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New health care orders from Biden are starting to unspool Trump policies

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In the wake of the escalating coronavirus pandemic, President Joe Biden will act Thursday to get more consumer health care, a down payment on his promise to drive the U.S. into coverage for everyone.

The White House said he was planning to sign an executive order reopening the insurance exchanges for HealthCare.gov, which the Trump administration failed to do. He would also move to begin repealing other initiatives of the Trump administration, including curbs on reproductive counselling and job conditions for low-income persons accessing Medicaid.

In order to accomplish his aim of health insurance benefits for all Americans, Biden has vowed to expand on the health plan of former President Barack Obama, thus opposing the single government-run scheme that Sen. Bernie Sanders advocated for in his “Medicare for All” plan. But with his more centrist strategy, Biden would require legislative support, and resistance to “Obamacare” still runs strong among Republicans.

When coverage has shrunk in the economic uncertainty of the coronavirus pandemic, the most tangible short-term effect of Biden’s directives would come from the reopening of HealthCare.gov insurance markets. The White House said the new “special enrollment period” would begin Feb. 15 and continue through May 15. That will be paired with an advertising push and a call for the nationwide sign-up incentive to be balanced by states that run their own insurance markets.

The exchanges, established under the Obama-era Affordable Care Act, provide taxpayer-subsidized coverage independent of the medical background of an applicant or pre-existing conditions, like COVID-19.

Biden would also quickly reverse a government regulation that prohibits public support for abortion counselling or referrals provided by overseas health care charities. Known as the Mexico City Policy, depending on whether Democrats or Republicans run the White House, it can get turned on and off.

Other recommendations Biden intends to release Thursday may take months to implement. The Department of Health and Human Services is guiding him to:

Formal concern is whether Trump rules that restrict publicly sponsored family planning services from referring women for abortions should be rescinded. The ban on referrals led to the exit of the service by Planned Parenthood clinics. A new law, which needs to meet an existing legal procedure to deter court challenges, is needed to revoke a federal regulation.

Reexamine a Trump administration proposal that requires states to enforce job conditions to access Medicaid health care as a prerequisite for low-income persons. Federal courts also blocked job conditions, and concluded that they contributed to thousands of patients losing coverage and breached the legal charge of Medicaid to offer emergency care. It was decided by the Supreme Court to hear the issue.

Evaluate legislation that could weaken rights for persons with health needs, such as a regulation by the Trump administration that allowed the selling of short-term health care contracts that do not have to cover pre-existing medical conditions.

Explore options to make health care more competitive, even by addressing what is called the “family glitch of the ACA.” Under that clunky rule, discounted benefits can be withheld to an entire family if the household head has access to employee-only workplace coverage that is considered affordable. Possibly, fixing it would require legislation.

The acts related to abortion would bring Biden immediate praise from women’s rights advocates, as well as criticism from conservative social and religious groups. Abortion foes had free rein under President Donald Trump to continue to rewrite government legislation, and now the political pendulum is swinging again.

Biden has lobbied to repeal long-standing federal bans on abortion taxpayer support, but Legislative approval would entail a modification of that size to a set of laws known as the Hyde Amendment.

Many of the regulatory and legislative reforms Biden is pushing health authorities to implement aren’t going to happen immediately because, as the Trump administration figured out, hastily drafted regulations can be more quickly reversed in court. Time and time again, federal judges ruled that Trump officials run roughshod over administrative legal standards, such as proving that they considered multiple sides of an issue.

California Attorney General Xavier Becerra, Biden’s candidate for health secretary, has not yet been approved by the Senate, but the White House said it won’t deter health officials from actually getting to work on the president’s guidelines.

Wide support has been given to the concept of reopening Obamacare’s pandemic health insurance markets, particularly from advocacy advocates, specialist physician associations, insurers and business organisations.

While the number of uninsured Americans has increased due to job losses in the coronavirus economy, demands to reopen HealthCare.gov were rejected by the Trump administration. One of the most bitter disappointments of the outgoing president was the inability to dismantle and restore Obamacare, as he consistently pledged to do. His government kept seeking to find ways to curb or fully unravel the initiative. This year, a ruling from the Supreme Court on Trump’s last legal appeal to the Affordable Care Act is awaited.

More than 23 million people are insured by the Obama-era health care legislation by a combination of affordable private insurance sold in all states and extended Medicaid accepted by 38 states, with the largest exception being Southern states. With the Medicaid expansion targeted to families with reduced wages, care is open to those who do not have job-based health benefits.

The nonpartisan Kaiser Family Foundation reported that of some 28 million uninsured Americans before the pandemic, more than 16 million were eligible for some form of health law subsidy coverage. Many are eligible for zero-premium coverage thanks to the ACA’s financial aid, and it is supposed to be a significant selling point in the sales pitch of the Biden administration.

Experts believe that the number of uninsured persons has grown, possibly by 5 million to 10 million, due to layoffs in the coronavirus economy, but authoritative figures are pending government reports due later this year.

Mahesh is leading digital marketing initiatives at RecentlyHeard, a NewsFeed platform that covers news from all sectors. He develops, manages, and executes digital strategies to increase online visibility, better reach target audiences, and create engaging experience across channels. With 7+ years of experience, He is skilled in search engine optimization, content marketing, social media marketing, and advertising, and analytics.

