Thursday, October 3, 2013

  • "Dramatic, Painful" Government Shutdown Disproportionately Impacts Working Poor, People of Color

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    The partial shutdown of the federal government has entered its third day. More than 800,000 federal workers are furloughed, and numerous governmental programs have been forced to stop running. For example, the government shutdown has already caused as many as 19,000 children to lose access to Head Start. Many recipients of Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children, more commonly known as WIC, will lose assistance. As negotiations remain stalled, Imara Jones of Colorlines.com looks at who is being hardest hit by the shutdown.

  • Has GOP Already Defeated Obamacare? State Opt-Outs Leave Millions of Poor Without Health Insurance

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    The federal government shutdown began on Tuesday, the same day that a key facet of President Obama’s healthcare law went live nationwide. For the first time, Americans were able to begin purchasing health insurance from federal and state exchanges. But The New York Times reports the new healthcare law will leave out two-thirds of the nation’s poor blacks and single mothers and more than half of the nation’s low-wage workers who do not have insurance. That’s because they live in 26 states controlled by Republicans that have rejected the vast expansion of Medicaid. The U.S. Supreme Court allowed states to opt out of the expanded Medicaid provision earlier this year. Overall, up to seven million Americans are now ineligible for Medicaid — they make too much to qualify for Medicaid, but not enough to get help to buy a plan on the new healthcare market. We discuss the government shutdown and the launching of health insurance enrollment under the Affordable Care Act with two guests: Imara Jones, economic justice contributor for Colorlines.com and a former Clinton White House staffer, and Trudy Lieberman, a contributing editor to the Columbia Journalism Review who has reported extensively on the Affordable Care Act.

  • "Imperialism & Fundamentalism Have Joined Hands": Malalai Joya on 12 Years of U.S.-Led Afghan War

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    Ahead of next week’s 12th anniversary of what has become the longest war in U.S. history, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel says the United States is seeking to sign an accord to keep U.S. troops in Afghanistan for the indefinite future. The United States plans to pull out the bulk of its 57,000 troops in Afghanistan by the end of 2014, but the Pentagon wants to retain a smaller force of around 10,000 forces after 2014. We are joined by Afghan activist and former member of Parliament, Malalai Joya, author of the book, "A Woman Among Warlords: The Extraordinary Story of an Afghan Who Dared to Raise Her Voice." A survivor of numerous attempts on her life, Time magazine has named her as one of the 100 most influential people in the world. "We need the support of justice-loving people of the U.S. to join their hands with us," Joya says. "Unfortunately, we see that today imperialism and fundamentalism have joined hands."