Articles from: November 2017

Trumpcare Scored So Badly It Could Actually Help The Senate

WASHINGTON ? The health care bill crafted and passed by House Republicans received another poor score from the Congressional Budget Office on Wednesday evening, with officials estimating that the legislation would leave 23 million more Americans uninsured by the year 2026.

But over in the Senate, where lawmakers are trying to create a health care bill of their own, the dismal analysis may actually offer Republican lawmakers a silver lining. Since it does nothing to ease concerns of more than a half-dozen GOP senators, it could encourage them to simply ditch the House plan in favor of a vastly different approach.

?I like your optimism. I think that?s a very interesting perspective,? said Sen. Rob Portman (R-Ohio), who has put himself at the center of the main GOP working group trying to come up with a bill, along with the chairmen of the three relevant committees. That group of more than a dozen also includes conservative Sens. Mike Lee (R-Utah) and Ted Cruz (R-Texas).

For weeks now, Republicans senators have been openly critical of having to deal with the House GOP bill. Their worries stem both from the dramatic cuts the House legislation makes to Medicaid expansion, and the insurance market reforms that would result in rising premiums for the elderly and fewer coverage protections for consumers at large. The CBO score, from their vantage point, validated those criticisms.

?I always said we need to stay focused on one very important goal, and that is reducing costs, premiums,? said Sen. Steve Daines (R-Mont.), one of the House bill?s more conservative opponents. Daines said he includes older Americans and ill people among those who need affordable premiums, and according the the CBO analysis, many of those would no longer be able to buy coverage.

For Portman, the House bill is downright catastrophic in that it would roll back the Affordable Care Act?s expansion of Medicaid, which is the single largest source of funding to combat the opioid epidemic ravaging his state. He needs to get conservatives like Lee and Cruz off the idea of curtailing that expansion.

?That?s what I?m trying to do, is shift the discussion a little bit to, how do we continue to provide coverage?? Portman said.

The reality that the House bill cannot win enough senators? support at least offers a fresh opening for Portman, even among his conservative colleagues who want to wipe Obamacare entirely from the books.

?I hope so. I hope so. I just don?t know if we can get the other folks? on the right, Portman said.

One of the wild-card options boosted by the CBO?s tarnishing of the House bill is a measure written by Republican Sens. Bill Cassidy (La.) and Susan Collins (Maine).

That legislation is not popular with conservatives, because it keeps the funding sources of Obamacare and lets states that like the Affordable Care Act keep it. But it also ends the hated individual mandate in favor of a system that allows automatic enrollment in insurance with the ability to opt out. How well it would work is debatable. But with the CBO affirming the House bill as a non-starter in the Senate, and Portman struggling to bring his conservative colleagues in his direction, the Cassidy-Collins option could emerge as the de-facto compromise.

?That?s our hope,? Collins said. ?We?ve had several good meetings with our colleagues and there?s a lot of interest, and I believe this does give us momentum to try to draft a different bill.?

Whether the Senate GOP leadership will follow Collins? lead is an open question. Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) has said he will only rely on Republican votes, making his margin of error razor thin (he can stand to lose only two members).

Because of that, lawmakers have had fits coming together on a proposal that would unite senators such as Collins, Portman and Cassidy, with those like Cruz, Lee and Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.) ? another member of the GOP?s main working group. The CBO score of the House bill makes a fresh approach a necessity. But it doesn?t change the reality and challenges of the whip count.

The ?Senate was already committed to doing its own thing, had a good sense of what the score would say,? said one senior Senate GOP aide. ?The challenge for Republicans is that the party doesn?t generally believe in forcing people to buy things they don?t like (and if you haven?t noticed, most healthy young people don?t like super pricey health care plans) and that makes it hard to get a decent CBO score.?

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Melania Trump Will Be The First Catholic To Live At The White House Since JFK

When first lady Melania Trump finally moves into the White House this summer, she will become its first Roman Catholic resident in more than 50 years. 

Following Wednesday?s trip to the Vatican to meet with Pope Francis, Trump?s spokeswoman, Stephanie Grisham, confirmed to the Daily Mail that the first lady is, in fact, a practicing Catholic. This will make her the first Catholic living at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. since John F. Kennedy and his wife, Jackie, in the early 1960s. President Donald Trump is Presbyterian.

Anti-Catholic prejudice was part of the American mainstream when Kennedy was campaigning to become president on the Democratic ticket in 1960. He said that year that he would not let his faith interfere with his responsibility to the public if elected. 

