Last week, Republicans on the House Energy and Commerce Committee voted to slash $400 million from a program which would offer states performance bonuses if they enrolled more children in CHIP or Medicaid. Twenty-three states have already taken advantage of those bonuses, including 16 which increased their enrollment by more than 10 percent.
Now, a new analysis released today looks at how those bonuses have increased enrollment nationwide. The study from the Georgetown University Center for Children and Families examined the 23 states which received performance bonuses for enrolling more children, and found that this program has already had better-than-expected effects:
Data on the bonuses show that in the 23 states that received bonuses in FY 2011, an additional 1.1 million kids were enrolled above expected levels. The most (123,000) can be found in the state of Ohio. While we can’t say that the bonuses fully explain this jump in enrollment, it would certainly be fair to say that they get some of the credit for supporting states in reaching these kids.
As we’ve seen over the years, Medicaid and CHIP have been responsible for driving the uninsured rate of children down to record lows. These bonuses have been an important incentive in making this progress and dismantling them threatens to undercut the great success we’ve seen in Medicaid and CHIP.
Over 12 million children were enrolled in the program in all 23 states combined. Altogether, those states boosted their enrollment numbers 10 percent higher than the expected level, and earned close to $300 million in bonus money for doing so. Thanks in large part to CHIP, the rate of uninsured children is at the lowest-recorded level ever.
As ThinkProgress reported yesterday, the cuts are not expected to pass the Senate this time around, but there is worry among children’s health advocates that they may be reintroduced at a later date. President Obama’s recent budget proposal did call for a change in the federal matching rates for CHIP beginning in 2017.
The Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) is facing another struggle to stay intact, this time in the House of Representatives. The House GOP looks likely to rewrite the domestic violence prevention bill, which passed the Senate last week, with the aim of stripping provisions for Native Americans, undocumented people, and the LGBT community — the same provisions that Senate Republicans tried to remove from the bill.
But despite the Senate’s ultimate passage of the bill — which included the support of 14 Republican senators, including all of the female Republicans — the House is ready to fight these provisions again. Their version of VAWA also removes the protections for marginalized communities. According to Congressional Quarterly, a watered-down bill, of which Rep. Sandy Adams (R-FL) is the lead sponsor, is likely to pass in the House:
The House bill also would eliminate Senate language that supporters say would do more to help victims of domestic violence including gays and lesbians, immigrants and American Indians. Adams considers those provisions unnecessary, a spokeswoman said. ?The grants are available to all victims, and there is no evidence to conclude that victims are being turned away,? said spokeswoman Lisa Boothe in an email.
The backing of Smith, of Texas, and California?s McCarthy signals the House measure is on a fast track to passage ? and a showdown with the Senate.
While Adams may think the provisions are unnecessary, there is ample proof that she is mistaken. Cases of LGBT domestic violence increased 38 percent from last year. Seven people died from domestic abuse. And for those who sought it, 44 percent of LGBT victims were turned away from traditional shelters. As for Tribal victims, Native American women face the highest rate of domestic violence in the US– three and a half times higher than the national average– and can currently not seek any protection if the perpetrator is non-Tribal.
And undocumented victims? Maybe they aren’t “turned away” in Adams’s definition, but that’s because they fear that if they call the police, they will be deported.
Already, members of Congress have seen heated debate around VAWA, with one member even recounting her own experience of being raped as a girl. With the attempt to strip out provisions for particularly vulnerable communities, the fight is likely to get even more difficult.
Only 52 same-sex couples “have obtained civil union licenses in the nine months since Rhode Island enacted a law allowing them,” the ACLU reports, calling the measure a “complete failure.” Gays and lesbians are shunning the law because of its broad exemption allowing religious organizations to ignore their relationships and are traveling to neighboring states for full marriage equality. Hundreds of same-sex couples have married in Massachusetts, draining more than $8 million from the state?s economy. Yesterday, the a House committee considered legislation legalizing marriage equality in the state and removing the civil union law’s exemptions.
At a fundraiser in Virginia last night, Mitt Romney touted his experinece running the Salt Lake City Olympic Games in 2002, a familiar refrain, but also introduced a new rhetorical line about something more specific — lapel pins. He told a story about “We Stand United” American flag pins he commissioned for the games, which took place just months after the terror attacks on 9/11. Romney touted his creation of the pins as a means to explain how he hopes to bring Americans together:
ROMNEY: And so we created a little pin and we notified people that we?re now going to be selling these pins and the proceeds are going to go [to charity]. … I just remember going downstairs after it was announced ? we were in a big, tall skyscraper in Salt Lake City, and it must have been next door I think where they were selling these pins, and there was a line all the way down the street.
