Daily Dispatches
President Barack Obama
Associated Press/Photo by Pablo Martinez Monsivais
President Barack Obama

Midday Roundup: Like your current insurance plan? Too bad.

Newsworthy

Here’s what I meant to say. President Barack Obama is adding some nuance to the oft-spoken (and now broken) promise that’s gotten him in so much trouble since the launch of Obamacare on Oct. 1. “If you like it, you can keep it,” the president repeatedly said of people happy with their current insurance plans. Millions of Americans quickly found out that wasn’t true. Last night in Washington, D.C., the president amended his claim: “Now, if you had one of these plans before the Affordable Care Act came into law and you really liked that plan, what we said was you can keep it if it hasn’t changed since the law passed.” The problem is, even really good plans have changed because Obamacare requires all plans to cover services not everyone needs. So, for example, men must pay for maternity benefits and adults for coverage for children, even if they don’t have any. The result? Higher premiums and higher deductibles, which flies in the face of another recent comment the president made: The only people whose plans are changing (or getting dropped) are those “who’ve got cut-rate plans that don’t offer real financial protection in the event of a serious illness or an accident.” But thanks to the new requirements, some people are paying more in premiums and getting higher deductibles, increasing their financial exposure. How is that better?

Art loot. German officials are defending their decision to keep secret the discovery in 2012 of a trove of “degenerate” art confiscated during the Nazi era. The collection, recovered from the Munich apartment of an elderly recluse, includes works by Pablo Picasso and Henri Matisse, among other famous artists. Officials say they kept quiet about the discovery while they tried to determine whether a crime had been committed. “It is by no means easy to find the rightful owners, particularly when we are talking about over 1,400 paintings,” one official said today. The father of the man who had possession of the paintings worked as an art dealer in Nazi Germany. He was ordered to sell seized artwork overseas to help fund Hitler’s war machine. Critics are pressuring the government to publish a full list of the recovered works.

Martian mission. India launched a rocket headed for Mars today, making it the first Asian country to join the Martian space race. America, Russia, and Europe have already completed excursions to the Red Planet. The satellite, which will take about 300 days to reach its orbit, will measure atmospheric methane levels, which could indicate some form of microbial life on the planet. It also will try to gain insights into the planet’s history by looking at the loss rate of atmospheric gasses. Critics have questioned whether India should have spent $75 million on the mission, considering the country has one of the highest rankings for child malnutrition in the world.

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These are adults? This story out of the National Football League is hard to believe, mostly because it involves grown men and not members of a college fraternity. The Miami Dolphins have suspended lineman Richie Incognito over evidence he bullied another player. Jonathan Martin, another lineman, left the team last week, but not before handing over voicemails Incognito left him. In the messages, Incognito used racial slurs and threats of violence. And evidently, this is just an extreme example of the kind of hazing many first- and second-year players face. Former Dolphins linebacker Channing Crowder told Piers Morgan Live that players must establish a pecking order and described players as “a bunch of testosterone-filled alpha males who are trying to find their place on the totem pole.” Indeed. So much for that whole teamwork thing.

Leigh Jones
Leigh Jones

Leigh lives in Atlanta and is the managing editor of WORLD's website.

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