Tennessee Minister Gives Prayer Asking Jesus To End Medicaid Expansion

June Griffin, a “longtime crusader for Christian values,” gave the opening prayer for the Tennessee Senate recently.

After taking special prayer requests, she went into a prayer to end any effort to expand Medicaid in Tennessee.



Majority Report

Indiana Governor Mike Pence To Expand Medicaid Under Obamacare

Indiana Gov. Mike Pence on Tuesday became the latest Republican governor to accept an expansion of Medicaid to cover more poor residents under the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare).

Like expansions in other Republican-led states, Pence’s plan doesn’t just expand Medicaid, but it uses the federal funding to change the program.

Enrollment starts immediately, and coverage begins February 1st.  The expansion eventually will reach 350,000 people, Pence said when announcing federal approval for the proposal at a news conference in Indianapolis.  Pence’s program builds on the state’s 7-year-old Healthy Indiana Plan, which currently covers 60,000 people.

GOP governors and legislators in states like Arkansas, Ohio and Pennsylvania have exacted changes to Medicaid for the expansion, including increasing the role of private health insurance plans in Medicaid.

President Barack Obama’s administration is eager to provide Medicaid coverage to as many poor Americans as possible.

28 states (and D.C.) have expanded Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act (including Indiana).

Pence’s plan is the biggest departure from traditional, government-run Medicaid yet. The so-called Healthy Indiana Plan 2.0, as Pence dubbed it, ties benefits to monthly payments by beneficiaries below the poverty line, a first for Medicaid, and includes other features Pence billed as conservative and market-based.

The Healthy Indiana Plan 2.0, or HIP 2.0, is based more on private insurance than traditional Medicaid.

Pence’s program builds on the state’s 7-year-old Healthy Indiana Plan, which currently covers people with high-deductible health insurance and health savings accounts.  Adults without disabilities who are currently enrolled in traditional Medicaid will be moved to the new Medicaid plan.

Huff Post: Some Immigrants May Be Eligible For Social Security Under Executive Order, But Not For Welfare Or Food Stamps


According to the Huffington Post, the White House states that many immigrants in the United States illegally who apply for work permits under President Barack Obama’s new executive actions would be eligible for Social Security and Medicare benefits upon reaching retirement age.

Under Obama’s actions, immigrants who are spared deportation could obtain work permits and a Social Security number. As a result, they would pay into the Social Security system through payroll taxes.

No such “lawfully present” immigrant, however, would be immediately entitled to the benefits because like all Social Security and Medicare recipients they would have to work 10 years to become eligible for retirement payments and health care.

To remain qualified, either Congress or future administrations would have to extend Obama’s actions so that those immigrants would still be considered lawfully present in the country.

None of the immigrants who would be spared deportation under Obama’s executive actions would be able to receive federal assistance such as welfare or food stamps, or other income-based aid.

They also would not be eligible to purchase health insurance in federal exchanges set up by the new health care law and they would not be able to apply for tax credits that would lower the cost of their health insurance.

The issue of benefits for immigrants who are illegally in the United States is a particularly sensitive one for the Obama administration. As a result, the White House has made it clear that none of the nearly 5 million immigrants affected by Obama’s actions would be eligible for federal assistance.

The Obama administration first denied younger immigrants who entered the U.S. illegally as children access to health care exchanges and tax credits in 2012, especially disappointing immigrant advocates.

Is Giving People Health Care ‘Elitist?’

Meghan McCain – daughter of John McCain – argued in a debate on TakePart Live that Obamacare is “debatably one of the worst things to happen to America in the last 25 years.”

She argued with co-hosts Jacob Soboroff and Baratunde Thurston over the popularity of the health care law and whether Howard Dean was right to say its writers were “elitist.”

Meghan made the confusing claim that the government runs healthcare under the ACA.  The government organizes the exchanges, but it does not actually run the insurance companies.

Some have made the claim that Obamacare is “elitist.”

It’s not clear how getting people covered under health insurance is “elitist.”  Wouldn’t “elitist” be if only a few people have health insurance?

Secular Talk video.

Kyle Kulinski On The Rise Of Neo-Fascism In Europe

Kyle Kulinski discusses an article by Alter Net that discusses the rise of Neo-Fascism in Europe.
A Secular Talk video.

Video from 2013.