07-10-2020  3:42 pm   •   PDX and SEA Weather
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NORTHWEST NEWS

Oregon Appeals Court Affirms Portland Renter Relocation Law

The Court affirmed a Portland ordinance requiring landlords to pay tenants’ relocation fees if their rent is increased by at least 10% or if they’re evicted without cause.

Seattle Urged to See a 'World Without Law Enforcement'

Proposals include removal of 911 dispatch from Seattle Police control, budget cuts of 50%

Oregon DOJ to Hold Listening Sessions on Institutional Racism; Leaders Wary

DOJ will hold 11 virtual listening sessions for underserved Oregonians.

Portland Black Community Frustrated as Violence Mars Protests

Black leaders condemn violence from small group of mostly-white activists as Rose City Justice suspends nightly marches

NEWS BRIEFS

OSU Science Pub Focuses on Influence of Black Lives Matter

The influence of the Black Lives Matter movement will be the focus of a virtual Oregon State University Science Pub on July 13 ...

Capital Rx Establishes Scholarship at Howard University to Support Next Generation of Pharmacists

“Each of us has a role to play in paving a more equitable path for the future of the industry,” said AJ Loiacono, Founder and CEO...

Adams Joins Lawmakers in Move to Repeal Trump’s Birth Control Rule

Without action, SCOTUS decision clears way for Trump Admin rule to take effect ...

Portland Art Museum and Northwest Film Center Announce Artist Fund

The fund will help support artists during COVID crisis and beyond ...

The OHS Museum Reopens Saturday, July 11

The Oregon Historical Society museum will reopen with new hours and new safety protocols ...

School district committee member resigns over racist remarks

WEST LINN, Ore. (AP) — A West Linn school district committee member has resigned after making racist comments during a podcast, the district said Friday.Doris Wehler, who has served on the Long Range Planning Committee for the district since 2001, was asked to resign after her comments on a...

Most of Seattle council pledges to support police defunding

SEATTLE (AP) — A majority of Seattle City Council members say they agree with a proposal by advocates to defund the police department by 50% and reallocate the dollars to other community needs.Council members Lisa Herbold, Dan Strauss and Andrew Lewis added support Thursday to a road map set...

Iowa defensive back Jack Koerner hurt in jet ski accident

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) — Iowa defensive back Jack Koerner sustained serious injuries when he and a passenger on a jet ski collided with a boat on the Lake of the Ozarks in Missouri.According to a police report, Koerner and Cole Coffin were hurt at about 6:30 p.m. Friday when their watercraft...

Missouri football program pushes again for racial justice

COLUMBIA, Mo. (AP) — Ryan Walters had just arrived at the University of Missouri to coach safeties for the football program when a series of protests related to racial injustice led to the resignations of the system president and the chancellor of its flagship campus.The student-led movement...

OPINION

Recent Protests Show Need For More Government Collective Bargaining Transparency

Since taxpayers are ultimately responsible for funding government union contract agreements, they should be allowed to monitor the negotiation process ...

The Language of Vote Suppression

A specific kind of narrative framing is used to justify voter suppression methods and to cover up the racism that motivates their use. ...

Letter to the Community From Eckhart Tolle Foundation

The Eckhart Tolle Foundation is donating more than 250,000 dollars to organizations that are fighting racism ...

Editorial From the Publisher: Vote as Your Life Depends on It

The Republican-controlled Senate won’t pass the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act, no matter how hard Oregon’s senators and others work to push for change. ...

AFRICAN AMERICANS IN THE NEWS

NOT REAL NEWS: A look at what didn't happen this week

A roundup of some of the most popular but completely untrue stories and visuals of the week. None of these are legit, even though they were shared widely on social media. The Associated Press checked them out. Here are the facts:___CLAIM: The nasal swab test commonly used for to diagnose COVID-19...

'A slap in the face:' Goya faces boycott over Trump praise

NEW YORK (AP) — The CEO of food company Goya is facing an uproar over his praise for President Donald Trump, with some Latino families purging their pantries of the products and scrambling to find alternatives to the beloved beans, seasoning and other products that have long been fixtures in...

2 arrested, 2 wanted after 11-year-old killed on July Fourth

WASHINGTON (AP) — Two men have been arrested and two others are wanted in connection with the killing of an 11-year-old boy who was shot during a Fourth of July cookout in Washington, police said Friday. The boy, Davon McNeal, was shot in the head during an exchange of gunfire between five...

ENTERTAINMENT

Armie Hammer and Elizabeth Chambers separate after 10 years

Actor Armie Hammer and wife Elizabeth Chambers are splitting up after 10 years of marriage and 13 years together. Both parties posted the same message on their respective instagram accounts Friday, writing that they have decided to “turn the page and move on" from the marriage.The couple...

Authorities search for 'Glee' star believed to have drowned

Authorities planned Friday to renew the search for “Glee” star Naya Rivera, who is believed to have drowned in a Southern California lake while boating with her 4-year-old son.Rivera, 33, disappeared after renting the pontoon boat for three hours Wednesday afternoon and taking it out...

