Washington (CNN) – Passage of the landmark health care bill appears to have boosted President Barack Obama's approval rating, but it has not affected his re-election chances so far, according to a new national poll.
A CNN/Opinion Research Corporation survey released Monday indicates that 51 percent of Americans approve of the job Obama is doing in the White House, with 48 percent saying they disapprove. That 51 percent approval rating is up five points from a week ago, before Congress approved the health care reform bill and the president signed the legislation into law. Four in ten respondents say they disapprove because Obama is too liberal and 6 percent say they the president is not liberal enough.
Eighty-six percent of Democrats questioned say they approve of the job Obama is doing, a surge of 12 points over the past week. The poll indicates that 47 percent of Independents approve of the president's performance, up 6 points in a week, and 12 percent of Republicans give him the thumbs up, basically unchanged from a week ago.
"Some parts of the Democratic base, particularly lower-income Americans and union households, appear to be coming back into the fold," says CNN Polling Director Keating Holland. "Obama's approval rating changed the most among Americans who make less than $25,000 a year - the group that is most likely to benefit from the new health care law."
St. George, Utah (CNN) – Supporters of the Tea Party movement said Monday that critics have unfairly portrayed them as an uneducated and inarticulate band of activists with little knowledge of politics.
Mitzi Butler, an area coordinator of the Tea Party Express Tour, chastised critics who describe her fellow grassroots activists as, "a bunch of hillbillies with no teeth, and [say] we're stupid."
"We are not stupid," she said in an interview with CNN as the tour was preparing to pull into St. George, a picturesque Utah city nestled in a valley of cliffs. "We are well versed. And I think we're smarter than what we've been sending to represent us in Congress."
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CNN: Obama set to sign health care 'fixes' bill
President Obama is set to claim final victory on his top domestic priority Tuesday by signing into law a package of changes to the newly enacted health care reform bill. The signing ceremony at a community college in northern Virginia will culminate almost a year of fiercely partisan debate and a tortuous legislative journey on the proposals generated by Democrats and unanimously opposed by Republicans.
CNN Poll: Americans divided on repealing health care law
Most Americans disapprove of the health care reform law, but that does not translate into majority support for the "repeal and replace" strategy backed by most GOP leaders, according to a new national poll. A CNN/Opinion Research Corporation survey released Monday indicates that 56 percent of the public disapproves of the new legislation, with 42 percent approving of the bill that President Obama signed into law last week. Tuesday the president signs into law fixes to the original legislation that were approved by Congress last week.
New York Times: Companies Push to Repeal Provision of Health Law
An association representing 300 large corporations urged President Obama and Congress on Monday to repeal a provision of the health care overhaul that prompted AT&T, Caterpillar and other companies to announce substantial charges for the current quarter. Many companies said they were taking these charges now, before the current quarter ended, to comply with accounting rules. But some corporate critics asserted that the companies’ rapid response to the health legislation was aimed at pressing the administration to repeal the provision.
Los Angeles Times: Donald Berwick is Obama's likely pick to run Medicare and Medicaid
Dr. Donald Berwick, President Obama's likely pick to run Medicare and Medicaid as the government embarks on a massive overhaul of the nation's health insurance system, has been a sometimes provocative advocate for more efficient delivery of patient care.
A professor of pediatrics and healthcare policy at Harvard Medical School, Berwick is best known in healthcare circles for founding and running the Institute for Healthcare Improvement, a 19-year-old think tank focused on "cultivating promising concepts for improving patient care and turning those ideas into action."
CNNMoney: $600 million in housing aid on the way for 5 more states
Five more states will receive federal funding to help troubled homeowners avoid foreclosure, the Obama administration announced Monday. Last month, President Obama unveiled the Hardest Hit Fund, which pumped $1.5 billion into state housing agencies in California, Arizona, Florida, Nevada and Michigan. These five were originally identified because they had been hardest hit by the housing bust, with prices declining more than 20%. Now, an additional $600 million is being doled out to the five states that have the largest number of counties suffering unemployment rates above 12%: North Carolina, Ohio, Oregon, Rhode Island and South Carolina.
Washington Post: Obama administration may send U.S.-Russia arms treaty to Congress by late April
The Obama administration plans to send the new arms-control treaty package with Russia to Congress by the end of April, hoping for ratification by year's end, officials said Monday as they laid out details of the proposed agreement. Ellen Tauscher, undersecretary of state for arms control and international security, said that work was still being done in Geneva on the treaty, including details on inspections and exchanges of data. Despite the administration's hopes for Senate ratification this year, several Republican senators have expressed concern about moving too quickly on a vote.