Obamacare Critics Just Lost Another Talking Point

Now that the insurance companies have put their greedy little hands into the pot I doubt that we’ll see any more talk of repealing the Affordable Care Act.
AVB

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The Huffington Post
Jeffrey Young
09/23/14 04:31 PM ET
Obamacare’s so-called government takeover of health care was supposed to destroy the private insurance market. Somebody forgot to tell the health insurance companies.

More health insurers are signing on to participate in Obamacare, Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia Mathews Burwell said during a speech Tuesday at the Brookings Institution in Washington.

The number of companies offering plans on the Affordable Care Act’s health insurance exchange marketplaces for 2015 will jump to 248, a 25 percent increase over this year, in the 44 states where the numbers are available.

The department offered details in a report published at the time of Burwell’s remarks.

The increase in participating companies discredits a line of attack against the 4-year-old health care law that said it would crush competition.

UnitedHealth Group, one of the largest insurers in the country, plans to sell coverage on exchanges in more than 20 states for 2015 after sitting out this year in many states where it offered other plans. The firm will join other big players including WellPoint, which sold more exchange plans than any other insurance carrier; Humana; and Aetna, along with numerous state-based Blue Cross and Blue Shield plans. Some major insurance companies continue to avoid the exchanges, however. Wellmark Blue Cross and Blue Shield, the leading insurer in Iowa and South Dakota, is staying out of the exchanges in those states for the second year of enrollment.

Health insurance premiums tend to be lower in markets where multiple plans compete than in locales where one or two companies dominate. Although full information about premium prices on the Obamacare exchanges next year isn’t yet available, the consulting firm PricewaterhouseCoopers estimates the average rise will be 8.2 percent. That is similar to or smaller than price hikes in the years before Obamacare, and rate increases and decreases will vary greatly across the country.

The 25 percent increase in plans on the exchanges for next year represents 77 new health insurance companies joining and 14 leaving. According to the HHS report, California is the only state where fewer insurers will sell coverage on its exchange. Information wasn’t provided about Kentucky, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Nevada, Oregon or Vermont. Underscoring the volatility in this new health insurance market, Minnesota’s exchange has lost its most popular insurer, meaning some customers will have to select new coverage for next year.

Nine states included in the HHS report will have the same number of health insurance companies in their exchanges for next year as they did in 2014, but the remaining 34 states will have more. Notably, New Hampshire and West Virginia each had only one insurer selling policies on its exchange for last year; for 2015, the states will have five and two, respectively. Indiana will see the most new insurers, with options rising from four to nine. New York has the most insurers in its exchange with 17.

Open enrollment on the health insurance exchanges begins Nov. 15 and runs through Feb. 15.

An estimated 7.3 million people were fully enrolled in private health insurance plans purchased via the exchanges where people buy health insurance as of Aug. 15, Burwell disclosed last week. In addition, millions have been added to the Medicaid and Children’s Health Insurance Program rolls since the first Obamacare sign-up period started last October. As a result, more than 10 million previously uninsured people gained coverage, according to an analysis by HHS and the Harvard School of Public Health that was published in the New England Journal of Medicine in July.

But Obamacare enrollment hasn’t reached anywhere near its potential — particularly in the private market. The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation estimates the Obamacare exchanges could ultimately sign up almost 29 million people for private health insurance.

Copyright © 2014 TheHuffingtonPost.com, Inc. | “The Huffington Post” is a registered trademark of TheHuffingtonPost.com, Inc. All rights reserved.

A combat debut for the F-22 fighter plane

This plane is like seeing the future. Unless the  Chinese steal the plans, it is 45 years ahead of anything else that  flies. It is been controversial because the G forces it creates can make a pilot pass out. It’s jets can rotate and allow it to land in a very small area. Way too cool for this humble man. AVB

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By Ed Adamczyk
Sept. 24, 2014 at 7:25 AM

WASHINGTON, Sept. 24 (UPI) — The F-22 Raptor, a problem-plagued fighter jet, successfully made its combat debut in U.S.-led airstrikes this week against Islamic State forces in Syria.
The radar-evading jet,which was in development for years and built by aerospace manufacturer Lockheed, cost $412 million each, triple its expected cost, the U.S. Government Accountability Office said. The U.S. Air Force purchased 188 of the aircraft, one of which crashed in 2010, killing the pilot. The plane was grounded for months because of a faulty oxygen supply system that caused pilots to lose consciousness while flying, and while the Air Force is confident the problem was solved, some pilots still refuse to fly the F-22.

The plane can reach supersonic speeds and, with state-of-the-art radar and sensors, it is claimed a pilot can go undetected while tracking and shooting down an enemy aircraft. It was developed to combat Soviet aircraft never built after the Soviet Union collapsed, and the Pentagon regarded the F-22 as too high-tech for combat over Afghanistan, Iraq and Libya.

