What’s all this about Obamacare?


Consumers Union, Policy and Action from Consumer Reports

Get yourself ready 

Next week is a pivotal one for our country. Millions of Americans who need health coverage can begin signing up for it through new insurance marketplaces.

The marketplace isn’t like anything you’ve experienced. It’s a one-stop resource where you can easily compare policies and prices, see if you qualify for financial help, and enroll in a plan.

Like anything new in health care, it can be confusing. So Consumer Reports created
HealthLawHelper.org, an online tool to help you understand your options, responsibilities, and steps to take. Just answer a few questions about your family situation, and you’ll Chris Meyer, Vice Presidentreceive personalized information on what to do next.

We’ve identified a glitch with Health Law Helper for people using IE8, so switch browsers if you can. We’re working on it!

Chris Meyer, Consumer Reports

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Consumer Reports

Navigating Medicare can be confusing, especially if you’re new to the program. Here’s what you need to know.

350,844
 consumer messages sent to the top six hip and knee makers asking that implants be warrantied. Send your own email here.

How will health reform affect you?

We know you’re wondering. And with next Tuesday’s biggest change – the opening of health insurance ‘marketplaces’ – you’ll likely need some help to cut through all the noise and confusion.

Consumer Reports’ new online tool, HealthLawHelper.org, does that. Just answer a few short questions about your family situation – your answers are anonymous – and you will get personalized information on what steps, if any, you may need to take. Even if you have coverage, it’s worth checking out. (You may experience problems with the tool if you use IE8, so try a different browser while we fix the issue).

It’s quick, easy and free. Take two minutes to find out what you need to know about health reform. The results may surprise you!
try this tool

Enough with the defund Obamacare votes! 
Despite taking 42 votes to gut the health law, a group in Congress is still trying to block it, even attempting to hold hostage our nation’s finances. It’s time politicians focus on implementing health reform right, rather than picking it apart before it’s given a chance. Tell Congress to stop obstructing and move forward.

Health reform: What’s real, and what isn’t
Judging from talk radio and Facebook posts, you’d think Obamacare will upend everyone’s health care. That’s not the case. At least 80 percent of people will notice little change because they already have insurance that meets the law. From the mandate to Medicare to who gets what help, get the straight story in our latest Consumer Reports coverage.

Will you be using the new marketplace?
If you’re among those who need coverage, either because your job doesn’t offer it, you’re retired but too young for Medicare, or you simply can’t afford it, we want to hear from you. Tell us about your situation and what you are hoping to find in the insurance marketplace.

Get the biggest bang for your health-care dollar
Consumer Reports has ranked 987 health insurance plans nationwide to help you choose the best one for you and your family. Check out where your plan ranks, or see how the plan you’re considering stacks up.

From the headlines

Average individual policy $328 a month under Obamacare

Progress on our hip and knee warranty campaign

CDC sounds alarm about growing antibiotic-resistance threat

September ~~ Where Are You Contest? … Conde Nast Traveler


Where Are You?
Where Are You?
Could you savor the last days of summer any more agreeably than here on this rooftop terrace, the delicate latticework muting the hot sun as you lunch on robust fish stew and sip the local dry white wine? Where are you?

Narrated by former Secretary of Labor Robert Reich


By 

Inequality for All: Coming To A Theatre Near You

Today, opening in theaters across the country is a new documentary Inequality for Allthat explores the widening income gap in America. Narrated by former Secretary of Labor Robert Reich, the film profiles people from different walks of life – Costco employees, wealthy venture capitalists and middle class professionals – to demonstrate how our economy is set up to work for the wealthy few but not for all of us.

From Secretary Reich: “This movie is critically important. It exposes the heart of our continuing economic problem. The problem has been growing for over thirty years, but we’re coming to a tipping point. The problem is widening inequality. We’re still in the gravitational pull of the biggest economic slump since the Great Depression because so much of the nation’s income and wealth are going to the top. The vast middle class doesn’t have the purchasing power to get the economy back on track.”

Inequality today is as extreme as it was right before the Great Depression. The valley in between those two peaks of inequality, which shows up repeatedly on screen inInequality For All, represents a time of broad prosperity from which the country can draw lessons. The Great Recession has not produced the same kind of policy shift Reich points to as a key to that prosperity, and inequality is only getting worse.Eroding investments in education and children undermine the future workforce, low union membership undermines present-day workers, and weak financial industryoversight allow the sector that drives inequality and creates economic crises to regain its footing while leaving the middle class behind.

inequality-graph

To find theaters and times near you, click here.

Watch the trailer here.

Facts on Income Inequality:

The progressive plan to grow the economy from the middle class out stands in marked contrast to the failed and even dangerous “trickle down” tax cut and draconian austerity spending plans championed by conservatives. Conservatives want to cut even more from education, medical research and infrastructure in order to give even more tax cuts to the rich and huge corporations in the hopes that it trickles down to the rest of us.

Instead of continuing the trickle down policies that created income inequality in the first place it is time to put policies in place that will create an economy that works for everyone.

