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Republicans Angry Over Revelation that Administration Knew Millions Would Lose Health Insurance

Brandon Moseley

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By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter

NBC News has revealed that when President Obama assured Americans that have health insurance they like they could keep their health insurance the administration knew (like everyone with any understanding of how insurance works knew) that that was untrue. Alabama Republicans were quick to join the chorus of conservative voices expressing outrage at the revelations.

Congresswoman Martha Roby (R) from Montgomery said in a video statement,

“Remember when President Obama said over and over again that ‘if you like your health care plan, you will be able to keep your healthcare plan’? Well, it turns out that wasn’t true, as thousands of Alabamians and millions across America are facing health insurance cancellations or skyrocketing costs.”

Alabama State Senator Paul Bussman (R) from Cullman said on Facebook,

“The truth starts to finally be exposed by the mainstream media….I am truly concerned that Obamacare and the lack of honesty in government will destroy this country. The ‘Greatest Generation’ and veterans, who made this country the greatest country in the world, must be totally disgusted. Lying, underhanded deals, lack of personal responsibility, too many damaging handouts and programs that encourage laziness, etc. etc. SAD days in America! I pray daily for God’s intervention.”

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The Speaker of the Alabama House of Representatives Mike Hubbard (R) from Auburn said on Facebook,

“The Obama Administration finally told the truth about Obamacare today. After four years of reassuring us that if we liked our health insurance policy, we would be able to keep it, the White House acknowledged that is not true. This is one reason why I have called on Washington to grant every American amnesty from this law.”

Speaker Hubbard is circulating a petition opposing Obamacare Act.

Alabama Republican Party Chairman Bill Armistead wrote,

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“The federal government refuses to release actual enrollment figures, presumably in attempts to mask the true level of failure of this political disaster. Every day, more and more Americans are finding out that their health care premiums are doubling and even tripling. The premium rises are impossible to afford. Even worse, people are receiving letters notifying them that their health care coverage is being dropped and now must find coverage through the exchange.”

Rep. Roby said,

“President Obama broke his promise, and hardworking Americans who took the president at his word are paying the price. That’s why this week I am co-sponsoring legislation that would make this right by protecting Americans who are losing their health plans because of ObamaCare. The ‘Keep Your Health Plan Act’ would allow health care plans available today on the individual market to continue to be offered so people have the option to keep what they have if they like it. The bill also ensures that Americans maintaining their health care plan as they were promised they could will not face a penalty under ObamaCare.”

The “Keep Your Health Plan Act,” was authored by Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Fred Upton (R-MI). It promises that individual policy holders who like their healthcare are truly allowed to keep it as the President originally promised.

This current firestorm around the unpopular Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (commonly called Obamacare) was started when NBC News’s Lisa Myers and Hannah Rappleye wrote a piece in which they said,

“President Obama repeatedly assured Americans that after the Affordable Care Act became law, people who liked their health insurance would be able to keep it. But millions of Americans are getting or are about to get cancellation letters for their health insurance under Obamacare, say experts, and the Obama administration has known that for at least three years.”

Policies that were written before the Affordable Care Act was passed were grandfathered in. Policies written between that date and December 31st were to expire and the insured would then convert to an Affordable Care Act compliant policy. The grandfather exception for the older policies is essentially worthless because insurers can not sell those policies any more.

Insurance is fairly simple: A large number of people purchase policies in case something (that is likely not to happen) happens. It takes a lot of people paying premiums and not using much healthcare to pay for one person who needs $1 million worth of quadruple heart bypass surgery. Those old grandfathered-in policies can’t add new healthy people to their pool so as people in the pool age and need more healthcare. So over time that old grandfathered in pool inevitably becomes too unhealthy to remain viable for the insurance compnay so those policies inevitably go away.

Speaker Mike Hubbard said,

“The President said there is ‘no sugarcoating’ the horrible start to Obamacare. I’m glad we could finally agree on something. The cure, though, is not to fix what the President called ‘kinks,’ but to repeal this law immediately before it causes any more damage.”

Brandon Moseley is a senior reporter with eight and a half years at Alabama Political Reporter. You can email him at [email protected] or follow him on Facebook. Brandon is a native of Moody, Alabama, a graduate of Auburn University, and a seventh generation Alabamian.

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Health

Vaccines should protect against mutated strains of coronavirus

Public health experts say it will be some time before vaccines are available to the wider public.

Eddie Burkhalter

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(STOCK PHOTO)

Multiple vaccines for COVID-19 are in clinical trials, and one has already applied for emergency use authorization, but how good will those vaccines be against a mutating coronavirus? A UAB doctor says they’ll do just fine. 

Dr. Rachael Lee, UAB’s hospital epidemiologist, told reporters earlier this week that there have been small genetic mutations in COVID-19. What researchers are seeing in the virus here is slightly different than what’s seen in the virus in China, she said. 

“But luckily the way that these vaccines have been created, specifically the mRNA vaccines, is an area that is the same for all of these viruses,” Lee said, referring to the new type of vaccine known as mRNA, which uses genetic material, rather than a weakened or inactive germ, to trigger an immune response. 

The U.S. Food And Drug Administration is to review the drug company Pfizer’s vaccine on Dec. 10. Pfizer’s vaccine is an mRNA vaccine, as is a vaccine produced by the drug maker Moderna, which is expected to also soon apply for emergency use approval. 

“I think that is incredibly good news, that even though we may see some slight mutations,  we should have a vaccine that should cover all of those different mutations,” Lee said. 

Researchers at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and the University of Wisconsin-Madison found in a recent study, published in the journal Science, that COVID-19 has mutated in ways that make it spread much more easily, but the mutation may also make it more susceptible to vaccines. 

