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TheObamaCrat™ Wake-Up Call For HuMpDaY The 9th Of April, 2014. Fort Hood Memorial. Houston


 

By Jueseppi B.

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White House Schedule – April 9th, 2014

 

President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle fly to Texas on Wednesday  to attend a memorial for the victims of the latest shooting in Fort Hood. Later, they head to Houston for fundraisers to benefit the House and Senate campaign operations.

 

THE WHITE HOUSE
Office of the Press Secretary
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 9th, 2014

 

DAILY GUIDANCE AND SCHEDULE FOR
WEDNESDAY, April 9th, 2014

 

 

In the morning, the President and First Lady will travel to Killeen, Texas. The departure from the South Lawn and arrival at Robert Gray Army Airfield are open press.

 

In Killeen, the President and First Lady will attend a memorial ceremony on Fort Hood.  The President will deliver remarks paying tribute to the victims of the tragedy that occurred on April 2.  The ceremony is pooled for TV and open to limited, pre-credentialed stills and correspondents.

 

Following this event, the President and First Lady will depart Killeen en route Houston, Texas. The departure from Robert Gray Army Airfield and the arrival at George Bush Intercontinental Airport are open press.

 

While in Houston, the President will attend a DNC event. Following this, the President will deliver remarks and answer questions at a joint DCCC/DSCC dinner. The first event is closed press, and the dinner is open to the print pool for remarks only.

 

The President and First Lady will remain overnight in Houston.

 

 

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Wednesday, April 9th 2014 All Times ET

 

 

9:05 AM: The President and First Lady depart the White House, South Lawn.

 

9:20 AM: The President and First Lady depart Joint Base Andrews.

 

12:30 PM: The President and First Lady arrive in Killeen, Texas. Local Event Time: 11:30 AM. Robert Gray Army Airfield.

 

3:00 PM: The President and First Lady attend a memorial ceremony, Local Event Time: 2:00 PM. Fort Hood, Sadowski Field.

 

5:20 PM: The President and First Lady arrive in Houston, Texas. Local Event Time: 4:20 PM. George Bush Intercontinental Airport.

 

6:00 PM: The President attends a DNC event. Local Event Time: 5:00 PM. Private Residence’

 

8:20 PM: The President delivers remarks and answers questions at a joint DCCC/DSCC dinner. Local Event Time: 7:20 PM. Private Residence.

 

The President and First Lady will remain overnight in Houston.

 

 

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Barack Hussein Obama Week Ahead Schedule, April 9th, To 11th, 2014

 

On Wednesday, the President and the First Lady will travel to Houston, TX. The President will attend DCCC and DSCC events.  More details regarding the President and First Lady’s travel to Houston will be forthcoming.

 

President Barack Obama and first lady Michelle Obama will attend Wednesday’s memorial service for the victims of last week’s shooting rampage at Fort Hood, Texas, a top White House official announced.

 

Obama vowed after the shootings that “We’re going to get to the bottom of exactly what happened” at Fort Hood, where three soldiers were killed and 16 wounded Wednesday afternoon by a soldier who then took his own life. Investigators have identified the killer as Spc. Ivan Lopez, a 34-year-old Iraq war veteran with a history of depression and anxiety.

White House senior adviser Dan Pfeiffer confirmed the trip Sunday morning during an appearance on CBS’s “Face the Nation.” Obama also addressed the memorial service for an earlier massacre at Fort Hood, in 2009.

 

On Thursday, the President and the First Lady will travel to the Lyndon Baines Johnson Library in Austin, TX.  The President will deliver remarks at a Civil Rights Summit to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the signing of the Civil Rights Act. The President and the First Lady will return to Washington, DC, in the afternoon.

 

On Friday, the President will travel to New York, NY to deliver remarks at the National Action Network’s 16th Annual Convention.

 

 

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Press Briefing

4/8/14: White House Press Briefing

 

Published on Apr 8, 2014

White House Press Briefings are conducted most weekdays from the James S. Brady Press Briefing Room in the West Wing.

