All Articles Tagged "medicare"
President Obama To Give Back 5% Of Salary “In Solidarity” With Federal Employees Who’ve Been Hurt By Sequestration
President Obama wants to show you as opposed to just telling you that he’s a man of the people, and he’s doing that by returning five percent of his $400,000 salary as a sign of unity with federal employees who have had to take pay cuts, been unemployed or deal with unpaid leaves from their jobs as an effect of sequestration. As part of the sequestration, in March, budget cuts were enacted between the defense and non-defense categories of government, and by the end of the year, it’s said that thousands of jobs will be lost or failed to be created because of these cuts and could even affect Medicare. Even historical sites and parks have been shut down for visitation because of the sequestration.
According to TIME, the following was said in a statement about the president’s choice by a White House official:
“The salary for the President, as with Members of Congress, is set by law and cannot be changed. However, the President has decided that to share in the sacrifice being made by public servants across the federal government that are affected by the sequester, he will contribute a portion of his salary back to the Treasury.”
All in all, by the end of the year, that 5 percent (which will be distributed in payments each month), according to the Washington Post, will come out to about $20,000. Even Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel is taking a voluntary pay cut, amounting to allegedly 14 furlough days (those unpaid job leaves we were discussing earlier). A democratic senator in Alaska is also following suit.
According to the Washington Post, this could be a move by the president to put public pressure on Republicans, and it could work:
“…what he is clearly hoping is that other Administration figures and other elected officials take his cue to forego some salary and, in so doing, keep the story in the news — ratcheting up the pressure on those (mostly Republicans) who are just fine with keeping the sequester in place.”
Whatever the motivation behind this voluntary pay cut, it’s a bold one that we here are impressed by. What are your thoughts?
Americans are living longer as a whole, but there are certain states where people age more gracefully, according to a new study. “Nationwide, the centenarian population has grown 65.8 percent over the past three decades, from 32,194 people who were age 100 or older in 1980 to 53,364 centenarians in 2010, according to new Census Bureau data,” reports Yahoo News.
But people who live to be 100 appear to have certain living circumstances in common. Surprisingly, most Americans who live longer live in urban areas. So forget the quiet country life. Actually, 85.7 percent of centenarians lived in urban areas in 2010, compared with 84.2 percent of those in their 90s, 81.5 percent of those in their 80s, and 76.6 percent of those in their 70s, writes Yahoo News.
The Northeast and Midwest have more centenarians than the national average of 1.73 per 10,000 people. The West and South have below-average proportions of centenarians. People in the Northeast tend to be more highly educated, and education is associated with a longer life expectancy, reports the website. And, North Dakota is the only state with more than three centenarians for every 10,000 people in the state.
Here’s a sampling of the states with high numbers of centenarians:
1) Iowa had 846 centenarians, according to the most recent Census.
2) In Connecticut, 930 people had reached 100 in 2010.
3) New York state has 4,605 centenarians, second only to California (5,921). However, a much larger proportion of New York’s population is age 100 or older (0.024 percent), compared with California (0.016 percent).
4) There are 1,520 people age 100 and older in Massachusetts, which accounts for 0.023 percent of the population. And 50,258 Massachusetts residents are in their 90s.
5) In 2010, there were 1,211 Minnesota residents who were 100 years old.
All of these older Americans have made government programs like Medicare and Social Security that much more important. While it’s a possibility that the sequester — $1.2 billion in automatic spending cuts that would go into effect on March 1 — will happen, CNBC reports: “Democrats are also digging in, with many of the most liberal lawmakers content to see the cuts occur because they exempt Medicare and Social Security benefits.” Nevertheless, if those cuts take place, it could be trouble for all of us in this still ailing economy.
Let’s start with the obvious — Joe Biden killed it six ways to Sunday in last night’s debate. The media’s reporting on polls showing a draw, but seriously. No.
Showing that one shouldn’t underestimate Joltin’ Joe, he came armed with a “You’ve got to be kidding me” laugh, a lifetime of experience and facts. #FactsMatter was actually one of the popular hashtags of the night, and with good reason. Biden has been in the White House for the past four years, witnessing all that the Obama administration has accomplished. He has more than 30 years in Congress. And he wasn’t afraid to talk it up and call a spade a spade.
On foreign policy and military matters, he spoke plainly and with authority. Explaining the policy in Syria versus the one in Libya, he started by stating simply, “They are two completely different countries.” In other words, I understand the nuance of the dynamics across that region. It’s not a monolith. Ryan was clearly overwhelmed by the topic. On healthcare, Biden discussed the dollars and cents of what people will spend and save. On women’s issues, he made it clear that despite his religion, he believes in a woman’s right to determine what’s best for her own body.
