October 31, 2013 at 9:00 am #99153
President Obama says that it’s misleading to say insurers are “cancelling” people’s insurance plans without also mentioning that almost all insurers are encouraging people to join better plans with the same carrier, with stronger benefits and stronger protections; while others will be able to get better plans with new carriers through the marketplace; and that many will get new help to pay for these better plans. October 30, 2013.
As you make it through the day, don’t forget JJP at TWIB.
Drop those links. Engage in debate. Give us trivia and gossip too.
And always, have a peaceful day.October 31, 2013 at 9:02 am #99154
Good Morning, EveryoneOctober 31, 2013 at 9:03 am #99155
Michelle Obama chants “Let’s Move!” with Elmo, Rosita to support healthy food marketing: http://bit.ly/1aEXNh3October 31, 2013 at 9:05 am #99156
Airing November 3rd on #BET
I will be honored with the Young Black and Gifted AwardOctober 31, 2013 at 9:06 am #99157October 31, 2013 at 9:07 am #99158
Proudly Cheerleading for ObamaCare Because the Media is Supposed to be Serving the People
By: Sarah Jones more from Sarah Jones
Wednesday, October, 30th, 2013, 7:31 pm
Perspective is sorely lacking, and this apparent disconnect with regular citizens has never been so glaring as it is right now during the media’s ACA website glitch hysteria.
The gang of beltway intelligentsia came down on Joan Walsh when she pointed out that tech glitches were not the be all end all of ObamaCare, which just goes to show you that you are only allowed to have one thought in the media and it’s the one that the boys agree is “accurate” – the fact that white men are the minority and can’t possibly speak for everyone is totally lost here.
So the reason you see this huge disconnect is we have a government run by mostly privileged white men, being reported on by mostly privileged white men. Their experience frames their views, and they are so privileged that they stamp these views as the “facts” without a moment of doubt that they are correct and right.
A tech glitch will never stop desperate people from signing up for health insurance. It won’t stop the tears of gratitude from the many (not few) who had a health scare without insurance. And by the way, those with insurance were also denied help from insurance companies before ObamaCare.
Not everyone has the kind of privilege that makes messing with them a bad bet.
So we come again to the meaning of “minority”. In social and political terms, “minority” refers to people who hold few positions of power. Groups of minorities are categorized by race, gender, disability, wealth, sexual orientation, ethnicity, and more. Maybe white men from privileged backgrounds (who hold the majority of positions of social power in our society) don’t really know anything about what a majority (together, minorities are a numerical majority) of this country faces when they try to access services. If they did, they wouldn’t dream of being obsessed with tech glitches and hold music fails.October 31, 2013 at 9:11 am #99159
Sen. Reid joins Rachel Maddow
This is the full, unedited interview of Senator Harry Reid, D-NV, Senate Majority Leader, by Rachel Maddow.
————————————–October 31, 2013 at 9:19 am #99160
NERD Fund donor CVS Caremark scores $60 million no-bid contract in Detroit
This is why NERD Fund opacity is such a BFD
I (and so many others) have talked a LOT about Michigan Governor Rick Snyder’s NERD Fund, financed by unknown corporate entities and wealthy individuals. Because they have been paying for Detroit Emergency Manager Kevyn Orr’s accomodations in a luxury hotel and for his transportation costs, the complete lack of transparency raises questions about who is paying and what they are getting. In other words, what conflicts of interest exist. Thanks to Snyder shutting down the Fund without revealing its donors, we may never know.
A couple of revelations this past week have brought these concerns into sharp relief. First, Detroit chief procurement officer Andre DuPerry recently resigned due to what he says is a “waste of taxpayer dollars” in awarding contracts for city services without properly going through the competitive bid process. Here’s what he said in his resignation letter:
A second revelation concerns a contract awarded to Caremark to cover pharmacy benefits for city of Detroit employees. State Representative Thomas F. Stallworth III of Detroit had this to say about this “process”:
Kevyn Orr unilaterally awarded a $60 million no-bid contract to Caremark that seemingly mocks the contract-bidding process. There are serious questions about whether or not the city and its workers got the best deal that both saves money while still providing better benefits.
As part of cost savings in Detroit’s bankruptcy proceedings, the company Jones Day, Ernst and Young and Milliman designed a new health care benefit for city employees. That plan was approved by Orr and lists Caremark as the pharmacy benefit manager. Caremark has Jones Day as its outside council, Ernst and Young as its outside audit firm, and Caremark is a business partner with a Milliman product called Intelliscript.
An alternative proposal for a pharmacy benefit manager was submitted to the emergency manager by ScriptGuide that generated a greater savings, and a better benefit for city workers, than the Caremark proposal. ScriptGuide is also owned by a Detroit resident.
