10 things to know today

Your daily look at late-breaking news, upcoming events and the stories that will be talked about Friday:
AP Wire
Apr 18, 2014

1. DEAL EASES TENSION IN UKRAINE

The agreement brokered by the West requires all sides to refrain from violence, intimidation or provocative actions — though it doesn't require Russia to withdraw some 40,000 troops massed near the border.

2. CAPTAIN OF DOOMED FERRY APOLOGIZES

"I am really sorry and deeply ashamed," says 68-year-old Lee Joon-seok of this week's sinking off the South Korean coast.

3. OBAMA TOUTS HEALTH CARE PROGRESS

He says higher numbers of younger, healthier people who are critical to the law's success are signing up for "Obamacare."

4. NOBEL LAUREATE DIES AT 87

Gabriel Garcia Marquez was widely seen as the Spanish language's most popular writer since Miguel de Cervantes in the 17th century.

5. WHO'S EXPECTING HER FIRST CHILD THIS FALL

Chelsea Clinton reveals that she and her husband, Marc Mezvinsky, are starting a family.

6. 911 CALLS CAPTURE CHAOS OF CALIF. CRASH THAT KILLED 10

One youth who survived held back sobs in describing how a FedEx truck barreled across the median of Interstate 5 and smashed into a bus carrying high school students.

7. WHY ASTRONOMERS ARE FIRED UP

A NASA telescope has detected the most Earth-like planet yet. Dubbed Kepler-186f, it's orbiting a star 500 light-years away.

8. NUCLEAR INDUSTRY SEES FUTURE IN SMALL, UNDERGROUND REACTORS

The plants under development would be slotted together like Lego blocks that could be hauled by train or truck — making assembly possible anywhere.

9. WHAT MUSIC LOVERS ARE CELEBRATING

Sixty years ago this month, the iconic Fender Stratocaster guitar was born in a small Fullerton, Calif., workshop.

10. PAST TRAILS DODGERS STAR

A lawsuit describes a dangerous odyssey of shady characters, unpaid smuggling debts and threats of violence that have followed Yasiel Puig since he left Cuba by boat in 2012.

Comments

Vladtheimp

#3. What difference at this point does it make? (In the latest poll from Fox News, 61% believe that Barack Obama lies some or most of the time on “important matters; 37% think Obama lies “most of the time,” while another 24 percent say he lies “some of the time.)http://www.foxnews.com/politics/...

#11. RUH ROH

Was our favorite Merch reconnoitering suitable venues to send some of us in Wisconsin prior to booting us out of her state? http://www.sheboyganpress.com/ar...

Tri-cities realist

Doppelgänger or the real deal... The plot thickens.

Lanivan

#3. What difference does it make at this point? As sign-ups top 8 Million, budget crunchers show the ACA will save even more than previously estimated (see another of my comments re: the unfunded Medicare Part D that actually will add well over a Trillion dollars to the Federal Debt over a 20 years period), and millions of people from small children to seniors are experiencing life-saving benefits from Obamacare, Republicans are beginning to look at their sole 2014 campaign strategy and saying this very same thing.

Where else can the constipated GOP go? Let's look at the options:

--->Pay equity? Nope - unanimously blocked by GOP.

--->Minimum wage? Nope - again, obstructed by GOP.

--->Infrastructure? Nope - God, no! That will ADD TO THE DEBT.

Gee - Looks like the GOP 2014 campaign strategy is stuck in first gear trashing their very own health reform plan that has been trumpeted since Richard Nixon by their very own Republican comrades, that is slowly being understood and accepted by Americans who have been shoveled under with falsehood after falsehood since Sarah Palin's Death Panels bogeyman, with special thanks to the Koch Bros propaganda advertising.

Carry on! After all, "What difference at this point does it make" (horrible sentence structure, btw).

#11. If by "favorite Merch" you are referring to me, sorry - this poor woman, her anger perfectly understandable, is not me. My approach would be more along the lines of the Ickey Shuffle.

Vladtheimp

Try to follow this: the man who is a proven serial liar, who knowingly lied to our faces for 4 years about keeping our insurance and keeping our doctors; who refuses to tell us the ages of the people signing up, the health of the people signing up, whether those people were previously insured but lost their insurance due to his lies, or have even paid for their insurance, and now makes it impossible for us to compare pre and post Obamacare by changing the way the Census Bureau has compiled this data, now tells us 8 million people have signed up - what should lead us to believe he is telling the truth in this isolated instance?