 

 

 

 

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President Obama Speaks on Equal Pay for Equal Work

 

Published on Apr 8, 2014

Following an introduction by Lilly Ledbetter, President Obama announces two new executive actions to strength

 

 

 

 

Raw: Hagel Tours Forbidden City Amid Dispute

 

Published on Apr 9, 2014

During a trip to China, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel toured Beijing’s Forbidden City, Wednesday, a day after he and his Chinese counterpart squared off over territorial disputes in the East China Sea. (April 9)

 

 

 

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President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama walk from the White House before boarding the Marine One helicopter, for a short trip to Andrews Air Force base, Md., then onto Fort Hood, Texas for a memorial service in honor of those who died.

 

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President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama walk on the South Lawn of the White House before boarding the Marine One helicopter.

President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama walk on the South Lawn of the White House before boarding the Marine One helicopter.

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President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama board Air Force One

President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama board Air Force One

 

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PENNSYLVANIA School Stabbing.

 

As many as 20 people were injured Wednesday morning at Franklin Regional High School in Murrysville, where a student began stabbing people just before the start of the school day, according to Westmoreland County emergency management…Not all 20 of the injured people were actually stabbed, Stevens said. Some of the injuries were described as cuts and scrapes. Several police cars and ambulances are at the high school. Three medical helicopters are also there. A student reported that someone came into the school with a knife and started slashing people, including some of his friends. That information has not been confirmed by police.

 

 

BREAKING: 20 Stabbed at Franklin Regional High School Pennsylvania

 

MASS STABBING: As many as 20 injured in stabbings at Pennsylvania school, 1 arrested.
MURRYSVILLE, Pa. (AP) – April 9, 2014 (WPVI) — As many as 20 people may be injured after a stabbing incident at a high school near Pittsburgh Wednesday morning, WTAE reports.

 

Dan Stevens, the spokesman for Westmoreland County emergency management, says a suspect has been taken into custody at Franklin Regional High School in Murrysville. That’s about 15 miles east of Pittsburgh.

 

 

 

 

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TheObamaCrat™ Wake-Up Call For Tuesday The 8th Of April. LILLY LEDBETTER: Equal Pay For Women.


 

By Jueseppi B.!!!!!00000obamawakeupcall

 

 

 

 

White House Schedule – April 8th, 2014

 

President Barack Obama on Tuesday returns to a core theme: equal pay for women. Obama will sign an executive order “prohibiting federal contractors from retaliating against employees who choose to discuss their compensation.” And federal contractors will have file reports with the Department of Labor on wages, broken down by race and sex. The first bill Obama signed–on Jan. 29, 2009– was the  fair pay Lilly Ledbetter Act.

 

In the morning, the President and Vice President will receive the Presidential Daily Briefing in the Oval Office. This meeting is closed press.

 

Later in the morning, the President will deliver remarks at an event marking Equal Pay Day where he will announce new executive actions to strengthen enforcement of equal pay laws for women. This event in the East Room is open press.

 

In the afternoon, the President and Vice President will meet for lunch in the Private Dining Room. This lunch is closed press.

 

Later in the afternoon, the President and Vice President will meet with Secretary of State Kerry in the Oval Office. This meeting is closed press.

 

 

THE WHITE HOUSE
Office of the Press Secretary
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 8th, 2014

 

DAILY GUIDANCE AND SCHEDULE FOR
TUESDAY, April 8th, 2014

 

 

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Tuesday, April 8 2014 All Times ET

 

 

10:00 AM: The President and Vice President receive Presidential Daily Briefing, Oval Office.

 

 

11:45 AM: The President delivers remarks on pay equality for women & celebrates Lilly Ledbetter Act, East Room.

 

 

12:30 PM: The President and Vice President meet for lunch, Private Dining Room.

