Alabama Health Plans deny treatment for high cholesterol

By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter

The Institute for Patient Access released a new Health Plan Coverage Report Card claiming that Alabama insurers deny patients coverage for advanced cholesterol-lowering drugs known as PCSK9 inhibitors 53 percent of the time. The report card reveals that health plans reject more than one out of every two claims submitted for coverage of prescribed PCSK9 inhibitors. The data, collected from August 2015 to July 2016 by a national data supplier, reflects PCSK9 inhibitor claims for Alabama managed care organizations, including commercial plans, Medicare and managed Medicaid.
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Auburn appoints new president with a tumultuous past

By Chip Brownlee
Alabama Political Reporter

AUBURN — The Auburn University Board of Trustees has appointed the next president of the University: an experienced higher-ed administrator who was previously under a six-week criminal investigation for possible misuse of Iowa State University aircraft.

On Monday, the Board appointed Steven Leath, 59, who has served as president of Iowa State University since 2012 and previously held an administrative role at the University of North Carolina. Leath, who has had a turbulent past at Iowa State, will assume the post in July when President Jay Gogue is expected to step down.

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Obamacare repeal and replacement postponed

By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter

Thursday, March 23, 2017, the US House of Representatives was supposed to vote on the American Health Care Act to replace the unpopular Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010. The vote did not happen when it became apparent that Speaker of the House Paul Ryan (R-Wisconsin) did not have the votes to pass the legislation, that both he and President Donald J. Trump are urging Congress to pass.
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Strange praises sale of Gulf Energy parcels

By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter

Wednesday, March 22, 2017, the Department of the Interior’s sale of oil and gas parcels in the Gulf of Mexico was praised by US Senator Luther Strange (R-Alabama). The sale of 900,000 acres along the Outer Continental Shelf garnered over $274 million, and will allow private sector competition in tapping those offshore energy reserves.

Sen. Strange said, “Today’s sale marks another exciting chapter in America’s future of energy independence. It is high time we unleash the potential of our offshore assets which will strengthen our national security, spur our economy, and make energy costs more affordable for every Alabama family. Our state is home to hardworking innovators, and I look forward to Alabama’s energy producers leading the way.”
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Emily Armistead killed in accident on Thursday

By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter

Thursday, March 23, 2017 Emily Armistead, the wife of former Alabama Republican Party Chairman Bill Armistead was killed when she was struck on Highway 43 in Linden Thursday morning. Mrs. Armistead was killed crossing the highway while walking to Linden United Methodist Church to attend the funeral of Paul Owensby.

Former Chairman Armistead said in a statement: “It is with a heavy heart that I announce that I lost the love of my life today in a tragic automobile accident. Emily and I would have been married 49 years on April 6th and I thank God for giving me the woman that He created to be my wife for these wonderful years. And, there could not have been a better wife, mother and grandmother in all the world. Now, Emily is with Jesus for all of eternity where I look forward to joining her at God’s chosen time. Thanks to my many friends who have heard the news today and I am sorry I haven’t been able to respond to all. I felt this was the best way to get the word out to as many as possible. We covet your prayers.”
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Bentley backs Trumpcare, Jesus wept

By Josh Moon
Alabama Political Reporter

America first!*

(*excluding: the poor, the disabled, the elderly, minorities who don’t believe slaves were immigrants and non-Christians)

This is the agenda of the Trump administration and today’s Republican Party. It is an agenda that has been lifted straight from Alabama conservatives, who long ago crafted laws and regulations to benefit the rich white male above all others.

On Wednesday, Alabama’s top rich, white, male, Gov. Robert Bentley, returned from a D.C. meeting with Trump officials about health care, and he was a happy man.
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Southern Poverty Law Center to sue “internet hate group” who “harassed Jewish family”

Sam Mattison
Alabama Political Reporter

Southern Poverty Law Center Co-Founder and Chief Trial Counsel Morris Dees said on Wednesday, March 22, that the organization is filing a lawsuit in April against a hate group.

Dees said this at a speech he gave at Troy University’s main campus in Troy, Alabama, at their annual Journalism Symposium. Troy’s journalism department puts on an annual event where a speaker comes to address students and staff. Dees was this year’s invited speaker.
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Survey says: No one trusts the Governor, State Superintendent, School Board

Education Matters
By Larry Lee

At this writing, nearly 700 have responded to the survey we posted on Friday, March 17, 2017. Results basically track the last survey made in December which showed little confidence among educators in State level entities charged with helping public schools. You can see all results here.

Respondents were 69 percent female, 93 percent white, 70 percent work for a school system and 46 percent are teachers. Sixty percent have either children or grandchildren attending a public school.
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Wanted: Skilled workers to ensure Alabama’s success

By Rosemary Elebash and Jeff Lynn

Ask business people to rank their top problems, and you find a consistent pattern. Taxes and regulations usually battle each other for the top spot. Finding qualified workers consistently ranks No. 3.

These results — from monthly surveys of members of the National Federation of Independent Business — illustrate a critical problem in our country and a major roadblock to economic growth.

To put it simply: We have plenty of people who need jobs. We have plenty of businesses that have jobs to fill. But the available people and the available jobs don’t always line up. Too many prospective employees lack the necessary skills for jobs that are in demand.
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Brooks to vote against Healthcare plan

By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter

Thursday, March 23, 2017, the House of Representatives is expected to vote on the House plan to repeal and replace the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010. No Democrats are expected to vote for the American Health Care Act, so keeping as many Republican votes as possible is essential to passage.

US Representative Mo Brooks (R-Huntsville) announced on Wednesday, “I will vote against the House GOP healthcare/welfare plan this week because it does not deliver on the promise I made to Alabamians to deliver a clean repeal of Obamacare. Instead, this legislation creates a huge new welfare program. Over the long haul that’s going to result in either higher premiums, higher taxes, or greater deficit and debt that’s going to burden our economy for decades to come.”
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