Tag Archives: Presidential elections

Swimming federation to splash tens of millions on African technique


There was too little variety within the swimming pool and fewer on the medal podium on the Tokyo Olympics

Elite coaching facilities in Africa and scholarship applications worldwide are a part of a method to assist athletes emerge from outdoors the game’s energy bases. Of 105 medals received within the pool on the Tokyo Video games, nearly half went to Individuals and Australians. Solely three have been received by Africans, and none of these by Black swimmers.

That image needs to be totally different on the 2024 Paris Olympics, newly elected FINA president Husain al-Musallam informed The Related Press, pledging to make student-athletes a precedence.

“I imagine there will likely be quite a lot of athletes coming from Africa in swimming and they’re going to attain the rostrum,” al-Musallam stated in an interview on the Tokyo Aquatics Middle. “Whenever you give alternative to everyone they carry out. Africans have an absence of sources, particularly for aquatic sport.”

One stand-out story in Tokyo was 18-year-old Ahmed Hafnaoui of Tunisia, who received a shock gold within the 400 freestyle.

Two years in the past, Hafnaoui did not make the 400 ultimate on the junior world championships, however had entry to a gymnasium to construct his power for the Olympics, the FINA president stated.

“With out weights, it’s tough to supply,” al-Musallam stated. “I’m certain if he was doing one 12 months of fine preparation he’ll (set) a brand new world file.”

FINA has recognized Tunisia, Senegal and two universities in South Africa as elite coaching bases to put African athletes. Others will go to Europe, in Hungary and Russia.

Abeku Jackson of Ghana educated for the lads’s 100 butterfly at a FINA-supported base in Kazan, the 2025 world championships host metropolis in Russia. His time of 53.39 seconds set a nationwide file however didn’t advance him from the heats.

“You may’t snap your fingers and put minorities (swimmers) on the rostrum,” new FINA govt director Brent Nowicki stated.

He pointed to FINA spending $29 million over 4 years on a method to widen and deepen swimming’s expertise pool.

“You will note quite a few Africans and minorities pupil athletes competing,” predicted Nowicki, an American sports activities lawyer employed to assist reform FINA.

The Lausanne, Switzerland-based group has lengthy been among the many richest Olympic sports activities our bodies however with little transparency.

In Tokyo, FINA introduced a 50% rise in prize cash for the 25-meter pool world championships, which will likely be held in Abu Dhabi in December. World data will earn $50,000 bonuses from a complete pot of $2.eight million.

The earlier FINA management’s failure to reward athletes led to the breakaway Worldwide Swimming League, and an anti-trust swimsuit in California filed by swimmers together with three-time Olympic champion Katinka Hosszú and Tokyo gold medalist Michael Andrew.

That case is ongoing, and al-Musallam stated he has taken half in two on-line conferences with a choose searching for to achieve a settlement between the events.

The FINA president has talked with and plans to satisfy Matt Biondi, the American swim nice who leads the brand new Worldwide Swimmers’ Alliance representing the game’s athletes.

Al-Musallam stated he didn’t announce having spoken with Biondi “as a result of then I will likely be a showman. I’m not a showman.”

He additionally engaged with Olympic stars in Tokyo, inviting them to go to Africa and encourage younger swimmers.

“I stated, ‘I can provide you this chance. I ship you to Ghana. Speak to the children within the river,’” al-Musallam stated. “I need to work within the discipline, I’m quiet. You choose the consequence.”


Extra AP Olympics: https://apnews.com/hub/2020-tokyo-olympics and https://twitter.com/AP—Sports activities


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Politics creates financial phantasm in Houdini’s hometown


APPLETON, Wis. — Nothing can shake Scott Rice’s religion that President Donald Trump will save the U.S. financial system — not seeing companies shut or buddies furloughed, not even his personal hellish bout with the novel coronavirus.

Rice reveres the president the way in which Wisconsin loves the Inexperienced Bay Packers. He has painted “T-R-U-M-P” on his garden, spelled it out with Christmas lights on his roof and painted it on his steel-toed footwear.

He was additionally a virus skeptic, believing it was a hoax meant to harm Trump and the financial system. However then the illness seeped into the paper mill the place he works, and he was stricken, all of a sudden shedding his urge for food, even for his favourite Taco Bell. He lay in mattress, feverish, drenched in sweat. Two air-conditioner items didn’t cool him. His physique appeared at struggle with itself.

After 16 days at dwelling, Rice advised his co-workers that the illness was scary and actual. However Trump held onto his vote for one motive: The inventory market was climbing.

“The 401(okay)s, simply the financial system,” Rice stated. “He received jobs going. Simply amassed plenty of jobs, being a businessman.”

Rice’s perception represents the muse of Trump’s hopes — that Individuals imagine the financial system is robust sufficient to ship him a second time period.

However in Appleton, a predominately white metropolis of 75,000 individuals alongside the Fox River, the well being of the financial system isn’t judged on jobs numbers, private financial institution accounts or union contracts. As an alternative, it’s considered via partisan lenses — filtered via the info voters need to see and listen to, and people they don’t.

By nearly any measure, Trump’s guarantees of an financial revival in locations like Appleton have gone unfulfilled. The realm has misplaced about 8,000 jobs since he was elected.