And without letting too much time pass, he jumped all over Mitt Romney’s “47 percent” comment. On MSNBC, a commentator made the point that VP Biden speaks the language of populism well, a good point. Much of the criticism of Biden comes from those who thought his laughing was over the top or downright rude. It was noticeable and maybe even a touch too much, but it didn’t overshadow his words.
So a big topic, of course, was the economy. On the issue of small business, Ryan said that letting tax cuts expire on high earners (they would remain for the middle class) would mean big trouble for job creators and VP Biden said it would only impact a small portion of small businesses (defining small businesses and those earning less than $250,000 per year, which is the vast majority). The Washington Post‘s analysis shows that both of them have a point. Ryan continued to be vague about the loopholes and tax breaks for the super-wealthy that they would cut.
Moving on, Ryan criticized the rate of economic growth the country is experiencing now and even went so far as to say joblessness is increasing, a claim that is in stark opposition to the unemployment numbers we’ve gotten over the past two weeks. And then both candidates fiercely debated about Medicare and other entitlements, going back and forth about whether the GOP side is advocating for vouchers. Here’s a good breakdown of the economic issues that were discussed. And here’s full video along with issue-by-issue clips.
Two final notes: ABC’s Martha Raddatz did a bang up job last night, gained thousands more Twitter followers as a result of her work, and launched the #MoreMartha hashtag, with people requesting that she moderate the remaining two presidential debates.
And Joe Biden may single-handedly bring back one of my favorite words: “malarkey.” The word was erased from proper parlance last year when the AP Style Guide removed it. They should rethink that.
Thousands rejoiced yesterday as the Supreme Court announced the decision to uphold most of President Obama’s Affordable Care Act.. Altogether the uninsured spend about $2.64 billion out of pocket every year, an amount that should decrease with the ACA. Not to mention that as many as 10.3 low income citizens will now be covered by Medicaid in 2014 once the ACA is fully implemented. Women will particularly benefit from the Supreme Court’s big decision, of the millions uninsured, Forbes reports that 19 million are women. Take a look at some of the victories in health care coverage below:
Unfair practices such as labeling sexual abuse and assault a “preexisting condition” or giving women that label who have had a previous Caesarean section birth will end.
Gender rating is now erased. This practice costs women nearly $1 billion each year. Gender rating is the practice of charging women more simply because they’re women. Of the states that still continue this practice, the National Women’s Law Center observes that 90 percent of the best selling plans charge women more than men, although only three percent of these plans cover maternity services. One third of the plans that exclude maternity care, charge women 30 percent more than men for the same coverage. There’s even a plan that charges 25-year-old women 85 percent more. When the ACA is fully implemented in 2014, this practice will be rendered illegal.
Because of gender rating and other practices, without the ACA, Forbes reports that premium rates would most likely have greatly increased. The RAND Corporation predicted this rise would be by 9.3 percent while the Urban Institute predicted a rise of 10 percent. The average cost of this premium rise is estimated at $534. That’s another expensive cost women can happily now avoid.
Under the ACA, maternity care is now a required coverage area. In addition, nursing mothers will be able to enjoy mandated breaks. For nursing mothers working in an office with 50 or more employees, they will now enjoy a private place for nursing.
With all of these benefits and more now secured, if you didn’t take time to do a victory shout yesterday, take the time now to express your happiness.
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(New York Times) — President Obama conceded on Tuesday that his new budget does not do enough to resolve the nation’s long-term fiscal problems, but he counseled patience, suggesting that he would eventually come together with Republicans on a broad deal. But, Mr. Obama said at a news conference, any such compromise to address Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security and the tax system is months away and will first require an effort to build bipartisan trust — even as Democrats and Republicans battle intensely over how much to cut from the current year’s domestic spending.
The president spoke as Republicans on Capitol Hill accused him of a lack of leadership for not proposing a bolder budget for the fiscal year that starts Oct. 1. Yet behind the scenes are signs that both parties, for all their public crossfire, are reassessing the politics of deficits. The debt crises last year in Greece and other European countries served as a warning about the economic perils of chronic budget imbalances, and the rise of the Tea Party movement reflected a broader concern among Americans about the nation’s rapidly mounting debt.
(AP) — Hundreds of Illinois residents have submitted applications for a new federally funded health insurance program for people with medical problems.
Enrollment opened Friday for the program, an early benefit of the new national health care reform law.
Illinois Department of Insurance Director Michael McRaith says about 370 applications were submitted during the first few hours.