Policies to grow the economy from the middle class out:

  • Investments in growing the middle class: Investing in education, infrastructure, energy, and innovation boosts the economy today and helps create the job creators and strong middle class that will fuel economic growth tomorrow.
  • Everyone paying their fair share: Tax cuts for the wealthy and huge corporations don’t grow the economy. If the wealthy aren’t paying their fair share, we simply cannot afford to make the investments in the middle we need to in order to grow the economy.
  • Minimum wage: Nobody who works full time in America should have to live in poverty. Raising the minimum wage will lift people out of poverty and create more consumers to help fuel the economy.
  • Health security: Millions of Americans will soon have access to quality, affordable health care for the first time and the 85 percent of Americans who already have health insurance are seeing new benefits and better coverage as a result of Obamacare.
  • Retirement security: We need to strengthen both Social Security and our private retirement system so middle-class Americans can afford to retire and live with dignity, a promise beyond the reach of too many.
  • Affordable housing: The housing market is recovering, but we need to implement additional policies and reforms to help those who are still underwater and the millions who can’t get a loan to buy a home today.

the Senate ~~ CONGRESS 9/30 ~~ the House


WethePeople

The Senate stands adjourned until 2:00pm on Monday, September 30.

Following any leader remarks, the Senate will be in a period of morning business until 5:00pm, with senators permitted to speak therein for up to 10 minutes each.

Senators will be notified when any votes are scheduled.

After the Senate convenes at 2pm, Senator Reid intends to ask the chair to lay before the Senate the Message on H.J.Res.59, the continuing resolution, and move to table the House Amendments to the Senate amendment to H.J.Res.59. As a result, senators should expect a roll call vote to begin shortly after 2pm today

2:03pm The Senate began a 15 minute roll call vote on the Reid motion to table the House Amendments to the Senate amendment to H.J.Res.59, the continuing resolution;

Tabled: 54-46

The joint resolution will now be sent back to the House of Representatives.

The Senate is in a period of morning business for debate only until 4:00pm, with the time equally divided between the two Leaders or their designees.

The Majority Leader will be recognized at 4:00pm.

By unanimous consent, the Senate passed S.1560, a bill to allow certain emergency relief amounts made available to the Federal Highway Administration to be used for disasters occurring in calendar year 2013.

By unanimous consent, the Senate passed H.R.3210, a bill making continuing appropriations for military pay in the event of a Government shutdown.

The Senate is in a period of morning business with senators permitted to speak therein for up to 10 minutes each. The Majority Leader will be recognized at 8pm.

Senators will be notified when the next vote is scheduled.

7:45pm If the House passes the continuing resolution with an amendment and sends the papers to the Senate tonight, Senator Reid intends to move to table the House Amendment this evening. We could vote in the 9pm range, but of course that depends on House action. Senators will be notified of the timing of the next vote as the situation unfolds.

9:06pm The Senate began a 15 minute roll call vote on the Reid motion to table the House Amendment to the Senate Amendment to H.J.Res.59, the continuing resolution. The House Amendment provides a one-year delay in the Affordable Care Act individual mandate; requires Members of Congress, congressional staff, and political appointees (including White House staff) to enroll in the Obamacare exchanges without an employer subsidy for coverage; amends the expiration date of the CR to be December 15, 2013;

Tabled: 54-46

9:41pm The Senate tabled the House Amendment to the Senate Amendment to H.J.Res.59 by a vote of 54-46. The joint resolution now goes back to the House. If the House sends us another unfriendly amendment there could be vote to table the House Amendment tonight.

 Meanwhile, the Senate is in a period of morning business for debate only until 11:00pm.

 Senators will be notified when the next vote is expected.

11:03pm The period for morning business for debate only has been extended until 12:00 midnight.

11:30pm By unanimous consent, the Senate passed S.1566:, a bill to extend the period during which Iraqis who were employed by the United States Government in Iraq may be granted special immigrant status.

It is now after midnight and the federal government is shutdown. It appears the House will not pass a clean continuing resolution tonight and will instead request to go to conference on the continuing resolution. If the Senate receives a message from the House to go to conference, Senator Reid will move to table the request at approximately 9:30am later today, Tuesday, October 1. After a few brief statements, the Senate will adjourn until 9:30am.

WRAP UP

ROLL CALL VOTES

1)      Reid motion to table the House amendments (one-year delay of the Affordable Care Act, repeal of the Medical Device Tax, expiration date change to December 15th) to the Senate amendment to H.J.Res.59,the Continuing Appropriations Resolution; Tabled: 54-46

2)      Reid motion to table the House amendments (one-year delay of the Affordable Care Act individual mandate; requires Members of Congress, Congressional staff and political appointees to enroll in ACA exchanges without an employer subsidy; amends the expiration date to December 15th) to the Senate amendment to H.J.Res.59,the Continuing Appropriations Resolution; Tabled: 54-46

LEGISLATIVE ITEMS

Passed S.1560, to allow certain emergency relief amounts made available to the Federal Highway Administration to be used for disasters occurring in calendar year 2013.

Passed H.R.3210, making continuing appropriations for military pay in the event of a Government shutdown.

Passed S.1566, a bill to extend the period during which Iraqis who were employed by the United States Government in Iraq may be granted special immigrant status.

No EXECUTIVE ITEMS

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Last Floor Action:
10:58:00 A.M. – The Speaker announced that the House do now recess.

The next meeting is subject to the call of the Chair.

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