Biden Bits: Happy Halloween!

Biden Tweets Logo. Image by Lenny Ghoul.

It’s Tuesday.

There are 4/5 days until…

There are 7 days until we…

Thanksgiving is 24 days away.
Christmas is 55 days away.

Man, it’s only the 1st of November and I’m already exhausted!

President Biden’s Public Schedule for Tuesday, November 1st 2022:

9:00 AM The President receives the Presidential Daily Briefing
The White House Closed Press
10:05 AM Out-of-Town Pool Call Time
Joint Base Andrews Overhang Out-of-Town Pool
10:25 AM In-Town Pool Call Time
The White House In-Town Pool
11:05 AM The President departs the White House en route Joint Base Andrews
North Grounds In-Town Pool
11:35 AM The President departs Joint Base Andrews en route Fort Lauderdale, Florida
Joint Base Andrews Out-of-Town Pool
12:30 PM Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre will gaggle aboard Air Force One en route Fort Lauderdale, Florida
Joint Base Andrews Out-of-Town Pool
1:50 PM The President arrives in Fort Lauderdale, Florida
Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport Open Press
3:00 PM The President delivers remarks on protecting Social Security and Medicare and lowering prescription drug costs
OB Johnson Park and Community Center, Hallandale Beach, FL Open Press
4:45 PM The President participates in a reception for gubernatorial candidate Charlie Crist
Golden Beach, FLRestricted Out-of-Town Pool
5:45 PM The President departs Golden Beach, Florida
Gulfstream Park, Golden Beach, FL Out-of-Town Pool
5:55 PM The President arrives in Miami, Florida
Miami-Opa Locka Executive Airport, Opa-locka, FL Out-of-Town Pool
7:00 PM The President participates in a political event for the Democratic Party, senatorial candidate Val Demings, and gubernatorial candidate Charlie Crist
Florida Memorial University, Miami Gardens, FL Out-of-Town Pool
8:05 PM The President departs Miami, Florida en route Fort Lauderdale, Florida
Miami-Opa Locka Executive Airport, Opa-locka, FL Out-of-Town Pool
8:25 PM The President departs Fort Lauderdale, Florida en route Joint Base Andrews
Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport Out-of-Town Pool
10:25 PM The President arrives at Joint Base Andrews
Joint Base Andrews Out-of-Town Pool
10:35 PM The President departs Joint Base Andrews en route the White House
Joint Base Andrews Out-of-Town Pool
10:45 PM The President arrives at the White House
South Lawn Open Press

This morning the White House posted the following fact-sheet; By The Numbers: Millions of Americans Would Lose Health Care Coverage, Benefits, and Protections Under Congressional Republicans’ Plans

President Biden’s top priority is to lower costs for the American people. He was proud to sign the Inflation Reduction Act into law, taking on Big Pharma to allow Medicare to negotiate prescription drug costs for the first time, capping seniors’ drug costs at the pharmacy and the cost of insulin, and lowering health insurance premiums for people who get coverage through the Affordable Care Act. President Biden and Congressional Democrats are committed to protecting and strengthening Social Security and Medicare.

Congressional Republicans have a very different vision. They have promised to strip Medicare of the right to negotiate drug prices and remove the $2,000 cap on out-of-pocket pharmacy expenses. Florida’s Republican Senator and Chair of the National Republican Senatorial Committee Rick Scott has championed a plan to put Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security on the chopping block every five years. Further, Congressional Republicans have repeatedly pledged to hold the American economy hostage by refusing to raise the debt limit unless they can cut Social Security and Medicare benefits that tens of millions of Americans have already paid into. 

Here’s what Congressional Republicans’ plan would mean:

White 11/01/2022.

Part I: Putting Bedrock Programs like Social Security and Medicare on the Chopping Block and Threatening the Global Economy Unless Those Programs Are Cut

All Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security beneficiaries would see their benefits threatened under Sen. Rick Scott’s plan to put those programs on the chopping block every five years. Sen. Ron Johnson’s vision of putting them up for a vote every year would make that even worse. 

