This Thing is Working


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A Slew Of Good Health Care News Has Conservatives On Their Heels

The evidence continues to pile up that the Affordable Care Act is doing exactly what progressives said it would: providing the peace of mind of high-quality and affordable health coverage to millions of Americans. Despite the initial bumps, the law is actually exceeding expectations when it comes to enrollment. What’s more, Americans are sick of Republicans who have voted over 50 times to repeal the law without even offering an alternative — the law is working better than expected and it is here to stay.

19 Million Americans Covered

With President Obama’s final announcement of enrollment numbers on Thursday, the tally for the total number of Americans getting coverage (so far!) thanks to the Affordable Care Act is in:

  • 8 million people have signed up for health coverage through the state and federal marketplaces.
  • 3 million more have signed up for coverage through Medicaid.
  • 3 million now have coverage by staying on their parents’ plan.
  • 5 million people have signed up for ACA-compliant plans outside the marketplace.

Altogether, a new Gallup survey reveals that 4 percent of all Americans are newly ensured this year.

Exchanges Working And Costs Down

Opponents of the law claimed that insufficient numbers of young and healthy people would enroll in the exchanges, causing premiums to skyrocket next year. These fears also aren’t panning out; in fact, just the opposite is happening.

For one, young people are signing up for health coverage under the law in droves. The White House reported that 28% of enrollees are between the ages of 18 and 35. That’s the same percentage as in Massachusetts, which has run a successful healthcare marketplace since 2007. Gallup echoes this point, writing that “the newly insured are, on average, much younger than the overall population.”

Additionally, worries about dramatic cost increases have also proven to be overblown. New Congressional Budget Office projections for 2016 insurance premiums are 15 percent lower than previous estimates, a reduction that they estimate to save $186 billion (not to say we called it, but…we called it).

The mix of massive enrollment and a young, healthy enrollment pool has insurers who “got their first taste of Obamacare this year [wanting] seconds,” according to Politico. In at least ten states, insurers that didn’t offer coverage through the exchanges this year have said they plan to in 2015. This creates more options for consumers, and signals the strength of the ACA marketplaces.

Conservatives On Defense

As millions of people experience real, and not just theoretical, benefits of the law, Americans are getting more and more tired of the political battles to repeal it. A recent Kaiser survey found that 59 percent of Americans want keep the law in place or improve it, while only 29 percent want get rid of it. Pew reports that even a “majority of ACA opponents – representing 30% of the public overall – want politicians to do what they can to make the law work as well as possible, compared with 19% of the public that wants elected officials to do what they can to make it fail.”

And constituents are showing their frustration with their conservative elected officials’ fixation on repeal. Without any alternative to point to, and an increasingly frustrated public, these politicians have nobody to blame but themselves.

Think Progress videotaped on one such interaction at a town hall for GOP Rep. Dennis Ross (FL):

Constituent: Why do you think it is so good to deny seniors on Part D to make them pay more, about $4,000 more for medicine, and people with pre-existing conditions get denied insurance, have 26-year-olds have a harder time getting insurance because they can’t get on their parents’? Why do you think those are good ideas?

ROSS: I don’t. I think one of the most unfortunate things my party did the last three years was not offer an alternative to health care.

Ross isn’t the only Republican to face criticism recently. Paul Ryan, Scott Brown, and Chris Christie have also had constituents tell them to end their focus on repeal. Meanwhile, states that have refused to expand health care to low-income residents are also starting to face the music: the uninsured rate is dropping three times faster in states that have expanded Medicaid compared to those that have not.

BOTTOM LINE: We think just a look at a few of this week’s health-care related headlines provides the best summary: the ACA is working.

