Son suspected in mother's death arrested after manhunt 

OHIO (NEWSCHANNEL 3) - A manhunt after a Berrien County woman was found murdered in her home is over. The woman's son, Monty Menefee, was arrested Tuesday in Ohio after a several-day manhunt.

BREAKING NEWS

Mich. Senate prepares to vote on Medicaid expansion

Updated: Thursday, August 22, 2013
Mich. Senate prepares to vote on Medicaid expansion story image
KALAMAZOO, Mich. (NEWSCHANNEL 3) - Five days from now--next Tuesday--the Michigan Senate will vote on expanding Medicaid to offer health insurance to some 470,000 state residents--most of them from working families who hover just above the poverty line.

Tonight, in Tom's Corner, Tom Van Howe says anything but a 'yes' vote means the people we've elected to office are more concerned with petty politics than the health and welfare of the people they represent.

=====================

There are lots of people who don't like Obamacare. I get it. Its confusing. Its got thousands of pages that few will ever read or fully understand. It focuses on how we're going to pay instead of why everything costs so much. And as a result many of us worry about where all the money is going to come from.

But there are nearly a half-million well-intentioned people in our state who don't have health care. Usually because their employers don't offer it, and always because they can't afford it on their own.

As a result, when they get sick they wind up going to absurdly expensive hospital emergency rooms for medical care. Think about it. A single bill from a single visit to an ER is likely to be more than a month's rent.

They are bills that are most likely not going to be paid.

Why not?

Because in this country we offer the most expensive health care in the world and those individuals and families simply can't afford to pay them.  If they aren't part of an insurance plan, in a classic of upside-down logic, they usually get charged even more.

And it isn't as though all these costs just magically disappear. In one way or another, they do get paid.

But they get paid by businesses, taxpayers, and people who do have health care. The same people who see their premiums rise by double digits each and every year.

Hospitals, who provide just short of a billion dollars worth of indigent health care a year,  absorb some of it, but do their best also to pass it on to paying customers.

And did I mention that roughly 65 percent of all bankruptcies in this country are healthcare related?

So along comes the federal government to say to states, 'Tell you what...if you expand your Medicaid coverage to include those who live just above the poverty line (the ones we're talking about here) we'll pick up the cost—all of it—for the next four years. After that we'll pick up 90 percent of it.

Sounds like a no-brainer.

But here's the rub. It's part of the Affordable Care Act—the dreaded Obamacare. And in a number of states where there are Republican-dominated governments, Michigan among them, to accept medicaid expansion is to somehow endorse and give victory to President Obama himself.

A political position that does little for the 15,000 in kalamazoo county who pray they don't get sick.

It's a position that has outraged Governor Snyder—who to his credit has been out campaigning for it.

He says, matter-of-factly, whether you like Obamacare or not, it is the law of the land, and that with each day that goes by, Michigan is losing money.

His colleague,  New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, who faced the same problem, is one of the few Republican Governors in the country who successfully lobbied for extended medicare.

"Let me be clear," he said. "I am no fan of the Affordable Care Act. I think it is wrong for New Jersey and for America.
 
I fought against it and believe in the long run  it will not achieve what it promises. However—it is the law of the land.
 
I will make all my judgments as Governor based on what is best for New Jersey."

Gov. Snyder is essentially making the same argument. And its time for the Senate to put away its petty ideological differences, listen to what he's saying,  and get on board.

Five more days.

In this corner...I'm Tom Van Howe.

Business News

Last Update on April 28, 2015 07:33 GMT

ECONOMY-THE DAY AHEAD

WASHINGTON (AP) -- There are two major economic reports on today's schedule, as the Federal Reserve policymakers begin a two-day meeting to set interest rates.

The Conference Board releases the Consumer Confidence Index for April this morning. March saw a rebound in confidence thanks in large part to an improving job market.

Also this morning, Standard & Poor's releases its S&P/Case-Shiller index of home prices for February.

The Fed's latest policy meeting comes after a harsh winter slowed activity in a number of sectors and the rising value of the dollar curtailed exports. Most economists expect the subpar growth and low inflation will keep interest rates at record lows at least until September. But analysts caution against expecting any specific guidance on the Fed's timetable for a rate hike after it wraps up its meeting tomorrow. For 6 1/2 years, the Federal Reserve has held its key interest rate near zero.

On the earnings front, Aetna, Ford, Merck, Pfizer and UPS all report quarterly financial results before the market opens this morning. Twitter reports after the market closes.

