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Westlake Legal Group > fox news (Page 52)

First person charged under Florida ‘red flag’ law found guilty

The first person to have his guns confiscated under Florida’s 2018 “red flag” law has been found guilty over his refusal to voluntarily surrender the weapons.

Jerron Smith, 33, now faces up to five years in prison after a jury in Broward County rejected his argument that he did not fully understand the new law. The jury returned the verdict Friday after a short trial.

Smith, of Deerfield Beach, was the subject of a risk protection order soon after the law was enacted in response to the Parkland high school mass shooting in February 2018.

Westlake Legal Group smith_gun First person charged under Florida 'red flag' law found guilty Robert Gearty fox-news/us/us-regions/southeast/florida fox-news/us/personal-freedoms/second-amendment fox-news/us/crime fox news fnc/us fnc e5276a3f-2d56-54c2-a3c1-9eba84f78c98 article

Jerron Smih, 31, of Deerfield Beach, Fla., had his AR-15 semiautomatic weapon confiscated, becoming the first person to have his guns seized under Florida’s 2018 “red flag” law.. (Broward County Sheriff’s Office)

NEW FLORIDA GUN LAW LEADS TO FIRST SEIZURE: AR-15 FROM ARMY VET CHARGED WITH ATTEMPTED MURDER

Smith owned an AR-15 rifle and a .22-caliber rifle which Broward deputies seized after his arrest in March 2018 on charges of firing six shots at a vehicle being driven by his best friend, according to reports.

Smith is facing trial on an attempted murder charge in connection with that incident. He was accused of firing at his friend with a Glock handgun that deputies also took, according to reports.

Florida’s “red flag” law allows authorities to obtain a court order to confiscate weapons from people who pose a danger to themselves and others. Florida is one of 15 states with such laws.

COLORADO ENACTS ‘RED FLAG’ LAW TO SEIZE GUNS FROM THOSE DEEMED DANGEROUS, PROMPTING BACKLASH

At the time Smith’s guns were seized, a local TV station, citing a neighbor, reported that Smith was an Army veteran.

“He spent a lot of money for his weaponry,” the neighbor, Lorenzo Brown, told WPLG-TV. “It’s crazy. You just got to live around here to know what’s going on.”

A sentencing date has not been set.

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The Florida Sun-Sentinel reported that the jury returned a verdict after less than an hour of deliberations.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Westlake Legal Group smith_gun First person charged under Florida 'red flag' law found guilty Robert Gearty fox-news/us/us-regions/southeast/florida fox-news/us/personal-freedoms/second-amendment fox-news/us/crime fox news fnc/us fnc e5276a3f-2d56-54c2-a3c1-9eba84f78c98 article   Westlake Legal Group smith_gun First person charged under Florida 'red flag' law found guilty Robert Gearty fox-news/us/us-regions/southeast/florida fox-news/us/personal-freedoms/second-amendment fox-news/us/crime fox news fnc/us fnc e5276a3f-2d56-54c2-a3c1-9eba84f78c98 article

Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

Missing Saudi servicemen linked to NAS Pensacola shooting sought; gunman made prior reported trip to NYC

Authorities investigating a deadly attack at a U.S. naval base in Florida are reportedly focused on finding several unaccounted for Saudi nationals linked to the shooting, as additional details have emerged about the shooter’s movements in the weeks leading up to the rampage.

The FBI’s Jacksonville office identified the shooter in a statement Saturday night as Mohammed Alshamrani, 21, and released a photo of him. Investigators said he was a 2nd Lt. in the Royal Saudi Air Force and was a student naval flight officer of Naval Aviation Schools Command when he opened fire Friday at Naval Air Station Pensacola in Florida before being shot dead.

In the days since the attack, a U.S. official who spoke on condition of anonymity after being briefed by federal authorities told the Associated Press that a total of 10 Saudi students were being held on the base as of Saturday while several others were unaccounted for.

While officials have not publicly disclosed how many missing servicemen are out there, U.S. Northern Command (Northcom) has called for increased random security checks at all sites as authorities investigating the attack are still working to determine whether it was an act of terrorism,

NAS PENSACOLA GUNMAN ‘JUST SHOT THROUGH THE DOOR’ DURING RAMPAGE, SURVIVOR SAYS

“Given the recent attacks at two military installations, the Commander, U.S. Northern Command has directed all DoD [Defense Department] installations, facilities and units within the U.S. Northern Command area of responsibility to immediately assess force protection measures and implement increased random security measures appropriate for their facilities,” Lt. Cmdr. Michael Hatfield told Fox News on Saturday.

Westlake Legal Group Mohammed-Alshamrani Missing Saudi servicemen linked to NAS Pensacola shooting sought; gunman made prior reported trip to NYC Travis Fedschun fox-news/world/world-regions/saudi-arabia fox-news/us/military/navy fox-news/us/military fox-news/us/crime/mass-murder fox-news/us/crime/manhunt fox-news/us/crime fox news fnc/us fnc e03a9bc3-61db-5f85-9bab-afdb57c0164b article

This undated photo provided by the FBI shows Mohammed Alshamrani. The Saudi student opened fire inside a classroom at Naval Air Station Pensacola on Friday before one of the deputies killed him. (FBI via AP)

“The advisory also told leaders to remind their workforce to remain alert and if they see something, to say something by immediately reporting to appropriate authorities any suspicious activity they may observe,” Hatfield continued.

On Saturday, a U.S. official told the Associated Press that Alshamrani hosted a dinner party earlier in the week where he and three others watched videos of mass shootings.

The official who spoke Saturday said one of the three students who attended the dinner party hosted by the attacker recorded video outside the classroom building while the shooting was taking place on Friday. Two other Saudi students watched from a car, the official said.

