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News Briefing for April 25

HEALTHCARE: ObamaCare penalty could be too low, analysis finds “A new analysis highlights that it is often cheaper for people to pay ObamaCare’s penalty for not having health insurance than to buy coverage, meaning the penalty might be too low to spur middle-income people to get covered.  The analysis from the consulting firm Avalere Health finds that for people making less than 200 percent of the poverty line, or about $23,000, purchasing insurance is usually cheaper because of income-based subsidies under the law. The penalty for not having health insurance in 2015 is $325 or 2 percent of income, whichever is greater. But for healthy ...

News Briefing for Thursday, April 23, 2015

HEALTHCARE: Another Side Effect of Obamacare: Increased Food Stamp Enrollment? “Expanded Medicaid under Obamacare could be responsible for more people signing up for food stamps, the Associated Press reported. That’s because so many state agencies are making it simpler to enroll in multiple government assistance programs at once if they are eligible for Medicaid. In New Mexico, enrollment for Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, better known as food stamps, grew by 5 percent in 14 months. “We attribute the increase in SNAP to Medicaid expansion,” New Mexico Human Services Department Deputy Secretary Sean Pearson told the AP. ...

News Briefing for Monday, April 20

HEALTHCARE: Group Takes On Insurance Companies Over Obamacare “Justin Danhof, general counsel for the National Center for Public Policy Research, challenged the president of Humana Thursday for his support of Obamacare during a shareholder’s meeting. Danhof took aim at Bruce D. Broussard, president of the insurance giant Humana, over his support of Obamacare, particularly in light of ongoing legal challenges. Broussard defended his position arguing healthcare is a right and therefore must be respected, an answer Danhof disputed. “I think at Humana, we have one fundamental belief and that is that individuals have the right to receive health ...

News Briefing for April 18

HEALTHCARE: Under Obamacare, Competition Is Costly For Consumers “Normally, market competition is good for consumers. More competition generally means competitors are battling each other to lower their prices and/or raise the quality of their goods. But when it comes to Obamacare, the market is working backwards, at least for people receiving health insurance subsidies through the exchanges. The more competitive the marketplace, often the more people have to pay for insurance. How did this happen? The Affordable Care Act, aka Obamacare, created a series of exchanges where people can shop for health insurance if they don’t already receive it from ...

News Briefing for Friday, April 17

HEALTHCARE: 27.49% of Everyone's Tax Bill Is Spent on Health Care Share of Each Taxpayer Dollar Spent on Health Care Up 22 Percent Since 2012. “Every year since 2011, the White House has used tax time to post a "Federal Taxpayer Receipt" showing taxpayers how their federal tax dollars are being spent. President Obama introduced the concept in his 2011 State of the Union address, and Wednesday the White House posted the fifth installment so taxpayers can see how "tax dollars are being spent on priorities like education, veterans benefits, and health care."  While users can punch in their own tax liability and see dollar amounts assigned to each ...

News Briefing for Thursday, April 16

TEA PARTY PATRIOTS: Marco Rubio and the Three-Strikes Theory of Politics “…In the past year or so, Rubio has been trying to regain the trust of his party’s hard-liners, saying that nobody has an automatic right to immigrate to the United States and stressing that improving border security should be the first priority. He’s had some success in this enterprise. “I think that Sen. Rubio has done something that most politicians don’t do,” Jenny Beth Martin, the president and co-founder of the Tea Party Patriots group, told Politico. “He evaluated what went wrong … [and] is working to make sure he doesn’t make the same mistakes ...

News Briefing for Wednesday, April 15

TEA PARTY PATRIOTS: Marco Rubio jumps into 2016 presidential race “…Jenny Beth Martin, co-founder of the Tea Party Patriots, hailed Rubio's announcement. "Marco Rubio's candidacy and the 2016 election are about the future, not the past," Martin said. "He knows firsthand that prosperity comes not from a government program but from free markets and the hard work done by millions of individuals and small business that still believe in the promise of the American Dream."…” http://www.floridatoday.com/story/news/local/2015/04/13/rubio-tells-donors-he-is-running-for-white-house/25707281/   Rubio vows to lead new 'American ...

News Briefing for Tuesday, April 14

TEA PARTY PATRIOTS: 'Yesterday is Over': Rubio Announces 2016 Campaign “…Rubio's announcement is receiving praise from at least one tea party group. He ran as an outsider in 2010 for U.S. Senate and upset the Florida political world with his surprising win, catching the eye of the tea party as it was gaining traction. "As we mark the Sixth Anniversary of our original Tax Day rallies, it's gratifying to see yet another candidate who shares tea party values enter the 2016 presidential race. We have come a long way, in six years, when three tea party senators are major players in the presidential race," Jenny Beth Martin, co-founder of Tea ...

News Briefing for Monday, April 13

TEA PARTY PATRIOTS: Fiorina, Tea Party loyalists have much in common “Carly Fiorina told the Tea Party Patriots Sunday that she too wants smaller, more responsive government, as she spoke and took questions from callers. The grassroots conservative group has been hosting government officials and potential presidential candidates in its teleconferences. Fiorina, a former corporate executive, said she will “probably make a final decision and announcement within a month” on a White House bid. She stands to be the only major Republican woman in the race. Sunday, she stressed her executive skills, criticizing both the George W. Bush and Obama ...

News Briefing for April 11

HEALTHCARE: Obamacare sticks some enrollees with unexpected bill “Last year, a study found that about four out of every 10 people who received financial help from the government while buying their Obamacare health plans had no idea they were getting any assistance. This tax season, many of those people may be in for a rude surprise when they're asked to pay some—or even all—of that money back. That's despite government and tax preparers last year repeatedly urging those enrolled in Obamacare plans to report changes in income during the year, to avoid a situation where they owed back—or were owed by the government—more in the way of ...