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Governor Wolf: Congressional Leaders Complicit in Insurance Rate Increases

first_imgGovernor Wolf: Congressional Leaders Complicit in Insurance Rate Increases October 16, 2017 Healthcare,  Medicaid Expansion,  National Issues,  Press Release,  Public Health Harrisburg, PA – Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf today said Congress is complicit in the rate increases stemming from the President’s decision not to continue making cost-sharing reduction payments that help insurance companies offer affordable rates for health insurance. These changes will have negative impacts on middle class families, seniors, and the approximately 5.4 million Pennsylvanians with pre-existing conditions.In a letter to Pennsylvania’s congressional delegation, Governor Wolf outlined the impact of Washington’s sabotage and inaction, and his frustration that so many warnings had gone ignored.“Congressional leaders are complicit in rate increases across the country, as Washington has utterly failed to make commonsense changes to fix our health care system and bolster the Affordable Care Act,” Governor Wolf wrote. “They have pursued political goals instead of practical ones. They have scuttled bipartisan efforts to stabilize our health care system and insurance markets. They have ignored countless governors, insurance leaders, and experts who have warned about the consequences of both their efforts and inaction.”Since Governor Wolf expanded Medicaid, more than 700,000 Pennsylvanians now have access to health care – seniors, families, entrepreneurs, and people seeking treatment for substance use disorder. In that time, Pennsylvania has also cut our uninsured rate effectively in half.Over the past nine months, on nearly 50 separate occasions, Governor Wolf has highlighted the importance of the Affordable Care Act for Pennsylvanians in an effort to prevent this exact situation from happening. The Wolf administration urged Congress in August to take action to appropriate funds for the cost-sharing reduction payments, wrote to former Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price to make the right choice for consumers, had former Insurance Commissioner Teresa Miller (now Acting Secretary of Human Services) testify three times before congressional panels, and has repeatedly stressed the potential impact terminating these payments would have on Pennsylvania consumers.“Let me be clear – we are in this situation because Congress chose not to appropriate these funds to begin with,” Governor Wolf wrote. “The Obama Administration had to take action on these payments to fulfill a contractual agreement with insurers around the country. Failing to do so would have jeopardized access to affordable, robust coverage – exactly the situation we find ourselves in now. The elimination of $9 billion in cost-sharing reduction payments will only increase the number of consumers underinsured and uninsured in Pennsylvania.”The Pennsylvania Insurance Department has worked closely with insurers throughout the year in anticipation of Washington’s failure to ensure the cost-sharing reduction payments. As the Trump Administration and its Congressional representatives have failed to date in their shared duty to protect Pennsylvania consumers, Governor Wolf has worked in a bi-partisan fashion to promote commonsense reforms and he will continue to do everything in his power to shield Pennsylvanians from the impact of their inaction. If Congress had appropriated these funds, Pennsylvania’s rates would have increased by just 7.6 percent. Because of President Trump’s decision and Congress’ deliberate inaction, the increase will be significantly higher.Read full text of the letter below. You can also view the letter on Scribd and as a PDF:Dear Congressman Marino:Last week, President Trump announced that, effective immediately, he will no longer allow the Department of Health and Human Services to make cost-sharing reduction payments to insurers. This decision, along with others along the way, will increase costs for families and seniors, and hurt the approximately 5.4 million Pennsylvanians with pre-existing conditions.While last week’s acts were by the President, Congressional leaders are complicit in rate increases across the country, as Washington has utterly failed to make commonsense changes to fix our health care system and bolster the Affordable Care Act. They have pursued political goals instead of practical ones to actually help families and seniors. They have scuttled bipartisan efforts to stabilize our health care system and insurance markets. They have ignored countless governors, insurance leaders, and experts who have warned about the consequences of both their efforts and inaction.The Affordable Care Act is not perfect – no one believes that. But it has made Pennsylvania better. Since I expanded Medicaid, more than 700,000 of your constituents now have access to health care – seniors, families, entrepreneurs, and people seeking treatment for substance use disorder. In that time, we’ve cut our uninsured rate effectively in half. This means less people are forgoing care, getting sicker and then seeking uncompensated care in the emergency room.Over the past nine months, I have called to your attention on nearly 50 separate occasions the importance of the Affordable Care Act for Pennsylvanians in an effort to prevent this exact situation from happening. My administration urged you in August to take legislative action to appropriate funds for these payments, wrote to former Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price to make the right choice for consumers, had former Insurance Commissioner Teresa Miller now Acting Secretary of Human Services testify, not once, not twice, but three times before congressional panels, and I have repeatedly stressed the potential impact terminating these payments would have on Pennsylvania consumers – your constituents.Let me be clear – we are in this situation because Congress chose not to appropriate these funds to begin with. The Obama Administration had to take action on these payments to fulfill a contractual agreement with insurers around the country. Failing to do so would have jeopardized access to affordable, robust coverage – exactly the situation we find ourselves in now. The elimination of $9 billion in cost-sharing reduction payments will only increase the number of consumers underinsured and uninsured in Pennsylvania.The Pennsylvania Insurance Department has worked closely with our insurers throughout the year in anticipation of this becoming reality. If the Trump Administration and its Congressional representatives are going to fail in their duty to protect Pennsylvania consumers, then we will do everything in our power to shield Pennsylvanians from the impact of this decision. We are prepared, but know this – if Congress had appropriated these funds, our rates would have increased by 7.6 percent. Because of President Trump’s decision and Congress’ deliberate inaction, the increase will be significantly higher.Again, this should not come as a surprise. We warned you and your colleagues of what would happen if cost-sharing reduction payments were not made. This is something you could have prevented, but now it is the reality Pennsylvania consumers must face.But there is still the potential to make this right. Congress must fund cost-sharing reductions payments for the final quarter of 2017, all of 2018, and beyond. Instead of playing politics by trying to say the Affordable Care Act is failing, do the right thing for Pennsylvania consumers and appropriate these funds. If you do not, your constituents will know who failed to protect them.Thank you,Tom WolfGovernor10.16.17 CSR Letter by Governor Tom Wolf on Scribdcenter_img SHARE Email Facebook Twitterlast_img read more

