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House Bill faces challenges in Senate



Political Editor – LeNora Millen

House Republicans, vowing to repeal and replace Obamacare since its passage in 2010, passed a revised health care bill Thursday to undo the Affordable Care Act’s most popular consumer protections.  The mandate for individuals to maintain health insurance and end expanded Medicaid eligibility were also on the chopping block. The vote was hastily called after Republicans won over moderates with an amendment to provide $8 billion to help patients with pre-existing conditions afford higher premiums.

The bill that House Republicans, hastily pushed through the House on Thursday, is likely to undergo major changes in the Senate.  A concern for some members of the Senate is that the CBO had not analyzed the bill.  Without an official CBO score, which helps to measure the impact of legislation for Congress to make informed decisions, the merits of the bill, will likely come under harsh scrutiny. The health care bill is expected to undergo significant changes in the Senate, where some moderate GOP senators have already come out against the legislation.

Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-South Carolina, expressed concern about the process of the House vote.

“A bill—finalized yesterday, has not been scored, amendments not allowed, and 3 hours final debate—should be viewed with caution,” the South Carolina Republican tweeted.

Republican Senator Lindsey Graham expressed concerns about how House Republicans were rushing in their attempt to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act on Thursday’s vote.

Senate has stated that they will review the House bill but will write its version over the next few weeks.  Sen. Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn., chairman of the Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee, stated the following:

“We want to get it right,” Alexander said Thursday on the Senate floor. “There will be no artificial deadlines.”  If the Senate passes its own bill, the House will either have to approve the Senate version or negotiate a compromise with senators.  Any compromise bill would need to be approved by both the House and Senate before being sent to President Trump to sign, according to Alexander.

Senate Republicans stated on Thursday that they wouldn’t vote on the House bill to repeal and replace Obamacare, but will write their own legislation instead. On the heels of the passage of the Health Care Bill, a Senate proposal is being developed by a 12-member working group.  Elements of the House bill will be reviewed but does not guarantee that they will be incorporated into the Senate’s bill.  Senators said that the House bill is not their starting point, and will be revised through the amendment process.

Senator Roy Blunt, R-Mo, said that “The safest thing to say is there will be a Senate bill, but it will look at what the House has done and see how much of that we can incorporate in a product that works for us in reconciliation.”

Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, said that the Senate will be drafting a bill, he further stated, “That is what I’ve been told.”

The 12-member work group according to Senate Majority Whip John Cornyn, R-Texas, has been meeting for weeks. Conryn stated that the team is building a consensus among their conference, which is what the working group is designed to do.  “To get to a compromise we can agree to and then present it to the larger conference.”

Prior to passage of the health care bill—Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., appealed to his Republican colleagues Thursday to slow the process down and work with Democrats.

He said the House bill, despite the late addition of $8 billion, would still cause insurance premiums to go up 20% in the first few years while increasing average costs by more than $1,500 a year for middle-class Americans. He also criticized a provision that would allow insurers to dramatically increase what they could charge older Americans in comparison to younger consumers.

The 217-213 very narrow House vote underscored stark divisions over the legislation, which will face hurdles in the Senate, before coming close to law.  Although the passage represents a major victory for Trump and House Republicans, fear among Americans who may lose their insurance, or not become insured because of pre-existing conditions, is a significant loss and concern.

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Apple Pledges $350 billion Investment in US economy Over Next Five Years



Apple is about to give the U.S. economy a huge boost in the form of a $350 billion five-year investment. As part of that, it will commit $55 billion this year alone and plans on adding 20,000 new jobs over that time frame. Following in the footsteps of Amazon, it also plans to add a new campus somewhere in the U.S. this year.

There is a lot of news here. Let’s start with the big-picture investment of $350 billion, which Apple says does not include ongoing tax payments, the tax revenues generated from employees’ wages or the sale of Apple products.

It will, however, involve taxes on repatriation of some of Apple’s cash reserves, which are currently in the $256 billion range. It anticipates $38 billion coming from repatriation taxes, but much of it will be capital expenditures on the part of the company.