Mr Orr was brought to Detroit to solve financial issues and choosing Caremark raises more questions than it answers. We don’t know why a more expensive proposal was chosen rather than one that would have saved the city more money. Mr. Orr talked to the Detroit Police Lieutenants and Sergeants Association to determine if greater cost savings could be negotiated that he could then take to other city employees. He had such a proposal, but when the final decision was made, he chose Caremark, the more expensive plan that offered less coverage to employees. A more expensive plan is not the best choice for Detroit and state taxpayers, and not the best decision for a city facing bankruptcy.October 31, 2013 at 9:20 am #99161
Obama Selects 3 African Americans to Manage Key U.S. Security and Counter-Terrorism Operations
Oct 30, 2013
By Michael H. Cottman, BlackAmericaWeb.com
For the first time in history, three African Americans selected by President Barack Obama could simultaneously manage high-level federal operations that shape national and global law enforcement policies while also protecting America against terrorists.
It’s no coincidence – and it’s a rare moment in the nation’s history.
Obama has carefully assembled a qualified team of black senior advisors, all Cabinet members, who have wide-ranging expertise in law enforcement, national security issues, and counter-terrorism.
Susan Rice, the U.S. National Security Advisor, reports directly to the president on precarious global matters that impact America. Rice is the third African American to hold the post.
Eric Holder, the first African American U.S. Attorney General and the nation’s chief law enforcement officer, oversees the U.S. Department of Justice.
And Obama recently appointed Jeh Johnson, formerly the Pentagon’s top lawyer, to head the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.
If confirmed by the U.S. Senate, Johnson would become the first African American to lead the Department of Homeland Security.
Johnson would succeed Janet Napolitano, who announced she was leaving the Cabinet post in July. Political insiders say they expect Johnson to be confirmed, but Republicans may try to rough him up during his confirmation hearings.
The president’s decision to hire three black specialists to oversee national civil rights issues, counter-terrorism strategy and matters relating to national security shows that Obama, the nation’s first black president, is committed to empowering black people to lead America’s most security-sensitive agencies and operations.
Protecting the nation, Obama supporters say, also keeps black Americans safe.October 31, 2013 at 9:22 am #99162
President Obama Calls Out The Media For Grossly Misleading Coverage of The ACA
By: Jason Easley more from Jason Easley
Wednesday, October, 30th, 2013, 8:43 pm
President Obama called out the media today for misleading the American people with inaccurate stories about people having their health insurance canceled due to the ACA.
PRESIDENT OBAMA: Because of the tax credits that we’re offering and the competition between insurers, most people are going to be able to get better, comprehensive health care plans for the same price or even cheaper than projected. You’re going to get a better deal.
Now, there’s a fraction of Americans with higher incomes who will pay more on the front end for better insurance with better benefits and protections like the patient’s bill of rights, and that will actually save them from financial ruin if they get sick. But nobody is losing their right to health care coverage. And no insurance company will ever be able to deny you coverage or drop you as a customer altogether. Those days are over, and that’s the truth. That is the truth. (Cheers, applause.)
So for people without health insurance, they’re finally going to be able to get it. For the vast majority of people who have health insurance that works, you can keep it. For the fewer than 5 percent of Americans who buy insurance on your own, you will be getting a better deal. So anyone peddling the notion that insurers are canceling peoples’ plan without mentioning that almost all the insurers are encouraging people to join better plans with the same carrier and stronger benefits and stronger protections while others will be able to get better plans with new carriers through the marketplace, and that many will get new help to pay for these better plans and make them actually cheaper — if you leave that stuff out, you’re being grossly misleading, to say the least. (Applause.)October 31, 2013 at 9:23 am #99163
Wed Oct 30th, 2013 at 08:50:56 PM EST
I wouldn’t use the word “insurmountable” in this sentence. Maybe “irrepressible” would be more appropriate.
Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, predicted Tuesday that things could get ugly if Republicans block a vote this week on one of President Barack Obama’s key judicial nominees, Patricia Millett.
The pressure to change Senate rules and strip Republicans of their power to filibuster certain judicial nominees “would be almost insurmountable” if Republicans block Millet’s confirmation vote to the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals, Leahy said at an event advocating Millett, currently a Supreme Court appellate attorney.
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) has already threatened to invoke the so-called nuclear option if Republicans don’t let at least one of Obama’s D.C. Circuit nominees get a vote. Millett, who will come up for a vote as soon as Thursday, is the first of Obama’s three D.C. Circuit nominees to hit the Senate floor. Nina Pillard cleared the Senate Judiciary Committee and is ready for a floor vote, while Robert Wilkins is set for his committee vote on Thursday.October 31, 2013 at 9:26 am #99164
Rich People Just Care Less
By DANIEL GOLEMAN
Turning a blind eye. Giving someone the cold shoulder. Looking down on people. Seeing right through them.