Even earlier than the pandemic, Wisconsin’s financial system was fragile, as job losses started in August 2019 and a restoration in hiring had simply begun when the virus struck. The state that’s very important for Trump’s victory had extra jobs a decade in the past when the nation was nonetheless ailing from the Nice Recession than it did in July.

Whereas supporters like Rice are immovable, others have had sufficient. President Barack Obama gained right here in 2012, however voters flipped to Trump 4 years later, and Trump can not afford a lot erosion in a state that he gained by solely 22,000 votes out of greater than 2.Eight million.

Democratic candidate Joe Biden holds a slight lead over Trump within the newest Marquette Regulation College ballot of Wisconsin voters. Trump’s disapproval score has risen to 54% from 49% in the beginning the 12 months. However 52% of Wisconsin voters applaud Trump on the financial system, whereas 56% dislike his dealing with of the pandemic that pulled the nation into recession.

Even Rice concedes that the financial system is not only an argument for Trump — it’s additionally an argument towards him. His 20-year-old daughter, Cassidy, tells him so. She is learning public well being at George Washington College and can solid her first presidential vote for Biden.

“The truth that there was a pandemic and the truth that it had these penalties on the financial system needs to be a watch opener, like, hey, possibly we’re not doing this accurately,” she stated.


Trump gained the presidency by wringing tens of 1000’s of votes out of small cities and medium-size cities throughout Wisconsin, Michigan and Pennsylvania.

He did it in locations like Appleton. The town of stone and brick hugs the Fox River, its currents powering the smoke-stacked paper mills that constructed fortunes. Steamboats and trains introduced the trimmings of Victorian-era consolation. The nation’s second co-educational school, Lawrence College, occupies 84 acres on the fringe of downtown. The top of World Warfare II introduced a suburban buildout, and youngsters more and more left dairy farms for union jobs at mills and foundries.

However as the necessity for paper waned 20 years in the past, town started a gradual evolution. Now condos, cafes, workplaces and a jogging path line the riverbank.

The path ends downtown at Houdini Plaza, a monument to town’s most well-known offspring, illusionist Harry Houdini. His phrases are inscribed on the monument the place his childhood dwelling as soon as stood: “What the eyes see and the ears hear, the thoughts believes.”

There could also be no higher clarification of American politics on this confounding second.

Trump voters hearken to his cheerleading for the financial system and imagine the businessman president has labored his magic. Many write off the pandemic as a velocity bump for accelerating prosperity. Biden’s backers see an phantasm — an financial system that was recovering underneath Obama, however now, with the pandemic, is attempting to crawl again to well being, with no actual plan from Trump.

The 2 realities are clear in nationwide surveys. In August, 80% of Democrats name financial circumstances “poor,” whereas 63% of Republicans describe them as “good” in a survey carried out by The Related Press-NORC Heart for Public Affairs Analysis.

In Appleton, maybe the one shared view is a deep anxiousness concerning the future. Eating places and bars fear about prospects vanishing as soon as cooler temperatures return. The excessive prices of childcare and medical insurance make it exhausting to draw staff, regardless of the downturn.

Folks can not even agree on the phrases of the financial debate to provide you with an answer.

“What we’ve performed with politics is gotten right into a tribal struggle that appears solely at elections after we needs to be taking a look at insurance policies and outcomes,” stated John Burke, CEO and chairman of Wisconsin-based Trek Bicycles, one of many state’s most distinguished enterprise leaders.

How enduring the divide will likely be is likely one of the central assessments of the presidential election. Will emotional ties to Trump override assessments of his job efficiency?


After 2016, native Democrats wasted no time mourning. Lee Snodgrass grew to become chair of the native occasion and started a blitz of door-knocking to construct up volunteers and voters, a job that led her into areas that have been firmly for Trump.

As a candidate now for the state legislature, she has tried to bridge the partisan divide, however usually finds few Republican takers.

“It’s like watching a automotive accident in gradual movement,” stated Snodgrass. “The habits and decisions that individuals make on this pandemic mirror basic variations between the Democratic Occasion of immediately and the Republican Occasion of immediately.”

Sporting a T-shirt that stated “VOTE,” Snodgrass walked via a neighborhood that leans for Trump. She recited info concerning the financial system and the pandemic — a number of thousands and thousands jobs misplaced, a rising physique depend — and Republicans would defend Trump.

She would then attempt to steer the dialog to widespread floor, like the necessity to scale back well being care prices, and finish by summarizing their dialog by saying, “Listed here are the issues that we agree on.”

These Republican voters discovered Trump’s demeanor crude. However the unemployment price was a powerful 3.5% earlier than the pandemic. Trump had up to date and changed the North American Free Commerce Settlement. They provide Trump credit score, though he inherited a wholesome 4.7% unemployment price and the commerce deficit with Mexico on items had jumped to $101 billion final 12 months — larger than in any 12 months underneath Obama.

“There are issues that he stated he would do,” stated Candice Meyer, a retired authorized assistant. “And he has performed that. He’s performed it with a giant mouth and a show-off, 13-year-old character, and he can’t hold his mouth shut. And he’s impolite. However he has come via with plenty of his platform.”

The pandemic and recession confirmed simply how ingrained politics was in what individuals noticed, heard and believed. Their partisan loyalties grew to become their realities about handle the coronavirus and assist the financial system.

“What actually stunned me is how rapidly issues received polarized,” stated Jonathan Rothwell, the principal economist at Gallup. “The pandemic received immediately framed as a bit of fine or dangerous information for the president, very similar to the roles report.”

