Beltway Insider: Ukraine In Crisis; President, World Leaders Determined; Russia Defiant; ObamaCare Timeline

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President Barack Obama,  global allies, partners, and the United Nations Security Council moved forward implementing severe economic sanctions on the people of Russia while they wait for Russian President Vladimir Putin to withdraw troops from Ukraine.

 

According to Gallup, President Obama's job approval, over the past week dropped one percentage point to 42% of those polled who approve of his effectiveness as President and those who disapprove of his effectiveness as President rose one percentage point to 53%. 

Ukraine In Crisis; President, World Leaders Determined; Russia Defiant

President Obama, along with leaders of the top industrialized nations, has remained determined to enforce the United Nations Security Council recent vote which condemns Russia's takeover of Crimea and continued violation of the Ukraine territorial sovereignty.

Russian President Vladimir Putin, who is imposing on his country and people severe economic and diplomatic sanctions over the continued annexation, has retained his hold on Crimea, USSR, formally the Ukraine, and has maintained the buildup of troops along the Eastern Ukraine border.

"Our position is clear:  Russia is illegally occupying Crimea.  And we will never recognize, we do not recognize and won't recognize, and our partners and allies have made clear they feel the same, that illegal occupation.  It was done in violation of the U.N. Charter, in violation of Russia's own commitments with Ukraine, the sovereign state of Ukraine.  And that remains true today and it will remain true in the future," said Jay Carney White House Press Secretary.

Through the aggression of neighboring Russia, the Ukraine has essentially been divided into two countries, to the south the 10K square miles peninsula of Crimea, which borders the Black Sea on either side, an island which connects to Russia at the southern tip and Ukraine at the northern point.

European Union

At the time the Russian tanks moved across the Ukrainian border, the Ukraine government was moving toward entrance into the European Union, a 21 nation sovereign global power comprised of smaller European Nations.

These Nations alone have little power and less authority in the global arena and together form a strong alliance with both international authority, sovereign power and through an EU constitution a growing commerce, united transportation system and military branch.

The EU essentially creates a formidable bulwark, a defense and barrier against any acts of aggression, from singular violations of territorial sovereignty to its member nations to mass movements such as the march against Europe by Nazi, Germany in WW II.

Throughout the ongoing Russian occupation, illegal annexation and subsequent succession elections, the Ukraine government has diligently remained focused on the EU entrance criteria. Showing incredible restraint, the government has refused to agitate the potentially volatile unrest by resorting to aggressive military action.

"The costs imposed for the occupation of Crimea are not going to be changed if they [don't] occupy Crimea.  The sanctions that have been foreshadowed, potentially, the sectoral economic sanctions and the other actions that are allowed under the second executive order that the President signed are ones that we would impose, as our European partners also said they would, should Russia engage in further violations of Ukraine's sovereignty," Carney said.

The International Monetary Fund

The International Monetary Fund, IMF, has agreed to partner with the Ukraine through a loan which will not only prepare the economy for EU admission, but will also create international aid and funding opportunities as the Ukraine  takes essential steps to restore economic stability.

Funding economic creation and growth, the $14-$18billion dollar IMF loan will shift the Ukraine Gross Domestic Product, toward financial stability, establish a financially viable and competitive economy, and reposition the democracy forward as the nation prepares for democratic May elections.

The Ukraine Gross Domestic Product, GDP, according to economists is projected to grow, at least 3%, over the next two years with greater growth projected than neighboring countries, Romania and Belarus, with similar GDP's and other economic factors.

 "Together with our international partners, the President will continue to build support for the Ukrainian people at this critical time.  We also continue to urge Republicans in Congress to stop blocking important IMF reforms to ensure the IMF has the resources it needs to fulfill its mission and expand the tools available for Ukraine and other countries," said Carney.

Putin, Russian Sanctions and the Global Backlash

As World Leaders are focused on Russian President Vladimir Putin's response to the ongoing and clearly escalating Ukraine crisis, additional Soviet troop movement has been recorded along the Moldova border, a nation located between the Ukraine and Romania.

Putin has been reported as reaching out, in an effort to deescalate the Ukraine crisis, to German Chancellor Angela Merkel indicting he would "remove soviet troops from the eastern Ukraine border."