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Cyprus Hotel fund to add risk premia, private market assets

first_imgCyprus’ largest pension fund is diversifying the asset allocation of its portfolio by adding risk premia and private market strategies to its investment mix this year.The €219m Cyprus Hotel Employees Provident Fund said it was in the process of evaluating potential providers.Marinos Gialeli, the pension fund’s chief executive, told IPE: “Our existing hedge fund allocation consists of two multi-strategy funds-of-funds, which have done well for our fund over the years.”However, he said there were two main problems with this approach: it meant two layers of fees, and a notice period for divestment of up to nine months. “So we have decided to use [risk premia] to reduce our fees and give ourselves more flexibility for our tactical allocation moves and rebalancing when this is needed,” Gialeli said. “This will provide us with greater diversification of manager risk as well.”Around 3% of the Nicosia-based Hotel Employees Provident Fund’s assets will be allocated to risk premia, according to the plan.Private markets debut plannedThe rationale for adding private equities and private lending assets was to spread risk and increase returns, the chief executive said.“We have been very conservative with our approach which protected us in some of the most difficult times, but for many years have been discussing targeting a higher risk/return profile to meet the expectations of our members,” Gialeli explained.“As the membership has matured and as we moved away from the culture of local assets and cash, we decided it was time to offer our members the opportunity to generate higher absolute returns while improving portfolio diversification.”The pension fund was working to select funds-of-funds for private equity and has initiated the implementation programme, he said. The search for a private debt manager has also started.The pension fund, which covers staff at 182 hotels on the island, plans to direct around 10% of its assets into private markets, with 4% going into private equity and 6% into private lending.The fund’s strategy of asset diversification – which it has been working on for several years – has cut volatility significantly, Gialeli said.The fund’s 5% return in 2017 was one of the highest produced by funds in Cyprus or on similar pension products offered by insurers, he added.“We are comfortable with our exposures and our members have shown their support at the last AGM we had earlier this month,” he said.Last year, the pension fund implemented the addition of two new asset categories in its portfolio – emerging market equities and European property.This took the form of investment in two property funds – run by Encore+ and CBRE – and one emerging market fund with Lazard. Gialeli said all three funds had a good year for returns in 2017.last_img read more