How The Chicks dropped the word 'Dixie' from their name

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — When The Chicks decided to drop the word “Dixie” from the band's name, it was the culmination of years of internal discussions and attempts to distance itself from negative connotations with the word. The 13-time Grammy-winning trio made the switch last...

U.S. & WORLD NEWS

Jada and Will Smith address relationship in ‘Table Talk’

LOS ANGELES (AP) — With their marriage under social-media scrutiny, Jada Pinkett Smith and Will Smith...

Amazon says email to employees banning TikTok was a mistake

Roughly five hours after an internal email went out to employees telling them to delete the popular video app...

Justice Department plans to appeal ruling halting execution

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Justice Department plans to appeal a judge’s ruling that halted the first...

Cyprus: US military training won't harm Russia, China ties

NICOSIA, Cyprus (AP) — Cyprus’ government said Friday that a U.S. decision to provide education and...

Brazil LGBTQ group hides from virus in Copacabana building

RIO DE JANEIRO (AP) — In a courtyard a few blocks from Rio de Janeiro’s Copacabana beach, a dozen...

Hundreds try to storm Serbian parliament as protests heat up

BELGRADE, Serbia (AP) — Police fired tear gas at hundreds of demonstrators who tried to storm Serbia's...

McMenamins
Ricardo Alonso-Zaldivar Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Another unintended consequence of President Barack Obama's health care law has emerged: Older adults of the same age and income with similar medical histories could pay widely different amounts for private health insurance due to a quirk of the complex legislation.

Those differences could be substantial. A 62-year-old could end up paying $1,200 a year more than his neighbor, in one example. And experts say the disparities among married couples would be much larger.

Aware of the problem, the Obama administration says it is exploring options to head off another potential controversy over the health care overhaul. Starting in 2014, the law expands coverage to more than 30 million uninsured people and requires most Americans to carry insurance.

The glitch affects mainly older adults who are too young for a Medicare card but have reached 62, when people can qualify for early retirement from Social Security. Sixty-two is the most common age at which Americans start taking Social Security, although their monthly benefit is reduced.

As the law now stands, those who take early retirement would get a significant break on their health insurance premiums. Part or all of their Social Security benefits would not be counted as income in figuring out whether they can get federal subsidies to help pay their premiums until they join Medicare at 65.

"There is an equity issue here," said Robert Laszewski, a former health insurance executive turned policy consultant. "If you get a job for 40 hours a week, you're going to pay more for your health insurance than if you don't get a job."

The administration says it is working on the problem.

"We are monitoring this issue and exploring options that would take into account the needs of Social Security beneficiaries, many of whom are disabled or individuals of limited means," Emily McMahon, a top Treasury Department policy official, said in a statement to The Associated Press.

Other officials, speaking on condition of anonymity because the issue is politically sensitive, said the administration is concerned that the situation could create a perception that hard-working people get a worse deal compared with less-industrious peers.

McMahon doubted the health care discount would start a stampede toward early retirement at a time when many experts are urging older Americans to stay on the job longer. Only a "limited number of individuals" would decide they're better off not working, she said.

To see how the Social Security wrinkle would work, consider a hypothetical example of two neighbors on the same block.

They are both 62 and each makes $39,500 a year. But one gets all his income from working, while the other gets $20,000 from part-time work and $19,500 from Social Security.

Neither gets health insurance on the job. Instead, they purchase it individually.

Starting in 2014, they would get their coverage through a new online health insurance market called an exchange. Millions of people in the exchanges would get federal tax credits, based on income, to make their premiums more affordable. Less-healthy consumers could not be turned away or charged more because of their medical problems.

The neighbor getting Social Security would pay an estimated $206 a month in premiums.

But the neighbor who makes all his income from work would pay $313 for health insurance, or about 50 percent more.

The early retiree can shield half his Social Security income, or $9,750. On paper, he would look poorer, making him eligible for a bigger tax credit to offset his premiums. But the full-time worker could not deduct any of his earnings.

The estimates were produced using an online calculator from the nonpartisan Kaiser Family Foundation.

The disparities appear to be even greater for married couples and families in which at least one member is getting Social Security. With a bigger household, both the cost of coverage and the federal subsidies involved are considerably larger.

The glitch seems to be the result of an effort by Congress to make things simpler. Lawmakers decided to use the definition of income in the tax code, which protects Social Security benefits from taxation.

It's unclear whether the administration can fix the problem with a regulation, or whether it will have to go back to Congress. In case of the latter, it will have to deal with Republicans eager to repeal the health care law.

The decision to use the tax code's definition of income has created other problems.


Medicare's top number-cruncher is warning that up to 3 million middle-class people in households that get at least part of their income from Social Security could suddenly become eligible for nearly free coverage through Medicaid, the federal-state safety net program for the poor. Chief Actuary Richard Foster says that situation "just doesn't make sense."
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