The House's You-Can-Keep-It Fix: Washington Post: "The House approved a plan Friday permitting health insurance companies to continue selling policies that do not comply with the health-care law, a proposal that would allow more Americans to keep their current health plans while significantly weakening part of the Affordable Care Act. Thirty-nine Democrats joined with the Republican majority in support of the 'Keep Your Health Plan Act,' a proposal by Rep. Fred Upton (R-Mich.) that would allow insurance companies to keep selling health policies that do not reflect the Affordable Care Act’s consumer protections. ... The 39 Democratic votes in favor represent the largest defection by far on a major or closely-watched piece of legislation this year, signaling the political difficulty that dozens of congressional Democrats face in reelection contests next year."
Obama vs. GOP: The Slatest: The big difference between the Fred Upton-authored bill and the administrative fix President Obama announced Thursday is that the president's plan would allow the companies to keep offering the plans in question only to those consumers who already had them, while the GOP bill would allow the companies to sell those plans to both existing and new customers.
Dickerson: Obama’s Credibility Gap
On to the Senate: New York Times: "The outlook for the legislation is unclear in the Senate, where Democrats running for re-election in 2014 are looking for a way to help consumers facing the loss of insurance policies that do not meet requirements of the 2010 law. Senator Mary L. Landrieu, Democrat of Louisiana, was one of the first Democrats to break with the White House and offer her own plan, which would allow people to keep their current plans indefinitely. However, after the president’s turnabout on Thursday, many Senate Democrats said they were waiting to see if additional legislation was necessary, and quick action in the Senate is not expected."
Rob Ford Stripped of Key Powers: USA Today: "The Toronto City Council voted Friday to strip controversial Mayor Rob Ford of key executive powers. The move came in a series of votes, first to remove his power to appoint committee chairs and then to remove his powers to act during an emergency. Just before the first vote, Ford addressed the chamber and threatened legal action, saying he was concerned about setting a precedent that could affect future mayors. 'If someone else steps out of line as I have, it will affect mayors for years to come,' he said. 'I can't support it. I completely understand where they come from.'"
Homeowner Charged in McBride Killing: Reuters: "Prosecutors charged a white suburban Detroit homeowner with second-degree murder on Friday, about two weeks after he killed a young black woman with a shotgun blast to the face when she knocked on his door in the middle of the night seeking help after a car crash. The racially charged case has drawn comparisons to the 2012 shooting death of unarmed Florida teenager Trayvon Martin, triggering protests that have attracted national attention. The previously unidentified suspect, Theodore Wafer, 54, also faces manslaughter and firearms possession charges in the death of the woman, Renisha McBride, 19. He told police that the shooting was accidental."
China Ends One-Child Policy: Wall Street Journal: "China's leaders agreed to loosen the nation's one-child policy and to give market forces a greater role in the world's No. 2 economy, according to new details of a blueprint for reform released on Friday. The proposals follow the end on Tuesday of a four-day meeting of top Chinese Communist Party leaders, and they represent the first comprehensive road map for reform under new Chinese President Xi Jinping. While a preliminary summary of the meeting released on Tuesday was vague, the more-detailed document released on Friday sketches an ambitious reform program designed to address problems that China faces: maturing growth, rising worries about a wide wealth gap and endemic pollution, and increasingly vocal criticism of Beijing's handling of a number of social issues."
Trouble in Libya: Reuters: "At least 13 people were killed and more than 130 wounded in fighting between militiamen and armed residents of the Libyan capital Tripoli on Friday, the state news agency Lana said—the third outbreak of street fighting in 10 days. ... [T]he clashes underscored the weak central government's inability to contain the regional militias that helped to overthrow Muammar Gaddafi two years ago but kept their guns. Armed disorder has blocked most oil exports for months. Friday's bloodshed, the worst in Tripoli for several months, began when militiamen from the city of Misrata fired into the air and then into hundreds of protesters demanding their eviction from the capital after they had fought other groups for control of certain neighborhoods."
Future Tense: Weird New Social-Media Trend: Being Nice
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