Monday, Mar 01, 2021 - 04:34:53
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health care benefits:

    President Biden’s nominee to serve as Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services Xavier Becerra said he would not support giving taxpayer-funded health care benefits to illegal immigrants. When asked during testimony before Congress on Wednesday whether he would consider granting waivers to give health care benefits to illegal immigrants as HHS secretary — given his history of supporting the policy — Becerra said his interpretation of the law as it stands does not support that. "Where the law as it stands now as I see it, it does not allow those who are unauthorized in this country to receive taxpayer-paid benefits except in very rare circumstances," Becerra said. "And it will be my job to make sure that we are following and enforcing the law." GOP SENATORS QUESTION BECERRA QUALIFICATIONS TO LEAD HHS, PAST VOTE AGAINST PARTIAL-BIRTH ABORTION BAN As noted by Politico, in 2009 Becerra had been hoping...
    WOONSOCKET, R.I. (AP) — A Rhode Island Superior Court judge has restored full health care benefits to over 50 Woonsocket Police retirees after finding that the city and its budget commission violated the Rhode Island Constitution by indefinitely requiring them to pay deductibles. Judge Jeffrey Lanphear ruled in favor of officer Glen Hebert who challenged the commission’s authority to unilaterally cut health care benefits for retirees in 2013, the Providence Journal reported. Edward Roy Jr., who represented the retirees, said that his clients are gratified that the court accepted their arguments. Roy said that places a dollar figure on what retirees are owed and said that it is being evaluated. The health care cuts were implemented by the budget committee as an emergency measure to relieve strain on the cities financial woes. Lanphear found that the emergency is no longer “immediately emerging” and that the “herculean efforts” by the city...
    More than 90 House Democrats led by Rep. Joaquin Castro are urging President Biden to extend ObamaCare health benefits to DACA recipients, in an effort some Republicans insist "won't pass Congress" if it were to be introduced as legislation.   If successful, the move would be yet another expansion under the Biden administration to bolster rights for children of illegal immigrants.  BIDEN IMMIGRATION BILL WOULD MAKE ILLEGAL IMMIGRANT FARMWORKERS IMMEDIATELY ELIGIBLE FOR GREEN CARDS A spokesperson for Castro, D-Texas, did not respond to Fox News' request for comment on whether House members plan to introduce a bill to further their push for health care benefits for DACA recipients or if they are asking for Biden to issue an executive order for the plan.  "In just over a week in office, Biden has killed thousands of jobs and shipped thousands more overseas to China and Russia. Now, he’s doubling down on putting American taxpayers last...
    By The Associated Press Congressional leaders have hashed out a massive, year-end catchall bill that combines $900 billion in COVID-19 aid with a $1.4 trillion omnibus spending bill and reams of other unfinished legislation on taxes, energy, education and health care. The huge, still-unreleased bill is slated for votes on Monday — with lawmakers having only a few hours to read it before casting their votes. Highlights of the measure with overall funding amounts and specific amounts for some but not necessarily all initiatives; some amounts are not yet available and some aspects of the catchall bill do not involve spending. DIRECT ECONOMIC RELIEF ($286 billion) Unemployment insurance ($120 billion). Revives supplemental federal pandemic unemployment benefits but at $300 per week — through March 14 — instead of the $600 per week benefit that expired in July. Extends special pandemic benefits for “gig” workers and extends the maximum period for...
    Following their victory last month in California on the Prop 22 ballot measure, Uber and Lyft have unveiled the new “benefits” for California drivers on their platforms, including guaranteed minimum earnings and stipends for health care. “Even though we’ve won the vote, we’re still not done,” Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi said in a blog post announcing the benefits. “In fact, we’ve only just begun to improve independent work together.” Gig economy companies, including Uber, Lyft, and DoorDash, spent more than $200 million on the “Yes on 22” campaign. Prop 22 exempts them from AB5, a California state law requiring them to treat their workers as employees. The companies said AB5 would increase wait times and prices for customers, while taking flexibility away from drivers. Prop 22 allows the companies to continue categorizing drivers as independent contractors Prop 22 allows the companies to continue categorizing drivers as independent contractors and...
    Margot Sanger-Katz writes about the difficulty of choosing a health care plan: The range of choice is generally heralded as a good thing….But it turns out in real life most people are terrible at picking the health plan that is right for them. Health insurance is a complicated financial product, and study after study has shown that people routinely pick bad plans, even choosing options that leave them worse off financially in every possible scenario. Needless to say, this is a pretty good argument for universal health care. But let’s put that aside and move on: But what is the alternative to choice? Amanda Starc, an associate professor of management at Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University, said there was evidence that people really did want different things from health insurance. About a third of people 65 and older are currently enrolled in private Medicare Advantage plans, a share...
