Archive for June 18th, 2014

18
Jun
14

A Tweet Or Two

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Twitter has been won today by Jon Favreau and Jay Carney. Epic BURN

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Continue reading ‘A Tweet Or Two’

18
Jun
14

The Affordable Care Act Lives Up To Its Name

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Columbus Dispatch: Obamacare Premiums Average $80 A Month

People who signed up for coverage under President Barack Obama’s health-care law are paying about $80 a month in premiums on average, the administration reported yesterday. The new numbers from the Health and Human Services Department cover only the 36 states where the federal government took the lead in setting up new insurance markets, accounting for about 5.4 million of the 8 million people who signed up nationally. Major states like California and New York were not included, but that might not affect national averages by much. The law limits what people pay for a benchmark plan to a fixed share of their income, regardless of where they live.

Among the major findings: • Taxpayers are subsidizing 76 percent of the average monthly premium in the 36 federally administered markets. • The average premium is $346 a month, but the typical enrollee pays just $82. Tax credits averaging $264 a month cover the difference. The government pays the subsidy directly to insurers. • After tax credits, Mississippians paid the least for coverage — averaging just $23 a month on average premiums of $438.

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Alex Walsh: Obamacare Side Effect: Alabama Medicaid Enrollment Goes Over 1 Million Due To Awareness, Rule Changes

Alabama has so far rejected the federal government’s proposal to expand Medicaid. Regardless, the Affordable Care Act still had the effect of increasing the size of Alabama’s Medicaid rolls. Medicaid enrollment in Alabama jumped up noticeably in January 2014, from around 970,000 to just over 1 million. Part of the reason behind the increase was a rule change enacted by the Affordable Care Act. The ACA required the state to transfer about

23,000 children from ALL Kids (Alabama’s Children’s Health Insurance Program, or CHIP) over to the Medicaid rolls. Health care analysts also say that the roll-out of the Affordable Care Act brought a new wave of attention to health insurance, motivating many Americans to check their eligibility for various existing programs. This effect has been called “wood working” by some organizations, including Kaiser.

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Bozeman Daily Chronicle: Letter To The Editor: Affordable Care Act Feels Like I Won The Lottery

I must add my so so appreciative voice to all the press about the Affordable Care Act (ACA). I must say it is the best thing that has come along in my lifetime since “sliced bread.” My husband and I paid $14,520 in premiums alone this year for very high deductible policies. The ACA is allowing the premium cost to stay within 9.5 percent of your income if you are in the 400 percent above poverty income range. Our premiums were well above that percentage of our income.

This high premium stuff with riders and coinsurance has been going on for us since 2007 when we lost our group coverage, with hugely increasing premiums every year. Before we got any help from insurance our out-of-pocket would have been $30,000. Our joined premium per month will be $660 and our maximum out-of-pocket for care will be $3,250 each. I feel like I won the lottery: no riders and no preexisting Blue Cross policies with nationwide providers.

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18
Jun
14

A Nation Of Makers

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President Barack Obama meets with Lindsay Lawlor, of San Diego, Calif., and his creation, a 17-foot-tall, 2,200-lb robotic giraffe that “walks” on wheels and is powered by a 12-horsepower hybrid fuel-engine motor, during his tour on the South Lawn of the White House to meet with students, entrepreneurs and inventors, during the first ever White House “Maker Faire.” President Obama is highlighting new tools and techniques that promote fledgling businesses create and market their products in an effort to focus attention on US manufacturing need for science and math education

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President Barack Obama holds up cell phone that is plugged into a “soofa” a solar powered bench, that Sandra Richter of Cambridge, Massachusetts, helped designed with allows people to charge their phones

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President Barack Obama reaches out to pet a 17-foot-tall, 2,200-lb robotic giraffe that “walks” on wheels and is powered by a 12-horsepower hybrid fuel-engine motor

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White House: Fact Sheet: President Obama To Host First-Ever White House Maker Faire

As part of his year of action and this week’s focus on efforts that will expand opportunity by spurring manufacturing, innovation and entrepreneurship, the President will also announce new steps the Administration and its partners are taking to increase the ability of more Americans, young and old, to have access to these tools and techniques and to bring their ideas to life. Among the efforts being launched by the President at the White House Maker Faire: Helping Makers launch new businesses and create jobs, with more than 13 federal agencies and companies including Etsy, Kickstarter, Indiegogo, and Local Motors offering Makers a suite of support services including expanded access to start-up grants, strong relationships with American manufacturers and major retailers, and business mentoring and training. Dramatically expanding the number of students that have the opportunity to become Makers, with the Department of Education and five other agencies;

over 150 colleges and universities; more than 130 libraries; and major companies ranging including Intel, Autodesk, Disney, Lego, 3D Systems, and MAKE committing to create more Makerspaces, enlist more educators in teaching Making, and launch other programs that allow students access to the tools and mentors that will bring their ideas to life.  Challenging Makers to tackle our most pressing problems, from Maker Nurses prototyping new tools that will aid in patient care, to Makers expanding our frontiers in space, to Makers here and abroad developing low-cost technologies that can improve the livelihoods of the world’s most vulnerable people. America has always been a nation of tinkerers, inventors, and entrepreneurs. In recent years, a growing number of Americans have gained access to technologies such as 3D printers, laser cutters, easy-to-use design software, and desktop machine tools, with even more being created by the day. These tools are enabling more Americans to design and build almost anything.

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President Obama Hosts Maker Faire At White House

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Stacy Anderson: Maker Faire Makes White House Debut; Obama Tours Exhibits

If President Barack Obama is mingling with inventors, sooner or later there has to be a robot. On Wednesday, it was Russell, the 17-foot electric giraffe towering in the South Lawn of the White House, a symbol of the quirky and clever creations Obama wanted to showcase on a day devoted to innovation. “New tools and technologies are making the building of things easier than ever,” Obama told entrepreneurs and students who gathered at the White House at its first Maker Faire. “There is a democratization of manufacturing that is potentially available because of technology.” As part of a weeks-long emphasis on the economy, Obama was promoting the use of new tools and techniques to start up new businesses, to boost manufacturing and to strengthen science and math education.

“We’ve got to make sure that more Americans have the skills and opportunities to land a job in a growing industry or to create entire new industries,” he said. “That’s why I’m declaring today a national day of making.” Among the South Bay inventions spotlighted at the event was a $5 chemistry set by Stanford professor Manu Prakash and a 3-D printer from Mountain View-based Made in Space. Besides the giant giraffe, a huge red weather balloon hovered over the Rose Garden and a menacing dinosaur head rested in a hallway. A Philadelphia non-profit group demonstrated a fuel-efficient car. Another showed off a solar energy unit. “What on earth have you done to my house?” Obama joked. Obama always seems engrossed by technological innovations, though he joked about the name Maker Faire as a gathering for new and creative products. “Why is there an ‘E’ at the end of ‘faire’?” he said. “Is there jousting? Do we all have to get dressed up, or what?….This is America. We don’t have ‘E’s’ at the end of ‘fair.'”

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