Sentence structure - did you miss that I was quoting Queen Hillary precisely as she was evading questions on Benghazi?

Pay equity? Already proven to be another Obama lie.

Minimum wage - What about paying people what their skills are worth?

Infrastructure - remember the $800 billion bi-partisan stimulus that gave Obama what he asked for but which he used to subsidize his democrat constituency, mostly public employee unions?

If you want to argue the cost of Medicare Part D, let's compare its costs to the costs of Medicaid and Medicaid expanded by Obamacare.

As Obamabots get more desperate, their arguments become more silly and less rational.

Happy Easter!

Lanivan

1. The administration said Thursday that 28 percent of those who bought policies were between the ages of 18 and 34, but some analysts said the optimum level would be 40 percent.

2. Who are those people who have lost their insurance because of Obamacare? How are these people different from those who now are insured after losing insurance due to unemployment, pre-existing conditions, or not making enough money to cover premiums? I'd appreciate some facts on how, why, and when they lost their insurance due to Obamacare. For example, did Obamacare deny them coverage? Or did their employers drop their insurance; or maybe the insurance company dropped them. If so, specifically, how did Obamacare affect these decisions?

Otherwise, without more specifics, you are just venting because you don't believe in the Republican concept of the individual mandate, and using Obama's "lies" as a prop.

Sentence structure = I didn't miss, just trying to break up the monotony. No need to get all huffy.

Minimum wage = Great idea! I think $9.50/hour. What do you think? More? Less?

Infrastructure = "Republicans in the Senate have killed legislation sponsored by President Obama to spend $60 billion on building and repairing roads, rail lines and other infrastructure to help kick-start the sluggish economy." 2011 - USAToday. Just more fiscal irresponsibility on the part of Repub Congress - block bills that would really provide decent jobs while repairing and updating decaying infrastructure, helping to get folks off unemployment and back to work, and bringing revenue to their local communities and paying taxes. And why was the bill blocked? Because they knew it would help the economy, and they were determined to deny Obama success.

Medicare Part D = Why ever would you suggest comparing Medicare Part D to Medicaid? They are very different programs, with different markets, and different missions. I note you gloss over the Medicare Part D Bush lies, coverup, and fiscal irresponsibility.

As Obama-haters get more desperate, their arguments become more silly and less rational.

Hope all is well. From personal experience, be on the look-out for future potential changes. Happy Restorative Easter!

Vladtheimp

#2 - Being obtuse is unhelpful about the impacts of Obamacare on the insured. Although Obama has purposefully obfuscated the facts surrounding the sign-ups, and has illegally delayed the even more harmful impacts of Obamacare beyond the November elections, we do know a few things:

Jay Carney admitted that the number of people who lost their insurance due to Obamacare in the individual insurance market numbers roughly 5,000,000 individuals.

The Carney figure is low, according to the White House and CBO predictions (the former published in the Federal Register, which I have provided to you previously but which you chose to ignore):

“The Departments’ mid-range estimate is that 66 percent of small employer plans and 45 percent of large employer plans will relinquish their grandfather status by the end of 2013,” wrote the administration on page 34,552 of the Register. All in all, more than half of employer-sponsored plans will lose their “grandfather status” and become illegal. According to the Congressional Budget Office, 156 million Americans—more than half the population—was covered by employer-sponsored insurance in 2013.

Another 25 million people, according to the CBO, have “nongroup and other” forms of insurance; that is to say, they participate in the market for individually-purchased insurance. In this market, the administration projected that “40 to 67 percent” of individually-purchased plans would lose their Obamacare-sanctioned “grandfather status” and become illegal, solely due to the fact that there is a high turnover of participants and insurance arrangements in this market. (Plans purchased after March 23, 2010 do not benefit from the “grandfather” clause.) The real turnover rate would be higher, because plans can lose their grandfather status for a number of other reasons.

How many people are exposed to these problems? 60 percent of Americans have private-sector health insurance—precisely the number that Jay Carney dismissed. As to the number of people facing cancellations, 51 percent of the employer-based market plus 53.5 percent of the non-group market (the middle of the administration’s range) amounts to 93 million Americans. http://www.forbes.com/sites/thea...

It's one thing to pick up the pom poms and cheer for all things Obama, single payer, Obamacare, etc. It's quite another to put on blinders and ignore the facts that the White House itself has put out regarding the number of people who have lost, and will lose their insurance, contrary to the promises of the President, because of this ridiculous law - the blinders do not speak well of you.

