Category : House of Representatives

(Local paper) Walter Scott funeral: A tearful service for a beloved man

Before the service started, the crowd grew anxious, as hundreds started to push and shove each other, hoping to make it inside, and rain clouds loomed.

[Justin] Bamberg had to ask about 200 people to back away from the church doors before the service began to allow immediate family inside.

Among those in attendance were congressmen Jim Clyburn and Mark Sanford. U.S. Sen. Tim Scott, and state Sen. Marlon Kimpson, D-Charleston, were also present, in addition to state Rep. Seth Whipper, Gov. Nikki Haley’s Chief of Staff James Burns and Department of Public Safety Director Leroy Smith.

Clyburn said after the service that lawmakers need to look at how to deal with child-support issues without loss of employment. Clyburn has asked Kimpson to make sure something gets done at the state level.

Read it all.

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * South Carolina, City Government, Death / Burial / Funerals, History, House of Representatives, Law & Legal Issues, Parish Ministry, Police/Fire, Politics in General, Race/Race Relations, Religion & Culture, Senate, State Government, Theology

(Time) 10 Questions With James Baker

You and President George H.W. Bush oversaw the fall of the Soviet Union. Is there anything to stop Vladimir Putin from going back to some version of that system?

Our response has been severely tepid. I don’t think you can stand up and say that if they keep doing this, there are going to be grave consequences, and then they keep doing it and we don’t do anything….

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, Defense, National Security, Military, Ethics / Moral Theology, Foreign Relations, History, House of Representatives, Office of the President, Politics in General, Senate, Theology

The full text of the Republican Response To the 2015 State Of The Union Address

Read it all.

Posted in * Economics, Politics, House of Representatives, Office of the President, Politics in General, President Barack Obama, Senate

George Will Offering some Hisotrical Perspective on the Current US Economy

The euphoria occasioned by the economy adding 321,000 jobs in November indicates that we have defined success down. In the 1960s, there were nine months in which more than 300,000 jobs were added, the last being June 1969, when there were about 117 million fewer Americans than there are now . In the 1980s, job growth exceeded 300,000 in 23 months, the last being November 1988, when there were about 75 million fewer Americans than today.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, Economy, History, House of Representatives, Labor/Labor Unions/Labor Market, Politics in General, Taxes

Sen. Tim Scott credits his single mother for his rise from poverty to the national stage

As a kid, Tim Scott badly wanted to fit in with the majority white kids at Stall High School, and the black kids, too. And he didn’t want any outward signs of his family’s poverty.

A pair of Converse high tops were the ticket.

But his mom said no.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * South Carolina, Anthropology, Children, Consumer/consumer spending, Economy, Ethics / Moral Theology, House of Representatives, Marriage & Family, Pastoral Theology, Politics in General, Senate, Theology, Women

In Move that Surprised Many, the Supreme Court Takes On the Fate Of Obamacare (The ACA) Again

The Supreme Court announced Friday that it will hear the most serious challenge to the Affordable Care Act since the justices found it constitutional more than two years ago: a lawsuit targeting the federal subsidies that help millions of Americans buy health insurance.

More than 4 million people receive the subsidies, which the Obama administration contends are essential to the act by making insurance more affordable for low- and middle-income families.

But challengers say the administration is violating the plain language of the law. They are represented by the same conservative legal strategists who fell one vote short of convincing the court that the law was unconstitutional the last time around.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, --The 2009 American Health Care Reform Debate, Consumer/consumer spending, Corporations/Corporate Life, Economy, Ethics / Moral Theology, Health & Medicine, House of Representatives, Law & Legal Issues, Office of the President, Politics in General, Senate, The U.S. Government, Theology

(CNN) David Gergen–The sobering message for Obama

It should be sobering for the White House that when Obama took office, Democrats had 59 senators and 256 House members; after Tuesday night, they will likely have 45-47 senators and some 190 House members. That is one of the biggest slides in congressional seats of any modern president. Surely, his White House has to take serious responsibility — and look for ways to leave a better legacy.

Ӣ This was an unexpectedly big night for the GOP: Predictions for Republicans were already high, but they blew the doors off. Who could have imagined Republicans winning the governorships of Maryland and Massachusetts, winning Senate seats in Obama states such as Colorado and Iowa, and assembling their biggest coalition in the House of Representatives since the 1940s.

