Washington -- In her grilling on Capitol Hill on Wednesday, Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius reiterated a frequent assertion in the Obamacare sales pitch --- consumers have options when shopping for insurance plans on the health care exchanges. (Snip) But a CNN analysis found that consumer options vary significantly from state to state, and many Americans are discovering that they have very few options. In West Virginia and New Hampshire, for example, residents shopping on the exchanges can only purchase plans from a single company. Contrast that with the state-operated exchange in New York which has 16 participating
Comments: In many areas you have one plan to pick from. Choose wisely!
LOS ANGELES -- California has long been a union stronghold, but voters in the reliably Democratic state are gradually taking a more negative view of organized labor, a poll released Friday suggested. The independent Field Poll said that by a narrow margin, more voters said unions do more harm than good, as opposed to those who see organized labor as generally beneficial. The figures represent a turnaround from a 2011 Field survey, when more voters said unions resulted in more good than harm. The shift comes at a time of ongoing labor conflicts in the state and nation, often involving
What we know: Racism has left a vast legacy of violence. Bigotry in America has marginalized a diverse range of minority culture. It dashes the hopes of children. What we didn´t know: Bias based on race costs the United States a shade under $2 trillion a year. (Snip) Addressing factors such as health care inequities, unjustified incarceration disparities, and lesser employment and education opportunities would generate 12 percent more annual U.S. earnings, the study found. Among the more striking findings cited are a U.S. Department of Commerce study estimating that minority purchasing power would increase from $4.3 trillion to $6.1
Oprah Winfrey seems to have it all, but the one thing she never wanted? Kids! While the 60-year-old media mogul did have a baby when she was 14 (the child died weeks after birth), she revealed in the Hollywood Reporter´s Women in Entertainment issue that she´s actually known since she was younger that being a mom just wasn´t for her. "Gayle [King] was the kind of kid who, in seventh grade home ec class, was writing down the names of her children," Winfrey said of her bff. "While she was having those kind of daydreams, I was having daydreams about
President Obama’s job approval among American voters has dropped to negative territory with just 38 percent voicing their approval versus the 58 who says they disapprove, according to a national poll released Tuesday by the independent Quinnipiac University. That is one percent less than the 39% who said they approved of him in last month’s poll. The majority of the 2,692 registered voters the University in early December said that the president is not honest and trustworthy. When asked, “Do you approve or disapprove of the way Barack Obama is handling his job as President?,” respondents gave Obama lackluster ratings
There´s knowing what you have to do and then there´s actually doing it. And the results of a new survey suggest the health-care reform law may be falling short on both accounts among the uninsured—the group Obamacare is designed to help the most. The findings of the survey by the Transamerica Center for Health Studies suggest that Obamacare´s goal of providing affordable health insurance to millions of Americans faces widespread inertia. Although more of the survey´s respondents knew about components of the law compared with a prior survey over the summer, not many of those polled are enrolling for coverage
A mild snow dusted New York City this morning, transforming ordinarily grumpy commuters into grumpy commuters who were also cold and wet. And while frigid winter weather continues to batter most corners of the country, it´s still a distant cry from just-in temperature readings from Eastern Antarctica, which recently experienced the coldest day in recorded history. Just how cold is cold? According to new NASA satellite data, the region hit a bone-chilling -135.7 degrees Fahrenheit (-93.2 degrees Celsius) back in August 2010, shattering the previous world record set at the Russian research station in Vostok, Antarctica, on July 21, 1983
SOUTH ORANGE, N.J. -- The victim of a vicious knockout attack in New Jersey is speaking out for the first time. He was cold-cocked, and hit not just with a fist, but with a glove with hard plastic knuckles. Two of the four attackers are still on the run. "All of a sudden, I was trying to watch my back and these two came around front and punches my face," the victim said. The 36-year-old restaurant worker does not want his name or face on television, and who could blame him? He still has headaches from a concussion and six
Sears stock plummeted Wednesday as news came out that Edward Lampert, its stubborn billionaire chairman and CEO, had to surrender majority control of the 120-year-old big box retailer when investors in Lampert’s hedge fund pulled money out. With no end in sight for Lampert’s quixotic turnaround efforts, it’s time to question whether there’s any way to save Sears as long as he remains in charge. (Snip) Lampert began at Sears with the ill-fated $12 billion merger with Kmart in 2005. Sales have declined for 27 straight quarters and the company’s stock is down over 70% from its high in 2007.
