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    ‘Kathleen Sebelius’



    News Round-Up: November 1, 2013

    Friday, November 1st, 2013

    Food stamp cuts set in; a super-sophisticated secret underground tunnel used for smuggling drugs from Mexico to the U.S. is discovered; and the iPad Air makes its debut. Meanwhile, Heidi Klum officially wins the Most Awesome Celebrity award for her Halloween costume, and Kristin Stewart reunites with Robert Pattinson.

    -Sandy + Maura
     

    CRUCIAL

    Families brace as billions in food stamp cuts set inhttp://rtvote.com/1ahKIba
    Benefit cuts to food stamp recipients begin today. This comes from Congress’s decision to cut $5 billion from the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) in exchange for increased education funding and school nutrition programs. An increased number of needy Americans will turn to organizations that already provide meals to hungry citizens, like food pantries and the Campaign Against Hunger.

    US discovers huge hi-tech Mexican drug-smuggling tunnelhttp://rtvote.com/1hzxE8o
    Authorities have discovered one of the most sophisticated drug smuggling passages, running from warehouses in Tijuana to San Diego. The secret underground tunnel is the length of almost six football fields and is equipped with lighting, ventilation, and an electric rail system. Upon discovery, authorities found 8.5 tons of marijuana and 327 pounds of cocaine.

    Trick or treat? Canada seizes three cocaine-filled pumpkins at airporthttp://rtvote.com/1f8kcX6
    Canadian officials seized three pumpkins at the Montreal-Pierre Elliot Trudeau International Airport. Cocaine-filled pumpkins, that is. Authorities found them while searching through a female traveler’s luggage. An investigation is currently underway.

    Internal notes show paltry initial enrollment in Obamacarehttp://rtvote.com/16SO7x0
    Notes from a “war room” meeting at the Center for Consumer Information and Insurance revealed that only six Americans successfully enrolled in the federal health care exchange on the first day of the rollout. This number has been gradually increasing, and Joanne Peters, a Health and Human Services spokeswoman, is confident that the pace of enrollment will pick up.

    Best Deals for iPad Airhttp://rtvote.com/HsZRQG
    The new iPad Air debuts today – but before you whip out your wallet, make sure you read through this. Find out where and how to get the best deals on Apple’s latest gimmick.
     

    PUNDITS

    Senator Bernie Sanders discusses how our healthcare system could be more cost-effective without sacrificing programs like Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid in “Don’t cut the big benefit programs,”http://rtvote.com/1h614NS

    Facebook users and USA Today readers weigh in on HHS Secretary Sebelius’s apology at Wednesday’s congressional hearing in “Should Sebelius step down for Obamacare woes?” http://rtvote.com/17xwg4F

    CULTURAL

    Heidi Klum goes geriatric for Halloween, http://rtvote.com/1hzs7Pq

    Kim Kardashian and Kanye West Sue YouTube Cofounder Over Leaked Proposal Footage,http://rtvote.com/1bJBE1x

    Kristen Stewart Spends Time With Robert Pattinson at His House: All the Details and New Photos,http://rtvote.com/17BSr7D

    Pamela Anderson Chops Off Hair, Is Unrecognizable With New Pixie Cut, http://rtvote.com/16SVUuS

    sandywu
    Bio:

    Email the author at: blog(at)rockthevote.com



    News Round-Up: October 30, 2013

    Wednesday, October 30th, 2013

    HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius apologizes at a hearing; retired Justice Sandra Day O’Connor officiates a gay marriage ceremony; and a wine shortage hits the world (oh, say it ain’t so). Meanwhile, Chris Brown returns to rehab, and Ashton Kutcher expands his ever-growing resumé with Lenovo.

    -Sandy + Maura
     

    CRUCIAL

    Health chief Sebelius apologizes for botched websitehttp://rtvote.com/1gciabr
    At today’s hearing with the House Energy and Commerce Committee, Kathleen Sebelius, the Health and Human Services Secretary, formally apologized for the technical problems Healthcare.gov has been experiencing. More Republicans are calling for her resignation, and the panel intensely scrutinized Sebelius and the sub par performance of the healthcare website. The Obama administration has vowed to fix these issues by the end of November.

