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Member since: Thu Apr 29, 2010, 02:31 PM
Number of posts: 53,475

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NYT: John Boehner personally driving up his own Obamacare cost


Higher Costs Seen for Some in Congress on Health Plans

WASHINGTON — Older members of Congress and those who smoke, like Speaker John A. Boehner, could be facing much higher health insurance premiums under a new official interpretation of President Obama’s health care law.


Federal workers, including lawmakers, now generally get coverage through the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program, the nation’s largest employer-sponsored health insurance program. Under some of the most popular health plans, the government contributes $5,000 a year for individual coverage and $11,000 for family coverage.

The 2010 health care law generally requires members of Congress and employees in their “official offices” to get coverage through the exchanges. The purpose was to make sure lawmakers understood the benefits and burdens of the law, as experienced by many of their constituents.

In the federal employee program, people in the same health plan generally pay the same premiums, regardless of their age or place of residence. However, for health plans sold on the exchanges, premiums can vary, based on a person’s age, tobacco use and place of residence. A person like Mr. Boehner, who turns 64 in November, might be charged three times as much as a 23-year-old. And as a smoker, he could be charged up to 50 percent more than a nonsmoker of the same age.

Act 10 Keeps "Saving" Taxpayers Money - The Corrections Edition


One statewide area that has also been hit extremely hard by Act 10 is the Department of Corrections. There has been a spike in assaults and injuries to correction officers. This led to a cover up and might eventually lead to Walker trying to privatize the system. But the corrections officers aren't sitting back and just taking it. They are fighting back in the only way left to them - the courts. And it looks like it will cost the taxpayers plenty (emphasis mine):

According to the lawsuit, the state Department of Corrections issued a policy on Jan. 29, 2012, stating that employees are considered “on duty when they are present at their assigned post/work location prepared to assume their duties at their designated start time.” But the guards allege it means they aren’t paid for pre-shift work that serves DOC’s interests, such as passing a security screening, participating in roll calls and fitness for duty checks, checking out and receiving equipment and traveling through prisons to their assigned posts, all while being ready to respond to emergency calls. They also alleged they are not paid for post-shift work that includes communicating with relief officers, checking in work equipment and passing a security screening, again while being available for emergency calls.

The DOC’s failure to pay guards for that time is “willful and in bad faith,” the lawsuit states.

A class action lawsuit was filed because Act 10, signed by Gov. Scott Walker in March 2011, removed collective bargaining as a means to resolve disputes like this one, the lawsuit states. Individuals lack the means to file separate lawsuits, which would also be expensive to the state, the lawsuit states. “Wisconsin 2011 Act 10 prohibits members of the class from collectively negotiating with the DOC to seek redress over issues of wages, hours and working conditions,” the lawsuit states. “This leaves a class action complaint as a sole means to seek redress from a neutral decision-maker.”

Day 8 of mass arrests in Wisconsin capitol: 15 arrests, Vets for Peace, more.


Photo Credit: Jim Murray

Today, August 7, 2013, the number of singers arrested in the capitol rotunda was 15 [source=WI DOA]. This was the 8th day of mass arrests since July 24th. Many vets from around the nation are visiting Madison this week for the Veterans For Peace 28th Annual Convention “POWER TO THE PEACEFUL” and a contingent took part in today’s sing.

A vet from the Janesville area visited with the intention of videotaping some of the singing from the 1st floor for a piece he’s pulling together for a local cable show back home. He was approached by police and told that if he stayed where he was he risked arrest. He walked away without getting video.

Officers also around the same time warned another visiting man, Mike, that he had to leave when he was standing within 20 feet of Wisconsin Senator Jon Erpenbach who was speaking with another gaggle of press. (So maybe WI legislator Sondy Pope could have gotten away with observing the other day if only the press were present?) Mike asked the police where he could stand in the building without risking arrest and they replied somewhere where he would not be viewing singers.

Meanwhile, a spokeswoman for the Walker administration was writing an email contradicting police.
From Channel3000 : Department of Administration spokeswoman Stephanie Marquis said in an email Wednesday that, “Observers will not receive citations.”"

Carlos and Melida Arredondo were present today to view the protests. Carlos is a Veteran for Peace who became famous for rushing to help a Boston bombing victim. Perhaps you remember this photo?

ALEC in Chicago - Let's nail these bastards!

Leno monologue last night, when guest was some guy named "Barack"

Welcome to a very special edition of "The Tonight Show." The White House announced that in the coming days, President Obama will be reaching out to Americans who have lost their jobs. In fact, that’s why he’s here with me tonight. He’s talking to me personally.

As our studio audience knows, the security today was incredible. In fact, first lady Michelle Obama already had the Secret Service sweep the president’s dressing room for chips, pizza, ice cream — any kind of snack, donut, any kind of sweets.

Happy birthday to President Obama! He turned 52 over the weekend. You can see he is getting a little grayer. In fact, they are starting to call him "The Silver Fox." That’s because most of the silver in his hair was caused by Fox.

All our best to former President George W. Bush, who is recovering from successful heart surgery today. All day the media have been sending get-well wishes to President Bush. Fox News sent flowers. MSNBC sent a steak and cheese fries.

America: We're big on law and order. Justice, not so much.

It's Shark Week, ergo sum ...

Day 7: Mass arrest of singers in WI capitol, legislator and photographers threatened with arrest


Today was the 7th day of mass arrests in Wisconsin’s capitol building since July 24, 2013 when the mass arrests began.


According to WMTV, today August 6th, 22 people were cited for not having a permit and one of the 22 also got a disorderly conduct ticket. A tally that Jason H. has been keeping shows that capitol cops have dispensed 168 citations and 6 misdemeanors to singalong participants since July 24th.


“State Rep. Sondy Pope (D-Middleton) was threatened with arrest Tuesday for watching the Solidarity Sing Along from the floor above the noontime protest. Tia Nelson, executive secretary of the Board of Commissioners of Public Lands, who was standing with Pope, was also threatened with arrest.”


Having been at the event on August 6 and only videotaping/photographing while actively not “participating” in singing as an experiment, I was approached by a Capitol Police office who walked up to me and told me that just being in the Rotunda while the event in occurring is cause for arrest, handcuffing, photographing my face and getting a fine.

Valedictorian and Salutorian - John Galt High School

Wisconsin lawmaker Sondy Pope threatened with arrest at Capitol for observing Solidarity Sing Along


State Rep. Sondy Pope (D-Middleton) was threatened with arrest Tuesday for watching the Solidarity Sing Along from the floor above the noontime protest. Tia Nelson, executive secretary of the Board of Commissioners of Public Lands, who was standing with Pope, was also threatened with arrest. Nelson said she had stopped to observe the sing-along after leaving a meeting at the Capitol.

"I was told [by a Capitol Police officer] that if I didn't move I was subject to arrest," said Nelson. "They were also telling tourists that."

Nelson said she had no idea she would be subject to arrest just for observing the protest, which has targeted Gov. Scott Walker’s policies each weekday at the Capitol since March 11, 2011. "I've never joined the protest. I'm here doing my work."

Officer Andrew Hyatt was circling the upper level of the Rotunda on Tuesday, warning observers that the chief of police considered the sing-along an unlawful gathering and therefore spectators were subject to arrest. "Whether singing or observing, everyone is subject to arrest," he told one observer. When asked to define the parameters in which observers were subject to arrest, Hyatt said "in this area."
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