    CASPER, Wyo. (AP) — Wyoming's leading coal company plans to eliminate a health care benefit program for retired miners as a cost-saving measure. Peabody Energy Corp. announced plans to discontinue coverage of medical expenses for workers enrolled in Medicare and stop providing life insurance to retirees, The Casper Star-Tribune reported. The change is expected to take effect Jan. 1. Peabody conducted a financial review earlier this year that determined covering the cost of existing retiree medical benefits was “not sustainable.” Discontinuing the retiree health care program is expected to save Peabody $174.5 million. The coal operator owns the North Antelope Rochelle, Rawhide and Caballo mines in the Powder River Basin. Peabody declined to disclose how many Wyoming workers would be affected by the policy change. Non-represented employees, retirees in Wyoming and workers in other states in which the company operates will be affected. “We regret not being able to maintain...
    PORTLAND, Maine (AP) — The University of Maine System is pausing the switch to a new retiree health care plan following a class-action lawsuit that accuses officials of making drastic changes without informing retirees ahead of time or negotiating through collective bargaining. The decision on Thursday came just hours after the lawsuit by 11 retirees was filed in Cumberland County Superior Court. The system announced it will work with retiree representatives and union leaders to assess what health care coverage to offer former employees starting next year. “While it’s critical that UMS remains a good steward of the limited resources provided to us by the Legislature, it’s equally important that we listen seriously to the concerns we’ve heard from dozens of our retirees,” Chancellor Dannel Malloy said in a statement. The switch was aimed at saving $2.5 million annually on the system’s retiree health insurance benefit, which fills Medicare coverage...
    CHICAGO -- A federal judge in Chicago struck down a key immigration rule Monday that would deny green cards to immigrants who use food stamps or other public benefits, a blow to the Trump administration on the eve of the election.In a decision that applies nationwide, U.S. District Judge Gary Feinerman rejected the rule that had taken effect recently after the U.S. Supreme Court reversed a hold on the policy following lawsuits. Among other things, Feinerman said the rule violates the Administrative Procedure Act, which makes federal agencies accountable to the public by outlining a detailed process for enacting regulations.The decision marked the latest turn in a complex legal battle over the rule that has been among President Donald Trump's most aggressive steps in overhauling the nation's immigration system. The Chicago lawsuit, filed by the Illinois Coalition of Immigrant and Refugee Rights and Cook County, was among numerous legal challenges.Under...
    CHICAGO – A federal judge in Chicago struck down a key immigration rule Monday that would deny green cards to immigrants who use food stamps or other public benefits, a blow to the Trump administration on the eve of the election. In a decision that applies nationwide, U.S. District Judge Gary Feinerman rejected the rule that had taken effect recently after the U.S. Supreme Court reversed a hold on the policy following lawsuits. Among other things, Feinerman said the rule violates the Administrative Procedure Act, which makes federal agencies accountable to the public by outlining a detailed process for enacting regulations. The decision marked the latest turn in a complex legal battle over the rule that has been among President Donald Trump's most aggressive steps in overhauling the nation’s immigration system. The Chicago lawsuit, filed by the Illinois Coalition of Immigrant and Refugee Rights and Cook County, was...
    VIDEO4:0804:08Suze Orman's share the lessons learned from her recent health scareThe Exchange Open enrollment season is underway for most employees. With millions of others suddenly out of work, employer-sponsored health insurance is a benefit that workers who still have jobs may not be so quick to take for granted this year. About 157 million Americans rely on employer-sponsored coverage and yet, before 2020, most people spent very little time reviewing their workplace health-care plan during the open enrollment period. Now, in the middle of a public health crisis, more people are working from home and juggling remote schooling for their children. They may be skipping elective medical procedures and relying on dependent care or may be finally ready to firm up a safety net in the case of a prolonged illness. More from Personal Finance:Don't overlook these employee benefitsAmericans are ‘panic buying’ life insuranceIf you got a subsidy to buy...
    More than a third of Americans now want the government to create more of a social safety net - ensuring health and unemployment benefits - an increase of 40 percent since the coronavirus pandemic came to the US.  As of April, 60 percent of Americans favored universal health insurance, according to a new Johns Hopkins University survey.   Nearly 80 percent of Americans answered that they they want their employers to guarantee two weeks of paid sick leave.  The pandemic seems to have shifted Americans' priorities and preferences about the involvement of the government in their health and wellbeing.  It comes as President Trump pushes for lawmakers to approve an economic stimulus package even larger than the proposed $1.8 trillion relief bill to assist the tens of millions of Americans who lost their jobs amid the pandemic.  Thousands of people lined up in Kentucky in June to get pandemic unemployment...
