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21 июня, 17:33

People Are Convinced The Queen's Hat Is A Subtle Dig At Brexit

function onPlayerReadyVidible(e){'undefined'!=typeof HPTrack&&HPTrack.Vid.Vidible_track(e)}!function(e,i){if(e.vdb_Player){if('object'==typeof commercial_video){var a='',o='m.fwsitesection='+commercial_video.site_and_category;if(a+=o,commercial_video['package']){var c='&m.fwkeyvalues=sponsorship%3D'+commercial_video['package'];a+=c}e.setAttribute('vdb_params',a)}i(e.vdb_Player)}else{var t=arguments.callee;setTimeout(function(){t(e,i)},0)}}(document.getElementById('vidible_1'),onPlayerReadyVidible); Queen Elizabeth II officially opened parliament in the United Kingdom on Wednesday with a speech, but it was her outfit that made the real statement. Scheduling conflicts led to a more casual ceremony than usual, with the queen foregoing the typical ceremonial robes and crown. Instead, the monarch wore a festive yellow and blue floral dress with a blue overcoat and a hat with blue and yellow flowers ― or are those really meant to be the stars in the flag of the European Union? Social media appears to think so. Twitter users were quick to claim the hat’s design is really a subtle message the queen is a “remainer,” or a person who is against the U.K. leaving the European Union in Brexit. Love the fact that Her Majesty delivered today’s Queen’s Speech wearing an EU hat ;-) pic.twitter.com/4THPv0vsXr— Phil Moss (@philmoss5) June 21, 2017 It’s very possible that the queen, who boasts an extensive hat collection, chose the blue and yellow outfit at random and the hat is just a coincidence. She hasn’t given an opinion publicly one way or the other on Brexit, but there has been speculation she supported the vote to withdraw. Either way, hats off to this moment, because coincidence or not, the possibility the queen was sending a subtle message makes her outfit way more fun. Check out the best reactions to her buzz-worthy topper below: Loving the Queen's aptly themed hat #QueensSpeech #Brexit #Europe pic.twitter.com/jf9RkCru73— Rebecca Pearson (@ibexi) June 21, 2017 "Your majesty, you can't be seen to take sides on this issue""Indeed""....""Gonna wear a fucking massive EU hat tho"— TechnicallyRon (@TechnicallyRon) June 21, 2017 Clearly the EU still inspires some in the UK #QueensSpeech pic.twitter.com/vqTWnxKk1V— Guy Verhofstadt (@GuyVerhofstadt) June 21, 2017 Today is not the longest day of the year. It only feels that way because everyone is making the same joke about the Queen's hat.— Stu Royall (@stu_bot3000) June 21, 2017 Not to be facetious but the Queen's hat looks like the European Union flag pic.twitter.com/1nDJ3sWDTd— Federica Cocco (@federicacocco) June 21, 2017 Queen's hat Message received. pic.twitter.com/oJfBUYpYSV— Maciej Sokołowski (@sokoIowski) June 21, 2017 Woah, anyone else notice the subliminal message in The Queen's hat? #QueensSpeech pic.twitter.com/CyOzrpsMB1— Ciara (@Ciara_Knight) June 21, 2017 Is it me, or is the Queen's hat a subtle nod to the EU?! #QueensSpeech pic.twitter.com/n8vLk1axfu— Chris Coombs (@ChrisCoombs88) June 21, 2017 I like how the Queen's hat looks like the EU flag. Always knew she was a remainer.— Andy Parmo (@andyparmo) June 21, 2017 #QueensSpeech "Queen's Hat"(Credit to @Wok_Chi_Steve for spotting this) pic.twitter.com/b2RvUNeCfL— Femi (@Femi_Sorry) June 21, 2017 Monarch trolls Brexit morons https://t.co/Qu8RTXHmV9— Dan Kay (@dankay) June 21, 2017 type=type=RelatedArticlesblockTitle=Related... + articlesList=59105516e4b0d5d9049dd0ea,58f7c39ce4b05b9d613fd247,57726a91e4b0f168323ad368 -- This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.

