Beltway Insider: Obama Offers ACA Concessions; World Remembers JFK; Typhoon Death Toll Revised; Iran Maintains Nuclear Direction

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President Barack Obama was pressured again, even by his own party, to answer for the major malfunction of the Affordable Care Act Marketplace and his failure to honor his commitment and promise to the American people.  

According to Gallup, President Obama’s job approval, over the past week, stayed at the lowest point of his presidency at 41% of those polled that approve of his effectiveness as President and those who disapprove of his effectiveness as President remained at 53%, the highest level.

President Obama Offers Affordable Care Act Concessions

President Obama announced concessions this week to the Affordable Care Act directing the Health and Human Services Secretary to use its administrative authority to assist Americans who are receiving cancellation notices despite his promise they could retain their insurance carriers.

In a recorded press conference, the President attempted to make it clear than he was painstakingly aware of the gross errors, devastating delays, and miscalculations during the initial rollout of the ACA Marketplace website.

Apologizing to the American people no less than a half a dozen times President Obama made it very clear that ACA Marketplace was not operating as anticipated, expected and the abysmal performance is not considered acceptable.  

Six weeks into the open enrollment and unfortunately, the same poor assessments are continuing into the second month. The initial data according to White House Press Secretary Jay Carney should be released this week.

President Obama said, “Yesterday, the White House announced that in the first month, more than 100,000 Americans successfully enrolled in new insurance plans.” Those numbers have yet to be confirmed.

Former President Bill Clinton also weighed in on the ACA stating President Obama should honor his commitment to people who have lost their health care or are losing their healthcare even if it meant changing the law.

President Obama taking into consideration all factors announced the following concessions to the Affordable Care Act:

·                     Allow insurers to renew their current policies for current enrollees without adopting the 2014 market rule changes.  This will give consumers in the individual and small group markets the choice of staying in their plan or joining a new Marketplace plan next year.  HHS will consider the impact of this transitional policy in assessing whether to extend it beyond 2014.

·                     Require insurers offering such renewals to ensure consumers are informed about their options.  Specifically, insurers offering these renewals must inform all consumers who either already have or will receive cancellation letters about the protections their renewed plan will not include and how they can learn about the new options available to them through the Marketplaces which will offer better protections and possible financial assistance.

·                     To protect against the potential impacts this change will have on premiums, HHS will adjust the temporary risk corridor program which is designed to stabilize premiums as changes are implemented. 

Typhoon Haiyan Annihilates Philippine Nation

Initial estimates of casualty and loss of life from Typhoon Haiyan, which slammed into the Philippine nation one week ago, and were originally reported at 10,000 dead in Tacloban alone, are now being revised much lower.

While the death totals are being lowered the damage estimates are climbing as the Philippine nation digs itself out of the catastrophic devastation from the strongest tropical storm to ever make landfall.

Philippine President Beniago Aquino stated after touring the heavily damaged nation the initial death toll estimates were gathered from “emotional drama.”  

The shock, grief and Post Traumatic Stress associated with a disaster like Typhoon Haiyan, and the inability to locate loved ones in the ensuing chaos made those initial numbers realistic.

Fortunately, the death toll in Tacloban has been lowered, dramatically, closer to 3,000 from the Super Storm. There have been no estimates of death sustained from post storm conditions, lack of food, water, medical supplies or sanitary conditions.

President Obama addressed the American people, and the world, over the devastation suffered in the Philippines imploring those who wished to donate to the relief efforts to participate through a recognized charity.

The USS George Washington along with a contingent of seven ships as well as International Aid finally arrived mid week and began assisting as first responders in the search and recovery mission.

The decimated city of Tacloban, where before and after imagery show the dramatic changes in topography, is finally receiving much needed humanitarian aid.  For some families it is the first food and clean water in seven days.

Typhoon Haiyan peaked with recorded winds gusting to 315k/195mph and sustained winds of 235km/145mph. The storm surge sent several walls of water, the first at 17 feet, slamming into the coastal city destroying homes, already damaged by the massive gusting winds, annihilating everything  in its path.

Upwards of 1.9million are now homeless, countless orphaned and widowed along with at least 3000K dead.

The property damage estimates are close to several billion dollars as entire cities have been washed away. Power lines, infrastructure, damage to Airports, roads, bridges and Shipping Ports across the archipelago nation are severely damaged or completely destroyed.

