Proposed bill to replace Obamacare must be opposed

first_imgThe threat to repeal the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare)  since Republicans took over the White House, the US House and Senate, ratcheted up on Monday when Republicans in the US House released a proposed bill titled, the American Health Care Act.At first perusal, the bill seem a revision of the Affordable Care Act, but on closer look the Republican bill guts crucial provision of the existing healthcare law.Obviously, in an attempt to strike a compromise with Democrats opposed to repealing Obamacare, and appease millions of Americans protesting any pending repeal, the proposed bill maintains popular Obamacare provisions.These provisions include continuing to provide health insurance to young adults up to age-26 on their parent’s plan. It also would continue offering insurance coverage to people with pre-existing medical conditions.However, the bill would seek to deny Medical Expansion, a very important provision of Obamacare, to millions of low-income Americans as of 2020. This would appease Republican governors like Florida’s Rick Scott who has stubbornly refused expanding Medicaid to low-income Floridians despite the provisions under the ACA, that would provide the state with millions of federal dollars.Under the proposed Republican bill, when Medicaid is frozen in 2020, the federal government would replace it with state grants to supplement state’s healthcare and private insurance programs. Low-income residents would receive refundable tax-credits to purchase health insurance market. This is a futile proposal which would remove health coverage from millions. Refundable tax credits to people earning low income could hardly purchase any significant health coverage.The core of Obamacare is to offer health insurance to people who cannot afford the coverage. The opposition must be strong and relentless to ensure Medicaid Expansion is retained long-term in any new federal healthcare law.Four Republican Senators are to be commended for indicating their opposition to the House proposal to phase out Medicaid Expansion. Senators Rob Portman of Ohio, Shelly Moore Capito of West Virginia, Cory Gardener of Colorado and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska informed Majority Senate Leader Mitch McConnell they are concerned “any  poorly timed change in the current funding structure in Medicaid could result in a reduction in access to life-saving health care services.”  That’s an appropriate summary why the proposed bill must be vehemently opposed, and sends a message to Florida’s representatives in the House and Senate.It’s estimated over 12 million Americans, including children, have benefitted from expansion to Medicaid under Obamacare. It would be immoral, and an atrocity, to see the majority of these Americans lose health coverage.While the bill proposes ending Medicaid Expansion, it also proposes to cap tax credits currently provided under Obamacare. The Republicans argue wealthy Americans should not qualify for the tax credit, so instead of being tagged to income the credit would be tagged to age. Under the proposals older Americans would receive tax credits ranging from $2,000 to $4,000 to help them pay for health coverage. Tax credits would be phased out for individuals who make over $75,000 annually, and households with incomes over $150,000.However, with health insurance to be sold on an open market rather than through the controlled federal marketplace several people who were able to purchase insurance, especially the higher-end health coverage. with the assistance of tax-credits would be hard pressed to purchase insurance.The new proposal also includes a plan to defund Planned Parenthood for a year. This is another essential program benefitting not only women, but low-income women, who cannot afford care like critical cancer screenings and pre-natal care, available at low cost or free at Planned Parenthood clinics. One year without funding could force several of these clinics to close.Among other provisions the proposed bill would remove the mandate for every American to have health insurance.One wonders if the proposed Republican bill is a serious attempt, or a means of testing the reaction to the changes proposed. Some provisions are already displeasing to conservative and moderate Republicans. Despite the attempts to preserve two key provisions of Obamacare, this proposal must be totally opposed by all Congressional Democrats.last_img read more

President Trump signs new travel ban

first_imgA month after federal judges block President Trump’s executive order to ban residents from seven African and Middle Easter countries- Trump signed a new executive order Monday, presenting a new travel ban with not many changes made.Trump’s new travel ban will take effect March 16, exempting citizens from Syria, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan and Yemen from obtaining visas for at least 90 days and suspending refugees from entering the United States for 120 days.Trump’s newly drafted ban dropped Iraq from the original list of countries from January’s executive order.The executive order states the United States allied Iraqi government had undertaken steps to enhance travel documentation, information sharing, and the allowed the return of Iraqi nationals that were turned away at airports.According to CNN, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said Iraq’s removal from the list came after an intense review from the State Department to improve vetting from Iraqi citizens in collaboration with the Iraqi government.The original ban came under intense criticism for banning countries that have a large Muslim population, earning its label as the “Muslim ban”.This new order states it will not prioritize religious minorities when considering refugee admission cases.But many are voicing their opinions on social media, calling the new travel ban a repeat of the previous order.“Here we go again…Muslim Ban 2.0 #NoBanNowall,” tweeted by Indiana Democratic Representative Andre Carson.During the signing of the new executive order, no media was present but White House spokesman Sean Spicer tweeted a picture of President Trump signing the new order.“This order is part of our ongoing efforts to eliminate vulnerabilities that radical Islamist terrorists can and will exploit for destructive ends,” said Tillerson.last_img read more