How individuals really feel concerning the financial system more and more mirrors their politics. AP-NORC discovered that solely 34% of Republicans believed the financial system was in good condition in April 2016 when a Democrat was within the White Home, a quantity that swiftly shot upward after Trump’s election to succeed in 89% this January earlier than the pandemic.


On the Midwest Paper Group, the place Scott Rice works, there’s a story of restoration, however one the place credit score lay with the union and the Outagamie County govt, not with Trump. Between 2001 and 2016, Wisconsin’s paper business misplaced 15,000 jobs. Midwest Paper Group sunk into receivership in 2017 as demand flagged in for crisp white paper.

Greater than 600 staff have been handed pink slips in anticipation of the mill being shuttered, in an space the place almost one in 5 jobs are nonetheless in factories.

“Most have been resigned to destiny,” stated Tom Nelson, the county govt. “The paper business was deemed outdated and outdated, uncompetitive due to imports, unfair commerce offers, digital substitution.”

A Democrat with tortoise-shell glasses, Nelson gained his first election in Appleton in 2005 and nonetheless has a boyish look on the age of 44, with curly hair that has grown lengthy in the course of the pandemic. By his estimate, the county would have misplaced a catastrophic 2,000 jobs as collateral harm if the mill closed.

Nelson, the employees and their union illustration lobbied the chapter court docket and struck a deal. “If it weren’t for the truth that the mill was unionized, it could be a trash heap,” Nelson stated.

As an alternative, the mill added new machines to make supplies for cardboard, capitalizing on the rising variety of individuals buying on-line at Amazon. For 12 hours a day, Rice mans the management room in a purple face masks that claims “USA.”


There are different winners within the native financial system — the Menard’s dwelling enchancment retailer, grocers, fast-food chains. Bike shops are bought out of Treks, which have been constructed within the manufacturing unit 87 miles away in Waterloo.

Trek’s three U.S. warehouses have been emptied by August due to all of the shopping for, but Burke, its CEO, was agonizing concerning the destiny of the broader financial system.

Burke, 58, pedals 110 miles on his customary Saturday experience, lengthy sufficient for the nation’s issues to show over in his thoughts. After his personal school commencement, Burke took a day to get his knowledge tooth pulled and began the following at Trek. He’s remained there for the previous 37 years.

He determined to put in writing a guide in 2016 and up to date it this 12 months, “Presidential Playbook 2020: 16 Nonpartisan Options to Save America.”

As Burke sees it, Trump has ruled with a harmful set of blind spots that threaten long-term development.

There have been the hurricanes and wildfires unleashed by local weather change. Federal debt has surged. Not sufficient cash is being invested in training and youngsters. And Trump initially downplayed the virus and supplied the prospect of unsafe treatments like injecting disinfectant to kill coronavirus.

Appleton is testimony to the shortage of straightforward options to the pandemic.

Almost 40% of town’s leisure and hospitality jobs have been misplaced. Eating places have been closed, accommodations vacant. The banquet corridor connected to the Longcheng Market that serves the realm’s inhabitants of 5,000 Hmong immigrants has sat empty since March.

The downtown had been evolving as younger dad and mom moved again to Wisconsin from Minneapolis and Chicago. Eating places and boutiques popped up alongside School Avenue, catering to the professors and college students at Lawrence College. The oil companies agency U.S. Ventures introduced it could construct a brand new headquarters on a metropolis bluff — 500 workplace staff who may very well be regulars at Mondo! wine bar.

Then the pandemic struck.

The standing of the U.S. Ventures headquarters is now unsure, however it actually gained’t open as introduced in 2022. Mondo! is getting by with retail gross sales and outside seating, till the climate adjustments.

Since 2017, David Oliver used Instagram to steadily draw individuals to Appleton’s first skyscraper (1932) and a bar designed to be as ethereal and lightweight as a day rosé.

Oliver, 59, would fairly hold his politics corked. However he stated American companies desperately want one other spherical of help. As a result of the virus has lingered, so have the income shortfalls and Oliver blames the president.

“They’re purported to be pro-business,” Oliver stated. “However a lot of the Republican Occasion has reverted to this magical considering that Trump has that the financial system is okay and the virus goes away. They’re delusional.”

Oliver worries a couple of darkish time during which future generations really feel it’s too dangerous to start out a small enterprise of their hometown. He can’t help the president.

“This occasion will impression generations of Individuals — identical to the Nice Despair,” Oliver stated. “It’s going to make it a lot tougher to attempt to take the possibility. As a result of, what occurs if there may be one other pandemic?”


Different companies are struggling to search out staff. Trisha Kostelny, who runs Fischer-Ulman Development, might solely get 5 individuals to use to put concrete, although the job paid $29 an hour with well being, dental and an identical 401(okay). She solely discovered two of the candidates certified.

“We’re so wanting candidates I’ve puzzled if I wanted to go on the market and do the work myself,” she stated.

Greater than 9,600 individuals within the Appleton space are nonetheless with out work.

The Trump administration argues the issue is that the federal government has been too beneficiant with laid-off staff as officers stated that the additional $600 per week in unemployment profit stored most individuals from in search of jobs, so their expiration in August ought to trigger a rush of candidates and hiring.

