screwed up on Holder’s watch.

According to Fortune, though, almost everything about the story that Republicans have been flogging is wrong. And the magazine makes the case that the GOP’s allegations against Holder and the Obama administration aren’t just inaccurate—rather, they distract from the possibility that GOP’s politics are actually to blame for the deluge of three-quarters of a million American guns per year into Mexico. “Republicans who support the National Rifle Association and its attempts to weaken gun laws are lambasting ATF agents for not seizing enough weapons—ones that, in this case, prosecutors deemed to be legal,” the report states.

Continue reading here…

10 Things You Would Have Missed About Obamacare

FYI…

Think Progress

1) Access to health insurance for 30 million Americans and lower premiums. More than 30 million uninsured Americans will find coverage under the law. Middle-class families who buy health care coverage through the exchanges will be eligible for refundable and advanceable premium credits and cost-sharing subsidies to ensure that the coverage they have is affordable.

2) The ability of businesses and individuals to purchase comprehensive coverage from a regulated marketplace. The law creates new marketplaces for individuals and small businesses to compare and purchase comprehensive coverage. Insurers will have to meet quality measures to ensure that Americans can access comprehensive coverage when they need it.

3) Insurers’ inability to discriminate against people with pre-existing conditions. Beginning in 2014, insurers can no longer deny insurance to families or individuals with pre-existing conditions. Insurers are also prohibited from placing lifetime limits on the dollar value of coverage and rescinding insurers except in cases of fraud. Insurers are already prohibited from discriminating against children with pre-existing conditions.

4) Tax credits for small businesses that offer insurance. Small employers that purchase health insurance for employees are already receiving tax credits to encourage them to continue providing coverage.

5) Assistance for businesses that provide health benefits to early retirees.The law created a temporary reinsurance program for employers providing health insurance coverage to retirees over age 55 who are not eligible for Medicare, reimbursing employers or insurers for 80% of retiree claims. The program has offered at least $4.73 billion in reinsurance payments to more than 2,800 employers and other sponsors of retiree plans, with an average cumulative reimbursement per plan sponsor of approximately $189,700.

6) Affordable health care for lower-income Americans. Obamacare extends Medicaid to individuals with incomes up to 138% of the federal poverty line, guaranteeing that the nation’ most vulnerable population has access to affordable, comprehensive coverage.

7) Investments in women’s health. Obamacare prohibits insurers from charging women substantially more than men and requires insurers to offer preventive services — including contraception — at no additional cost.

8) Young adults’ ability to stay on their parents’ health care plans. More than 3.1 million young people have already benefited from dependent coverage, which allows children up to age 26 to remain insured on their parents’ plans.

9) Discounts for seniors on brand-name drugs. Pharmaceutical manufacturers are required to provide a 50% discount on prescriptions filled in the Medicare Part D coverage gap. Seniors have already saved $3.5 billion on prescription drug costs thanks to the Affordable Care Act provision.

10) Temporary coverage for the sickest Americans. The law established temporary national high-risk pools that are providing health coverage to individuals with pre-existing medical conditions who cannot find insurance on the individual market. In 2014, they will be able to enroll in insurance through the exchanges. 67,482 individuals have already benefited from the program.

David Gregory on “Obamacare”: “Nobody’s really been given anything yet.” Oh really?

In my opinion David Gregory still has a lot to learn about “Obamacare”…

The Political Carnival

I was barely awake when the news was blasted loud and clear about the Supreme Court upholding the individual mandate. That woke me up pretty quickly. But you know what really opened my eyes? This quote by MSNBC’s David Gregory (host of NBC’s Meet the Press”) when he was asked to comment about how Republicans would respond to the president’s victory:

“Nobody’s really been given anything yet.”

He said that to buttress the idea that the voting public wouldn’t be swayed by the decision because, see, they haven’t “benefited yet,” so they still won’t support the plan.

Yes, he said that. Yes he’s uninformed and unqualified to work in the news media.

So none of this happened, David?

  • Providing Small Business Health Insurance Tax Credits Effective Jan. 1, 2010
  • Allowing States to Cover More People on Medicaid Effective April 1, 2010
  • Relief for Four Million Seniors Who Hit the Medicare Prescription Drug “Donut Hole” Program applied only on 2010.
  • Cracking Down on Health Care Fraud Many provisions effective now
  • Expanding Coverage for Early Retirees Applications for employers to participate in the program available June 1, 2010.
  • Providing Access to Insurance for Uninsured Americans with Pre-Existing Conditions National program established July 1, 2010
  • Putting Information Online Effective July 1, 2010
  • Extending Coverage for Young Adults Effective for health plan years beginning on or after September 23, 2010 Under the new law, young adults are allowed to stay on their parent’s plan until they turn 26 years old.
  • Providing Free Preventive Care Effective for health plan years beginning on or after September 23, 2010
  • Prohibiting Insurance Companies from Rescinding Coverage  Effective for health plan years beginning on or after September 23, 2010
  • Appealing Insurance Company Decisions  Effective for new plans beginning on or after September 23, 2010
  • Eliminating Lifetime Limits on Insurance Coverage Effective for health plan years beginning on or after September 23, 2010
  • Regulating Annual Limits on Insurance Coverage Effective for health plan years beginning on or after September 23, 2010
  • Prohibiting Denying Coverage of Children Based on Pre-Existing Conditions Effective for health plan years beginning on or after September 23, 2010 for new plans and existing group plans
  • Holding Insurance Companies Accountable for Unreasonable Rate Hikes Grants will be awarded beginning in 2010
  • Holding Insurance Companies Accountable for Unreasonable Rate Hikes Grants will be awarded beginning in 2010
  • Prescription Drug Discounts Effective January 1, 2011
  • Free Preventive Care for Seniors Effective January 1, 2011
  • Improving Care for Seniors after They Leave the Hospital Effective January 1, 2011

