Thursday, August 15, 2013
Tuesday, August 13, 2013
Obamacare Limit on Consumer Costs To Be Delayed a Year
Tuesday, 13 Aug 2013 09:29 AM
By Melanie Batley
The implementation of Obamacare is suffering another setback, after it was discovered that a rule establishing a maximum limit in the out-of-pocket expenses people may have to spend on their own health care will be delayed until 2015.
The health care law stipulates that individuals will not have to spend more than $6,350 per year on their own, including deductibles and co-payments, while families would not spend more than $12,700.
But a little noticed rule in the legislation grants a one-year grace period to some insurers, allowing them to set higher limits or no limits at all on some costs in 2014, The New York Times reports.
The clause was established on the premise that insurers and employers may need more time to streamline the way they administer coverage and upgrade their computer systems to centrally keep track of individual out-of-pocket expenditures.
"We knew this was an important issue. We had to balance the interests of consumers with the concerns of health plan sponsors and carriers, which told us that their computer systems were not set up to aggregate all of a person's out-of-pocket costs. They asked for more time to comply," an unnamed senior administration official told the Times.
The delay is bad news particularly for people with chronic illnesses, including cancer and disabilities, many whom have tens of thousands of dollars a year in out-of-pocket expenses for treatment and medications.
The news represents the second significant delay in the roll-out of the president's signature health care plan. In July, the administration announced it will not require employers to provide health insurance for their workers until 2015, prompting a wave a criticism about the viability of the law and the renewal of calls to repeal the program.
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We wonder what our government will say when these missiles start downing our planes. What if one took out the Secretary of State or some other government official? Would they then be more concerned with what happened at Benghazi?
400 SURFACE-TO-AIR MISSILES WERE STOLEN FROM LIBYA AND ARE NOW ‘IN THE HANDS OF SOME VERY UGLY PEOPLE’, SAYS WHISTLEBLOWERS’ ATTORNEY
JERUSALEM (AP) — The Israeli military shot down a rocket launched toward a Red Sea resort town near the border with Egypt on Tuesday, the army said.
It was the first time Israel's Iron Dome missile defense system successfully intercepted a rocket attack on the resort of Eilat, the military said. The incident came after days of heightened tension along the Egypt-Israel border.
The army said the rocket was intercepted early Tuesday and that there were no injuries. It didn't provide more details and declined to comment on the origins of the projectile.
An al-Qaida-inspired militant group based in Egypt's Sinai Peninsula, Ansar Jerusalem, claimed responsibility for launching the rocket in an email to The Associated Press. The little known group is hostile to both Israel and Egypt and was behind an attack in August 2011 near Eilat that killed eight people.
In Cairo, Egypt's state MENA news agency quoted an unnamed security official as saying authorities could not confirm that the rocket was launched from Sinai. The report said Egyptian forces were investigating.
Most Iron Dome batteries have been deployed along Israel's border with Gaza, and the missile defense system intercepted rockets during Israel's fighting with Gaza militants in 2012. Other batteries have been placed on Israel's border with Lebanon.
Last Thursday, Israel briefly closed the Eilat airport in response to unspecified security warnings.
The following day, five suspected Islamic militants were killed in Egypt's volatile Sinai Peninsula, and a rocket launcher there was reportedly destroyed, according to Egyptian officials. Ansar Jerusalem said four of its men were killed in the strike and blamed the deaths on Israel. The discrepancy between the group's death toll and the one offered by Egyptian authorities could not be reconciled.
Egyptian security officials attributed Friday's strike to a drone fired from the Israeli side of the border, but Israel has remained silent about the attack, likely out of concerns about exposing Egypt's military to domestic criticism over an Israeli strike on its soil.
Egypt and Israel signed a peace treaty in 1979, but many in Egypt still view Israel with suspicion.
Associated Press writer Ibrahim Barzak in Gaza City, Gaza Strip, contributed to this report.
The title of this Fox News Latino article may be benign however, we feel there is much more to the story than meets the eye. For example, earlier today we posted an article about Mexican immigrants into the US coming here as they felt they were under "extreme duress" in Mexico. How many of these men and women are stealth Muslims? How many are coming here with "unpure" aspirations? Lots of questions and very few answers.
However, the one issue that is clear, without a defensible and controlled border, we cannot know what is going on. If we don't make sure that the southern part of our country is under our control, how can we protect the country.
