‘We can’t fall behind on trade:’ Trump must strike a deal with Japan now, says US Chamber CEO

When you stand still on trade, you fall behind. Nowhere is this more apparent for the United States than in Japan, the world's third largest economy and a top market for U.S. exports, writes Tom Donohue, CEO of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.
Commentary

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Kourtney Kardashian, amfAR Gala New York 2019Kourtney Kardashian is one chic lady!
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E! Online (US) – Fashion Police

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Deadly tornadoes strike the south, killing at least 8 people

ABC News

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Trump Administration Changes Course, Asks Court To Strike Down ACA

In a dramatic move that will have implications for the coming 2020 election, the Trump administration Monday night reversed its previous position and asked a federal appeals court to strike down the entire the Affordable Care Act.

The Justice Department said it now agrees with the plaintiffs in a lawsuit challenging the law — a group of Republican attorneys general and governors.

In December, U.S. District Judge Reed O’Connor in Fort Worth, Texas, agreed with the GOP plaintiffs, saying that because the 2017 tax law passed by Congress eliminated the tax penalty for not having health insurance coverage, the rest of the health law is now unconstitutional.

A group of Democratic attorneys general, led by California’s Xavier Becerra, appealed that ruling to the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals. The law remains in place while the case proceeds.

The Trump administration originally declined to accept the plaintiffs’ argument. Instead, officials argued that since the tax was now gone, the provisions of the law requiring insurance companies to sell to people with preexisting conditions and not charge them more should fall.

Now that position has changed.

“The Department of Justice has determined that the district court’s judgment should be affirmed,” said a terse letter from Assistant Attorney General Joseph “Jody” Hunt to the appeals court handling the case. That means the administration is now formally supporting elimination of the entire ACA.

The Department of Health and Human Services declined to comment on the change and referred all questions to the Justice Department.

President Donald Trump has repeatedly called for the law to be repealed and replaced, but when Republicans controlled Congress they could not muster the necessary votes. Just last week, he lashed out at the late Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) for failing to support that effort.

The government’s court filing came on the same day federal officials announced that more than 11 million people used the insurance marketplaces set up by the law to purchase policies this year. The Justice Department move also occurred hours before House Democrats were scheduled to unveil their proposal to shore up the health law — setting up another battle line for the 2020 contests.

But Democrats on Monday night were quick to challenge the latest action.

“While the Trump Administration broadens its monstrous ambitions from destroying protections for pre-existing conditions to tearing down every last benefit and protection the Affordable Care Act provides, Democrats are fiercely defending the law of the land and protecting all Americans’ health care,” said a statement from House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer blasted the move in comments on the Senate floor Tuesday morning. “In two short sentences, the Trump administration crystallized its position that the health care coverage enjoyed by nearly 20 million people, as well as the protections by tens of millions more with preexisting conditions, should be annihilated,” he said.

Lawyers who have been following the case call the administration’s actions more than unusual.

“Much as it may dislike the fact, the Trump administration has an obligation to defend acts of Congress,” wrote Nicholas Bagley, a University of Michigan law professor and a former Justice Department attorney, in a blog post.

Invalidating the ACA could also have enormous effects on the entire health system. It would end not only the health exchanges, but also the expansion of the Medicaid program, numerous changes to Medicare and protections for people with employer-provided coverage.

“The act is now part of the plumbing of the health care system,” Bagley wrote. “Which means the Trump administration has now committed itself to a legal position that would inflict untold damage on the American public.”

Kaiser Health News

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West Virginia teachers going on strike Tuesday

Associated Press

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http://www.acrx.org -As millions of Americans strive to deal with the economic downturn,loss of jobs,foreclosures,high cost of gas,and the rising cost of prescription drug cost. Charles Myrick ,the President of American Consultants Rx, announced the re-release of the American Consultants Rx community service project which consist of millions of free discount prescription cards being donated to thousands of not for profits,hospitals,schools,churches,etc. in an effort to assist the uninsured,under insured,and seniors deal with the high cost of prescription drugs.-American Consultants Rx -Pharmacy Discount Network News

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Schiff: Trump ‘daring the courts’ to strike down national emergency

House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff said Sunday the national emergency President Donald Trump announced is unconstitutional because he declared the emergency when “Congress explicitly rejected” the money for the wall on the southern border in the funding package.


