Archive for category @topstories

Bethlehem halts Airbnb operating in historic district

The enforcement notices received by the property owners on Monday give them 30 days to appeal to the zoning hearing board.

A Bethlehem couple using Airbnb to rent out a hom…

Lafayette College student remembered after fatal ATV crash

Joe Kirkpatrick, 20, was fatally injured during a trip to Mexico after completing his sophomore year.

A Lafayette College student died following an accident in Mexico short…

Trump’s travel ban takes effect Thursday

The U.S. Supreme Court scheduled full arguments in the case while allowing a limited version of the ban to proceed.

The U.S. Supreme Court is allowing President Donald Trump&nbsp…

Pair in break-in, standoff were both shot in head

Authorities released the cause of death for the 25-year-old woman and 33-year-old man following autopsies.

The man and woman who broke into an Upper Saucon Township home, sparkin…

Man jailed after alleged attack with wooden plank, knife

The attacker began swinging various objects at a pair during an assault, police said.

A Slatington man was jailed after police said he threatened a pair by swinging a metal …

Senate health bill adds 22 million uninsured, budget office finds

Democratic Pennsylvania Sen. Bob Casey called the proposal “obscene .. unconscionable” following the new report.

The Senate Republican health care bill would leave 22 million more Americans uninsured in 2026 than under President Barack Obama’s health care law, the Congressional Budget Office estimated Monday, in a blow to GOP leaders’ hopes of pushing the plan through the chamber this week.

The CBO coverage estimates pose yet another problem for Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., who unveiled the legislation last Thursday. By Friday afternoon, he was facing public statements of opposition from five GOP senators — three more defections than he can afford and still win approval for the legislation over united Democratic opposition. Others have expressed concerns.

The 22 million additional people without coverage under the Senate proposal is just a hair better than the 23 million who’d be left without insurance under the measure the House approved last month, the budget office has estimated. President Donald Trump has called the House version “mean” and called on Senate Republicans to approve legislation with more “heart.”

Of the 22 million, 15 million of them would have no insurance next year, the nonpartisan budget office said. That could be a particular concern to Sen. Dean Heller, R-Nev., who faces perhaps the toughest 2018 re-election race of any Senate Republican and who’s said he can’t support a health care package that cuts Medicaid like the GOP plan and takes coverage from “tens of millions of Americans and tens of thousands of Nevadans.”

Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, and several other moderate GOP senators have also expressed concerns about the measure’s impact on coverage. On the other hand, four conservatives have said they oppose the current version of the bill for not doing enough to reduce premiums.

Sen. Bob Casey, D-Pa., issued a statement blasting the bill’s impact on middle class families: 

“Obscene. Unconscionable. The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office has just confirmed that Pennsylvania families will pay higher costs for less care with fewer protections under the Senate Republican health care scheme in order to lavish the wealthiest with tax cuts. Many wealthy people who would receive these tax cuts don’t want them if it means a child loses Medicaid protections. Despite the deliberately misleading statements from the backers of this legislation, it is now clearer than ever that this proposed plan would decimate Medicaid, impose an age tax and hike premiums, while risking job loss at rural hospitals. And for those families struggling with the opioid crisis, this bill pulls the rug right out from under them.

“The CBO has exposed this shameful piece of legislation for what it is: an unprecedented selling out of our middle class families, children, seniors and individual with disabilities. It’s time for the Administration and congressional Republicans to reverse course and work in a bipartisan way to make health care more affordable.”

The budget office report said it believes the Senate bill “would increase the number of uninsured people substantially. The increase would be disproportionately larger among older people with lower income” — especially those between 50 and 64 and with incomes below 200 percent of the poverty level, or around $30,300 for a single person. Those ages are just shy of when people begin qualifying for Medicare coverage.

Toomey: Senate bill addresses Obamacare flaws

Earlier Monday, Republican leaders added a penalty to their bill for people who’ve had at least a 63-day gap in coverage during the past year. Under that proposal, if they then buy insurance, they would face a six-month delay before it takes effect. The budget office said its estimate included the impact of that addition.

The change was aimed at helping insurance companies and the insurance market by discouraging healthy people from waiting to buy a policy until they get sick. Insurers need healthy customers who are inexpensive to cover to help pay the costs of people with medical conditions that are costly to treat.

You can now read the updated Better Care Reconciliation Act draft here: https://t.co/uZP5NfrcfX

— Senator Pat Toomey (@SenToomey) June 26, 2017

The Senate bill would roll back much of Obama’s health care overhaul. His statute pressures people to buy insurance by imposing a tax penalty on those who don’t, but the Republican legislation would repeal that penalty, effectively erasing Obama’s so-called individual mandate.

The House approved its legislation in May. It would require insurers to boost premiums by 30 percent for those whose coverage lapsed.

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Youthful killer Qu’eed Batts’ sentence thrown out again in precedent-setting decision

The precedent-setting decision was handed down Monday from the Pennsylvania Supreme Court

A precedent-setting Pennsylvania Supreme Court decision will give Easton killer Qu’…

Auto salvage yard fire sends up plume of black smoke

Firefighters urged the public to stay away from the fire in northern Lehigh County.

Firefighters from Lehigh and Northampton counties responded Monday afternoon to a large fire a…

Caregiver steals credit cards from patient’s family, cops say

The woman rang up $9,420 worth of stolen purchases, police said.

A Lehigh Township woman is accused of ringing up $9,420 worth of goods on credit cards stolen from the famil…

Easton-area moms shine a light on drug epidemic, how to get help

Easton Addiction Awareness Day is coming on Aug. 5.

If someone you love has a drug problem, you don’t need to suffer alone.
That’s a hard-fought lesson learned by Linda Johnson.