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Fast-food fortune teller

You don’t need a fortune teller to know that a business-backed group is twisting its cherry-picked facts in its latest ad attacking any increase in the federal minimum wage. Listen for the tip-off phrase: “up to.”... Read more»

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Is Obamacare causing health care layoffs?

Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers blamed the Affordable Care Act for a recent loss of health care jobs, but she based her comment on a reported December downtick that was preliminary and miniscule at that, and that economists say had nothing to do with the new health care law.... Read more»

Obamacare: A midterm report card

The first half of the Obamacare open enrollment period is over, and yesterday, federal health officials announced sign-up figures from the first three months. ... Read more»

Analysis

How sequestration gets worse in 2014

Sequestration—the automatic across-the-board cuts that started earlier this year—are a disaster for the American people. Unless lawmakers act, it’s going to be even worse in 2014.... Read more»

House approves border security funding, in 13th ‘piecemeal’ budget bill

The House voted on Thursday this week to fund Department of Homeland Security operations for fiscal 2014, the latest in a string of votes to reopen specific agencies in a strategy that Democrats deride as “cherry-picking” areas of the government.... Read more»

Immigration advocates push to keep focus on comprehensive reform

Advocates are planning 177 events in more than 150 cities Saturday, which they are calling the National Day for Dignity and Respect. Dawn Le, deputy campaign manager of Alliance for Citizenship, one of the organizing groups, said the day aims to pressure House leaders to move on immigration reform.... Read more»3

Farm bill expired Monday, farmers hope for long-term replacement

The budget was not the only significant legislation that died Monday between a deadlocked House and Senate – the farm bill also expired at midnight, leaving farm programs, crop supports and food stamps up in the air.... Read more»

FAQ: How will the individual mandate work?

The federal health law's individual mandate, one of the key building blocks of the insurance overhaul, remains controversial as the October start date approaches for enrolling in new online marketplaces. Individuals who don't get insurance through work will shop for insurance on these websites for policies that will take effect in January.... Read more»

Obamacare myths

We’ve been batting down bogus claims about the Affordable Care Act for years, since 2009, when legislation was still in the debate stage. But they’ve been increasing in intensity in recent months as we approach Oct. 1, the date the insurance exchanges will be open for business for those buying their own insurance, mainly with the help of federal subsidies.... Read more»

Obama overpromises on premiums

President Obama claimed that all of the currently uninsured would be able to get coverage on the exchanges “at a significantly cheaper rate than what they can get right now on the individual market” even without federal tax credits. But even Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius has said that younger Americans would likely pay more on the exchanges, while those who are older would likely pay less. ... Read more»

Deficits falling (from way up)

In recent speeches, President Obama has repeatedly claimed that “our deficits are falling at the fastest rate in 60 years.” The White House says he’s referring to the decline in the deficit as a percentage of the nation’s economy from 2009 to 2012. But that’s not the “fastest rate” of deficit reduction in 60 years. It fell at a faster rate from 2004 to 2007.... Read more»

GOP mistweets #obamacare survey results

House Speaker John Boehner, among other Republicans, wrongly tweeted that a recent “study” found “74% of small businesses will fire workers, cut hours under #Obamacare.” Actually, no more than 13 percent of the small businesses surveyed said that.... Read more»

U.S. House bill sets up immigration fight

The barrier that divides the U.S. House and Senate plans for immigration reform looms as large as the double-layered border fence that lines much of the Texas-Mexico border. ... Read more»

Health insurance premium spin

A new analysis on the Affordable Care Act prompts Republicans and the White House to trade misleading claims about the law’s impact on insurance premiums. Predictably, one side says they’ll go up; the other says they’ll go down. But both are stretching the facts, just as they’ve been doing since 2010, before the law was even enacted.... Read more»

Analysis

The United States’ long-term debt problem isn’t as bad as you thought

In recent years we have been repeatedly warned that the federal government is on track to accumulate an unsustainable amount of debt over the next several decades. This debt, we’ve been told, will eventually crush our economy unless we drastically cut entitlement programs such as Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security. But our long-term fiscal challenges are far less frightening than we have been led to believe.... Read more»

Boehner’s revenue reach

House Speaker John Boehner claimed the federal government will take in more revenue this year than any other year in history. That’s true in nominal dollars, but not as a percentage of gross domestic product — a measure preferred by most economists that accounts for growth in population, inflation and earnings.... Read more»

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