Professor reflects on HHS bill reform, election implications

first_imgPresident Barack Obama announced a compromise in the Affordable Care Act Friday, mandating that insurance companies, not religious institutions, will be responsible for providing free preventive care to women. Such a move comes with significant political implications, former political columnist for the South Bend Tribune and Journalism professor Jack Colwell said. “[Obama] certainly had politics in mind, just as his critics had politics in mind,” he said. “This is a presidential election year so everything he does is going to be, in some respects, political.” Under the original plan announced Jan. 20, religious institutions would not be exempt from providing preventive healthcare, including contraceptives, in their minimum insurance package. The Department of Health and Human Services (HSS) granted these institutions a year to comply with the legislation’s specifications. Colwell said Friday’s move was seen as an accommodation to the religious institutions that were concerned about providing these services. The move by the president will be successful in controlling any lasting political damage, though the damage could have easily been avoided, Colwell said. “I think initially the president was hurt somewhat by [this],” he said. “Why on earth they thought it would take a year to reach a compromise nobody seems to understand. “That sounds like bureaucracy in the Health and Human Services Department. When the pressure was on, they quickly reached a compromise.” Colwell said Obama’s conciliation was made with a specific group of American voters in mind. “I think what he was doing was going after Catholic voters who were understandably upset about the first decision that was made … there was a lot of dissatisfaction,” he said. The Catholic portion of the American population was a group Obama could not risk losing in November’s presidential election, Colwell said. “There are a lot of Catholic officials and voters who tend to support him,” he said. “If he was going to alienate some of them, that could have a big effect on the election.” Colwell said Friday’s compromise should be effective enough to satisfy this group of voters. “I think he did [enough]. It seems to be a reasonable accommodation,” Colwell said. “In fact, it is so reasonable you have to wonder why that wasn’t the plan in the first place.” At the same time, the new plan still allows for women to receive cost-free preventive healthcare such as contraceptives. Colwell said that without this concession, Obama would have risked alienating another block of voters. “Also, it has continued to make sure there would be birth control free of charge available to all women,” he said. “If he had gone back on that, that would have cost him a lot of votes from women who think that is very important.” The original decision to have religiously affiliated institutions provide preventive health services drew the ire of Catholic bishops. Colwell said Obama made the compromise with political allies in mind. “I don’t think there was so much concern with the bishops as it was about some of the people who have tended to support President Obama and the healthcare legislation,” Colwell said. “Some of them were upset and he was in danger of losing support.” These supporters include Vice President Joe Biden and Senator Bob Casey (D-Pennsylvania.) However, Colwell said Obama did not risk losing support from Sister Carol Keehan of the Catholic Health Organization. “She has been a supporter of the president on healthcare matters,” he said. Despite reaching a compromise Friday, Colwell said Republican presidential candidates would not agree with any accommodation Obama proposes. Taking this approach runs the risk of driving female voters away from the Republican Party, Colwell said. “They have a real danger. If the Republican nominee is seen as opposed to birth control, then that’s a big, big plus for Obama in the election,” Colwell said. “There already is a gender gap where women tend to vote more Democratic … and if the Republican nominee would seem as opposed to contraceptives, that gap would be even wider and it would be harmful to the Republican nominee.” Colwell said the party is also making a gamble by shifting the focus away from economic issues. Doing so could change the dynamic of the election. “Republicans have wanted this election to be a referendum on the economy and how the president was handling that and budget issues,” he said. “They have tended to put some of the social issues on the back burner … now suddenly they are moving into some of those cultural issues. Maybe that will help them, but it does take some of the focus off the economic issues.” Colwell said that while the mandate seemed to initially hurt Obama politically, Friday’s accommodation could ultimately have beneficial implications. “Initially it was a negative,” he said. “It could turn out to be a positive if the Republican nominee is seen as opposing contraceptive devices. Also, it might help him focusing on what the healthcare legislation does.” Colwell said since many American’s don’t know what the Affordable Care Act does, Friday’s compromise may shed light on the positive aspects of one of Obama’s signature legislative accomplishments. “Now there is a lot of focus on what it would provide for women — free access to contraception,” he said. “It’s focusing on this as a preventive measure, something that can hold down medical costs. If people focus on that and agree with that, then it could be a plus for [Obama.]” Colwell said discussion of the subject would die down and only resurface if the Republican presidential candidate pursued the matter. “I think it’s probably one of those issues that erupted and captured all of the headlines for several weeks,” he said. “I think it will simmer down some. It will basically be up to the Republican presidential candidate and Republican leadership in Congress if they want to pursue this.”last_img read more