Read it all.

Posted in * Economics, Politics, Ethics / Moral Theology, House of Representatives, Office of the President, Politics in General, President Barack Obama, Senate, Theology

Dan Diamond with some Perpective on Last Night's Election

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, America/U.S.A., History, House of Representatives, Office of the President, Politics in General, Senate, State Government

(The State) Lindsey Graham, South Carolina incumbents win

U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham easily won a third term to the Senate Tuesday ”“ adding three more vanquished challengers to the half-dozen Republicans he defeated in the June GOP primary.

“I return to the Senate not to seek revenge, but with a burning desire to right the ship of state before it’s too late,” Graham said in a statement from his campaign. “I’m seeking willing partners on both sides of the aisle.

“Tonight, the American people are choosing divided government and rejecting President Obama’s policies, which ”“ he rightly indicated ”“ were on the ballot. The question for the country is ”“ can a conservative Republican Congress work with a liberal Democratic president to move our nation forward? The answer should be yes. I believe it must be yes.”

Read it all.

Posted in * Economics, Politics, * South Carolina, Ethics / Moral Theology, House of Representatives, Politics in General, Senate, State Government, Theology

(Politico) GOP takes control of Senate in midterm rout

Republicans seized control of the U.S. Senate and were on track to expand their grip on the House of Representatives and governorships in the 2014 elections, marking a dramatic midterm rout that cut deep into territory President Barack Obama and the Democratic Party won by commanding margins only two years ago.

With several Democratic-held Senate seats still up for grabs, the GOP has already captured more than the six seats required to take the upper chamber of Congress. Their candidates ousted Democratic incumbents in North Carolina, Arkansas and Colorado and sailed into the open seats of retiring Democrats in West Virginia, South Dakota and Montana. A seventh Republican candidate, Iowa state Sen. Joni Ernst, won a brutally competitive open-seat race in Iowa to pad the GOP’s new majority.

Read it all.

Posted in * Economics, Politics, House of Representatives, Office of the President, Politics in General, Senate

Not for lack of trying, Democrats couldn’t distance themselves from an unpopular president

Republicans swept to control of the U.S. Senate by capitalizing on voter anger over President Barack Obama’s handling of the economy, setting up a clash of priorities that will shape his final two years in office and the race to succeed him.

The economy was voters’ most pressing concern as they cast their ballots in the midterm election, with seven of 10 rating conditions poor, preliminary exit polls showed.

More than five years after the recession ended, ordinary Americans still feel pinched. Wages and incomes haven’t recovered even as corporate profits hit records, stocks have almost tripled and the nation’s output of goods and services grew more than $1 trillion from its pre-recession peak.

Read it all from Bloomberg.

Posted in * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, America/U.S.A., Ethics / Moral Theology, House of Representatives, Office of the President, Politics in General, Senate, Theology

A Prayer For an Election as the American Midterm Election Day approaches this Tuesday

Almighty God, to whom we must account for all our powers and privileges: Guide the people of the United States (or of this community) in the election of officials and representatives; that, by faithful administration and wise laws, the rights of all may be protected and our nation be enabled to fulfill your purposes; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

–1979 American Book of Common Prayer

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, America/U.S.A., City Government, Ethics / Moral Theology, House of Representatives, Politics in General, Senate, Spirituality/Prayer, State Government, Theology

(Pew R Facttank) For many Americans, a ”˜meh’ midterm

Midterm elections rarely excite the general public, but 2014 is shaping up to be an especially underwhelming cycle for many Americans. With about a month remaining in the congressional races, 15% are very closely following news about the midterms ”” down from similar periods before the elections in 2010 (25%) and 2006 (21%).

Our new survey, which was fielded Oct. 2-5, found that an additional 22% of the public said they are following the midterm election news fairly closely, 25% said not too closely, and 39% said not at all.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, America/U.S.A., History, House of Representatives, Politics in General, Senate, Sociology

Joe Nocera on thinking outside the Box–Paralysis Isn’t Inevitable

One of the hardest things for us to do is to envision a future that is different from the present. For instance, we live in an age of paralyzed politics, so it is hard, in the here and now, to imagine what could change that. A second example: It is difficult to think of a scenario where federal gun legislation could be passed over the objections of the National Rifle Association. And a third: Income inequality has been the trend for some three decades; doesn’t it look as if it will always be that way?

