FROM Emily Friedman
Is Help on the Way for Home Care Workers? In 1975, fewer than 50 home care agencies existed nationwide. By 2009, there were nearly 6600, with a work force of some 2.5 million people caring for the nation's elderly at home. Those workers have been exempted from minimum wage and overtime pay rules under an exemption in the Fair Labor Act, and the Labor Department is considering a rule change that would guarantee minimum wage and overtime pay to home care workers. Labor advocates say the change is long overdue, but will increased costs mean fewer Americans will be able to afford to care for aging relatives at home? Who's planning ahead about how to care for baby boomers, a population that will include several million people over the age of 100 by the year 2050?
After Months of Bitter Debate, Senate Passes Landmark Health Bill Republicans delayed the vote until the morning of Christmas Eve, but just after 7 o'clock today, the Senate passed its version of healthcare reform with a bare 60 votes and promptly recessed until next year. President Obama called it a " historic… landmark ," the most important piece of social legislation since the Social Security Act of the 1930's; Republicans called it "a lump of coal in the Christmas stocking of every American." Liberal Democrats are divided over the next step: to help reconcile the Senate and House version s or kill both bills and start over again. Republicans say the fight is not over for them, either. We look at what's next.
Senate Compromises on Healthcare Bill On his way to Europe to pick up his Nobel Prize, the President today commended Democrats in the Senate for an agreement arrived at last night to dispose of one of the most controversial aspects of health care reform, the so-called "public option." We hear what's known so far about the details of the deal, and find out what happened yesterday with regard to Medicare and abortion.
Will Healthcare Reform Get to the Senate Floor? After many delays, Senate leader Harry Reid finally unveiled his version of healthcare reform last night in Washington. He called the legislation a "tremendous step forward…(b)ecause it saves lives, saves money and protects Medicare -- makes Medicare stronger."
Will Healthcare Reform Get to the Senate Floor? The Senate's healthcare reform bill is finally a 2000-page, $848-billion reality, including the public option, with an allowance for states to opt out. It would cover 94% of legal American residents and reduce the deficit with Medicare cuts and taxes on cosmetic surgery and so-called "Cadillac" plans. What's the same and what's different from the bill passed by the House? What about abortion? Can Republicans prevent the bill from reaching the Senate floor?
Congress Lurches toward Healthcare Reform As Congress grapples with five different proposals for healthcare reform, the nonpartisan Commonwealth Fund reports that Americans are dying too soon . Despite spending vastly more than other industrialized countries, the United States is near the bottom and falling further behind when it comes to so-called "preventable deaths" from diabetes, epilepsy, stroke, influenza, ulcers and pneumonia.
Congress Lurches toward Healthcare Reform President Obama says healthcare reform is "closer than ever," conceding what everybody knows, that there's still "a long way to go." There remain five different versions of the biggest government undertaking in 44 years, three in the House and two in the Senate. Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi must reconcile their respective committee reports to produce massive bills, hundreds of pages long, for debate and amendment. What's common to all five proposals and what are the major differences? What about coverage, cost, affordability and the "public option?"
GOP 'Nukes' the Senate filibuster on SCOTUS nominees Senate Democrats today blocked Judge Neil Gorsuch's appointment to the US Supreme Court… but just for the moment. The Republican majority has changed the rules to force a likely confirmation as soon as tomorrow.
Will the march for science politicize objective research? Protesters are gathering all over the country for tomorrow's Earth Day March for Science. Since President Trump has proposed massive cuts in basic scientific research, will the movement be perceived as partisan politics — whether scientists themselves like it or not?
Nuclear crisis on the Korean Peninsula slowly coming to a head North Korea did not conduct a nuclear test this weekend, but it did show apparent progress in developing a missile that that could strike the United States. The Trump Administration says it has lost its "strategic patience." We hear what that might -- or might not -- mean for North Korea, China and the prospects for diplomacy.
Mixed Messages from US diplomats on the new hard line on Syria Since President Trump's surprise retaliation against Syria's use of chemical weapons, Bashar al-Assad has used the same airport to launch conventional attacks on his own people. It's not clear what the US, its allies — or Vladimir Putin's Russia -- plan to do now.