21 июня, 01:11

Looming Obamacare deadline forces decision from skittish insurers

Decision day is here for the health insurers that serve Obamacare markets. The health plans must decide by Wednesday whether to file plans to sell through the federal exchange HealthCare.gov in 2018. But they’re still waiting for assurances the Trump administration will fund subsidies to reduce low-income customers’ health costs. The White House on Tuesday agreed to make the payments for June. But uncertainty over what happens after that is turning efforts to cover Obamacare’s poorest customers into a game of chicken — and adding instability to already shaky insurance markets. At least a half-dozen plans have already announced plans to drop out, leaving tens of thousands of customers uncovered if no one else steps in. “There’s absolutely no guarantee they will get those payments, and that’s what’s driving insurers crazy,” said Tim Jost, a legal expert on the Affordable Care Act. Anthem, which already announced its exit from Ohio's Obamacare marketplace in 2018, on Wednesday said it would stop selling exchange plans in Iowa and Wisconsin next year, partly attributing its decision to uncertainty about Obamacare's future. The Republican National Committee cited Anthem's announcement as it urged Congress to "act quickly to fix the mess of Obamacare."Meanwhile, the buzzy insurance startup Oscar Health on Wednesday said it will broaden its Obamacare offerings in five states next year. The expansion represents a major bet on the insurance marketplaces by the company, which was co-founded by the brother of Jared Kushner, President Donald Trump's son-in-law and top adviser. Insurers are facing confusion about whether the Trump administration will continue enforcing the 2010 health law’s mandate that most Americans obtain coverage — and about the fate of congressional Republican efforts to repeal and replace the ACA. Senate GOP leaders are still trying to cobble together enough votes to pass a bill by the end of next week.An HHS spokeswoman said Tuesday the agency is “weighing our options and still evaluating the issues” surrounding the subsidy payments. “Congress could resolve any uncertainty about the payments by passing the AHCA and reforming Obamacare’s failed funding structure,” she said, referring to the House Obamacare repeal plan.The muddled outlook is leading plans to retrench or dramatically raise prices to protect themselves from what’s proven to be a turbulent, money-losing experience over the last three years. “The market is still a very challenged market,” said Caroline Pearson, a senior vice president at Avalere Health. “That very challenged market is exacerbated by political uncertainty around ACA repeal and cost-sharing reduction payments.” Opting in by Wednesday’s deadline doesn’t commit plans to remain in the marketplaces. They can walk away as late as the end of September, when they have to sign contracts. But just going through the initial rate-setting process is costly and time-consuming. Some plans have already had enough and are exiting markets, citing uncertainty over the subsidy payments and the GOP repeal efforts. That includes Anthem’s decision to drop out of Ohio, potentially leaving up to 18 counties without any options for coverage. The current state of play shows as many as 44 bare counties for 2018, accounting for 31,000 Obamacare customers, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation. Federal subsidies, which more than 8 in 10 exchange enrollees rely on to afford coverage, would be rendered worthless if there are no plans willing to participate. “It’s fair to say that this is unprecedented that there’s so many counties at risk of being bare,” said Cynthia Cox, who tracks insurer participation for the Kaiser Family Foundation. Some insurers still see business opportunities in the exchange markets. Centene announced last week that it plans to enter three new states next year and expand its footprint in six others. Although the insurer wouldn't elaborate on specific counties, several of the states are among those with coverage gaps. In addition, Medica announced plans to sell individual plans statewide in both Nebraska and Iowa. That dampened fears that those states might lack carriers in 2018 for dozens of counties following the exits of Aetna and regional Blue Cross Blue Shield plans.But there’s other grim news that could have more widespread ramifications: Premiums continue to skyrocket in much of the country. Many analysts had predicted that the huge rate hikes for 2017 — averaging more than 20 percent — were a one-time correction, and that there would more sustainable increases in 2018 and beyond. The filing season so far points to more turbulence. An Avalere Health analysis of proposed rate hikes for the most popular Obamacare plans in eight states found average rate hikes of 18 percent. That was well above the 12 percent average premium increase for so-called silver plans in 2017. Even historically stable markets are showing signs of tumult. In Washington state, which has embraced Obamacare, insurers want to raise rates for individual plans by an average of more than 20 percent for next year, and one county doesn’t have an insurer willing to sell coverage. There are several factors behind the steeper-than-expected rate hikes, most notably uncertainty surrounding the cost-sharing subsidies.While the Trump administration has so far continued making payments to plans, there’s no guarantee they will continue beyond this month. Trump has repeatedly suggested that he sees the fate of the payments as leverage to propel Democrats to negotiate on Obamacare repeal — even though Democrats have ruled that out. Trump has remained noncommittal, despite recent calls from top Republicans such as House Ways and Means Chairman Kevin Brady (R-Texas) and Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Chairman Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) for continued funding. “The payments will help to avoid the real possibility that millions of Americans will literally have zero options for insurance in the individual market in 2018,” Alexander said at a committee hearing last week. But there’s also anxiety around whether the individual mandate will be enforced, and whether younger and healthier customers decide to drop coverage if they conclude they won't have to pay a fine. New Mexico Health Connections is proposing rate hikes of up to 80 percent for next year. That assumes that there will be no cost-sharing subsidies and that the individual mandate won’t be enforced. It also reflects evidence that the plan is already seeing its cohort of younger, healthier customers dropping coverage. “That tells us that the near-death spiral is a real phenomenon,” said Martin Hickey, CEO of New Mexico Health Connections.The New Mexico insurer also is pricing in the possibility that it could be the only health plan left serving the market and soaking up all the financial risk. Without all of these exacerbating factors, Hickey estimates that rate hikes would be much different. His educated guess: increases of 10 to 20 percent. The other big wild card is what’s going to happen on Capitol Hill. Republicans had hoped to have a bill on the president’s desk before spring break, but now they’re struggling to get something passed through both chambers before they adjourn for the August recess. That’s adding to insurers' anxiety. “I absolutely think it exacerbates the rates for 2018,” said Tennessee Insurance Commissioner Julie Mix McPeak, a Republican. “Everyone thought we would have a bit more certainty at this point.”