"Well, we, clearly call for the return of Russian troops to their pre-crisis positions and levels, and that would include moving them away from the border where they have been conducting supposedly military exercises, but where they have, by their presence and their constitution, raised serious concerns about Russia's intentions," Carney said.

Putin has already cost his nation access to the G8 summit which is currently scheduled for June in Sochi, Russia. In addition to continued economic sanction the global community is demanding a de-escalation of troop buildup, removal and respect for territorial boundaries.

The United Nations has also condemned Putin's actions and will enforce economic and diplomatic sanction.

 "We will not recognize Russia's illegal occupation of Crimea.  We do not and we will not, and our European partners and allies and others have made clear.  I would point you to the overwhelming vote in the United Nations General Assembly, I would point you to the 13-to-1 vote in the United Nations Security Council to demonstrate that this is not a sentiment held by the United States alone," said Carney.

The ObamaCare Timeline

The Patient Protection and Affordable Care act, as it is formally known, has ended its initial open enrollment season after a contentious beginning ended with numbers that surpassed even the expectations of the White House.  

"The first open-enrollment period under this law came to an end.  And despite several lost weeks out of the gate because of problems with the website, 7.1 million Americans have now signed up for private insurance plans through these marketplaces -- 7.1," the President said.

Open enrollment for uninsured Americans began October 2013 mandating uninsured Americans adhere to the newly enacted law or face financial penalty.

Initially, praising the marketplace, the government insurance portal, the president was quickly disappointment as the website suffered repeated outages, overloads and shut downs.

After the first month, a congressional hearing was convened and Secretary of Health and Human services, Kathleen Sebellius was grilled on the failure of the roll out

President Obama along with the Health and Human Services Secretary each initially avoided inquires as both faced harsh and severe questioning after data for the first month of open enrollment surfaced revealed grossly lower than initially reported numbers.

HHS Czar Kathleen Sebelius sat before a Congressional committee explaining the rollout of the ObamaCare website was a "debacle." 

After the initial failures were exposed the Jay Carney, White House Press Secretary said, "So we knew it was going to be a slow build.  It's no question that it's been made more challenging by the poorly functioning website, and that's on us, and that's why we're dedicating the resources and the brainpower to get it fixed."

The GOP, a staunch detractor of ObamaCare, wrestled with the current law and vowed repeatedly to repeal on the grounds on unconstitutionality.

After 41 attempts and a Supreme Court battle, in June 2012, during the height of the Presidential Election Campaign season, Chief Justice John Roberts, a conservative and expected to lean toward a conservative opinion agreed with four of his fellow justices and ObamaCare was ruled constitutional and an opinion that included several other legal definitions which allowed states to maintain some level of autonomy and opt out of ObamaCare mandates should they chose.

This defining moment in the Affordable Care Act, became a foundation for the ObamaCare push.  

Medicaid also underwent a renovation as it became the primary source for millions of Americans who are financially challenged, below the federal government poverty level or in some way need a federal subsidy to support the fee structure associated with Obamacare.

Based on the Supreme Court decision which granted states some level of constitutional freedom of choice, twelve states chose not to expand the once poverty only based medical program, twelve states remain locked in debate and 21 states have expanded Medicaid to the prescribed levels associated with ObamaCare needs.

Republicans, across the board have never adjusted to the repeated defeats and have vowed to have the law repealed. ObamaCare has become a repeated bargaining tool and has been the motivation behind other battles between the president who vows not to allow the Republican held house to hold the government hostage and the democratically controlled Senate. \

Ironically, Obamacare was based on Republican Presidential challenger Mitt Romney's mandated HealthCare coverage implemented during his tenure as Governor.  After a crushing defeat in the 2012 presidential election President Obama invited his once time foe to the White House, for an undisclosed meeting that was said to include the finer points of the healthcare provisions.

Republicans have not backed down on the fight to repeal ObamaCare. In the GOP State of the Union rebuttal January 2014 Republicans presented a starkly different and modernized opinion on Healthcare one which allowed the individual to decide. That, of course, is the antithesis of every GOP sentiment ever propagated in any past modern debate on women's health issues.

Quite frankly, repealing Obamacare isn't a national debate or even one that should be used to leverage, bargain or hold government hostage. Repelling ObamaCare is a simple as electing a Republican president. 

Sources: Whitehouse.org, Wikipedia.com,

For more information on President Obama: www.whitehouse.gov   

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