?I believe in an America where the separation of church and state is absolute, where no Catholic prelate would tell the president (should he be Catholic) how to act, and no Protestant minister would tell his parishioners for whom to vote; where no church or church school is granted any public funds or political preference; and where no man is denied public office merely because his religion differs from the president who might appoint him or the people who might elect him,? Kennedy said. 

Trump, born Melanija Knavs in Communist Slovenia, became the second Catholic first lady to meet with a pope with her family?s visit to the Vatican this week, noted. (Jackie Kennedy was the first.) During the trip, FLOTUS ? who wore a long-sleeved black dress with a black mantilla in line with traditional rules ? had a set of rosary beads blessed by Francis

She and son Barron are reportedly set to move to the White House full time in June. For now, they are living in Trump Tower in New York. 

Melania Trump?s spokeswoman didn?t immediately answer a request for comment.

– This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.

One Drink Per Day May Raise Your Breast Cancer Risk

Women who can?t wait to have their glass of wine at the end of the day, take note: A new report concludes that even one small drink daily can raise a woman?s risk of breast cancer.

The report includes data gathered from more than 12 million women worldwide ? 260,000 of whom had breast cancer ? during nearly 120 studies.

In the report, which was published today (May 23), researchers cut through the clutter of breast cancer studies, and offer a clear set of recommendations to help women reduce their risk of the disease. These recommendations include cutting back on alcohol and getting more physical activity. [10 Do?s and Don?ts to Reduce Your Risk of Cancer]

?It can be confusing with single studies when the findings get swept back and forth,? co-author Dr. Anne McTiernan, a cancer prevention researcher at Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, said in a statement.

?With this comprehensive and up-to-date report, the evidence is clear: Having a physically active lifestyle, maintaining a healthy weight throughout life and limiting alcohol ? these are all steps women can take to lower their risk? of breast cancer, McTiernan said.

The researchers found that drinking 10 grams of alcohol per day was associated with a 5 percent increased risk of breast cancer in premenopausal women and a 9 percent increased risk in postmenopausal women, compared with women who don?t drink. A standard drink, such as a 12-ounce beer or a 5-ounce glass of wine, has 14 grams of alcohol, according to the National Institutes of Health, so 10 grams is considered a small drink.

It?s still not entirely clear how alcohol may affect breast cancer risk, according to the report. One hypothesis is that people who drink heavily also tend to eat a diet that lacks certain nutrients, such as folate, the authors wrote. Folate may be involved in cancer prevention. Other studies have suggested that the molecules that are formed when alcohol is broken down in the body might be harmful, or that alcohol might have an effect on hormone levels, which, in turn, could increase cancer risk, according to the report.

Alcohol wasn?t the only risk factor the researchers looked at in the report. Women?s body weight, for example, was also found to be a risk factor for breast cancer in both premenopausal and postmenopausal women. However, the researchers noted that the evidence for this link was more convincing in postmenopausal women.

The amount of physical activity that a woman gets was also found to play a role. The premenopausal women in the review of studies who exercised vigorously had a 17 percent lower risk of breast cancer than those who didn?t exercise at all. And in postmenopausal women, vigorous exercise was associated with a 10 percent lower risk of breast cancer. [7 Cancers You Can Ward Off with Exericse]

Interestingly, for premenopausal women, the most convincing evidence was for a risk factor that women can?t control: their height. Compared with shorter women, taller women had a greater risk of breast cancer, the researchers found.

The new report, called the Diet, Nutrition, Physical Activity and Breast Cancer report, was conducted by two major cancer research organizations: the American Institute for Cancer Research and World Cancer Research Fund International.

Originally published on Live Science.

– This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.

Trump tells Nato allies to pay up

The president said “massive amounts of money” were owed, which was unfair to US taxpayers.

North Korea sends condolences to Britain after Manchester attack

North Korea sent a letter of condolence to British Prime Minister Theresa May.

Manchester clubs donate £1m to attack victims

Manchester City and Manchester United combine to pledge £1m to an emergency fund set up to support the victims of Monday’s attack.

New Zealand space launch is first from a private site

The first launch ever from New Zealand is a step towards sending small satellites into orbit for cheap.

Fox News Pushes Back Against Claim It Tried to Silence Ex-Host

The network said Andrea Tantaros?s lawyer did not properly vet facts in accusing it of using fake Twitter accounts to torment her in retaliation for a sexual harassment complaint.

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