16 июня, 17:01

What Propelled Time Warner's Shares in the Last One Year?

Time Warner Inc.'s (TWX) share have been riding high on strategic investments in video content and technology, digital endeavors and diversification into new market.

13 июня, 17:05

Top Ranked Income Stocks to Buy for June 13th

Top Ranked Income Stocks to Buy for June 13th

07 июня, 20:25

Democrats zero in on voters who spurned them

Stung by a slew of late-breaking defeats in recent governors races, Democrats believe they’ve come up with a new turnout model that will better predict how those contests will break in the final days.The Democratic Governors Association on Tuesday convened its polling, analytics and media consultants in downtown Washington to unveil a model designed to give the party better intelligence about where, and whom, to target in the closing days of an election. The idea is to bolster campaigns’ understanding of undecided voters, but also to identify which voters might switch from one party to the other at the ballot box.It’s the latest step in the party’s effort to revamp their polling operations following now-President Donald Trump’s upset victory last fall. There’s a sense of urgency attached to the project: The 38 governorships up in 2017 and 2018 may represent the party’s best shot at returning to power before the 2020 presidential election.“This kind of redefines, at some level, undecided voters — and the difference between an undecided and a persuadable voter. Just because someone says they’re undecided in a poll doesn’t mean they’re persuadable,” said DGA Political Director Corey Platt. “And just because someone says they’re with you doesn’t mean they’re not persuadable. And so this is a better tactical tool to help identify who the people are that we need to persuade at the end.”Republicans now control 33 of the nation’s 50 governorships — the most since 1922 — in large part because GOP underdogs eked out victories over the past four cycles against Democratic favorites in a number of states, despite polling that led Democrats to believe they were headed to victory. Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback, Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan and Maine Gov. Paul LePage are among those who trailed in many of the polls before the 2014 election, but ultimately prevailed.The harshest blow came the year after, when most observers expected Democrat Jack Conway to win the off-year race in Kentucky. But Republican Matt Bevin defied the polls and defeated Conway easily.Last year, Democrats similarly fell short in Indiana and Missouri, even though their pre-election surveys suggested each race was winnable. Similarly, exit poll data indicates late-deciding voters broke sharply for Trump over Hillary Clinton in the three northern states that provided Trump with his Electoral College majority: Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin.As part of a pre-planned effort, Democratic pollster Jefrey Pollock, president of Global Strategy Group in New York, led a project to re-contact voters in Indiana and Missouri — along with two states where Democrats won the governor’s race, Montana and West Virginia — to figure out what happened at the gubernatorial level in 2016. The research, shared with POLITICO, suggests that while each state was different, Republicans won undecided voters in Indiana and Missouri by margins that likely proved decisive in those close races.In Indiana, the research shows, half of voters who said they were undecided before the election said they voted for now-GOP Gov. Eric Holcomb, compared to only 28 percent for Democrat John Gregg. Moreover, 10 percent of voters supporting Gregg before the election said they ended up voting for Holcomb, while only 6 percent of Holcomb voters backed Gregg.The late break in Missouri was even more stark. Republican Eric Greitens won 55 percent of undecided and third-party voters, according to the analysis, while Democrat Chris Koster won only 21 percent of these voters.While part of the error was systemic — the polls overestimated Koster’s “support across the state, but particularly in places like Springfield,” Pollock said — that was dwarfed by the undecided who broke toward Greitens by wide margins.But Pollock — who said his analysis factored in poll respondents’ tendency to overstate their support for the actual winner — also noted that the Democratic candidates in Montana and West Virginia held the line among late-deciding voters.The model the DGA hopes to implement uses other polling, demographic and commercial data to identify the universe of truly persuadable voters — the specifics of which the DGA and Pollock say are proprietary.“It’s not just the undecideds. It’s also that there’s a bunch of people who may very well switch,” Pollock said. “Seventy or 80 percent of voters aren’t switching. But that 20 percent — who are they?”For now, the DGA is hopeful that party operatives working on gubernatorial races will embrace this new model, though there’s no guarantee it will gain widespread acceptance.“This isn’t about the DGA imposing particular standards,” said Elisabeth Pearson, the DGA’s executive director. “Everybody, especially after 2016, is looking for ways that we can improve some things, change some things. … I think it’s going to be great.”While the new approach helps identify persuadable voters, it doesn’t in and of itself solve Democrats’ most significant problem: From last year’s presidential race back to the 2014 midterms, more late-breaking elections broke toward Republicans.“I think there’s no question that there’s been a Democratic headwind that we have had to fight against,” said Pollock. “That’s true on the governors’ race level, that’s true in Senate races. That’s why we are where we are. And that’s why national politics do matter.”But, Pollock added, Trump’s current unpopularity could flip the script for the party if it holds — and make Democrats the beneficiaries of any late movement.“What I fear, though … is that we would overlearn that example and go into what looks to be right now a tremendous potential year thanks to Donald Trump and the backlash [against him],” Pollock said. “And, all of a sudden, we would have overlearned all the wrong lessons.”Pollock hopes the new model will help the party solve a problem that has dogged it for the past three year -- one that he knows all too well.“[Fellow Democratic pollster] Fred Yang and I sat in this room [last year] and told a whole bunch of people, ‘That’s what happened in 2015 in Jack Conway’s race,’” Pollock said Tuesday in an interview at DGA headquarters, citing the late movement toward Republicans in the Kentucky race. “And it felt like bulls---. Even as I was presenting it: It’s like, this all feels like a massive cover-up for the pollsters. To be like, ‘No, no, no, no. We swear all these people moved.’ And yet, that’s actually exactly what happened in these [2016 governors races], and it happens to be what happened in the presidential.”

