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House Passes Health Care Bill

The House passed health care legislation by a narrow margin on Saturday.  What do you think?  Was it a victory to celebrate, a setback on the path, or half of a loaf?  Sound off on our Facebook page and take our survey here.

ADAction: The action now moves to the Senate.  Contact your Senators and tell them to include a strong public option.

Unemployment Gets Worse

The real unemployment rate is 17.5%, over 7 points higher than the officially reported rate of 10.2%.

The real rate includes marginally attached workers which the BLS reports "are neither working nor looking for work but indicate that they want and are available for a job and have looked for work sometime in the recent past.  Discouraged workers, a subset of the marginally attached, have given a job-market related reason for not looking currently for a job.  Persons employed part time for economic reasons are those who want and are available for full-time work but have had to settle for a part-time schedule."

ADA National Director Michael J. Wilson:  "The modest extension of unemployment benefits passed by Congress this week is not enough," Wilson continued.  "Despite improvements on Wall Street, the Great Recession is getting worse for millions of Americans who have been laid off since it began in December 2007.

"There are over 15 million out-of-work Americans vying for 3 million available jobs.  Even as Congress finishes health care reform, they must address the job question.  The latest BLS report shows 35.6% of the unemployed have been without work for more than 27 weeks.  We need a bold job creation plan that puts people back to work.  Incumbents of every political persuasion must join together to embrace a bold job agenda or face a justifiably unhappy electorate in 2010."

Read our in-depth analysis of  the real unemployment rate and how it is affecting the Latino community here.

Election Wrap Up

Last week's off-year elections yielded mixed results.  Some say the losses in Virginia and New Jersey were a rejection of President Obama and the Democratic Leadership.  Others pointed out Democrats added two more seats to their majority in the U.S. House of Representatives.  Either way, ADA was at the forefront organizing progressive voters from New York City to Washington State where ADAers rallied in support of domestic partnership legislation.  Also, read ADA staff's field blogs on the fight for marriage equality in Maine.

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