Repealing the Affordable Care Act is an “old political battle” that will “strip people of new coverage,” White House officials and congressional Democrats said on a press call Thursday.
“We’re hoping that Republicans will come to their senses and realize how valuable the Affordable Care Act is to the American people, not because the Democrats say so but because the American people believe it,” said Rep. Joaquin Castro, D-Texas.
Among the benefits touted by the administration are the 129 million Americans with preexisting conditions — including 17 million children — who have access to health insurance; the 71 million Americans on private insurance who have benefited from at least one free preventive service; and the 3 million young adults who were allowed to stay on their parents’ health plans until age 26.
Also on the call was Sen. Debbie Stabenow, D-Mich., a proponent of mental-health reform and the leader behind the Affordable Care Act’s mental-health parity provision, which provides 60 million Americans access to mental-health and substance-use-disorder services covered by insurance companies at the same rate as other health care services.
“I’ve heard about people who had coverage and they thought it was OK, but then they got sick and got dropped”¦. [There were] many concerns from seniors about high prescription drug costs”¦.This is all changing,” Stabenow said.
The White House’s efforts to drum up attention about the benefits of the Affordable Care Act follow a renewed effort by Republicans to stop the president’s signature law. Sen. John McCain of Arizona on Wednesday introduced a Senate companion bill to the House’s Obamacare repeal-and-replace proposal from Rep. Tom Price, R-Ga.
McCain said the law has been a disappointment for Americans who liked their coverage and wanted to keep it. But, the White House responded, repeal would “remove or eliminate” benefits some Americans are already receiving from the law.
“I do admit there are problems, but I say we have to roll up our sleeves together as Americans and fix them,” said Rep. Matt Cartwright, D-Pa.
Coverage under the law begins as early as Jan. 1 for consumers who sign up by Dec. 23. The repeal-and-replace proposal could come up as early as Jan. 6, when the Senate returns from the holiday recess.
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Foreign Policy takes a look at the future of mining the estimated "100,000 near-Earth objects—including asteroids and comets—in the neighborhood of our planet. Some of these NEOs, as they’re called, are small. Others are substantial and potentially packed full of water and various important minerals, such as nickel, cobalt, and iron. One day, advocates believe, those objects will be tapped by variations on the equipment used in the coal mines of Kentucky or in the diamond mines of Africa. And for immense gain: According to industry experts, the contents of a single asteroid could be worth trillions of dollars." But the technology to get us there is only the first step. Experts say "a multinational body might emerge" to manage rights to NEOs, as well as a body of law, including an international court.
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Ronald Reagan's children and political allies took to the media and Twitter this week to chide funnyman Will Ferrell for his plans to play a dementia-addled Reagan in his second term in a new comedy entitled Reagan. In an open letter, Reagan's daughter Patti Davis tells Ferrell, who's also a producer on the movie, “Perhaps for your comedy you would like to visit some dementia facilities. I have—I didn’t find anything comedic there, and my hope would be that if you’re a decent human being, you wouldn’t either.” Michael Reagan, the president's son, tweeted, "What an Outrag....Alzheimers is not joke...It kills..You should be ashamed all of you." And former Rep. Joe Walsh called it an example of "Hollywood taking a shot at conservatives again."
In a sign that she’s ready to put a longer-than-expected primary battle behind her, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton (D) is no longer going on the air in upcoming primary states. “Team Clinton hasn’t spent a single cent in … California, Indiana, Kentucky, Oregon and West Virginia, while” Sen. Bernie Sanders’ (I-VT) “campaign has spent a little more than $1 million in those same states.” Meanwhile, Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-OR), Sanders’ "lone backer in the Senate, said the candidate should end his presidential campaign if he’s losing to Hillary Clinton after the primary season concludes in June, breaking sharply with the candidate who is vowing to take his insurgent bid to the party convention in Philadelphia.”
The team behind the bestselling "Clinton Cash"—author Peter Schweizer and Breitbart's Stephen Bannon—is turning the book into a movie that will have its U.S. premiere just before the Democratic National Convention this summer. The film will get its global debut "next month in Cannes, France, during the Cannes Film Festival. (The movie is not a part of the festival, but will be shown at a screening arranged for distributors)." Bloomberg has a trailer up, pointing out that it's "less Ken Burns than Jerry Bruckheimer, featuring blood-drenched money, radical madrassas, and ominous footage of the Clintons."