07 июня, 17:05

Should Value Investors Consider Pearson plc (PSO) Stock?

Let's put Pearson plc (PSO) stock into this equation and find out if it is a good choice for value-oriented investors right now

07 июня, 07:35

Obama Follows Montreal Speech With Dreamy Trudeau Dinner Date

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and former President Barack Obama left their ties at home Tuesday night as they casually dined at a Montreal restaurant. Obama had earlier addressed a crowd of 6,000 people at the Montreal Board of Trade during his first post-presidency visit to Canada. He did not mention President Donald Trump by name but denounced the current administration’s lack of leadership on climate change and diplomacy.  Following the event, Obama and Trudeau headed to the St. Henri neighborhood for dinner. According to the Montreal Gazette, people crowded outside Liverpool House to get a look at the two leaders. Liverpool House is the popular sister restaurant to the trendy eatery Joe’s Beef. How do we get young leaders to take action in their communities? Thanks @BarackObama for your visit & insights tonight in my hometown. pic.twitter.com/EwJXPEkN3w— Justin Trudeau (@JustinTrudeau) June 7, 2017 Tonight in Montreal, @BarackObama and @JustinTrudeau discussed their shared commitment to developing the next generation of leaders. pic.twitter.com/170ze83igl— The Obama Foundation (@ObamaFoundation) June 7, 2017 People on Twitter loved it. Some hoped for a cameo appearance by France’s new president, Emmanuel Macron, while others complimented the pair on their restaurant choice. its like obama and trudeau saw all the memes and said "let's do dinner, for the fandom"— Oliver Willis (@owillis) June 7, 2017 Nice to see President Obama visiting our best local restaurants. @joebeef ❤️ #eatlocal pic.twitter.com/KDnHysRjfo— Lesley Chesterman (@lesleychestrman) June 7, 2017 President Barack Obama & Prime Minister Justin Trudeau are having dinner in St-Henri tonight. pic.twitter.com/tvMQhZNLd0— Domenic Fazioli (@DomenicFazioli) June 7, 2017 Obama-Trudeau dinner in Montreal is over! pic.twitter.com/StnFvS3O7U— Genevieve Beauchemin (@CTVBeauchemin) June 7, 2017 A Prime Minister and. Former President out to dinner in Montreal attract a crowd. @CTVNationalNews pic.twitter.com/mVcrYMgfJq— Genevieve Beauchemin (@CTVBeauchemin) June 7, 2017 EVERYTHING about this makes me happy!! Two compassionate and intellectual leaders working together to grow community level leadership. https://t.co/XhlEp19HFq— Cassandra Hogan (@Hogan80Hogan) June 7, 2017 Oh look Trump was there too. pic.twitter.com/j2qstkizOl— Bradford Pearson (@BradfordPearson) June 7, 2017 One day, all of this will be over and Trudeau, the Obamas & Macron can travel the world doing good deeds and solving crimes. https://t.co/DKbIHPLyMA— William K. Wolfrum (@Wolfrum) June 7, 2017 The only thing that could make this cooler is if @EmmanuelMacron walked out of kitchen carrying 3 beers!— Brent Thacker (@brentdthacker) June 7, 2017 And, of course, some wondered if the dinner jeopardized a certain bromance. ^ 'Memories, light the corners of my mindMisty water-colored memories, of the way we were' pic.twitter.com/5sBsG196sN— Maggie Jordan: (@MaggieJordanACN) June 7, 2017 -- This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.

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05 июня, 14:56

The Site review – all the building's a stage as the Royal Court puts place before play

Royal Court, LondonDesigner Chloe Lamford’s inventive space for experimental works shakes up the process of making – and seeing – theatreThe Royal Court theatre’s new temporary space , The Site, is so blue and bright it almost hurts your eyes. The walls are covered in rubbery foam, which the moderator in Deborah Pearson’s play It’s All Made Up described as “blue nipples”. That is spot on, and it is no wonder that It’s All Made Up latched on to the womb-like nature of The Site in a piece in which motherhood was a theme. EV Crowe’s work The Unknown (which opens on 8 June) will draw on her dreams. That makes sense, too. The Site, a small rehearsal space behind the Royal Court, has been transformed by designer Chloe Lamford into a temporary performance venue with a programme of shows that are more genuinely site-specific than most theatre that claims stridently to be so. Here, the space comes first. Continue reading...