    After Retired Justice O’Connor Performs Their Wedding, Gay Couple Celebrates “Wonderful Day”,http://rtvote.com/1gcl146
    Retired Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor officiated the wedding of Jeff Trammell and Stuart Serkin. She is the second official of the High Court to have officiated a gay marriage ceremony; the first was current Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. Once considered a conservative justice, O’Connor was nominated to the bench by President Reagan and retired in 2006.

    Thirsty? There’s a global wine shortagehttp://rtvote.com/1h0vXmS
    Brace yourselves. There’s a wine shortage in the world. Global production fell by more than 5% last year, the lowest it’s been since the 1960s, while demand continues to increase. The main cause for the decrease in production was bad weather in France and Argentina. The French consume the most wine, followed by Americans and then the Chinese. Although the U.S. wine making industry is growing, don’t expect global wine production to improve anytime soon.

    Brazilian Footballer’s Decapitated Head Reportedly Sent to Wife by Drug Lordshttp://rtvote.com/1gcpnZ6
    Former pro Brazilian soccer player Joao Rodrigo Silva Santos was kidnapped and decapitated by suspected drug traffickers in Rio de Janeiro. His head was sent to his wife’s residence on the morning of October 29. Police are unsure why Santos was targeted. Brazilian soccer is often linked to gang activity.

    Baylor students seek to remove gay ban from student codehttp://rtvote.com/1h0AMfN
    The student senate of Baylor University, a private Baptist school, voted to propose that university officials remove “homosexual acts” from the school’s sexual misconduct code. The proposal will go on to the Baylor University Board of Regents for review. Seems like a win for progress and equality? Not quite. One Baylor student says this rewording does not mean they are advocating homosexuality; they are simply not pinpointing homosexuals anymore: “It is saying homosexual acts are wrong but heterosexual acts committed outside of marriage are also wrong.”
     

    PUNDITS

    Joanne Bamberger discusses how certain voting models are compromising the rights of married or divorced women in “Voter ID laws threaten women’s rights,” http://rtvote.com/1gcv2hO

    Sally Kohn explains why losing your current healthcare plan under Obamacare is not something to cry over in “A canceled health plan is a good thing,” http://rtvote.com/1f482P4

     
    CULTURAL

    Chris Brown Kisses Karrueche Tran Before Heading to Rehab, http://rtvote.com/1f48cWG

    Kristin Cavallari Pregnant with Baby No. 2, http://rtvote.com/1h0PUtI

    Former Full House Child Star Blake McIver Now a Sexy Go-Go Dancer, http://rtvote.com/1h0Qec0

    Ashton Kutcher Hired as a Product Engineer to Help Design Tablets for Lenovo, http://rtvote.com/1f48Lj7

    sandywu
    Bio:

    Email the author at: blog(at)rockthevote.com



    News Round-Up: October 18, 2013

    Friday, October 18th, 2013

    House Republicans criticize healthcare.gov and push for HSS Secretary’s resignation; Snowden says Russian and Chinese intelligence are not in possession of NSA docs; and two teenage girls carry human fetus remains in Victoria’s Secret bag. Meanwhile, Kristen Bell and Dax Shepard (quietly) tie the knot, and Gordon Ramsay confesses to spying on his daughter with a hidden camera.

    -Sandy + Maura
     

    CRUCIAL

    Congressional fight over Obamacare turns to website woeshttp://rtvote.com/1ewvMLb
    Although the government shutdown ended with a deal that left Obamacare untouched, the bickering over the healthcare law is far from over. Republicans are pointing out all of the problems with healthcare.gov and are holding oversight hearings next week. Some are also pushing Secretary of Health and Human Services, Kathleen Sebelius, to resign after the rollout. The White House, on the other hand, fully supports her and claims that technical errors are being fixed. They are reminding people that the most important thing is not the website, but that all Americans can be insured.

    Snowden Says He Took No Secret Files to Russiahttp://rtvote.com/19ehRaS
    Edward J. Snowden, the former National Security Agency (NSA) contractor, revealed in an interview this month that he did not take any secret NSA documents to Russia when he fled there for asylum in June. He said he gave all classified documents to journalists in Hong Kong and that he made sure Chinese and Russian intelligence did not get hold of them. Snowden faces charges under the Espionage Act for leaking NSA documents to the media, but he stands by his conviction that the American people deserved to know how closely they were being watched.