Complicating Romney’s patriotic message is the fact that the pins were made in China, according to a website run by the Utah state government’s culture department, as TPM’s Evan McMorris-Santoro pointed out on Twitter.
Outsourcing has been a latent issue in the campaign, and just yesterday the Obama campaign released an ad hitting Romney for “shipp[ing] American jobs to places like Mexico and China” when he led Bain Capital. Indeed, Bain was outsourcing jobs even while Romney was governor. And his top economic adviser Greg Mankiw (who was recently promoted to chairman of Harvard’s economics department) said that “offshoring” American jobs is a good thing.
Meanwhile, Lynn Sweet at the Chicago Sun-Times notes that a conference call hosted by the Republican National Committee (RNC) yesterday attacking President Obama for “high unemployment” was hosted by a firm in The Philippines (apparently a subcontractor of Verizon, whom the RNC used).
Who would have thought that clean energy would become the source of such scorn for Mitt Romney, a candidate who called transitioning away from fossil fuels “a must” in 2007?
The Romney campaign released a new campaign ad this morning attacking clean energy jobs. Just like every other ad on the issue this election cycle, this one cherry picks a few stories and claims that efforts to create jobs in this sector have failed.
As numerous reports have shown, the claims in this ad are completely absurd: The Brookings Institution found that the stimulus helped the clean energy sector grow 8.3 percent during the height of the recession; a report from the Department of Energy showed that the 1603 Treasury Grant Program supported 75,000 jobs and $25 billion gross economic activity; and a recent analysis from the Bureau of Labor Statistics found that the clean economy now employs 3.1 million people ? with growth in the last few years happening in every geographic region of the U.S.
And in a masterful piece of spin, the campaign ad actually insinuates that Obama is responsible for 10,000 job losses in the wind industry. Ask anyone in the wind industry and they’ll tell you those jobs have been shed because of Congress’ inability to pass the production tax credit and give businesses in the sector certainty ? threatening an additional 37,000 jobs today. In fact, it was the stimulus package that helped the wind industry maintain 85,000 jobs during the height of the recession in 2009.
But here’s the real kicker: There are actually 64,000 renewable energy and energy efficiency jobs currently in Romney’s home state of Massachusetts. Because of strong state and federal policies (which Romney once supported), employment in Massachusetts’ clean energy sector grew 6.7 percent between 2010 and 2011 ? crushing the 1% growth rate in the rest of the economy.
Check out the documentary film below to see what’s happening today in Romney’s home state. In just one short election cycle, the candidate has Etch-a-Sketched himself squarely against clean energy ? even as the industry gains traction.
Republicans have spent the last month blocking the reauthorization of the U.S. Export-Import Bank, which helps companies access capital to help boost their exports to other countries, under the guise that it represents government intrusion into free markets. Despite conservative claims, the Ex-Im Bank isn’t financed by taxpayers (federal dollars are only used to guarantee its loans), but that hasn’t stopped the GOP from blocking Democratic efforts to reauthorize the bank for another four years while boosting its lending capacity from $100 billion to $140 billion.
House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA) instead proposed a one-year, $113-billion reauthorization earlier this year, and today, Cantor and Minority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-MD) are reportedly nearing a compromise that would reauthorize the bank, though details of the plan aren’t yet clear, The Hill reports:
House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) and House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) are close to striking a deal on reauthorizing the Export-Import Bank, sources said Thursday.
Although the deal was not finalized as of Thursday, a House vote is considered likely next week.
Cantor has been among the GOP’s leaders in the fight against Ex-Im, pushing an agenda favored by Delta Airlines, with which he is a “close friend and supporter.” Reauthorization of Ex-Im has in the past been largely uncontroversial, and the Obama administration made lifting the loan limit a priority to help small businesses boost their exports and create jobs (Ex-Im also helps large businesses like Boeing, but it is especially crucial for small businesses that are trying to access financing in a tough economy). Cantor has also suggested reaching agreements with major trading partners to end export programs like Ex-Im, though as the Center for American Progress’ Sabina Dewan notes, that plan is hardly feasible.
Though details of the compromise aren’t yet clear, falling well short of the $140 billion target so Cantor can throw Delta another bone would, as Dewan has noted, jeopardize Ex-Im’s expanded efforts to help America’s small businesses.
On Jan. 4, I told you about a great income-producing stock with a streak of dividend increases going back nearly six decades. Specifically, the company has raised its dividend every year since … [visit site to read . . . → Read More: A Stock I Recommended in January is up More Than 30%… and it’s STILL a "Buy"
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One of the many Republican campaign ads carefully designed
to avoid any politicization of national security matters.