29 мая, 12:08

Эксперт: 5G-сети принесут мировой экономике триллионы долларов

Технология 5G принесёт мировой экономике $12,3 трлн к 2035 году, заявил глава отраслевой торговой группы 5G Americas Крис Пирсон (Chris Pearson) в рамках мероприятия Global 5G Event, проходившего в Токио. Согласно его прогнозу, к 2035 году инфраструктура 5G-сетей будет поддерживать 22 млн рабочих мест по всему земному шару, а её вклад в глобальный ВВП за период с 2020 по 2035 год окажется сопоставим с размером экономики Индии. По мнению Пирсона, переход на технологию 5G окажет существенное влияние на жизнь человечества. В частности, стандарт откроет новые возможности в таких сферах, как энергетика, транспорт, здравоохранение и общественная безопасность, а также будет востребован в так называемых «умных» городах. При этом глава 5G Americas отметил, что с развитием 5G возрастут расходы на так называемый Интернет вещей (IoT). В 2020 году они могут достигнуть отметки в $1,7 трлн.

26 мая, 08:42

Manchester attack: UK threat level reduced from critical to severe – live

Threat level is reduced but Operation Temperer, which allows military to be deployed to key sites, will continue until end of bank holiday weekendLarge part of Manchester attack network detained, police sayKatie Hopkins leaves LBC radio show after ‘final solution’ tweetUK police end suspension of intelligence sharing with USAll 22 victims of Manchester Arena bombing namedJeremy Corbyn: ‘war on terror is simply not working’ 2.10pm BST Here is a video of Met assistant commissioner Mark Rowley’s statement, in which he vowed that there would be more arrests in the investigation into the Manchester bombing. As well as his police role, Rowley is the anti-terrorism policy lead for the National Police Chiefs’ Council.The high pace and rapid progress of this investigation is continuing. There were three more arrests overnight. We now have 11 men in custody. There are 17 searches either concluded or continuing on various addresses, largely in the north-west of the country.We are getting a greater understanding of the preparation of the bomb. There is still much more to do. There will be more arrests. There will be more searches but the greater clarity and progress has led JTAC, the independent body which assesses threat, to the judgment that an attack is no longer imminent. 2.05pm BST Number 10 has posted a video on Twitter of Theresa May’s statement this morning announcing the downgrading of the country’s terror threat level. The PM has announced the terror threat level has now been changed from critical to severe. Watch her statement. pic.twitter.com/iQMNgEnuEzI’ve just chaired a meeting of Cobra this morning where I’ve been updated by the police and the security services on the investigation into Monday’s terrible attack in Manchester. A significant amount of police activity has taken place over the past 24 hours and there are now 11 suspects in custody. In the light of these developments, JTAC – the independent Joint Terrorism Analysis Centre – has this morning taken the decision to reduce the threat level from critical to severe. The public should be clear about what this means: a threat level of severe means an attack is highly likely, the country should remain vigilant. In recent days, members of the armed forces have been assisting police in providing reassurance to the public under Operation Temperer. Today marks the start of a busy bank holiday weekend, with many sporting events and other events taking place, for which detailed security plans are already in place. To provide maximum reassurance to the public, Operation Temperer will continue to operate until the bank holiday concludes. Then on Monday, from midnight on Monday onwards, there will be a well-planned and gradual withdrawal of members of the armed forces, who will return to normal duties. The police will make a statement shortly to give further details of precisely how this will take place. Continue reading...

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24 мая, 22:49

Will Amazon's Bookstores Thrive in New York City?

E-commerce giant Amazon.com (AMZN) is set to open its first bookstore in New York City tomorrow, bringing the total number of physical bookstore locations for the company to seven.

24 мая, 17:28

Top Ranked Income Stocks to Buy for May 24th

Top Ranked Income Stocks to Buy for May 24th

24 мая, 02:30

Trump Threatened To Let Obamacare 'Implode.' That's One Promise He's Keeping.

