Archive for the ‘reform’ tag
Daily equity news
“Road Home program amended to assist owners of homes of modest value,” - The Times-Picayune
U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development Secretary Shaun Donovan came to town carrying a letter that could help thousands of area homeowners finally finish their renovations.
The letter, which Donovan gave on Thursday to Louisiana Recovery Authority head Paul Rainwater, approved a change to the Road Home program that could distribute $600 million in leftover program money, giving up to $34,000 in extra grant money to as many as 19,000 low- to moderate-income homeowners, Rainwater said.
“States eager to power up electric car-battery industry,” - USA TODAY
DETROIT — The U.S. government has made it clear that developing a domestic auto-battery industry — for advanced batteries to power next-generation electric cars — is a priority. That has states scrambling to be sure they get a piece of the action.
This week, business leaders, politicians and entrepreneurs will gather in Detroit at a conference called “The Business of Plugging In” to discuss the future of plug-in electrics and plan how to attract and develop businesses involved in plug-in vehicle development.
“Public option gains support,” - Washington Post
A new Washington Post-ABC News poll shows that support for a government-run health-care plan to compete with private insurers has rebounded from its summertime lows and wins clear majority support from the public.
Americans remain sharply divided about the overall packages moving closer to votes in Congress and President Obama’s leadership on the issue, reflecting the partisan battle that has raged for months over the administration’s top legislative priority. But sizable majorities back two key and controversial provisions: both the so-called public option and a new mandate that would require all Americans to carry health insurance.
Daily equity news
”How Valid Is the Insurers’ Attack on Health Reform?,” - TIME MAGAZINE
After months of lending its cautious, very qualified support to health-care reform, the health-insurance industry has lobbed its first bomb at the Democrats’ proposals. But many of the industry’s assertions appear to have missed their mark.
Just two days before Tuesday’s scheduled vote on the Senate Finance Committee’s health bill, a report warning that the bill would result in sizable hikes in insurance premiums was released, and then widely panned as a flawed analysis of cherry-picked information. A spokesman for the committee called the report a “hatchet job, plain and simple”; and some Democrats on Capitol Hill claimed that the insurers’ broadside would actually ease, rather than slow, passage of health reform by unifying the various factions of the party against an industry with precious little credibility among the public. (See 10 players in health-care reform.)
“Public Option Is Next Big Hurdle in Health Debate,” - The New York Times
WASHINGTON — As the White House and Congressional leaders turned in earnest on Wednesday to working out big differences in the five health care bills, perhaps no issue loomed as a greater obstacle than whether to establish a government-run competitor to the insurance industry.
One day after the Senate Finance Committee approved a measure without a “public option,” the question on Capitol Hill was how President Obama could reconcile the deep divisions within his party on the issue. All eyes were on Senator Olympia J. Snowe, the Maine Republican whose call for a “trigger” that would establish a government plan as a fallback is one of the leading compromise ideas.
“Obama: New Orleans not forgotten,” - USA TODAY
NEW ORLEANS — In his first presidential visit to this city, Barack Obama praised the resiliency of residents in rebuilding their flood-wrecked homes and promised to continue flowing federal dollars to the effort.
“It is always an inspiration to spend time with the men and women who have reminded the rest of us what it means to persevere in the face of tragedy and rebuild in the face of ruin,” Obama said during a town-hall-style meeting at the University of New Orleans.
Daily equity news
“Deficit Complicates Push on Jobs,” - The Wall Street Journal
WASHINGTON — Democratic leaders pressed President Barack Obama on Wednesday to extend more elements of the existing economic-stimulus package, and to possibly add tax cuts that were rejected the first time around, despite a record budget deficit that is giving some lawmakers pause.
On Wednesday, the Congressional Budget Office estimated that the federal deficit for fiscal 2009 will be $1.4 trillion. That is somewhat better than the nearly $1.6 trillion the CBO projected in August, but much of the change stems from different accounting treatments for losses at Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the mortgage companies the government took over last year.
“Putting America’s Diet on a Diet,” - The New York Times
On his first day in Huntington, W. Va., Jamie Oliver spent the afternoon at Hillbilly Hot Dogs, pitching in to cook its signature 15-pound burger. That’s 10 pounds of meat, 5 pounds of custom-made bun, American cheese, tomatoes, onions, pickles, ketchup, mustard and mayo. Then he learned how to perfect the Home Wrecker, the eatery’s famous 15-inch, one-pound hot dog (boil first, then grill in butter). For the Home Wrecker Challenge, the dog gets 11 toppings, including chili sauce, jalapeños, liquid nacho cheese and coleslaw. Finish it in 12 minutes or less and you get a T-shirt.
So much for local color. Earlier that day, Oliver met with a pediatrician, James Bailes, and a pastor, Steve Willis. Bailes told him about an 8-year-old patient who was 80 pounds overweight and had developed Type 2 diabetes. If the child’s diet didn’t change, the doctor said, he wouldn’t live to see 30. Willis told Oliver that he visits patients in local hospitals several days a week and sees the effects of long-term obesity firsthand. Since he can’t write a prescription for their resulting illnesses, he said, all he can do is pray with them.
“Universal healthcare coverage appears elusive,” - Los Angeles Times
As a key Senate committee prepares today to pass its plan to overhaul the nation’s healthcare system, senior Democrats are acknowledging that it may be impossible to provide coverage to all Americans — a central goal of President Obama and his congressional allies.