Congressional Republican leaders have also repeatedly said they will use the debt limit as leverage to cut these bedrock programs. Congressional Republicans have supported Medicare and Social Security cuts including:

White 11/01/2022.
  • Gradually increasing the Medicare eligibility age to 67 and the Social Security eligibility age to 70. (Republican Study Committee FY 2023 Budget)
  • Transforming Medicare benefits into a voucher where seniors would get a fixed amount of money to purchase a private health plan (Better Way Plan) or offering beneficiaries the option to transition to a premium support system (Republican Study Committee FY 2023 Budget) – which could lead to hundreds or thousands of dollars in additional out of pocket costs for seniors throughout the country.

Part II: Repealing the Prescription Drug and Health Care Provisions in the Inflation Reduction Act

President Biden has worked for decades to let Medicare negotiate drug prices, and that is finally happening thanks to the Inflation Reduction Act.  This will save billions of dollars for both Medicare beneficiaries, who will see reduced premiums and out-of-pocket costs, and the federal government. Kaiser Family Foundation estimates suggest that some 5 to 7 million beneficiaries each year use the types of high-cost drugs that could be subject to negotiation and will directly face higher cost sharing if these provisions are repealed.

White 11/01/2022.

The Inflation Reduction Act also requires prescription drug companies to pay rebates if they increase drug prices faster than inflation. According to an analysis by the Department of Health and Human Services, the cost of 1,200 prescription drugs rose faster than inflation in the last year alone – some prescription drugs increasing by $1000 in just one year. If Congressional Republicans repeal the Inflation Reduction Act, drug companies will be able to continue raising prices without paying a rebate, rather than putting that money back into Americans’ pockets.

White 11/01/2022.

Before the Inflation Reduction Act, Medicare beneficiaries with conditions like cancer, multiple sclerosis, and lung disease could face thousands of dollars in out-of-pocket prescription drug costs per year. Thanks to President Biden and Congressional Democrats’ Inflation Reduction Act, those costs will be capped at $2,000 per year, saving over 1 million beneficiaries an average of over $1,300 per year. If Congressional Republicans get their way and repeal the law, over 1.4 million Medicare beneficiaries will pay more each year – thousands of dollars more in some cases – for drugs at the pharmacy.

White 11/01/2022.

Drug manufacturers have raised insulin prices so rapidly over the last few decades that some Medicare beneficiaries struggle to afford this life-saving drug that costs less than $10 a vial to manufacture. Today, Medicare beneficiaries are enrolling in plans that must cap the out-of-pocket cost of insulin at no more than $35 per month per prescription, a protection they will lose if the law is repealed.

White 11/01/2022.

The Inflation Reduction Act saves 13 million Americans an average of about $800 per year on their health care premiums, by continuing the improvements to Affordable Care Act (ACA) premium tax credits enacted in the American Rescue Plan. By making health care more affordable, these improvements have expanded coverage to millions of people, helping bring the uninsured rate to an all-time low. Starting today, during Open Enrollment season, Americans can choose health insurance plans that lock in the Inflation Reduction Act’s cost savings for 2023. But Congressional Republicans would repeal this assistance, drive premiums higher, and jeopardize the progress the Biden Administration has made in driving the uninsured rate to a historic low. Older Americans would see especially large premium spikes; in most states, annual premiums for a 60-year old making $60,000 would more than double to over $10,000.

White 11/01/2022.

President Biden’s remarks are scheduled for 3:00 p.m. D.C., time.

When the Halloween post was posted, President Biden had tweeted 1 time. He added 6 tweets giving him a Tuesday Tweeting Total of 7 tweets and 0 retweets.

President Biden’s full statement:

Today, our hearts are with India. Jill and I send our deepest condolences to the families who lost loved ones during the bridge collapse, and join the people of Gujarat in mourning the loss of too many lives cut short. The United States and India are indispensable partners, with deep bonds between our citizens. In this difficult hour, we will continue to stand with and support the Indian people.

White 10/31/2022.

Reuters reported this morning that Narendra Modi the Prime Minister of India demanded “lessons be learned as he visited the site of a bridge collapse that killed 135 people and met some of the injured in hospital on Tuesday.”

The bridge that collapsed was originally built in 1877 and had been “closed” for around six months for repairs. It reopened last week.

On Monday, police arrested nine people “under penal code sections including culpable homicide not amounting to murder. Those arrested included ticketing clerks accused of letting too many people onto the bridge and contractors that had been in charge of repair work.”