 

 

12:30 PM: Press Briefing By Press Secretary Jay Carney, The Brady Press Briefing Room.

 

 

2:30 PM: The President and Vice President meet with Secretary of State Kerry, Oval Office.

 

 

4:00 PM: The Vice President meet with Prime Minister Milo Djukanovic of Montenegro.

 

 

 

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Barack Hussein Obama Week Ahead Schedule, April 8th, To 11th, 2014

 

 

On Tuesday, the President  will host an event on the economy at the White House.

 

 

On Wednesday, the President and the First Lady will travel to Houston, TX. The President will attend DCCC and DSCC events.  More details regarding the President and First Lady’s travel to Houston will be forthcoming.

 

President Barack Obama and first lady Michelle Obama will attend Wednesday’s memorial service for the victims of last week’s shooting rampage at Fort Hood, Texas, a top White House official announced.

 

Obama vowed after the shootings that “We’re going to get to the bottom of exactly what happened” at Fort Hood, where three soldiers were killed and 16 wounded Wednesday afternoon by a soldier who then took his own life. Investigators have identified the killer as Spc. Ivan Lopez, a 34-year-old Iraq war veteran with a history of depression and anxiety.

White House senior adviser Dan Pfeiffer confirmed the trip Sunday morning during an appearance on CBS’s “Face the Nation.” Obama also addressed the memorial service for an earlier massacre at Fort Hood, in 2009.

 

On Thursday, the President and the First Lady will travel to the Lyndon Baines Johnson Library in Austin, TX.  The President will deliver remarks at a Civil Rights Summit to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the signing of the Civil Rights Act. The President and the First Lady will return to Washington, DC, in the afternoon.

 

On Friday, the President will travel to New York, NY to deliver remarks at the National Action Network’s 16th Annual Convention.

 

 

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White House LIVE!!! Streaming

 

Next Up…
April 08, 2014 11:45 AM EDT

President Obama Speaks on Equal Pay Day

The White House, Watch White House LIVE!!! Streaming

 

 

 

April 08, 2014 12:30 PM EDT

Press Briefing by Press Secretary Jay Carney

The White House,  Watch White House LIVE!!! Streaming

 

 

 

April 08, 2014 4:00 PM EDT

The President’s Interagency Task Force to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons

The White House.  Watch White House LIVE!!! Streaming

 

 

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Rethinking High School: President Obama Announces New Youth CareerConnect Grants

 

Opportunity for All: Access to Career Skills and College-Level Courses

 

Published on Apr 7, 2014

President Obama travels to Bladensburg High School in Bladensburg, Maryland to announce the winners of a competition he launched last fall to bring together educators and employers to redesign the high school experience in order to give students better access to real-world career skills and college-level courses.

 

 

 

 

President Obama looks over a student’s work as he visits a classroom at Bladensburg High School, Md., April 7

President Obama looks over a student’s work as he visits a classroom at Bladensburg High School, Md., April 7

 

 

President Obama Speaks on Education and High School Redesign

April 07, 2014 | 18:31 |Public Domain

 

At Bladensburg High School in Bladensburg, Maryland, President Obama announce the winners of a competition he launched last fall to bring together educators and employers to redesign the high school experience to give students access to real-world career skills and college-level courses.

 

 

 

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FACT SHEET: Youth CareerConnect

 

Remarks by the President on Opportunity for All — Bladensburg High School

 

 

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Press Briefing

April 07, 2014 | 49:32 | Public Domain

 

White House Press Briefings are conducted most weekdays from the James S. Brady Press Briefing Room in the West Wing.

 

 

 

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Remarks by the President, Vice President, and SBA Administrator Maria Contreras-Sweet at Swearing-In Ceremony

 

FACT SHEET: Strengthening Entrepreneurship At Home and Abroad

 

The President and Vice President Speak at the Swearing-In of Maria Contreras-Sweet as SBA Administrator

April 07, 2014 | 18:17 |Public Domain

 

President Obama says he nominated Maria Contreras-Sweet as Administrator of the Small Business Administration because “she knows first-hand the challenges that small businesses go through — and she has a proven track record of helping them succeed.”

