Monica Potts

Monica Potts is a freelance writer, and former staff member of The American Prospect. A fellow with the New America Foundation Asset Building Program, her work has appeared in The New York Times, the Connecticut Post and the Stamford Advocate. She also blogs at PostBourgie.

Recent Articles

Help for Low-Income Workers.

For some time now, the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities has urged an extension of a provision of the stimulus bill that allowed welfare funds to fully or partially subsidize the wages of low-income workers who are newly hired by private employers. The fund, known as the TANF Emergency Fund, is set to expire Sept. 30. That may jeopardize the jobs of many workers and employers in the states that used the fund to spur hiring among employers who wouldn't hire otherwise, and get jobs for low-income workers who might not have otherwise gotten one. A provision to extend it was included in a $14 billion small business relief bill that the House debated Tuesday and will hopefully vote on soon. The center made the case for why extending the fund is so important: The fund’s expiration would also pose problems for small businesses. If firms participating in the program have not recovered enough to afford the wage costs, they will have to reduce staffing, and the individuals they hired with...

Stuff You Didn't Know About the Health-Care Bill.

The health-care bill that will be signed by President Obama shortly also includes a provision that will require restaurants with more than 20 locations to place the calorie information for foods on menus so that the information is easy to see while customers order, the Associated Press tells us . New York City was the first place in the country to require calorie information on menus or displays, and now the restaurant industry faces similar moves in so many cities and states it supported the measure's addition to health-care reform legislation. The FDA will have a year to write the new rules, which health advocates have been pushing for years. Margo Wootan , director of nutrition policy at the Center for Science in the Public Interest, said it's one step in the fight against obesity. 'Coffee drinks can range from 20 calories to 800 calories, and burgers can range from 250 calories to well over 1,000 calories,' she said. That last bit is the important thing. The ingredients and...

What HCR Means for Employers.

Now that the health-care reform bill will most likely be signed into law soon, many are trying to figure out what it means for them. The New York Times has plenty of graphs up to break it down, but a great blog called the Connecticut Employment Law Blog, run by Daniel Schwartz , explains what it means for many employers. Those currently unable to get insurance on the individual market will likely benefit most, but the bill also helps those who are ostensibly offered insurance by their employers but find premium contributions so high they can't participate. Schwartz's explanation for employers highlights what it could mean for their employees. For those employers that do offer coverage, you're not out of the woods just yet. Under the passed bill, if the employee finds the insurance too expensive because it would represent too much a percentage of their income, the employee may purchase insurance on the open market (or at least the marketplace of exchanges that the measure also...

The Dumbest Reaction to the HCR Vote.

I am trying to institute a pretty strict policy against blogging about Megan McArdle , since it seems like a never-ending rabbit hole of nonsense and false logic, but her response after the House passed the Senate version of the health-care bill last night was a special sort of ridiculousness. The entire post was histrionic and self-contradictory, especially this paragraph. Are we now in a world where there is absolutely no recourse to the tyranny of the majority? Republicans and other opponents of the bill did their job on this; they persuaded the country that they didn't want this bill. And that mattered basically not at all. If you don't find that terrifying, let me suggest that you are a Democrat who has not yet contemplated what Republicans might do under similar circumstances. Farewell, Social Security! Au revoir, Medicare! The reason entitlements are hard to repeal is that the Republicans care about getting re-elected. If they didn't--if they were willing to undertake this sort...

Health-Care Oppression.

As if it wasn't clear enough that racism was playing a roll in the rejection of a big, ambitious effort to spread health insurance coverage to more Americans, Rep. Paul Broun of Georgia made it more explicit when he said the following: If Obamacare passes, that free insurance card that's in people's pockets is going to be as worthless as a Confederate dollar after the war between the states -- the Great War of Yankee Aggression. Firstly, what free health-insurance card? I want one! Secondly, I thought the War Between the States was enough of a Southern code for folks to know which side he'd be on in the Civil War, but invoking Yankee aggression bolsters it even more. I forgot during this whole health-care debate that the mostly white people packing the Tea Party rallies were the only people who are actually oppressed in this country. Thanks for reminding me, Broun. -- Monica Potts

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