In the weeks leading up to the shooting, Alshamrani and the same three other Saudi military trainees made a visit to New York City where they went to several museums and Rockefeller Center, a person briefed on the investigation told the New York Times.

Federal investigators are now focused on whether the trip was an extended tourist trip during the Thanksgiving holiday week or if the group of Saudi trainees had other motives or were meeting with anyone else in New York, according to The Times. Of the 10 Saudi trainees reportedly detained, three of them are the ones from the dinner party who claimed they were only filming the shooting because they happened to be there at the time and wanted to capture the moment, the U.S. official told the New York Times.

A U.S. official on Friday told the AP the FBI was examining social media posts and investigating whether he acted alone or was connected to any broader group.

Westlake Legal Group NASPENSACOLA1 Missing Saudi servicemen linked to NAS Pensacola shooting sought; gunman made prior reported trip to NYC Travis Fedschun fox-news/world/world-regions/saudi-arabia fox-news/us/military/navy fox-news/us/military fox-news/us/crime/mass-murder fox-news/us/crime/manhunt fox-news/us/crime fox news fnc/us fnc e03a9bc3-61db-5f85-9bab-afdb57c0164b article

Authorities are reportedly searching for missing Saudi servicemen linked to the shooting on Friday at the Naval Air Base Station in Pensacola, Fla. (AP Photo/Melissa Nelson)

In remarks at a gathering of top U.S. defense and military officials on Saturday, Defense Secretary Mark Esper was asked whether he could say definitively that the shooting was an act of terrorism.

“No, I can’t say it’s terrorism at this time,” he said, adding that the investigation needs to proceed. He declined to discuss details of the investigation so far.

SAUDI ARABIA ‘WILL BE INVOLVED IN TAKING CARE’ OF PENSACOLA SHOOTING VICTIMS’ FAMILIES, TRUMP SAYS

In the wake of the deadly shooting, President Trump said Saturday that he would review policies governing foreign military training in the U.S but declined to say whether the shooting was terrorism-related.

The U.S. has long had a robust training program for Saudis, providing assistance in the U.S. and in the kingdom. Currently, more than 850 Saudis are in the United States for various training activities. They are among more than 5,000 foreign students from 153 countries in the U.S. going through military training.

“This has been done for many decades,” Trump said. “I guess we’re going to have to look into the whole procedure. We’ll start that immediately.”

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The Navy on Saturday identified the three victims of the NAS Pensacola shooting as Ensign Joshua Kaleb Watson, 23, of Coffee, Ala.; Airman Mohammed Sameh Haitham, 19, of St. Petersburg, Fla.; and Airman Apprentice Cameron Scott Walters, 21, of Richmond Hill, Ga.

“The Sailors that lost their lives in the line of duty and showed exceptional heroism and bravery in the face of evil,” Capt. Tim Kinsella, the commanding officer of Naval Air Station Pensacola, said in a statement. “When confronted, they didn’t run from danger; they ran towards it and saved lives.”

Kinsella said Naval Air Station Pensacola, one of the Navy’s most historic and storied bases, would remain closed until further notice. The base sprawls along the waterfront southwest of the city’s downtown and dominates the economy of the surrounding area.

Part of the base resembles a college campus, with buildings where, in addition to foreign students, 60,000 members of the U.S. Navy, Marines, Air Force and Coast Guard train each year in multiple fields of aviation.

The FBI’s Jacksonville office has said it’s not aware of any credible threat toward the Pensacola community at this time, but anyone with information regarding Alshamrani and his activities before the shooting is encouraged to call 1-800-CALL-FBI.

Fox News’ Paulina Dedaj, Morgan Phillips, and the Associated Press contributed to this report.

Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_6114021938001_6114024773001-vs Missing Saudi servicemen linked to NAS Pensacola shooting sought; gunman made prior reported trip to NYC Travis Fedschun fox-news/world/world-regions/saudi-arabia fox-news/us/military/navy fox-news/us/military fox-news/us/crime/mass-murder fox-news/us/crime/manhunt fox-news/us/crime fox news fnc/us fnc e03a9bc3-61db-5f85-9bab-afdb57c0164b article   Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_6114021938001_6114024773001-vs Missing Saudi servicemen linked to NAS Pensacola shooting sought; gunman made prior reported trip to NYC Travis Fedschun fox-news/world/world-regions/saudi-arabia fox-news/us/military/navy fox-news/us/military fox-news/us/crime/mass-murder fox-news/us/crime/manhunt fox-news/us/crime fox news fnc/us fnc e03a9bc3-61db-5f85-9bab-afdb57c0164b article

Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

Curt Levey: Trump impeachment drives Democrats’ love of Constitution — here’s how they really feel

Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_6113947537001_6113941356001-vs Curt Levey: Trump impeachment drives Democrats' love of Constitution — here's how they really feel fox-news/us/constitution fox-news/politics/trump-impeachment-inquiry fox-news/person/nancy-pelosi fox-news/person/donald-trump fox-news/opinion fox news fnc/opinion fnc Curt Levey article 006c46aa-583b-51bf-b161-667eafcf3f74

If you listened to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s address on Thursday, you might have thought she was announcing an armed revolution. She opened with “Let us begin where our founders began in 1776. When in the course of human events it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bonds which have connected them with another.”

The good news is that there will be no revolution for now. The speaker was just awkwardly trying to equate President Trump with Great Britain’s “oppressive monarch” George III and Democrats’ impeachment efforts with the founding of our republic.

Pelosi wrapped herself so tightly in our nation’s founding documents that in her first 90 words alone, she explicitly mentioned the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution, and “our founders,” while quoting both the Declaration and Article II of the Constitution. She then went on to cite the Constitution’s separation of powers and its check and balances, as well as the names and wise words of no less than four founding fathers, all as justification for Democrats’ impeachment proceedings.