 

 

 

 

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Behind the Scenes: “In Performance at the White House: Women of Soul”

 

Behind the Scenes at “Women of Soul”

 

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Published on Apr 7, 2014

Last month at the White House, the President and First Lady honored great “foremothers” of American music, music legends and contemporary artists whose songs express the struggles and achievements of women. The program, “In Performance at the White House: Women of Soul,” included performances by Tessanne Chin, Melissa Etheridge, Aretha Franklin, Ariana Grande, Patti LaBelle, Janelle Monáe and Jill Scott, with Greg Phillinganes as music director.

Check out this behind-the-scenes look at the event, then tune to PBS tonight at 9:00 pm ET to watch the full program. Check your local listings for times and channel information.

 

 

 

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Statements and Releases

 

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FACT SHEET: Expanding Opportunity for All: Ensuring Equal Pay for Women and Promoting the Women’s Economic Agenda

 

Statement by the President on the Senate Voting to Renew Unemployment Insurance

 

Statement by the Press Secretary on H.R. 4275, S. 1557

 

Readout of the President’s Meeting with Leaders from Veterans of Foreign Wars

 

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White House Announces America’s PrepareAthon!: First National Day of Action, April 30

 

America’s PrepareAthon!

 

Streamed live on Apr 7, 2014

On Monday, April 7th at 1pm ET, join us to discuss America’s #PrepareAthon!, a campaign to help Americans prepare for disasters could happen in their communities. Tune in to hear from the head of FEMA, an award-winning meteorologist, and leaders from across the nation who share a passion for getting prepared: http://wh.gov/lvO1G

 

 

 

 

Readout of the President’s Meeting with the Presidential Ambassadors for Global Entrepreneurship

 

 

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April 2014: Photo of the Day

 

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President Barack Obama walks onto the stage to deliver remarks at Bladensburg High School in Bladensburg, Md., April 7, 2014. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

President Barack Obama walks onto the stage to deliver remarks at Bladensburg High School in Bladensburg, Md., April 7, 2014. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

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President Obama Speaks on Equal Pay Day

 

 

 

 

Vice President Biden : “Stand Up” for Voting Rights

 

 

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Tell Congress: Pass Paycheck Fairness

 

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Equal pay for equal work is critical for our economy, our families and our children.

 

It is outrageous that in 2014 – 2014 – a woman can still be paid less than one of her male counterparts for the exact same work.

 

Join me and my colleagues to demand that Congress act now. Sign on today

 

This is about fairness and economic opportunity for all. Pay discrimination is holding families back. Equal pay is not only an ideal, it should be a guarantee. That’s the message we have to send to Republicans in Congress now.

 

We have to fight for this.

 

Add your name today and join the call for basic paycheck fairness immediately.

 

 

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The President Wants You To Get Covered Today: “Don’t Just Think About It, Just Do It”


 

By Jueseppi B.

healthcare.gov

 

 

 

 

Message from President Obama: Get Covered Today

 

Published on Mar 26, 2014

Time is running out to get health insurance coverage for 2014 at http://HealthCare.gov – open enrollment ends on March 31. If you haven’t signed up yet, get covered today.

 

 

 

There are only 5 days left to get health insurance coverage for 2014 at HealthCare.gov before open enrollment ends on March 31. If you haven’t signed up yet, the President wants you to get covered today.

 

As the President says, “No one’s invincible. We all get sick, or get into accidents. Life happens. But you should never have to worry you’ll lose everything to medical bills. That’s why health insurance is so important.”

 

If you’re not covered, don’t wait any longer — sign up today.

 

And if you already have health insurance, tell your friends, family, and co-workers that they need to get covered, too. VisitWH.gov/GetCovered for tips on how to spread the word.