ARCTIC OFFSHORE DRILLING-SEC CHALLENGE

ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) -- An ocean advocacy group and a university law clinic are petitioning the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission for an investigation of Royal Dutch Shell PLC and what the group calls misstatements in regulatory filings regarding Arctic offshore drilling.

The petition was filed Monday by Oceana and the Abrams Environmental Law Clinic at the University of Chicago Law School.

The petition says Shell has not adequately disclosed risks of a catastrophic oil spill.

The petition also says the company claims litigation by drilling opponents threatens its Arctic drilling prospects but that the threat has not been fully disclosed to investors.

Shell hopes to drill this summer in the Chukchi (chuk-CHEE') Sea off Alaska's northwest coast with two drilling units.

Conservation organizations say Shell can't drill safely in the harsh, remote Arctic.

GMO LABELING

MONTPELIER, Vt. (AP) -- A Vermont law that could make the state the first in the country to require labeling of genetically modified food has been allowed to stand for now despite opposition by food industry groups.

U.S. District Court Judge Christina Reiss in Burlington on Monday ruled against the Grocery Manufacturers' Association and other industry groups in their request for a preliminary order to block the law from going into effect as scheduled on July 1, 2016.

The ruling comes nearly a year after Democratic Gov. Peter Shumlin signed the law, under which Vermont is expected to become the first state to require genetically modified organism, or GMO, food labeling. Connecticut and Maine passed laws earlier but required that neighboring states follow suit before they would take effect.

The Grocery Manufacturers Association was joined by the Snack Foods Association, the International Dairy Foods Association and the National Association of Manufacturers as plaintiffs in the lawsuit, seeking to have Vermont's law declared unconstitutional.

GREECE-BAILOUT

ATHENS, Greece (AP) -- Greece's prime minister is ruling out early elections if ongoing bailout talks with the country's international creditors fail.

In an interview with private Star TV, Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras said early Tuesday that he has no reason to hold a snap vote.

Tsipras was elected just three months ago on a pledge to alleviate economic suffering in the financially struggling country.

But Tsipras did not exclude seeking a referendum on the issue, adding that he is confident the marathon talks will result in an agreement.

CONGRESS-BUDGET

WASHINGTON (AP) -- House and Senate GOP negotiators are sealing agreement on a budget blueprint that would enable Republicans to more easily target the Affordable Care Act while delivering an almost $40 billion budget boost to the Pentagon.

The emerging plan drops a controversial House proposal to radically overhaul the Medicare program. And, it eliminates the option of using a fast-track budget bill to target food stamps and Pell Grants. But the plan relies on deep cuts to domestic agency budgets and safety net programs for the poor to promise a balanced budget by 2024.

The measure is not yet finalized, but congressional aides familiar with its outlines say it'll likely be made official Monday or Tuesday and be ratified by House and Senate votes this week. The aides spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak on the record while talks are ongoing.

APPLE'S ENGINE

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) -- The iPhone is still the engine behind Apple's phenomenal success, even as its new smartwatch has gotten much of the attention in recent weeks.

While skeptics question whether the company's future is tied too much to one product, the iPhone's popularity was the reason Apple turned in another blow-out financial report Monday. Apple sold more than 61 million iPhones in the quarter, accounting for more than two-thirds of its $58 billion in revenue for the three-month period and the lion's share of its $13.6 billion in profit.

As expected, the numbers were down from the previous quarter, when holiday shoppers snapped up a record 74 million of Apple's new iPhone 6, 6 Plus and older models. But it was a 40 percent increase over the number of iPhones sold in the first three months of 2014.

Since it began offering models with bigger screens last fall, Apple has vied with South Korea's Samsung for the No. 1 position in the global smartphone market. By some estimates, Apple outsold Samsung in the quarter that ended in December, and analysts will be watching closely when Samsung reports its latest results this week.

VERIZON-ESPN

NEW YORK (AP) -- ESPN is suing Verizon in an escalating clash over how the popular sports channel is being sold in a discounted pay-TV package.

The complaint filed Monday in New York's state Supreme Court alleges Verizon is breaching its contract with ESPN, owned by Walt Disney Co., by unbundling the sports channel from the main programming line-up of Verizon's FIOS TV.

Verizon is allowing customers to subscribe to a bare-bones package of 35 channels for $55 per month, with the option of adding other two other tiers of programming such as a sports package that includes ESPN.

ESPN argues that the pay-TV contracts require its channel to be included in the main programming packages sold by cable and satellite carriers.

Verizon says it is honoring its obligations while giving customers more choice.

advertisement
Washington Times
advertisement