According to unnamed sources first reported by the Washington Post, Biden will announce the first federal office for gun-violence prevention.
President Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris are expected to formally make the announcement of the new office Friday afternoon at a White House event and provide further details.
Gun-control advocates have been trying to get President Biden to take executive action on firearms, including the specific creation of a federal office dedicated to gun-violence prevention since he took office. In January of this year, 117 groups sent a letter to the White House calling for such an office, among other demands.
News reports say President Joe Biden will announce the creation of the first federal office for gun-violence prevention at the end of the week. The Washington Post cited four anonymous sources who have been allegedly been briefed on the executive action.
Biden aide Stefanie Feldman is reported to lead the new office, according to the Post. The Community Justice Action Fund’s Greg Jackson and Everytown for Gun Safety’s Rob Wilcox, leaders of the two prominent gun-control groups, are also expected to hold key roles, reports National Review.
In June 2022, Biden signed the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act, which increased background checks for gun buyers under 21, and allocated money to states to implement “red flag” laws.
The Safer Communities Act also allocated billions of dollars for mental health and school-safety programs. Proponents touted it as the first gun-control legislation signed into law in about 30 years.
“I really think this is a testament to survivors, impacted communities, pushing for years the administration to do this,” an anonymous source with direct knowledge of the plan told Politico.
National Review reports: “So far this year, there have been more than 500 shootings in the U.S. in which four or more people were injured or killed, according to the Gun Violence Archive.”
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Elizabeth Warren Acknowledges Unintended Consequences of Obamacare
Senator Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts, a longtime supporter of the Affordable Care Act, commonly known as Obamacare, is now acknowledging the unintended consequences of the healthcare legislation, particularly its impact on industry consolidation and rising healthcare prices.
Warren, who has been a vocal proponent of Obamacare, has recently had what the Wall Street Journal reported as an “epiphany” regarding the consequences of the healthcare law. In a letter addressed to the Health and Human Services Department inspector general, Warren, along with Senator Mike Braun of Indiana, expressed concerns about vertically-integrated healthcare companies potentially increasing prescription drug costs and evading federal regulations.
According to reports from Fox News, the bipartisan letter highlighted issues with the nation’s largest health insurers allegedly bypassing Obamacare’s medical loss ratio (MLR). According to Warren, these insurers, through vertical integration, have manipulated the system, leading to “sky-high prescription drug costs and excessive corporate profits.”
The senators detailed how conglomerates, like UnitedHealth Group, with ownership across various healthcare sectors, could inflate medical payments to pharmacies and, by realizing those payments on the pharmacy side, appear to comply with MLR requirements while retaining more profits.
Moreover, despite the Democrats’ argument that the MLR would benefit patients, it has incentivized insurers to merge with or acquire pharmacy benefit managers (PBMs), retail and specialty pharmacies, and healthcare providers. This, in turn, has made healthcare spending less transparent, as insurers can allegedly shift profits to their affiliates by increasing reimbursements.
Warren, who has consistently voted against Obamacare repeal efforts, notably advocated for a “Medicare for All” proposal during her 2020 presidential campaign. Despite her prior support for the healthcare law, Warren’s recent concerns about its unintended consequences have raised questions about the long-term effects of Obamacare and its impact on the healthcare industry.
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