However to Kostelny, the issue is that staff want much more assist from the federal government. Her solely approach to get extra functions is to concentrate on minorities and girls, staff who will possible have to pay for childcare. As of now, she will solely afford to cowl two-thirds of her 25 staff’ medical insurance prices.

If she boosted wages and advantages on her personal, she would put her enterprise in danger. She now favors a rise within the minimal wage and a few type of common well being care.

Kostelny plans to vote Democratic, as she did in 2016. However her prospects and firm span your entire political spectrum and he or she believes the financial system is being harm by the hyper partisanship.

“The extra we’re divisive — on no account is that good for enterprise,” she stated. “That may’t be good for enterprise.”

Matt Albert, chair of the native Republicans, additionally sees the financial polarization. Companies have been initially much less enthusiastic about declaring their enthusiasm for Trump and probably offending Democrats, however these worries light after the unrest in Kenosha, Wisconsin, after police shot a Black man seven occasions.

“That they had been involved about shedding prospects for placing indicators up,” Albert stated. “However they now really feel like if Trump does not get in, they will not have a enterprise. … The riots will shut them down. The laws will shut them down.”

Nonetheless, Republicans right here say that Trump propelled the nation to new heights with tax and regulatory cuts, solely to be introduced low by the pressure majeure of a virus, and that the majority voters will maintain him innocent.

Republicans’ knock on Joe Biden is that he would elevate taxes that would suffocate development (almost $Four trillion over 10 years that may largely come from the rich).

Whereas Republicans stay assured Trump will carry the county once more, some concede the race may very well be tighter. If he loses cities like Appleton, it might spell bother for the president.

“I believe it is going to be nearer as a result of he’s shedding among the optimistic momentum that I believe he created,” stated State Rep. Mike Rohrkaste, who will not be in search of reelection. “The pandemic has knocked him off his message.”

A number of lawmakers and voters asserted that Biden would turn out to be the pawn of socialists and Marxists — a jarring declare in a neighborhood whose most infamous native son is Sen. Joe McCarthy, who falsely claimed that the U.S. authorities was filled with communists and whose chief counsel would later turn out to be the non-public lawyer for a younger New York Metropolis actual property scion who’s now president.

“The COVID has put a lot pessimism into the financial system — that’s the large killer,” stated Marvin Murphy, the 80-year-old proprietor of Fox Cities journal. He estimates he has spoken with each enterprise inside 70 miles of Appleton through the years.

Solely the wealthiest corporations with entry to low-cost capital are more likely to survive, Murphy stated. He nicknamed the illness the “McVirus,” he stated, as a result of McDonalds couldn’t have engineered a “higher approach to kill off small, impartial eating places.”

A libertarian who stated he votes Republican unhappily as a result of “there may be nothing else,” Murphy sipped a recent cup of espresso in his yard overlooking the Wolf River and lamented that so many individuals solely course of the world primarily based on what they see and listen to on TV.

“Actuality will not be crucial factor,” Murphy stated. “The perceived actuality is what’s necessary.”


AP’s Advance Voting information brings you the info about voting early, by mail or absentee from every state: https://interactives.ap.org/advance-voting-2020/


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Worldwide Observer speaks on Nigeria presidential elections

CNBC Africa spoke to an Worldwide Election Observer, Christopher Fomunyoh, who has noticed all Nigerian elections since 1999 to get his views in regards to the nation’s 2019 presidential election to date.


Warren has personal plan for every part, although not well being care


Elizabeth Warren has a plan for that. However on well being care, she’s with Bernie.

Warren, a Massachusetts senator and a number one liberal Democratic presidential candidate, has stood out within the 2020 race for her extraordinary give attention to detailed plans to deal with the nation’s most urgent points. Her web site lists particular insurance policies for 43 matters, from gun violence and Social Safety to the Electoral School and household farmers.

However on well being care, a problem that issues probably the most to many citizens, Warren is all in on her opponent Bernie Sanders’ “Medicare for All” plan.

The seeming inconsistency was highlighted throughout this previous week’s presidential debate by Democratic front-runner Joe Biden as he defended his personal plan to develop the well being care overhaul put in place whereas Barack Obama was president.

“The senator says she’s for Bernie,” Biden quipped. “Nicely, I am for Barack.”

No subject has outlined the early months of the nomination struggle greater than well being care, which has emerged as a robust proxy within the broader struggle for the celebration’s soul within the age of Trump.

The difficulty is a fragile one for Warren. She must unify the progressive wing behind her candidacy to overhaul Biden within the major, if she is to emerge because the nominee towards President Donald Trump within the basic election.

Medicare for All is Sanders’ signature subject, and as such, she will sick afford any daylight on well being care between her and Sanders, a self-described democratic socialist, if she finally hopes to win over his supporters.

On such a important subject, Warren allies imagine there isn’t any incentive to complicate the talk with a brand new plan.

“Making clear that they are aligned on the North Star aim of Medicare for All is a crucial long-term funding in her relationship with Sanders’ voters — in addition to an vital short-term funding in readability for all voters,” stated Adam Inexperienced, co-founder of the Progressive Change Marketing campaign Committee and a vocal Warren supporter.

Certainly, the interior battle over well being care has two very clear factions.

Biden leads those that desire to depart the personal insurance coverage market in place however give individuals the selection to hitch a government-backed “public choice.” Sanders leads the strategy, which might substitute the personal insurance coverage market altogether with a single-payer well being care system requiring just about no out-of-pocket prices.

