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March 24, 2017

7 Biggest Changes Under Trump’s Obamacare Replacement

Obamacare replacement

For the past seven years, the Republican Party has promised voters it would repeal and replace Obamacare. This week, President Donald Trump has his sights set on fulfilling that promise.

The huge, big league American Health Care Act is the fabled Obamacare replacement. The bill is currently before the U.S. House of Representatives. If the House passes the bill, it will go next to the Senate. And only when it passes Senate scrutiny will the bill land on the President’s (presumably gold-plated) desk to be signed.

So what does Trump’s Obamacare replacement actually do? Is it as bad as the Democratic Party feared?

While the merits of the bill are obviously subject to debate (even many Republicans are against it), the American Health Care Act does not fully dismantle Obamacare and smash it up into tiny pieces. But it does bring sweeping changes to the current system.

Here’s a quick summary of the American Health Care Act as it stands today.

1.      Eliminates Penalties for the Uninsured

Obamacare levies a fine on people who do not have health coverage. It also impacted employers, requiring those with 50 more employees to offer health insurance to 95% of the workforce. These measures were designed to encourage people to purchase insurance.

The American Healthcare Act would end these requirements, instead levying a 30% surcharge on insurance premiums for new healthcare plans if the purchaser had no insurance for 63 days the previous year.

2.      Increases Age-Based Premium Caps

Under Obamacare, insurance providers cannot charge their oldest customers more than three times the premiums charged to their youngest customer. The Act plans to increase this cap to five times the youngest customer’s premium.

3.      Limits Federal Funding for Medicaid

The American Health Care Act would bring forth three major changes to the way the federal government awards states funding for Medicaid. All would likely result in fewer people enrolled in Medicaid and fewer federal funds in state pockets.

First, Trump’s Obamacare replacement would remove the option for states to expand Medicaid to individuals making up to 138% of the federal poverty line using federal funding.

Second, it would limit Medicaid reimbursements based on the number of patients enrolled and the average medical care costs per state.

The Act would also give states the option of requiring Medicaid recipients to pursue a job or job training in order to continue receiving Medicaid. This would not apply to people who are pregnant, on disability, or working as a caretaker for a family member.

4.      Ends Federal Funding of Planned Parenthood

The American Health Care Act would end all federal funding of Planned Parenthood for one year and prohibit federal subsidies for plans covering abortion.

5.      Establishes New State Grants

Perhaps surprising given the slew of funding cuts, the Obamacare replacement also introduces a $100 billion fund to help states stabilize their healthcare markets and insure low-income individuals.

6.      Repeal Taxes on Insurers, Pharmacies, and Others

What are the insurance companies getting out of the bill? A massive tax cut, for starters.

Obamacare levied taxes on health insurance providers, pharmacies, companies that produce medical devices, over-the-counter medications, and tanning salons. The new bill would sweep all those taxes away, to the tune of $200 billion in lost tax revenue.

7.      Cut Taxes for Individuals

Well, the bill sounds great for insurance companies, but what about the common man? Scratch that – what about his boss?

Fear not – the American Health Care Act also ends Obamacare taxes on payroll and investment income tax for wealthy individuals.

 

March 16, 2017

Money and Munitions: The Presidential Line of Succession, Part 2

presidential line of succession

The presidential line of succession dictates who ascends the high office in the event of a president’s premature passing. In our last post, we looked at the three successors at the top of the line:

  1. Vice President Mike Pence
  2. Speaker of the House Paul Ryan
  3. President of the Senate Orrin Hatch

 

Today, we’ll look at the next three contenders to the throne, including the first non-republican on the list.

Though they aren’t all red-blooded Republicans, this trio has something in common – see if you can guess what it is. Hint: their boss shares this trait as well.

4. Rex Tillerson

Like something out of a dystopian leftist’s nightmare, oil baron Rex Tillerson comes in as the fourth in line for the presidential office.

While Rex Tillerson is a newcomer to the world of presidential politics, he is no stranger to authority. The Texas oilman started his career at ExxonMobil in 1975 and climbed the ranks to CEO in 2006. Today, he sits at #24 on the Forbes list of most powerful people – and that’s before President Trump offered him the seat of Secretary of State.

Unlike his predecessors, the eminent John Kerry and Hillary Clinton, Rex Tillerson comes to the office with no public sector experience. But if recent history has shown anything, it’s that a dearth of political practice is no barrier to entry in the Oval Office.

5. Steven Mnuchin

Like the Secretary of State, Steve Mnuchin comes to the White House straight off Wall Street. A 27-year veteran of Goldman Sachs, Mnuchin now serves as the Trump administration’s Treasury Secretary.

