25

Apr

2017

Flynn probably broke law by failing to disclose foreign income, House Oversight leaders say

Author: Editor

The lead Democrat and Republican on the House Oversight Committee meted out a rare bipartisan rebuke of former Trump national security adviser Michael Flynn on Tuesday after seeing private information that confirmed the former administration official failed to disclose foreign income from Russia and Turkey.

The public criticism by the senior Republican on the House’s chief investigative panel is unusual and presents a dilemma for the White House, which was accused of failing to provide everything the committee asked for — an assertion White House press secretary Sean Spicer disputed.

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10

Mar

2017

GOP health-care bill would drop addiction treatment mandate covering 1.3 million Americans

Author: Editor

The Republican proposal to replace the Affordable Care Act would strip away what advocates say is essential coverage for drug addiction treatment as the number of people dying from opiate overdoses is skyrocketing nationwide.

Beginning in 2020, the plan would eliminate an Affordable Care Act requirement that Medicaid cover basic mental-health and addiction services in states that expanded it, allowing them to decide whether to include those benefits in Medicaid plans.

The proposal would also roll back the Medicaid expansion under the act — commonly known as Obamacare — which would affect many states bearing the brunt of the opiate crisis, including Ohio, Kentucky and West Virginia. Thirty-one states and the District of Columbia expanded Medicaid under the ACA.

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4

Mar

2017

White House proposes steep budget cut to leading climate science agency

Author: Editor

The Trump administration is seeking to slash the budget of one of the government’s premier climate science agencies by 17 percent, delivering steep cuts to research funding and satellite programs, according to a four-page budget memo obtained by The Washington Post.

The proposed cuts to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration would also eliminate funding for a variety of smaller programs, including external research, coastal management, estuary reserves and “coastal resilience,” which seeks to bolster the ability of coastal areas to withstand major storms and rising seas.

NOAA is part of the Commerce Department, which would be hit by an overall 18 percent budget reduction from its current funding level.

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1

Mar

2017

Pre-existing conditions complicate ACA replacement

Author: Editor

As Republicans try to unite around a replacement for the Affordable Care Act, one of the most popular parts of the law will be among the most difficult to replace: the guarantee of health coverage for people with pre-existing conditions.

The challenge of providing insurance for Americans who have no other alternative has some congressional Republicans considering whether to ask the states to reboot high-risk pools, an option with a rocky history. In the past, the pools served as insurers of last resort for people in poor health who could not get an individual policy from a commercial insurer.

"It's definitely a hand-off to the states," said economist Douglas Holtz-Eakin, who has reviewed the GOP plans and a recent briefing document for members of Congress. "It's a commitment for money. It doesn't say how much."

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25

Feb

2017

In December, Spicer said barring media access is what a ‘dictatorship’ does. Today, he barred media access.

Author: Editor

White House press secretary Sean Spicer barred reporters from several large media outlets from participating in a scheduled press briefing Friday. Two months ago, in a panel discussion, he insisted that open access for the media is “what makes a democracy a democracy versus a dictatorship.”

While conservative outlets such as Breitbart, One America News and the Washington Times were allowed into Friday’s briefing, Politico, the New York Times and CNN were not, according to the Times’ Michael Grynbaum. The White House Correspondents’ Association, representing the White House press pool, released a statement indicating that it was “protesting strongly” against the way the briefing was handled. The New York Times’ executive editor, Dean Baquet, told his paper’s reporter that “nothing like this has ever happened at the White House in our long history of covering multiple administrations of different parties.” CNN called it “an unacceptable development” that was “how they retaliate when you report facts they don’t like.” On Twitter, The Washington Post’s executive editor, Marty Baron, called the move “appalling.”

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