Please understand, we have nothing against those Muslims who want to come to this country to improve their and their children's lives. All we ask is that they adopt American ways, speak and write
English as their language and do not try to impose their religious views on anyone. Live and let live.
English as their language and do not try to impose their religious views on anyone. Live and let live.
Will that be the way that Muslim converts who come to the US will act? We doubt it. Most people who take up another religion are more fervent than those born or educated in the same faith. Will that mean that converted Muslims are more dangerous? Possibly, it all depends on the individual.
We hope that we are wrong, however, this new "invasion" of Mexicans could be a
Trojan Horse to the US and with our borders being so porous, who knows how many have already come here.
Muslim Converts In Mexico Make Up A Diverse, Fast-Growing Community
Aetna Withdraws From Maryland Exchange As Limitation On Premiums Would Force It To Operate At A Loss--This Is Only The Beginning Of The Decline Of The Health Insurance Industry
In About-Face, Aetna Backs Away from State-Based Exchanges
Aetna has dropped plans to offer health policies through the insurance exchanges in Ohio and its home state of Connecticut, the company revealed last week.
The Buckeye and Nutmeg state exchanges are the latest to join a growing list of local markets in which the carrier has reversed course and decided not to participate. Since June, it has also backed off plans to sell coverage via the exchanges in six other states, including California, Georgia, Maryland, New York, Tennessee and Texas.
In the case of Connecticut, at least, the decision was made "reluctantly," according to a letter to the state's Insurance Department signed by Bruce Campbell, Aetna's senior actuary. "Please be assured this is not a step taken lightly, and was made as part of national review of our Exchange strategy," Campbell wrote.
As in some other states, Aetna abandoned its plans after Connecticut regulators questioned the rates it proposed to offer through the state’s exchange, known as Access Health CT or AHCT. Three insurers will still offer individual coverage through AHCT, including Anthem, ConnectiCare and the nonprofit HealthyCT.
"The good news today is that consumers and businesses will retain several, high quality choices, and today's decision also shows we at AHCT are doing our best to hold rates down," Kevin Counihan, the chief executive of AHCT, said in a statement. "Our goal is clear: we want to bring affordable, quality health care to Connecticut's residents and small businesses."
The story is similar in Maryland, where the insurer said the state’s requirements for rate reductions would force it to operate at a loss. “Unfortunately, we believe the modifications to the rates filed by Aetna and Coventry would not allow us to collect enough premiums to cover the cost of the plans,” Aetna said in a letter to insurance commissioner Therese Goldsmith. Eight other carriers will continue to offer individual policies through Maryland’s web-based insurance market.
In Ohio, Aetna said it’s withdrawing from the individual exchange market for 2014, but plans to continue offering its individual products from its Coventry subsidiary on the exchange. The carrier also said it will continue to provide its individual product in Ohio’s off-exchange market.
Aetna’s decision will leave 12 companies offering 200 individual health insurance plans on the Ohio exchange
The Real Threat To America Is Not In The Middle East, It Is With Mexican and South Americans Being Radicalized By Iranians. Wake Up America! Another Reason For Strong Border Security!
Iranians Could Be Radicalizing Mexicans; Border Patrol Letting In Aliens With ‘Credible Fear’ Of Cartels
August 12, 2013 by Sam Rolley
Reports indicate that an Iranian outreach program is targeting young adults from countries south of the American border. The program is responsible for sending hundreds of Latin Americans to the Middle Eastern nation for “intensive Spanish-language instruction in Iranian religion and culture,” and is heavily supervised by a man who is wanted internationally on terrorism charges.
According to U.S. officials, the initiative is part of an Iranian government sponsored plot to gain influence in the Western Hemisphere by building an army of supporters in the U.S.’s backyard.
