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Alabama Senate Race: Roy Moore, Doug Jones Make Final Pitch at Monday Rallies

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Alabama voters head to the polls Tuesday to elect a U.S. Senator in a contentious race catapulted into the national spotlight after allegations of sexual misconduct against the Republican nominee, former Alabama Supreme Court Chief Justice Roy Moore.

Alabama has not elected a Democrat to the U.S. Senate since 1992, creating concern for some Republicans though the table has slightly turned leaving Moore locked in a tight race with his Democratic opponent, Doug Jones, a former U.S. attorney.

An election predicted to go down to the wire with a 10-point lead for Doug Jones just one day before the election—the Senate race can go either way despite the slight lead for Jones.

A Fox News survey has Democrat Doug Jones up by ten percentage points, 50 to 40 percent, while an Emerson University survey puts Republican Roy Moore ahead by nine percentage points, 53 to 44 percent.

Compared to the RealClearPolitics average, which had Moore up by 2.5 points before those polls, both are outliers, and both will confirm the competing biases of each camp less than 24 hours before voting begins.

Doug Jones, the Democratic candidate, and his wife, Louise, at a rally in Birmingham on Monday. Photo Credit John Bazemore/Associated Press

The past week leading up to the election, most public surveys have shown Moore with a slight lead over Jones.

Difference in the Fox News’ poll and other surveys points to differences in conclusions, such as varied circumstances on Election Day with changes in the demographics at the ballot box.

Another factor influencing the differences in poll numbers for Doug Jones and Roy Moore—According to Politico—Jones leads Moore by 30 points among voters interviewed on cell phones tend to be younger, while the race is ‘even’ among voters interviewed on landlines.  The other surveys conducted—some of them are automated polls—have not included calls to cell phones.

Introducing her husband at a rally Monday night in Midland City, Kayla Moore, wife of Alabama Republican Senate candidate Roy Moore, said that “fake news will tell you that we don’t care for Jews,” but that just can’t be because “one of our attorneys is a Jew!” (Photo Credit: NBC News).

The embattled candidate Moore faces allegations from eight women who had accused him of sexual misconduct when he was in his 30s and, in some cases, when the women were in their teens. Though Moore denies the allegations— before the allegations surfacing last month, Moore had a long-standing reputation as a fierce defender of Christianity in the public sphere.  Twice removed from his position as Chief Justice of the Alabama Supreme Court for violating judicial orders Moore is no stranger to controversy and unconventional behavior.

With allegations against Moore tainting the race, Moore’s candidacy created a rift between many Republicans on Capitol Hill, who have maintained that Moore should step aside.  Amid allegations thrust into the national spotlight with a questionable candidate—President Donald Trump, gave his stamp of approval by endorsing Moore.

While he has not campaigned in Alabama, Trump urged Alabama voters to support Moore at a weekend rally in Pensacola, Florida, approximately 20 miles from the Alabama state line, but close enough to be viewed in the Alabama media market.

The president also recorded a robocall over the weekend urging Alabama voters to back Moore.

“Roy Moore is the guy we need to pass our ‘Make America Great Again’ agenda,” Trump said on the call. “Roy is a conservative who will help me steer this country back on track after eight years of the Obama disaster. Get out and vote for Roy Moore,” Trump said.

Trump has come to the defense of more stating Moore has consistently denied the allegations as part of his rationale for endorsing him.

National Republicans, including Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., have publicly called on Moore to step down amid the firestorm of the sexual misconduct allegations.  Seemingly turning a deaf ear—Moore has remained defiant.

Republican senators Jeff Flake of Arizona and Lindsey Graham of South Carolina have maintained that Moore is not fit to serve in the U.S. Senate.  Sending out a strong message to Moore and his party, Sen. Flake donated $100 to the Jones campaign.

Alabama’s senior senator, Republican Richard Shelby, has been particularly outspoken about not backing Moore. Shelby said the following on CNN Sunday, “I wouldn’t vote for Roy Moore. I think the Republican Party can do better,”.

Sen. Cory Gardner, R-Colo., the head of the National Republican Senatorial Committee, has maintained that even if Moore should win the election, he should be expelled from the United States Senate.

Despite the widespread backlash and mounting allegations against Moore, Jones faces an uphill battle in a state that President Trump won by over 20 points in 2016.

Moore has openly and consistently embraced President Trump, as he attempts to label Jones, who was appointed as a U.S. attorney by Bill Clinton in 1997, as too liberal on issues such as illegal immigration, abortion, and same-sex marriage.

Jones on the other end of the political spectrum pitches himself as the candidate willing to reach across party lines.  He touts himself as the candidate focusing on a campaign with a grass-roots effort of turning out African-American voters, and Alabama Republicans skeptical of Moore before and after the sexual misconduct allegations surfaced.

Over the weekend Jones campaigned across Alabama with numerous high-profile African-American politicians, including Sen. Cory Booker, D-N.J., and Alabama’s only Democrat in the House, Rep. Terri Sewell, D-Ala.

Jones using a Trump card of sorts with a purpose—saved his harshest attacks on Moore for the final weeks of the campaign.

“I damn sure believe that I have done my part to ensure that men who hurt little girls should go to jail and not the U.S. Senate,” Jones said at a campaign rally in Birmingham last week.

While the demographic and turnout of the electorate is uncertain, recent polling from some surveys suggests Jones has a chance at pulling off an upset.

