05-20-2018  5:05 am      •     
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NEWS BRIEFS

Raina Croff to Speak at Architectural Heritage Center

'When the Landmarks are Gone: Older African Americans, Place, and Change in N/NE Portland’ describes SHARP Walking Program ...

Portland Playhouse Presents August Wilson’s ‘Fences’ Through June 10

May 20 performance will include discussion on mental health; June 10 performance will be followed by discussion of fatherhood ...

Peggy Houston-Shivers Presents Benefit Concert for Allen Temple CME

Concert to take place May 20 at Maranatha Church ...

Family Friendly Talent Show, May 18

Family Fun Night series continues at Matt Dishman Community Center ...

Oregon State study says it's OK to eat placenta after all

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — First experts said eggs are bad for you, then they say it's OK to eat them. Is red wine good for your heart or will it give you breast cancer?Should you eat your placenta?Conflicting research about diets is nothing new, but applying the question to whether new mothers...

US arrest, raids in Seattle pot probe with China ties

SEATTLE (AP) — U.S. authorities have arrested a Seattle woman, conducted raids and seized thousands of marijuana plants in an investigation into what they say is an international black market marijuana operation financed by Chinese money, a newspaper reported Saturday.Authorities are still...

State sees need to reduce elk damage in the Skagit Valley

MOUNT VERNON, Wash. (AP) — Elk are easy to spot against the green backdrop of the Skagit Valley, where much of the resident North Cascades elk herd that has grown to an estimated 1,600 is found.For farmers in the area — especially those who grow grass for their cattle or to sell to...

Famed mini sub's control room to become future exhibit

BREMERTON, Wash. (AP) — The U.S. Naval Undersea Museum at Keyport has a new addition to its archives — the salvaged control room of the legendary, one-of-a-kind Cold War-era miniature submersible NR-1.Adm. Hyman G. Rickover, the father of the nuclear Navy, conceived the idea for the...

OPINION

Golfing While Black Is Not a Crime

Grandview Golf Club asks five Black women to leave for golfing too slow ...

Discovering the Best of Black America in 2018

Dr. Benjamin F. Chavis discusses the DTU Journalism Fellowship & Scholarship Program ...

Will Israel’s Likud Party Ever Respect the Rights of Palestinians?

Bill Fletcher weighs in on the precarious future of the two-state solution between the Israeli government and the Palestinian people ...

The Future of Medicinal Marijuana in Pets

Dr. Jasmine Streeter says CBD-derived products show beneficial therapeutic benefits for pets ...

AFRICAN AMERICANS IN THE NEWS

Guess who's coming to Windsor? Royal ceremony weds cultures

BURLINGTON, New Jersey (AP) — With a gospel choir, black cellist and bishop, Oprah, Serena and Idris Elba in the audience and an African-American mother-of-the-bride, Saturday's wedding of Prince Harry to American actress Meghan Markle was a blend of the solemn and the soulful.Guess who's...

A royal wedding bridges the Atlantic and breaks old molds

WINDSOR, England (AP) — The son of British royalty and the daughter of middle-class Americans wed Saturday in a service that reflected Prince Harry's royal heritage, Meghan Markle's biracial roots and the pair's shared commitment to putting a more diverse, modern face on the monarchy.British...

First class for Mississippi school after desegregation deal

CLEVELAND, Miss. (AP) — A small Mississippi Delta town whose rival high schools were combined last year under a desegregation settlement has held its first graduation ceremony.No longer Trojans and Wildcats, they're all Wolves now at Cleveland Central High School, whose seniors collected...

ENTERTAINMENT

Reggie Lucas, who worked with Miles Davis and Madonna, dies

NEW YORK (AP) — Reggie Lucas, the Grammy-winning musician who played with Miles Davis in the 1970s and produced the bulk of Madonna's debut album, has died. He was 65.The performer's daughter, Lisa Lucas, told The Associated Press that her father died from complications with his heart early...

Broadcast networks go for milk-and-cookies comfort this fall

NEW YORK (AP) — If provocative, psyche-jangling shows like "The Handmaid's Tale" are your taste, head directly to streaming or cable. But if you're feeling the urge for milk-and-cookies comfort, broadcast television wants to help.The upcoming TV season will bring more sitcom nostalgia in the...

Met says it has evidence Levine abused or harassed 7 people

NEW YORK (AP) — The Metropolitan Opera said in court documents Friday that it found credible evidence that conductor James Levine engaged in sexually abusive or harassing conduct with seven people that included inappropriate touching and demands for sex acts over a 25-year period.The Met...

