Monday, June 29, 2009

Grading the Administration 22

Weekly Grades of the Administration on Poverty: B

It is almost time for the Independence Day vacations, and so there was a big push on to get things done. A great deal happened between June 15 and June 21 in the struggle to reduce poverty. Here is a short run down of the items that result in a B on the academic scale:
  1. There was more information released about the health care reform efforts. Every week that they push for universal health care guarantees at least a D for the week.
  2. The Administration talked about HIV testing, which has not been uttered by a President for 9 years.
  3. HUD is proposing additional vouchers for those with a disability.
  4. One negative was the crumbling of the nation's infrastructure with the crash of Metro trains in DC. This is the a sign of the maintenance that has been delayed in nearly every American city for major transportation, utility, and energy projects.
  5. There was more volunteering by the Administration including an event in Dallas and New Orleans by the Trade Representative and the HUD Secretary.
  6. Michelle Obama and the President did another volunteer activity to call attention to the AmeriCorps programs by putting together backpacks.
  7. There was the announcement of $80 billion in prescription discounts for seniors by the major pharmaceuticals.
  8. There were repeated questions for the administration about health care last week including during the press conference.
  9. The middle class task force met, which normally results in a decrease in points. This week they get a boost because the task force met in Ohio, and our own Amy Hanauer of Policy Matters Ohio spoke to the group. Maybe the middle class task force is not all that bad.
  10. There was the ABC television special on Health Care reform in which the administration had to defend their choices and the cost of this massive effort to cover everyone.
  11. There was another push to make sure that no veteran ever becomes homeless with the announcement of the release of more housing vouchers.
  12. HHS released a report on the hidden costs of health care last week.
  13. Finally, HR 3068 was introduced to put $1 billion into the National Housing Trust in a bill that is being labeled as relief for main street.
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