 


 

Learn more:

 

 

The White House Extends The Patient Protection And Affordable Care Act (ObamaCARES) Enrollment Deadline.

 

Federal officials confirmed Tuesday evening that all consumers who have begun to apply for coverage on HealthCare.gov, but who do not finish by Monday, will have until about mid-April to ask for an extension.

 

The Obama administration has decided to give extra time to Americans who say that they are unable to enroll in health plans through the federal insurance marketplace by the March 31 deadline.

 

Under the new rules, people will be able to qualify for an extension by checking a blue box on HealthCare.gov to indicate that they tried to enroll before the deadline. This method will rely on an honor system; the government will not try to determine whether the person is telling the truth.

 

Obama administration will allow more time to enroll in health care on federal marketplace

 

 

The rules, which will apply to the federal exchanges operating in three dozen states, will essentially create a large loophole even as White House officials have repeatedly said that the March 31 deadline was firm. The extra time will not technically alter the deadline but will create a broad new category of people eligible for what’s known as a special enrollment period.

 

The change, which the administration is scheduled to announce Wednesday, is supported by consumer advocates who want as many people as possible to gain insurance under the 2010 Affordable Care Act. But it’s likely to be criticized by Republicans who oppose the law and have denounced the way the administration is implementing it.

 

Administration officials said the accommodation is an attempt to prepare for a possible surge of people trying to sign up in the final days before the deadline. Such a flood could leave some people unable to get through the system.

 

“We are . . . making sure that we will be ready to help consumers who may be in line by the deadline to complete enrollment — either online or over the phone,” said Julie Bataille, director of the office of communications for theCenters for Medicare and Medicaid Services, the agency overseeing the federal health-care exchange.

 

The extra time will not be restricted, though, to people who wait until the last minute to try to sign up. Although no one will be asked why they need an extension, the idea is to help people whose applications have been held up because of the Web site’s technical problems, or who haven’t been able to get the system to calculate subsidies to help them pay for coverage.

 

According to a Health and Human Services official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity about decisions that have not been made public, an exact time frame for this extension has not been set, and it will depend in part on how many people request it. Nor have officials decided precisely how long people will have to select a health plan after they get the extra time.

 

Starting in about mid-April, people will no longer be able to get extensions through HealthCare.gov. After that, consumers will be able to request one through one of the federally sponsored call centers nationwide. At that point, the grounds for an extension will become narrower, matching rules for special enrollment periods that have existed for the past few months. Those include people who have a new baby, are getting a divorce, lose a job with health insurance or had a technical problem signing up for coverage through HealthCare.gov.

 

Once the narrower rules take effect, people will still be trusted to tell the truth about why they need more time — a method known as “self-attestation.”

 

The new rules are similar to steps being taken — or contemplated — by some of the 14 states that are running their own health-insurance exchanges.

 

Last week, the governing board of Maryland’s exchange, which has been hampered by serious computer problems, decided to let residents complete their enrollments after the March 31 deadline, as long as they had started the process beforehand. Minnesota officials announced this week that they would do the same thing. Oregon’s governor plans to announce a similar plan this week, according to his spokeswoman, and the board of Nevada’s exchange is considering several alternatives, including a special enrollment period.

 

The impact of such leeway, coming in the final days of a sign-up period that began in October, remains unclear. This year’s enrollment period is the first opportunity for Americans who are unable to get affordable insurance through a job to choose whether to enroll in one of the plans offered under the 2010 law.

 

In recent weeks, the White House and its allies have been mounting an intense public relations campaign to motivate people to sign up. Amid signs of increasing interest, federal health officials have privately worried whether HealthCare.gov could withstand an expected last-minute enrollment surge this weekend.

 

Administration officials have adopted an enrollment target of 6 million Americans, forecast this winter by congressional budget analysts. The analysts had lowered their previous prediction of 7 million after problems with HealthCare.gov thwarted many people who attempted to enroll during the fall.

