Healthcare Bill Would Shed Millions

To Your Health: The House healthcare bill would shed 23 million people from the rolls of the insured by 2026, according to a new review by the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office.

The CBO says, “Premiums would vary significantly according to health status and the types of benefits provided, and less healthy people would face extremely high premiums.” At the same time, the bill would reduce the federal deficit by $119 billion, according to the analysis.

The CBO report raises the likelihood that the healthcare bill will be drastically altered in the Senate, if it has any chance at all of passing. Republicans dismiss the CBO as inaccurate, but with so many aspects of Obamacare embedded in the healthcare system, the Republican pledge of “repeal and replace” is a glib promise.

The Obamacare markets are troubled in some states. Yesterday Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas City, which covers 67,000 people in the area, announced that it is pulling out at the end of this year.

The Russia House: The Washington Post reports that the FBI investigation of Hillary Clinton’s emails may have been influenced by a fake document that possibly came from Russia. The document cites a purported email in which then Attorney General Loretta Lynch assured someone in the Clinton campaign that the email investigation would not be pushed too far. In a confusing chain of events, FBI Director James Comey ended his investigation last July, in part because he thought the investigation was compromised, setting off other events that hurt Clinton, according to the Post.

The document has since been discredited.

Also pounding the Russia beat, the NY Times reports that US spies picked up information last summer revealing that Russia was trying to influence Donald Trump through his campaign advisers. The conversations involved Paul Manafort, Trump’s campaign chairman at the time, and Michael Flynn, a retired general who briefly became Trump’s national Security adviser. It’s uncertain whether the Russians had any success. Both Manafort and Flynn have denied collusion with the Russians.

Terror: British authorities say they will stop sharing information with the US after the leak of crime scene photos from Monday night’s terrorist attack. The NY Times published pictures of a shredded backpack and a trigger device.

The Brits say they believe that the Manchester, England suicide bomber was part of a wider network that may strike again. Police say they believe the bomber, 22-year-old Salman Abedi, either had help or the bomb was made by someone else. The bomb was cleverly concealed in a blue backpack and made to cause horrific shrapnel damage. It even had a backup detonation trigger.

In addition to 22 people killed, at least 64 people were wounded, about a third of them critically.

Abedi recently visited family in Libya where his father Ramadan, and younger brother, Hashem, 20, were reported to have been arrested by a militia in Tripoli.

Among the people killed Monday night in the bombing were seven parents waiting to pick up their children. Two of them were a married Polish couple who left two orphaned daughters.

Wild West: Montana’s Republican candidate for Congress Greg Gianforte has been charged with misdemeanor assault after throwing an inquiring reporter to the ground in his campaign headquarters. The reporter from The Guardian was asking about the Republican healthcare bill.

Three off the state’s major newspapers withdrew their endorsements, but Gianforte has a wide lead in the polls. Election day is today and about half the expected votes have already been cast in early balloting.

Nation: A quarter-mile section of California’s coast highway in Big Sur was severed Saturday by a landslide estimated to be a million tons of dirt and rock. The section of road 70 miles south of Monterey will take months to reopen. — A jury of seven men and five women has been empaneled in the Bill Cosby rape trial in Pittsburgh. — Nevada and Connecticut are the latest states to ban “conversion therapy,” a discredited psychological treatment that attempts to alter sexual or gender identity. — Sixty-seven students at Middlebury College in Vermont have been disciplined for their part in disrupting the speech of political scientist Charles Murray, who has been criticized as racist. The punishments ranged from probation to a note in the students’ files, but no one was thrown out.

Fashion Note: Both Melania and Ivanka Trump, who travelled in Saudi Arabia without wearing head scarves, wore black hair coverings while visiting the Pope. The Vatican has strict dress rules for visiting the Pope and if you violate them a nun will rap your knuckles with a ruler.


Thursday, February 22, 2018

Page Two

Jaw Meet Floor

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

The Small President

Thursday, December 15, 2016

The Cuba Diaries

Sunday, March 13, 2016

An Alphabet of Maladies

Friday, February 26, 2016

The Healthcare Confusion Act

Thursday, January 7, 2016

Freedom from Speech

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Too Big to Fire

Friday, June 19, 2015

More Probable Than Not

Thursday, May 14, 2015

It's Been Said

" 'The enemy of the people,'" was what the president of the United States called the free press in 2017 ... It is a testament to the condition of our democracy that our own president uses words infamously spoken by Josef Stalin to describe his enemies. It bears noting that so fraught with malice was the phrase 'enemy of the people,' that even Nikita Khrushchev forbade its use, telling the Soviet Communist Party that the phrase had been introduced by Stalin for the purpose of 'annihilating such individuals' who disagreed with the supreme leader."
Arizona republican Sen. Jeff Flake speaking on the floor today.

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