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A computer screen reads, "Enroll by Dec. 23 for coverage starting as soon as Jan 1." as agents from Sunshine Life and Health Advisors help people purchase health insurance under the Affordable Care Act at the kiosk setup at the Mall of Americas on December 22, 2013 in Miami, Florida.
It's the end of another week and time for the Friday Flashback, Take Two's look at the week in news. Today we're joined in-studio by a first-time flashback contestant, Pilar Marrero, a columnist at La Opinion. We welcome back returning Friday Flashback champion, Jamelle Bouie of Slate.
Let's start with the Affordable Care Act — big deadline this week, March 31st, when the administration closed the first open enrollment for health care. They made their goal of signing up 7 million Americans and we learned that about 1.6 of those were people signing up for Covered California.
These numbers look better than we thought, especially in terms of how many young invincibles and Latinos signed up — what's the final breakdown?
What role is the law going to play now in the midterm elections? Can Republicans still call it a failure?
Let's move on to immigration. There were rallies in 40 cities around the country this week calling for a moratorium on deportations by the Obama administration. How much traction are these getting and how much are they hurting democrats?
There were also reports out this week that in fact the record-high deportation numbers reported about the Obama administration may be misleading. What's the argument there and how much merit is there to that claim?
President Obama was in Michigan this week trying to build momentum for a hike of the minimum wage, which the Senate could vote on as early as next week — although it doesn't look likely that would pass. At the same time, California Republican Congressman Ken Calvert had the following to say about minimum wage:
"Minimum wage was never meant to be a livable wage. It was meant to get people started, give them a job and hopefully they do good work and we can increase their salary later on. But having a federal minimal wage increase is, certainly in this economy, is not - this is not the right time and I don't think it's the right way to do it."
Is that true? What do you make of his argument?
President Obama was joined by Michigan Congressman Gary Peters, who is embroiled in a competitive Senate race. It was a rare appearance this year by a Senate candidate with the president. Is that a signal that minimum wage could be a boon for democrats in the midterms?
Big news in campaign finance this week. The Supreme Court ruled to strike down limits on campaign contributions. Of course this builds on the Citizens United ruling several years ago, and is this only just the beginning when it comes to deregulating election spending? Could we one day see corporations being allowed to give directly to candidates?