The YouTube is 5 minutes and 32 seconds long.

Given the shortness of his remarks. I’ve made the executive decision to post them in full.

Well, good afternoon. This is a very short statement but a consequential one, in my view. Putin’s invasion of Ukraine in March set gas prices soaring literally around the world — not just here, but around the world.

And because of the action we’ve taken since then, gas prices have actually come down — going into the Strategic Petroleum Reserve — here at home, in America. They’re down more than $1.20 since their peak this summer. And they’ve been falling for the best of — best part of the last three weeks.

In June, the average price — not the most common price, but the average price — nationwide was — was over $5 a gallon. Today, the average price for a gallon of gas is $3.76. That’s adding up to real savings for American families — the difference between those prices. And this difference makes a difference.

In a difficult time, Americans across the country have stepped up, and they — to do the right thing. But not everyone has stepped up. The oil industry has not — has not met its commitment to invest in America and support the American people.

One by one, major oil companies have reported record profits, not just a fair return on — for hard work. Every company is entitled to that: a fair return for the work they do or innovation they generate. It means — but I mean profits so high it’s hard to believe.

Now, the second quarter of the profits were really high. But the third quarter — last week, Shell announced that it made $9.5 billion in profits for the third quarter — $9.5 billion. That’s almost twice as much as it made in the third quarter of last year. I think that’s something. You think that’s incredible? I thought, “My — that’s as good as — as high as it’s going to get.”

Then along came Exxon. Exxon’s profits for the third quarter were at $18.7 billion. One quarter: $18.7 billion — nearly triple what Exxon made last year and the most in its 152-year history. It’s never made that much profit.

In the last six months, six of the largest oil companies have made more than $100 billion — $100 billion. And we had a little discussion about this, the three of us and others. One hundred billion in profits in two — less than 200 days. That’s not bad.

And here’s why this — here’s why this matters. I think it’s outrageous what their — the — the size of the profit.

Here’s why it matters: If these companies were making average profits they’ve been making by refining oil over the last 20 years instead of the outrageous profits they’re making today and if they passed the rest on to the consumers, the price of gas would come down around an additional 50 cents.

If they’re investing their profits in the historic — at historic rates in their U.S. operations, then America would be producing more oil today and prices would be down even further. But rather than increasing their investments in America or giving American consumers a break, their excess profits are going back to their shareholders and to buying back their stock, so the executive pay is — are going to skyrocket.

Give me a break. Enough is enough. Look, I’m a capitalist. You’ve heard me say this before: I have no problem with corporations turning a fair profit or getting the return on their investment and innovation. But this isn’t remotely what’s happening.

Oil companies’ record profits today are not because they’re doing something new or innovative. Their profits are a windfall of war — the windfall from the brutal conflict that’s ravaging Ukraine and hurting tens of millions of people around the globe. You know, at a time of war, any company receiving historic windfall profits like this has a responsibility to act beyond their narrow self-interest of its executives and shareholders.

I think they have a responsibility to act in the interest of their consumers, their community, and their country; to invest in America by increasing production and refining capacity. Because they — they don’t want to do that. They — they have the opportunity to do that — lowering prices for consumers at the pump.

You know, if they don’t, they’re going to pay a higher tax on their excess profits and face other restrictions. My team will work with Congress to look at these op- — these options that are available to us and others. It’s time for these companies to stop war profiteering, meet their responsibilities to this country, and give the American people a break and still do very well.

The American people are going to judge who’s standing with them and who is only looking out for their own bottom line. I know where I stand, and I want to let the — I’m — going to hear more from me about this when the Congress gets back.

Thank you all very, very much. Appreciate it.

White 10/31/2022.

The YouTube of the White House Halloween event is 1 hour and 12 seconds long. There are no remarks it’s just video of the President and First Lady handing out candy to kids and talking with the parents…

The White House Twitter account shared some past Halloween moments…

President Biden has tweeted…

He has 1 tweet so far for Tuesday.

See his full remarks posted above this tweet.

This is an Open Thread.

About the opinions in this article…

Any opinions expressed in this article are the opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of this website or of the other authors/contributors who write for it.

About Tiff 2303 Articles
Member of the Free Press who is politically homeless and a political junkie.