U.S. Energy Policy Under Trump Puts China in Charge

first_imgU.S. Energy Policy Under Trump Puts China in Charge FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Vice:When people look back at Donald Trump’s first year as president, they’re likely to be perplexed by his actions on climate change. They will see an administration that put climate deniers in senior government positions during a year of record-breaking natural disasters, did everything it could to save a dying coal industry as jobs in renewables exploded, and exited from an international climate treaty that both environmental activists and Fortune 100 companies supported. And this is all despite the release of a government report that there is “no convincing alternative explanation” for climate change other than human activity—more evidence, if you needed it, that this is a problem that urgently needs attention.“People would look back and think, ‘Boy, that was certainly an aggressive effort to go directly in reverse’” of the direction we should be heading, Todd Stern, the United States special envoy for climate change under Barack Obama, told me. No matter how you interpret it, Stern said, 2017 is a “pretty bad” year for federal US climate policy.Future observers will be even more perplexed when they look at what China was doing during the same time period. The top geopolitical rival to the US announced $361 billion in spending on renewables, moved to shutter hundreds of coal plants, mulled a ban on gas and diesel-powered vehicles, and officially stated its intention to be a global climate leader. “The policy direction is very clear,” said Li Shuo, the Beijing-based climate policy advisor at Greenpeace East Asia. “[Low-carbon technology] is an area where through policy support [China] can really get an upper hand economically.”Trump has said he is putting “America First” with his actions on climate change. But in reality he is willingly surrendering vast political and economic power to China. “It’s hard for me to identify a strategy in much of what this administration does,” Joseph Aldy, an associate professor of public policy at Harvard and a former Obama administration official, told me. Yet the contrast between China and the US on climate change could not be clearer. “One of the countries has a leadership that’s operating in the 21st century and the other is operating in the 20th,” Aldy argued.This only recently became the case. During the 2009 climate talks in Copenhagen, China blocked US efforts to create a globally binding treaty, arguing that it would unfairly restrict China’s economic growth. But China was struggling with horrific air pollution. It was also investing billions in low-carbon technology. Stern began meeting in secret with negotiators in China and “we found a way to work together,” he said. Those discussions resulted in a historic joint promise from the US and China in 2014 to strengthen “bilateral cooperation on climate change.”That may sound like diplomatic jargon. But this unlikely alliance between the US and China was a massive step forward in the global fight against climate change. It made possible the international climate treaty that was negotiated in Paris in 2015. After Trump won the US election and vowed to exit from the Paris treaty, observers wondered if China would also pull out. But any doubts were dispelled in early 2017 when China’s President Xi Jinping said that “the Paris agreement is a milestone in the history of climate governance. We must ensure this endeavor is not derailed.”China backed that up with a promise to invest $361 billion in renewable energy sources by 2020. Its National Energy Administration predicted this would create over 13 million jobs. China is also investing in clean energy outside its borders, spending $32 billion in 2016 alone, according to the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis. China now owns the biggest wind turbine manufacturer in the world and five of the six biggest solar module builders. “It really sees this as a new and emerging sector,” explained Li, and its goal is to “gain an upper hand globally.”More: Trump Is Quietly Surrendering to China on Climate Changelast_img read more

Auctions are a perfect vehicle for long-term private investors

first_imgTo access this article REGISTER NOWWould you like print copies, app and digital replica access too? SUBSCRIBE for as little as £5 per week. Would you like to read more?Register for free to finish this article.Sign up now for the following benefits:Four FREE articles of your choice per monthBreaking news, comment and analysis from industry experts as it happensChoose from our portfolio of email newsletterslast_img

Evans blitzes Biarritz to boost Walker Cup hopes

first_img17 Jul 2013 Evans blitzes Biarritz to boost Walker Cup hopes Ryan Evans continued a run of fine form on Sunday when he clinched victory in the Biarritz Cup in south west France. Superb rounds of 62, 67, 65 and 68, for a four round total of 262 and -14, was good enough for a three shot win ahead of France’s Mathieu Fenasse and Ugo Coussaud. The victory tops a stellar two months for Evans which included a win in the Berkshire Trophy, a runners-up finish at the St Andrews Links Trophy, a third place finish in the French Open Stroke Play and a top seven finish in the Brabazon Trophy. “Ryan is enjoying a fantastic summer,” commented Stephen Burnett, Performance Manager for the men’s programme. “We knew the level of play Ryan was capable of when he made his breakthrough win in last year’s South of England Championship. This season he has built on that performance and showed more consistency. Ryan has really worked hard and is now reaping the benefit.” England’s Michael Saunders secured his place in the top 10 on 268 and there were top 20 finishes for both Paul Howard (273) and Nick Marsh (275) Photo copyright Leaderboard Photographylast_img read more

