That’s been true every year for decades On the Affordable Health Care Act by President Barack Obama

Just since 2000, premium increases have far outpaced wage increases and inflation.

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Contraceptive care On the Affordable Health Care Act by President Barack Obama

Contraceptive care became a major point of contention, as religious employers—principally Catholic organizations—sought the right to refuse having to fund contraception for their employees. Contraception is against Catholic doctrine.

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Obamacare On the Affordable Health Care Act by President Barack Obama

“Obamacare” was originally a Republican pejorative in order to tie Obama’s political 2012 electoral fate and legacy to the law’s failure. But the President, confident that the plan would be popular, eventually adopted the name.

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Medicaid expansion On the Affordable Health Care Act by President Barack Obama

The Medicaid expansion increases the income eligibility threshold to 133% of the federal poverty line, up from 100%.

However, a Supreme Court ruling determined that states could decide whether to cooperate with the federal government to expand coverage for low-income families, and only 26 states and the District of Columbia have opted in on the Medicaid expansion.

Low-income citizens of states who have rejected the expansion may find themselves ineligible for both Medicaid and affordability provisions in the new law.

While costs borne by the states are cited as the reason for the refusal, it appears to be as much a political move. (The federal government shoulders the vast bulk of the expansion’s costs.) Compare the map of states opting out of Obama’s plan and the electoral map of 2012:

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Mat Brown's photo

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April 2nd, 2014

What happens to the people in states who refused the Medicaid expansion whose incomes are too high for Medicaid and too low for premium subsidies?

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Gained insurance under this law by staying on their family’s plan On the Affordable Health Care Act by President Barack Obama

An early provision of the Affordable Care Act was the ability to stay on one’s parents' plan until the age of 26.

Before the ACA, insurers could remove children from the their parents' coverage at age 19. Full-time college students could often retain coverage during their four-year studies.

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Dear Senator Wyden Letter to Senator Ron Wyden by Director of National Intelligence James Clapper

DNI James Clapper and Senator Wyden have an ongoing antagonistic relationship. It was Wyden who lured Clapper into his famous lie in March 2013, annotated on News Genius:

[Wyden]
So, what I wanted to see is, if you could give me a YES or NO answer to the question: Does the NSA collect any type of data at all on millions or hundreds of millions of Americans?"

[Clapper]
“No, sir.”

[Wyden]
“It does not?”

[Clapper:]
“Not wittingly. There are cases where they could, inadvertently perhaps, collect — but not wittingly.”

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Henry Kissinger The Three Faces of Barack Obama by Thomas Friedman

Kissinger was President Richard Nixon’s National Security Advisor and Secretary of State. He advocated for a realpolitik foreign policy, understood as a rational, rather than ideological, mode of imperialism.

News Genius breaks down Kissinger and Nixon’s private discussions of their eventual coup that removed democratically elected Chilean president Salvador Allende and brought about the murderous regime of General Augusto Pinochet.

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Access to rockets The Three Faces of Barack Obama by Thomas Friedman

Access to rockets?!

Are they ICBMs? Because unless they are, they might as well be bottle rockets—no rocket can reach the U.S.

Now, a rocket might reach U.S. forces in the region, but that’s because there are more than 700 U.S. military bases in the world in more than 100 countries. And we might consider whether that angers international citizens and puts our troops in danger.

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Every American president needs a little of that in today’s world The Three Faces of Barack Obama by Thomas Friedman

Wait, so every American president needs to be quick to drone? That’s the whole problem, that drone attacks are seen to be rash and sloppy—too quick.

It was revealed by Glenn Greenwald and Jeremy Scahill in February that drone targets were being located by using phone metadata and geolocation of cell phones. Instead of being careful to make absolutely sure that the targeted individual is the one killed—and not simply innocents in the unlucky vicinity of a certain cell phone—they are quick to rain the missiles down.

And, of course, Constitutional protections were too slow for President Obama’s drone army, which assassinated two American citizens—one a 16-year-old—with no trial. And the US government is reportedly considering another American citizen for extrajudicial execution.

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A series of intellectuals and celebrities made appearances at Zuccotti Park Declaration: Take Up the Baton by Michael Hardt (Ft. Antonio Negri) 1

A short list of celebrities and intellectuals who visited Zuccotti Park:

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