function onPlayerReadyVidible(e){'undefined'!=typeof HPTrack&&HPTrack.Vid.Vidible_track(e)}!function(e,i){if(e.vdb_Player){if('object'==typeof commercial_video){var a='',o='m.fwsitesection='+commercial_video.site_and_category;if(a+=o,commercial_video['package']){var c='&m.fwkeyvalues=sponsorship%3D'+commercial_video['package'];a+=c}e.setAttribute('vdb_params',a)}i(e.vdb_Player)}else{var t=arguments.callee;setTimeout(function(){t(e,i)},0)}}(document.getElementById('vidible_1'),onPlayerReadyVidible); President Donald Trump has been telling us all along that he believes his best course politically is to do what he can to ensure that Obamacare breaks. What you may not have noticed is that he’s actually been executing that plan. The Affordable Care Act has had its share of problems, some them serious ― like health insurance premiums that middle-class families can’t afford, and swaths of the country with little to no competition among insurers. Since the beginning of the year, the actions of Trump and his team have exacerbated those problems. And unless they start doing something different, much of what some consumers don’t like about Obamacare is going to be even worse next year. Premiums will be higher than they would have been. Fewer insurance companies will sell policies to people who buy their coverage directly or through an exchange like HealthCare.gov (as opposed to people who get health benefits at work or from a government program like Medicare or Medicaid). “We could see less progress in covering the uninsured, or possibly even some areas of the country could see increases in the uninsured rate with people being priced out,” said Cynthia Cox, an associate director at the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation. And this is only tangentially related to the push from Trump and the Republican-led Congress to repeal the Affordable Care Act and “replace” it with a new bill that would cover millions fewer Americans, weaken protections for people with pre-existing conditions and severely cut back on aid for low-income households. When Trump became president, he took stewardship of the federal government and all the programs it runs. When it came to the Affordable Care Act ― a law the GOP has vowed to kill for over seven years ― Trump faced a choice: Manage it as best as he could while Congress debated what would come after it, or deliberately mismanage it. He has chosen the latter. This all fits a pattern dating back to the ACA’s enactment in 2010. Republicans in 19 states have refused to expand Medicaid, leaving millions uninsured. GOP-led states put roadblocks in front of insurance enrollment counselors tasked with assisting people shopping for coverage. The Republican Congress cut funding for insurance companies that greatly contributed to their financial difficulties with the exchanges, and to the closure of many nonprofit “co-op” insurers created under the law. And Republicans have led or championed a slew of legal challenges to the law, including two cases that went to the Supreme Court and a cost-sharing lawsuit still causing uncertainty. Rather than take steps to mitigate premium increases and insurers exiting the exchanges, Trump and the GOP have cheered them along. Rather than reassure insurance companies that the federal government will honor its agreements with them, Trump is going out of his way to make them believe it won’t. Rather than consider the millions of people who rely on this coverage, Trump declares Obamacare “dead” and washes his hands of it. Governors, state insurance regulators, insurance companies, health care providers and the business community are pleading with the Trump administration (and Congress) to provide some clarity about what’s going to happen next year. They aren’t getting it. State insurance commissioners and companies are saying they don’t even know who to talk to, and can’t get straight answers from anyone in the administration. Health insurance companies have already started hitting deadlines with state governments to state their intentions for next year about whether they’ll participate in these markets and how much they’ll charge. More deadlines are looming in the coming weeks with state and federal regulators. Unless Trump changes course, it’s looking more and more likely that everyone will assume the worst, and either abandon the health insurance exchanges or jack up prices even more to protect themselves. Trump told us he was going to do this Trump warned everyone about this. At a January news conference nine days before his inauguration, Trump articulated his thinking on this very clearly. Standing by and doing nothing to make the health insurance exchanges function better would help him politically, in his view, because Democrats ― many of whom were actually concerned about the welfare of people covered under the Affordable Care Act ― would flock to him and agree to his plan to repeal the law. “The easiest thing would be to let it implode in ’17,” Trump said at the time. “They would come, begging to us please, we have to do something about Obamacare.” When the House failed at its first attempt to pass a health care reform bill in March, Trump talked about this some more. “I’ve been saying for the last year and a half that the best thing we can do politically speaking is let Obamacare explode,” he said. Statements like these are echoed by GOP lawmakers, and by the two officials chiefly in charge of Affordable Care Act programs ― Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price and Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services Administrator Seema Verma. It therefore seems clear that the political leaders of the health care bureaucracy aren’t spending a lot of time worrying about the Obamacare marketplaces or the people currently using them to get covered. The damage done Actions, of course, speak louder than words, and the Trump administration’s actions have caused real harm to this part of the health insurance system. The reckoning will come in autumn, when consumers set out to shop for next year’s policies. On his first day as president, Trump issued an executive order instructing the agencies responsible for the Affordable Care Act to relax regulations and enforcement of its rules. The IRS responded by announcing it wouldn’t reject tax returns that left the part about health coverage ― a key enforcement mechanism for the law’s individual mandate ― blank. That was merely a continuation of the agency’s previous policy, which the IRS had planned to change this year. But it signaled to insurers, tax preparers and consumers that Trump wouldn’t enforce the mandate, which functions as a way to nudge healthy people into the insurance pool lest they pay a fine for being uninsured. “Most of our CEOs and plans, based on communication from the IRS, are doubtful about enforcement,” said Ceci Connolly, CEO of the Alliance of Community Health Plans, a trade group representing insurers including Kaiser Permanente and Geisinger Health Plan. Also in January, the administration canceled advertising intended to promote the end of the sign-up period