After congressional authorization in 1991 to purchase the planes, the Pentagon intended to purchase 648 F-22s at $139 million each. After the cost increased to $412 million each, the last of 188 F-22s was delivered to the U.S. Air Force in 2012.

The plane was involved in the second wave of three against IS militants in Syria earlier this week. Officials said there was significant damage to the 22 sites targeted.

Read more: http://www.upi.com/Top_News/World-News/2014/09/24/A-combat-debut-for-the-F-22-fighter-plane/3251411555285/#ixzz3EGymgiYJ

Gov.Chris Christie: Report I’ve lost 85 pounds “not accurate”

The problem with the Lap Band surgery is that one loses a lot of weight at the beginning because you get full very quickly, but after a couple of months the body leans how to trick you eat by eating much more high calorie foods. It’s the sad and very little publicized problem with this surgery. I don’t especially like his views but I certainly want him to be healthy. AVB

JAKE MILLER CBS NEWS
Sep 24, 2014 10:22 AM EDT

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Gov. Chris Christie, R-New Jersey, on Tuesday shot down a report that he’s lost 85 pounds since undergoing lap band surgery in 2013, telling reporters he wouldn’t get into specifics about his weight loss because “that’s my business and nobody else’s.”

Fielding reporters’ questions while stumping in Connecticut for Republican gubernatorial nominee Tom Foley, Christie said the report in Monday’s New York Times “wasn’t accurate.”

Rockefellers, Heirs to an Oil Fortune, Will Divest Charity of Fossil Fuels

This is the opposite of corporate greed and the finest example of  corporations joining  the for fight climate change activism,
AVB

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By JOHN SCHWARTZ
The New York Times
SEPTEMBER 21, 2014

John D. Rockefeller built a vast fortune on oil. Now his heirs are abandoning fossil fuels.

The family whose legendary wealth flowed from Standard Oil is planning to announce on Monday that its $860 million philanthropic organization, the Rockefeller Brothers Fund, is joining the divestment movement that began a couple years ago on college campuses.

The announcement, timed to precede Tuesday’s opening of the United Nations climate change summit meeting in New York City, is part of a broader and accelerating initiative.

In recent years, 180 institutions — including philanthropies, religious organizations, pension funds and local governments — as well as hundreds of wealthy individual investors have pledged to sell assets tied to fossil fuel companies from their portfolios and to invest in cleaner alternatives. In all, the groups have pledged to divest assets worth more than $50 billion from portfolios, and the individuals more than $1 billion, according to Arabella Advisors, a firm that consults with philanthropists and investors to use their resources to achieve social goals.

President Obama Pledges US Leadership in Combating Climate Change

I have finally  heard News Pundits  speaking about climate change and how it  has  affected  each and everyone of us. They have said today, it’s  hard to ignore the fact that beaches on Maine are covered with jellyfish, trees are confused about when fall is, and many more examples throughout the world of  animal migrations changing their cycles. Listening to the House Committee  on Science and Space I thought I was listening to people from the Middle Ages last night on Jon Stewart’s Daily Show. One representative said that  the climatologist are just making people scared so that they keep their jobs. He then said that the  ice in the North and South poles melting would have no effect on sea levels. He said it as if a glass of water with ice melting  the level of water would actually remains the same in the glass. . What he thought was a scientific word displacement. In fact, Jon Stewart, humorously showed that ice that is on dry land when it melts into the ocean will make the ocean go up.
I cannot stress enough how I have talked to people in the grocery in the elevator who all say the same thing the weather is weird and it must be us doing it.
AVB

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From NBC News
September 23 2014
As the United Nations prepares to deal with a series of global crises ranging from ebola to ISIS, President Barack Obama told world leaders Tuesday that climate change is the issue that poses the greatest threat to the future of all nations.

“For all the immediate challenges we gather to address this week — terrorism, instability, inequality, disease — there is one issue that will define the contours of this century more dramatically than any other, and that is the urgent and growing threat of a changing climate,” Obama said at the U.N. climate summit.

Obama used his address at a the summit to pledge U.S. leadership in the area of climate change and announce that America will now take into account its impact when investing overseas. The U.S. will also share data and research to help protect vulnerable populations from the effects of global warming.

“We recognize our role in creating this problem, we embrace our responsibility to combat,” Obama said. “We will do our part and we will help developing nations do theirs.”

‘F**k It, I Quit’ Anchor Explains Her Dramatic Exit

Perhaps some of those talking heads on Fox will take her lead, very wishful thinking on my part.
AVB
THE HUFFINGTON POST
September 22 2014
The local news anchor who dramatically quit her job on air following a segment on marijuana, ex

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plained her exit in a YouTube video released Monday.

Charlo Greene, a reporter for Anchorage’s KTVA, announced on air that she would be leaving her job at the TV station to focus on marijuana legalization in Alaska.