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Congress OKs latest $40B to help Ukraine repulse Russia

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Congress OKs latest $40B to help Ukraine repulse Russia

By ALAN FRAM

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Senate overwhelmingly approved a $40 billion infusion of military and economic aid for Ukraine and its allies on Thursday as both parties rallied behind America’s latest, and quite possibly not last, financial salvo against Russia’s invasion.

The 86-11 vote gave final congressional approval to the package, three weeks after President Joe Biden requested a smaller $33 billion version and after a lone Republican opponent delayed Senate passage for a week. Every voting Democrat and all but 11 Republicans — including many of the chamber’s supporters of former President Donald Trump’s isolationist agenda — backed the measure.

“I applaud the Congress for sending a clear bipartisan message to the world that the people of the United States stand together with the brave people of Ukraine as they defend their democracy and freedom,” Biden said in a written statement afterward.

Biden’s quick signature was certain as Russia’s attack, which has mauled Ukraine’s forces and cities, slogs into a fourth month with no obvious end ahead. That means more casualties and destruction in Ukraine, which has relied heavily on U.S. and Western assistance for its survival, especially advanced arms, with requests for more aid potentially looming.

“Help is on the way, really significant help. Help that could make sure that the Ukrainians are victorious,” said Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., underscoring a goal that seemed nearly unthinkable when Russia launched its brutal assault in February.

Final passage came as Secretary of State Antony Blinken said the U.S. had authorized shipping Ukraine another $100 million worth of weapons and equipment from Pentagon stocks. That brought the total U.S. materiel sent to Kyiv since the invasion began to $3.9 billion, exhausting the amounts Congress previously made available but that will be replenished by the newest legislation.

The vote was a glaring exception to the partisan divisions that have hindered work on other issues under Biden and that promise to become only less bridgeable as November’s elections for control of Congress draw closer. That includes Republicans blocking Democrats from including billions to combat the relentless pandemic in the measure, leaving their efforts to battle COVID-19 in limbo.

Last week the House approved the Ukraine bill 368-57, with all of those opposed Republicans. Though support in both chambers was unmistakably bipartisan, the GOP defections were noteworthy after Trump, still a potent force in the party, complained that such sums should first be targeted at domestic problems.

Schumer called it “beyond troubling” that Republicans were opposing the Ukraine assistance. “It appears more and more that MAGA Republicans are on the same soft-on-Putin playbook that we saw used by former President Trump,” said Schumer, using the Make America Great Again acronym Democrats have been using to cast those Republicans as extremists.

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., a strong backer of the measure, addressed concerns by his GOP colleagues. He said Ukraine’s defeat would jeopardize America’s European trading partners, increase U.S. security costs there and embolden autocrats in China and elsewhere to grab territory in their regions.

“The most expensive and painful thing America could possibly do in the long run would be to stop investing in sovereignty, stability and deterrence before it’s too late,” McConnell said.

On Wednesday, Schumer said he was not confident this would be the final measure to help Ukraine. “They’re doing the fighting, they’re the ones getting killed, they’re the ones struggling and suffering. The least we can do is give them the weaponry they need,” he said.

The legislation contains around $24 billion for weapons, equipment and military financing for Ukraine, restoring Pentagon stocks of arms sent to the region and paying for U.S. reinforcements sent there. The rest includes economic aid to keep Zelenskyy’s government functioning, food programs for countries that rely on Ukraine’s diminished crop production, refugee assistance and funds for Kyiv to investigate Russian war crimes.

Congress approved an initial $13.6 billion measure in March. The combined price tag of nearly $54 billion exceeds what the U.S. spent on all its foreign and military aid in 2019, according to the nonpartisan Congressional Research Service.

Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., who’s long had non-interventionist views, used procedural tactics last week to thwart Schumer and McConnell from moving the measure through the Senate then, citing Ukraine’s urgent need for the assistance.

The Ukraine spending concerned some Trump-friendly Republicans in Congress on Wednesday.

“It’s, you know, the world’s going to end if you don’t do anything here,” Sen. Mike Braun, R-Ind., who said he would oppose the Ukraine measure. “I’m more worried about the trust fund going broke” that finances Medicare and another that pays for Social Security.

Braun said he’s long pushed for bills that pay for themselves. Asked why saving $40 billion in this instance outweighed stopping Russia, he said, “Number one, it’s going to pass.”

Another conservative, Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, said that as costly as the measure is, the aid will protect U.S. national security and said, “If Putin wins, the consequences for America and American taxpayers will be hundreds of billions of dollars.”

Sen. Mitt Romney, R-Utah, a moderate who has clashed with Trump, said in an interview that helping Ukraine defend itself ”is about as smart an investment as we could possibly make.” He added, “What does America First mean? It means that we should first be concerned about the interests of America. I totally agree.”

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2022 Billboard Music Awards: What Were The Key Points From The Show?

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2022 Billboard Music Awards: What Were The Key Points From The Show?

