06-24-2018  1:36 pm      •     
The Skanner Report
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NEWS BRIEFS

AG Rosenblum Seeks Info from Oregonians

Oregon Attorney General seeks information on children separated from families at border ...

Community Forum: How Does Law Enforcement Interact With Vulnerable Populations?

Forum will focus on public safety and examine mental health and addiction issues ...

King County Council Recognizes Juneteenth

The Metropolitan King County Council recognizes a true 'freedom day' in the United States ...

Unite Oregon Hosts ‘Mourn Pray Love, and Take Action’ June 20

Community is invited to gather at Terry Schrunk Plaza at 6 p.m. on World Refugee Day ...

MRG Foundation Announces Spring 2018 Grantees

Recipients include Oregon DACA Coalition, Kúkátónón Children’s African Dance Troupe, Komemma Cultural Protection Association ...

18-year-old driver dies after colliding with log truck

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — Oregon State Police say an 18-year-old girl has died after colliding with a log truck on Highway 101 near Beaver.Law enforcement officials say Mikayla Michelle Howard was driving a 2003 Saab when it crossed into the other lane for an unknown reason on Friday morning....

Marion County deputies investigating suspicious death

LYONS, Ore. (AP) — Law enforcement officials are investigating after a man was found dead in a pond near his home in Lyons.The Marion County Sheriff's Office says deputies were called to the scene Saturday afternoon after the body was found. Detectives also responded to the scene because the...

New Mexico residents to testify on atomic bomb fallout

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — Residents of a New Mexico Hispanic village near the site of the world's first atomic bomb test say they were long ignored about the lingering health effects and were expected to share their stories with Congress.The Tularosa Basin Downwinders Consortium plans to...

Small plane hits car after missing runway near Snohomish

SNOHOMISH, Wash. (AP) — A small plane hit a car after overshooting the runway at an airfield near Snohomish.The Seattle Times reports that three people, including a child, were in a single-engine plane when it was approaching the Harvey Air Field on Saturday.Lt. Rick Hawkins of the Snohomish...

OPINION

How Washington’s 'School Achievement Index' Became School Spending Index

New assessment categorizes schools not by quality of education, but level of funding officials believe they should receive ...

Black Mamas Are Dying. We Can Stop It.

Congresswoman Robin Kelly plans to improve access to culturally-competent care with the MOMMA Act ...

Hey, Elected Officials: No More Chicken Dinners...We Need Policy

Jeffrey Boney says many elected officials who visit the Black community only during the election season get a pass for doing nothing ...

Juneteenth: Freedom's Promise Still Denied

Juneteenth is a celebration of the de facto end of slavery, but the proliferation of incarceration keeps liberation unfulfilled ...

AFRICAN AMERICANS IN THE NEWS

Authorities investigating fatal Minneapolis police shooting

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Minnesota state authorities are investigating after Minneapolis police shot and killed a black man they say was firing a handgun as he walked outside.A demonstration was planned for Sunday afternoon at a police precinct headquarters and a vigil near the north Minneapolis...

Jews, Muslims in Berlin team up on bike rides against hatred

BERLIN (AP) — Some 25 Jews and Muslims rode tandem bicycles through the German capital on Sunday in a protest against growing anti-Semitism and attacks on Muslims in the country.Some were rabbis and imams, others included women in headscarves and Jewish community members donning skullcaps...

Association removes Laura Ingalls Wilder's name from award

CHICAGO (AP) — A division of the American Library Association has voted to remove Laura Ingalls Wilder's name from a major children's book award over concerns with how the early-to-mid 20th century author portrayed blacks and Native Americans.The Association for Library Service to Children's...

ENTERTAINMENT

Brigitte Nielsen, 54, has given birth to her fifth child

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Brigitte Nielsen says she has given birth at age 54.The model, actress and reality star and her 39-year-old husband Mattia Dessi released a statement to People magazine Saturday saying their daughter Frida was born Friday in Los Angeles and weighed 5 pounds, 9 ounces (2.3...

Association removes Laura Ingalls Wilder's name from award

CHICAGO (AP) — A division of the American Library Association has voted to remove Laura Ingalls Wilder's name from a major children's book award over concerns with how the early-to-mid 20th century author portrayed blacks and Native Americans.The Association for Library Service to Children's...

'Jurassic World' sequel stomps its way to 0 million debut

NEW YORK (AP) — The dinosaurs still rule the box office."Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom" surpassed expectations to open with 0 million in ticket sales in U.S. and Canada theaters over the weekend, according to studio estimates Sunday. While that total didn't approach the record-breaking...