These metaphors for condescending or dismissive behavior are more than just descriptive. They suggest, to a surprisingly accurate extent, the social distance between those with greater power and those with less — a distance that goes beyond the realm of interpersonal interactions and may exacerbate the soaring inequality in the United States.
A growing body of recent research shows that people with the most social power pay scant attention to those with little such power. This tuning out has been observed, for instance, with strangers in a mere five-minute get-acquainted session, where the more powerful person shows fewer signals of paying attention, like nodding or laughing. Higher-status people are also more likely to express disregard, through facial expressions, and are more likely to take over the conversation and interrupt or look past the other speaker.
Bringing the micropolitics of interpersonal attention to the understanding of social power, researchers are suggesting, has implications for public policy.
Of course, in any society, social power is relative; any of us may be higher or lower in a given interaction, and the research shows the effect still prevails. Though the more powerful pay less attention to us than we do to them, in other situations we are relatively higher on the totem pole of status — and we, too, tend to pay less attention to those a rung or two down.October 31, 2013 at 9:27 am #99165
The Story Behind the Racial Profiling Article in The Times
By MARGARET SULLIVAN
…My post on Monday raised the question of why The Times hadn’t yet written about the story that has received plenty of attention elsewhere over the past few weeks, particularly in New York’s tabloid newspapers. The Metro section editor, Wendell Jamieson, said that The Times would write about it only when there was a way to move the story forward from what competing news organizations had already written.
He told me Wednesday that a reporter had been assigned to the story
last week, and that on Tuesday, he was able to confirm a piece of news – that changes in security practices at Barneys had resulted in more
shoppers being detained and in significantly more contact between store security and the New York Police Department. That, in addition to the announcement of an investigation by the state attorney general’s office, provided enough news value for The Times to publish it, Mr. Jamieson said.
He said he was reluctant to mention that the story had been assigned when I questioned him Monday. “We don’t talk about what our reporters are working on,” he said. “And I had no idea if our reporting would pan out.”October 31, 2013 at 10:20 am #99169
Guess Who Really Wants to Take Away Your Insurance: Republicans
BY JONATHAN COHN @citizencohn
Republicans are outraged that some Americans must give up their current insurance plans because they don’t satisfy Obamacare’s new regulations for benefits and pricing. Partly they are mad at President Obama, because he repeatedly said people who like their coverage would get to keep it. And that’s fine. As I said yesterday, Obama should have said “most” people, not “all” people. Readers can decide for themselves whether, by the standards of politics, that’s a felony or misdemeanor.
But Republicans are also making a substantive argument here. It’s unconscionable, they say, that lawmakers would force people to give up their current coverage. Just a few minutes ago, during congressional testimony by Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, an angry Representative Marsha Blackburn from Tennessee practically screamed at the witness: “You’re taking away their choice!”
It’s good politics, I’m sure. It’s also breathtakingly cynical. Republicans have repeatedly endorsed proposals that would take insurance away from many more Americans—and leave them much, much worse off.
Start with the federal budgets crafted by Paul Ryan. You remember those, right? Those proposals passed through the House with unanimous Republican support and were, in 2012, a basis of the Republican presidential platform. Those budgets called for dramatic funding cuts to Medicaid. If Republicans had swept into power and enacted such changes, according to projections prepared by Urban Institute scholars and published by the Kaiser Family Foundation, between 14 and 20 million Medicaid recipients would lose their insurance. And that doesn’t even include the people who are starting to get Medicaid coverage through Obamacare’s expansions of the program. That’s another 10 to 17 million people.
And it’s not just people on Medicaid who would lose coverage if Republicans got their way. While Republicans in Congress have not unified by a single alternative to Obamacare, a building block of virtually every proposal in circulation is to equalize the tax treatment of employer-sponsored insurance and individual insurance—which, in layman’s terms, means making it much more appealing for somebody who gets coverage on the job to buy coverage on his or her own. Typically these proposals would allow insurers selling individual coverage to continue some of their current practices, like charging higher premiums or refusing to cover certain services for people with pre-existing conditions, or offering coverage with serous gaps in benefits. Most experts believe such reforms would hike the cost of employer plans, as only sicker people remained on them, potentially creating a “death spiral” that would lead to fewer employers offering plans. (Even the more optimistic estimates assume erosion of employer-sponsored insurance.)October 31, 2013 at 10:21 am #99171
Theater of The Absurd: Pres. Obama Dispels GOP Healthcare Myths
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