Bruh moment of 9th November 2019: Frank Lampard reveals how walking his dog at…

first_imgImage Courtesy: Vantagenews/Chelsea FCAdvertisement 4701NBA Finals | Brooklyn Vs2pmWingsuit rodeo📽Sindre E74fj( IG: @_aubreyfisher @imraino ) 89dv7Would you ever consider trying this?😱bumq87Can your students do this? 🌚7z9Roller skating! Powered by Firework Club legend Frank Lampard is the 3rd manager for Chelsea in 3 seasons, but the successor to Maurizio Sarri has methodically countered the transfer ban and has been very successful in this season for the Blues. Although, the brit feels his squad’s favourable outcome is factored in by his peculiar routines before every game, and he’s very superstitious about it.Advertisement Image Courtesy: Vantagenews/Chelsea FCThe former Blues captain, who arrived at Stamford Bridge this year from Derby County, feels the need to perform certain pre-match  ‘rituals’ such as walking his pet dog or breaking a sweat in the gym, and is very structured about it, as he feels- “If I don’t do them, then I can feel like, ridiculously, as if it might have an effect on the result.”Speaking in a recent interview, the 41 year old revealed on his lucky charm activities.Advertisement “I walk the dog at certain times and on certain days”- he told reporters. “I take her out in the morning. I go out early before I leave, I take her down to the local coffee shop, get my takeaway coffee, walk around, pick up her poo, put it in the bin, walk her home then go to training.”“I find walking the dog quite good for clearing the head. I like to go to the gym as well – that’s another one of my superstitions. I have to spend the same amount of time on the bike – 50 minutes – or the amount that I run. Things like that. I’m still sweating now. I’ve just been doing it.” he added.Advertisement After his 3 match victory streak, Lampard was awarded the Premier League Manager of the Month award in October and is the only person in Premier League history to win both the Player and Manager of the Month awards with the same club.Chelsea are currently 2nd in the table after today’s 2-0 win over Crystal Palace, and will travel to Manchester to take on the Citizens on 23rd November. Advertisementlast_img read more

FOREST CHATTER RETURNS IN THE LENNYFROMMALIBU STAKES GOING 6 ½ FURLONGS DOWN THE HILLSIDE TURF COURSE

first_imgTHE $100,000 LENNYFROMMALIBU STAKES IN POST POSITION ORDER WITH JOCKEYS AND WEIGHTS Race 1 (of 11)                                     Approximate post time 2 p.m. PDT Forest Chatter – Mike Smith – 122Pay The Fine – Mario Gutierrez – 120Ambitious Brew – Flavien Prat – 122Old Man Lake – Tyler Baze – 120K Thirty Eight – Edwin Maldonado – 120First post time on Saturday is at 2 p.m.  Admission gates open at 11:30 a.m.  For scratches, late changes and complete morning line information, please visit http://www.santaanita.com/horse-racing/live-racing/.Released on 5/25/16For more information, please contact Alexis Garske at alexis.garske@santaanita.com or call 626-574-6418.             ARCADIA, Calif. (May 25, 2016)–Stakes winner Forest Chatter and Ambitious Brew, along with three others return in Saturday’s $100,000 Lennyfrommalibu Stakes going six and a half furlongs down the hillside turf course for California bred or sired horses, four years old and up.FOREST CHATTER: Most recently third in the Sensational Star Stakes on Feb. 27 down the hill, the Richard Mandella trained 6-year-old gelding by Dixie Chatter, who stands at Bellena Vista Farm in Ramona, CA, will return to the distance he has dominated in the past and will seek his sixth win over the unique course. Mike Smith will be back aboard as he has been in all five of Forest Chatter’s career wins. Owned by Pam and Martin Wygod, Forest Chatter is 12-5-1-2 overall with $248,510 in earnings.AMBITIOUS BREW: A winner of the E.B. Johnston Stakes at Los Alamitos Sept. 12, 2015 going a mile on the dirt, Ambitious Brew ran a troubling sixth in his last outing, the Oct. 12 California Flag Handicap down the turf course but was found to have bled following the race and was vanned off. Running out of the money only twice in seven starts down Santa Anita’s hillside turf course, Ambitious Brew will hope to return to form and gains Flavien Prat as his rider. A 6-year-old gelding by Tizbud, who stands at Harris Farms in Coalinga, CA, he is owned by his breeder Pamela Ziebarth and trained by Marty Jones. Ambitious Brew is 15-5-6-0 overall with $338,380 in earnings. LENNYFROMMALIBU IS ONE OF FIVE CALIFORNIA GOLD RUSH DAY STAKES FOR CAL-BRED OR SIRED HORSESlast_img read more