Calling President Obama a narcissist, Karl Rove, the father of overreach and overdo, has joined Republican caterwauling that the Obama campaign team and the president himself have overreached by politicizing the killing of Osama bin Laden by saying Mitt Romney wouldn't have ordered the Seal Team assault on the terrorist leader's hideout.
Not true, Rove says, repeating the penny-ante dog-whistling that Republicans and Romney himself have been claiming that "even" Jimmy Carter would have ordered the assault. You can see right there that Rove, even though he doesn't have a non-partisan molecule in his body, would never politicize anything as important as national security.
Rove is a professor of long standing in the School of Telling Lies Frequently Enough to Convince Everybody They're True. As noted several times by my colleague Jed Lewison, it's a Republican lie that any president would have done what Obama did. To give the order taking out bin Laden, a Republican president would first have had to pursue a policy directed at finding him. That is something that Romney (and George W. Bush) and John McCain all made clear they weren't very interested in doing.
To give the former president a smidgen of credit, if Bush had stumbled across bin Laden, he probably would have ordered an assault. But not Romney. He said in his previous campaign for the presidency that his policy would be not to go into Pakistan after al Qaeda targets. At least not without consulting Pakistani leaders first. He didn't specifically mention bin Laden, but surely there could be no bigger al Qaeda target than that.
Without the policy to back it up, no way could the assault be ordered. And if he had consulted America's supposed Pakistani allies ahead of time on the matter, Osama bin Laden would today be eating hummus and watching television in a compound in Somalia or Yemen or one of a dozen other places.
So the Obama team is absolutely spot-on with their claims. Nothing Romney has since said about agreeing with and admiring Obama's decision in the matter changes that fact. As president, he would have gone down a path that kept Osama alive.
Rove is never happy with offering only one lie, of course. I guess it's an economies of scale kind of thing. Why waste paper or pixels when the lies can be bundled? So, in addition to claims that Romney would have done what Obama and "even" Jimmy Carter would have done, Rove says that Republicans never engage in politicizing matters of national security. In terms of the 9/11 attacks, their approach has been, he writes, to present "simple, positive statements and images." It's the infernally partisan Democrats who make a political issue out of them.
Karl Rove proves once again that he is the King of Upsidedownism.
The issue is not that Americans are dramatically unhealthier than the rest of the world, we actually have a relatively young population. The issue is not that we are using too much care, we use comparatively little. The problem is not that our payment[...]
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Approximately three hundred individuals from across the state gathered Saturday morning near the James C. Kirkpatrick State Information Building in Jefferson City for a march to a rally at the Capitol in support of women's rights.
State Representative Stephen Webber (D) and current candidate in the 46th Legislative District.
State Representative Stephen Webber (D) made a brief speech at the rally:
Representative Stephen Webber (D): Welcome to central Missouri. Glad to have so many progressives in Jefferson City today. [laughter][cheers]
I'm glad that Courtney [Cole] mentioned this started on Facebook because I read something on Facebook that really sums up this march for me today. Somebody had one of those signs that said, don't ask someone for equal rights, as if your rights are theirs to give to you. [voice: "Yeah."] [applause][cheers] We're not asking for anything today. We're here to stake claim to the human rights that already are ours. [voice: "Right."] [cheers] [applause] We're not asking that people like Peggy [Cochran], that people like our mothers and sisters and wives and daughters be paid equal pay for equal work. We're saying that's the way it's gonna be. [voice: "Yeah."] [voice: "Right."][cheers][applause] We're not asking that women have the ability to go get medical advice from their doctor without politicians in this building standing in the way. We're saying that when women go get health care they should be able to leave their copy of the Missouri Revised Statutes at home because rights to health care are the same rights as citizenship. [cheers] [applause] We're not asking for equal rights for women. We're saying that when God gave man rights he gave women rights at the same time. Now put the damn amendment in the Constitution. [cheers] [applause] And we're not asking that women have equal opportunities to work and that when they do work that they have, we're not asking for an ability to have a harassment free workplace, we're saying that's the way it's gonna be. And God help you if you try to stop that. [voices: "Yeah."][cheers] [applause]
I just want to say one last thing. The war on women is a war on ourselves. [voice: "That's right."][applause]....
No one in attendance was in any mood to ask for that which was already theirs.
Rebecca McClanahan 4/28/2012 Unite Against the War on Women Jefferson City (May 1, 2012)
We Are Women March 4.28.12 - Susan Montee (D) and Courtney Cole (D) (April 19, 2012)
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