Friday, July 11, 2014

TN Top Reads from Crockett 7-11-14

Here are today's top reads from around Tennessee, brought to you by Crockett Policy Institute:

OVERNIGHT DEFENSE: New CBO score for House VA bill

A House approved plan to overhaul the troubled Veterans Affairs Department will cost $35 billion to carry out through 2024, the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office announced on Thursday. The brand new figure is significantly less than an estimate the agency made last month that predicted the House bill to revamp the VA would cost at least $44 billion over five years. That same estimate also said a Senate VA bill would cost $50 billion a year to implement. The new price tag could prove more palatable to fiscally conservative House and Senate lawmakers appointed to a 28-member panel tasked with hammering out compromise legislation.-The Hill
Uninsured population shrinks in Tennessee
Tennessee could have had one of the lowest rates of uninsured patients in the country if it had expanded Medicaid, according to one health care researcher. On Wednesday, WalletHub issued a new report on health insurance coverage that includes estimates of the number of insured people per state. The report also focused on how the Affordable Care Act rollout affected the rate of insured residents. The study uses data from the Kaiser Family Foundation to project the rate of uninsured people per state for 43 states and the District of Columbia. The WalletHub report also ranks the states by projected uninsured population, with No. 1 representing the state with the lowest number of uninsured people. Tennessee ranks 18, which is above average.
I think Tennessee would have seen a huge drop had it expanded Medicaid,” said Odysseas Papadimitriou, the founder and CEO of Evolution Finance, which helped conduct the WalletHub study. He added that Tennessee’s uninsured population still shrunk by 3 percentage points, even without expanding.-The Tennessean**SUBSCRIPTION**

Tennessee Preservation Trust accepting nominations
The Tennessee Preservation Trust (TPT) announced today it will be accepting nominations for the 2014 Tennessee Preservation Trust’s Ten in Tennessee Endangered Places list. The Ten in Tenn gives Tennessee citizens an opportunity to share the historic places in the state they think are most threatened by development, demolition or neglect. This will be the 13th year for the program, which is determined by a panel of preservation professionals and drives TPT’s advocacy and education efforts for the year.

As a state-wide organization, it is vital to capture the thoughts and concerns of the people of Tennessee,” said David Currey, board president of the Tennessee Preservation Trust. “We ask again this year for anyone who is worried about a historic place in Tennessee to share it with us. Let us help make a difference in preserving the irreplaceable historic treasures that make Tennessee unique.-Chattanoogan

New survey shines light on campus sexual assault
A new survey offers a revealing look at sexual assaults on campus and how colleges and universities have a lot of room to improve. A congressional subcommittee led the survey, commissioned by Sen. Claire McCaskill, D-Mo., of more than 200 schools. The survey showed many schools go years without investigating reported sexual assault cases. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, one in five women have been the victim of a sexual attack while in college. According to Ashley Blamey, director of the University of Tennessee's Center for Health Education & Wellness, as far as she knows, UT was not included in the survey. One of the center's focuses is on sexual assault prevention and education.
"I think when I looked at the study I was surprised at the number of schools who the study says are not coordinated in their efforts. I think that's something the University of Tennessee does an exceptional job at," Blamey said.-WBIR

Vice President Biden in Nashville to attend NGA meeting
His arrival will necessitate the periodic closures of Donelson Pike by the Nashville International Airport between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. Other roads along the route will be closed briefly as his motorcade makes its way from the airport to downtown. Metro Police also said parking meters will be bagged as part of no parking zones on Broadway between 3rd &18th Avenues, and West End Avenue between 16th and 20th Avenues. Parking will also be prohibited Friday on 4th Avenue from Commerce Street to Korean Veterans Boulevard, Malloy Street from Almond Street to 4th Avenue, and Korean Veterans Boulevard between 1st and 4th Avenues. Any vehicles left in the marked no-parking zones will be ticketed and towed.
"Officers are going to be paying very close to close attention to those no parking zones. They’re set there for security purposes. Nashville is a very welcoming city and we hope everyone will understand that this is a one day event," said Don Aaron, public information officer for Metro Police.-News Channel 5 Policy Institute

City to issue cease-and-desist notices to rideshare services
The city of Memphis will ask popular ridesharing services such as Uber and Lyft to cease and desist operations until they acquire city permits.

We know (Uber and Lyft) are doing business in Memphis without the required permit,” said Memphis spokeswoman Dewanna Smith.

We will send them a cease-and-desist notice along with an application and links to our ordinances. That letter has only recently been approved by counsel and will be going out soon.”

We already require all businesses operating within the city to be licensed,” said Smith.  ”The cease and desist would apply to all unlicensed operations city-wide.

Governments and other agencies across the country, including airports, have been wrestling with ways to regulate ridesharing services such as Lyft and Uber, which often provide services similar to taxis or other pay-to-ride businesses without obtaining the permits other ride-for-hire companies need to operate.-Memphis Daily News

Newly released testimony shows no 'stand down' order in Benghazi
The testimony of nine military officers undermines contentions by Republican lawmakers that a "stand-down order" held back military assets that could have saved the U.S. ambassador and three other Americans killed at a diplomatic outpost and CIA annex in Benghazi, Libya.

Others, such as Issa and Rep. Jason Chaffetz of Utah, have said a stand down order was given."We had proximity, we had capability, we had four individuals in Libya armed, ready to go, dressed, about to get into the car to go in the airport to go help their fellow countrymen who were dying and being killed and under attack in Benghazi, and they were told to stand down," Chaffetz said more than a year ago. "That's as sickening and depressing and disgusting as anything I have seen. That is not the American way."

Losey said there was "never an order to stand down." His instruction to the team "was to remain in place and continue to provide security in Tripoli because of the uncertain environment." Earlier on Sept. 11, the U.S. Embassy in Cairo had been breached as well.-Stars and Stripes

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