Many Democrats quietly concede that the Senate playing field still tilts the Republicans’ way. If Democrats upset expectations, these underappreciated factors will be the reason. If the Republicans prevail, the fact that the election has been so closely fought points to problems that even a victorious GOP will have to confront.
“Our focus has been on reaching small businesses that don’t offer coverage, and that’s been a challenge, trying to make the business case for why they should start offering it,” said Mila Kofman, director of the city’s exchange, called DC Health Link. She noted that her team has partnered with business groups such as the D.C. Chamber of Commerce, the Washington Hispanic Chamber of Commerce and the Restaurant Association of Metropolitan Washington to reach out to small employers.
The public narrative about work-family balance is too often reduced to quick sound bites and images that communicate a narrow vision of which women deserve attention and what problems they face. The result is a discussion that is at times simplistic and noninclusive—one that leaves out the diverse voices of many women from different backgrounds, particularly women of color, who are grappling with similar problems. This event will bring together experts to discuss how to achieve a more inclusive conversation about work-family conflicts that is reflective of the diverse experiences of all women and what policy solutions are needed to improve the lives of women and their families.
Holzer said that during the 1990s, when the U.S. had full employment, most people taking temporary seasonal jobs for the holidays probably wanted to work short-term to make extra money—either because they were semi-retired, or simply didn't want year-round work. Now, he said, temporary seasonal workers are more likely to be people struggling with unemployment or underemployment.
Even with insurance, some patients are struggling to pay for prescription drugs for conditions such as cancer, arthritis, multiple sclerosis or HIV/AIDS, as insurers and employers shift more of the cost of high-priced pharmaceuticals to patients.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported last week that the nation gained 248,000 jobs in September, dropping the unemployment rate to 5.9 percent. It’s the first time the jobless rate has dipped below 6 percent since mid-2008. While economists and investors were encouraged by the report, their enthusiasm was tempered by data showing that wages have remained stagnant. Harry Holzer, a former chief economist for the U.S. Department of Labor and a professor of public policy at Georgetown University, explains the numbers.
Rivlin says spending may actually have been too restrained in recent years, and the government should be spending more on programs that would boost overall productivity.
“We ought to be investing more heavily in infrastructure and skills and training – we need that for the future,” Rivlin says. “I think we’re been over austere in restricting the kinds of investments that we need to grow faster in the future.”
A party controlling the White House could not ask for much more from economic numbers than the Democrats got in Friday’s jobs report, issued a month and a day before the midterm elections. Unemployment fell to 5.9 percent, the lowest it has been since July 2008. The nation added 248,000 jobs, more than the forecasters had projected. What’s not to like?