From the start, Warren has been clearly aligned with Sanders’ faction. But a few of Sanders’ supporters will not be but satisfied that she’s as dedicated to Medicare for All because the plan’s creator. Progressive critics famous, for instance, that Warren indicated she supported “quite a lot of plans” when requested about well being care in an interview after the talk.

“I assist Medicare for All. I believe it is a good plan. And look, I assist quite a lot of plans — different issues that folks have give you. Once they’re good plans, let’s do it,” Warren informed CBS. “This is not some form of contest (the place) I acquired to think about mine first. It is what’s greatest for the American individuals.”

A spokeswoman later clarified that Warren doesn’t assist any plans on well being care and that the senator’s reference to supporting “quite a lot of plans” utilized solely to different insurance policies.

Nina Turner, who co-chairs Sanders’ marketing campaign, applauded Warren’s constant public embrace of Medicare for All.

“For Sen. Sanders, it is a fantastic factor to have a fellow progressive comply with his lead on the signature subject of his marketing campaign,” Turner stated.

However she prompt that solely Sanders is invested sufficient within the plan to make sure it finally turns into legislation.

“He is the one one who will see it by all the best way to the tip,” she stated. “That is in his bones.”

Katherine Brezler, who co-founded the group Individuals for Bernie Sanders, stated Warren’s embrace of Sanders’ well being plan has helped preserve good relations between the 2 rivals and their supporters.

“I genuinely suppose that neither camp is actually going to have that onerous a time voting for the opposite,” stated Brezler, who helped increase cash for Warren’s first Senate bid.

Warren’s marketing campaign declined to remark for this story other than pointing to the CBS interview.

Throughout the debate, she repeatedly defended her assist for the plan, however she let Sanders punch again at Biden when the previous vp raised questions on its value.

Biden famous Medicare for All would value taxpayers roughly $30 trillion. A fiery Sanders stated the present system would value $50 trillion whereas leaving greater than 80 million American uninsured or underinsured.

Medicare for All, Sanders stated, would cowl everybody and get rid of all out-of-pocket bills, deductibles and co-payments.

“I … wrote the rattling invoice, if I could say so,” Sanders stated as Warren regarded on.


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Nigeria Decides: INEC Chairman Mahmood Yakubu offers replace about election day

Nigeria efficiently carried out its 2019 elections on Saturday. Mahmood Yakubu, Chairman of the Unbiased Nationwide Electoral Fee briefed the media on what occurred throughout the elections yesterday.


Regardless of calls to start out over, US well being system covers 90%


America’s much-maligned well being care system is masking 9 out of 10 folks, a proven fact that hasn’t stopped the 2020 presidential candidates from refighting battles about the way to present protection, from Bernie Sanders’ name for changing non-public insurance coverage with a authorities plan to President Donald Trump’s pledge to erase the Reasonably priced Care Act and begin over.

The politicians are depicting a system in meltdown. The numbers level to a unique story, not as dire and extra nuanced.

Authorities surveys present that about 90% of the inhabitants has protection , largely preserving features from President Barack Obama’s years. Unbiased consultants estimate that greater than one-half of the roughly 30 million uninsured folks within the nation are eligible for medical health insurance via current packages.

Lack of protection was a rising drawback in 2010 when Democrats below Obama handed his well being regulation. Now the larger difficulty appears to be that many individuals with insurance coverage are struggling to pay their deductibles and copays.

“We have to have a debate about protection and price, and we’ve seen much less concentrate on price than we’ve on protection,” mentioned Colorado Sen. Michael Bennet. He’s among the many Democratic presidential candidates who favor constructing on the present system, not changing it totally, as does Sanders. “The associated fee difficulty is a large difficulty for the nation and for households,” Bennet mentioned.

A report this yr by the Commonwealth Fund suppose tank in New York discovered fewer uninsured People than in 2010 however extra who’re “underinsured,” a time period that describes policyholders uncovered to excessive out-of-pocket prices, in comparison with their particular person incomes. The report estimated 44 million People had been underinsured in 2018, in contrast with 29 million in 2010 when the regulation was handed. That is a few 50% improve, with the best soar amongst folks with employer protection.

“When you’ve got 90 p.c of the American folks coated and they’re drowning of their well being care payments, what they wish to hear from politicians are plans that can deal with their well being care prices, greater than plans that can cowl the remaining 10 p.c,” mentioned Drew Altman, president of the Kaiser Household Basis, a nonpartisan analysis group that tracks the well being care system. “When Democrats discuss common protection greater than well being care prices, they’re taking part in to the goals of activists and progressives … a lot much less to the precise issues of the 90 p.c who’ve protection right this moment.”

Sanders’ workplace responds that the Vermont senator’s “Medicare for All” plan would resolve each the protection and price issues for particular person People. Medical care could be supplied with no deductibles or copays. Nobody could be uninsured or underinsured.

“The easy reply is that our well being care system turns into extra unmanageable for increasingly People yearly,” Sanders spokesman Keane Bhatt mentioned in a press release. “This isn’t a system that wants just a few tweaks. This can be a system that wants an entire overhaul.”

However different nations that present protection for all and are held up by Sanders as fashions for the U.S. do not provide advantages as beneficiant as he is proposing. If he’s elected president, there is no method of telling how his plan would emerge from Congress, and even whether or not one thing prefer it may move.