on the health insurance exchanges, for which President Barack Obama’s administration had already paid. When the final enrollment numbers came in, they were lower than for 2016, an outcome partially attributable to lost sign-ups during the final days, which had proved busier during the first three annual enrollment campaigns. Most damaging has been Trump’s cavalier attitude toward paying health insurance companies that serve the lowest-income exchange customers money they’re owed. Anthem, a big Blue Cross Blue Shield insurer with a major presence on the exchanges, has said it plans to keep selling policies on these marketplaces ― unless these payments go away, which could make the company reconsider. “We remain pretty confused as to what the administration’s position on cost-sharing reductions is, exactly,” Connolly said. “The messages have been so radically different from day to day and hour to hour that it’s nearly impossible for any responsible business to make plans for the future based on the commentary.” Because of a lawsuit that House Republicans brought in 2014 and won in lower court last year against the Obama administration, Trump has the power to unilaterally make or refuse to make these payments, which totaled $7 billion in 2016. Under the Affordable Care Act, insurers must reduce out-of-pocket costs like deductibles and copayments for poor enrollees, and the federal government is supposed to reimburse them for the expense. Almost 60 percent of exchange customers, or about 7 million people, qualified for these cost-sharing reductions this year. So far, Trump has kept the money flowing ― but he keeps threatening not to. And even though Trump and House Republicans requested a delay in the lawsuit proceedings from a federal appeals court Monday instead of agreeing to halt the payments, all this uncertainty is making health insurance companies very nervous. There’s a good chance that will lead them to price next year’s coverage under the assumption they won’t get paid for the cost-sharing reductions. “Health plans in the rest of the nation are sitting on edge of their seats waiting to see what the federal government is going to do,” said Peter Lee, the executive director of Covered California, the Golden State’s health insurance exchange. “A decision [to stop paying] CSRs is an early indicator that the federal government is maybe ready to walk away from the individual markets.” Amid all this, the administration has taken a few positive steps with respect to the exchanges, such as issuing an insurer-friendly regulation that, among other things, make it harder for consumers to cancel insurance policies right after receiving costly treatments. But those efforts haven’t balanced out the administration’s other actions, and have even contributed to the confusion about how Trump and his team will run these programs. Obamacare versus Trumpcare Whatever Trump’s actions and statements, the health insurance exchanges struggled before he took office. Rate increases for 2017 were substantial. Analyses from the Kaiser Family Foundation, Standard & Poor’s, the Congressional Budget Office and others have concluded the financial performance of these marketplaces and the insurers that use them are improving this year, in part because insurers have priced their policies more in line with their customers’ medical costs. On Tuesday, for example, Health Care Service Corp., which runs Blue Cross and Blue Shield plans in five states, announced it had reversed its losses on the exchange markets and earned a profit during the first quarter of this year. The messages have been so radically different from day to day and hour to hour that it’s nearly impossible for any responsible business to make plans for the future based on the commentary. Ceci Connolly, CEO, Alliance of Community Health Plans “There’s a bit of irony here in that the individual market was starting to stabilize,” Connolly said, even though it remains “far from perfect.” Insurers in some regions are still losing money and fleeing the markets, and more premium increases would have arrived next year, regardless. The question is, how much of this is attributable to Obamacare’s lingering problems and how much is because of the way Trump has overseen it (or failed to)? “We don’t know what the premium increases would’ve been in Earth 2,” Cox said. “But it seems fair to say that some portion of these premium increases and some portion of the insurers’ decision to leave is because of the uncertainty they’re facing for next year.” Accurately quantifying what share of rate hikes is because of the law itself, and what share is because of Trump, would be hard, if not outright impossible. But one at least one insurance company tried. CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield asked Maryland regulators for a huge average premium increase next year ― 52 percent ― and said 15 percentage points of that is related to fear that Trump won’t make the cost-sharing reduction payments. In other words, what was going to be bad will probably be worse as a direct result of the administration’s posture. Most premiums won’t go up as high as CareFirst is requesting ― and it’s a good bet Maryland will squeeze the company to accept less. But considering just the cost-sharing reduction payments issue, the Kaiser Family Foundation projects that would force insurers to raise premiums by an average of 19 percent above and beyond what they would’ve done next year if Trump stops reimbursing them. And, ironically, ending the payments would increase total federal spending, because the higher insurance prices would entitle qualified consumers to larger tax credits to defray their monthly premiums, the foundation also found. Not too late There’s still time, although not much, for Trump or even Congress to intervene and reassure health insurance companies and consumers that the federal government will resume active stewardship of the exchanges. “It can still be salvaged,” said Christina Pearson, a senior vice president at the consulting firm Avalere Health. Making clear that the cost-sharing reduction payments will be made through the end of next year, and that the IRS will enforce the individual mandate, would go a long way toward making 2018 better for insurance companies and their customers. But if Trump doesn’t change his mind about all this, it will lead to to a health insurance market that simply doesn’t work as well as it could. And that will be a result of the administration caring more about highlighting the market’s failures than trying to make it as good as possible for the millions of people who use it. The consequences, Cox said, are straightforward: “We could see less progress in covering the uninsured, or possibly even some areas of the country could see increases in the uninsured rate with people being priced out.” Jonathan Cohn contributed reporting. Politics hurt too much? Sign up for HuffPost Hill, a humorous evening roundup featuring scoops from HuffPost’s reporting team and juicy miscellanea from around the web. -- This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.