    EmirMemedovski Take a few minutes to review your workplace benefits for next year. Your household finances for 2021 could depend on it. After one of the most difficult and financially stressful years for many Americans, digging back into the details of workplace benefits like health savings accounts, or HSAs, and flexible spending accounts (FSAs) is probably the last thing you want to do. Overcome that fatigue and get to it. More from Smart Tax Planning:Four states are voting to legalize and tax marijuana sales12 million people asked the IRS for more time to fileGot a subsidy to buy health insurance? It could bite you at tax time "People have to think about these plans every year, but this year they have to use a different lens to evaluate their options," said Shannon Bailey, a senior director in health and group benefits at Willis Towers Watson. Covid-19 has dramatically changed the optics...
    10'000 Hours | DigitalVision | Getty Images This fall, when employees sign up for next year's workplace benefits, they should take a close look at the offerings. Odds are they'll be changing in 2021. The coronavirus pandemic was hard on employers and workers, forcing them to adapt on the fly amid social distancing and efforts to mitigate the spread of the virus. Suddenly, employees found themselves working extended hours from their kitchen tables while caring for their children, often at the same time. More from FA Playbook:Op-ed: All types of investors can improve their financial fortunesAdvisors guide clients through Covid-19 crisisOp-ed: CARES Act lets you tap your 401(k). What to know first Workers are stressed out. Their bosses know it. That means their workplace benefits could reflect that new post-pandemic reality. "It's an opportunity for employers to re-look at what they've been providing," said Kristen Appleman, senior vice president at...
    LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) — Gov. Gavin Newsom Wednesday vetoed AB 1993, also known as Caleb’s Bill. The bill would have helped people who are paid by the state to take care of their children or spouses with special needs through a program called in-home support services, or IHSS. AB 1993 sought to provide unemployment benefits for those participating in the IHSS program in the event their child or spouse dies so they would not lose their income at the same time. Cathyleen Williams, who was profiled last week by CBS Los Angeles, fought relentlessly for years to get California lawmakers to write and pass AB 1993 after she was denied unemployment benefits when her 9-year-old son Caleb died in 2016. In a memo, Newsom said he vetoed the bill due to the “significant” impact it would have on the state’s general fund. “Expanding benefits and protections for home health care...
    Roughly four in ten Americans report that they experienced reduced access to medical care because of COVID-19, according to a new survey from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The report is just the latest evidence that, from the standpoint of public health, the lockdowns that public officials have put in place in response to the coronavirus pandemic have done more harm than good. Nearly one-third of Americans with at least one chronic condition have had a harder time getting care during the pandemic, per the CDC’s new survey. More than 44 percent of people with diabetes and 37 percent of asthma sufferers reported the same. AS SCHOOL YEAR SET TO BEGIN, BUSING STUDENTS TO CLASS PRESENTS SAFETY ISSUES AMID CORONAVIRUS PANDEMIC These are patients for whom access to routine care is absolutely essential, if they’re to adeptly manage their conditions. They’re also at increased risk of complications from...
    MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – Over 200 Allina health care workers at St. Francis Regional Medical Center and Abbot Northwestern Hospital have voted to authorize a two-day strike, starting on Sept. 14. The workers have been in contract negotiations since May and have bargained eight times. Now, over 90% of the members have supported the Unfair Labor Practice strike after the two parties continue to be divided surrounding the issues of worker health and safety benefits. Unlike their co-workers, who have protections to keep their pay and benefits if they contract COVID-19, these workers have a temporary agreement for the first time they have to quarantine. In the past month, multiple members have been forced to use their sick days if they’ve needed to quarantine for second time. They are also looking to receive the same health and safety benefits as other Allina workers, including increased paid time off and improvements to their...
    Nancy J. Altman July 31, 2020 10:30AM (UTC) This article was produced by Economy for All, a project of the Independent Media Institute. On July 30, 1965, President Lyndon B. Johnson signed Medicare and Medicaid into law. This crowning achievement was both the culmination of a decades-long effort to attain guaranteed universal health insurance and the first step in the quest for Medicare for All. In the 55 years since the legislation was signed into law, both programs have proven their worth. Before Medicare, about half of seniors lacked health insurance. They were an illness away from bankruptcy. Today, 99.1 percent of Americans 65 and older are insured, thanks to Medicare. Nine million people with disabilities who are under age 65 also have health insurance coverage through Medicare. : More than 65 million Americans have health insurance coverage through Medicaid. Medicaid ensures that poor families have access to health care. It means that seniors and people with disabilities have...