IAN PRIOR: SCHIFF’S IMPEACHMENT DRIVE SHOWS CONGRESS CAN INVADE YOUR PRIVACY, GETTING PHONE AND OTHER RECORDS

Pelosi even cited “our founders’ … firm reliance on divine providence,” a profound irony for the leader of a party that considers a display of the Ten Commandments on public property to be a threat to freedom.

Pelosi’s partner in impeachment, Rep. Adam Schiff, and the three anti-Trump law professors who led off the Judiciary Committee’s impeachment hearings on Wednesday were equally eager to blanket their passion for driving the president from office with the words of the founding. Rarely have the leaders of the Democratic party and their allies expressed such reverence for the founding documents and their authors. If only it were genuine.

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What this crowd usually says about the Constitution is that it’s a deeply flawed document, written by an oppressor class of dead white males, that ratified both the institution of slavery and the oppression of women.

More from Opinion

Instead of lauding the Constitution as they did last week, they typically portray it as a document so obsolete that its text should not be taken literally. They embrace an alternative “living Constitution” which means not what the founders intended it to mean but what the more enlightened activist judges of today think it ought to mean.

They complain bitterly that the founding fathers stuck us with the “undemocratic” Electoral College and a Senate that gives small, deplorable red states the same number of senators as large, enlightened states like California and New York. They bemoan the Constitution’s lack of “positive rights” such as rights to health care and welfare; find rights to abortion, same-sex marriage and the like in the document’s “penumbras”; and disparage the unfashionable parts of the Bill of Rights.

Pelosi and company’s attempt to tie their impeachment efforts to the founding is part of a larger Trump-era phenomena in which haters of the president wrap themselves in Constitution-evoking clichés while paradoxically displaying an increasing disregard for the actual Constitution. 

You’ll never hear the speaker and her allies cite the Second Amendment’s right “to keep and bear arms” unless it’s to argue that those words don’t mean what they say. Similarly, they increasingly distance themselves from the First Amendment’s guarantee of freedom of expression and religion, which they see a dangerous enabler of politically incorrect speech and discrimination. And that’s just the first two amendments in the Bill of Rights.

Pelosi and company’s attempt to tie their impeachment efforts to the founding is part of a larger Trump-era phenomena in which haters of the president wrap themselves in Constitution-evoking clichés — “democratic norms,” “abuse of power,” and “above the law,” are some of their favorites — while paradoxically displaying an increasing disregard for the actual Constitution.

Two examples of this uneasy relationship with the Constitution are Democrats’ unyielding refusal to accept the legitimacy of the last presidential election — unseen since President Lincoln’s election triggered the Civil War — and their refusal to recognize the supremacy of federal immigration law in sanctuary cities and states. By thumbing their nose at the Constitution’s Supremacy Clause, they evoke memories of the cries for “states’ rights” in the Jim Crow era.

Another troubling example is use by the president’s opponents of politically motivated legal standards — what I call “Trump Law.” This affront to the rule of law is well illustrated by novel, creatively broad definitions of criminal offenses (concerning bribery, perjury, obstruction of justice and the like) that are intended to apply only to this president and his associates and that threaten the constitutional guarantee of due process.

Equally illustrative is the creation by liberal federal judges of unprecedented, non-deferential standards for enjoining presidential actions, thus undermining the Constitution’s separation of powers.

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Several pages could be filled with additional examples of Democrats’ increasing disregard for the Constitution. But it should already be clear that the reverence for the Constitution and its authors displayed by Pelosi and her allies this week is, at best, highly selective.

So let’s take that reverence for what it’s worth — a reminder that the words of the founding fathers are still persuasive — and hope it gives the left just a little bit of pause the next time they’re tempted to disparage the Constitution.

CLICK HERE TO READ MORE FROM CURT LEVEY

Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_6113947537001_6113941356001-vs Curt Levey: Trump impeachment drives Democrats' love of Constitution — here's how they really feel fox-news/us/constitution fox-news/politics/trump-impeachment-inquiry fox-news/person/nancy-pelosi fox-news/person/donald-trump fox-news/opinion fox news fnc/opinion fnc Curt Levey article 006c46aa-583b-51bf-b161-667eafcf3f74   Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_6113947537001_6113941356001-vs Curt Levey: Trump impeachment drives Democrats' love of Constitution — here's how they really feel fox-news/us/constitution fox-news/politics/trump-impeachment-inquiry fox-news/person/nancy-pelosi fox-news/person/donald-trump fox-news/opinion fox news fnc/opinion fnc Curt Levey article 006c46aa-583b-51bf-b161-667eafcf3f74

Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

America’s rural hospital crisis becomes major 2020 campaign issue

MELCHER-DALLAS, Iowa – When Spenser Miller lost a finger in a work accident at 21 years old, he was driven 10 minutes away to a local hospital where he was treated for three hours before being transported to a nearby specialist in Omaha, Neb., for surgery to reattach his finger.

A year later, he opted to have the finger removed after physical therapy wasn’t improving his muscle control, but he remains grateful to this day for that local hospital and its initial care.

WARREN IN POLLING SLIDE AMID MEDICARE-FOR-ALL PLAN CRITICISM

“That local hospital was instrumental in being able to save my finger originally … because they said the only thing that saved my finger was them being able to get that finger on ice right away,” he said. “If I wouldn’t have had that local hospital, I mean, I don’t know what would have happened then. Thank God we had that local hospital.”

But times have changed since Miller’s accident a decade ago, with rural hospitals now shuttering at a rapid clip. Since 2010, more than 100 rural hospitals have closed, with another 430 at risk of shutting their doors, according to the National Bureau of Economic Research. This poses a huge challenge — and danger — for the 20 percent of the population living in rural America.