Palm Beach schools to close in preparation for Irma

first_imgAll Palm Beach County Public Schools and District offices will close Thursday, September 7, and Friday, September 8, in an effort to allow families to prepare for Hurricane Irma.All afterschool activities, including sports and school meetings, are canceled for Wednesday, September 6, in advance of schools closing on Thursday and Friday.“We have been watching Hurricane Irma closely before making our decision to close schools,” said Superintendent of Schools Robert Avossa. “While landfall is not expected until Sunday, we have a responsibility to ensure our personnel have ample time to prepare before tropical force winds arrive in the area.” Emergency sheltersPalm Beach County’s Department of Emergency Management is to determine when emergency shelters will open.County officials indicated it is important to remember that not all emergency shelters will be open at the same time. Residents are urged to make sure to monitor local media or check the Department of Emergency Management’s website,, for more information. A list of 2017 shelters and evacuation zones is available at, on the Public Shelters link.School District leaders will continue to work closely with County, State and Federal emergency management officials to assess Irma’s impact on the District, and determine when it is safe for schools and offices to reopen.Parents, students and district employees should monitor local media as well as the District’s social media accounts for updates on the District’s operations.Employees will be notified when they should report back to work, based on whether they are in Category A, B, C or D. Updates also will be provided through the district’s main phone number, (561) 434-8000 or toll-free at (866) 930-8402.The District will determine if and when the missed days will be required to be made up at a later date.last_img read more

IMF: Barbados economy slowing down

first_imgThe Washington based International Monetary Fund (IMF) has expressed concern about Barbados’ large fiscal deficit, high debt and low foreign reserves.IMF executive directors concluded in the Article IV consultation that after an improved economic performance in 2016, the Barbados economy is slowing down.Bolder structural reforms neededThe directors emphasized that a stronger macroeconomic framework and bolder structural reforms are needed to achieve fiscal and debt sustainability, address the large financing needs, build adequate international reserves, and boost growth.While they welcomed the government’s consolidation efforts over the past two fiscal years, the directors stressed that additional efforts will be necessary to balance the budget over the medium term, given the urgency in tackling the high debt, meeting the funding requirements, and addressing the balance of payment needs.They recommended that adjustment measures should focus on expenditure, primarily supported by reform of State-Owned Enterprises (SOEs).Contain wage bill“Efforts to contain the wage bill and reform of government pensions, while improving revenue administration and broadening the tax base, including reducing exemptions, would also be important,” the lending agency said.The directors emphasized that a comprehensive restructuring of SOE operations is critical to address the structural imbalance in the public sector, in particular by reducing government transfers.They also said priority should be given to defining clear objectives for SOE reform and implementing the Public Financial Management and Audit Act, as well as other measures.Phase out central bank supportThe IMF also encouraged the authorities to continue efforts to phase out direct financing of the government by the central bank and to reorient monetary policy towards supporting the fixed exchange rate regime.The Washington based institution called for steps to ease the recent increase in statutory requirements for banks to hold government securities.last_img read more

