TIME Healthcare

20 Million Americans Get Insurance Under Obamacare, Report Says

A new report estimates millions of Americans have enrolled in health insurance as of this Spring

About 20 million Americans have gained health insurance or enrolled in new insurance under the health care reform law, according to a new report.

The report from the Commonwealth Fund, published Wednesday in the New England Journal of Medicine, credits President Barack Obama’s health reform law with an estimated 20 million enrollments as of May 1. The report looks at both people who gained coverage through insurance marketplaces, and people who gained coverage due to provisions in the Affordable Care Act (such as those qualifying for Medicaid and those now covered through the Children’s Health Insurance Program).

The authors estimate that 7.8 million people under 26—who are now allowed to be covered as dependents on their parents’ plans—have enrolled. They also report that 8 million people were enrolled in coverage via new health insurance marketplaces and five million purchased coverage directly from insurers.

The authors write that for ACA’s continued expansion to be sustainable, it will rely largely on the ability of the U.S. to control health care costs.

“Developing and spreading innovative approaches to health care delivery that provide greater quality at lower cost is the next great challenge facing the nation,” the report concludes.
The Commonwealth Fund
TIME National Security

TSA Beefing Up Security at Airports Abroad Ahead of July 4 Weekend

TSA Security
A TSA agent waits for passengers to use the TSA PreCheck lane being implemented by the Transportation Security Administration at Miami International Airport on October 4, 2011 in Miami, Florida. Joe Raedle—Getty Images

TSA will amp up security ahead of travel-heavy July 4 weekend

The United States Transportation Security Administration will “implement enhanced security measures” at certain airports overseas with direct flights to the U.S., Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson said Wednesday.

The announcement comes just ahead of the travel-heavy Fourth of July weekend. It was also made amid American concerns reported by ABC earlier this week that al-Qaeda offshoots in Yemen and Syria were developing bombs that could be used to attack commercial airliners. President Barack Obama also acknowledged Sunday that militants fighting in Syria, and more recently in Iraq, pose a threat to the U.S. because many carry Western passports.

In his statement Wednesday, Secretary Johnson did not name the airports where security will be enhanced, nor did he identify a specific terror threat. But he said the directive was in response to an “ongoing process” of assessing terrorism risks.

Johnson added that the TSA will “work to ensure these necessary steps pose as few disruptions to travelers as possible.”

“As always, we will continue to adjust security measures to promote aviation security without unnecessary disruptions to the traveling public,” Johnson said.

–Zeke J. Miller contributed reporting

TIME weather

Here’s What Tropical Storm Arthur Looks Like From Space

Weather system Arthur travels up the east coast of the United States in the Atlantic Ocean seen from the GOES-Wast satellite on July 2, 2014.
Weather system Arthur travels up the east coast of the United States in the Atlantic Ocean seen from the GOES-Wast satellite on July 2, 2014. NOAA/Getty Images

Get a sneak peek at America's birthday surprise

Forecasters predict that Tropical Storm Arthur will make landfall in the United States on the evening before Independence Day, starting in North Carolina and climbing north along the eastern seaboard. Satellites captured this image of the storm off the Florida coast, brewing up a potentially nasty surprise for the nation’s birthday.

TIME energy

This Is How Americans Feel About Different Energy Sources

Solar power is the most popular form of energy both in the U.S. and abroad, but Americans are more favorable toward less sustainable energy sources like natural gas, coal and oil than people in other countries.

 

energy3

 

Read Michael Grunwald’s analysis of the TIME energy poll here.

(MORE: New Energy Reality)

TIME Guns

Target ‘Respectfully’ Requests No Guns in Stores

Shoppers leave a retail Target on Thursday, Dec. 19, 2013, in Hackensack, N.J.
Amy Newman—AP

Target aims to keep stores family friendly

Target addressed the “open carry” debate on Wednesday by releasing an online statement that requests customers not pack heat in their stores.

The “open carry” movement supports the right to visibly carry a gun in public and it’s up to states on whether they allow or outlaw it. “Our approach has always been to follow local laws, and of course, we will continue to do so,” said John Mulligan, interim CEO. “But starting today we will also respectfully request that guests not bring firearms to Target – even in communities where it is permitted by law.”

Mulligan added that having firearms in Target stores “creates an environment that is at odds with the family-friendly shopping and work experience we strive to create.”

Target is not the only chain straddling the “open carry” divide. Starbucks’ Howard Schultz asked customers last September to leave their guns out of their shops. Whole Foods, Buffalo Wild Wings and Ikea have gone even further and are known for no-gun policies in their establishments.

TIME society

A Sky-High View of Sunbathers

As Tropical Storm Arthur threatens to ruin July 4th beach plans, here's a look at people enjoying ideal beach day weather

TIME cities

Millionaire Found Dead Was a ‘Hermit’

The 79-year-old man had no heating or plumbing

George Konnight could have lived a lavish lifestyle, but instead he lived like a hermit.