As the crisis worsens, it has started to generate increased attention on the campaign trail. Presidential candidates are now talking about the rural hospital shortage on a regular basis, unlike past cycles, as they court voters in critical states like Iowa where the thinning medical infrastructure is an everyday reality.

“Rural health just simply has not been a topic in presidential debates and campaigns in the past,” said Alan Morgan, CEO of the National Rural Health Association (NRHA). “We’re seeing a unique focus on rural health … this presidential campaign that we haven’t seen in the last 20 to 30 years … It’s surfacing the issue as a key presidential campaign topic as we move forward.”

Voters in rural Iowa say health care access is one of their top concerns and will play a role in deciding who to vote for in the Feb. 3 caucuses. Most of the major Democratic primary candidates have outlined plans to tackle the crisis, with many in favor of expanding “telehealth” services — essentially doctor’s appointments via video chat, and increasing reimbursement rates for rural hospitals.

Westlake Legal Group CHART_LINE_Rural_Hospital_Closures America’s rural hospital crisis becomes major 2020 campaign issue fox-news/politics/elections/democrats fox-news/politics/elections fox-news/politics/2020-presidential-election fox-news/newsedge/politics fox-news/health fox news fnc/politics fnc d31045bb-b6a8-5772-805d-6070e8ae3a02 article Allie Raffa

According to the UNC Sheps Center for Health Services Research, a total of 161 rural hospitals have closed their doors since 2005.  (Fox News)

For his part, Miller now lives in a suburb of Des Moines and said close access to reliable health care was a major factor in his decision to move.

Laurie Goff, a Melcher-Dallas native and nurse practitioner, told Fox News the alarming rate of closures has life-or-death implications for rural communities. She treats injuries above her pay grade every day in the clinic she opened 13 years ago in her hometown of almost 1,300 people.

“I see everything from regular things to the more rare cases. Colds, diabetes, the full gamut. I’ve had a couple heart attacks walk in the door,” she said. “There was another provider that would come here from Knoxville, which is a town about 20 miles from here…one day a week to see patients on that day. Other than that, there was no medical care on other days of the week or no kind of options. “

There are no highly trained specialists here, not even an OB-GYN. In fact, nearly three dozen Iowa hospitals have stopped delivering babies in the past 20 years, leaving the Hawkeye State 50th out of 50 states for obstetricians per population.

RURAL AMERICA HAS TO DRIVE LONG DISTANCES FOR EMERGENCY CARE

Instead, Goff has to be flexible for residents who can’t drive the hour on average it takes to get to a major hospital from the town. That drive time more than doubles for patients needing specialized care for critical cases like burns and brain surgeries.

“So, they may not go,” Goff explained. “They may put off medications and getting their chronic illnesses taken care of…then they just kind of ‘Band Aid’ things along until the next thing happens and then two or three things are really flared up at that point because we weren’t able to get them to health care access sooner.”

According to the University of North Carolina Rural Health Research Program, rural populations saw mortality rates rise 5.9 percent after a hospital closure, and 46 percent of rural hospitals currently operate at a loss, compared with 40 percent in 2017.

Westlake Legal Group IMG_0768 America’s rural hospital crisis becomes major 2020 campaign issue fox-news/politics/elections/democrats fox-news/politics/elections fox-news/politics/2020-presidential-election fox-news/newsedge/politics fox-news/health fox news fnc/politics fnc d31045bb-b6a8-5772-805d-6070e8ae3a02 article Allie Raffa

Bamberg County Hospital in South Carolina shut its doors in 2012, leaving residents with long-distance drives to seek medical care until a smaller clinic recently opened. (Fox News/Allie Raffa)

And as hospitals board up their doors, communities crumble.

Serving as anchors of some towns, hospital closures are causing a ripple effect across the country; student numbers in rural schools decrease and businesses like flower shops, pharmacies, hotels and restaurants struggle, leading to higher unemployment numbers and a drop in average income in rural towns.

Causes to the crisis are disputed — some blame decreasing populations in small towns, while others point the finger at low Medicaid reimbursement rates not allowing hospitals to break even.

Before Medicaid expanded under the Affordable Care Act, hospitals still treated uninsured patients and were never paid for the care provided. The expansion largely benefited rural hospitals, but these benefits were not felt in states that opted not to expand the program.

At least 180 of the 430 hospitals under threat of closing, according to a study by the consultancy firm Navigant, are in the 14 states with governments that refused to expand Medicaid.

Westlake Legal Group MAP_USA_Rural_Hospital_Closures America’s rural hospital crisis becomes major 2020 campaign issue fox-news/politics/elections/democrats fox-news/politics/elections fox-news/politics/2020-presidential-election fox-news/newsedge/politics fox-news/health fox news fnc/politics fnc d31045bb-b6a8-5772-805d-6070e8ae3a02 article Allie Raffa

Texas leads the nation in rural hospital closures. In 1960, Texas had 300 rural hospitals and now has 158 hospitals serving more than 3 million Texans who reside in rural counties. (Fox News)

On the campaign trail, Sens. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., and Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., have promised to set aside billions to improve care in rural communities along with their controversial “Medicare-for-all” proposal.

It’s unclear, however, whether this would alleviate the problem.

Though the NRHA has not formally come out against “Medicare-for-all,” Morgan is skeptical of the proposal.

“I think it’s important that we separate the Medicare-for-all discussion … from the other provisions that are being promoted by the presidential candidates,” he said. “The Medicare-for-all proposal just isn’t detailed enough to know the actual impact that would have on rural communities.”