Jamaica Not Using Anti-malarial Drug to Fight COVID-19

first_imgKINGSTON, Jamaica, CMC – Chief Medical Officer in the Ministry of Health, Dr. Jacqueline Bisasor McKenzie, says the country will not be using the antimalarial drug, hydroxychloroquine, to treat persons who have contracted the coronavirus (COVID-19).Speaking during a recent virtual press conference, the CMO said the decision was made by the Ministry, following a recommendation from a committee of experts from across the island who are responsible for reviewing the technical material that is available on various treatments that are being tried internationally.“We also utilise the guidance documents that are provided by the WHO (World Health Organization) who themselves have established expert panels to review the material that is available. As a result of our review, we have made a decision and this is a decision that is supported by the WHO that we will not include hydroxychloroquine in our treatment protocols.”She was responding to a question as to Jamaica’s position on the use of the drug.In recent weeks, there have been raging debates globally about the effectiveness of hydroxychloroquine in treating patients with COVID-19, after it was touted as a weapon in the fight against the pandemic.Bisasor McKenzie said that Jamaica is aware that ongoing studies are being done to look at the use of the drug in treating a certain set of patients.The CMO said “Jamaica has applied to be a part of the solidarity study, which is being coordinated from the WHO, and in that study, we may have persons who fit definite criteria, who would be recruited to have that treatment”.She noted that there are specific treatment and monitoring guidelines that would have to be strictly observed in using the drug.last_img read more

AFCON Date Change “Fantastic” – Jose Mourinho

first_imgConfederation of African Football (CAF) announced that the AFCON will now take place in June/July, starting from the 2019 tournament in Cameroon.  The calendar change was enacted by CAF last week after an executive symposium in Rabat, Morocco.The Confederation also announced that the AFCON will now be expanded to 24 teams. Manchester United manager, Jose Mourinho, has expressed his delight over the date change of the African Cup of Nations AFCON.Speaking exclusively to ESPN after Manchester United lost 1-0 to Barcelona in a pre-season friendly, Mourinho called the date change “fantastic”.When reporters explained the new change to Mourinho, he said: “If that’s the change then it’s fantastic for us.”“Obviously because it’s hard in the middle of the season to lose players like we do, and with so many African players playing in the best competitions in Europe it’s not good for the clubs, it’s not good for the competitions and it’s not good for the players.” RelatedMourinho Rules Out Fellaini Exit, Confirms Matic DealJuly 30, 2017In “England”£198m For Neymar Is Not “Expensive” – MourinhoAugust 3, 2017In “Europe”Rooney’s Departure Was Emotional – MourinhoJuly 26, 2017In “England”last_img read more

Liverpool Rejects £113m Third Barcelona Bid For Coutinho

first_imgLiverpool has reportedly rejected another bid from Barcelona for midfielder, Philippe Coutinho.The new bid is believed to be worth an initial £113m which could rise to £118m based on the Brazilians performance at the Camp Nou.Liverpool has previously rejected two bids of £72million and £90m from Barcelona, reiterating their strong stance that “no offers for Philippe will be considered”.The 25-year-old Brazilian, who handed in an official transfer request to Liverpool via email last Friday, did not feature for Liverpool in their Premier League opener against Watford last weekend due to injury.RelatedBarcelona To Make Fourth & Final Coutinho Bid This Week – ReportsAugust 23, 2017In “Europe”Liverpool Reject Barcelona’s £90.4m Second Coutinho Bid – ReportsAugust 10, 2017In “England”Philippe Coutinho Is Not For Sale – Liverpool Releases Official Statement Amidst Barcelona InterestAugust 11, 2017In “England”last_img read more

NI Blow: Veteran Defender Out Of Germany Clash

first_imgHearts defender Aaron Hughes has dealt Northern Ireland a big blow after he was ruled out of their 2018 FIFA World Cup qualifier against world champions Germany.The 37-year old picked up a calf injury on Saturday while playing for Hearts against Dundee and has returned to the club for further treatmentAnother appearance for Hughes would have made it 109 caps and that would be a record for the most capped home nations’ defender beating the one set by England’s Bobby Moore.Northern Ireland manager Michael O’Neill has already called up Dunfermline defender Callum Morris as his replacement.Northern Ireland have won an hundred percent record from the matches played so far in 2017 and are guaranteed second place in Group C however a win over Germany would put them in a good position for first position.Aaron Hughes has been a consistent performer for Northern Ireland since his debut in 1998 and is the team’s most-capped outfield player with 108 appearances. He started in the past three qualifiers against Azerbaijan, San Marino and the Czech Republic and helped the team to victory without conceding at all.Northern Ireland Squad:Goalkeepers: McGovern (Norwich City), Mannus (St Johnstone), Carroll (Linfield)Defenders: Morris (Dunfermline), G McAuley (West Brom), Evans (West Brom), Brunt (West Brom), C McLaughlin (Millwall), Hodson (Rangers), A Thompson (Bradford City loan), D Lafferty (Sheffield United), Flanagan (Burton Albion)Midfielders: Davis (Southampton), McGinn (Gwangju), Norwood (Fulham loan), C Evans (Blackburn), Ferguson (Millwall), Dallas (Leeds), Lund (Burton Albion), Paton (St Johnstone), J Jones (Kilmarnock), G Saville (Millwall)Strikers: K Lafferty (Hearts), Magennis (Charlton), Washington (QPR), McCartan (Bradford City)RelatedMcAuley Returns To NI Squad Ahead Of World  Cup QualifiersSeptember 26, 2017In “FIFA”2018 World Cup Qualifying Wrap (Europe): England, Germany Secure Final SpotsOctober 6, 2017In “Europe”Coleman Names 23-Man Squad For Upcoming World Cup QualifiersSeptember 28, 2017In “World Cup”last_img read more