The 2022 Billboard Music Awards ended bombastically with great performances that celebrated the night and left people in awe. On Sunday, it brightened MGM Grand Garden Arena in Vegas, with the stars gathered and spending a fun-filled night.

The show was hosted by Sean “Diddy” Combs this year, who smoothly waded through the night, and before taking the stage, performed alongside his son Justin Combs, Bryson Tiller, Jack Harlow, Teyana Taylor, and the 6-year-old daughter Junie. There were many amazing musical performances and acceptance speeches. Let’s look at the list that made the awards night so magical.

The Top Artist

 Drake won the Top Artist and added another win to his previous 33 wins. He beat fellow nominees Olivia Rodrigo (famous for ‘Drivers license’), Doja Cat ( ‘Say So’ singer), Taylor Swift (‘shake it off’ star) and The Weeknd. Unsurprisingly, he won the Top Male Artist award, defeating other contestants like Justin Bieber, The Weeknd, Lil Nas X, and Ed Sheeran.

Four Wins

One of the most celebrated female artists at BBMA, Taylor Swift, won again increasing the winning streak number to 29, adding four more this time. She was decorated with the award for Top Billboard 200 Artist, along with the Country Female Artist, Top Country Artist, and last but not least, the Top Country Album for Red.

Top New Artist

Rodrigo, who is 19-years-old took the title of Top New Artist award. Her other wins included Top Hot 100 Artist, Top Radio Songs Artists, Top Streaming Songs Artist, Top Female Artist, Top Billboard Global 200 Artist, and Top Billboard 200 Album, which she won for her album sour.

1652985943 146 2022 Billboard Music Awards What Were The Key Points From

 BTS

Though absent from the awards, BTS, the most beloved K-pop group, was awarded many honors. They received the Top Duo/Group award, which added this win to their total 3 in this category, tying them with One Direction. BTS also broke Destiny’s Child’s 17-year-long record of holding 11 awards. With 12 honors, BTS became the most booming group at Billboard Music Awards.

Several performances also adorned the show by artists such as Megan Thee Stallion (who performed ‘Plan B’), Machine Gun Kelly (‘Twin flame’), Silk Sonic (‘Love’s Train’), Ed Sheeran (‘2step’), etc. More than 16 artists performed, including Ed Sheeran, Morgan Wallen, and Miranda Lambert, and performances travelled across genres. Ed Sheeran, currently on his stadium tour, performed remotely from Belfast, Northern Ireland. In honor of Michael Jackson, from his album Thriller (1982), “The lady of My Life” was performed by Maxwell. Mary J. Blige performed after Maxwell and was welcomed by huge applause. However, soon the focus shifted towards the commercial that played BTS’ song “Boy with Luv”, the version with Halsey performed at the 2019 Billboard Music Awards.

If Only BTS were present at this year’s awards show, the applause would have been even louder, and of course, we would have gotten a bigger scoop of news.

The post 2022 Billboard Music Awards: What Were The Key Points From The Show? appeared first on Gizmo Story.

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Civil rights activist, former NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick to receive honorary degree from Morgan State

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Civil rights activist, former NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick to receive honorary degree from Morgan State

Morgan State will honor former NFL quarterback and civil rights activist Colin Kaepernick with an honorary degree during Saturday’s spring commencement ceremony.

Kaepernick, 34, played six seasons with the San Francisco 49ers, starting 58 games while throwing for 12,271 yards with 72 touchdowns and 30 interceptions. Kaepernick, who holds the NFL record for most rushing yards in a playoff game by a quarterback (181), guided the 49ers to Super Bowl XLVII, where they lost to the Ravens.

In 2016, Kaepernick, a former second-round NFL draft pick, sparked a league-wide protest against racial injustice and police brutality by kneeling during the national anthem. Kaepernick’s protest faced a wide range of criticism, with some praising the former Nevada football star and others denouncing the protest, believing it disgraced the military.

Former President Donald Trump said in 2017 that league owners should fire players who refuse to stand for the national anthem.

Kaepernick has not played since the 2016 season, when he threw for 2,241 yards, 16 touchdowns and four interceptions in 12 games (11 starts) for San Fransisco. In November 2017, Kaepernick filed a grievance against the NFL and its owners, accusing them of colluding to keep him out of the league. After reaching a confidential settlement in 2019, he withdrew the grievance, yet he still remains unsigned.

Amid the George Floyd protests in 2020, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell supported players that wanted to kneel during the anthem after previously requiring players to “stand and show respect for the flag” or face team fines.

Off the field, Kaepernick has founded and helped to fund three organizations, Know Your Rights Camp, Ra Vision Media and Kaepernick Publishing to advance the liberation of Black and Brown people through storytelling, systems change and political education.

In 2021, he released “Colin in Black & White,” a six-episode limited series on Netflix exploring his high school years and experiences that led him to become an activist. He recently became a New York Times best-selling author for his children’s book “I Color Myself Different.”

During an interview on the “I Am Athlete” podcast, Kaepernick continued to express his interest in returning to the NFL, even in a backup role.

“I just need that opportunity to walk through the door,” he said.

In addition to Kaepernick, education advocate David Burton and filmmaker David Talbert were selected to receive degrees.

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