Iowa’s rural health care facilities long have faced challenges due to Medicare reimbursement rates. A study by Texas A&M University’s Rural & Community Health Institute predicted a greater risk of closure, due to projected loss in revenue, for many of Iowa’s rural hospitals if the government plan expanded.

This possible risk has been highlighted by candidates like former Vice President Joe Biden, who is in favor of building on ObamaCare and preserving Americans’ ability to choose private insurance so “hospitals won’t be threatened by having to get by on low Medicare reimbursement rates for all,” according to his plan. Biden would also expand the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s grant funding to emphasize telehealth “for mental health and specialty care” and the former VP is the only candidate to specifically endorse the NRHA-backed “Save Rural Hospitals Act” in his platform.

Sen. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., has proposed The Rural Emergency Acute Care Hospital Act (REACH Act), bipartisan legislation with Iowa GOP Sen. Chuck Grassley to increase the number of rural emergency centers and allow for hospitals to provide only emergency care in rural communities and to receive Medicare reimbursement at 110 percent of operating costs.

Only 9 percent of primary care physicians practice in rural areas and, according to the Health Resources and Services Administration, rural parts of the U.S. need an additional 4,022 doctors to close their coverage gaps.

HOW HEALTHCARE TECHNOLOGY MAKES RURAL AMERICA FEEL BETTER

To address the worker shortage, most candidates have pledged to incentivize medical professionals through service and loan forgiveness programs.

“We have just taken the wrong approach when it comes to graduate medical education and training physicians,” said Morgan. “We are attracting and training urban-based kids … and then we’re surprised they don’t want to work in rural communities. We need to make sure that we’re attracting kids from rural areas, training them in rural areas and placing them in rural areas.”

Both Klobuchar and South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete Buttigieg are calling for the expansion of the “Conrad 30” program, which allows immigrant doctors practicing in underserved areas to remain in the country, and Buttigieg also wants to double funding for the Federal Communications Commission’s “Rural Health Care Program” subsidies and the passage of the “Rural MOMS Act”.

Morgan says there is no one-size-fits-all approach to tackling this problem.

“Each rural community is unique, and what they need from a health care standpoint is unique as well so any type of federal proposals have to be flexible in nature and recognize the diversity which is rural America,” he said.

Westlake Legal Group IMG_5308 America’s rural hospital crisis becomes major 2020 campaign issue fox-news/politics/elections/democrats fox-news/politics/elections fox-news/politics/2020-presidential-election fox-news/newsedge/politics fox-news/health fox news fnc/politics fnc d31045bb-b6a8-5772-805d-6070e8ae3a02 article Allie Raffa

According to the Pew Research Center, people in rural areas on average have to travel more than twice the distance than people in urban areas to get emergency care.  (Fox News/Allie Raffa)

But as an Iowa voter, Miller says he’d like to see less talking and more action from the candidates.

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“People focus a lot on the big cities, they don’t actually get out and see what life is like in the rural communities and what’s going on what’s available for options…a lot of people have never had to experience driving an hour just to go to the doctor,” he said. “People just need to be educated and shown what is actually happening. At least once people see what’s happening, I think more will be done to help.”

Westlake Legal Group IMG_0745 America’s rural hospital crisis becomes major 2020 campaign issue fox-news/politics/elections/democrats fox-news/politics/elections fox-news/politics/2020-presidential-election fox-news/newsedge/politics fox-news/health fox news fnc/politics fnc d31045bb-b6a8-5772-805d-6070e8ae3a02 article Allie Raffa   Westlake Legal Group IMG_0745 America’s rural hospital crisis becomes major 2020 campaign issue fox-news/politics/elections/democrats fox-news/politics/elections fox-news/politics/2020-presidential-election fox-news/newsedge/politics fox-news/health fox news fnc/politics fnc d31045bb-b6a8-5772-805d-6070e8ae3a02 article Allie Raffa

Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

America’s rural hospital crisis becomes major 2020 campaign issue

MELCHER-DALLAS, Iowa – When Spenser Miller lost a finger in a work accident at 21 years old, he was driven 10 minutes away to a local hospital where he was treated for three hours before being transported to a nearby specialist in Omaha, Neb., for surgery to reattach his finger.

A year later, he opted to have the finger removed after physical therapy wasn’t improving his muscle control, but he remains grateful to this day for that local hospital and its initial care.

WARREN IN POLLING SLIDE AMID MEDICARE-FOR-ALL PLAN CRITICISM

“That local hospital was instrumental in being able to save my finger originally … because they said the only thing that saved my finger was them being able to get that finger on ice right away,” he said. “If I wouldn’t have had that local hospital, I mean, I don’t know what would have happened then. Thank God we had that local hospital.”

But times have changed since Miller’s accident a decade ago, with rural hospitals now shuttering at a rapid clip. Since 2010, more than 100 rural hospitals have closed, with another 430 at risk of shutting their doors, according to the National Bureau of Economic Research. This poses a huge challenge — and danger — for the 20 percent of the population living in rural America.

As the crisis worsens, it has started to generate increased attention on the campaign trail. Presidential candidates are now talking about the rural hospital shortage on a regular basis, unlike past cycles, as they court voters in critical states like Iowa where the thinning medical infrastructure is an everyday reality.

“Rural health just simply has not been a topic in presidential debates and campaigns in the past,” said Alan Morgan, CEO of the National Rural Health Association (NRHA). “We’re seeing a unique focus on rural health … this presidential campaign that we haven’t seen in the last 20 to 30 years … It’s surfacing the issue as a key presidential campaign topic as we move forward.”

Voters in rural Iowa say health care access is one of their top concerns and will play a role in deciding who to vote for in the Feb. 3 caucuses. Most of the major Democratic primary candidates have outlined plans to tackle the crisis, with many in favor of expanding “telehealth” services — essentially doctor’s appointments via video chat, and increasing reimbursement rates for rural hospitals.