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The UK has delayed its online porn block. Here’s what we know

first_imgWired 12 March 2018Family First Comment: “The (UK) government will introduce an age-verification requirement for all pornographic websites and people wanting to use them will have to prove they are over 18.Age verification of all pornographic content was supposed to be mandatory from April 2018. But the plans have now been pushed back to later this year.The government has delayed its planned introduction of an age-verification requirement for all pornographic websites until later this year.The plans were initially announced in July 2017 with Matt Hancock, the then minister of state for digital and culture, saying the pornography block would be fully in place” by April 2018. Since then the government has been attempting to formalise the process of how websites should apply an age-verification system and establish a regulator for doing so.Confirmation of the delay, hidden in a government press release about 5G, reveals that “age verification will be enforceable by the end of the year.” No new date has been set, nor have further details been announced about how such a technologically challenging system will be implemented.Critics have hit back saying the changes will be dangerous to internet freedoms in the UK. In 2017, Jerry Barnett, the founder of campaign group Sex & Censorship told WIRED that the legislation would “fundamentally change the internet in the UK and possibly globally”.The changes for online pornography are being introduced under the Digital Economy Act. For the first time, he added, the government would have the power to block websites, en-masse, without court orders. “This is a first in a democracy,” he continued. “Although this appears to be just about protecting children from porn, it isn’t. It will block any site that doesn’t comply with strict UK content rules.”How age verification will be deployedThere are multiple ways that age verification could work under the new plans, but the government is very much leaving this up to the industry to decide. It has been mooted that a system that uses credit card authorisation, such as gambling websites do, could be introduced.MindGeek is one of the companies developing a “solution” for age verification on pornography websites. On its website it delivers a “world-class portfolio of entertainment experiences and IT solutions”. It does not mention it owns some of the world’s biggest porn sites, including Pornhub.For age verification, MindGeek has developed AgeID. The company says it expects to sign-up 25 million people in the UK its system. According to Sky News, people will be able to login to AgeID with an email address and password, then use a third party system to check their age. AgeID will log which pornography websites are visited and store them.READ MORE: http://www.wired.co.uk/article/porn-block-ban-in-the-uk-age-verifcation-lawlast_img read more

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Website sensitization this weekend

first_imgPhoto credit: webdesignuy.comThe National working Committee on Trade  which consist of a group of civil society organization representing rural women, trade Unions(Labor), Indigenous peoples, youth , Farmers and the academia will be holding a website sensitization workshop to inform civil society organizations of the NWCT website, information gathered during the series of workshops and through special research. The Workshop will take place on Saturday 16th April 2011 from 12p.m at the Roseau Youth Enterprise Centre at high Street.This website  sensitization workshop is part of a project entitled:” Building Education and awareness on the issues of Labor and Gender and their treatment in trade Agreements” financed by the Government of Canada and Caribbean Policy Development Centre(CPDC) and will represent a focal point for trade and related information from the participating organizations. Dominica Vibes News Share 15 Views   no discussions Share Tweetcenter_img LocalNews Website sensitization this weekend by: – April 14, 2011 Share Sharing is caring!last_img read more

