Washington Watch

10 Things You Didn’t Know About Sarah Palin

Posted on 02/11/2014 by |Who's News | Comments

Bulletin Today | PoliticsSince she burst onto the national scene as a vice presidential candidate in 2008, former Alaska governor, political commentator, bestselling author, social media maven and reality show host Sarah Palin has remained in the spotlight. Here are some facts that you might not know about the outspoken conservative politician-turned-media personality.   Though one of Alaska’s most famous residents, Palin was born in Sandpoint, Idaho, on the same day in 1964 that the Beatles gave their first live U.S. concert in …

What the Cut in Food Stamps Means

Posted on 02/10/2014 by |Washington Watch | Comments

Bulletin Today | PoliticsWhen President Obama signed the farm bill on Feb. 7, it meant sun and rain for food stamp recipients. The sunny side is that a $40 billion cut over 10 years proposed by House Republicans was whittled to $8.6 billion. The stormy side is that some 850,000 households, or 4 percent of beneficiaries of the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or SNAP (formerly food stamps), will lose about $90 a month to help pay for groceries. The wide-ranging law also addresses nutrition …

Congress Moves to Overhaul Medicare Doctor Payments

Posted on 02/6/2014 by |Health | Comments

Bulletin Today | Personal HealthBy Mary Agnes Carey, Kaiser Health News Staff Writer The bipartisan leadership of three Senate and House committees introduced legislation Feb. 6 to overhaul the way Medicare pays physicians. The package, which does not specify how it would be paid for, would repeal the current system, which sets Medicare physician payment rates through a 1997 formula based on economic growth and known as the “sustainable growth rate” (SGR).  Physicians would receive a 0.5 percent increase for each of the next five years …

More New Retirement Account Proposals

Posted on 02/5/2014 by |Washington Watch | Comments

Bulletin Today | PoliticsAmericans are way short in their retirement savings, and President Obama’s MyRA plan, which he unveiled last week, isn’t the only new proposal that aims to help with that problem. Sens. Susan Collins, R-Maine, and Bill Nelson, D-Fla., also offered a savings plan. Sen. Tom Harkin, D-Iowa, has one of his own, which follows a report he released last summer. Of these three proposals, Harkin’s is the most ambitious. His Universal, Secure and Adaptable (USA) Retirement Funds would create a …

Congress Moves to Trim Food Stamps

Posted on 01/29/2014 by |Washington Watch | Comments

Bulletin Today | PoliticsA compromise bill that sets spending for farm aid and nutrition programs passed the House on Jan. 29 with a 1 percent cut to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, the old food stamps program, which helps 1 of every 7 Americans buy groceries. The $800 million cut over the next decade won’t require kicking any current food stamp recipients off the rolls, according to the Christian Science Monitor. The compromise (which passed with a vote of 251 to 166) left …

President Pushes for New Pension Savings, Job Programs

Posted on 01/29/2014 by |Washington Watch | Comments

Bulletin Today | PoliticsIn his State of the Union address on Jan. 28, President Barack Obama proposed a new retirement savings plan, called for more efforts to create jobs and outlined other measures that could benefit older Americans. Acknowledging that Social Security often isn’t sufficient and that many workers don’t have pensions, Obama described plans for a new type of IRA, called MyRA, to be created by the Treasury Department. “It’s a new savings bond that encourages folks to build a nest egg,” …