Westlake Legal Group CHART_LINE_Rural_Hospital_Closures America’s rural hospital crisis becomes major 2020 campaign issue fox-news/politics/elections/democrats fox-news/politics/elections fox-news/politics/2020-presidential-election fox-news/newsedge/politics fox-news/health fox news fnc/politics fnc d31045bb-b6a8-5772-805d-6070e8ae3a02 article Allie Raffa

According to the UNC Sheps Center for Health Services Research, a total of 161 rural hospitals have closed their doors since 2005.  (Fox News)

For his part, Miller now lives in a suburb of Des Moines and said close access to reliable health care was a major factor in his decision to move.

Laurie Goff, a Melcher-Dallas native and nurse practitioner, told Fox News the alarming rate of closures has life-or-death implications for rural communities. She treats injuries above her pay grade every day in the clinic she opened 13 years ago in her hometown of almost 1,300 people.

“I see everything from regular things to the more rare cases. Colds, diabetes, the full gamut. I’ve had a couple heart attacks walk in the door,” she said. “There was another provider that would come here from Knoxville, which is a town about 20 miles from here…one day a week to see patients on that day. Other than that, there was no medical care on other days of the week or no kind of options. “

There are no highly trained specialists here, not even an OB-GYN. In fact, nearly three dozen Iowa hospitals have stopped delivering babies in the past 20 years, leaving the Hawkeye State 50th out of 50 states for obstetricians per population.

RURAL AMERICA HAS TO DRIVE LONG DISTANCES FOR EMERGENCY CARE

Instead, Goff has to be flexible for residents who can’t drive the hour on average it takes to get to a major hospital from the town. That drive time more than doubles for patients needing specialized care for critical cases like burns and brain surgeries.

“So, they may not go,” Goff explained. “They may put off medications and getting their chronic illnesses taken care of…then they just kind of ‘Band Aid’ things along until the next thing happens and then two or three things are really flared up at that point because we weren’t able to get them to health care access sooner.”

According to the University of North Carolina Rural Health Research Program, rural populations saw mortality rates rise 5.9 percent after a hospital closure, and 46 percent of rural hospitals currently operate at a loss, compared with 40 percent in 2017.

Westlake Legal Group IMG_0768 America’s rural hospital crisis becomes major 2020 campaign issue fox-news/politics/elections/democrats fox-news/politics/elections fox-news/politics/2020-presidential-election fox-news/newsedge/politics fox-news/health fox news fnc/politics fnc d31045bb-b6a8-5772-805d-6070e8ae3a02 article Allie Raffa

Bamberg County Hospital in South Carolina shut its doors in 2012, leaving residents with long-distance drives to seek medical care until a smaller clinic recently opened. (Fox News/Allie Raffa)

And as hospitals board up their doors, communities crumble.

Serving as anchors of some towns, hospital closures are causing a ripple effect across the country; student numbers in rural schools decrease and businesses like flower shops, pharmacies, hotels and restaurants struggle, leading to higher unemployment numbers and a drop in average income in rural towns.

Causes to the crisis are disputed — some blame decreasing populations in small towns, while others point the finger at low Medicaid reimbursement rates not allowing hospitals to break even.

Before Medicaid expanded under the Affordable Care Act, hospitals still treated uninsured patients and were never paid for the care provided. The expansion largely benefited rural hospitals, but these benefits were not felt in states that opted not to expand the program.

At least 180 of the 430 hospitals under threat of closing, according to a study by the consultancy firm Navigant, are in the 14 states with governments that refused to expand Medicaid.

Westlake Legal Group MAP_USA_Rural_Hospital_Closures America’s rural hospital crisis becomes major 2020 campaign issue fox-news/politics/elections/democrats fox-news/politics/elections fox-news/politics/2020-presidential-election fox-news/newsedge/politics fox-news/health fox news fnc/politics fnc d31045bb-b6a8-5772-805d-6070e8ae3a02 article Allie Raffa

Texas leads the nation in rural hospital closures. In 1960, Texas had 300 rural hospitals and now has 158 hospitals serving more than 3 million Texans who reside in rural counties. (Fox News)

On the campaign trail, Sens. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., and Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., have promised to set aside billions to improve care in rural communities along with their controversial “Medicare-for-all” proposal.

It’s unclear, however, whether this would alleviate the problem.

Though the NRHA has not formally come out against “Medicare-for-all,” Morgan is skeptical of the proposal.

“I think it’s important that we separate the Medicare-for-all discussion … from the other provisions that are being promoted by the presidential candidates,” he said. “The Medicare-for-all proposal just isn’t detailed enough to know the actual impact that would have on rural communities.”

Iowa’s rural health care facilities long have faced challenges due to Medicare reimbursement rates. A study by Texas A&M University’s Rural & Community Health Institute predicted a greater risk of closure, due to projected loss in revenue, for many of Iowa’s rural hospitals if the government plan expanded.

This possible risk has been highlighted by candidates like former Vice President Joe Biden, who is in favor of building on ObamaCare and preserving Americans’ ability to choose private insurance so “hospitals won’t be threatened by having to get by on low Medicare reimbursement rates for all,” according to his plan. Biden would also expand the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s grant funding to emphasize telehealth “for mental health and specialty care” and the former VP is the only candidate to specifically endorse the NRHA-backed “Save Rural Hospitals Act” in his platform.

Sen. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., has proposed The Rural Emergency Acute Care Hospital Act (REACH Act), bipartisan legislation with Iowa GOP Sen. Chuck Grassley to increase the number of rural emergency centers and allow for hospitals to provide only emergency care in rural communities and to receive Medicare reimbursement at 110 percent of operating costs.