The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has no system in place to prevent fraud when individuals apply for tax credits under Obamacare, according to the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA). The IG said in an audit released Tuesday that the IRS has no plan to manage, monitor, or mitigate fraud risk when processing premium tax credits available under the Affordable Care Act (ACA). “The ACA Program has not yet completed a fraud mitigation strategy,” the audit found. “It is important for the IRS to thoroughly consider fraud threats and risks that could impact new ACA systems.” Politico reports: The
Around 100,000 Americans successfully signed up for health insurance in November through the troubled federal online marketplace, HealthCare.gov, a person familiar with the preliminary data confirmed to ABC News. The figure reflects a surge in enrollment as software and hardware fixes to the site were made over the course of the month. In October, only 26,000 people could successfully enroll in Obamacare plans, according to the Department of Health and Human Services. "We´ve been working 24/7 to make improvements, and more consumers are successfully shopping online and enrolling in a health plan each week," Health and Human Services Secretary
NEW HAVEN >> The jail cell death last weekend of Yale University professor Samuel See, known as a brilliant writer and rising star in academia, has shaken up the tight-knit college community. Now adding to the mystery of his unexpected death are apparent connections between the online profiles of See and several escort service websites that include a cache of sexually explicit photos. At least four websites advertising male escort services included a phone number connected to See. The website Ryan Cochran Escort Services includes the same phone number listed on an order of protection filed against See in September.
For many Ann Arborites, Thanksgiving is a day devoted to giving thanks, spending time with family, eating turkey and watching the Detroit Lions. This year, retail giants want that to change. (Snip) The early openings change the game for retail giants looking to boost profits through aggressive holiday sales. It also means millions of retail employees in the U.S. are working on the holiday, and it poses the question to consumers: Is a bargain on a 70-inch television or an Apple iPad worth ditching Thanksgiving dinner? “You couldn’t pay me to stand in a line in the cold on Thanksgiving
AS his popularity plummets to historic lows and his presidential legacy is in tatters, BARACK OBAMA has suffered a shocking secret meltdown. White House insiders say the deeply depressed Commander-in-Chief is hardly eating or sleeping, hasn’t talked to First Lady Michelle, 49, in weeks and is convinced everyone hates him! “Barack is shattered that his presidency and his life are in free-fall,” says a source. “He can’t believe the American public has turned on him so viciously, mainly because of the Obamacare disaster. No one has been able to help him. “Michelle has tried everything she can to comfort him, but he just snaps,
Caroline Kennedy is a long way from Syracuse.The soft-spoken presidential scion, who four years ago this month toured upstate New York in a short and ill-fated bid for the U.S. Senate, has swept with force into her newest public role as President Barack Obama’s ambassador in Japan. And if the iconic daughter of American political royalty showed herself to be deeply uncomfortable as a glad-handing pol, she’s on her way to becoming something of a rock star in the more dignified world of diplomacy.
