“A first-of-its-kind report of steps to improve minorities health care”

I guess this is another proof that “Obama isn’t doing anything to help minorities”:

USA Today: Minorities get worse health care, but government aims for change

WASHINGTON (AP) — From cradle to grave, minority populations tend to suffer poorer health and get poorer health care than white Americans. In a first-of-its-kind report, the government is recommending steps to reduce those disparities.

The plan being released Friday runs the gamut from improving dental care for poor children to tapping “promotoras,” savvy community health workers who can help guide their Spanish-speaking neighbors in seeking treatment.But it acknowledges that giving everyone an equal shot at living a healthy life depends on far more than what happens inside a doctor’s office — or steps that federal health officials can take.

“It’s also a product of where people live, labor, learn, play and pray,” Dr. Howard Koh, assistant secretary of Health and Human Services, told The Associated Press. “We really need a full commitment from the country to achieve these goals.”HHS wouldn’t put a dollar figure on its own pending projects, but said it plans to pay for them with money already in hand and not subject to Congress’ ongoing budget battle.

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Among the HHS plans outlined in Friday’s report:

•Working with states to increase by 10% the number of poor children who receive preventive dental care, including cavity-blocking sealants

.•Hiring trusted local people to serve as community health workers who can help diabetics understand and stick to their doctor’s care instructions. A Medicare pilot program has begun in Mississippi and Texas, and will spread to other areas.

•Increasing use of trained promotoras, the Spanish term for those trusted locals. Head Start will use them to direct parents to health services.

•Developing reimbursement incentives to improve the quality of care for minority populations, such as better prevention of heart disease and strokes.

•New studies comparing which treatments work best for diabetes, asthma, arthritis and heart disease in minority populations.

•Creating an online national registry of certified interpreters that doctors or hospitals can use for patients who don’t speak English.

•State grants to measure and improve community asthma care.

HHS held meetings around the country to gather input from state and local officials, community groups and average citizens on barriers to health equality, and a separate report reflects strategies for community efforts.That inclusiveness should “bring more people to the work of eliminating disparities,” said Cheryl Boyce, former director of the Ohio Commission on Minority Health. “It has to trickle down into community action.”

“We’re lucky that polls show Obama well-positioned to defeat any of the Republicans mentioned so far”

Eugene Robinson:

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The richest, most powerful nation on Earth is more than halfway through its fiscal year without having a budget. Lately, we’ve been operating on two- or three-week spending plans. This wild irresponsibility comes at a time when the nation is fighting wars in the Middle East and struggling to recover from the worst economic slump since the Great Depression—a time of great uncertainty and high anxiety about America’s place in the world. Now comes a serious threat to shut down the government, strictly as an act of political theater.

I blame the Democrats for not passing a budget last year, when they were supposed to, while they still had big majorities in both houses of Congress. I blame Republicans for their ever-changing demands, which seem to be coming from a caucus of 2-year-olds. But the point isn’t who’s responsible. The point is that in the larger sense, nobody’s responsible.

This is no way to run a banana republic, let alone a superpower. Leave aside, for the moment, the long-range challenges—sagging infrastructure, vanishing industry, growing inequality, underfunded entitlements, an overextended military. Leave aside the rise of China, the fall of Arab autocrats, global climate change and our stubborn addiction to oil. At one of the most basic duties of any government—make a budget, even if you don’t keep to it—our elected officials have utterly failed.

It’s the kind of incomprehensible failure that makes people conclude that the system is broken. It’s the kind of failure that makes voters want to look for a knight in shining armor, a caped crusader, a Man With No Name—maybe even a Man With an Inescapable Name. We’re lucky that polls show Obama well-positioned to defeat any of the Republicans mentioned so far. We’re also lucky that Trump’s “candidacy” is a piece of performance art.

And let’s hope Charlie Sheen keeps his tiger blood and Adonis DNA out of politics.

Friday morning mishmash (NOT-BREAKING: Republicans hates America!)

Hi guys,

President Obama cancelled his trip to Indiana because he must stay in Washington do deal with bunch of neanderthals.

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You think?

NYT: It’s Not Really About Spending

If the federal government shuts down at midnight on Friday — which seems likely unless negotiations take a sudden turn toward rationality — it will not be because of disagreements over spending. It will be because Republicans are refusing to budge on these ideological demands:

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Abortion. Environmental protection. Health care. Nothing to do with jobs or the economy; instead, all the hoary greatest hits of the Republican Party, only this time it has the power to wreak national havoc: furloughing 800,000 federal workers, suspending paychecks for soldiers and punishing millions of Americans who will have to wait for tax refunds, Social Security applications, small-business loans, and even most city services in Washington. The damage to a brittle economy will be substantial.

