Posts Tagged ‘Obama

14
Aug
09

I received this email regarding health care

Dear Friend,

This is probably one of the longest emails I’ve ever sent, but it could be the most important.

Across the country we are seeing vigorous d ebate about health insurance reform. Unfortunately, some of the old tactics we know so well are back — even the viral emails that fly unchecked and under the radar, spreading all sorts of lies and distortions.

As President Obama said at the town hall in New Hampshire, “where we do disagree, let’s disagree over things that are real, not these wild misrepresentations that bear no resemblance to anything that’s actually been proposed.”

So let’s start a chain email of our own. At the end of my email, you’ll find a lot of information about health insurance reform, distilled into 8 ways reform provides security and stability to those with or without coverage, 8 common myths about reform and 8 reasons we need health insurance reform now.

Right now, someone you know probably has a question about reform that could be answered by what’s below. So what are you waiting for? Forward this email.

Thanks,
David

David Axelrod
Senior Adviser to the President

P.S. We launched www.WhiteHouse.gov/realitycheck this week to knock down the rumors and lies that are floating around the internet. You can find the information below, and much more, there. For example, we’ve just added a video of Nancy-Ann DeParle from our Health Reform Office tackling a viral email head on. Check it out:
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8 ways reform provides security and stability to those with or without coverage

  1. Ends Discrimination for Pre-Existing Conditions: Insurance companies will be prohibited from refusing you coverage because of your medical history.
  2. Ends Exorbitant Out-of-Pocket Expenses, Deductibles or Co-Pays: Insurance companies will have to abide by yearly caps on how much they can charge for out-of-pocket expenses.
  3. Ends Cost-Sharing for Preventive Care: Insurance companies must fully cover, without charge, regular checkups and tests that help you prevent illness, such as mammograms or eye and foot exams for diabetics.
  4. Ends Dropping of Coverage for Seriously Ill: Insurance companies will be prohibited from dropping or watering down insurance coverage for those who become seriously ill.
  5. Ends Gender Discrimination: Insurance companies will be prohibited from charging you more because of your gender.
  6. Ends Annual or Lifetime Caps on Coverage: Insurance companies will be prevented from placing annual or lifetime caps on the coverage you receive.
  7. Extends Coverage for Young Adults: Children would continue to be eligible for family coverage through the age of 26.
  8. Guarantees Insurance Renewal: Insurance companies will be required to renew any policy as long as the policyholder pays their premium in full. Insurance companies won’t be allowed to refuse renewal because someone became sick.

Learn more and get details: http://www.WhiteHouse.gov/health-insurance-consumer-protections/

8 common myths about health insurance reform

  1. Reform will stop “rationing” – not increase it: It’s a myth that reform will mean a “government takeover” of health care or lead to “rationing.” To the contrary, reform will forbid many forms of rationing that are currently being used by insurance companies.
  2. We can’t afford reform: It’s the status quo we can’t afford. It’s a myth that reform will bust the budget. To the contrary, the President has identified ways to pay for the vast majority of the up-front costs by cutting waste, fraud, and abuse within existing government health programs; ending big subsidies to insurance companies; and increasing efficiency with such steps as coordinating care and streamlining paperwork. In the long term, reform can help bring down costs that will otherwise lead to a fiscal crisis.
  3. Reform would encourage “euthanasia”: It does not. It’s a malicious myth that reform would encourage or even require euthanasia for seniors. For seniors who want to consult with their family and physicians about end-of life decisions, reform will help to cover these voluntary, private consultations for those who want help with these personal and difficult family decisions.
  4. Vets’ health care is safe and sound: It’s a myth that health insurance reform will affect veterans’ access to the care they get now. To the contrary, the President’s budget significantly expands coverage under the VA, extending care to 500,000 more veterans who were previously excluded. The VA Healthcare system will continue to be available for all eligible veterans.
  5. Reform will benefit small business – not burden it: It’s a myth that health insurance reform will hurt small businesses. To the contrary, reform will ease the burdens on small businesses, provide tax credits to help them pay for employee coverage and help level the playing field with big firms who pay much less to cover their employees on average.
  6. Your Medicare is safe, and stronger with reform: It’s myth that Health Insurance Reform would be financed by cutting Medicare benefits. To the contrary, reform will improve the long-term financial health of Medicare, ensure better coordination, eliminate waste and unnecessary subsidies to insurance companies, and help to close the Medicare “doughnut” hole to make prescription drugs more affordable for seniors.
  7. You can keep your own insurance: It’s m yth that reform will force you out of your current insurance plan or force you to change doctors. To the contrary, reform will expand your choices, not eliminate them.
  8. No, government will not do anything with your bank account: It is an absurd myth that government will be in charge of your bank accounts.  Health insurance reform will simplify administration, making it easier and more convenient for you to pay bills in a method that you choose.  Just like paying a phone bill or a utility bill, you can pay by traditional check, or by a direct electronic payment. And forms will be standardized so they will be easier to understand. The choice is up to you – and the same rules of privacy will apply as they do for all other electronic payments that people make.

