Obama

Sequester: Doom or Snooze? 5 Points of View

Posted on 03/1/2013 by |Washington Watch | Comments

Bulletin Today | PoliticsEveryone’s got an opinion on the sequester, from “the sky is falling” to “ho-hum.” Here are a few more perspectives on the impact of the $85 billion in federal spending cuts that kick in March 1. The sequester saves Social Security. Laura Clawson on Daily Kos Daily Kos staffer Clawson makes the argument that an alternative deal to stave off sequester likely would “gut Social Security.” Social Security and Medicare benefits are protected from the automatic cuts. But she quotes Rep. …

Medicaid Expansion: Size Won’t Be the Only Change

Posted on 03/1/2013 by |Washington Watch | Comments

Bulletin Today | PoliticsIt’s deal time for Medicaid, and the political horse-trading could end up reshaping the health insurance program for low-income Americans. The Obama administration wants states to expand Medicaid to cover millions more low-income adults under the health care law. A Supreme Court ruling left the decision to participate up to each state. And some of them, especially those run by Republicans, have been leery of taking more people into a program that is already one of the fastest-growing items in …

Stop the Sequester (Wait … What’s a Sequester?)

Posted on 02/22/2013 by |News | Comments

Bulletin Today | PoliticsThe major budget cuts looming on March 1 are a bad idea, whether you know much about them or not. That’s one takeaway from a new poll by the Pew Research Center and USA Today on issues that are likely to dominate the political landscape this year. By a 9 point margin (49 to 40 percent), those polled favored finding a way around the $85 billion in spending cuts scheduled for military and most domestic programs — known in Washington …

Medicaid Flip-Flop in Florida: Will Other GOP Governors Follow?

Posted on 02/21/2013 by |Washington Watch | Comments

Bulletin Today | PoliticsRick Scott took the money but now pays a price. Florida’s small-government Republican governor ran against President Obama’s health care reform. And he sued to thwart the law that expands Medicaid to uninsured low-income people. But this week, he decided the billions of dollars in aid to cover 1 million Floridians was too much to pass up. His decision to become the seventh GOP governor to take the federal aid has enraged his conservative base. And other Republican governors are …

Simpson, Bowles: Still in the Deficit Reduction Game

Posted on 02/19/2013 by |Washington Watch | Comments

Bulletin Today | PoliticsThe two leaders of President Obama’s 2010 panel on cutting the national debt, former Sen. Alan Simpson and former White House chief of staff Erskine Bowles, are back at it, offering a new compromise budget plan that builds on deficit reduction that’s already been enacted. But before we get into details, check out how another panel member, Alice Rivlin, is trying to shake things up with the “Harlem Shake” Internet dance sensation. The performance by Rivlin, an economist at the …

Where Obama Stands on a COLA Change for Social Security

Posted on 02/11/2013 by |News | Comments

Bulletin Today | PoliticsWondering about President Obama’s position on slowing growth in Social Security benefits? It was made very clear during today’s White House press briefing. Asked whether the president is open to raising the eligibility age for Medicare as part of a budget deal, Press Secretary Jay Carney said absolutely not. Then the subject changed to the so-called chained CPI. The proposed change for calculating cost-of-living adjustments for Social Security and veterans benefits faces strong opposition from AARP and veterans groups. Here’s …