4 different 2020 Democrats are co-sponsors of Sanders’ invoice: Sens. Cory Booker of New Jersey, Kirsten Gillibrand of New York, Kamala Harris of California, and Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts.

On the opposite facet of the political spectrum, Trump is speaking about massive adjustments. His administration is searching for to have federal courts declare the complete Obama-era well being care regulation unconstitutional, jeopardizing protection for 20 million folks, jettisoning protections for sufferers with preexisting circumstances, and upending the remainder of the 970-page statute, now practically 10 years previous.

The president says there’s nothing to fret about. Earlier this summer time Trump instructed ABC Information that he was engaged on a plan that would offer “phenomenal well being care,” shield folks with preexisting circumstances, and could be “inexpensive than ‘Obamacare’ by lots.”

White Home spokesman Judd Deere mentioned in a press release that the Obama regulation was “offered and handed on a litany of damaged guarantees” and now “Democrats are proposing much more radical authorities takeovers of our well being care system.”

As president-elect, Trump promised a well being plan however by no means provided one upon taking workplace. As a substitute he backed payments from congressional Republicans, together with one he known as “imply” throughout a personal assembly.

Trump says he may come out together with his new plan inside months, however that passing it might hinge on his getting reelected and Republicans profitable again the Home in 2020 whereas maintaining management of the Senate.

That is a little bit of political deja vu.

Republicans managed Washington again in 2017 when Trump, then-Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis., and Senate Majority Chief Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., tried for months to repeal and change the Obama regulation, solely to fail. The repeal effort was extensively seen as contributing to Republicans dropping the Home in 2018.

Since then, many GOP lawmakers have tried to keep away from the difficulty altogether.

Economist Sara Collins of the Commonwealth Fund, who led the research about underinsured People, says price and protection issues are intertwined. Citing the Democrats’ debate over Medicare for All, she says what’s lacking from that dialogue is that “one does not should go that far with the intention to enhance the monetary scenario for thousands and thousands of individuals — you are able to do that with rather more focused, incremental insurance policies.”


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Kamala Harris proposes bill to invest in safe drinking water


Sen. Kamala Harris is introducing legislation designed to ensure all Americans, particularly those in at-risk communities, have access to safe, affordable drinking water, the latest response to burgeoning water crises across the country.

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The California Democrat and presidential candidate’s “Water Justice Act” would invest nearly $220 billion in clean and safe drinking water programs, with priority given to high-risk communities and schools. As part of that, Harris’ plan would declare a drinking water infrastructure emergency, devoting $50 billion toward communities and schools where water is contaminated to test for contaminants and to remediate toxic infrastructure.

The legislation, being introduced on Monday, also would establish a $10 billion program to allow states to offset the cost of water bills in low-income communities and environmentally at-risk households. Additionally, Harris would invest $20 billion in a variety of sustainable water supply, recycling and conservation programs.

Harris is focusing on the issue as she and other 2020 Democratic presidential candidates turn their sights on Michigan, where the city of Flint has faced a major water crisis . Harris, who launched her campaign in January, is among the party’s candidates speaking at the NAACP’s national convention in Michigan this week. And 20 candidates seeking their party’s nomination will take the stage for the party’s second set of presidential debates in Detroit on July 30-31.

Harris is partnering with Michigan Reps. Dan Kildee, who represents Flint, and Brenda Lawrence. While Flint has dealt with lead that leached into some homes after officials tapped into the Flint River in 2014, the problems also are dire in Harris’ home state, where 1 million of its nearly 40 million residents don’t have access to clean drinking water because of pollution from humans or natural causes.

“Every American has the right to clean water, period,” Harris said. “We must take seriously the existential threat represented by future water shortages and acknowledge that communities across the country — particularly communities of color — already lack access to safe and affordable water. Achieving true justice in our nation will require us to recognize the precious nature of water and take bold action to invest in long-term, sustainable solutions to ensure it is accessible for all.”

Harris is not the only presidential candidate to focus on the water crisis plaguing communities around the country. Among them are former Housing and Urban Development Secretary Julián Castro, who earlier this year visited Flint and released a plan to combat lead exposure, and Sens. Bernie Sanders of Vermont and Cory Booker of New Jersey, who traveled to Denmark, South Carolina , where residents have struggled with tainted water.


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Infantino says FIFA scandals gone, despite corruption cases


Ahead of his re-election as FIFA president, Gianni Infantino said Wednesday he has banished scandals and corruption from the soccer body despite losing members of his council for misconduct.

Infantino is running un-opposed for a second presidential term through 2023. He was first elected in 2016 in the wake of Sepp Blatter’s downfall amid the biggest scandal in FIFA’s history.

“Remember the state of FIFA at that congress,” Infantino said. “Well the last three years and four months have certainly not been perfect. I have made mistakes certainly and I try to improve and do this better but today on an election day nobody talks about crisis. Nobody talks about rebuilding FIFA from scratch. Nobody talks about scandals. Nobody talks about corruption.”

A generation of soccer leaders in North and South America were swept from power in 2016 after American and Swiss prosecutors targeted financial corruption linked to the game’s governing bodies.

In the Infantino era, four continental soccer organizations each lost elected FIFA Council members amid allegations of corruption or financial misjudgments.

FIFA senior vice president David Chung of Papua New Guinea was banned for 6 1/2 years. Kwesi Nyantakyi of Ghana was banned for life. Sheikh Ahmad of Kuwait withdrew his re-election candidacy when implicated in bribing voters. Reinhard Grindel of Germany resigned.