Bookies Corner – By POPular Demand – Eurovision 2017

first_img Danske Spil calls for esports makeover with Pinnacle Solution August 25, 2020 StumbleUpon Flutter moves to refine merger benefits against 2020 trading realities August 27, 2020 Share Submit Björn Nilsson: How Triggy is delivering digestible data through pre-set triggers August 28, 2020 Europe’s live pan-continental pop contest ‘Eurovision’ will be broadcast this Saturday night to an expected audience of +300 million.  SBC gets the bookies low-down in what may be the most interesting TV/novelty market in sports betting. Bookies reveal what makes a great Eurovision contender, how politics and culture can affect the song contest and whether Britain pop’s standing will be the first real casualty of Brexit!___________________________Feilim Mac An Iomaire – Paddy PowerSBC: Why is Italian singer Francesco Gabbani’s “Occidentali’s Karma” the current market favourite? What makes a strong Eurovision contender?Feilim Mac An Iomaire (Paddy Power Head of PR): Italy’s Occidentali’s Karma by Francesco Gabbani is the bookies favourite for a combination of reasons.It’s original video has amassed over 110 million views, outlining its popularity. The Pop song has an upbeat tempo making it an easy one to sing along to (if you can speak Italian and even if you can’t you’ll try!)It has a peaceful message that will resonate to the viewers without being too cheesy. To top it all off it Francesco will be joined on stage by a dancing gorilla which cant be underestimated…It’ll be a tough one to beat! Mirio Mella, PinnacleSBC: How has the new round of voting introduced last year impacted bookmaker’s Eurovision markets? Has this proved to be an effective tool at making the competition fairer and more exciting?  Mirio Mella (Pinnacle, Head of Customer Engagement): Eurovision has always been promoted as an angel of peace and unity across the continent singing hymns of fluffy Euro-pop. Unfortunately, rather than producing an open forum for the appreciation of a wide spectrum of musical cultures, the contest can appear like an exercise in selective back-scratching of country blocks.The addition, in 2009, of points from the good citizens of Europe via TV-votes – in a 50-50 split alongside the jury panels – was intended to change this.Unfortunately, this didn’t address the issues around block-voting, but the decision to double the number of points available and announce the TV-vote results in reverse order after all of the jury panel votes in Eurovision 2016 did at least appear to inject some edge-of-the-seat excitement.There was a marked difference of opinions between juries and TV-voters, which ratcheted the drama of scoring up several octaves. Famous Europeans ‘Australia’ had looked to be in control from the jury vote until viewers swept Ukraine’s Jamala home to victory.The shifting sands of politics can of course mix things up, Russia’s absence this year a case in point, while any spread on the UK’s points haul in 2017 is likely to be significantly lower as a result of Brexit.In general, however, the change in voting presentation seems to be progressive and a recognition of the importance of adding excitement to the growing sense of spectacle. This change doesn’t make Eurovision any easier for bookmakers to price, but on the other side of the Euro, there is still potential value for specialist bettors. Pinnacle currently has Italy, represented by Francesco Gabbani, as the very short 1.719* favourite.Tim Reynolds – Sun BetsSBC: Is the impact of ‘block voting’ overstated within the Eurovision Finals markets, can European political and cultural complexities be overvalued or misplaced for what is simply a Song Contest?Tim Reynolds (Sun Bets Head of PR ): “I think we probably need to make a distinction between the dodgy Eastern European block voting we’ve seen in the past, and the cultural reasons some countries vote certain ways.On the latter, it’s completely understandable that some countries have their favourites. Greece and Cyprus are a good example of one little pact that no one really minds- and with just one win between them in the history of Eurovision, a pact that doesn’t really influence the outcome of the competition! Likewise, I think a lot of us Brits know that after Brexit, we’re not exactly Europe’s cup of tea at the moment! The public are swayed by political and culture events, and it’d be naïve to think there isn’t an impact in their voting.The serious and organised block voting is very different, and hopefully won’t happen again this year. The very possibility that it could happen tells us one thing- Eurovision matters so much more on the continent than it does to us Brits. Eurovision is everything to some of these ex-Soviet and Balkan states… to us, it’s an opportunity for a cheeky little bet and a night in with a Chinese take-away.”Kate Baylis – BetfairSBC: Former X-Factor contestant Lucie Jones is Brexit Britain’s Eurovision candidate…surely its ‘Null Points’ for UK pop in 2017?Kate Baylis (Betfair Media Relations Manager): This year’s Eurovision will be a barometer which gauges the level of animosity that the big three continental nations feel towards the UK, and while Germany are favourites at 5/4 to award zip to the UK, the betting suggests that France and Italy may be a little more generous in their allocation of points.’While Brexit might mean that the other European countries have a bit of ill-feeling towards us, the Irish are usually good for a few votes for the UK – so while Lucie is a 50/1 outsider for the Eurovision crown, we have her at 16/1 for Nul Points overall as we still expect her to pick up some votes. 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Paddy Power shortens odds on 2018 UK General Election as PM May faces party revolt