After the storm had passed, the world began to get unprecedented images of a nation, mauled by 195mph winds. Human grief, battered landscape, bloated and decaying bodies of men, women and children lining the streets.  Apocalyptic images, widespread destruction and devastation unfathomable in scope.

Typhoon Haiyan, which had been downgrade to a tropical storm also made landfall in Vietnam, causing unprecedented damage to the small south East Asian country.  

Packing dramatically lower sustained winds of 98mph, Tropical Storm Haiyan nonetheless left its mark, uprooting trees, downing power lines and ripping homes off their foundation.  The death toll in Vietnam has been reported at 13 with 81 injured.

World Remembers JFK Assassination

November 22, 1963. John Fitzgerald Kennedy, 35th President of the United States, was shot and killed while riding in an open air motorcade through the streets of Dallas with Texas Governor John B. Connelly, his wife, Nellie and First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy.

November 22, 1963. For most Americans, old enough to remember, and the world that day and the three that followed would be the most poignant memories of their lives.

The days following the assassination brought the United States to a standstill as neophyte news networks scrambled to produce the first 24 hour coverage airing the unthinkable tragedy.

Within an hour of the assassination, Lee Harvey Oswald was arrested and charged with the murder. Within 24 hours, as he was to be transferred, he was shot point blank by Jack Ruby, a local nightclub owner said to be distraught over the president’s assassination.

First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy, epitomized aplomb, grace under pressure, dignity and composure in the following days as she prepared a funeral for a nation, the world and a slain president.

Her husband, the President, was placed the capitol rotunda where he would lie in state for 21 hours.

JFK was a man of the people, the nation refusing to let him leave waited, around the clock, to pass by the coffin hoping for one last moment. Over 250,000 mourners braved the blistery cold chill of late November to pay final respects.

The world arrived in Washington, heads of states from over 100 nations, for the funeral of President John F. Kennedy. By then, Americans had been shaken to the core. Crowds lined Pennsylvania Avenue. Mourners wept openly. Citizens of the world wondered why.  Every nation carried the tragic headline.

Robert Kennedy, Edward, their wives and the First Lady, dignified, burdened by sorrow, her two children, six year old Caroline, kneeling at the casket beside her mother and John, Jr., who was celebrating his third birthday, saluting his father’s coffin. Indelible images burned into the foundation of American and the psyche of a generation.

President John F. Kennedy was buried at Arlington Cemetery. An eternal flame, lit that day, marks the grave today. 

November 22, 1963.  The day hope died.

As the world remembers commentators, archivist, historians and the youthful news teams who witnessed the fateful day are presenting their unique recollections possibly for the last collective anniversary.

Abraham Zapruder, who decided to film the presidential motorcade as it traveled through the streets of Dallas, and ended catching a catastrophic event unlike anything the world collectively had seen.

Zapruder sold the film to Life Magazine, with the promise that Frame 313 would never be shown publically.

Now, fifty years later the Zapruder film, which had released many of the stills and even consecutive footage and never until this year has the film in its entirety been shown publically including Frame 313, that captures the splatter from the fatal shot.  

Theory, years of dissection, official reports from The Warren Commission adding insult to injury by attempting to sooth the worlds heartache and conscious by presenting a prefab conclusion. As they had one dead alleged assassin. It became an open and shut case.

History has recorded President John F. Kennedy was assassinated by Lee Harvey Oswald.

Conspiracy theorists, filmmakers, politicians and private citizens have all questioned the ease of conclusion. With evidence pointing in other directions, the belief of additional possibilities will forever remain.

It has been fifty years since that day. The Kennedys have become cultural and political icons, the nation mourned once again when John, Jr., the only son of the late president died on July 16, 1999.

Iran Maintains Nuclear Direction

President Barack Obama took the unusual steps this week of continuing the state of emergency with respect to Iran.

With the election of moderate Islamist President Rouhani, a cleric and scholar, the United States began to open the door to the possibility of diplomatic action between the two nations.

Unfortunately, the main agenda is the total disarmament of the Iranian Nuclear program a point at this time, the Iranian government is not willing to concede.

President Obama in a written statement said, “Because our relations with Iran have not yet returned to normal, and the process of implementing the agreements with Iran, dated January 19, 1981, is still under way, I have determined that it is necessary to continue the national emergency declared in Executive Order 12170 with respect to Iran. “



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