Oh, and there was this: Damn that “Obamacare” and its $1.1 billion in rebates!

Seen On The Internet After SCOTUS Decision To Uphold The ACA – 6-28-2012

Some people are offended by the use of “ebonics” (as they call it.)  I  think it’s funny as heck and as someone pointed out, those on the Right have used this photo to say some of the vilest things against the First Couple.  So this is the use of humor, in showing just how upset folks on the Right are when it comes to the Supreme Court upholding Obama’s signature legislation.

Teabonics The right has been using this [photo] to slam the Obama’s for a long time, it’s time we turned it around on them.

2 hours ago · Like · 10

CNN, Fox News Bungle Supreme Court Coverage (VIDEO)

CNN, Fox News Bungle Supreme Court Coverage (VIDEO)

In either case, with Fox News or CNN, there’s no surprise here…

TPMDC

Updated: 11:56 a.m. ET

In the mad dash to report the Supreme Court’s historic health care ruling before the competition, CNN and Fox News got a bit ahead of themselves.

CNN first broke the news that the health care law’s individual mandate was struck down. CNN’s reporters and producers sent tweets of the mandate’s demise. The network’s homepage splashed this headline: “Mandate struck down — High court finds measure unconstitutional.”

Kate Bolduan reported on air that, according to CNN court producer Bill Mears, the individual mandate is “not a valid exercise of the Commerce Clause. It appears as if the Supreme Court justices have struck down the individual mandate, the centerpiece of the health care legislation.”

Fox News’ Bill Hemmer followed suit. “SUPREME COURT FINDS HEALTH CARE INDIVIDUAL MANDATE UNCONSTITUTIONAL,” Fox’s chryon read. Fox News did not return TPM’s request for comment.

The court did, in fact, find that the individual mandate violated the Commerce Clause. But the justices determined that it is constitutional under Congress’ taxing power.

After some more vamping on air, CNN’s Wolf Blitzer told viewers there were “conflicting” reports. “Let’s hold off on drawing any final conclusions on what exactly the nine justice of the U.S. Supreme Court have decided,” he said, after several minutes of drawing conclusions.

In a breaking news email, CNN sent a correction. At time of writing, the network’s live blog had not yet included a correction. CNN later issued a correction to its reporting:

“In his opinion, Chief Justice Roberts initially said that the individual mandate was not a valid exercise of Congressional power under the Commerce Clause. CNN reported that fact, but then wrongly reported that therefore the court struck down the mandate as unconstitutional. However, that was not the whole of the Court’s ruling. CNN regrets that it didn’t wait to report out the full and complete opinion regarding the mandate. We made a correction within a few minutes and apologize for the error.”

MSNBC, for its part, waited to report on the court’s final ruling. “We’re proud of MSNBC’s fast and accurate coverage of the SCOTUS decision,” network spokeswoman Lauren Skowronski told TPM in a statement. “MSNBC will continue to provide comprehensive coverage of this story throughout the day.”

Chuck Todd, NBC News’ political director and White House correspondent, praised his colleague Pete Williams, who anchored the network’s court coverage.

“Pete Williams is the pro’s pro,” Todd told TPM. “Nobody is more careful; look at our history on this … Pete was the one who got Bush-Gore right first. I’m proud to call him a colleague.”

Watch a highlight reel CNN and Fox News’ reporting this morning:

Breaking: Supreme Court Upholds Individual Mandate

CNN first reported that the SCOTUS “killed individual mandate.”  Happily, they declared that report was an error.  I turned to MSNBC to find out in fact it was an error.  So my emotions ran the gamut within three minutes.  The bottom line was that The Court did not make a political decision as they had with Bush v. Gore or Citizens United but as Chris Matthews pointed out, it was indeed a moral decision.

Think Progress

The Supreme Court has upheld the individual mandate in Obamacare, paving the way for full implementation of the law in the states and ensuring that millions of uninsured Americans haves access to affordable coverage. The court upheld the provision as a tax. The Medicaid expansion is limited, but not invalidated, the court found. In short: “the entire ACA is upheld, with the exception that the federal government’s power to terminate states’ Medicaid funds is narrowly read.” Roberts joined Sotomayor, Breyer, Ginsburg, and Kagan.