“Everything you’ve heard is why I, the actual owner of the Alaska Cannabis Club, will be dedicating all of my energy toward fighting for freedom and fairness, which begins with legalizing marijuana here in Alaska,” she said. “And as for this job, well, not that I have a choice but, f–k it, I quit.”

In the YouTube clip, Greene explained why she believes the fight for marijuana legalization in her home state is so important.

“There comes a time in each and every one of our lives where we must choose to continue to spectate or stand up for what’s right,” she said. “Why are Americans arrested every 37 seconds, Alaskans every 4.3 hours? Why should an aspiring someone lose their ability to earn a higher education, to become someone they were not meant to be? And why should you lose the ability to get public assistance in times of struggle and need?”

She continued: “Advocating for freedom and fairness should be everyone’s duty. I’m making it my life work to uphold what America stands for truly: life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, ideals that now need to be defended.”

Alaskans are set to vote on Ballot Measure 2, which would legalize possession of small amounts of marijuana for recreational use, in November. Colorado and Washington have implemented similar legislation in the last year.

‘South Park’ Completely Trolls Washington Redskins With In-Game Ad Ripping Team Name

Who would have thought the NFL would be a train wreck in 2014. They are so out of step with the mood of the country it’s amazing. Don’t they have media advisors?
AVB

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THE HUFFINGTON POST
September 21 2014
Looks like Washington Redskins owner Dan Snyder is about to face his toughest adversary yet: Eric Cartman.

Comedy Central ran an ad for the upcoming season premiere of “South Park” in which Cartman takes on both Snyder and the team’s insistence on using a name many people find offensive. The promo ran Sunday during the 4th quarter of the Washington-Philadelphia Eagles game.

The commercial shows Cartman running a business under the Washington Redskins name now that it’s no longer a protected trademark as a cartoon version of Snyder demands that he stop “in the name of decency.” The “South Park” version of Snyder also calls Cartman’s use of the team’s name “offensive” and “derogatory.”

“I have total respect for you,” Cartman insists. “When I named my company Washington Redskins it was out of deep appreciation for your team and your people.”

That’s Cartman, showing some serious authoritah.

SB Nation reports that the ad aired only in the Washington market, which shows you how to really troll sports fans:

That Redskins south park commercial was trash
— Tyler Windover (@w1ndyy) September 21, 2014

That South Park commercial was fucking stupid
— Chief Nose (@WaldorfIsGhetto) September 21, 2014

But not every Washington fan was bothered by the ad. Many also took it in good humor:

LMFAOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO well-played @SouthPark #Redskins
— Sean Bishop (@Sean_Bishop) September 21, 2014

The 18th season of “South Park” premieres Wednesday night on Comedy Central.

Two people were killed and “many” wounded by multiple explosions in China’s Xinjiang

The ethnic divides in China may start showing themselves through more  terrorist attacks. AVB

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September 22nd 2014
Beijing (AFP) – Two people were killed and “many” wounded by multiple explosions in China’s Xinjiang, the local government said Monday.

The blasts struck at least three locations including a shopping area in Luntai County in the region’s south on Sunday, the Xinjiang government’s Tianshan web portal said. The cause of the explosions was not immediately known, but the ethnically-divided region has been hit by several deadly attacks and clashes over the past year

Rick Perry Cites Joan Rivers’ Death In Defense Of Controversial Anti-Abortion Law

I don’t think Joan Rivers would be happy about this!
AVB

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While speaking on HB2, a controversial law that would have required abortion facilities in Texas to meet hospital-level operating standards, Texas Gov. Rick Perry (R) wondered if a similar law might have saved comedian Joan Rivers’ life.

A federal judge halted the Texas abortion restrictions in late August, but the state is appealing the ruling. Perry signed the law in 2013 and defended it Sunday at the Texas Tribune Festival.

“Clearly, the will of the Texas Legislature — which I agree with — that it is a state’s right to put particular types of considerations into place, to put rules and regulations into place, to make a clinic be as safe as a hospital,” Perry said. “It was interesting that, when Joan Rivers, and the procedure that she had done where she died, that was a clinic. It’s a curious thought that if they had had that type of regulations in place, whether or not that individual would be still alive.”

The audience at the Tribune Festival can be heard murmuring in the video above after Perry’s comments on Rivers. (The question starts at 1:00:41.)

In late August, Rivers stopped breathing during a procedure on her vocal cords at a New York clinic for patients with gastrointestinal problems. She died Sept. 4, after a week on life support.

Perry added that he signed HB2 into law “to make this a safer place.” Had the restrictions not been blocked, only seven of Texas’ 41 licensed abortion clinics would have remained open to serve the more than 5 million women of reproductive age in the state.

Read more on the debate over HB2 from HuffPost’s Laura Bassett here.