Health Insurers Set to Shrink Pool of Doctors You Can See In-Network

Aug 16, 2013, 11:58 am EDT

To lower the cost of insurance plans, health insurers like WellPoint’s (WLP), Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield are cutting doctors from their networks.

This change is causing many consumers to take another look at their insurance. John Nowak, who has insurance through Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield, is one of these people. When President Obama’s health-care bill hits this fall, he’ll be left with the options of keeping his current insurer and losing his doctor, or switching to an insurer that cost more but includes his doctor. Nowak isn’t alone in his problem, this is an issue that many Americans will have to face when the healthcare bill goes into affect. While Nowak admitted that the cost of his insurance plan was important to him, he says that keeping his doctor outweighs the cost, reports The Wall Street Journal.

The opinions contained in this column are solely those of the writer.
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At Georgia Toll Booth, You Can No Longer ‘Pay It Forward’

Aug 16, 2013, 10:58 am EDT

For the past two decades, driver’s who pass through the Georgia 400 toll plaza have been able to pay for the car behind them. But no more.

Georgia’s State Road and Tollway Authority has changed its rules and toll takers will no longer accept an addition 50 cents meant to pay for other drivers. The practice had been become a tradition, but recently some drivers had complained that the money left to pay for the car behind them might actually be ending up in the pockets of toll-takers, the Atlanta Journal Constitution notes.

Glancing in their rear view mirrors, the drivers did not see toll-takers depositing coins in the basket as the next car moved through the booth. A number of complaints were received, leading to the policy shift. “We had repeat incidences of customers not believing that their pay-it-forward gesture was actually making it forward,” an Tollway Authority spokesperson told the Journal Constitution. Read 

Solar Panels Return to White House Roof

Aug 15, 2013, 7:08 pm EDT
Solar Panels Return to White House Roof

Almost three years after President Barack Obama first promised to bring solar energy back to the White House, solar panels are now being installed.

The history of solar energy at the White House has often reflected the president’s opinion on the green energy movement. In 1979, President Jimmy Carter became the first president to install solar energy panels on the White House roof, in response to the energy crisis of the time.

In 1986, Ronald Reagan had the panels removed while repairs were made to the White House roof. The loss of energy was not keenly felt by Reagan or the presidents that followed, as the panels were mostly symbolic and were only used to heat water in the White House kitchen. Read 

Postal Service Announces Big Changes to Priority Mail

Aug 15, 2013, 11:21 am EDT

Pressured by sliding sales and rising deficits, the U.S. Postal Service is adding free features to its Priority Mail service in a bid to boost its competitiveness.

Customer who send packages by Priority Mail will now get fee insurance, pre-set delivery dates and online tracking. The well-known Priority Mail envelopes and boxes have also been redesigned, the Associated Press notes.

Adding specified delivery dates is expected to increase small business owners’ confidence in Priority Mail. The Post Office will also offer Overnight Express Mail service as Priority Mail from now on. Read 

Why One Hooters Has Banned Its City’s Mayor

Aug 14, 2013, 12:22 pm EDT

A Hooters located in San Diego has banned Mayor Bob Filner from the establishment.

Hooters joined a campaign by a local radio talk-show host to ban Filner from businesses across the city. The San Diego Hooters has a sign that reads “The mayor of San Diego will not be served in this establishment” and that “women should be treated with respect.” Hooters confirmed via Twitter that the San Diego restaurant was acting on its own and that the company supports its girls. The controversy behind Filner comes from allegations made by at least 11 women that the mayor sexually harassed them. It has also been reveled that Filner has racked up $500 in charges on his city credit card for visits to a hotel near his office. Patrons of the hotel’s bar claim that the mayor was often there, each time with a different woman, reports CNN.

Filner has also been banned from Hooters restaurants in the nearby towns of Mission Valley, Oceanside and Rancho Bernardo. Read 

NYC Official Calls for City to Legalize Pot

Aug 14, 2013, 12:05 pm EDT
NYC Official Calls for City to Legalize Pot

A candidate in the race to become New York City’s next mayor says that the Big Apple could raise a small fortune in tax revenue if marijuana is legalized.

The proposal comes from city Comptroller John Liu, who estimates that the city would take more than $400 million annually through excise and sales taxes if pot were permitted for recreational use. He also forecasts an annual savings of $31 million in court and police expenses if his plan is adopted, the Associated Press notes.

New York City cannot legalize marijuana use on its own. It would require approval from the state legislature, where opposition is likely to be strong. Governor Andrew Cuomo is also an opponent of legalization. Read 

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