first_img John O’Reilly – Erratic orders have placed UK casinos on life support August 4, 2020 Winning Post: Political flip-floppery leads to uncertainty for casinos August 3, 2020 Submit StumbleUpon The pressure is mounting on embattled UK Prime Minister Theresa May, as Brexit negotiations head towards collapse, and rumours surface of a potential Conservative Party revolt against her leadership.Last week, the European Union’s Chief Negotiator Michel Barnier gave the UK government a two-week deadline in which to ‘clarify its stance on financial obligations and EU citizens’ rights’. Barnier warned the UK, there would be no further negotiations unless the key issues were clarified.At home, The Sunday Times reports that up to 40 Conservative MPs have agreed to sign a letter of no confidence in PM May. Furthermore, UK media leaked a threatening memo addressed to May by Brexiters Boris Johnson and Michael Gove urging the PM to ‘underline her resolve’ and achieve a total break with Brussels’.A week of heightened Downing Street drama and turmoil have forced Paddy Power to revise its UK political markets, pricing May at just 5/2 to resign as Prime Minister this month.As news continues to surface of further Tory Party splits with regards to the UK’s ‘exit strategy’, Paddy Power Politics has further cut the price on the next UK General Election taking place in 2018, to 9/4Should a new snap election be called, Paddy Power places Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn as the favourite to succeed May (5/1), ahead of Conservative challengers Jacob Rees Mogg (6/1), David Davis (6/1) and Boris Johnson (7/1).Paddy PowerAt present, the Irish bookmaker has priced odds of the UK getting a ‘no deal’ in Brexit negotiations at 2/1.Updating the media, a spokesman for Paddy Power commented on markets: “It looks like we’re getting very close to May Day, as Theresa faces the mother of all struggles to retain authority both in Europe and within her Party.“Given that she didn’t want Brexit in the first place, resigning or being forced out would be a novel new way for her to perform an EU-turn.”Paddy Power UK Politics UpdateWhen will  Theresa May Cease to be PM?November          5/2December           9/1Q1, 2018               10/3Q2, 2018               7/1Year of Next UK General Election2017       25/12018       9/42019       2/1 Next UK Prime Minister5/1         Jeremy Corbyn6/1         Jacob Rees Mogg6/1         David Davis7/1         Boris Johnson10/1       Amber Rudd BGC: Government must ‘act fast’ and extend furlough scheme August 11, 2020 Share Related Articles Sharelast_img read more