Only 9 percent of primary care physicians practice in rural areas and, according to the Health Resources and Services Administration, rural parts of the U.S. need an additional 4,022 doctors to close their coverage gaps.

HOW HEALTHCARE TECHNOLOGY MAKES RURAL AMERICA FEEL BETTER

To address the worker shortage, most candidates have pledged to incentivize medical professionals through service and loan forgiveness programs.

“We have just taken the wrong approach when it comes to graduate medical education and training physicians,” said Morgan. “We are attracting and training urban-based kids … and then we’re surprised they don’t want to work in rural communities. We need to make sure that we’re attracting kids from rural areas, training them in rural areas and placing them in rural areas.”

Both Klobuchar and South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete Buttigieg are calling for the expansion of the “Conrad 30” program, which allows immigrant doctors practicing in underserved areas to remain in the country, and Buttigieg also wants to double funding for the Federal Communications Commission’s “Rural Health Care Program” subsidies and the passage of the “Rural MOMS Act”.

Morgan says there is no one-size-fits-all approach to tackling this problem.

“Each rural community is unique, and what they need from a health care standpoint is unique as well so any type of federal proposals have to be flexible in nature and recognize the diversity which is rural America,” he said.

Westlake Legal Group IMG_5308 America’s rural hospital crisis becomes major 2020 campaign issue fox-news/politics/elections/democrats fox-news/politics/elections fox-news/politics/2020-presidential-election fox-news/newsedge/politics fox-news/health fox news fnc/politics fnc d31045bb-b6a8-5772-805d-6070e8ae3a02 article Allie Raffa

According to the Pew Research Center, people in rural areas on average have to travel more than twice the distance than people in urban areas to get emergency care.  (Fox News/Allie Raffa)

But as an Iowa voter, Miller says he’d like to see less talking and more action from the candidates.

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“People focus a lot on the big cities, they don’t actually get out and see what life is like in the rural communities and what’s going on what’s available for options…a lot of people have never had to experience driving an hour just to go to the doctor,” he said. “People just need to be educated and shown what is actually happening. At least once people see what’s happening, I think more will be done to help.”

Westlake Legal Group IMG_0745 America’s rural hospital crisis becomes major 2020 campaign issue fox-news/politics/elections/democrats fox-news/politics/elections fox-news/politics/2020-presidential-election fox-news/newsedge/politics fox-news/health fox news fnc/politics fnc d31045bb-b6a8-5772-805d-6070e8ae3a02 article Allie Raffa   Westlake Legal Group IMG_0745 America’s rural hospital crisis becomes major 2020 campaign issue fox-news/politics/elections/democrats fox-news/politics/elections fox-news/politics/2020-presidential-election fox-news/newsedge/politics fox-news/health fox news fnc/politics fnc d31045bb-b6a8-5772-805d-6070e8ae3a02 article Allie Raffa

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NAS Pensacola gunman ‘just shot through the door’ during rampage, survivor says

The Saudi national who fatally shot three sailors at a naval air station in Florida last week unleashed a hail of bullets inside an aviation classroom building as those inside took cover in an assault that unfolded in just a matter of seconds, according to one of the eight people wounded in the attack.

The FBI’s Jacksonville office identified the shooter in a statement Saturday night as Mohammed Alshamrani, 21, and released a photo of him. Investigators said he was a 2nd Lt. in the Royal Saudi Air Force and was a student naval flight officer of Naval Aviation Schools Command.

Officials investigating the attack are still working to determine whether it was an act of terrorism, while President Trump said Saturday that the U.S. would “immediately” conduct a review of the training procedures and pledged to “get to the bottom” of what happened.

SAUDI STUDENT WATCHED MASS SHOOTING VIDEOS DURING DINNER PARTY BEFORE FLORIDA NAVAL BASE ATTACK: REPORT

Officials said that Alshamrani opened fire inside a classroom at the naval base around 6:30 a.m. Friday, killing three people and wounding two sheriff’s deputies, one in the arm and one in the knee, before one of the deputies killed him. Eight others were also hurt.

Westlake Legal Group Mohammed-Alshamrani NAS Pensacola gunman 'just shot through the door' during rampage, survivor says Travis Fedschun fox-news/world/world-regions/saudi-arabia fox-news/us/military/navy fox-news/us/military fox-news/us/crime/mass-murder fox-news/us/crime fox news fnc/us fnc article 47f378ab-6032-5201-bd4a-3314fc1d969c

This undated photo provided by the FBI shows Mohammed Alshamrani. The Saudi student opened fire inside a classroom at Naval Air Station Pensacola on Friday before one of the deputies killed him. (FBI via AP)

One of those injured in the attack, Navy airman and assistant high school wrestling coach Ryan Blackwell, told the Pensacola News Journal Saturday from the intensive care unit at Baptist Hospital he heard gunshots down the hall then took cover along with two colleagues.

“He didn’t come inside,” Blackwell told the newspaper. “He just shot through the door.”

Blackwell said the gunfire lasted between 15 and 20 seconds. The bullets shattered the glass of the office where Blackwell and others were taking cover. The 27-year-old said he used his body to shield a female colleague. All three of the workers in the office were shot, with Blackwell struck in the right arm and bloodied.

“My adrenaline was pumping so much,” he told the newspaper. “I wasn’t worried about being shot. I was worried about getting us to safety and getting us out of there.”

Blackwell used his belt as a tourniquet to stop the bleeding and contacted another co-worker who had not arrived at the office to transport the three injured Navy airmen to the main gate of the naval air station, where they were transported by police to the hospital.

“We could have been three more casualties if we didn’t escape,” Blackwell told the newspaper.

