Monday, December 30, 2013

Fwd: SEP Newsletter: Jobless benefits cut off for 1.3 million Americans

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Socialist Equality Party <>
Date: Sat, Dec 28, 2013 at 10:06 PM
Subject: SEP Newsletter: Jobless benefits cut off for 1.3 million Americans
To: "" <>

World Socialist Web Site

Socialist Equality Party Newsletter

Below is a selection of articles appearing on the World Socialist Web Site last week. Six days a week, the WSWS publishes on all the major political, social and cultural developments. To sign up for the daily newsletter, click here.
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A cruel Christmas gift: Jobless benefits cut off for 1.3 million Americans

Kate Randall and Barry Grey
28 December 2013

Extended unemployment benefits will end today for 1.3 million Americans, just three days after Christmas. The cruel cutoff of income for the long-term jobless and their families exemplifies the contempt of the Obama administration and the entire political establishment for the working class. The move threatens millions of unemployed workers and their families with poverty.
Never before in the post-war history of the United States has the government cut off extended unemployment benefits while jobless levels remained as high as they presently stand.
In the course of 2014, another 3.6 million workers will exhaust their state unemployment benefits and be left with nothing. Taking into account family members who rely on these benefits as their sole source of cash income, some 5 percent of the US population will face destitution as a result of the cutoff of these funds. (Read more)
Further coverage on US politics can be found here.

US government steps up attack on exposure of NSA spying

By Patrick Martin
24 December 2013

The report issued last Wednesday by a White House panel on US surveillance programs has set the stage for an intensified effort to suppress any further revelations of illegal government spying.
The report largely endorsed the National Security Agency's operations, hailing the "patriotism" of the operatives who are collecting and stockpiling private information on every American citizen and virtually the entire population of the world. This whitewash came two days after a federal judge ruled that the NSA's mass collection of telephone records violated the Fourth Amendment to the US Constitution's prohibition of "unreasonable searches and seizures."
Within hours of the report's issuance, the Obama administration was in court in a further attempt to shut down any legal challenge to the massive violation of privacy rights. (Read more)
Further coverage on NSA spying can be found here.

White House grants new Obamacare exemptions as enrollment deadline hits

By Kate Randall
23 December 2013

Today marks the deadline when Americans without insurance need to sign up for coverage under the Affordable Care Act (ACA) in order to be insured by January 1. Under the program popularly known as Obamacare, people who are not insured through their employer or a government program such as Medicare or Medicaid must obtain coverage or pay a penalty.
President Obama indicated Friday that 1 million Americans had been enrolled through the federal and state exchanges set up under the ACA through the third week of December. The numbers mark an increase over the 365,000 who had enrolled through November 30 after the problem-plagued rollout of the federal web site, but still fall far short of the 3.3 million the administration had hoped to reach by this date.
In advance of today's deadline, the White House made a change Thursday allowing people who had recently had their insurance coverage cancelled because it did not meet ACA specifications to qualify for a "hardship exemption" in order to avoid a penalty next year for not having insurance. Contrary to Obama's repeated claims that "If you like your plan, you can keep your plan," it is estimated that 500,000 people have seen their insurance canceled because their policies did not include the basic benefits mandated by the ACA. (Read more)
Further coverage on health care in the US can be found here.

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