Learn more and get details:
http://www.WhiteHouse.gov/realitycheck
http://www.WhiteHouse.gov/realitycheck/faq

8 Reasons We Need Health Insurance Reform Now

  1. Coverage Denied to Millions: A recent national survey estimated that 12.6 million non-elderly adults – 36 percent of those who tried to purchase health insurance directly from an insurance company in the individual insurance market =E 2 were in fact discriminated against because of a pre-existing condition in the previous three years or dropped from coverage when they became seriously ill. Learn more: http://www.healthreform.gov/reports/denied_coverage/index.html
  2. Less Care for More Costs: With each passing year, Americans are paying more for health care coverage. Employer-sponsored health insurance premiums have nearly doubled since 2000, a rate three times faster than wages. In 2008, the average premium for a family plan purchased through an employer was $12,680, nearly the annual earnings of a full-time minimum wage job.  Americans pay more than ever for health insurance, but get less coverage. Learn more: http://www.healthreform.gov/reports/hiddencosts/index.html
  3. Roadblocks to Care for Women: Women’s reproductive health requires more regular contact with health care providers, including yearly pap smears, mammograms, and obstetric care. Women are also more likely to report fair or poor health than men (9.5% versus 9.0%). While rates of chronic conditions such as diabetes and high blood pressure are similar to men, women are twice as likely to suffer from headaches and are more likely to experience joint, back or neck pain. These chronic conditions often require regular and frequent treatment and follow-up care. Learn more: http://www.healthreform.gov/reports/women/index.html
  4. Hard Times in the Heartland: Throughout rural America, there are nearly 50 million people who face challenges in accessing health care. The past several decades have consistently shown higher rates of poverty, mortality, uninsurance, and limited access to a primary health care provider in rural areas. With the recent economic downturn, there is potential for an increase in many of the health disparities and access concerns that are already elevated in rural communities. Learn more: http://www.healthreform.gov/reports/hardtimes
  5. Small Businesses Struggle to Provide Health Coverage: Nearly one-third of the uninsured – 13 million people – are employees of firms with less than 100 workers. From 2000 to 2007, the proportion of non-elderly Americans covered by employer-based health insurance fell from 66% to 61%. Much of this decline stems from small business. The percentage of small businesses offering coverage dropped from 68% to 59%, while large firms held stable at 99%. About a third of such workers in firms with fewer than 50 employees obtain insurance through a spouse. Learn more: http://www.healthreform.gov/reports/helpbottomline
  6. The Tragedies are Personal: Half of all personal bankruptcies are at least partly the result of medical expenses. The typical elderly couple may have to save nearly $300,000 to pay for health costs not covered by Medicare alone. Learn more: http://www.healthreform.gov/reports/inaction
  7. Diminishing Access to Care: From 2000 to 2007, the proportion of non-elderly Americans covered by employer-based health insurance fell from 66% to 61%. An estimated 87 million people – one in every three Americans under the age of 65 – were uninsured at some point in 2007 and 2008. More than 80% of the uninsured are in working families. Learn more: http://www.healthreform.gov/reports/inaction/diminishing/index.html
  8. The Trends are Troubling: Without reform, health care costs will continue to skyrocket unabated, putting unbearable strain on families, businesses, and state and federal government budgets. Perhaps the most visible sign of the need for health care reform is the 46 million Americans currently without health insurance – projections suggest that this number will rise to about 72 million in 2040 in the absence of reform. Learn more: http://www.WhiteHouse.gov/assets/documents/CEA_Health_Care_Report.pdf
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30
Jun
09