The 79-year-old man was found dead Tuesday outside his home in Ramapo, N.Y., The Journal News reports. Police said he had lived alone since his sister’s recent death and described him as a “hermit.” The home, a small house in the woods where Konnight and his siblings grew up, had no indoor heating or plumbing. But Konnight was not poor—in fact, he chose this simple life.

He gained $3 million from the sale of about 31.5 acres of his family’s property in northern Ramapo to a New Jersey company, JIEM Properties, last November. Konnight’s sister Alice was listed as the seller.

Ramapo Detective Lt. Mark Emma said Konnight’s skeletal remains were found at 11:52 a.m. Friday in the woods on his property.

“He lived a very simple life, hermit-like,” Emma told The Journal News. “He was alone.”

The Rockland Medical Examiner’s Office is doing an autopsy to determine Konnight’s cause of death, but it is not considered suspicious.

[The Journal News]

TIME The Brief

Hurricane Arthur Threatens Fourth of July

Welcome to #theBrief, the four stories to know about right now—from the editors of TIME

Here are the stories TIME is watching this Wednesday, July 2.

Meteorologists expect Tropical Storm Arthur to become the first hurricane of the season. Right in time to ruin the Fourth of July.

Federal investigators found that T-Mobile has been illegally billing customers for bogus texting service charges.

The USA lost to Belgium in the World Cup, but American Goal Keeper Tim Howard won big on social media after saving a record 16 shots.

And finally, which President would you like to share a hot dog with? A new survey says most Americans want to invite Bill Clinton to their July 4 BBQ.

The Brief is published daily on weekdays.

TIME World Cup

Fans Want Tim Howard to Be Secretary of Defense

Soccer fans want to promote their new hero

Tim Howard’s newfound stardom has made it all the way to the White House.

Fans of the Team USA goalkeeper started a White House petition Tuesday night to rename the Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport after Howard, and a second petitionwas created to name him Secretary of Defense.

After recording a World Cup-record 16 saves during an incredible 2-1 loss to Belgium on Tuesday, Howard quickly became something of an American hero.

“Whereas Tim Howard has shown himself to be a national treasure, Minister of Defense, Friend of Joe Biden, and the holder for the record of most saves in a World Cup match,” the petition states. “Therefore, we politely request that we rename the airport to recognize his accomplishments, and meritorious service to the United States of America.”

Anyone can post a petition on the White House website under its “We the People” initiative started in 2011. The Obama Administration says any petition that reaches 100,000 signatures will trigger a formal response. The petition to rename Reagan airport had more than 7,000 signatures by Wednesday afternoon. It has until July 31 to get the necessary signatures for a response.

The second petition about Howard asks for him to receive a spot in the White House Cabinet.

“We, the undersigned, hereby petition for the appointment of Timothy Matthew “Tim” Howard, Goalkeeper and MVP of the USMNT, king of the Andals, the Rhoynar and the First Men, to the office of U.S. Secretary of Defense for acts of valor and general badassery during the 2014 World Cup,” it reads.

That petition had 430 signatures as of Wednesday afternoon.

When asked about the petition on Wednesday afternoon, White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest joked that Howard would not be joining the Obama Administration in the near future. “I don’t have any personnel announcements to make,” Earnest said.

Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel jumped in late Wednesday afternoon when the Department of Defense tweeted a photo of him holding a soccer ball. The tweet said: “From 1 SecDef to another: Hagel calls to say thanks for defending USA. We (USA) are proud of !”

Late Wednesday, Pentagon Press Secretary Rear Adm. John Kirby released a statement saying that Hagel congratulated Howard “on his record-breaking game and a great run in Brazil.” The Secretary of Defense invited Howard and the entire U.S. men’s national soccer team to come to the Pentagon later this year. He told Howard that with some training, he could someday become the real Secretary of Defense.

TIME Immigration

California Protesters Halt Buses Carrying Migrant Families

Protesters from the town of Murrieta, Calif. chanted "USA" and "Go home"

Protesters in San Diego blocked three buses carrying migrant children and families from Central America, forcing the group to be rerouted away from a suburban processing center.

The approximately 140 immigrants were detainees who had been flown by the Department of Homeland Security from overcrowded Texas facilities into San Diego, and had been scheduled to move to Border Patrol stations in the region, the Associated Press reports.

But protesters in Murrieta, a small city an hour north of San Diego stopped them, shouting “U.S.A.” and “Go home.”

Tens of thousands of migrants fleeing violence and extortion from gangs in Guatemala, El Salvador and Honduras have attempted to cross the Mexican border into Texas in recent months, triggering what President Barack Obama has called a “humanitarian crisis.” More than 52,000 unaccompanied children have been detained since Oct. 2013, a huge rise from previous years.

The standoff in the San Diego area came after Alan Long, the mayor of Murrieta, urged residents to voice their displeasure to elected officials about the transfer of migrants to California from Texas. Residents emerged in force, carrying signs that said “Illegals out.”

The migrants, blocked from their original destination, were turned over to a border facility in San Diego within view of the Mexican border instead after officials rerouted the vehicles to a freeway.

[AP]

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