For starters, there will be $30 billion, which will help fund a number of projects, including building the aforementioned new campus. The plan is for this to initially house technical support for customers. Apple says it will announce the location of this new facility later this year, with a plan to make the building run on 100 percent renewable energy sources.

But wait, it’s not done yet. It will also invest $10 billion of that money in new data centers in the U.S., adding to the seven already in operation or planned. There is a new one coming in Iowa and they broke ground on one in Reno just today, in addition to data centers already in operation in North Carolina, Oregon, Nevada and Arizona. (This number includes co-location facilities not owned and operated by Apple.)

Apple announced that it planned several investments that will contribute more than $350 billion to the United States economy over the next five years. (Photo/NationalTurk).

The company also plans to expand the advanced manufacturing fund it started last spring, from $1 billion to $5 billion. The idea is to bring advanced manufacturing jobs to the heartland and it is already funding projects in Kentucky and rural Texas.

Finally, Apple plans to expand its coding initiatives, helping students and teachers from K-12 and at community colleges across the country learn valuable coding skills.

While there is clearly a large public relations element to this announcement, the amount of money and investment involved from a private company here is just staggering and should help create new jobs, stimulate local economies and help educate students for the next generation of jobs. Hard not to like that.


Source:  Techcrunch

@LeNoraMillen      0-18-18

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Amazon Reveals ‘20 Cities’ That Could Be The Home Of Its Next Headquarters



Amazon has revealed 20 cities that could be the next home of its second North American headquarters, dubbed HQ2.

The candidates, selected out of 238 applicants, will move to the next round of Amazon’s selection process, the company said Thursday. Amazon will make a final decision on the site of its next headquarters this year.

The list of candidates includes Atlanta, Austin, Boston, Chicago, Dallas, Denver, Washington, DC, and Columbus, Ohio.

Amazon said it will work with each city to “dive deeper into their proposals, request additional information, and evaluate the feasibility of a future partnership that can accommodate the company’s hiring plans as well as benefit its employees and the local community.”

Amazon has promised a $5 billion investment and up to 50,000 high-paying jobs to the city that wins its selection process.

“Getting from 238 to 20 was very tough – all the proposals showed tremendous enthusiasm and creativity,” said Holly Sullivan, head of public policy for Amazon. “Through this process, we learned about many new communities across North America that we will consider as locations for future infrastructure investment and job creation.”

Here are all the potential candidates:

  • Atlanta, GA
  • Austin, TX
  • Boston, MA
  • Chicago, IL
  • Columbus, OH
  • Dallas, TX
  • Denver, CO
  • Indianapolis, IN
  • Los Angeles, CA
  • Miami, FL
  • Montgomery County, MD
  • Nashville, TN
  • Newark, NJ
  • New York City, NY
  • Northern Virginia, VA
  • Philadelphia, PA
  • Pittsburgh, PA
  • Raleigh, NC
  • Toronto, ON
  • Washington DC


Source: Business Insider

@LeNoraMillen     01-18-18

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Former Heavyweight Champion: Mike Tyson’s 40-arce Marijuana Ranch

Former Heavyweight Champion: Mike Tyson’s 40-arce Marijuana Ranch

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Former Heavyweight Champion: Mike Tyson's 40-arce Marijuana Ranch


Exposure Magazine CEO

Former undisputed heavyweight champion of the world, Mike Tyson, and his two business partners plan to open a 40-acre marijuana ranch 60 miles southwest of Death Valley National Park. According to Tyson Ranch will allow growers to cultivate their crop and there will also be a cultivation school to help growers get the most out of their strains.

The operating company, Tyson Holistic, will employ mainly veterans and bring much needed jobs to the city it’s in.


#MustWeed Mike Tyson Preparing to Revolutionize Marijuana Industry, Breaks G… #Cannabis #Stocks & #Crypto

Tyson is a long time believer in the medicinal benefits of marijuana use and with California legalizing recreational use of the plant, his plans to open the ranch are free to move full steam ahead.v

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