President Obama is turning to the man he calls the “secretary of explaining stuff” in a final push for his signature health care reform law before key provisions of it take effect Oct 1.
Former President Bill Clinton will deliver a speech about Obamacare in Little Rock, Ark., next week in the first of a number of “high-profile events” and speeches by administration officials. But this isn’t the first time Obama has turned to Bill Clinton for help.
Last fall, the 42nd president gave an energetic speech at the Democratic National Convention in North Carolina that actually overshadowed Obama’s address, polls showed later. A Pew Research poll revealed that nearly twice as many Americans said Clinton’s speech was the highlight of the convention, compared to those who favored Obama’s. - Read more at The Washington Post
WHICH STATES ARE DERAILING OBAMACARE? A handful of Republican-led states are creating new ways to undermine the implementation of Obamacare, as key provisions of the law are about to launch this fall, The Washington Post reports.
In Missouri, local officials have been barred from doing anything to help put the law in place. In Ohio, federally funded workers won’t be allowed to compare and contrast plans for customers. And six states are opting not to police some of the new law’s consumer protections, including a provision that prevents insurers from rejecting applicants with preexisting conditions.
These actions have gotten less attention than other movements to bury the president’s health care law (including GOP efforts to defund the program) – but advocates worry that they could hinder efforts to convince people to sign up for insurance through the exchanges. - Read more at The Washington Post
MORALE ISSUES AT THE FED An April staff survey obtained by The Huffington Post shows that employees at the Federal Reserve feel demoralized and underutilized. “Most say that top leaders are failing the organization, in part by not communicating honestly, and that employees are in the wrong jobs or are poorly managed,” The Huffington Post’s Shahien Nasiripour writes. The Fed has since been holding numerous staff meetings in an effort to rectify the situation. - Read more at The Huffington Post
3,400 DOD WORKERS QUIT AMID SEQUESTER Many military medical employees who left the DOD have gone over to the Department of Veterans Affairs, which was exempt from the massive cuts.
Though it’s tough to know exactly why the workers quit, Lt. Gen. Patricia Horoho, the Army’s surgeon general, said she believes the exodus was due to uncertainty over when and how long the furloughs would occur – and if they’d return next year. She added that the furloughs “had a very emotional impact... Some of our civilians are feeling very devalued.” - Read more at USA Today
WORKERS SAY WAGES ARE UP SINCE RECESSION A new Gallup poll shows the majority of American workers – 59 percent – say they’re earning more money than they were five years ago when the recession began. About 28 percent said they were making less, and 14 percent said their wages have remained the same.
Gallup’s Andrew Dugan cautions that even though the majority is reporting a rise in wages, “the last five years could hardly be characterized as flush times for a large swath of America.” The poll includes young Americans who are “far more likely to say they have made big monetary gains” once they start a career after college. “Research also shows that the recession has had particularly deleterious effects on older Americans [who] may face a more difficult time re-entering the labor market after being laid off, which probably is partially contributing to why older workers are less likely to have seen their earnings go up.” - Read more at Gallup