Though Jones is running against the tides of recent political history in Alabama, Moore is a deeply flawed candidate in the state, where he was twice removed as chief justice of the State Supreme Court.

Should Mr. Moore proclaim victory on Tuesday, he will likely have President Trump, in part, to thank in a closely watched Senate race.

 

LeNora Millen       12-11-17

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Health Care

Medicare Takes Aim at Medical Identity Theft: Protecting Seniors From Fraud

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Criminals are increasingly targeting people age 65 or older for personal identity theft. In 2014 alone, there were 2.6 million such incidents among seniors, according to the Department of Justice.

A growing offshoot of identity theft is healthcare fraud, which can result when someone unlawfully uses another person’s Medicare number. Medical identity theft can lead to inaccuracies in medical records, which in turn can result in delayed care, denied services and costly false claims.

That’s why Medicare works with the Department of Justice, taking aim squarely at would-be thieves. In the largest law enforcement action against criminals fraudulently targeting the Medicare, Medicaid and Tricare programs, 412 people around the country, including 115 doctors, nurses and other licensed medical professionals, were charged in 2017 with bilking U.S. taxpayers out of $1.3 billion.

New Medicare Card for 2018. (Video Courtesy of YouTube)

The next big fraud-fighting push is well underway — and its focus is protecting the personal information of senior citizens by removing their Social Security numbers from Medicare cards.

People with Medicare don’t need to take any action to get a new Medicare card. Beginning in April 2018, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) will mail out newly designed Medicare cards to the 58 million Americans with Medicare. The cards will have a new number that will be unique for each card recipient. This will help protect personal identity and prevent fraud because identity thieves can’t bill Medicare without a valid Medicare number. To help with a seamless transition to the new cards, providers will be able to use secure lookup tools that will support quick access to the new card numbers when needed.

Healthcare fraud drives up costs for everyone, but healthcare consumers can be an effective first line of defense against fraud. Follow these tips to help protect yourself:

Do

  • Treat your Medicare number like a credit card.
  • When the new card comes in the mail next year, destroy your old card and make sure you bring your new one to your doctors’ appointments.
  • Be suspicious of anyone offering early bird discounts, limited time offers or encouraging you to act now for the best deal. That’s an indicator of potential fraud because Medicare plans are forbidden from offering incentives.
  • Be skeptical of free gifts, free medical services, discount packages or any offer that sounds too good to be true.
  • Only give your Medicare number to doctors, insurers acting on your behalf or trusted people in the community who work with Medicare, like your State Health Insurance Assistance Program (SHIP).
  • Report suspected instances of fraud.
  • Check your Medicare statements to make sure the charges are accurate.

Don’t

  • Don’t share your Medicare number or other personal information with anyone who contacts you by telephone, email or approaches you in person, unless you’ve given them permission in advance. Medicare will never contact you uninvited and request your Medicare number or other personal information.
  • Don’t let anyone borrow or pay to use your Medicare number.
  • Don’t allow anyone, except your doctor or other Medicare providers, to review your medical records or recommend services.
  • Don’t let anyone persuade you to see a doctor for care or services you don’t need.
  • Don’t accept medical supplies from a door-to-door salesman.

Learn more about how you can fight Medicare fraud at Medicare.gov/fraud, or call 1-800-MEDICARE (1-800-633-4227). You can also visit a local SHIP counselor, who can provide free, one-on-one, non-biased Medicare assistance.

With a common sense approach to protecting health information, senior citizens can be effective partners in fighting Medicare fraud.

 

Source: Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services

@LeNoraMillen       01-19-18

 

 

 

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Politics

Trump Children’s Health Insurance Tweet Contradicts White House Administration

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Washington (CNN) President Donald Trump contradicted his own administration on Thursday when he tweeted that funding for the Children’s Health Insurance Program  (CHIP) should not be included in a short-term plan to fund the government.

Trump’s tweet sent on Thursday morning, seemingly undercut the “Stopgap Spending Bill,” leaving many confused at what could be construed as an “Anti-Chip” tweet.

Read more here

@LeNoraMillen     01-18-18

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Politics

What If a Government Shutdown Occurs? Five Things to Know

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The Air Force Life Cycle Management Center at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base BARRIE BARBER/STAFF

The federal government faces a partial federal shutdown threat Friday without a $1.1 trillion appropriations spending budget or a temporary stopgap spending measure in place.

Here’s what could happen in the Miami Valley if a shutdown occurs:

FURLOUGHS: A Wright-Patterson Air Force Base spokesman said this week the base had not received guidance on what actions to take. But the last time a federal government shutdown occurred in 2013, thousands of Wright-Patterson civilian employees were furloughed temporarily. Among those exempted were police, fire, medical and airfield operations. Military service members remained on the job.

MUSEUM: The region’s biggest tourist attraction, the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force, would close until a funding deal is reached, according to a spokesman.

MAIL SERVICE: The U.S. Postal Service, which is considered self-funded, would continue operations, including home delivery and post offices, would stay open, a spokesman said.

DAYTON VA: The Department of Veterans Affairs medical facilities would remain open. The VA operates on a two-year budget cycle, exempting the department from the latest funding skirmish in Washington.

NATIONAL PARK SERVICE: NPS sites in the Dayton region closed during the last shutdown in 2013. An NPS directive issued in September 2017, said parks would close if a lapse in federal government appropriations occurs.

Source: Dayton Daily News

@LeNoraMillen    01-18-18

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