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Joe Biden

Physicians Tell Biden HHS To End Medicare Privatization Pilot

A national physician group this week called for the complete termination of a Medicare privatization scheme that the Biden White House inherited from the Trump administration and later rebranded—while keeping intact its most dangerous components. Now known as the Accountable Care Organization Realizing Equity, Access, and Community Health (ACO REACH) Model, the experiment inserts a for-profit entity between traditional Medicare beneficiaries and healthcare providers. The federal government pays the ACO REACH middlemen to cover patients' care while allowing them to pocket a significant chunk of the fee as profit. The rebranded pilot program, which was launched without congressional approval and is set to run through at least 2026, officially began this month, and progressive healthcare advocates fear the experiment could be allowed to engulf traditional Medicare.

Lawyers Ask Biden To Remove Cuba From State Sponsors Of Terrorism List

ACERE, the Alliance for Cuba Engagement and Respect, announces the release of a letter to President Biden signed by prominent lawyers nationwide expressing concern over the continued placement of Cuba on the State Sponsors of Terrorism (SSOT) list. The letter, which was sent to the President today January 20th as he begins the second half of his term, highlights the lack of legal or moral justification for Cuba’s inclusion on the SSOT list, especially in light of the fact that it had been removed from the list just a few years prior by the Obama-Biden administration. The letter, which is signed by 160 lawyers, comes on the heels of a similar letter sent to the President by 18 former heads of state, as well as petitions signed by hundreds of civil society organizations and thousands of citizens, all calling for the United States to lift its embargo and for Cuba to be removed from the SSOT list.

Rail Workers Are Fighting On After Biden Blocked A National Strike

While the high-stakes labor dispute on U.S. freight railroads has receded from headlines since President Joe Biden and Congress imposed a new contract last month, rail workers are continuing their fight for dignity and better conditions — albeit without the threat of a national strike on the table. “The American people should know that while this round of collective bargaining is over, the underlying issues facing the workforce and rail customers remain,” the AFL-CIO Transportation Trades Department said in a statement. The major underlying issue remains precision scheduled railroading (PSR), the business model adopted in recent years by Class I rail carriers like Union Pacific, BNSF, Norfolk Southern and CSX. Designed to maximize shareholder profits by cutting costs to the bone, PSR has been blamed for a dramatic reduction in the freight rail workforce, increased supply-chain congestion and deteriorating safety — all while investors rake in record profits.

North America’s Trilateral Summit

The United States, Mexico and Canada on Tuesday, January 10 vowed to tighten economic ties, producing more goods regionally and boosting semiconductor output, even as integration is hampered by an ongoing dispute over Mexico's energy policies. U.S. President Joe Biden, Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau met in Mexico City and pledged to beef up supply chains after weathering serious disruptions during the COVID-19 pandemic. "We're working to a future to strengthen our cooperation on supply chains and critical minerals so we can continue to accelerate in our efforts to build the technologies of tomorrow - right here in North America," Biden said in a joint news conference with his fellow leaders after their meeting.

With The Delay Of Vacating Title 42, The Death Toll Will Only Rise

Janine Jackson interviewed the Center for Gender and Refugee Studies’ Melissa Crow about asylum policy for the January 6, 2023, episode of CounterSpin. This is a lightly edited transcript.

300+ Groups Push Biden To End Drilling On Public Lands, Waters

More than 300 environmental and Indigenous rights groups said Wednesday that the Biden administration must take a number of concrete actions to protect the nation's public lands and waters from fossil fuel industry exploitation and bring U.S. policy into line with climate science—and the president's own campaign pledges. In a letter to U.S. Secretary of the Interior Deb Haaland, the climate coalition noted that President Joe Biden "made a bold promise to ban new oil and gas leasing on public lands and waters, and within days of taking office issued his Executive Order on Tackling the Climate Crisis at Home and Abroad."

Cuba Says Biden Applies Blockade More Aggressively Than His Predecessors

In his address at a conversation series on “Cuba in the Foreign Policy of the United States of America,” held on December 14 at the Higher Institute of International Relations in Havana, Fernández de Cossío took aim at the Biden administration’s enforcement of the blockade against Cuba, stating, “there can be no doubt that the economic blockade is the defining factor in the bilateral relations” between the United States and Cuba. Biden pledged during his 2020 presidential campaign that he would “try to reverse the failed Trump policies that inflicted harm on Cubans and their families.” In 2021, he claimed, “We stand with the Cuban people.”

Architects Of Medicare Privatization: Congress, Biden And The CMS

It is easy and appropriate to target the private health insurance companies who earn excessive profits from the Medicare Trust Fund through Medicare Advantage plans, especially given the well-documented evidence of overcharging and fraud. But it is essential that we remember that it has been the U.S. Congress and the Executive Office that promoted the privatization of Medicare, to varying degrees, since it was first signed into law by President Johnson in 1965 and enacted the following year. In 2017 The Commonwealth Fund published “The Evolution of Private Plans in Medicare,” which detailed the increasing role in healthcare granted to private companies since 1966 through Acts of Congress and the Office of the President.