That is fueling growing alarm among hospitals and insurance companies, which have made universal coverage a condition of their support.
“Reducing poverty with the guidance of the poor,” - Philadelphia Inquirer
Never underestimate the power of an old blue sweater - even one with a cheesy design of two zebras in front of Mount Kilimanjaro. Maybe especially one with zebras and a mountain.
That very sweater launched Jacqueline Novogratz’s career as an international social investor, and it is the inspiration of her recently published book, The Blue Sweater: Bridging the Gap Between Rich and Poor in an Interconnected World (Rodale, $24.95).
“States not meeting renewable energy goals,” - USA TODAY
Across the USA, states are falling short of their goals to increase the use of renewable energy as Congress weighs a national renewable-energy standard.
Thirty-five states have set goals to use more electricity from solar panels, windmills and other renewable forms of energy, according to a database funded by the Energy Department. There is no central clearinghouse of states’ compliance records, but USA TODAY research and interviews with state and power company officials found nine states that have failed or expect to fail to meet their energy goals.
“A Better Way to Health Reform,” - The Washington Post
The American health-care system suffers from three serious problems: Health-care costs are rising much faster than our incomes. More than 15 percent of the population has neither private nor public insurance. And the high cost of health care can lead to personal bankruptcy, even for families that do have health insurance.
These faults persist despite annual federal government spending of more than $700 billion for Medicare and Medicaid as well as a federal tax subsidy of more than $220 billion for the purchase of employer-provided private health insurance.
Daily equity news
“Grass Roots Put New Orleans Back on Its Feet,” - The Wall Street Journal
With Federal Aid Finally Flowing to Hurricane-Ravaged City, a Flurry of Rebuilding Helps Shield It from U.S. Downturn
NEW ORLEANS — This once-ravaged city is finally mending from Hurricane Katrina after years of administrative delays and political disputes that choked the flow of millions of dollars in federal aid.
Money now flowing through the city is beginning to deliver the most visibly widespread improvements since Katrina struck four years ago today. Scores of public works projects are under way. The last police precinct using a FEMA trailer as temporary headquarters moved into real offices earlier this year. More than half the public schools in New Orleans have been turned into higher-performing charter schools. Returning residents have pushed the population to 76% of its prestorm total of about 455,000.
“Yes, We Can Afford Health-Care Reform,” - Washington Post
“Moderate” opponents of health-care reform like to say that we cannot afford it, particularly in the midst of a recession that has widened the deficit with both reduced tax revenue and the fiscal stimulus package. This was the argument advanced by Sen. Joe Lieberman on TV a week ago and repeated by Michael Gerson in this newspaper: “Obama’s massive spending, intended to stabilize the economy, also drained the Treasury, making it more difficult to propose major new expenditures.”
”Report maps out solutions to child obesity,” - USA TODAY
To make it easier for children to eat healthfully and move more, local governments in towns and cities across the country need to help create a better environment, a new report says.
Children and their families should have access to grocery stores that offer plenty of healthful food such as fruits and vegetables, and schools shouldn’t be surrounded by fast-food restaurants. Children should be able to ride their bikes or walk safely to school, and they should have safe places to play afterward, says the report out today from the Institute of Medicine (IOM) and National Research Council.
Daily equity news
“Tennessee Experiment’s High Cost Fuels Health-Care Debate,” - The Wall Street Journal
In 1994, Tennessee launched an ambitious public insurance program to cover its uninsured. The plan, TennCare, fulfilled that mission but nearly bankrupted the state in the process.
”Poll: 57% don’t see stimulus working,” - USA TODAY
WASHINGTON — Six months after President Obama launched a $787 billion plan to right the nation’s economy, a majority of Americans think the avalanche of new federal aid has cost too much and done too little to end the recession.
”New Orleans Neighborhood Housing Services to run $20 million home repair effort,” - The Times-Picayune
The city is negotiating a deal with the nonprofit Neighborhood Housing Services to run a home-repair program that would make nearly $20 million available to owners of storm-damaged property, according to a recent city memo describing the proposal.
Daily equity news
“2008 Surge in Black Voters Nearly Erased Racial Gap,” - The New York Times
In last year’s presidential election, younger blacks voted in greater proportions than whites for the first time and black women turned out at a higher rate than any other racial, ethnic and gender group, a census analysis released Monday confirmed.
As a result, in the election that produced the nation’s first black president, the historic gap between black and white voter participation rates over all virtually evaporated.
”S.C. case looks on child obesity as child abuse. But is it?,” - USA TODAY
Jerri Gray was doing all she could to help her son lose weight, her attorney says. But something had gone terribly wrong for the boy to hit the 555-pound mark by age 14.
Authorities in South Carolina say that what went wrong was Gray’s care and feeding of her son, Alexander Draper. Gray, 49, of Travelers Rest, S.C., was arrested in June and charged with criminal neglect. Alexander is now in foster care.
“Ten Questions on the Health-Care Overhaul,” - The Wall Street Journal
It is crunch time for health care. Lawmakers who are trying to fundamentally remake one-sixth of the U.S. economy say this might be the most complicated legislation they have undertaken.
Here are some basics that everyone can grasp — and probably ought to, because the health bill, if it passes, will affect almost everyone.