What prompts these thoughts are two papers that landed on my desk recently. Although they tackle very different issues, they have one thing in common: They imagine a future that breaks from the present path.

The first is a draft of a speech given earlier this month at TEDMED by Daniel Webster, the director of the Johns Hopkins Center for Gun Policy and Research. (TEDMED is associated with TED Talks.) The second is an article in the latest edition of the Harvard Business Review by Roger Martin, the former dean of the Rotman School of Management at the University of Toronto.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, America/U.S.A., Economy, History, House of Representatives, Law & Legal Issues, Office of the President, Politics in General, Psychology, Senate, The U.S. Government, Violence

Rana Foroohar (Time) completely nails it on the struggling US economy: "very, very broken"

A little over three years ago, I wrote a column titled “The 2% Economy,” explaining how a recovery with only 2% GDP growth, no new middle-class jobs and stagnant wages wasn’t really a recovery after all. Like everyone, I hoped that once growth kicked up to about 3%, middle-class jobs and wages would finally revive.

But we’re now in a 3% economy, and I’m writing the same column. Only this time, the message is more disturbing. Growth is back. Unemployment is down. But only a fraction of the jobs lost during the Great Recession that pay more than $15 per hour have been found. And wage growth is still hovering near zero, where it’s been for the past decade. Something is very, very broken in our economy.

Read it all (my emphasis).

Posted in * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, America/U.S.A., Anthropology, Consumer/consumer spending, Corporations/Corporate Life, Economy, Ethics / Moral Theology, Federal Reserve, House of Representatives, Labor/Labor Unions/Labor Market, Office of the President, Politics in General, Senate, The Credit Freeze Crisis of Fall 2008/The Recession of 2007--, The U.S. Government, Theology

(Gallup) Americans' Trust in all branches of federal government at or near record lows

Americans’ trust in each of the three branches of the federal government is at or near the lows in Gallup’s trends, dating back to the early 1970s. Americans’ trust in the legislative branch fell six percentage points this year to a new low of 28%. Trust in the executive branch dropped eight points, to 43%, and trust in the judicial branch, at 61%, is also the lowest measured to date.

The data are part of Gallup’s annual update on trust in government, conducted in the Sept. 4-7 Governance poll. Gallup previously documented that Americans’ trust in the federal government to handle both domestic and international problems slid to new lows this year.

Americans have generally had the least trust in the legislative branch, consisting of the House of Representatives and the Senate, but never lower than the 28% who do so now. The prior low was the 31% measured in 2011, shortly after Congress and the president engaged in contentious debt-ceiling negotiations.

Trust in the legislative branch had recovered slightly during the previous two years, to 34%, but is down significantly this year….

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, America/U.S.A., Anthropology, City Government, Economy, Ethics / Moral Theology, House of Representatives, Office of the President, Politics in General, Psychology, Senate, State Government, Supreme Court, The U.S. Government, Theology

A Politico Poll–2014 voters are gloomy over the economy

If the nation’s economy is on the mend, the voters of 2014 aren’t feeling it.

Despite continued signs of a halting but persistent national comeback, midterm voters remain frustrated and unhappy with the state of the economy, according to the latest POLITICO poll of likely voters in 2014 battleground states. Many appear to blame President Barack Obama: 57 percent of these voters disapprove of his economic leadership.

By every measure in the survey, a gloomy mood still pervades the electorate when it comes to kitchen-table issues: Just 23 percent say their personal financial situation has improved over the past year, versus 30 percent who say it has gotten worse.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, America/U.S.A., Anthropology, Consumer/consumer spending, Corporations/Corporate Life, Economy, Ethics / Moral Theology, House of Representatives, Housing/Real Estate Market, Labor/Labor Unions/Labor Market, Office of the President, Personal Finance, Politics in General, Psychology, Senate, Theology

Latest WSJ/NBC Poll Finds Widespread Economic Anxiety among Americans

Still scarred by a recession that ended five years ago, Americans are registering record levels of anxiety about the opportunities available to younger generations and are pessimistic about the nation’s long-term prospects, directing their blame at elected leaders in Washington.

