August 17, 2012 |
Before the presidential campaign hurtles off to the next skirmish, take a moment to notice what happened this week: Mitt Romney vowed to increase the national debt by $716 billion, and no one so much as blinked. Romney's handling of the $716 billion in Medicare cost cuts comes close to being a perfect example of why federal spending so seldom gets cut - everyone favors restraining government spending in theory, but voters seldom love it in practice. To recap: As part of the Obama health reform law, Congress voted to reduce payments to certain hospitals, insurance companies and other healthcare providers by about $716 billion over the next 10 years.
October 11, 2012 |
ASHEVILLE, N.C. -- Providing medical insurance coverage for people with preexisting health conditions is among the more popular provisions of President Obama's signature healthcare law. Mitt Romney, while pledging to repeal and replace Obamacare, has repeatedly said that he would require insurance companies to cover people with preexisting conditions, provided the customers previously had continuous coverage. Romney has never said what he would do with people who did not have continuous coverage, but he offered a new clue in an interview that was published Thursday.
May 17, 2013 |
WASHINGTON -- President Obama's proposed mix of tax hikes and spending cuts would reduce future budget deficits more quickly than under current laws, according to a report issued Friday that could rekindle the dormant budget wars in Washington. The outlook from the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office comes as the government is set to reach its debt limit on Saturday, forcing the White House and Congress back to the negotiating table to work out a long-term budget plan that raises taxes, cuts spending -- or some combination of the two. Already, Washington is on track to have a substantially lower deficit -- $642 billion -- this fiscal year than experts had expected, the budget office reported earlier this week.
September 14, 2011 |
President Obama continued to stump for his jobs plan Wednesday, traveling to the battleground state of North Carolina and again suggesting that he will blame a failure by Congress to pass the package squarely on Republicans. The president told a crowd of about 8,000 at North Carolina State University in Raleigh that the GOP was resisting the plan, in part, because Republicans don't want to “give me a win” in advance of the 2012 elections. “Give me a win? Give me a break!
July 18, 2012 |
WASHINGTON - Elderly Americans on Medicare are substantially happier with their insurance coverage than their younger counterparts who rely on commercial insurance, according to a new national survey . Only 8% of Medicare beneficiaries 65 or over rated their coverage “fair” or “poor,” the nonprofit Commonwealth Fund found. By comparison, 20% of those with employer-based coverage gave their insurance plan low marks. And 33% of people who bought insurance on their own reported unhappiness with their coverage.
October 31, 2012 |
Mitt Romney's campaign can be congratulated on fulfilling a summer campaign promise - to speak its mind in campaign ads, regardless of what outsiders said. Or as Romney pollster Neil Newhouse put it in August: "We're not going to let our campaign be dictated by fact checkers.” With a new ad out Tuesday, the Romney camp, sure fire, renews its previously discredited charge that President Obama “gutted the work requirement for welfare.” It's an allegation that many media already showed ignores the real intent of an Obama administration rule that lets states begin to try new ways to get the poor to fulfill the work requirement that goes with their welfare payments.
July 10, 2013 |
WASHINGTON - A proposal to extend lower interest rates for some federal student loans failed for the second time in the Senate on Wednesday, putting new pressure on Democrats to reach a compromise on the issue. A unanimous bloc of Republicans, joined by West Virginia Democrat Joe Manchin and independent Angus King of Maine, voted against a procedural step that would have allowed the approach favored by Senate Democratic leaders to move forward. Their bill would reinstate for one year the 3.4% interest rate for subsidized Stafford loans that expired June 30. With no action in Congress so far, the rate has doubled to 6.8%.
January 19, 2014 |
WASHINGTON - Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) and House Republicans raised doubts Sunday about President Obama's plan to restrict the federal government's ability to collect data on domestic telephone calls, saying that private phone companies do not want the responsibility and would not be subject to oversight. "The whole purpose of this program is to provide instantaneous information to be able to disrupt any plot that may be taking place," Feinstein said on NBC's "Meet the Press.
September 10, 2013 |
WASHINGTON - By providing a way to avert a U.S. military strike, Russia's proposal that Syria surrender its chemical weapons has offered a host of world leaders an exit from an increasingly damaging political crisis. The plan, which is expected to be hashed out in the United Nations over the next week or longer, has quickly gained supporters in Europe, the Middle East and the U.S. Congress. Despite numerous complications and likely setbacks ahead, the idea has gained momentum because it offers major advantages for each of those parties.
October 4, 2012 |
President George W. Bush became an object of scorn and near-pity eight years ago for some voters watching his first debate with Democratic challenger John F. Kerry. Sitting amid a group of 100 swing voters who assembled to watch the debate at a college auditorium in Pennsylvania, I heard some laugh. Others shook their heads in dismay, as the president smirked or stammered and groped for words - particularly as he tried to defend the troublesome war in Iraq. The crowd had been given portable dial-rating devices to instantly register their feelings about the two presidential contenders.