Democratic senatorial candidate Doug Jones speaks to reporters after voting at Brookwood Baptist Church on December 12, 2017 in Mountain Brook, Alabama. Doug Jones is facing off against Republican Roy Moore in a special election for U.S. Senate. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)
Democrat Doug Jones defeated Roy Moore in a historic Tuesday night victory for the first time in a quarter-century—A huge political setback to President Donald Trump.
Jones special election win to fill a Senate seat in Alabama was a shocking upset in a solidly Republican state, in which massive turnout among African American voters helped defeat a candidate enthusiastically backed by President Trump.
The Associated Press called the race for Jones, a former U.S. attorney, who had 49.5 percent of the vote to Moore’s 48.9 percent with 91 percent of precincts reporting.
Jones becomes the first Democrat elected to the Senate from Alabama since 1992. The Senate seat came open when Trump chose Jeff Sessions to become attorney general earlier this year.
Doug Jones’s historic win in Alabama sets the stage for a more unified party and has an enormous upside for Democrats. Jones’s election night victory also gives the Democrats a more definitive chance of retaking the US Senate in 2018’
The Republican majority will shrink to 51-49—once Jones is sworn in office. What this signals for Democrats is having to gain two seats, rather than three, to take control of the chamber.
Taking the high road in a closely watched election, Trump congratulated Doug Jones on his victory in a tweet—highlighting the write-in votes and another chance for Republicans to redeem themselves.
Congratulations to Doug Jones on a hard fought victory. The write-in votes played a very big factor, but a win is a win. The people of Alabama are great, and the Republicans will have another shot at this seat in a very short period of time. It never ends!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 13, 2017
Democrats will pursue a path of defending a massive 26 Senate seats next year, while a mere eight Republican seats are up. In addition to having fewer targets to focus on—Democrats are defending 10 seats in states Trump won—Five of those states were won overwhelmingly by Trump!
“This election is going to be one of the most significant in our state’s history in a long time,” Jones said during an election-eve rally in Birmingham. “And we’ve got to make sure that at this crossroads in Alabama’s history, we take the right road.”
Jones’s win not only turned the deep ‘’red state to ‘blue’ it also signals a more unified vision for the state of Alabama by sounding the alarm as a wake-up call for the people of Alabama that change is on the horizon.
During the campaign, Jones branded himself as a centrist willing to work with Republicans – and as a politician intent on shining a positive light on Alabama.
Jones also encouraged voters to put “decency” ahead of party loyalty and urged them to consider how Alabama will be viewed by business leaders as a result of the election.
As of this reporting Roy Moore’s campaign manager has initially said the candidate is not yet conceding the US Senate race to winner Democrat Doug Jones, and asked his supporters to pray for him. Rich Hobson told a somber crowd at Moore’s election night gathering that: “Some people are calling it. We are not calling it.”
Hobson says the margin is thin and there are still votes to be counted—but a concession will likely not be long in coming.
Alabama Republican Roy Moore’s campaign manager says the candidate is not yet conceding the U.S. Senate race. Roy Moore. (Photo/Fox10).
Roy Moore did not read a concession speech, but noted that the vote is still close and said, “It’s not over.”
There could conceivably be a recount if the margin is small enough, but per the numbers that were up as Moore spoke, the margin is not quite there.
“God is always in control,” Moore said. “Part of the problem of this campaign is that we’ve been painted in an unfavorable and an unfaithful light.”
He continued, “What we’ve got to do is wait on God and let this process play out.”
LeNora Millen 12-12-17
Government Shutdown: What’s Closed, Who is Affected?
Medicare Takes Aim at Medical Identity Theft: Protecting Seniors From Fraud
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:
- 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 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
Trump Children’s Health Insurance Tweet Contradicts White House Administration
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.
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