New York Times: Enrollments Exceed Obama’s Target for Health Care Act

New Republic: Obamacare Signups Hit 8 Million And both Young And Old Are On Board

National Journal: Obamacare Is On A Winning Streak

Politico: Insurers see brighter Obamacare skies

Washington Post: States embracing Obamacare are doing a better job of covering the uninsured, surveys show

Gallup: Uninsured Rate Drops More in States Embracing Health Law

daily kos recommends … Rush Limbaugh is in ruins


Rush Limbaugh is in ruins — Bad news coming from every direction — including the right

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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My family is in prison in the Middle East


My sister Grace and her husband Matt are in prison in Qatar because they were accused of trafficking their adopted children. Sign my petition asking for US officials to pressure the Qatari government to release them immediately.

In 2012, my sister Grace and her husband Matt moved to Qatar with their three children. What started as an exciting opportunity for Matt’s work has turned into a nightmare. My niece, Gloria, died suddenly last year, and Matt and Grace were completely devastated — as any parents would be.

But then things got much worse. The Qatari government decided that since Matt and Grace’s adopted kids are African and have special needs, Matt and Grace must have adopted them to harvest their organs or do medical experiments. So they took the kids away and threw Matt and Grace in jail.

It is ridiculous and insulting that the Qatari government would assume that Matt and Grace couldn’t be dedicated, loving parents just because their children are adopted. Our family is now caring for Matt and Grace’s other two kids while Matt and Grace are stuck in Qatar sentenced to three years in prison. Their trial was just a show that didn’t even include a conviction. Just a sentence.

I started a petition on Change.org calling on US officials to pressure the Qatari government to release Matt and Grace. Please click here to sign my petition and help me get my sister and brother-in-law home to be with their children.

Matt and Grace are two of the most amazing people I know. When they were adopting their kids, they specifically requested high needs children because they wanted to become parents to the kids who needed parents the most. The fact that the Qatari government could see something sinister in that absolutely turns my stomach.

I take solace in the fact that Qatar is vulnerable to international pressure right now, especially since they’re hosting an upcoming World Cup. US pressure has also been very successful in helping American prisoners get released in the past — I know one man got to come home from being unjustly held Nicaraguan prison after his family started a petition just like this one.

It absolutely kills me that when my nephews ask me when Mommy and Daddy are coming home, there’s nothing I can tell them except “I don’t know.” But I hope they’ll come home soon, because their kids miss them so much. I miss them so much. We need them to come home.

Please sign my petition calling on US officials to pressure the Qatari government to let Matt and Grace Huang come home.

Thank you,

Joanne Chin
Los Angeles, CA

MedlinePlus Health News


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Cities go green for Earth Day


Dear Friend,

Earth Day is just around the corner, and the Earth Day 2014 theme is Green Cities. One of the first steps towards building a Green City is transforming urban transportation—which accounts for 24% of global greenhouse gas emissions!

Fortunately, cities are tackling the problem head-on by making public transportation more accessible, becoming more bikeable and walkable, and investing in eco-friendly cars.  And more and more young people, urban dwellers and frequent business travelers everywhere are giving up car ownership entirely in favor of easy-to-use car-sharing and ride-sharing services.

GET A RIDE WITH UBER. PLANT A TREE!

In honor of Earth Day, Uber is offering a special new user code: UberEarthDay.Use the code and you’ll receive a free $20 Uber credit.

For every rider who uses their eco-friendly ride-sharing feature, Uber will donate $1 Earth Day Network’s Canopy Project to plant one tree!

 

We’ve been collecting success stories:

Palo Alto, California passed an ordinance requiring that all new homes be wired to accommodate electric vehicles.

Adelaide, Australia has introduced the world’s first completely electric solar-powered bus.

London will soon be using recycled waste heat from the subway stations to heat homes.

Beijing recently mandated that 15% of newly-registered vehicles in 2014 be electric or hybrid vehicles.

In Minsk and Grodno, Belarus, the Center of Environmental Solutions is hosting a competition to see which businesses and organizations have the highest number of bicycle commuters.

Make sure to send us your Green Cities transportation success stories at earthday2014@earthday.org

We look forward to seeing how your city goes green this Earth Day!

Thanks for your support.

-The Earth Day Network Team