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Patricia Ann “Trisha” Purnell

first_imgPatricia Ann “Trisha” Purnell, age 62, of Mount Holly, New Jersey, entered this life on July 23, 1954, in Madison, Indiana, the daughter of the late, Eddie B. and Jean Marie (Hall) Purnell. She was raised in Vevay, Indiana where she was a 1973 graduate of the Vevay High School. Trisha was employed in the food industry for several years. Trisha passed away on Sunday June 18, 2017, at her residence in Mount Holly, New Jersey.Trisha will be missed by her son: Scott Brewer and his wife: Julie of Madison, IN; her grandchildren: Kyle Thomas Brewer of Trevose, PA, Gage Vincent Brewer of Madison, IN and Cheyney Marie Brewer of Madison, IN; her brothers: Eddie C. Purnell of Columbus, IN and Pete Purnell of Vevay, IN; her sisters: Mary Heath and her husband: Gary of Madison, IN and Judy Ritch and her husband: Dave of Tupelo, MS and her several nieces and nephews.She was preceded in death by her parents: Eddie B. and Jean Marie (Hall) Purnell.Friends may call 12:00 pm – 1:00 pm, Saturday, July 1, 2017, at the Haskell & Morrison Funeral Home 208 Ferry Street Vevay, Indiana 47043. Memorial services will be conducted Saturday, July 1, 2017, at 1:00 pm, by Bro. Anthony Wilks at the Haskell & Morrison Funeral Home, 208 Ferry Street Vevay, Indiana 47043. Memorial contributions may be made to Patricia Ann “Trisha” Purnell Memorial Fund % Haskell & Morrison Funeral Home. Cards are available at the funeral home.last_img read more

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STOP NOW: Four-way stop installed on SR 229 in Oldenburg

first_imgOldenburg, IN—INDOT reports that Stop signs were recently installed on S.R. 229 in Oldenburg at Washington Street to improve the safety of pedestrians crossing the highway. All motorists will now stop at the intersection. Curb ramps will be installed in the coming weeks.Oldenburg Marshal Bill Dramann notes that he has seen several people blow through the sign without stopping since it became a four-way stopping intersection.last_img

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Cricket Australia investigates ‘racist, uneducated’ comments against Dan Christian

first_imgMELBOURNE: Cricket Australia on Wednesday spoke against “blatantly racist and uneducated ” comments directed at cricketer Dan Christian, who recently spoke out about the casual racism he has experienced in Australian cricket.According to a report in ESPNcricinfo, the board has also launched an investigation to identify and potentially sanction the senders of racist abuse towards Christian on social media a day after the all-rounder, who is Aboriginal, appeared on Cricket Australia’s new series Cricket Connecting Country. “We are deeply disappointed to see blatantly racist and uneducated comments in the aftermath of Cricket Connecting Country’s premiere last night,” Cricket Australia wrote on their Twitter handle on Thursday. “Whilst we have chosen not to name the publisher of these comments publicly, we want to strongly reinforce that any form of racism or discrimination has no place in cricket, sport or wider society. Comments like these demonstrate just how far we still have to go,” the board further said. Christian, who represented Australia in 19 ODIs and 16 T20Is, had spoken about the subtle kind of racism that exists in the Australian setup. “I think it (racism) is an issue in Australian cricket, I don’t think it’s as ‘in your face’ as you might see around the world or even elsewhere in Australian culture,” he had said on the show on Wednesday. “I think it’s definitely there, it’s more of a casual racism, just little throwaway lines here and there, made to be jokes and a lot of that for me personally has been around the colour of my skin and the fact that I don’t look Aboriginal or whatever that means. That’s the most noticeable thing for me,” he added. IANS Also Watch: Special Trains from September 12: Here are the Detailslast_img read more

