OKLAHOMA CITY — The state Senate on Thursday will not take up "ball and dice" gambling legislation that teachers are pushing to bring in more money for education.Majority Floor Leader Greg Treat, R-Oklahoma City, said a miscommunication with the House led to the announcement Wednesday night that the Senate would take action on the bill Thursday.Treat said lawmakers will be in session Friday; however, he needed to discuss with his caucus about what items would be included in the daily floor session.Treat said he is confident the state's education budget of $2.9 billion is fully funded.Teachers and their supporters are returning for a fourth straight day to the Capitol, which they have packed to capacity to push for increased education funding.The Oklahoma Education Association has listed three teacher demands that would end the walkout: fill the $50 million gap created in hotel/motel tax the Oklahoma House repealed last week, pass a bill that would … [Read more...] about Senate will not take up ‘ball and dice’ legislation Thursday as teachers return to Capitol for fourth day
WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump assured two Senate Republicans in a weekend conference call that he wants tens of billions of dollars to lower health-care premiums included in a must-pass spending bill.Trump made the commitment in an hour-long call Saturday with Sens. Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn., and Susan Collins, R-Maine, according to three people briefed on the conversation.Trump then called top GOP leaders in the House and the Senate to reiterate his support for the money — including payments to insurers under the Affordable Care Act that he had previously ended — the people said. They spoke on the condition of anonymity to detail the private conversations. However, despite the president's support, it was highly uncertain Monday whether the health-care language would end up in the $1 trillion-plus spending bill that must pass by midnight Friday to stave off a government shutdown. The legislation was expected to be released Monday night, but the parties were still … [Read more...] about Trump tells Senate Republicans he supports health subsidies in budget bill
Visit The Boston Globe Share on Twitter Share on Facebook Comment on this Scroll to top of page By Brendan Farrington Associated Press March 06, 2018 TALLAHASSEE — The Florida Senate on Monday passed a school safety bill that would place new restrictions on rifle sales, allow some teachers to carry guns in schools, and create more school mental health programs.The Senate voted, 20 to 18, in favor of bill that was crafted in a response to the Feb. 14 massacre at a Parkland high school that left 17 people dead.Few, if any, senators were completely happy with the legislation. Many Republicans don’t like the idea of raising the minimum age to buy rifles from 18 to 21 or creating a three-day waiting period to purchase the weapons. Advertisement Many Democrats think the bill didn’t go far enough because it doesn’t include a ban on military-style rifles or large-capacity magazines. Get Ground Game in your inbox: Daily updates and … [Read more...] about Florida Senate passes bill restricting gun sales
A Cunning Strategy to Back Door Risk Pools and Market Segmentation Ted Cruz has offered an amendment—since included in the latest Republican Senate draft—that would enable health insurance plans to offer stripped down coverage outside the current Obamacare compliant individual market. Anytime spent covered by them would be considered a break in service and subject the consumer to the six-month lockout provision should they want to get into the standard market. Carriers offering these plans could not deny pre-existing conditions but could up-rate sicker people. Critics, including the health insurance industry trade associations, have come out against the idea because it would bifurcate the market into two separate pools—the healthier “Cruz pool” and the standard individual market subject to all of the current Obamacare consumer protections. And, while the most recent version of the Cruz amendment would require insurers to pool both their standard … [Read more...] about What’s Really Behind the Cruz Amendment to the Republican Senate Plan to Replace Obamacare?
At the core of Republican objectives for the "repealing and replacing" of Obamacare is bringing down the cost of health insurance––not just the premiums but the out-of-pocket costs people pay as well. If implemented, the Senate Republican bill may actually end up increasing costs compared to Obamacare. Clearly, if Republicans cut $408 billion in current tax credits and other insurance assistance, as the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) has estimated, someone is going to be getting less and their net cost will be more. But there is an even bigger factor at play here. Readers of this blog are likely tired of my continually reminding them that only 40% of the Obamacare subsidy eligible ever signed up leading to a risk pool with too many sick people and too few healthy people to pay their claims. The Republicans are only going to make this problem worse. My discussion with health plan actuaries has led me to conclude that Obamacare's expensive health plans could cost as … [Read more...] about The Senate Republican Obamacare Repeal and Replace Bill Will Not Reduce the Cost of Health Insurance