* Gallup’s latest numbers on who has health insurance are showing results similar to what we’ve seen elsewhere, with the proportion of uninsured Americans down from 18 percent last year to 13.4 percent this year:
The uninsured rate in the U.S. fell 2.2 percentage points to 13.4% in the second quarter of 2014. This is the lowest quarterly average recorded since Gallup and Healthways began tracking the percentage of uninsured Americans in 2008. [...]
The decline in the uninsured rate last quarter took place at the start of the quarter. The drop reflected a surge of health plan enrollees in early April, prior to the April 15 extended enrollment deadline for people who had previously experienced technical difficulties with the federal healthcare exchange website. In April and May, the uninsured rate hovered at 13.4%, and it remained at that level in June — clearly indicating that the decline seen since late 2013 has leveled off.
The decline leveled off, of course, because open enrollment on the exchanged ended on March 31st. And between January 1st and March 31st of next year, we’re likely to see another decline as more people sign up.
* Among the most explosive GOP allegations about Benghazi: There was a “stand-down” order given to military units who were ready and able to defend the consulate. This AP story, based on interviews with military personnel, does a good job of explaining why the theory is utterly bogus. I’m sure that will put this to rest, right?
* So here’s the bill text on John Boehner’s lawsuit against the president, and shockingly, it does not cite Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals among Obama’s offenses; the main one is the delay of the employer mandate. Perhaps Boehner didn’t want to be suing Obama for not deporting the DREAMers. — gs
* Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart effectively declared today that the GOP leadership killed immigration reform for the year. The immigration advocacy group America’s Voice hails Diaz-Balart for telling the truth about what happened, but notes that there’s still more work to do: It’s now time for Obama to act on immigration alone.
* The AP is reporting that we may be moving toward a deal on emergency funds and policy changes to address the current border crisis, including allowing speedier deportations of children from Central America, suggesting Republicans may give ground on funding if Dems concede a bit on changes to the law.
* The Post has more on the key pieces of any emerging deal, which would change a 2008 law that mandates that children from Central America get a deportation hearing. Although Republicans and the White House have said they favor similar changes, Democrats and immigration advocates have expressed opposition to the change, saying the children should get due process ensure they aren’t being sent back to life-threatening situations.
* Meanwhile, HuffPo reports that Republican strategists are warning their GOP allies in Congress that they really need to participate in solving the current border crisis, or the political fallout for them could be massive.
* Mitch McConnell is now trying to distance himself from the Paul Ryan budget, which foe Alison Lundergan Grimes is making into an issue in the Kentucky Senate race, but HuffPo turns up evidence of McConnell effusively praising Ryan’s plan at the time.
* Meanwhile, Steve Benen notes that McConnell’s distancing exercise shows that for Dems, the Ryan budget just keeps on giving. — gs
* Dylan Scott goes deep into the backrooms to ferret out a tale of a GOP Congressional staffer whose subpoena is unnerving folks on the Hill.
* And we sincerely hope that the Happy Hour Roundup isn’t bringing you down, because the rest of the news might be:
If you’re feeling stressed these days, the news media may be partly to blame.
At least that’s the suggestion of conducted by NPR, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the Harvard School of Public Health.
The survey of more than 2,500 Americans found that about 1 in 4 said they had experienced a “great deal” of stress in the previous month. And these stressed-out people said one of the biggest contributors to their day-to-day stress was watching, reading or listening to the news.
It isn’t too surprising, actually. The news is often about bad things happening to real people. So it’s better to get stressed out about that than about whether Justin Bieber will be able to get his personal thing together and act like a responsible adult.