U.S. & WORLD NEWS

Saudi women in driver's seat as longstanding ban is lifted

RIYADH, Saudi Arabia (AP) — Saudi women steered their way through busy city streets on Sunday, driving to...

Trump officials pledge to reunite families amid border chaos

Trump administration officials say the U.S. government knows the location of all children in its custody after...

Trump tweets, hard-right voters hamper GOP immigration push

WASHINGTON (AP) — Republican apprehension over President Donald Trump's next tweet and fear of riling...

Kushner rips Abbas, says Mideast peace plan due 'soon'

JERUSALEM (AP) — President Donald Trump's son-in-law and senior adviser said in an interview published...

US Defense chief to visit China amid S. China Sea tensions

BEIJING (AP) — U.S. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis, who has accused China of "intimidation and coercion" in...

Libyan coast guard intercepts 450 migrants bound for Europe

CAIRO (AP) — Libya's coast guard intercepted Sunday some 460 African migrants, including dozens of children...

Tom Cohen CNN

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- Go to the Obamacare website today because "it has improved," with more people completing applications after a month of problems that botched the rollout of HealthCare.gov, the official in charge of creating the online program told a Senate committee on Tuesday.



Marilyn Tavenner, head of the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, assured the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee the website will be fixed by the end of November, as promised by the administration.

She also said the first figures on how many people have enrolled so far under President Barack Obama's signature health care reforms would be available next week, meeting a mid-November deadline the administration has set.

However, Tavenner had few answers for Republican opponents of the 2010 Affordable Care Act, known as Obamacare, who insisted that the law itself is the problem, not the dysfunctional website for enrolling.

Under tough questioning from GOP senators, Tavenner acknowledged she knew of troubles encountered by consumers, such as a man in South Carolina whose personal details turned up when someone else registered.

In a terse exchange with Republican Sen. Tim Scott of South Carolina, Tavenner said her agency had reached out to the man who complained of the security breach.

"We will find him and we will follow up on his questions," she said, to which Scott offered to provide Tavenner with the man's phone numbers. When she said her agency had the numbers, Scott responded: "He doesn't think so, actually, because no one's called him."

Tavenner replied: "Well, we have a disagreement there."

Later, GOP Sen. Lisa Murkowski of Alaska said that as of October 29, only three people in her state had enrolled and she cited ongoing problems with the system that included providing consumers with incorrect information on available subsidies.

"Are you aware of this? Has it been resolved? Are we working on it?," Murkowski asked. "Because the concern is that not only can people not get on to enroll, but if they do their subsidy calculations are incorrect. "

Tavenner said her staff is aware of the issue and is "working on a fix to the system to correct the Alaska issue specific to Alaska."

In one change to the federal website implemented by tech experts brought in to get it working, Tavenner said consumers can now view and compare health insurance plans online without registering for an account.

When the website came online on October 1, it got overwhelmed by initial volume, and outside contractors working on the system blamed the requirement that people set up an account before they could view coverage options instead of being able to "window shop" without registering.

"In the first few days that we went live, few consumers could create an account," Tavenner said, repeating information she first provided at a House committee hearing last week. "We have now resolved that issue. Users can successfully create an account and go through the enrollment process. We are able now to process nearly 17,000 registrants per hour, or five per second, with almost no errors."

Tuesday's hearing quickly generated the heated rhetoric of the continuing political battle over the Affordable Care Act passed with no Republican support three years ago and upheld by the Supreme Court last year.

Republicans who have made dismantling or repealing the law known as Obamacare a top priority focused Tuesday on policy cancellations and higher prices facing some people, as well as the website woes that included difficulty logging on, error messages and lengthy delays.

Sen. Lamar Alexander of Tennessee, the ranking Republican on the panel, said Obama broke his promise that people who like their previous plan could keep it. Instead, he noted, polices are being canceled for those who buy their own coverage instead of getting it through their jobs or Medicare and Medicaid.

"For these Americans the new promise is, 'if you want health care, go find it on a website the administration says won't be working properly until the end of November,' " Alexander said, calling it "an unwelcome Christmas present."

He called for a proposal to allow people to keep current coverage if they liked it, a concept rejected by the White House.

Democratic Chairman Sen. Tom Harkin of Iowa noted the benefits already in place from Obamacare, and he encouraged Republicans to work on fixing problems instead of trying to undermine the program.

CNN's Lisa Desjardins contributed to this report.

™ & © 2013 Cable News Network, Inc., a Time Warner Company. All rights reserved.

 

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