Democrats have already gone much too far in giving in to the House demands for spending cuts. The $33 billion that they have agreed to cut will pull an enormous amount of money from the economy at exactly the wrong time, and will damage dozens of vital programs.

But it turns out that all those excessive cuts they volunteered were worth far less to the Republicans than the policy riders that are the real holdup to a deal. After President Obama appeared on television late Wednesday night to urge the two sides to keep talking, negotiators say, the issue of the spending cuts barely even came up. All the talk was about the abortion demands and the other issues.

Democrats in the White House and the Senate say they will not give in to this policy extortion, and we hope they do not weaken. These issues have no place in a stopgap spending bill a few minutes from midnight.

A measure to prohibit the Environmental Protection Agency from regulating greenhouse gas emissions came up for a Senate vote on Wednesday and failed. If Republicans want to have yet another legislative debate about abortion and family planning, let them try to pass a separate bill containing their restrictions. But that bill would fail, too, and they know it, so they have chosen extortion.

The lack of seriousness in the House is reflected in the taunting bill it passed on Thursday to keep the government open for another week at an absurdly high cost of $12 billion in cuts and the ban on District of Columbia abortion financing. The Senate and the White House said it was a nonstarter. Many of the same House members who earlier had said they would refuse to approve another short-term spending bill voted for this one, clearly hoping they could use its inevitable failure in the Senate to blame the Democrats for the shutdown. What could be more cynical?

The public is not going to be fooled once it sees what the Republicans, pushed by Tea Party members, were really holding out for. There are a few hours left to stop this dangerous game, and for the Republicans to start doing their job, which, if they’ve forgotten, is to serve the American people.

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You think?

Krugman: Ludicrous and Cruel

Many commentators swooned earlier this week after House Republicans, led by the Budget Committee chairman, Paul Ryan, unveiled their budget proposals. They lavished praise on Mr. Ryan, asserting that his plan set a new standard of fiscal seriousness.

Well, they should have waited until people who know how to read budget numbers had a chance to study the proposal. For the G.O.P. plan turns out not to be serious at all. Instead, it’s simultaneously ridiculous and heartless.

// snip

In the past, Mr. Ryan has talked a good game about taking care of those in need. But as the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities points out, of the $4 trillion in spending cuts he proposes over the next decade, two-thirds involve cutting programs that mainly serve low-income Americans. And by repealing last year’s health reform, without any replacement, the plan would also deprive an estimated 34 million nonelderly Americans of health insurance.

So the pundits who praised this proposal when it was released were punked. The G.O.P. budget plan isn’t a good-faith effort to put America’s fiscal house in order; it’s voodoo economics, with an extra dose of fantasy, and a large helping of mean-spiritedness. 

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Usually I will not give Huff-Crap a click to save my life, but this Frank Schaeffer piece is  amazing:

The other day my two-year-old granddaughter vomited on me. I love her, didn’t mind and cleaned up. I don’t love the Tea Party and the Republicans who are presently puking on America. I won’t forgive them. But I will help clean up: in 2012.

As a former Republican disgusted with the modern day version of a once actual political party now devolved into a far right religious right/loony right rabble all I can say is the Republicans have crossed a historical line from which there is no return. Fox News, Rush Limbaugh, Sarah Palin are not a cause but just another symptom of the political equivalent of Mad Cow disease.

The ideologues of the right who are willing to shut down the government, risk the fragile economy — in a time of war no less (“patriots?”) — and who have hidden behind their racist “birther” code for the fact that they won’t accept a black president… et al are puking on the rest of us.

Enough!

// more of this mandatory read

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First Read:

On a week when Obama launched his re-election bid, the NBC/WSJ poll shows him a position with the public that would please Bill Daley, David Plouffe, and Jim Messina. For the second-straight time, a plurality of Americans (38%) view him as a moderate, versus 30% who see him as “very liberal” and 20% who see him as “somewhat liberal.” In addition, his job-approval rating — which sits at 49% overall — is above 50% with seniors, is also above 50% in every region except the South, and is a net-positive among independents. And his re-elect number among women 50+ is almost at 50%. There seems to be a pattern here: Obama is improving with independents, seniors, and women. But what might concern Daley/Plouffe/Messina: this Florida Quinnipiac poll, which shows 52% of registered voters in the state disapproving of the president’s job. 

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Super rant from the one and only Angry Black Lady ;)

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Yea, just keep working. President Obama Meets With Colombian President Santos:

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West Wing Week:

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If Americans still can’t see that this tired man is the only one in Washington who is actually working for them, then they simply don’t deserve hm. Honestly, I don’t know why he would even want to do this job for another term. I wish I could just give him a good hug.