The administration is on the defensive this week over President Obama’s claim that “if you like your plan, you can keep it” under the Affordable Care Act, The Washington Post reports.
Hundreds of thousands of individuals have been receiving cancellation notices from their insurance companies recently, a number that NBC News said would grow to millions, in what appeared to be a scathing investigative report this week. “The Obama administration has known that for at least three years.”
Yet we’ve all known this for at least three years, ThinkProgress pointed out in response, citing an article in The Hill from 2010 that includes the same estimates of people who could lose their current insurance plans.
Individuals may keep their “grandfathered” plans from before March 23, 2010, unless the plans change significantly and do not include protections required under the law, such as the 10 essential health benefits, and no discrimination against preexisting conditions or against gender.
The administration contends individuals losing their plans will have access to more comprehensive, higher-quality ones under the health care law, often at more affordable costs, when premium subsidies are factored in. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services Administrator Marilyn Tavenner said in a House Ways and Means hearing on Tuesday that insurance cancellations have been going on long before the ACA, but now the law includes further protections for those individuals. The hearing focused more on the issue of plan cancellations than problems with HealthCare.gov.
The controversy surrounding the issue of cancellations has many in a frenzy, as the administration continues to work to repair the website and maintain that coverage will be better under Obamacare. Yet if this argument continues to gain traction, a perceived broken promise could prove to be more difficult to mend than a broken website.
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- 3 Why Gun Control Can’t Eliminate Gun Violence
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- 5 How Politics Breaks Our Brains, and How We Can Put Them Back Together
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Before we get to the specifics of this exposé about escorts working the Iowa and New Hampshire primary crowds, let’s get three things out of the way: 1.) It’s from Cosmopolitan; 2.) most of the women quoted use fake (if colorful) names; and 3.) again, it’s from Cosmopolitan. That said, here’s what we learned:
- Business was booming: one escort who says she typically gets two inquiries a weekend got 15 requests in the pre-primary weekend.
- Their primary season clientele is a bit older than normal—”40s through mid-60s, compared with mostly twentysomething regulars” and “they’ve clearly done this before.”
- They seemed more nervous than other clients, because “the stakes are higher when you’re working for a possible future president” but “all practiced impeccable manners.”
- One escort “typically enjoy[s] the company of Democrats more, just because I feel like our views line up a lot more.”
No matter where you stand on mandating companies to include a backdoor in encryption technologies, it doesn’t make sense to allow that decision to be made on a state level. “The problem with state-level legislation of this nature is that it manages to be both wildly impractical and entirely unenforceable,” writes Brian Barrett at Wired. There is a solution to this problem. “California Congressman Ted Lieu has introduced the ‘Ensuring National Constitutional Rights for Your Private Telecommunications Act of 2016,’ which we’ll call ENCRYPT. It’s a short, straightforward bill with a simple aim: to preempt states from attempting to implement their own anti-encryption policies at a state level.”
Much has been made of David Brooks’s recent New York Times column, in which confesses to missing already the civility and humanity of Barack Obama, compared to who might take his place. In NewYorker.com, Jeffrey Frank reminds us how critical such attributes are to foreign policy. “It’s hard to imagine Kennedy so casually referring to the leader of Russia as a gangster or a thug. For that matter, it’s hard to imagine any president comparing the Russian leader to Hitler [as] Hillary Clinton did at a private fund-raiser. … Kennedy, who always worried that miscalculation could lead to war, paid close attention to the language of diplomacy.”
The New Covenant. The Third Way. The Democratic Leadership Council style. Call it what you will, but whatever centrist triangulation Bill Clinton embraced in 1992, Hillary Clinton wants no part of it in 2016. Writing for Bloomberg, Sasha Issenberg and Margaret Talev explore how Hillary’s campaign has “diverged pointedly” from what made Bill so successful: “For Hillary to survive, Clintonism had to die.” Bill’s positions in 1992—from capital punishment to free trade—“represented a carefully calibrated diversion from the liberal orthodoxy of the previous decade.” But in New Hampshire, Hillary “worked to juggle nostalgia for past Clinton primary campaigns in the state with the fact that the Bill of 1992 or the Hillary of 2008 would likely be a marginal figure within today’s Democratic politics.”
At first, “it was pleasant” to see Trevor Noah “smiling away and deeply dimpling in the Stewart seat, the seat that had lately grown gray hairs,” writes The Atlantic‘s James Parker in assessing the new host of the once-indispensable Daily Show. But where Jon Stewart was a heavyweight, Noah is “a very able lightweight, [who] needs time too. But he won’t get any. As a culture, we’re not about to nurture this talent, to give it room to grow. Our patience was exhausted long ago, by some other guy. We’re going to pass judgment and move on. There’s a reason Simon Cowell is so rich. Impress us today or get thee hence. So it comes to this: It’s now or never, Trevor.”