Learning From The Biden Strikebreaking

The Biden regime’s shameful betrayal of the railroad workers unfolded in late November and early December as the possible railroad strike crisis slowly wound to its ending. The gang-up on the railroad workers and their desire to exercise the basic right to strike was practically all-encompassing. Politicians from both political parties – with only a handful of exceptions – all of the media, every single large corporation in the country, and even some liberals and so-called leftists all made the case why the strike must be stopped. Broken even before it had started. This chorus all echoed the same canard, that it was too important to allow a rail strike, no matter that it was in response to the refusal of the company barons to seriously negotiate in the first place.

Ukraine War Tolls Death Knell For NATO

The defining moment in US President Joe Biden’s press conference at the White House last Wednesday, December 21, during President Zelensky’s visit, was his virtual admission that he is constrained in the proxy war in Ukraine, as European allies don’t want a war with Russia. To quote Biden, “Now, you say, ‘Why don’t we just give Ukraine everything there is to give?’  Well, for two reasons. One, there’s an entire Alliance that is critical to stay with Ukraine.  And the idea that we would give Ukraine material that is fundamentally different than is already going there would have a prospect of breaking up NATO and breaking up the European Union and the rest of the world… I’ve spent several hundred hours face-to-face with our European allies and the heads of state of those countries, and making the case as to why it was overwhelmingly in their interest that they continue to support Ukraine… They understand it fully, but they’re not looking to go to war with Russia. 

In Ukraine, It’s Patriot vs. Iskander For Now

With the Republicans poised to take narrow control of the House of Representatives in the US Congress in January, the Joe Biden Administration is hoping to extract as much funding as possible for the proxy war in Ukraine against Russia before the locus of legislative business shifts on the Hill. The White House is requesting nearly $45 billion in new funding. Who else could canvass better than an accomplished actor-politician? Enter President Vladimir Zelensky. When Zelensky proposed on Sunday that he’d find time to visit Washington for a few hours on Wednesday, President Biden promptly accepted. For Zelensky too, it pays to be seen holding Biden’s hands amidst swirling rumors of a power struggle in Kiev. To be sure, from the strategic perspective, the backdrop of Zelensky’s decision to travel to Washington urgently would have been the one-day trip by Russian President Vladimir Putin to Minsk on Monday, which shook up the geopolitics of European security.

Hero Worship Of Zelensky In Washington

Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky received a hero’s welcome in his visit to Washington on December 21. Departing House Speaker Nancy Pelosi compared him to Winston Churchill, while President Joe Biden compared him on Hanukkah to Judah the Maccabee, who defended the Jewish temple against the Greek King Antiochus’ forces in ancient times. Befitting a great liberator, Biden promised Zelensky $1.85 billion more in security assistance, including the Patriot surface-to-air missile battery and precision aerial munitions that will be used to bomb the people of eastern Ukraine. In his speech before Congress, Zelensky claimed that Ukraine had “defeated Russia in the battle for the minds of the world,” and that its “victories gave the Ukrainian people courage,” which “inspires the entire world.”

Meet The Grinch Stealing The Future Of Gen Y And Z

Conversations about the program often pit younger workers against retirees, but Social Security is really an intergenerational compact that boosts the well-being of Americans of all ages — that’s one of the reasons the program is so cherished. One in five Americans receives a Social Security benefit today, and about one in three of these aren’t retired. Social Security protects young workers and their families if they become disabled, and it provides benefits to the survivors of deceased workers, including their kids. Studies show that a 20-year-old worker has a one in three chance of qualifying for disability benefits before reaching retirement age. Today’s seniors rely on Social Security for most of their income – and younger generations without traditional pensions will need the program even more.

Biden ‘Brings’ Selected African Leaders To US To Expand Neocolonialism

President Biden "brought" leaders of selected African nations to the United States for a summit to “demonstrate the United States’ enduring commitment to Africa," the White House claims. But just days before the meeting, the Biden administration imposed more economic sanctions on members of some excluded nations, a likely attempt to send a warning of what happens to those who do not comply with the US' imperialist demands. The Black Alliance for Peace (BAP) organized a week of actions to coincide with Biden's summit. Clearing the FOG speaks with Rose Brewer of BAP's Africa Team about the long history of US intervention to exploit Africans, steal resources, and suppress liberation movements and how this comes home to impact people and social movements in the US.

Biden Is Bringing Africa’s Leaders To Washington, Hoping To Impress

The Biden administration is holding a summit with some 40 leaders of African countries. The New York Times headline of its reporting on the summit is revealing: Biden Is Bringing Africa’s Leaders to Washington, Hoping to Impress "Bringing Africa's Leaders to Washington"? Why not "invited African leaders to Washington"? Isn't this reminiscent to the millions of Africans who had been "brought to America" in past centuries? The U.S. is late in fostering better relations with Africa: NAIROBI, Kenya — In Russia, Africa’s leaders were feted at a seaside resort where military aircraft for sale were parked outside the summit hall. In China, they dined with President Xi Jinping, some of them one-on-one, and received promises of investments worth $60 billion. In Turkey, they won support for a permanent seat on the U.N. Security Council.Now they are headed to Washington for a major summit hosted by President Biden — the latest diplomatic drive by a major foreign power seeking to strengthen its ties to Africa, a continent whose geopolitical clout has grown greatly in the past decade.
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