Thursday News: Drowning in the high-risk pool


TRUMPCARE 3.0 BACK ON THE HOUSE FLOOR TODAY: The fortunes of the beleagured American Health Care Act changed on Wednesday when Reps. Fred Upton of Michigan and Billy Long of Missouri voiced their support for the bill after meeting at the White House with President Donald Trump. Upton and Long had previously opposed the legislation. Their amendment would add $8 billion to a proposed $115 billion pot of money that states could use to fund high-risk pools to provide health coverage for people with expensive medical conditions. But a new analysis by the liberal Center for American Progress estimates the new amendment would subsidize care for only 76,000 more people out of millions who have pre-existing medical conditions.

NO PENSIONS OR HEALTHCARE FOR FUTURE STATE GOVERNMENT RETIREES: Some Senate Republicans say the costs of having retirees on the state health insurance plan and offering them a guaranteed monthly income in retirement is too big a financial burden for the state. Legislators want to offer 401(k) plans rather than pensions to future state employees, and stop giving them health coverage in retirement. The bill covers state employees, teachers, and some local government employees hired after June 30, 2018.

TEMPEST IN A TEAPOT: STORY ABOUT ANTI-POLICE RAPPING EMPLOYEES NEVER HAPPENED: The workers at a restaurant who were accused of singing an anti-cop rap song in front of officers didn't sing it, a North Carolina police chief said Wednesday. Raleigh Police Chief Cassandra Deck-Brown issued a statement saying neither the workers nor the manager at a Smithfield's Chicken 'N Bar-B-Q in Raleigh sang the N.W.A rap song "F--- tha Police" in front of officers as they ate on April 28. News outlets initially reported a post on the Raleigh Police Protective Association's Facebook page last Friday related the incident. Deck-Brown said two officers did witness a worker make eye contact with them and then mouth the words. She said no other workers were involved, and no one else saw it. She said her department, the restaurant and the entire community "were victims of misinformation and misunderstanding."

TRUMP BUMBLES HIS WAY INTO ISRAELI/PALESTINIAN CONFLICT: Trump struck an optimistic note Wednesday, saying he believes an Israeli-Palestinian deal can be reached. He did not explain what type of solution he envisions. "What is needed is to bring the two parties together, to bring them closer and then to facilitate things between them," he told reporters late Wednesday, after his White House meeting. Despite the lack of specifics, Abbas described his meeting with Trump as positive and said that "we build hopes on it." "So far, we didn't talk about a mechanism, but the contacts between us and the Americans began and will continue," he said.

GREENSBORO CITY COUNCIL MEETING DISRUPTED, PROTESTERS LATER ARRESTED: Council members recessed the meeting after the protesters took over the chambers. The protesters were escorted out and then were arrested for blocking traffic on a street. Dozens of activists showed up at the meeting to urge the council to intervene in a pending court case involving an altercation between a minor and a police officer last summer. Residents have attended the city council meeting for months since the incident, urging council members to watch the officer’s body camera video.