Former Arkansas Governor and Fox News Channel host Mike Huckabee weighed in on the escalating feud between establishment Republican politicians and conservative activist groups on Saturday. Asked for his thoughts on House Speaker John Boehner’s (R-OH) admonition of the idealized purism advocated by some outside groups, Huckabee sympathized with Boehner saying that governing is more difficult than activism and “politics is not theology.” Huckabee began by saying that Boehner was not scolding the tea party movement but conservative groups that capitalize on that movement. He added that some of those groups appear to have an “all or nothing mindset” and that
Business trade associations applauded the rant by Speaker John Boehner against outside conserative groups like Heritage Action and FreedomWorks, saying it was long overdue. The Hill: Business groups, whose frustration with the Tea Party boiled over during the government shutdown, said Boehner´s broadside was long overdue. "I think we have all said it. The business community has been uniformly frustrated at how strident the ideological groups have been in defiance of reason," said David French, senior vice president of government relations of the National Retail Federation. Lobbyists said they are encouraged by the fact that the budget accord easily passed the lower chamber despite
The Republican establishment is fed up with the “outside groups” — the conservative lobbying shops and super PACs that have pulled the party Rightward in recent years — and this time, it’s the establishment that is uninterested in compromise. House Speaker John Boehner and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell are playing to win. But here´s the problem: Directly fighting the insurgent groups only makes them stronger. In a span of 48 hours, the party leadership took two direct shots at the conservative insurgents. Boehner attacked the outside groups on camera, singling out Heritage Action. Also, Rep. Steve Scalise, R-La., fired Republican Study
As thousands of state residents enroll in Washington’s expanded Medicaid program, many will be surprised at fine print: After you’re dead, your estate can be billed for ordinary health-care expenses. The way Prins saw it, that meant health insurance via Medicaid is hardly “free” for Washington residents 55 or older. It’s a loan . . .
In a game-changer for the legal fight over same-sex marriage that gives credence to opponents’ “slippery slope” arguments, a federal judge has now ruled that the legal reasoning for same-sex marriage means that laws against polygamy are likewise unconstitutional. In his 91-page opinion in Brown v. Buhman, on Dec. 13, U.S. District Judge Clark Waddoups struck down Utah’s law making polygamy a crime. In so doing, he may have opened Pandora’s Box. As a condition for becoming a state in 1896, Congress required Utah to outlaw polygamy, which is marriage between three or more persons. This case involved a family of
MINNEAPOLIS--Black students at the University of Minnesota say racial descriptions in crime alerts does not help catch suspects. Instead, it´s hurting black male students. There have been more than two dozen crimes on or near the U this year. Crime alert after crime alert describes many of the suspects as young black males. "There are a plethora of young black men on campus who fit that description," Abdel-Kader Toovi, a college senior and vice president of the Black Men´s Forum on campus, said. Ian Taylor, a junior and president of the Black Men´s Forum, said many of their members have expressed concern over how
The film industry is in mourning after legendary film actor Peter O´Toole died at the age of 81. The critically acclaimed performer, who was born in County Galway, Ireland, died after being taken to hospital with a long-suffering illness on Friday. He is survived by two daughters - Kate and Patricia - and a son, Lorcan Patrick O´Toole. In a statement released earlier, Kate O’Toole said: ´His family are very appreciative and completely overwhelmed by the outpouring of real love and affection being expressed towards him, and to us, during this unhappy time. Thank you all, from the bottom of
Valerie Jarrett, Obama´s Rasputin, unwittingly provided us an answer to the question of why the Obama Presidency is such a man-caused disaster. There are few people who are close to the notoriously insular Barack Obama (a former aide, Neera Tanden, said that "Obama doesn´t call anyone, and he´s not close to almost anyone. It´s stunning that he´s in politics, because he really doesn´t like people") but Valerie Jarrett is among the select few. They have been friends for decades; she introduced Barack to Michelle; she is a constant presence in the White House, and highly unusual for a White House
After more than 50 years leading the fight to legitimize attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, Keith Conners could be celebrating. Severely hyperactive and impulsive children, once shunned as bad seeds, are now recognized as having a real neurological problem. Doctors and parents have largely accepted drugs like Adderall and Concerta to temper the traits of classic A.D.H.D., helping youngsters succeed in school and beyond. But Dr. Conners did not feel triumphant this fall as he addressed a group of fellow A.D.H.D. specialists in Washington. He noted that recent data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention show that the diagnosis had been
WASHINGTON — CIA officers revealed a clash over how quickly they should go help the besieged U.S. ambassador during the 2012 attack on an outpost in Libya, and a standing order for them to avoid violent encounters, according to a congressman and others who heard their private congressional testimony or were briefed on it. The Obama administration has been dogged by complaints that the White House, Pentagon and State Department may not have done enough before and during the attack to save U.S. Ambassador Chris Stevens and three others, and by accusations that it later engaged in a cover-up. One allegation was