ASHTON KUTCHER TWEETS FOR OBAMA

If you’re a regular reader of Ashton Kutcher’s Twitter feed (and you very well may be, as the actor and prankster has over 2.5 million followers), you may have done a double take when he tweeted on Sunday that the White House had asked him to help get the word out about National HIV Testing Day.”I’ve been asked by the white house to twet this” wrote Kutcher, who provided a link to a White House blog post and accompanying video noting the 14th commemoration of National HIV Testing Day. But did the White House really reach out to Kutcher and ask him to promote their initiative? Or was Kutcher just trying to “punk” us and make us think he’s oh-so-cool because he’s in touch with the White House?

Turns out: Kutcher wasn’t lying. The White House confirmed that it did, in fact, seek Kutcher’s help in promoting the blog post.

“As technology impacts how and where people are communicating online, we are constantly looking for new ways to engage with the public,” said White House assistant press secretary Reid Cherlin. “Our efforts to promote National HIV Testing Day included participation from popular users of Twitter, as well as broad social media engagement by agencies across the government.”

Kutcher was one part of the strategy: The White House has also provided online and text message resources to help people find a local testing site, launched a Twitter hashtag on the subject (#NHTD09) and set up e-cards that individuals can use to encourage others to get tested for HIV/AIDS.

And this isn’t the first time the Obama administration has gotten involved with Twitter. Earlier this month, the State Department asked Twitter to postpone a scheduled shutdown in order to aid anti-government protesters in Iran

22
Jun
09

90 Seconds of News

LAPD Job Ratings UP!
The strong endorsement of the LAPD cuts across racial and ethnic lines, according to a new Los Angeles Times Poll — with the percentages of ablack and Latino voters who say they approve of how the police do their jobs almost as high as the level among white voters. That result is particularly notable given the long history of tensions between the police and the city’s black and Latino communities

Chris Brown Hearing Today to be a Media Spectacle
The crowd expected at this afternoon’s preliminary hearing for R&B singer Chris Brown will be on a different order. Fifty-two media outlets have asked to attend the proceeding, far more than were on hand for Paris Hilton’s re-jailing, Britney Spears’ divorce, the DUI cases of Lindsay Lohan and Nicole Richie, or the murder trials of Robert Blake or Phil Spector.

Sandra Bullock Tops the Box Office with “The Proposal”
People are giving The Proposal a big “I Do.” The comedy featuring Sandra Bullock and Ryan Reynolds finished at No. 1 with 34.1 million dollars in its opening weekend. In other movie news, “The Hangover” and “Ice Age 3D” are great too!

WANTED: Healthcare Reform
Republicans and some Democrats oppose increasing the government’s role in healthcare — it already runs the Medicare and Medicaid systems for the elderly and indigent — fearing it would require vast public funds and reduce the quality of care. But the Times/CBS poll found 85 percent of respondents wanted major healthcare reforms and most would be willing to pay higher taxes to ensure everyone had health insurance. An estimated 46 million Americans currently have no coverage.

I have a newsflash for y’all….if we continue to have politicians at the beckon call of lobbyists and big business who funds their campaigns, we will never have a TRULY representative democracy. Our representatives forget about their constituents because we are not paying for their office runs. Campaign finance reform is the root of this issue, and the only way to solve MANY of our current problems is to force our representatives to actually do their job….REPRESENT US!

12
Jun
09

Big Day for Iran…Big Day for the World

Iran held its election yesterday/today and voter turnout so far is unprecedented. The world is now holding its breath to see if extreme right winger Ahmedinejad will remain in power or if reformer and more liberal Mousavi will prevail to dethrone one of the most controversial leaders in our world today and open Iran to a new era of global engagement.

09
Jun
09

OBAMA PUSHING HEALTHCARE REFORM….BUT WILL IT WORK?