Infantino was also investigated, and soon cleared, in 2016 by the FIFA ethics committee for his use of private jets. The investigators and judges who ran that case, from Germany, Guam and Switzerland, were gone within a year.

Another independent official left abruptly weeks after finding that Russian Deputy Prime Minister Vitaly Mutko was too conflicted to retain his FIFA Council seat while also implicated in a state-sponsored doping scandal.

But Infantino told FIFA’s 211 member associations that “we have turned the situation around” since the Blatter era.

“This organization went from being toxic, almost criminal to what it should be — an organization that develops football, an organization that cares about football,” Infantino said. “We have transformed it into a new FIFA — an organization which is synonymous with credibility, trust, integrity, equality, human rights.”


More AP soccer: https://apnews.com/apf-Soccer and https://twitter.com/AP—Sports


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AP-NORC Poll: Democrats have health care edge ahead of 2020


Americans are giving Democrats a clear edge on health care as the 2020 presidential race gears up, according to a new poll that also finds many Republicans backing one of their competitors’ top ideas: a government insurance plan people can buy into.

But support for the plan that has attracted the most attention, Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders’ “Medicare for All,” is concentrated mostly among Democrats.

Overall, The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research poll finds that Democrats enjoy a 17 percentage point advantage over Republicans in Americans’ assessments of whom they trust more to handle health care, 40% to 23%. That compares with a public more evenly divided over which party would better handle several other major areas of national policy, including the economy, immigration and foreign affairs.

“As I look at what’s going on, there is no question that Democrats are far more structured toward trying to make sure people have health care,” said Robert Head, of Lewes, Delaware.

Head, who’s retired from a marketing career for machinery manufacturers, said he was a lifelong Republican who lost faith in the party because of the Iraq War.

“I tend to think that health care is a fundamental human right,” he added. “The Republicans don’t have a plan. All they want to do is block grants back to the states.”

A public backlash against the GOP’s fruitless efforts to repeal the Affordable Care Act helped Democrats win the House in 2018 . Now, Democrats are looking to health care to help them take the White House in 2020. All the Democratic candidates are looking to expand government-sponsored coverage.

The survey shows that Americans are generally in sync with the idea of government taking a leading role. Fifty-seven percent believe the federal government is responsible for making sure all Americans have health care coverage, while 41% think it is not.

Many Americans are open to the two approaches being pushed by Democrats, according to the poll.

The first is Medicare for All, under which all U.S. residents would be covered through a single government plan financed with new taxes. The second is an option for people to buy into a new government plan as an alternative to private insurance. Key details of both concepts have yet to be spelled out.

Among all Americans, 42% support a single-payer plan like the one espoused by Sanders, while 31% express opposition. Another quarter say they are neither in favor nor opposed. Support breaks down along partisan and ideological lines, with liberal Democrats about four times as likely as conservative Republicans to back single-payer.

Christine Knapp, a Republican from Fresno, California, is concerned that Sanders’ approach might affect her current Medicare coverage.

“People who are Medicare recipients right now, we’ve paid into it,” she said. “If you start putting everybody into it, I don’t know where the money is going to come from. It’s an interesting idea, but it could be fraught with a lot of negativity.”

The partisan gap narrows significantly, however, for the option of Americans buying into a government program.

Overall, 53% support the buy-in option, with 17% opposed and 29% on the fence.

Similar shares of Democrats back the two plans. But Republicans are nearly twice as likely to support a public option plan as a single-payer plan, 44% to 22%.

Knapp likes the buy-in because it calls for some level of personal responsibility from those who would benefit.

“It’s not just going to some county health department and signing the paperwork and getting free health care for life,” said Knapp, who worked as a civilian employee for local law enforcement agencies.

In Columbia, South Carolina, small business owner Tanya Attarwala is a Democrat who says she could get behind either Medicare for All or a buy-in approach.

Right now Attarwala is uninsured and is paying out of pocket for her health care at a local Walmart clinic. She said that she was covered previously under former President Barack Obama’s health law but that premiums were too costly when compared with the medical services she received each year.

“The idea should be to cover everybody, there should be nobody without health care,” she said. “They should not be fighting about this. You have to see which one will work best.”

Attarwala’s “all of the above” attitude mirrors what’s happening among the Democratic presidential candidates, some of whom have signed up to different health care plans.

Former Vice President Joe Biden, who formally announced his candidacy on Thursday , has said he believes health care is a right but has not laid out a detailed proposal of his own. Biden generally favors building on the ACA, often called “Obamacare,” which he worked to pass under Obama.

A barometer of the nation’s health care debate, Obama’s law receives support from 48% of Americans, while 30% are opposed. Roughly 2 in 10 neither support nor oppose the ACA.

The 2010 law extended coverage to more than 20 million people and made it illegal for insurers to turn away those with health problems. But it came with a host of rollout problems and led to prohibitively high premiums for many consumers who buy individual policies and make too much money to qualify for federal financial assistance.

Nonetheless the poll flashes a warning sign for President Donald Trump, who’s thrown his support to a lawsuit seeking to overturn “Obamacare” in its entirety. It finds that 57% of Americans oppose repealing the ACA, though many would like to see it changed.