CNN.com – RSS Channel – Politics

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http://www.acrx.org -As millions of Americans strive to deal with the economic downturn,loss of jobs,foreclosures,high cost of gas,and the rising cost of prescription drug cost. Charles Myrick ,the President of American Consultants Rx, announced the re-release of the American Consultants Rx community service project which consist of millions of free discount prescription cards being donated to thousands of not for profits,hospitals,schools,churches,etc. in an effort to assist the uninsured,under insured,and seniors deal with the high cost of prescription drugs.-American Consultants Rx -Pharmacy Discount Network News

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Denver teachers picket on first day of strike

Associated Press

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http://www.acrx.org -As millions of Americans strive to deal with the economic downturn,loss of jobs,foreclosures,high cost of gas,and the rising cost of prescription drug cost. Charles Myrick ,the President of American Consultants Rx, announced the re-release of the American Consultants Rx community service project which consist of millions of free discount prescription cards being donated to thousands of not for profits,hospitals,schools,churches,etc. in an effort to assist the uninsured,under insured,and seniors deal with the high cost of prescription drugs.-American Consultants Rx -Pharmacy Discount Network News

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Massive Teacher Strike Looms At Nation’s Second-Largest School District | NBC Nightly News

NBC News

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http://www.acrx.org -As millions of Americans strive to deal with the economic downturn,loss of jobs,foreclosures,high cost of gas,and the rising cost of prescription drug cost. Charles Myrick ,the President of American Consultants Rx, announced the re-release of the American Consultants Rx community service project which consist of millions of free discount prescription cards being donated to thousands of not for profits,hospitals,schools,churches,etc. in an effort to assist the uninsured,under insured,and seniors deal with the high cost of prescription drugs.-American Consultants Rx -Pharmacy Discount Network News

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Los Angeles Teachers Are Ready For First Strike In 30 Years

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LOS ANGELES (AP) — Teachers in Los Angeles, whose 640,000 students make it the nation’s second-largest school district, are ready to strike Thursday over a contract dispute that follows teacher walkouts in other states that emboldened organized labor after a critical defeat at the U.S. Supreme Court.

United Teachers Los Angeles said its 35,000 members would walk off the job for the first time in 30 years if a deal wasn’t reached on higher pay and smaller class sizes. The Los Angeles Unified School District says the union’s demands could bankrupt the school system, which is projecting a half-billion-dollar deficit this budget year and has billions obligated for pension payments and health coverage for retired teachers.

Negotiations are continuing, but little progress is evident. The two sides rejected Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti’s offer to broker a deal.

Thousands of teachers took to the streets of downtown Los Angeles last month to demand a new contract. They wore red shirts, banged drums and carried signs that read “Stand With LA Teachers!” as they marched.

They are hoping to build on the “Red4Ed” movement that began last year in West Virginia, where a strike resulted in a raise. It moved to Oklahoma, Kentucky, Arizona, Colorado and Washington state, spreading from conservative states with “right to work” laws that limit the ability to strike to the more liberal West Coast with strong unions.

“What you’re seeing with unions is real enthusiasm and a belief that you can actually be successful,” said Robert Bruno, a professor of labor and employment relations at the University of Illinois. “The educational sector is rife with deep grievance and frustration, but there’s now a sense that you can actually win.”

Actions elsewhere emboldened Los Angeles teachers, union President Alex Caputo-Pearl said.

“Each state is different, but the commonality across all states is teachers, and parents are sick of schools not being invested in,” he said.