His appointment was met a controversy so furious that it rivalled Tillerson’s. To start, Mnuchin is a multi-millionaire with a net worth of $500 million. His association with Goldman Sachs is poisonous among democrats and the centre-right alike. As if that weren’t enough, Mnuchin also served at the helm of the beleaguered bank IndyMac at the height of the financial crisis.

It should be noted, however, the Mr. Mnuchin’s appointment is far from the most contentious on our list – but that comes further down the line.

6. James Mattis

Remember when I said these three contenders have something in common? By now, you’re probably thinking wealth. And it’s true that the oilman, the banker, and the dealmaker himself share this trait.

But James Mattis is not a rich man. Nor is he a politician, which is about the only thing that makes him akin to President Trump.

Tillerson and Mnuchin are cut from the same gold-fringed cloth as the man who appointed them, but Mattis is a military man. Some call him Mad Dog – others see him as more of a Warrior Monk. The former marine lead the battle for Fallujah in Iraq and oversaw the war in Afghanistan.

That’s not all that sets Mad Dog apart from the two men ahead in line. Unlike Mnuchin and Tillerson, Mad Dog’s confirmation was almost entirely free from controversy. The Senate gladly confirmed him with a vote of 98 to 1.

For years, it was a given that the president of the United States would have at least some military experience. Even George Bush Junior spent some time in the National Guard. President Obama defied that narrative, and President Trump laid it to rest. For some, President Mattis would be a welcome return to form.

Next time, we’ll look at three more links in the presidential chain, including the first and only Democrat in line for the throne.

March 10, 2017

Down the Line: The United States Presidential Line of Succession, Part 1

Presidential line of succession

What happens if the president dies?

Most of us are somewhat familiar with the United States presidential line of succession. We know the Vice President becomes president if the incumbent dies, resigns, or is removed from office. After all, we’ve all seen it transpire in books, movies, and television shows. And many of us are old enough to have seen the tragedy unfold firsthand.

But what if the Vice President meets the same terrible fate?

The presidential throne cannot sit empty for long. The passing of the torch from POTUS to VP is only step one in the presidential line of succession – there are many more links on the chain, spanning all across the Senate and the House of Representatives.

Mike Pence

Of course, at the time of writing, the incumbent president is the grand negotiator himself, Donald J. Trump. Next in line is his vice president, the stark and silver Mike Pence. Staunchly conservative and faithfully Christian, Pence would bring a terrifying piety to the Oval Office not seen since the days of born-again Bush Jr.

Who comes next? Well, that’s when it gets interesting.

Paul Ryan

Following the presidential line of succession, the burden of the office passes to the Speaker of the House of Representatives. Today, that person is Paul Ryan. This is fascinating, given that Ryan is no great fan of Trump or his administration.

Once a contender for the office of VP himself, Ryan is a popular face in his party. But his cold, reluctant acceptance of Trump has never approached anything resembling support. It’s hard to imagine how this Potential President would handle the reins of an administration he can hardly stand to look at.

Orrin Hatch

Next in line is Orrin Hatch, the President pro tempore of the Senate. His unlikely ascension would be a worthy capstone to his career as the longest-serving Republican Senator in history. Hatch would be the first Mormon to serve the office of President, earning a title that once seemed destined for Mitt Romney.

Next time, we’ll creep further down the presidential line of succession and look at the next two republicans (and one independent) who could one day stand at the head of the union.

March 03, 2017

The Rise (and Fall?) of Jeff Sessions

jeff sessions

Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-AL) makes opening remarks to a panel of Department of Homeland Security officials. (CBP Photo by Glenn Fawcett)

It was just over one year ago that Jeff Sessions first rose in defense of Donald Trump.

Jefferson Beauregard Sessions III was among the President’s earliest and most stalwart allies. This was a surprisingly bold move for once-Senator, who was not known for being a gambling man. But the risk paid off in spades. Jeff Sessions now sits at the office of the highest law enforcement official in the country.

At 70-years-old, Jeff Sessions is deceptively mild.

He hails for a tiny town north of Mobile, Alabama, tucked away in the Southern hills. He is sweet-mannered and short-statured. He comes off as the proprietor of some wholesome establishment on a straight spot in the road, who gratefully chats up the visitors who stop by on the way to a better place.

How did this southern charm worm its way into the heart of the Trump administration? Despite their superficial differences, President Trump and Senator Sessions have much in common. Jeff Sessions is a debt hawk and military hawk, tough on crime and skeptical of the changing climate. His blood runs redder than his President’s, and has for far longer.

Sessions did not celebrate the anniversary of his pledge with much enthusiasm.