    NY police: Shoppers held after possible human remains found in baghttp://rtvote.com/1fIrinU
    Two teenage girls were detained in a Manhattan Victoria’s Secret store after one of the store employees stopped them and found possible human remains in one of their bags. Initial reports indicate the remains are a fetus, but the medical examiner’s office is still investigating. Both teens are being charged as adults and face charges of petit larceny and criminal possession of stolen property.

    Air marshal accused of taking upskirt pictures of passengershttp://rtvote.com/1ewFZY7
    A federal air marshal, Adam Bartsch, was on duty, aboard a Southwest Airlines flight when he was caught taking inappropriate pictures underneath women’s dresses. Bartsch, 28, was removed from the flight before take-off, charged with disorderly conduct, and held on $10,000 bail. He has confessed that this was not the first time he had done this. The TSA is in the process of suspending or terminating his employment.

    Recording of mother’s voice used in search for missing autistic New York teen,http://rtvote.com/1ewHDsO
    Divers, police, and rescue officers from several states have joined efforts to look for an autistic 14-year-old, Avonte Oquendo. The search has been going on for more than a week, and the NYPD has begun to play a recording of Avonte’s mother’s voice over loudspeakers. Avonte is unable to communicate verbally, and Avonte’s mother hopes he will hear her message, urging him to “walk toward the [emergency vehicles’] lights.” Avonte left his school on October 4, and the Oquendo family is in the process of filing a lawsuit against the city of New York due to the school’s failure to supervise the child.
     

    PUNDITS

    Hank Plante explains why members of Congress should not have to share the blame equally in “Tea Party holds most blame for shutdown,” http://rtvote.com/1fIwNTy

    The USA Today Editorial Board discusses the importance of affirmative action and racial diversity in colleges in “College diversity still necessary,” http://rtvote.com/1gqd2By

     

    CULTURAL

    Kristen Bell and Dax Shepard Married? Couple Reportedly Tie the Knot in Spontaneous, Low-Key Ceremony,http://rtvote.com/1gqfk3F

    Alessandra Ambrosio Denies Split Rumors, http://rtvote.com/19ewpHl

    Find Out Why Seth Meyers’ Wife Was Advised (by Doctors!) Not to Marry the SNL Star,http://rtvote.com/1gqgzzN

    Gordon Ramsay Uses a Hidden Camera to Spy on Teenage Daughter Megan, http://rtvote.com/1fIBHQB

    sandywu
    Bio:

    Email the author at: blog(at)rockthevote.com



    New health care rules (not as boring as it sounds)

    Monday, November 22nd, 2010

    If you love lingo, acronyms, transparency and perhaps a bit of jargon, then this post may be for you. If you love not getting screwed by insurance companies, then this post is definitely for you.

    Let the health care reform wonkiness begin!

    Short version: new rules announced today will require insurance companies to spend at least 80 to 85 of your health insurance premiums on actual medical care. Rather than spending a ton of money on administrative costs, executive salaries, overhead and marketing or hording profits, insurance companies now have to spend money on direct care for patients and efforts to improve care quality. And if they don’t, you get a rebate.

    This is happening because of the health care reform law that passed this year.

    Long version: Re-read the short version. And for the jargon and acronym lovers, this regulation is called “medical loss ratio” or MLR. According to the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS!), the MLR regulation outlines disclosure and reporting requirements, details how insurance companies will calculate their MLR and provide rebates, and how changes can be made to the MLR standard to guard against market destabilization. So starting in 2011, we be able to see how insurance companies spend the money you pay on premiums.

    Finally, MLR is fine as a name (and sounds great as a concept), but couldn’t HHS have called this regulation the “Spend My Health Care Money on Actual Health Care or Give Me My Money Back” rule, even if SMHCMOAHCOGMMMB is a bit of a mouthful? Just a thought.

    Thomas Bates
    Bio: Thomas is Rock the Vote's Vice President of Civic Engagement.
    @BatesThomas
    Email the author at: blog(at)rockthevote.com



    VIDEO: Health Care Webchat

    Tuesday, May 11th, 2010

    We posted yesterday that Rock the Vote President Heather Smith would join Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius in a conversation about the expansion of health care which now allows people to stay on their parents’ health care until the age of 26. Prior to the chat thousands of  people emailed or tweeted questions about the expansion to Secretary Sebelius and Heather, this video gives lots of answers to some of the questions asked.

    Jason
    Bio:

    Email the author at: blog(at)rockthevote.com