Along with many others, last night I flagged the New York Times article in which opponents of a ‘public option’ in the health care reform bill are saying that the ‘public option’ (which is essentially the federal government entering the field with its own health insurance plan) would be so efficient and inexpensive that it might drive for-profit health insurance companies out of business.

Why this is a problem for anyone else beside the for-profit health insurance companies, whose lobbying muscle in Washington kept them out of Dante’s third cirlce of hell, is not clear.

But a few readers written in to say, Look, Medicare (which is probably the closest analogue to what a public option might look like) isn’t perfect. Many doctors won’t accept Medicare, it doesn’t cover enough, etc. etc. etc.

I don’t think anyone who seriously follows health care policy debates honestly disputes that Medicare insures a ton of people with very low overhead. But you only need relatives in their sixties to know that people have problems finding doctors who will accept Medicare or who feel that Medicare doesn’t cover enough and so forth.

But this seems to me to be the heart of the case — and the real tell about the opposition to the public options within the insurance industry. If it’s really true that lots of the best doctors aren’t going to accept the ‘public option’ subscribers, then I have to imagine that’s going to put a big brake on migration out of for-profit health insurance and into the public option. In other words, the problem — to the extent there are ones — should be self-correcting. Assuming the ‘public option’ has to exist on something like the same basis as the private carriers, the private carriers only have something to worry about if the ‘public option’ is just demonstrably better insurance.

04
Jun
09

CELEBRITY TOP 100 LIST REVEALED

Angelina Jolie has dethroned Oprah Winfrey as the world’s most powerful celebrity, according to Forbes.

The actress grabbed the No. 1 spot from the talk show queen on the magazine’s annual Celebrity 100 list, which ranks the rich and famous based on media exposure and career earnings over the past year.

Jolie, a reigning tabloid fixture, earned $27 million, bumping her up from third place on last year’s list, Forbes said, adding that she wields more power due to high-profile turns in hit films such as “Wanted” and “Kung Fu Panda.”

At No. 2, Winfrey is still the highest earner _ $275 million.

Madonna came in third, trailed by Beyonce, Tiger Woods, Bruce Springsteen and Steven Spielberg.

Two other celebs tied up in Jolie’s tabloid universe _ Jennifer Aniston and Brad Pitt _ came in at eighth and ninth place, respectively.

Tenth place goes to Los Angeles Lakers superstar Kobe Bryant, thanks in part to endorsement deals scored after the Beijing Olympics.

About halfway down the list sits a very familiar face: President Barack Obama. At No. 49, Obama’s the first sitting head of state to appear on this Forbes fixture because of his worldwide fame, his historic election and his career as a best-selling author.

04
Jun
09

OBAMA’S SPEECH IN CAIRO

In a speech today at Cairo University in Egypt, President Obama pledged to “seek a new beginning between the United States and Muslims around the world.” Obama “was forceful and at times scolding as he promoted democracy in Egypt, sent a warning to Israelis against building new settlements, and acknowledged that the United States had fallen short of its ideals, particularly in the Iraq war.”

Some Highlights:

•    More recently, tension has been fed by colonialism that denied rights and opportunities to many Muslims, and a Cold War in which Muslim-majority countries were too often treated as proxies without regard to their own aspirations. Moreover, the sweeping change brought by modernity and globalization led many Muslims to view the West as hostile to the traditions of Islam.

•    Just as Muslims do not fit a crude stereotype, America is not the crude stereotype of a self-interested empire. The United States has been one of the greatest sources of progress that the world has ever known. We were born out of revolution against an empire. We were founded upon the ideal that all are created equal, and we have shed blood and struggled for centuries to give meaning to those words – within our borders, and around the world. We are shaped by every culture, drawn from every end of the Earth, and dedicated to a simple concept: E pluribus unum: “Out of many, one.”

•    And finally, just as America can never tolerate violence by extremists, we must never alter our principles. 9/11 was an enormous trauma to our country. The fear and anger that it provoked was understandable, but in some cases, it led us to act contrary to our ideals. We are taking concrete actions to change course. I have unequivocally prohibited the use of torture by the United States, and I have ordered the prison at Guantanamo Bay closed by early next year.




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