 

Until now, the March 31 deadline has been the date by which most Americans must choose a plan — or risk a government fine in the form of a tax penalty when they file their 2014 taxes next year. The fine will not apply to people who get an extension under the new rules and enroll in plans within the allotted time.

 

The constituency that has been most wary of extra sign-up time has been the insurance industry. Insurance firms selling plans in the new marketplace want to minimize the possibility that people might wait to get coverage until they become sick — a practice that would undermine the central idea of keeping costs in check by balancing people who are expensive to insure with those who are healthy and require little medical treatment.

 

On the other hand, consumer advocates say it is important to give as many people as possible a chance to obtain insurance.

 

“The whole point of the thing is to get people covered,” said Jon Kingsdale, a health-care consultant and former director of Massachusetts’s insurance exchange, which was the first in the country, opening several years before the federal law set up a similar national marketplace. “In the first year, there has been so much confusion, I think it’s only natural there will be people who just don’t feel as if they fully understood what the law was and what they were supposed to do and that the opportunity would close.”

 

The change will be announced Wednesday.

 

 

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NEW WHITE HOUSE REPORT: The Impact Of Raising The Minimum Wage On Women


 

By Jueseppi B.

wage

 

 

NEW WHITE HOUSE REPORT: The Impact of Raising the Minimum Wage on Women and the Importance of Ensuring a Robust Tipped Minimum Wage

 

“Most people who would get a raise if we raise the minimum wage are not teenagers on their first job – their average age is 35.  A majority of lower-wage jobs are held by women.  These Americans are working full-time, often supporting families, and if the minimum wage had kept pace with our economy’s productivity, they’d already be earning well over $10 an hour today.  Instead, it’s stuck at $7.25.  Every time Congress refuses to raise it, it loses value because the cost of living goes higher, minimum wage stays the same.”

- President Obama, Remarks at Central Connecticut State University, March 5, 2014

Over the past 30 years, modest minimum wage increases have not kept pace with the rising costs of basic necessities for working families. No one who works full time should have to raise his or her family in poverty. President Obama supports raising the minimum wage to help build real, lasting economic security for the middle class and has made it a key part of his plan to create more opportunities for every hardworking American to get ahead in 2014.

The President knows this is important for workers, and good for the economy. That is why the President has already signed an executive order to raise the minimum wage and tipped minimum wage for federal contract workers and is calling on Congress to raise the national minimum wage  from $7.25 to $10.10 per hour and index it to inflation thereafter, while also raising the tipped minimum wage for the first time in over 20 years. Increasing the minimum wage and the tipped minimum wage is especially important for women, who make up more than half of the workforce in jobs that pay the minimum wage and tipped occupations. Today, the White House is releasing a new report that lays out how women and the workforce would benefit if Congress passed legislation to raise the national minimum wage and tipped minimum wage for all Americans. Key findings from the report include:

Raising the minimum wage is especially important for women because:

  • Women in the workforce are more highly concentrated in low-wage sectors such as personal care and healthcare support occupations.
  • Women account for more than half (55 percent) of all workers who would benefit from increasing the minimum wage to $10.10.

Women also make up the majority of workers in predominantly tipped occupation.  Under Federal law, employers are allowed to pay a “tipped minimum wage” of $2.13 to employees who regularly earn tips as long as their tips plus the tipped minimum wage meet or exceed $7.25 per hour.

  • Women account for 72 percent of all workers in predominantly tipped occupations – such as restaurant servers, bartenders, and hairstylists.
  • Average hourly wages for workers in predominantly tipped occupations are nearly 40 percent lower than overall average hourly wages.
  • Workers in predominantly tipped occupations are twice as likely as other workers to experience poverty, and servers are almost three times as likely to be in poverty.
  • About half of all workers in predominantly tipped occupations would see their earnings increase as a result of the President’s proposal.