February brought a never-ending storm of controversies month for the fledgling administration, drowning out any potentially positive notes. President Trump typically thrives under heavy rain, but even the man himself is looking weathered these days.

Of course, the Attorney General did not waver in his support. He was glad to defend the wide-scale immigration ban that generated cries of racism and fascism from much of the American public. Jeff Sessions proudly wears the title of amnesty’s worst enemy, which he earned from his long history of fighting nearly every immigration bill that has come before the Senate since the 1990’s. The forces of assimilation, as he calls them, have a fearsome foe in Jefferson Sessions.

But the idea of march brought misfortune for the Attorney General. At first glance, there is nothing wrong with a senator sitting down to talk with the Russian ambassador. But denying that meeting under oath is a grave political sin.

Now, there is a mark on Jeff Sessions.

Whether the Southern gentleman can redeem himself is yet to be seen. Lying to the public is one thing – lying to the president is a whole other beast. We know what happens to loyal allies who are alleged to have betrayed to their President.

His long history with Trumpland should tilt the odds in his favor. But Jefferson Sessions is no gambler.

December 14, 2015

Inside Washington’s Political Drama

Ever heard of the political drama, House Of Cards, starring Kevin Spacey and Robin Wright? If you’re the type who’s really into Washington politics and enjoy the thrills of underhanded deals, you might want to check out this show on Netflix. The premise is based on Kevin Spacey’s character, Frank Underwood and his wife Claire Underwood, played by Robin Wright. They deal with the world of Washington politics as Frank starts by being the majority whip for the House of Representatives. As he gains more traction by manipulating his colleagues and the people around him, he rises to more and more power. I won’t spoil the rest for you but I think that it’s shows like these that will motivate younger audiences to keep interested in politics. Kids and teens nowadays are more focused on themselves and their social media accounts rather than the news going on, so I think without shows like these, they wouldn’t learn any political news at all.

Washington politics can get tricky and complicated to follow. Just look at the ongoing drama that’s unfolding over the 2016 presidential candidates. Politics can also be manipulated by media channels. Media channels in American represent news in a shoddy way of entertainment. Every ghost story, minor accidents, ancient myths, dramatic presence or absence of major or minor celebs etc makes to news along with politics and world news. News is no more only a source to remain updated now. It is designed in such a way to keep viewers and audience curious.

I think some people view American politics as ideologies and just a source of entertainment. It should be important for everyone to keep educated with current politics. You should know what you’re voting for and what each person or state stands for. People should be making educated, intelligent choices with their votes and not just throwing it away. That’s why political shows is a brief opening into the world of real politics. Review national media and magazine stories. How does national news broadcast, such as the economic collapse affect the readers? Learn about current trends and consequences, such as the nationwide economic meltdown. Check out the latest political news. This doesn’t mean that you need to be a politician or involved in politics to read the latest political news. Political news caters or covers the improvements that the government has done for your country. Whether it’s a reduction in taxes or some other state news, you can learn how politics can benefit your personal life. While it may not be your utmost concern, it is good know how the president or prime minister is doing for your country. If you struggle with funds and resources, you should learn to vote for what’s in your favor. You can also check out Fast Approval Washington Payday Loans.

October 27, 2015

Public Interest – Reality Check

There are many sites that provide criminal record access for free. Keeping the public interest in mind, some of the courts too waived the charge they utilized to charge for these records. There are two types of criminal records, the public records and the non-public ones. Nowadays, records are maintained online by the states, counties as well as the federal courts. This is an easier way of getting to public criminal records instead of going to the courts in search of them. Citizens and companies are offered open door to these records by some sites.

The united state public records are normally accessed by the police, who have to search them to examine the records of a suspect. This assists them choose on the sentence to be given and other police relevant judgments. The criminal records include the first name in addition to the surname of the person together with a picture.

People will need to register to utilize numerous of these public record websites too pay as pay a cost. You have to understand exactly what you are getting into which you are registering with a genuine website that actually offers exactly what it asserts to. You should be taking a look at fast service, a database that contains as numerous public records as possible. By signing up with a reputed website that offers the best, you are alleviating the have to wait in long lines at the public records workplaces.

Simply as a word of caution, for a person who is jailed, it is always suggested to supply all the details to the police and being genuine assists, due to the fact that police have access to these public records and it ought to not be found that the person is lying.

Public Interest, Seriously?

With the accessibility of these criminal records and other public records, you can keep yourself secure too by examining about all the persons you are employing in your home or at work, thus making sure that your household and your company remain in good hands.

With the ease of obtaining public records making use of the internet, you can lay your hands on all details within seconds.