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Men’s tennis team hosts Ohio State in season finale

first_imgThe Wisconsin men’s tennis team (8-12, 2-7 Big Ten) hopes to end their regular season with a Big Ten victory today when they play host to No. 30 Ohio State (16-6, 7-1) at 3 p.m. at the Nielsen Tennis Stadium.While Wisconsin has a 32-29 all-time record against Ohio State, the Buckeyes have won the last nine matches including victories over the Badgers in the Big Ten Championships over the past four years. In last year’s regular season match, the Buckeyes shut out the Badgers 7-0 in Columbus.Today’s match will play a large factor in determining Wisconsin’s seeding for the upcoming Big Ten tournament. A victory for the Badgers will guarantee the No. 9 seed, however, a Wisconsin loss and Iowa win will drop the Badgers to the No. 10 seed. Although Ohio State has secured the No. 2 seed regardless of today’s outcome, head coach Pat Klingelhoets does not see the Buckeyes taking the match lightly.“We’re going to have to play really well,” Klingelhoets said. “They’re a real solid team — doubles is good, singles lineup is good all the way down. We’re going to have to play one of our better matches of the year, so hopefully we can catch a couple of their guys a little off and have a chance to win.”The Bulgarian duo of brothers Alex and Lachezar Kasarov will have their hands full in the No. 1 doubles match, as they will most likely face the Ohio State partnership of juniors Scott Green and Ross Wilson, which is ranked No. 1 in the ITA doubles poll. At the No. 3 doubles spot, Wisconsin freshman Jeremy Sonkin and junior Mark Weinig look to continue their strong play following a victory over Illinois last week. The two will square off against the tandem of sophomore Joey Atlas and freshman Drew Eberly who have lost only once in their last 14 matches.In singles action, Klingelhoets is anticipating close matches throughout, and believes inclement weather could play in Wisconsin’s favor, as the match would be moved indoors, giving the Badgers a home court advantage. “There’s going to be some really good matches,” Klingelhoets said. “I guess I’m looking forward to seeing how our top guys, Alex [Kasarov] and Jeremy [Sonkin], can step up and get it done against some really strong players — but there is going to be good matches all the way down the line. Hopefully [the courts] will help us a little bit. We’re really comfortable on these courts so if we do go indoors then I think that could help us out, but we’ll wait and see on the weather.”At the No. 1 singles position, senior Alex Kasarov will play his final match at the Nielsen Tennis Stadium against No. 56 Devin Mullings. The sophomore Mullings, 24-8 overall in singles, is currently riding a 13-match win streak and was honored as the Big Ten Athlete of the Week on April 20.Mullings’ teammate, junior Ross Wilson, has also been playing inspirationally lately, winning 13 out of his last 15 matches at the No. 6 singles position.Ohio State’s overall singles lineup is an opposing coach’s nightmare due to each player’s athletic ability and the assortment of playing styles each has to offer. “They’ve got a lot of variety,” Klingelhoets said. “They got a guy like Scott Green who is a pure serve-and-volley player, but then they’ve also got a number of guys who just like to sit on the baseline and grind it out too. [Devin] Mullings, who might play the one spot, he will just sit back and hit a million balls, [Chris] Klingemann is the same way … they have a good combination of guys and they’re all good players.”Despite the Buckeyes’ superior record, Wisconsin freshman Jeremy Sonkin does not feel intimidated and has instead focused his attention on earning a better seed in the Big Ten Tournament.“[Ohio State] is going to be a big match,” Sonkin said. “We really want this one because it will help us a lot with the seeding for the Big Ten tournament and give us a better shot. We really need to come out on fire … all the guys need to be ready to go, well-rested and ready to play because it’s going to be a tough match all throughout the lineup. I think if we give it our best effort and fight as hard as we can, we can come out with the win.”last_img read more