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23 мая, 13:30

Pick The Plum Of Online Learning

One way to tap into the educational software business is to invest in the industry's dominant player, U.K.-based Pearson.

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23 мая, 10:40

Football transfer rumours: Everton to land £25m Gylfi Sigurdsson?

Today’s rumours struggle to find the wordsDavid Moyes is to play a part in sourcing his successor at Sunderland. It’s the sort of plan that worked so well a few years ago at Manchester United, isn’t it. Names on his list include Ryan Giggs, Nigel Pearson, David Wagner, Alan Pardew, Garry Monk, Aitor Karanka, Slavisa Jokanovic and Paul Lambert. Perhaps Moyes should also consider Sir Alex Ferguson for a job that’s guaranteed to be a world of pain for whoever stupidly agrees to take it, just to see how he likes it.Meanwhile sprinting out of the Stadium of Light door, as though chasing a ball lumped straight down the middle because his team-mates have no other ideas left: Jermain Defoe. He’s making a break for it, in double-quick time, in the hope of getting as far away from the mess as possible. Bournemouth, 343 miles south, fits the bill perfectly. Continue reading...

22 мая, 13:45

Who’s Marking Those Common Core High-Stakes Tests?

You were stressed; your children were stressed; and the teachers in their school were stressed. But the ELA and Math tests are over and we don’t have to worry about the results until August. What we should be worrying about is who is marking them. Will graders be careful, thoughtful, and competent? Carelessly graded exams are worthless, and only serve to punish children, teachers, and schools. So who grades the tests? Pearson advertises for test graders on the website Indeed.com. The advertisement below is from Pearson’s Austin, Texas scoring center. They want college graduates (or equivalency?), any degree, and they are willing to pay $13 an hour, almost as much as a customer associate earns at Walmart, but significantly less than our test grader would make at Costco or Home Depot. Their “highly qualified” graders, unable to find or hold jobs in low paying service industries will be expected to “put aside personal biases,” evaluate “student responses to subject-related open-ended questions,” and “apply scoring guide according to customer requirements.” Similar positions are also available at Pearson’s Charlotte, North Carolina and Hadley, Massachusetts grading centers. Questar Assessment, which designs and grades tests for New York State has similar ads with similar qualifications for seasonal test scorers, but their ad does not list the hourly wage. However, according to the website Glassdoor, salaries range between $12 and $15 an hour an hour. In Florida, teacher and school administration candidates are protesting arbitrary certification tests that seem designed to produce high failure rates. According to a report by WPTV in West Palm Beach, since 2015 failure rates have significantly increased on the Florida Teacher Certification and Educational Leadership exams while Pearson profits from each failure. Up until 2009, the Florida Department of Education subsidized the tests, but no more. Candidates paid $25 to take each part of the multi-part tests and did not pay to retake a section that they failed. Pearson now charges test-takers up to $200 per section and an additional $20 to retake a section, an increase of 800 percent. Test-takers can appeal failing scores and pay $75 for a reevaluation. In January and February there were 871 appeals but only 15 scores were changed from fail to pass, less than 2 percent. Julie McCue, a veteran teacher with 21 years of classroom experience, a Master’s degree, and high evaluations from supervisors, is suing the Florida Department. Ms. McCue has failed the essay portion of the leadership exam four times with the exact same score and each of her grade appeals were rejected by Pearson. McCue believes the real failure is Pearson’s for hiring low paid unqualified test scorers. Follow Alan Singer on Twitter: https://twitter.com/ReecesPieces8 -- This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.

19 мая, 16:14

Top Ranked Value Stocks to Buy for May 19th

Top Ranked Value Stocks to Buy for May 19th

11 мая, 16:30

The Zacks Analyst Blog Highlights: Unilever, Associated British Foods, RELX, Pearson and BT Group

The Zacks Analyst Blog Highlights: Unilever, Associated British Foods, RELX, Pearson and BT Group

10 мая, 21:49

Britain's Economy Recovers from Q1 Hiccups: 5 Stocks to Buy

Gains in manufacturing, services and construction signal all round economic improvements

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10 мая, 09:30

Fighting fit: the sheltered housing schemes adapting to new challenges | Saba Salman

Cuts to supported accommodation can lead to a sense of community and tackle isolation if residents pull together and have a say in new servicesBefore she retired, Rene Woods, 84, worked as a warden at Pearsons Retreat, the sheltered housing complex for older people on the Sussex coast where she now lives. The on-site support she delivered as a housing officer – visiting residents daily and running social groups – is radically different from the peripatetic nature of services and drop-in activities she receives now as a resident.Government figures suggest there are 462,565 sheltered or extra-care homes for older people for rent in Great Britain. These sheltered housing schemes offer low-level support, such as help with budgeting or being linked to a call centre in the event of an emergency, and self-contained accommodation for people aged 55 or older on low incomes. Benefits for residents include greater independence than a care home and less reliance on health and social care services. Continue reading...