Lanivan

A. The United States has seen "a net loss of people with health insurance" because of Obamacare. John Boehner on Thursday, March 13th, 2014 in a press conference....http://www.politifact.com/truth-...

"Our ruling: Boehner said the Affordable Care Act so far has caused "a net loss of people with health insurance." Boehner's logic is based on reports that about 5 million had their insurance policies canceled while 4.2 million signed up for policies on the state and federal marketplaces. It's bad math for two reasons.

First, most of the people who lost their insurance have seen those policies extended to them through an administrative fix, or they received new coverage through their previous insurer or they bought a new plan.

Second, he ignores the millions of people who bought coverage off the exchange, those who gained coverage through Medicaid and the under-26 crowd able to remain on their parents' insurance.

We don't yet know how many new Americans will ultimately gain coverage. But every indicator right now suggests it will be a net gain. We rate Boehner's statement False."

B. Boehner’s claim that Obamacare has resulted in a ‘net loss’ of people with health insurance. http://www.washingtonpost.com/bl...

"Meanwhile, a new Gallup poll of 28,000 people found a decline in the percentage of uninsured Americans, in almost every demographic group, in 2014: 15.9 percent through February compared with 17.1 percent in the fourth quarter of 2013. Gallup said the drop probably reflected the impact of the Affordable Care Act."

So - my analysis: Under constant pressure from impatient Republicans who hate their own health care plan (and do not have any plan, for that matter), are understandably hyper-sensitive to the fact that their policies (Medicare Part D, for starters) are fiscally irresponsible, are forcing both political parties to bow, scrape, and shoot statistical arrows that are both premature and too simplistic.

Obamacare is essentially a massive mish-mash of government-sponsored, for-profit health reform based on free-markets and predicated on the premise that insurance suppliers, hospitals, and the medical community will be profitably handed millions more customer/patients. The government owns nothing - doctors, hospitals, the entire medical community, and the entire health insurance industry remains as a totally private enterprise.

In terms of insurance, I am not personally touched by Obamacare, per se. Nothing in my plan, premium, or care has changed. Yet, I champion the reform, because I know that in the blink of an eye, my situation could change, and I might need a more affordable, subsidized plan, one that won't deny me because of my pre-existing condition, and where I won't worry about being dumped sometime in the future, but will be covered when I am most in need, either sick, unemployed, seeking employment, or working where insurance is not available.

Frankly, your blinding and irrational hatred for Obama and any policy he or his administration proposes and your insistent labeling of anything and everything as lawlessness or lies, does not speak well of you, and tends to both weaken and obfuscate your arguments. I might add that, although I do not think very highly of you in some areas, I wouldn't dream of constantly hitting you over the head with charges of obtuseness, lying, fibbing, etc. If you and your opinions became so offensive to me that I could no longer tolerate them, rather than repeatedly attempt to demean, humiliate, or taint, I would just quit you.

Vladtheimp

In view of the celebration of Easter, I will refrain from commenting on several issues you raise, including your martyrdom for supporting Obamacare even though your insurance, unlike millions of your fellow countrymen, was not taken away from you due to the dictates of Obama. I wish you and yours a Happy Easter - may all of your eggs be plentiful, colorful, and produced by joyous hens.

Lanivan

I hope by "I will refrain", you don't mean "put off 'til Monday", but whatever you meant, thank you for the delightful Easter Greeting ~ the image of colorful eggs produced by joyous hens is quite wonderful, and I wish the very same to you and yours. Oh - and tack on the hope you find lots of Jelly Belly beans, too!

Tri-cities realist

So the goal of covering every American through health care reform (the ACA), remember the "50 million uninsured", has now become a debate of whether the ACA has resulted in more or less people being insured. Even if the "8 million with health coverage" represented people previously uninsured (which we all KNOW is not the case), that represents a 16% reduction in the number of people uninsured. This is the definition of success today? How pathetic, especially since the actual net gain of those previously uninsured is likely in the low single digits percentage-wise. But we will never really know since the brilliant minds in the fed govt didn't think these numbers should be tracked, or are they just not willing to report them? So many questions, so few answers.

Lanivan

Please provide links that show that it was predicted that every uninsured US citizen would become insured by the March 31, 2014 sign-up deadline.

And, because on April 19, 2014, not every statistic of every ACA demographic is not immediately available on the most massive, far-reaching health reform roll-out since the Republican Medicare Part D of 2003, you despair of ever, ever getting any statistics, at all?

Please! Walk slowly back from the brink. Take a deep breath, and repeat after me: "It's ok. Life is good. I can do this thing."

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