A new Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll found that despite the steady pace of hiring in recent months, 76% of adults lack confidence that their children’s generation will have a better life than they do””an all-time high. Some 71% of adults think the country is on the wrong track, a leap of 8 points from a June survey, and 60% believe the U.S. is in a state of decline.

What’s more, seven in 10 adults blamed the malaise more on Washington leaders than on any deeper economic trends, and 79% expressed some level of dissatisfaction with the American political system.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, America/U.S.A., Economy, Ethics / Moral Theology, House of Representatives, Office of the President, Politics in General, President Barack Obama, Psychology, Senate, Sociology, Theology

NY Times Letters on the Editorial–Legalize Marijuana? Responses Vary

Here is one:

Your opinion, in “Repeal Prohibition, Again,” that marijuana should be legalized is based in part on an assumption that during Prohibition “people kept drinking.” Prohibition reduced the public’s alcohol intake considerably. The rate of alcohol-associated illness dropped in similar fashion. Prohibition was perhaps a political failure, but an impressive success from a public health standpoint.

Both alcohol and marijuana can lead to the chronic disease of addiction, directly affect the brain and negatively affect function. As more than 10 percent of our population has addictive disease, your statement that marijuana is “far less dangerous than alcohol” doesn’t reflect decades of research demonstrating risks associated with both of these drugs.

Why would we possibly wish to add to the alcohol- and tobacco-driven personal and public health catastrophe with yet another substance to which some people will become addicted?

Some people use marijuana currently. Legalize it, and more people will use more marijuana, leading to more addiction, lower productivity and higher societal costs….

Read them all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, Alcohol/Drinking, Alcoholism, Drugs/Drug Addiction, Economy, Ethics / Moral Theology, Health & Medicine, History, House of Representatives, Law & Legal Issues, Media, Office of the President, Police/Fire, Politics in General, Senate, The U.S. Government, Theology

The NYTimes Editorial Calling for Federal repeal the ban on marijuana leaving the decision to States

It took 13 years for the United States to come to its senses and end Prohibition, 13 years in which people kept drinking, otherwise law-abiding citizens became criminals and crime syndicates arose and flourished. It has been more than 40 years since Congress passed the current ban on marijuana, inflicting great harm on society just to prohibit a substance far less dangerous than alcohol.

The federal government should repeal the ban on marijuana.

We reached that conclusion after a great deal of discussion among the members of The Times’s Editorial Board, inspired by a rapidly growing movement among the states to reform marijuana laws.

Read it all from this past weekend.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, Drugs/Drug Addiction, Economy, Ethics / Moral Theology, History, House of Representatives, Law & Legal Issues, Office of the President, Police/Fire, Politics in General, Senate, State Government, The U.S. Government, Theology

Politicians' Prescriptions for Marijuana Defy Doctors and Data

“I just don’t think the evidence is there for these long lists,” said Dr. Molly Cooke, a professor of medicine at the University of California, San Francisco, who helped research a position paper on cannabis for the American College of Physicians. “It’s been so hard to study marijuana. Policy makers are responding to thin data.”

Even some advocates of medical marijuana acknowledge that the state laws legalizing it did not result from careful reviews of the medical literature.

“I wish it were that rational,” said Mitch Earleywine, chairman of the executive board of directors for Norml, a national marijuana advocacy group. Dr. Earleywine said state lawmakers more often ask themselves, “What disease does the person in a wheelchair in my office have?”

Read it all from the front page of today’s NY Times paper copy.

Also, make sure you did not miss this post earlier this week on the same topic featuring Nora Volkow of the National Institute on Drug Abuse.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, America/U.S.A., Anthropology, City Government, Drugs/Drug Addiction, Economy, Ethics / Moral Theology, Health & Medicine, House of Representatives, Law & Legal Issues, Politics in General, Senate, State Government, Taxes, Theology

(Wash. Post) Eric Cantor succumbs to tea party challenger Tuesday in a Stunning Upset

House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (Va.), the chamber’s second-ranking Republican, was badly beaten in a primary contest Tuesday by an obscure professor with tea party backing ”” a historic electoral surprise that left the GOP in chaos and the House without its heir apparent.