But unlike other states, schools will stay open if a strike happens. The district has hired hundreds of substitutes to replace teachers and others who leave for picket lines. The union said it’s “irresponsible” to hire substitutes and called on parents to consider keeping students home or join the marchers if a strike goes forward.

It comes as unions are stinging from a Supreme Court ruling last year that said government workers can’t be required to join unions and pay dues.

Larry Sand, a retired Los Angeles and New York City teacher who heads the California Teachers Empowerment Network, said he believes the Los Angeles union sees its showdown with the district as a public “sales pitch” for organized labor now that teachers have a choice about joining.

Sand, whose organization describes itself as a nonpartisan information source for teachers and the public, said overly generous benefits for teachers in the past have overburdened the district.

Teachers earn between $ 44,000 and $ 86,000 a year depending on their education and experience, according to the Los Angeles County Office of Education. The district says the average teacher salary is $ 75,000, which reflects the older, more experienced workforce.

The district has offered a 6 percent raise over the first two years of a three-year contract. The union wants a 6.5 percent hike at the start of a two-year contract. Health care fully paid by the district and a pension plan would be unchanged under both proposals.

The union also wants significantly smaller class sizes, which routinely top 30 students, and more nurses, librarians and counselors to “fully staff” the district’s campuses in Los Angeles and all or parts of 31 smaller cities, plus several unincorporated areas.

The union argues that the district is hoarding reserves of $ 1.8 billion that could be used to fund the pay and staffing hikes. The district said that money is needed to cover retiree benefits and other expenses.

Schools Superintendent Austin Beutner, an investment banker and former Los Angeles deputy mayor without experience in education, has become a lightning rod in negotiations.

The union says Beutner and school board members who voted him in are trying to privatize the district, encouraging school closures and flipping public schools into charters. Charter schools are privately operated public schools that compete for students and the funds they bring in.

Beutner, who attended public school, has said his plan to reorganize the district would improve services to students and families. He and his supporters on the board envision an education system with a “portfolio approach” — public and charter schools under the same leadership.

Sand of the California Teachers Empowerment Network said Beutner is “the right man for the job” because his business background gives him an understanding that “there’s a bottom line that has to be acknowledged.”

Both sides say they don’t want a strike, but John Rogers, a professor of education at the University of California, Los Angeles, said one seems inevitable.

“I would be surprised if a strike doesn’t come about, because I think each side has a real interest in demonstrating the dominance of their positions,” Rogers said.

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Trump Referred to Shutdown as ‘Strike’ in Profanity-Laced Meeting With Democratic Leaders

Carlos Barria/Reuters

During Friday’s meeting at the White House over the ongoing shutdown standoff, President Donald Trump and Democratic leaders Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) and Chuck Schumer (D-NY) made little substantive progress as Pelosi and Schumer urged Trump to reopen the government by Tuesday, according to three people familiar with the meeting.

One of these knowledgeable sources told The Daily Beast President Trump kicked off the meeting with a rant lasting roughly 15 minutes that included his $ 5.6 billion demand for a border wall, and threatened that he was willing to keep the government closed for “years” if that’s what it took to get his wall. He also, unprompted, brought up the Democrats who want him impeached, and even blamed Pelosi for new Democratic congresswoman Rashida Tlaib saying at a party earlier this week that Democrats would impeach the “motherfucker” Trump. (It is unclear why Trump would think Pelosi was responsible for this.)

Trump proceeded to tell the room he was too popular to impeach.

Read more at The Daily Beast.

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http://www.acrx.org -As millions of Americans strive to deal with the economic downturn,loss of jobs,foreclosures,high cost of gas,and the rising cost of prescription drug cost. Charles Myrick ,the President of American Consultants Rx, announced the re-release of the American Consultants Rx community service project which consist of millions of free discount prescription cards being donated to thousands of not for profits,hospitals,schools,churches,etc. in an effort to assist the uninsured,under insured,and seniors deal with the high cost of prescription drugs.-American Consultants Rx -Pharmacy Discount Network News

CHARITY UPDATE:

Click today to request your free ACRX discount prescription card and save up to 80% off of your medicine!