The national tipped minimum wage has been stuck at $2.13 for over 20 years.  Partly as a result, tipped workers are at greater risk of not earning the full minimum wage, even though employers are required by law to ensure that employees’ tips plus their employer-paid wage meet or exceed the full minimum wage.

  • Since 1991, the tipped minimum wage has declined by 40 percent in real terms.  Today, the tipped minimum wage equals just 29 percent of the full minimum wage, the lowest share since the tipped minimum wage was established in 1966.
  • When surveyed, more than 1 in 10 workers in predominantly tipped occupations report hourly wages below the full national minimum wage, including tips. This fact highlights the challenges of ensuring compliance with minimum wage laws for tipped workers, as the employer contribution has been eroded by 20 years of inflation.
  • Many states have recognized the need for a greater employer contribution to the wages of tipped workers. Currently 32 states (including the District of Columbia) require employers to pay tipped workers an hourly wage that exceeds the national tipped minimum of $2.13 – and seven of these states require employers to pay both tipped and non-tipped workers the same state minimum wage before tips.

Raising the full minimum wage and the tipped minimum wage will help reduce poverty among women and their families, as well as make progress toward closing the gender pay gap.

  • About one-quarter (26 percent) of all workers who would benefit from increasing the minimum wage to $10.10 have dependent children, and 31 percent of female workers who would benefit have children.
  • 2.8 million working single parents would benefit from the President’s proposed increase in the full minimum wage, more than 80 percent of whom are women.
  • Research shows that raising the minimum wage reduces child poverty among female-headed households.
  • Increasing the minimum wage can also help women work their way out of poverty and into the middle class.
  • For every dollar that men earn, women earn just 77 cents. Estimates from the President’s Council of Economic Advisers suggest that increasing the minimum wage to $10.10 an hour and indexing it to inflation could close about 5 percent of the gender wage gap.

 

Read the entire report in PDF form…..

THE IMPACT OF RAISING THE MINIMUM WAGE ON WOMEN – March 2014

 

This report was prepared by the National Economic
Council, the Council of Economic Advisers, the
Domestic Policy Council, and the Department of
Labor

 

 

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The White House Extends The Patient Protection And Affordable Care Act (ObamaCARES) Enrollment Deadline.


 

By Jueseppi B.

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White House Extends Obamacare Enrollment Deadline

 

 

From The Washington Post:

 

Obama administration will allow more time to enroll in health care on federal marketplace

 

By Jenna Johnson contributed to this report.

 

The Obama administration has decided to give extra time to Americans who say that they are unable to enroll in health plans through the federal insurance marketplace by the March 31 deadline.

 

Federal officials confirmed Tuesday evening that all consumers who have begun to apply for coverage on HealthCare.gov, but who do not finish by Monday, will have until about mid-April to ask for an extension.

 

Under the new rules, people will be able to qualify for an extension by checking a blue box on HealthCare.gov to indicate that they tried to enroll before the deadline. This method will rely on an honor system; the government will not try to determine whether the person is telling the truth.

 

The rules, which will apply to the federal exchanges operating in three dozen states, will essentially create a large loophole even as White House officials have repeatedly said that the March 31 deadline was firm. The extra time will not technically alter the deadline but will create a broad new category of people eligible for what’s known as a special enrollment period.

 

The change, which the administration is scheduled to announce Wednesday, is supported by consumer advocates who want as many people as possible to gain insurance under the 2010 Affordable Care Act. But it’s likely to be criticized by Republicans who oppose the law and have denounced the way the administration is implementing it.

 

Administration officials said the accommodation is an attempt to prepare for a possible surge of people trying to sign up in the final days before the deadline. Such a flood could leave some people unable to get through the system.

 

“We are . . . making sure that we will be ready to help consumers who may be in line by the deadline to complete enrollment — either online or over the phone,” said Julie Bataille, director of the office of communications for the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, the agency overseeing the federal health-care exchange.