Cantor, who has represented the Richmond suburbs since 2001, lost by 11 percentage points to Dave Brat, an economist at Randolph-Macon College in Ashland, Va. It was an operatic fall from power, swift and deep and utterly surprising. As late as Tuesday morning, Cantor had felt so confident of victory that he spent the morning at a Starbucks on Capitol Hill, holding a fundraising meeting with lobbyists while his constituents went to the polls.

By Tuesday night, he had suffered a defeat with few parallels in American history. Historians said that no House leader of Cantor’s rank had ever been defeated in a primary.

Read it all.

Posted in * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, America/U.S.A., House of Representatives, Politics in General

David Brooks on “Room to Grow,” a coherent and compelling policy agenda from Poltcl Consvatives

The nanny state may have drained civil society, but simply removing the nanny state will not restore it. There have to be programs that encourage local paternalism: early education programs with wraparound services to reinforce parenting skills, social entrepreneurship funds to reweave community, paternalistic welfare rules to encourage work.

Second, conservatives should not be naïve about sin. We are moving from a world dominated by big cross-class organizations, like public bureaucracies, corporations and unions, toward a world dominated by clusters of networked power. These clusters ”” Wall Street, Washington, big agriculture, big energy, big universities ”” are dominated by interlocking elites who create self-serving arrangements for themselves. Society is split between those bred into these networks and those who are not. Moreover, the U.S. economy is increasingly competing against autocratic economies, which play by their own self-serving rules.

Sometimes government is going to have to be active to disrupt local oligarchies and global autocracies by fomenting creative destruction ”” by insisting on dynamic immigration policies, by pumping money into research, by creating urban environments that nurture innovation, by spending money to give those outside the clusters new paths to rise.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, Books, City Government, Economy, Ethics / Moral Theology, House of Representatives, Marriage & Family, Office of the President, Politics in General, Religion & Culture, Senate, State Government, Theology

(Fox Bus.) Overhauling Health Exchanges: A Pricey, Complex Maneuver

With five months to go until the Affordable Care Act’s 2015 open enrollment season, states that had troubled exchanges during the inaugural sign-up period are scrambling to either upgrade their sites or transition to the federal exchange””all on the taxpayer’s dime.

A new analysis from the Wall Street Journal finds that the cost for Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Nevada and Oregon to overhaul their exchanges or transition to healthcare.gov will be as high as $240 million in total.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, --The 2009 American Health Care Reform Debate, Aging / the Elderly, Anthropology, Consumer/consumer spending, Corporations/Corporate Life, Economy, Ethics / Moral Theology, Health & Medicine, House of Representatives, Office of the President, Personal Finance, Politics in General, Senate, State Government, The U.S. Government, Theology

(FT) Edward Luce–The middle class is frozen out of the Tepid US recovery

The bond markets have grasped something that continues to elude many economists. We live in a confused world. Yet the underlying story is simple. The US middle continues to hollow out, even as the economy continues to grow.

But the latter’s upside is limited by the crisis in the former. Unless the middle class starts to post healthy income gains, we will be stuck in what has been annoyingly named the “new normal”.

Neither the Democratic nor the Republican party ”“ nor most of their European counterparts ”“ appears to have an answer. President Barack Obama pushes for a higher minimum wage, which would certainly help the poorest sections of the US labour force. But it would do nothing to fix the central problem. And Republicans keep arguing for lower taxes on the wealth creators. Ditto. They have argued each other to a standstill.

Both parties might find it instructive to look north to Canada, which has endured its harshest winter in 20 years.

Read it all.

Posted in * Economics, Politics, Anthropology, Consumer/consumer spending, Corporations/Corporate Life, Credit Markets, Economy, Ethics / Moral Theology, House of Representatives, Housing/Real Estate Market, Labor/Labor Unions/Labor Market, Office of the President, Personal Finance, Politics in General, Senate, Stock Market, The Credit Freeze Crisis of Fall 2008/The Recession of 2007--, Theology

(LA Times) Obama administration devises a little noticed ACA funding plan for health insurer losses

The Obama administration has quietly adjusted key provisions of its signature healthcare law to potentially make billions of additional taxpayer dollars available to the insurance industry if companies providing coverage through the Affordable Care Act lose money.

The move was buried in hundreds of pages of new regulations issued late last week. It comes as part of an intensive administration effort to hold down premium increases for next year, a top priority for the White House as the rates will be announced ahead of this fall’s congressional elections.

