Terror In Florida, Help with Healthcare

Grind for December 15th
“Big shots are only the little shots who keep shooting.”

– Christopher Morley


The Headline

Terror attack in Florida complicates US-Saudi relationship

The Grind

Hundreds of Saudi Arabian military aviation students in the US are suspended from flying following a terror attack at the Navy base in Pensacola, FL.

The atrocity was committed by Saudi Air Force Lieutenant Mohammed Alshamrani, 21, who opened fire on two floors of an educational building on December 6th. Three people were killed and eight injured.

Alshamrani, who was shot and killed by police, was carrying a 9mm handgun he purchased legally in the United States.

The Details

The unexpected attack could further strain America’s relationship with Saudi Arabia. Relations are already strained by the kingdom’s military offensive in Yemen and its assassination of journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

According to Pentagon civilian spokesman Chuck Prichard, the flight ban affects more than 800 Saudi students throughout the United States but does not affect classroom training.

The pause, which is expected to last up to 10 days, allows the Defense Department to run background checks on all 5,000 foreign military students training in the US.

Its About Time

The Headline

Bipartisan legislation seeks to eliminate “surprise” medical bills

The Grind

Lawmakers in the House and Senate are working together on legislation Senator Lamar Alexander (R-TN) describes as a “Christmas present” to American patients.

“I do not think it is possible to write a bill that has broader agreement than this one does among Senate and House Democrats and Republicans on Americans’ number one financial concern: what they pay out of their own pockets for healthcare,” said Alexander.

The Lower Health Care Costs Act introduces arbitration, a system for dispute resolution designed to protect patients when insurance companies disagree with providers.

In cases where patients receive emergency out-of-network care, providers would be paid based on a benchmark rate that matches the average rate for in-network care in that region. Providers can appeal charges to an independent arbitrator only if those charges exceed $750 and would be prohibited from bundling charges.

What this means for patients: they won’t pay any more money for out-of-network emergency care than they would for in-network care and they won’t be subject to “balance billing,” when a patient is charged the full difference between what an insurer is willing to pay for an out-of-network provider and what that provider wants to charge.

The bill could save the government nearly $20 million.

The Details

The Lower Health Care Costs Act also includes five years of funding for community health centers, introduces a new measure to increase transparency and competition for prescription drugs, and increases the minimum age to buy tobacco products to 21.

Lawmakers hope to attach the bill to a spending package due December 20th.

President Trump supports this measure and so should you! If you want more control over your healthcare, keep Trump in office by donating today to the NRCC, NRSC, or Trump 2020 campaign.

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Did you know… Tomatoes were originally thought to be poisonous.