U.S. & WORLD NEWS

Small clubs cross fingers for World Cup windfalls

TORCY, France (AP) — The ideal scenario for the club where Paul Pogba played football as a kid might go...

On time, on target: LeBron, Cavs pound Celtics in Game 3

CLEVELAND (AP) — Before taking the floor, LeBron James stood in the hallway with his teammates outside...

US, China agree to cut American trade deficit

WASHINGTON (AP) — The United States and China have agreed to take measures to "substantially reduce"...

Insect ambassadors: Honeybees buzz on Berlin cathedral

BERLIN (AP) — On the roof of Berlin's cathedral, bees are buzzing.Beekeeper Uwe Marth pulls out a honeycomb...

Love and fire: Text of Michael Curry's royal wedding address

WINDSOR, England (AP) — And now in the name of our loving, liberating and life-giving God, Father, Son and...

Episcopal bishop Curry gives royal wedding an American flair

WINDSOR, England (AP) — Nothing quite captured the trans-Atlantic nature of Saturday's royal wedding as...

Peter Hamby CNN Political Reporter

Charlotte, North Carolina (CNN) -- President Obama's health care reform law, which expands preventative care and lets young people remain on their parents' health insurance plans well into their 20s, is a central part of his election year pitch to college students.

And perhaps nowhere are students more critical to the president's re-election chances than in North Carolina, a state jam-packed with colleges and universities that were blitzed by Obama campaign organizers in 2008.

But as the president fights to keep the conservative-leaning state in his column this November, education officials here are complicating his campaign message by citing "Obamacare" as a reason for the rising cost of student health insurance plans on campuses from Asheville to Wilmington.

In April, Tom Ross, the president of the University of North Carolina system, sent a letter to the university's board of governors announcing that students should brace for a hike in the cost of university-provided insurance plans.

Ross explained that at least 64,000 North Carolina college students - roughly a third of those enrolled in the state's 17 public universities - should expect to see "substantial" increases in health coverage costs for the 2012-2013 academic year.

"Based on more than three semesters of actual claims experience, as well as the new provisions of the Affordable Care Act, we are facing large increases in premiums for our students," Ross wrote in the letter.

In North Carolina, college students are required to have proof of health insurance, either through their university, their parents or a private provider.

Students who purchase insurance plans from North Carolina public universities this fall will be shelling out $709 per semester. That's up significantly from a cost of $460 per semester last year.

In an interview with CNN, Ross said the Obama law - the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act - is only a partial driver of the rising premiums.

Obamacare regulations requiring enhancements in prescription drug coverage and preventive care account for 12% of the insurance cost increase on campuses here, UNC officials estimate.

Most of the cost increase, however, is due to adjustments in coverage by the university's insurance provider, Chartis, after the company evaluated claims experience over the last year and a half.

Ross pointed out that the price tag for UNC-provided insurance coverage is still considerably less than other private plans. He said the university system makes no money off the insurance plan.

Supporters of the new law say the reason for the rising costs is straightforward: Obamacare expands and improves health care coverage, and better care can be more expensive.

While out-of-pocket expenses for birth control and preventative care are reduced under the new law, expanded coverage and more claims may drive up the cost of insurance.

Mary Covington, the executive director of campus health services at UNC-Chapel Hill, told The Daily Tar Heel in August that "nothing is ever free" in the universe of health insurance.

"Eventually the cost of (benefits) will somehow be put into the cost of the policy as soon as they figure out how much it costs," Covington was quoted as saying in a recent story about the increasing cost of insurance on North Carolina campuses.

Rising premiums are not limited to public universities.

Students at Guilford College, a private liberal arts college in Greensboro, were informed in July that the cost of their school-provided health insurance plan was set to rise from $668 per semester in 2011 to $1,179 per semester this fall.

"Our student health insurance policy premium has been substantially increased due to changes required by federal regulations issued on March 16, 2012 under the Affordable Care Act," reads the letter, which was distributed Greg Bursavich, the school's Vice President for Finance.

The main reason for the price hike, Bursavich wrote, is a requirement that health plans provide a minimum policy benefit of $100,000 instead of the $50,000 minimum previously offered by the Guilford-provided plan.

"As the coverage continues to increase, as mandated by the law and the regulations, there is no question the cost is going to go up," Bursavich told CNN in an interview.

Ross, the UNC president, said campus insurance costs could potentially drop in 2014 once states begin to implement insurance exchanges and more students tap into their parents' plans.

"If there is a state pool or other kind of requirement that people have insurance, then we might not need to offer insurance at all," Ross said. "But I don't think we know yet what the impact will be until the Affordable Care Act is fully implemented."

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