SPECIAL DONATION REQUEST UPDATE:

Please help American Consultants Rx achieve it’s biggest goal yet of donating over 30 million discount prescription cards to over 50k organizations in an effort to assist millions of Americans in need. Please click here to donate today!

Statement on NUHW Strike

As you may know, the National Union of Healthcare Workers, the union representing mental health workers at Kaiser Permanente, has called for a five-day strike this week.

We want our members and patients to know that during this strike, we are working hard to deliver high-quality care and services. All our hospitals and medical offices are open. Anyone in need of urgent mental health or other care will receive the services they require, although some non-urgent services are being rescheduled. We apologize for any inconvenience caused by this unnecessary strike.

It’s particularly disheartening that union leadership would call this strike during the holiday season, when many of our patients with mental health needs may be at their most vulnerable.

Alongside our therapists, Kaiser Permanente has been on a path to be the best mental health and addiction care program in the nation. The quality of the care we provide has been recognized by the state’s Office of the Patient Advocate, and by national quality organizations. We don’t think there is any other organization that is doing more than we are to make mental health care better in the United States. We are committed to doing even more, to innovate, to advance care, and to continually seek to improve what we do.

We have been hiring therapists, increasing our staff by 30 percent since 2015 – that’s more than 500 new therapists in California – even though there’s a national shortage. We’ve invested $ 175 million to expand and improve ourmental health care offices, to provide environments that offer our patients convenience, comfort and privacy.

Kaiser Permanente is the highest paying employer for mental health workers in California. The union is demanding wage increases that would be even higher.

Across Kaiser Permanente in Northern California, the majority of psychologists earn $ 138,000 or more, and the majority of social workers earn $ 111,000 or more. In Southern California, the majority of psychologists earn $ 135,000 or more, and the majority of social workers earn $ 109,000 or more.

    Click to view full infographic. »

The union’s principal demands at the bargaining table have not been about improving care and access. Rather, in addition to seeking even higher wages and benefits, the union is demanding changes to performance standards that would reduce, not increase, the availability of mental health care for our patients.

  • The union wants to reduce the amount of time caregivers spend seeing patients, from an average of 75 percent of time they agreed to in 2015. This would mean fewer appointments for our patients.
  • Even though there is a shortage of caregivers, the union wants to stop Kaiser Permanente from working with highly qualified community therapists to ensure access to care for our patients.
  • Even worse, the union is discouraging community-based caregivers from treating our patients during this strike. In the union’s words, they are trying to “shut down mental health services” this week. This is irresponsible and dangerously insensitive to people in need of care.
  • And in full disclosure: we are seeking no takeaways in our contract proposal. We are offering wage increases which would keep our expert therapists among the best compensated in their profession, and continue to ensure that we attract and retain the most highly skilled professionals.

Despite the union leadership’s tactics, we are committed to responsibly reaching a new contract agreement. We value our therapists and are calling on them to talk to their union leadership and urge them to bargain constructively, and stop putting our patients in the middle of their contract demands.

Main RSS Feed – Kaiser Permanente

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Amazon denies report it asked police to stop worker strike in Spain

Amazon on Friday found itself swatting down reports that it tried to recruit local police to put down a Black Friday strike in Spain. The Spanish publication El Confidencial reported that Amazon requested police to enter their warehouse outside Madrid to keep workers from striking and ensure productivity. The news outlet cited Spanish police sources…
Business | New York Post

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Merck KGaA says might strike partnership deal this year

German drugmaker Merck KGaA might agree partnership deals to jointly develop two of its most promising experimental medicines with a rival as early as this year, but more likely in 2019, its drug research and development chief said on Sunday.


Reuters: Science News

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