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NCAA investigation reportedly involves internship hours, connections between Syracuse athletes, Tri-Valley YMCA

first_imgAn internship program involving Syracuse athletes and their connection with Tri-Valley YMCA in Oneida, New York is part of the NCAA’s inquiry in its investigation of Syracuse Athletics, the Post-Standard reported Monday afternoon.The NCAA concluded its investigation at a hearing in Chicago last month and Syracuse is awaiting the announcement of violations, if any, which the NCAA said would be announced 30–60 days after the investigation came to an end.The documentation of hours completed by athletes for internships at the YMCA, along with who was responsible for approving those hours, is included in the possible violations, The Post-Standard reported.The internship under question was part of a requirement to graduate with a degree in child and family studies, a popular major among Syracuse University athletes. Eighteen percent of football players were enrolled in that major from 2004–05, the time in which investigators are looking at, according to The Post-Standard.Hank Leo, the chief executive officer of the Tri-Valley YMCA and a former tutor for Syracuse football, attended the NCAA hearing last month, Leo’s lawyer, Robert Whitaker, told The Post-Standard. Whitaker also told The Post-Standard that the NCAA didn’t accuse the YMCA of any faults.AdvertisementThis is placeholder textBut the former sports director of Tri-Valley YMCA, Jeff Cornish, is the one under investigation for providing extra benefits to SU men’s basketball and football players, The Post-Standard reported.The Post-Standard also obtained a lawsuit that shows the YMCA sued Cornish in state Supreme Court in 2008. It claimed that Cornish set up a bank account using the YMCA’s not-for-profit tax ID number without permission and redirected possibly as much as $338,462 for his own use. It’s unknown how much of or if this money was used or if any was given to SU athletes, the Post-Standard added.The YMCA had close ties with Syracuse athletes, and the athletes participated in charity events to raise funds for the YMCA, the Post-Standard reported, but specified that it is unknown whether any of these events are part of the investigation. Comments Published on November 17, 2014 at 2:54 pm Contact Matt: mcschnei@syr.edu | @matt_schneidman Facebook Twitter Google+last_img read more

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Men’s basketball: Badgers need to lock down win against Nebraska

first_imgThe pressure is on for Wisconsin men’s basketball to notch victories in winnable games and they’ll be put to the test when they host Nebraska Wednesday night.Looking for their sixth-straight win, Wisconsin (14-9 overall, 6-4 Big Ten) will have to contain a hot-shooting Nebraska team (13-11 Overall, 5-6 Big Ten) at the Kohl Center.The Badgers only have seven games remaining in their regular season schedule, including matchups against ranked opponents such as No. 2 Maryland, No. 4 Iowa and No. 8 Michigan State.Last time outWisconsin was impressive in their 79-68 victory over Ohio State last Thursday.Men’s basketball: Badgers use three-point stroke to get past Buckeyes for fifth straight victoryThe University of Wisconsin men’s basketball team overcame a horrendous night of free throw shooting to pull away from the Ohio Read…The Badgers rode their three-point shooting to victory, knocking down 13 of 27 from downtown. Sophomore Jordan Hill hit three of those for nine points in a solid bench outing, while Nigel Hayes, Bronson Koenig and Ethan Happ each had more than 10 points.The win made Wisconsin’s case for a tournament bid all the more plausible and set them up for a promising last stretch of the season.Wisconsin’s key to victoryLong-range shooting:Wisconsin’s range from three-point territory made its offense increasingly versatile in the Ohio State game.Six different Badgers hit at least one three-pointer, which made Ohio State commit to defending the perimeter and opened up driving lanes to the basket.As a team that is often more comfortable with layups than pure shooting, Wisconsin should look to continue this trend. As the team has found its groove, better shot opportunities have encouraged more outside shots since the beginning of the season, which makes the process even easier.Opposing player to watch: Andrew WhiteWhite will most likely not have right-hand man Shavon Shields by his side against the Badgers. That means almost all of Nebraska’s offense will be channeled through the junior guard who averages 17.2 points, 6.2 rebounds and 1 steal.White has consistently hovered around the 20-point mark for the past four games, but will need to produce more without Shields, who is recovering from a scary fall against Rutgers.last_img read more

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