Health Insurance Coverage Expands Under Affordable Care Act

More working-age adults have health insurance after the first open enrollment period under the Affordable Care Act, according to a survey conducted by the Commonwealth Fund.

For people aged 19-64, the uninsured rate dropped from 20 percent before the open enrollment period began to 15 percent afterwards. An estimated 9.5 million fewer adults were uninsured.

In states that chose to expand their Medicaid rolls, the uninsured rate for those living in poverty dropped from 28 to 17 percent. There was no significant change in states that did not expand Medicaid.

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Job Training Bill Approved

The House of Representatives passed legislation on July 9 consolidating and updating existing federal jobs training programs. The bill, dubbed the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (HR 803), passed by a vote of 415-6. It was previously passed by the Senate on June 25 by a vote of 95-3. It now heads to the White House where President Obama is expected to sign it into law.

The bill authorizes $58 billion in federal funding over 6 years, while eliminating 15 programs deemed redundant. It applies a single set of outcome metrics to every federal workforce program and authorizes states and local workforce boards to implement pay-for-performance contracts for training programs, according to a bill summary.

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President Requests $3.7 Billion to Address Border Crisis

On July 8, President Obama requested $3.7 billion in emergency funding from Congress to address a surge of Central American children who have crossed the U.S. southern border.

More than 52,000 unaccompanied children and an additional 39,000 women with children have crossed the border this year, far higher than normal levels. Most are from Guatemala, El Salvador and Honduras.

The requested funding includes $1.8 billion for the Department of Health and Human Services to provide food and shelter for the immigrants and an additional $1.6 billion for enforcement by the Department of Justice and Department of Homeland Security.

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