The AP-NORC poll of 1,108 adults was conducted April 11-14 using a sample drawn from NORC’s probability-based AmeriSpeak Panel, which is designed to be representative of the U.S. population. The margin of sampling error for all respondents is plus or minus 4.1 percentage points. Respondents were first selected randomly using address-based sampling methods and later were interviewed online or by phone.



AP-NORC Center: http://www.apnorc.org/


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Bernie Sanders relaunches ‘Medicare for All’ amid 2020 glare


Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont will unveil a new version of his “Medicare for All” plan on Wednesday, shaking up the 2020 presidential election by reopening the debate over his call to eliminate private health insurance.

Four of Sanders’ fellow senators and rivals for the Democratic nomination are set to sign onto the updated single-payer health care proposal. The bill’s reintroduction promises to shine a bright light on Democratic presidential candidates’ disparate visions for the long-term future of American health care.

Under fire from President Donald Trump and Republicans for the astronomical price tag of Medicare for All, some candidates who support the plan tout it as one of several ways to achieve more affordable coverage and lower the number of uninsured. And others who don’t back it are instead focusing on safeguarding popular provisions of the Affordable Care Act, such as the one that protects coverage of pre-existing conditions.

“Of course, our No. 1 goal should be to make sure we keep in place those protections so people don’t get kicked off their insurance,” Sen. Amy Klobuchar , a Minnesota Democrat who isn’t signed onto Sanders’ bill, told reporters Tuesday. “Then we also have to see the Affordable Care Act as a beginning and not an end.”

Klobuchar supports a so-called public option, versions of which would allow Americans to buy into Medicare or Medicaid. Four other Democratic senators also running for president — Elizabeth Warren , Cory Booker , Kamala Harris and Kirsten Gillibrand — back Sanders’ single-payer plan, which would replace the current mix of private and government health insurance in the U.S. with a new system run by the government. But they have also signed onto at least one version of a public option.

Warren pointed to “a lot of different pathways” to universal coverage during a televised CNN town hall last month. “What we’re all looking for is the lowest cost way to make sure that everybody gets covered.”

The debate is unfolding in the early stages of a Democratic primary in which some candidates have pointed to their support of Medicare for All to prove their progressive bona fides. But other Democratic contenders, including former Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper , have criticized Sanders’ measure as politically infeasible.

Under Medicare for All, Americans would no longer pay premiums or face insurance deductibles as the government-run system replaced private health insurance offered through employers, the mainstay of coverage for more than 160 million Americans.

Big tax increases would be needed to finance such a system. The transition is likely to be complicated, dismantling the private health insurance industry and making major changes for hospitals, doctors, drug companies and other medical providers.

“What our system does is get rid of insurance companies and drug companies making billions of dollars in profit every single year,” Sanders told CBS News for an interview set to air Wednesday, adding that private insurance would largely exist solely for elective medical care such as cosmetic surgery.

With Sanders’ idea returning to the forefront, Republicans have a fresh opportunity to slam his plan as too costly and unworkable.

“So-called ‘Medicare for All’ means private insurance for none, kicking 180 million Americans off of their current plans,” said Kayleigh McEnany, spokeswoman for Trump’s re-election campaign. “‘Medicare for all’ is a euphemism for government takeover of healthcare, and it would increase wait times, eliminate choice, and raise taxes.”

She touted Trump’s “free market policies” as a better alternative.

Trump has said he will take up health care after next year’s election , essentially making it a central campaign issue. And his administration is arguing in court for the full eradication of the Affordable Cart Act, former President Barack Obama’s signature health care law.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., warned in a Tuesday floor speech that the cost of Sanders’ proposal “is so steep that even left-leaning analysts are quietly admitting that the tax burden is virtually certain to land on the shoulders of the middle class.”

Sanders’ office released a paper outlining options to pay for his last version of Medicare for All, estimated to cost upwards of $1 trillion per year, although none of those options was included in the legislation itself. He and other supporters of Medicare for All have generally sidestepped the question of how they would pay for their plan. Instead, they say it offers the best chance for the nation to get control over health care costs by eliminating profiteering. His newest edition of the bill would also cover long-term care, an unmet need for most middle-class families.

Several independent studies of Medicare for All have estimated that it would dramatically increase government spending on health care, in the range of about $25 trillion to $35 trillion or more over a 10-year period. But a recent estimate from the Political Economy Research Institute at the University of Massachusetts in Amherst suggests that the cost could be much lower.

Neera Tanden, president of the Center for American Progress Action Fund, noted the emphasis by most Medicare for All supporters on “multiple pathways” to universal coverage as a potential point of contrast and “fodder for debate” with Sanders. In the absence of former Vice President Joe Biden, who has yet to launch a candidacy, Sanders is leading the Democratic field in early fundraising and campaigning as a front-runner.

“I think it really matters what you say to voters. That’s the most important thing,” Tanden said.

Her group has proposed a Medicare opt-out plan known as “Medicare for America,” supported by former Texas congressman and Democratic presidential candidate Beto O’Rourke, that would allow people to choose to keep employer-sponsored insurance.

Earlier this year, a poll from the nonpartisan Kaiser Family Foundation found that Americans like the idea of Medicare for All but that support flips to disapproval if it would result in higher taxes or longer waits for care.

The poll found initial support of 56% to 42%. But support fell to 26% when people were told Medicare for All could lead to delays in getting care and to 37% when they were told it could mean higher taxes.


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