Administration officials for months have denied charges by opponents that they plan a “bailout” for insurance companies providing coverage under the healthcare law.

Read it all.

I will take comments on this submitted by email only to KSHarmon[at]mindspring[dot]com.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, --The 2009 American Health Care Reform Debate, Consumer/consumer spending, Corporations/Corporate Life, Economy, Ethics / Moral Theology, Health & Medicine, House of Representatives, Office of the President, Personal Finance, Politics in General, President Barack Obama, Senate, Theology

(RNS) Meet James Woods, who could be the first open atheist elected to Congress

If he is successful, Arizona’s James Woods will be the first person elected to United States Congress to openly campaign as an atheist.

The last admitted atheist in Congress, Rep. Pete Stark, D-California, served for decades before publicly sharing his atheism. Similarly Rep. Barney Frank, D-Massachusetts, opened up about his atheism last year””after he was no longer in office.

Woods, who is running for Congress in Arizona’s Congressional District 5, wants to be the first to successfully campaign as an atheist, as well as the first blind member of Congress in nearly 100 years.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, * Religion News & Commentary, America/U.S.A., Atheism, House of Representatives, Other Faiths, Politics in General, Religion & Culture

Pew Research Reports important report on "the next America"

We start with this reality: Social Security and Medicare are practically sacrosanct. Nearly nine-in-ten Americans say they’re good for the country. That’s an amazing number. But the popularity of these programs really isn’t all that surprising. People love them because they do what they were created to do. They ease many of the frets and dreads of old age ”“ a blessing not just for seniors but for everyone who loves, supports and depends on seniors. Which is to say, everyone.

But the status quo is unsustainable. Some 10,000 Baby Boomers will be going on Social Security and Medicare every single day between now and 2030. By the time everyone in this big pig-in-the-python generation is drawing benefits, we’ll have just two workers per beneficiary ”“ down from three-to-one now, five-to-one in 1960 and more than forty-to-one in 1945, shortly after Social Security first started supporting beneficiaries.

The math of the 20th century simply won’t work in the 21st. Today’s young are paying taxes to support a level of benefits for today’s old that they have no realistic chance of receiving when they become old. And they know it ”“ just 6% of Millennials say they expect to receive full benefits from Social Security when they retire. Fully half believe they’ll get nothing.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, Aging / the Elderly, Budget, Economy, Ethics / Moral Theology, House of Representatives, Medicaid, Medicare, Office of the President, Politics in General, President Barack Obama, Senate, Social Security, The National Deficit, The U.S. Government, Theology, Young Adults

(The Hill) Affordable Care Act premiums to skyrocket

Health industry officials say ObamaCare-related premiums will double in some parts of the country, countering claims recently made by the administration.

The expected rate hikes will be announced in the coming months amid an intense election year, when control of the Senate is up for grabs. The sticker shock would likely bolster the GOP’s prospects in November and hamper ObamaCare insurance enrollment efforts in 2015.

The industry complaints come less than a week after Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Kathleen Sebelius sought to downplay concerns about rising premiums in the healthcare sector. She told lawmakers rates would increase in 2015 but grow more slowly than in the past.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, --The 2009 American Health Care Reform Debate, Consumer/consumer spending, Corporations/Corporate Life, Economy, Ethics / Moral Theology, Health & Medicine, House of Representatives, Law & Legal Issues, Office of the President, Personal Finance, Politics in General, President Barack Obama, Senate, Theology

(Wonkblog) Obamacare bummer ”” enrollment drops off in February

About 4.2 million people have signed up for health plans on Obamacare exchanges through the end of February, making it unlikely that the Obama administration will hit lowered enrollment estimates in the program’s first year.

Whatever momentum was building in January appeared to drop off in February, as the number of sign ups fell below the administration’s expectations. The numbers — which were released a day before Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius testifies on the Hill — also show young people aren’t enrolling at rates officials had predicted. That group is key because they are generally presumed to be healthier and less costly.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, --The 2009 American Health Care Reform Debate, Economy, Ethics / Moral Theology, Health & Medicine, House of Representatives, Office of the President, Politics in General, President Barack Obama, Senate, The U.S. Government, Theology