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In a separate study, researchers with the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation found that while most vaccines were modeled after an earlier strain of COVID-19, they found no evidence that the vaccines wouldn’t provide the same immunity response for the new, more dominant strain. 

“This brings the world one step closer to a safe and effective vaccine to protect people and save lives,” said CSIRO chief executive Dr. Larry Marshall, according to Science Daily

While it may not be long before vaccines begin to be shipped to states, public health experts warn it will be some time before vaccines are available to the wider public. Scarce supplies at first will be allocated for those at greatest risk, including health care workers who are regularly exposed to coronavirus patients, and the elderly and ill. 

Alabama State Health Officer Dr. Scott Harris, speaking to APR last week, urged the public to continue wearing masks and practicing social distancing for many more months, as the department works to make the vaccines more widely available.

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“Just because the first shots are rolling out doesn’t mean it’s time to stop doing everything we’ve been trying to get people to do for months. It’s not going to be widely available for a little while,” Harris said.

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Tuberville looks forward to public service “probably for the rest of my life”

Tuberville’s term as senator will begin on Jan. 3 when the 117th Congress is sworn in.

Brandon Moseley

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Senator-elect Tommy Tuberville during an interview with Sean Spicer on Newsmax.

U.S. Senator-elect Tommy Tuberville, R-Alabama, told Newsmax’s Sean Spicer that he looks forward to the opportunity to give back to this country.

“After winning this and after being up here a couple of weeks and seeing how much of a difference we have made just to this point in the Senate has been gratifying,” Tuberville said. “I look forward to doing public service probably for the rest of my life.”

Tuberville said that he was 18 years old when the Vietnam War was coming to a close and then got into coaching so never served in the military and looks forward to the opportunity to give back to the country.

“As I went around the state of Alabama for those two years though I learned the respect of the people and how much that they want this country to remain the United States of America that we know and grew up in to go by the Constitution and those things. As I went through the campaign I got more and more fond of that I want to give back,” Tuberville said.

“I never served, I never gave back, but God was so good to me and my wife my family,” Tuberville said. “Giving back means so much to me after I was given so much for many, many years.”

Tuberville said that education will be a priority for him, getting education back to fundamentals like reading, writing, history and math. Tuberville said that unless the country gets back to fundamentals in education, “This country is not going to make it. We have got to get back to fundamentals and we are getting farther and farther every day.”

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Tuberville was the only Republican on Nov. 3 to defeat an incumbent Senate Democrat when he unseated Sen. Doug Jones.

“I want to be the voice for the people of Alabama,” Tuberville explained. “The previous Senator was a voice for his party, the Democratic party.”

Tuberville, a career college football coach, reiterated his position that we should play sports and send kids back to school despite the coronavirus global pandemic.

“I think we are doing a lot better in sports than we are doing in a lot of other areas,” Tuberville said. “I was keeping my fingers crossed back in August that we would let our young kids go play high school sports, number one, and then we get into college sports. There are so many people throwing negatives on why we should not do that. But I can tell you, you can see many more positives if we go back to school and we play sports. It’s important that we attack this virus as it has been attacking us. If it gives us an inch, we gotta take it.”

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Tuberville reiterated his opposition to shutting down restaurants, schools and businesses to fight the virus.

“We have to get back to everyday life,” Tuberville said. “You can’t keep shutting people down. Freedom is a power that we have. A power that we have earned because of our forefathers. We can’t give that up.”

Tuberville is an Arkansas native. He was the head football coach at Auburn University where he won an SEC championship, Ole Miss, Texas Tech, and Cincinnati. Prior to that, he was a national championship defensive coordinator at the University of Miami. He was also the defensive coordinator at Texas A&M.

Tuberville’s term as senator will begin on Jan. 3 when the 117th Congress is sworn in.

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UAB cancels third game

The only remaining game on UAB’s schedule is a game at Rice on Dec. 12.

Brandon Moseley

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(STOCK PHOTO)

The UAB Department of Athletics on Thursday announced that it is canceling its final home game of the season. UAB was scheduled to play Southern Mississippi on Friday at Legion Field, but the game was canceled due to continuing problems with COVID-19.

UAB has said that it will “continue to work with Conference USA on the remaining regular-season schedule.”

The only remaining game on UAB’s schedule is a game at Rice on Dec. 12.

UAB currently has a record of just four wins and three losses.

A win at Rice would guarantee the Blazers a winning season, but in this COVID altered season, a four and three or four and four record is probably good enough to be bowl eligible.

Southern Miss has had a dreadful season. They are two and seven and have two remaining games, against UTEP and Florida Atlantic. Both of those games were postponed from earlier in the season.

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Unless the season is extended a week to the 19th, there is no way for UAB and Southern Miss to make up the canceled game.

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Official state Christmas tree was delivered

The approximately 35-foot tree will be displayed on the front steps of the state Capitol building.

Brandon Moseley

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The 2016 state Christmas tree in front of the state Capitol.

Alabama’s official Christmas Tree was delivered to the state Capitol this week.

This year’s tree was donated by Robbins Taylor Sr. It is an Eastern Red Cedar that was grown in Letohatchee, Alabama.

The approximately 35-foot tree will be displayed on the front steps of the state Capitol building.

The tree will be adorned with lights and decorations ahead of the Christmas tree lighting ceremony on Friday, Dec. 4. Gov. Ivey’s Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony is scheduled for 5:30 p.m. at the Capitol in Montgomery.

Alabama became the first state in the nation to make Christmas an official government holiday in 1836. Christmas was declared a federal holiday in the United States on June 26, 1870.

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