Now that the Supreme Court has delivered its final verdict on ObamaCare, which upheld the law’s contentious individual mandate, insurance providers and industry groups are warning of even greater premium increases on Americans’ health plans. While President Obama touted the law as a cost-savior for the healthcare industry — going so far as to call it the “Affordable Care Act” — insurance premiums have consistently risen ever since the law was enacted.
America’s Health Insurance Plans (AHIP), the industry’s chief lobbying group, issued a statement following the ruling, stressing the importance of “secure, affordable coverage choices,” but saying that “major provisions, such as the premium tax, will have unintended consequences of raising costs and disrupting coverage unless they are addressed.” AHIP CEO Karen Ignagni suggested that due to the inflated costs, “it’s time for people to roll up their sleeves and look very carefully at those provisions.”
Battling over a transportation bill that now also addresses student-loan interest rates, congressional lawmakers are scrambling to appease their constituents in a legislative boondoggle littered with election-year politics. Aimed for final passage this week, the legislation intends to extend federal highway funding, prevent new student-loan interest rates from doubling, renew and revise federal flood insurance, and a slew of other provisions.
If Congress does not reach a decision by Saturday, the federal government’s ability to administer road, mass transit, and other transportation-related programs will be vanquished, along with its authority to impose the gasoline taxes that subsidize most of those programs.
The man whose wife fell victim to the Chinese government’s strict one-child policy has gone missing after he posted photographs online of his wife and their aborted baby. Government officials had forcibly aborted the late-term pregnancy earlier this month, prompting an international outcry and, consequently, leading to the suspension of three officials in the Shaanxi province.
Following the three-year anniversary on which the U.S. House passed a national cap-and-trade system that would have limited greenhouse gas emissions, a federal appeals court ruled Tuesday that the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is “unambiguously correct” in its legal rationale behind regulating greenhouse gases.
The Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit reinforced the EPA’s holding that emissions linked to climate change present a veritable risk to public health and welfare. The court also upheld the agency’s regulations on vehicles and new coal-production facilities while dismissing all challenges posed by businesses, industry groups, lawmakers, and other opponents of the new standards.
American taxpayers dole out $80 billion every year to subsidize food stamps for the poor, but are unsure of where and how their hard-earned dollars are being spent. Ranging from candy to potato chips to steak dinners, food stamps can be used to purchase a variety of foods, and are accepted at gas stations, fast-food restaurants, retail stores, and in some areas, even high-scale restaurants.
Taxpayers, however, only have a vague understanding of where their dollars are going, because the government says it cannot disclose sales figures stemming from food stamp purchases — and even if it could, the specific types of foods being purchased would not be accessible. The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), which partners with states to manage the program, argues that disclosing sales for food stamps, also known as the Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program (SNAP), would amount to unveiling trade secrets.
The Obama administration is utilizing the U.S. prison system to help bolster its green-energy agenda, while boosting foreign companies and funneling cash into the hands of Obama’s largest campaign donors, according to a startling new report by the Washington Free Beacon.
Federal Prison Industries, more commonly known as UNICOR, is a wholly owned corporation of the U.S. government that uses penal labor from the Federal Bureau of Prisons to produce various products and services. Established in 1934, the organization was designed as a voluntary vocational-training program for federal prisoners, but has recently gone into business providing green-energy technology to federal agencies.
Federal auditors recently issued a report charging a Kansas-based medical manufacturer with potentially paying out more than $4 million in fraudulent Medicare claims for “male vacuum erection systems,” more commonly known as “penis pumps.” In turn, the auditors requested that the company reimburse all the money to the federal government and “implement policies and procedures to help ensure that it collects and maintains the required documentation.”
Responding to an uproar over Florida’s plan to purge its voter rolls, Allen West claimed the effort is not an attempt to target minorities, as Democrats and liberal groups are charging.
Shell Oil Company’s chief U.S. official congratulated the White House for accepting the “strategic importance” of oil resources off the Alaskan coast, but asserted that overall tensions between President Obama and the oil industry prevail. “I think you see a lot and you hear a lot about it being a very stressed relationship, and that’s real,” Shell Oil Company President Marvin Odum affirmed Sunday in an interview with Platts Energy Week TV. “We should just be honest about the fact that that’s real.”
Adding to the Obama administration’s mounting heap of regulations, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) proposed Friday new air quality standards to curb the purportedly fatal repercussions of soot emissions. In reducing the emission of such particles, which environmentalists say are one of the most hazardous air pollutants, oil refiners and large manufacturers will be forced to invest in costly pollution-reduction upgrades.