    On July 30, 1965, President Lyndon B. Johnson signed Medicare and Medicaid into law. This crowning achievement was both the culmination of a decades-long effort to attain guaranteed universal health insurance and the first step in the quest for Medicare for All. In the 55 years since the legislation was signed into law, both programs have proven their worth. Before Medicare, about half of seniors lacked health insurance. They were an illness away from bankruptcy. Today, 99.1 percent of Americans 65 and older are insured, thanks to Medicare. Nine million people with disabilities who are under age 65 also have health insurance coverage through Medicare. More than 65 million Americans have health insurance coverage through Medicaid. Medicaid ensures that poor families have access to health care. It means that seniors and people with disabilities have access to long-term care. Together, Medicare and Medicaid cover more than one-third of the people in our country. Seniors and people with disabilities have, on average,...
    SANTA ROSA, Calif. -- Members of a union representing some 740 health care workers at Santa Rosa Memorial Hospital are planning daily pickets starting Monday to protest the lack of a contract, proposed reductions in sick leave and health care benefits, reduced staffing and a lack of personal protective equipment during the novel coronavirus health emergency.Hundreds of personnel represented by the National Union of Healthcare Workers will picket six feet apart from 6 a.m. to 3 p.m. through Friday at Santa Rosa Memorial Hospital, 1165 Montgomery Drive, with rallies each day at 11 a.m.Some 740 workers, including nursing assistants, respiratory therapists and medical technicians, are expected to participate in the five-day protest.The union contends that the hospital, owned by Providence St. Joseph Health, has demanded "sharp cuts to accrued sick leave and health care benefits."
    By Melissa Bailey and Christina Jewett, Kaiser Health News James “Mike” Anderson was a hospital employee in suburban Philadelphia with a low-profile though critical job: changing air filters in COVID patients’ rooms. By late March, new COVID cases in Bucks County, Pennsylvania, had ramped up to as many as 90 per day. At the hospital, Anderson handled air filters and other surfaces that might have been contaminated with the deadly virus, also known to hang in the air.  In early April, Anderson, 51, came down with what he thought was a cold, according to his family’s lawyer, David Stern. On April 13 Anderson was rushed to the hospital, where he died of acute respiratory distress syndrome from COVID-19, according to the county coroner. He left behind a wife and two children, ages 5 and 9.  Anderson was exposed to the virus at work, the lawyer contends, making his family eligible...
    (CNN)Is it really any wonder that the death of George Floyd was the final straw for millions of Americans who are sick and tired not only of abuse at the hands of law enforcement and vigilantes but also by an economy that clearly works for so few? Many are suggesting that the appropriate response to the protests is holding the responsible law enforcement officers accountable. That's absolutely necessary and yet totally insufficient. Penn PritzkerJack Markell Even before the widescale protests erupted, the basic American bargain -- that if you work hard and play by the rules, our nation is a place where you can get ahead -- was broken for far too many people, especially people of color. Now, the coronavirus has shredded what was left of that bargain. In its wake, tens of millions of families are left worried about their health and their future.Read More The pandemic has...
    Sign up for our COVID-19 newsletter to stay up-to-date on the latest coronavirus news throughout New York City Elected officials joined members of 32BJ airport workers at a rally in Queens to demand that airlines and terminal operators pay medical benefits to their employees, especially following the COVID-19 outbreak in which workers became sick and some died. Some of those present not only contracted the contagion, but they also lost family members after they brought the coronavirus home. The elected officials, led by state Senators Michael Gianaris, John Liu and Alessandra Biaggi are seeking passage of the Healthy Terminals Act (S.6266/A.8142), which would provide access to quality, affordable insurance for tens of thousands of airport workers. “The Healthy Terminals Act will ensure every worker at New York’s airports has access to the quality healthcare they need and deserve,” Gianaris told the crowd. “Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, more than ever,...
    Democratic Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer was serving hot dogs in Detroit on Thursday when she was approached by a man who said he had lost his job as a health care worker. The man told Whitmer that he had not received any unemployment benefits from the state. The governor responded by saying she’d “check in on it,” then asked him if she could buy him a hot dog. (RELATED: Gretchen Whitmer Leads George Floyd Protest Without Social Distancing) “I’m a laid-off health care worker,” the man tells Whitmer in the video. “I haven’t received none of my benefits yet. Is there any possible way that you could maybe put my name in?” “I’ll check in on it,” Whitmer responds. “Can I buy you a hot dog?” Democrat Gov. Gretchen Whitmer responds, “can I buy you a hot dog” when asked about her administration’s failure to process unemployment benefitshttps://t.co/q9ZAc9hlFW pic.twitter.com/jgvWT0vpkx —...
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