 

The extra time will not be restricted, though, to people who wait until the last minute to try to sign up. Although no one will be asked why they need an extension, the idea is to help people whose applications have been held up because of the Web site’s technical problems, or who haven’t been able to get the system to calculate subsidies to help them pay for coverage.

 

According to a Health and Human Services official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity about decisions that have not been made public, an exact time frame for this extension has not been set, and it will depend in part on how many people request it. Nor have officials decided precisely how long people will have to select a health plan after they get the extra time.

 

Starting in about mid-April, people will no longer be able to get extensions through HealthCare.gov. After that, consumers will be able to request one through one of the federally sponsored call centers nationwide. At that point, the grounds for an extension will become narrower, matching rules for special enrollment periods that have existed for the past few months. Those include people who have a new baby, are getting a divorce, lose a job with health insurance or had a technical problem signing up for coverage through HealthCare.gov.

 

Once the narrower rules take effect, people will still be trusted to tell the truth about why they need more time — a method known as “self-attestation.”

 

The new rules are similar to steps being taken — or contemplated — by some of the 14 states that are running their own health-insurance exchanges.

 

Last week, the governing board of Maryland’s exchange, which has been hampered by serious computer problems, decided to let residents complete their enrollments after the March 31 deadline, as long as they had started the process beforehand. Minnesota officials announced this week that they would do the same thing. Oregon’s governor plans to announce a similar plan this week, according to his spokeswoman, and the board of Nevada’s exchange is considering several alternatives, including a special enrollment period.

 

The impact of such leeway, coming in the final days of a sign-up period that began in October, remains unclear. This year’s enrollment period is the first opportunity for Americans who are unable to get affordable insurance through a job to choose whether to enroll in one of the plans offered under the 2010 law.

 

In recent weeks, the White House and its allies have been mounting an intense public relations campaign to motivate people to sign up. Amid signs of increasing interest, federal health officials have privately worried whether HealthCare.gov could withstand an expected last-minute enrollment surge this weekend.

 

Administration officials have adopted an enrollment target of 6 million Americans, forecast this winter by congressional budget analysts. The analysts had lowered their previous prediction of 7 million after problems with HealthCare.gov thwarted many people who attempted to enroll during the fall.

 

Until now, the March 31 deadline has been the date by which most Americans must choose a plan — or risk a government fine in the form of a tax penalty when they file their 2014 taxes next year. The fine will not apply to people who get an extension under the new rules and enroll in plans within the allotted time.

 

The constituency that has been most wary of extra sign-up time has been the insurance industry. Insurance firms selling plans in the new marketplace want to minimize the possibility that people might wait to get coverage until they become sick — a practice that would undermine the central idea of keeping costs in check by balancing people who are expensive to insure with those who are healthy and require little medical treatment.

 

On the other hand, consumer advocates say it is important to give as many people as possible a chance to obtain insurance.

 

“The whole point of the thing is to get people covered,” said Jon Kingsdale, a health-care consultant and former director of Massachusetts’s insurance exchange, which was the first in the country, opening several years before the federal law set up a similar national marketplace. “In the first year, there has been so much confusion, I think it’s only natural there will be people who just don’t feel as if they fully understood what the law was and what they were supposed to do and that the opportunity would close.”

 

The change will be announced Wednesday.

 

Thank you  The Washington Post.

 

 

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Statements and Releases

 

Statement by the Press Secretary on New Hampshire expanding Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act

Today’s passage of Medicaid expansion by the New Hampshire House of Representatives marks a major step forward in ensuring that all Americans, including those in New Hampshire, have access to quality, affordable health care.  New Hampshire’s decision to expand Medicaid is about people, not politics. Expanding Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act means that 26,000 residents who would otherwise be uninsured will finally have access to affordable coverage, and hospitals and businesses throughout New Hampshire will save on uncompensated care costs.  New Hampshire is joining a growing number of states that have put politics aside to expand Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act, and we look forward to seeing Governor Hassan sign this important legislation into law.

 

 

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