US News Summary 5/21/14

Feds to bailout Insurer Obamacare losses
              

The Obama administration has quietly adjusted key provisions of its signature healthcare law to potentially make billions of additional taxpayer dollars available to the insurance industry if companies providing coverage through the Affordable Care Act lose money.

The move was buried in hundreds of pages of new regulations issued late last week. It comes as part of an intensive administration effort to hold down premium increases for next year, a top priority for the White House as the rates will be announced ahead of this fall’s congressional elections.

Administration officials for months have denied charges by opponents that they plan a “bailout” for insurance companies providing coverage under the healthcare law.



Feds subpoena Oregon Health Records
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The federal criminal investigation of Oregon’s health insurance exchange took a step into public view Tuesday when the U.S. Attorney’s office issued broad subpoenas seeking information from Cover Oregon and the Oregon Health Authority.

While the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s interest in the exchange debacle had been previously reported, the legal demands dated May 13 indicate things may have moved beyond a preliminary inquiry to a full-blown investigation.



Pentagon considers illegal immigrants?

The Pentagon is weighing allowing some immigrants brought illegally to the country as youths to serve in the military, a unilateral step by the Obama administration as immigration legislation remains stalled in the Republican-led House.

The announcement came Tuesday as House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, defended his election-year decision to rebuff a narrow immigration measure pushed by a GOP congressman to achieve a similar goal.

Republicans Face Down Tea Party Threat With Key Primary Victories

Tuesday’s elections are the best evidence yet that Republicans are avoiding previous mistakes and improving their chances of controlling the Senate during President Barack Obama’s final two years in office.

GOP voters again chose solidly conservative nominees while rejecting the most extreme and outlandish types who led the party to painful losses in 2010 and 2012.

The simple way to view this year’s results, thus far, is to say “establishment” Republicans are outperforming tea party insurgents. That’s largely true. But it blurs the extent to which nearly all Republican candidates — including some who have been in Congress for decades — have shifted rightward to stay in step with ardently conservative voters who helped create the tea party in 2009 and still dominate GOP primaries.


Bob Barr’s Attempt at House Comeback Still on Track

Former Georgia congressman Bob Barr ran second in a primary race for a U.S. congressional seat north of Atlanta, qualifying for a runoff against former state Sen. Barry Loudermilk, The Associated Press reported.

Loudermilk, with the backing of the Senate Conservatives Fund, garnered first place with 37 percent of the vote. Barr pulled 26 percent in the six-candidate competition.

As a congressman in the late 1990s, Barr led the campaign to impeach President Bill Clinton over the Monica Lewinsky affair. An opponent of the Iraq War, he was also against the Patriot Act, use of military drones and the war on drugs.



D’Souza: I Was ‘Stupid’ but Prosecution Was Selective

Conservative scholar and filmmaker Dinesh D’Souza says it was “wrong” and “stupid” of him to use friends to contribute more to a political campaign than allowed by law. But he still insists selective prosecution was involved.

D’Souza pleaded guilty Tuesday to federal election fraud charges, and could face prison time. He admitted to reimbursing two associates $10,000 each for money they gave to the campaign of New York U.S. Senate candidate Wendy Long, a Republican running for the seat once held by Hillary Clinton.

D’Souza told Fox News Channel’s “The Kelly File” on Tuesday night that he had no intent to defraud and never denied making the reimbursements.



Dem Congressman: ‘We’ve Proved That Communism Works’

Democratic Florida Rep. Joe Garcia — fresh off being caught eating his own earwax on camera — was caught red-handed (or is it yellow-fingered?) in another gaffe this week, claiming that low crime rates in border cities with lots of federal immigration workers is proof that “Communism works.”

Garcia made the comment during a Google hangout he convened last week to talk about comprehensive immigration reform with supporters. The Democrat attempted to point out how, for all their talk about limited government, many Republicans are fine spending loads of government money on border security.

“And two of the safest cities in America, two of them are on the border with Mexico,” Garcia continued. “And of course, the reason is we’ve proved that Communism works. If you give everybody a good, government job, there’s no crime.”


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