…The initiative includes not only the recruitment of foreign students for special study inside Iran, but also direct outreach to Latin countries through the construction of mosques and cultural centers and, beginning last year, a new cable-TV network that broadcasts Iranian programming in Spanish.Regional experts say such “soft power” initiatives are mainly political, intended in particular to strengthen Tehran’s foothold in countries such as Venezuela and Ecuador, which share similar anti-American views. But in some cases, Iranian officials have sought to enlist Latin Americans for espionage and even hacking operations targeting U.S. computer systems, according to U.S. and Latin American law-enforcement and intelligence officials.A report issued in May by an Argentine prosecutor cited evidence of “local clandestine intelligence networks” organized by Iran in several South American countries.Singled out in the report is an Iranian cleric and government official, Mohsen Rabbani, who runs several programs in Iran for Latin American students……Rabbani has made no secret of his interest in drawing in young Latin Americans who admire Iran’s fiery defiance of the West. A report for Congress by IBI Consultants, a Washington-based research company that advises U.S. government agencies on Latin American terrorism and drug-trafficking networks, estimated that more than 1,000 people from the region have undergone training, mostly under Rabbani’s supervision, in Iran since 2007…
Meanwhile, a Fox affiliate in Pheonix, Ariz., reports that illegal aliens may be exploiting a U.S. Customs and Border Protection loophole to get into the Nation. All the aliens have to do, according to the report, is claim that they have a “credible fear” of being attacked by Mexican drug cartels.
Nearly 200 people claimed a “credible fear” of drug cartels in a single day at the Otay Mesa crossing south of San Diego, according to the report.
Reckon they learned the immigration trick from Iranian training?
California Legislature Moves Forward With UnConstitutional Bills Regulating Guns And Ammo
August 13, 2013 by Ben Bullard
The California Legislature is pressing forward on a number of bills in both the Senate and the State Assembly that, taken together, would give the State the dubious distinction of having the most unConstitutional gun laws in the U.S.
Described in the San Jose Mercury News as “a fusillade of gun-control bills that could move California far beyond what any other state has enacted,” the laws are designed to restrict citizens’ access to both firearms and ammunition.
A bill before the State Senate Monday aims to establish a Statewide database that tracks all point-of-sale ammunition purchases, as well as make it a crime to have a gun that isn’t “locked up” when it’s not being carried.
The State Assembly is also expected today to take up legislation that, if passed, would ban outright all semiautomatic firearms with detachable magazines and force owners of high-capacity magazines to dispose of them. The Assembly bills also include their own language criminalizing the presence of a firearm in the home that isn’t kept under lock and key when the owners are away.
Larry Keane of the National Shooting Sports Foundation told the newspaper Saturday that it’s folly for the anti-gun lobby to pin its hopes of shaping National gun control legislation on big Blue States like California.
“While they may try to reignite their lost momentum, I don’t think anything California does is going to affect what Washington does,” said Keane. “We constantly see a barrage of anti-gun, anti-industry legislation being introduced in California, far more than in any other state.”
California Governor Jerry Brown has given no assurances that he would sign any of the legislation into law, if it passes. But Brown does have an oddly mixed record on 2ndAmendment issues. He also signed an open carry ban on both handguns and “long guns” in 2011. But as State Attorney General in 2009, Brown also sided with the National Rifle Association in filing an amicus curiae brief opposing Chicago’s ban on handguns.
Review the bevy of gun control proposals at the San Jose Mercury News website.
Grassley Says Officials Stonewalling in O'Donnell Tax Case
Monday, 12 Aug 2013 01:55 PM
By Audrey Hudson
The tax snooping incident under review by Republican Sen. Chuck Grassley of Iowa occurred during O'Donnell's unsuccessful 2010 race to fill the Senate seat vacated by Vice President Joe Biden.
On March 9, 2010, the IRS filed a lien on a home once owned by O'Donnell, but later admitted the lien was placed in error.
The Washington Times broke the story last month that O'Donnell's tax records had been accessed by David Smith, an investigator with Delaware's Division of Revenue, an action that prompted the inquiry by the U.S. Treasury Department.
The action is one of several under investigation by congressional committees examining claims that politicians and campaign donors had their personal tax records improperly accessed since 2006.
O'Donnell says the state wrongfully accessed her federal tax information to deliberately target a political candidate. Grassley says the case exemplifies how federal information is vulnerable to snooping by state officials.
Grassley says Delaware officials have not responded to repeated requests for information and have refused to allow Smith to speak with Senate investigators. Grassley has also questioned the legitimacy of the answers he has received from Delaware officials.
In a letter to Division of Revenue Director Patrick Carter, Grassley wrote, "On July 23, 2013, you reported to my staff that the Tax Data Services database utilized by Delaware only maintains an electronic audit trail of systems access for three months. This leads me to question how you were able to confirm information about systems access and its appropriateness when it occurred two years before your interaction with the Treasury Department."
Carter told the Delaware News Journal he is not able to respond to the senator's request without written permission from O'Donnell.
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