U.S. Rep. Renee Ellmers of North Carolina called the Affordable Care Act a “war on women” Saturday during a weekly Republican address.
“After all, it’s often women who make the healthcare decisions for our families,” Ellmers explained. “We put a lot of time and thought into these choices and how they’ll affect our budgets. So by canceling your insurance — despite a promise to let you keep your plan — the Obama administration is essentially saying it knows what’s best for you and your family.”
Ellmers also accused the Obama administration of making women pay more for healthcare and taking away family doctors.
The News & Observer has a fact check of Ellmer’s claims:
In general, policy cancellations have occurred because under the law insurance policies must include certain essential benefits. Individual and small-group policies that were in effect before the Affordable Care Act was signed in March 2010 – known as “grandfathered plans” – aren’t required to meet some of the new rules and consumer protections of the law. Consumers in those plans who want the new protections will have to take out new policies.
As for the costs, premiums are determined by a number of factors, and prices will vary depending on categories such as age and income.
News & Observer – Rep. Ellmers calls Affordable Care Act a ‘war on women’
It’s also worth noting that the Affordable Care Act prevents insurance companies from charging women more than men for the same coverage. Currently, insurance companies in most states can charge women more for identical plans through a practice called “gender rating.” One study found that women paid $1 billion more in premiums per year as a result. The ACA bans gender rating in all new individual and small group plans.
The Hill – GOP: ObamaCare is part of ‘war on women’
Politico – GOP returns to Obamacare in weekly address
A report released by the CDC Thursday shows increased incidence of certain birth defects and childhood cancers among children of mothers who drank contaminated water at Camp Lejeune between 1968 and 1985. While scientists have traced contamination at the base back to as early as 1953, 1968 was chosen as the start date due to the existence of computerized birth certificates.
The study surveyed the parents of 12,598 children born at Camp Lejeune, and found that babies born to mothers exposed to the tainted tap water were four times more likely than children of women who lived off-base to be born with neural tube defects, such as spina bifida. The study also found a weaker association between exposure to the water and incidence of childhood hematopoietic cancers, such as leukemia. Due to the study’s small sample size, the data could not definitely prove a causal relationship between the contaminants and childhood illnesses.
Via The Associated Press:
Epidemiologist Richard W. Clapp, who serves on a federal board that has reviewed the Lejeune contamination, said the links found through the study might “appear to be weak” due to the relatively small sample size. But he said the findings are important because they show strong evidence the water that Marines and their families drank, cooked with and bathed in might have made some sick.
“The fact that there was anything found is pretty important,” said Clapp, professor emeritus at Boston University’s School of Public Health. “This is an insensitive tool that we use here, these epidemiological studies. So the fact that they found anything is sort of remarkable.”
AP (via WRAL) – CDC: Water at Camp Lejeune linked to birth defects
For more information on the history of Camp Lejeune water contamination, check out the Tampa Bay Times’ timeline here.
Read the full journal article:
North Carolina’s unemployment rate fell to its lowest point since 2008 in October, but the services of local charities are still in high demand.
Part of the reason for this is a continuing decline in the total number of workers participating in the labor force, evidence that more people have dropped out of the job market. People who have stopped looking for work are not included in the unemployment rate calculation.
Another factor is that much of the state’s economic growth has consisted of low wage jobs.
Via the News & Observer:
The state had 81,000 fewer jobs in October than in December 2007, he said. The biggest gains were temporary employment services, home health and restaurants.
The prevalence of people who work but don’t make enough to afford sufficient groceries is one factor driving people to seek food from charities in record numbers, workers at charitable organizations say.
Dredging work in Oregon Inlet is starting up as part of effort to bolster Bonner Bridge, which was shut down abruptly Tuesday following an assessment that heavy scouring near main pilings had made it unsafe.
Governor Pat McCrory announced an emergency declaration and plans for immediate repairs to the 50 year old bridge. The governor also continued his administration’s campaign against the Southern Environmental Law Center for appealing a recent ruling in its legal challenge to the state’s plans for a new bridge parallel to the existing structure.
A statement released by the governor’s office after the event said McCrory has sent a letter to SELC asking them to drop two suits that are holding up work on the new bridge. (more…)
Amid the torrent of words and images remembering the life of Nelson Mandela, who passed away yesterday, very little reporting in North Carolina media has made mention of Mandela’s arch foe in the U.S. Congress, the late Senator Jesse Helms, and other prominent North Carolina politicians who sought to undermine Mandela’s effort.
Most notably, Helms, the powerful chair of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, used his position to block attempts to force the South African government to the negotiating table through sanctions. (The bill Helms famously filibustered also called for Mandela’s release.) The bill passed congress, but was vetoed by President Ronald Reagan. Large majorities in the House and Senate later voted to override the veto.
Both Helms and fellow North Carolina Republican James Broyhill voted against the override of Reagan’s veto. Four of the six Democrats in the state’s congressional delegation voted to override Reagan’s veto while Republicans Howard Coble, Bill Cobey, William Hendon and John McMillian voted no. Democrats Charles Rose and Walter Jones Sr. did not vote.
U.S. Congress — SUMMARY OF THE COMPREHENSIVE ANTI-APARTHEID ACT
The story of the effort to assist the South African government to hold on to power and maintain the apartheid system features many well known conservative names, including William F. Buckley, Jack Abramoff, Grover Norquist and Jerry Falwell. There are also several North Carolina names on the list. Former state senator John Carrington’s company, for instance, sold forensic gear to the South African government. And several of the state’s prominent politicians followed Helms’ lead in condemning Mandela as a communist and a terrorist. Helms was one of three members of congress to boycott Mandela’s historic speech before congress in 1994.
A new species of carnivorous dinosaur, Siats meekerorum, has been discovered by NCSU paleontologist Lindsey Zanno and colleague Peter Makovicky. The specimen — a juvenile — is one of the largest ever discovered in North America, measuring more than 30 feet long and weighing at least four tons. Siats fills a gap in the fossil record of more than 30 million years during which the top predator species was previously unknown. The giant dinosaur is thought to have reigned as apex predator in current day Utah during the Late Cretaceous period (100 million years ago to 66 million years ago).
A new species of carnivorous dinosaur – one of the three largest ever discovered in North America – lived alongside and competed with small-bodied tyrannosaurs 98 million years ago. This newly discovered species, Siats meekerorum, (pronounced see-atch) was the apex predator of its time, and kept tyrannosaurs from assuming top predator roles for millions of years.
Named after a cannibalistic man-eating monster from Ute tribal legend, Siats is a species of carcharodontosaur, a group of giant meat-eaters that includes some of the largest predatory dinosaurs ever discovered. The only other carcharodontosaur known from North America is Acrocanthosaurus, which roamed eastern North America more than 10 million years earlier. Siats is only the second carcharodontosaur ever discovered in North America; Acrocanthosaurus, discovered in 1950, was the first.
“It’s been 63 years since a predator of this size has been named from North America,” says Lindsay Zanno, a North Carolina State University paleontologist with a joint appointment at the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences, and lead author of a Nature Communications paper describing the find. “You can’t imagine how thrilled we were to see the bones of this behemoth poking out of the hillside.”