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Paul Ryan wants to end Obamacare protections for people with pre-existing conditions

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U.S. House of Representatives Speaker Paul Ryan called on Wednesday for an end to Obamacare’s financial protections for people with serious medical conditions, saying these consumers should be placed in state high-risk pools.

In election-year remarks that could shed light on an expected Republican healthcare alternative, Ryan said existing federal policy that prevents insurers from charging sick people higher rates for health coverage has raised costs for healthy consumers while undermining choice and competition.

The rule, a cornerstone of President Barack Obama’s Affordable Care Act, has been praised by patient advocates for providing access to medical care for people who previously could not afford private health insurance. The Affordable Care Act also bars insurers from excluding coverage for pre-existing conditions.

“Less than 10 percent of people under 65 are what we call people with pre-existing conditions, who are really kind of uninsurable,” Ryan, a Wisconsin Republican, told a student audience at Georgetown University.

“Let’s fund risk pools at the state level to subsidize their coverage, so that they can get affordable coverage,” he said. “You dramatically lower the price for everybody else. You make health insurance so much more affordable, so much more competitive and open up competition.”

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Charging the same rates to individuals regardless of their medical history is also a key part of group health plans in the private sector.

House Republicans, after repeated votes to repeal Obamacare, have promised to produce their own alternative to the Affordable Care Act as part of a broader policy agenda intended to attract voters in the Nov. 8 presidential election. The policy document is expected just ahead of the Republican presidential nominating convention in July.

High-risk pools, which existed before the healthcare law, are state-level entities that guarantee coverage for people with health problems. Analysts say they can be prohibitively expensive and offer less than optimal health coverage.

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Republicans have proposed state-based risk pools as an Obamacare alternative in the past. Last week, the conservative Republican Study Committee recommended risk pools as part of the House policy agenda, saying premiums should be capped at 200 percent of a state’s average.

(Reporting by David Morgan; Editing by Leslie Adler)


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Black Georgia lawmaker accuses white man of demanding she ‘go back where she came from’ in supermarket diatribe

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On Friday evening, Erica Thomas, and African-American Democratic lawmaker in the Georgia House of Representatives, was shopping at a Publix supermarket in Mableton when a white customer came up to her and shouted at her, telling her to "go back where you came from" — words echoing President Donald Trump's recent racist attacks on four Democratic congresswomen of color.

Thomas' crime? She had too many items for the express checkout line.

Today I was verbally assaulted in the grocery store by a white man who told me I was a lazy SOB and to go back to where I came from bc I had to many items in the express lane. My husband wasn’t there to defend me because he is on Active Duty serving the country I came from USA!

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Trump mocked for tweeting he’ll ‘personally vouch’ for rapper A$AP Rocky’s bail: ‘Now name three of his songs’

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Twitter users were both baffled and amused on Saturday morning after Donald Trump tweeted that he would "personally vouch" for the bail needed to release American rapper A$AP Rocky from a Swedish jail.

After receiving a phone call from celebrity Kim Kardashian about the plight of the hip-hop star overseas, the president -- in the middle of a racism scandal himself -- appears to have taken up the cause in an effort to calm racism charges.

Not everyone on Twitter was buying it.

See below:

Just had a very good call with @SwedishPM Stefan Löfven who assured me that American citizen A$AP Rocky will be treated fairly. Likewise, I assured him that A$AP was not a flight risk and offered to personally vouch for his bail, or an alternative....

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Trump echoes another president who stoked fear rather than face the tech-based economic change he failed to stem

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It is amazing how similar America in 2019 is to America in the 1920’s, a decade that began almost a hundred years ago. It is as if America is reliving its own history, trapped in a prison of deja vu, purposely not wanting to remember the disaster that unfolded as the 1920s ended.

The parallels are striking, the anti-immigration frenzy, race-baiting, trade wars, over-heated stock markets, corruption, and technological changes that produced hip urban centers contrasting with rural alienation and bitterness. Like today, the 1920s was a period of spectacular wealth and an ever-increasing income gap.

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