HERO NAVAL ACADEMY GRAD SHOT 5 TIMES AT NAVAL AIR STATION RELAYED CRUCIAL INFORMATION BEFORE SUCCUMBING TO INJURIES

The Navy on Saturday identified the three victims of the NAS Pensacola shooting as Ensign Joshua Kaleb Watson, 23, of Coffee, Ala.; Airman Mohammed Sameh Haitham, 19, of St. Petersburg, Fla.; and Airman Apprentice Cameron Scott Walters, 21, of Richmond Hill, Ga.

Westlake Legal Group Joshua-Kaleb-Watson-thumb-US-NAVY NAS Pensacola gunman 'just shot through the door' during rampage, survivor says Travis Fedschun fox-news/world/world-regions/saudi-arabia fox-news/us/military/navy fox-news/us/military fox-news/us/crime/mass-murder fox-news/us/crime fox news fnc/us fnc article 47f378ab-6032-5201-bd4a-3314fc1d969c

Joshua Watson was killed Friday in the Pensacola naval base shooting, according to his family.

“The Sailors that lost their lives in the line of duty showed exceptional heroism and bravery in the face of evil,” said the Navy chief of information in a statement. “When confronted, they didn’t run from danger; they ran towards it and saved lives. If not for their actions, and the actions of the Naval Security Force that were the first responders on the scene, this incident could have been far worse.”

Westlake Legal Group Mohammed-Haitham NAS Pensacola gunman 'just shot through the door' during rampage, survivor says Travis Fedschun fox-news/world/world-regions/saudi-arabia fox-news/us/military/navy fox-news/us/military fox-news/us/crime/mass-murder fox-news/us/crime fox news fnc/us fnc article 47f378ab-6032-5201-bd4a-3314fc1d969c

This undated photo provided by the U.S. Navy shows Airman Mohammed Sameh Haitham, from St. Petersburg, Fla. He has been identified as one of the victims of the shooting Friday, Dec. 6, 2019, at Naval Air Station Pensacola, Fla. (U.S. Navy via AP)

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The U.S. Northern Command (Northcom) has called for increased random security checks at all sites across Northern Command. The order follows the deadly shootings last week at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam in Hawaii and the Naval Air Station (NAS) Pensacola in Florida.

“Given the recent attacks at two military installations, the Commander, U.S. Northern Command has directed all DoD [Defense Department] installations, facilities and units within the U.S. Northern Command area of responsibility to immediately assess force protection measures and implement increased random security measures appropriate for their facilities,” Lt. Cmdr. Michael Hatfield told Fox News.

“The advisory also told leaders to remind their workforce to remain alert and if they see something, to say something by immediately reporting to appropriate authorities any suspicious activity they may observe,” Hatfield said.

Fox News’ Marisa Schultz, Paulina Dedaj, Morgan Phillips, and the Associated Press contributed to this report. 

Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_6113931190001_6113934180001-vs NAS Pensacola gunman 'just shot through the door' during rampage, survivor says Travis Fedschun fox-news/world/world-regions/saudi-arabia fox-news/us/military/navy fox-news/us/military fox-news/us/crime/mass-murder fox-news/us/crime fox news fnc/us fnc article 47f378ab-6032-5201-bd4a-3314fc1d969c   Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_6113931190001_6113934180001-vs NAS Pensacola gunman 'just shot through the door' during rampage, survivor says Travis Fedschun fox-news/world/world-regions/saudi-arabia fox-news/us/military/navy fox-news/us/military fox-news/us/crime/mass-murder fox-news/us/crime fox news fnc/us fnc article 47f378ab-6032-5201-bd4a-3314fc1d969c

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Arkansas police officer ‘executed’ in fatal shooting outside department, chief says

A police officer in Arkansas was shot and killed behind a police department late Saturday night before the suspected shooter was gunned down by responding officers in a nearby alley, according to officials.

The Fayetteville Police Department said in a news release the incident happened around 9:41 p.m. when officers inside the station heard gunshots, went outside and discovered an officer down in a back parking lot and a suspect fleeing the area.

“It appears the suspect came into the back parking lot and just executed my officer,”  Fayetteville Police Chief Mike Reynolds said at a brief news conference.

HOUSTON POLICE OFFICER FATALLY SHOT WHILE RESPONDING TO DOMESTIC DISPUTE; SUSPECT IN CUSTODY

Reynolds told reporters that the suspect was chased into an alley between the police department and the city prosecutor’s office. Officers then “engaged the suspect,” and shots were fired, injuring the suspect.

Westlake Legal Group ArkansasShooting1 Arkansas police officer 'executed' in fatal shooting outside department, chief says Travis Fedschun fox-news/us/us-regions/midwest/arkansas fox-news/us/crime/police-and-law-enforcement fox-news/us/crime/homicide fox-news/us/crime fox-news/us/blue-lives-lost fox news fnc/us fnc c2fc2f0d-cbd5-5e87-8b34-b65f079c54ff article

A police officer in Fayetteville, Ark., was shot and killed Saturday night outside a police department. (KFTA/KNWA)

Emergency medical personnel responded to the scene, but both the officer and suspected shooter died of their injuries.

Reynolds, who told reporters he didn’t know of a motive, said that the Washington County Sheriff’s Office and the Federal Bureau of Investigation were working the crime scene.

“These are the details as I know,” Reynolds said.

Westlake Legal Group ArkansasShooting2 Arkansas police officer 'executed' in fatal shooting outside department, chief says Travis Fedschun fox-news/us/us-regions/midwest/arkansas fox-news/us/crime/police-and-law-enforcement fox-news/us/crime/homicide fox-news/us/crime fox-news/us/blue-lives-lost fox news fnc/us fnc c2fc2f0d-cbd5-5e87-8b34-b65f079c54ff article

Fayetteville Police Chief Mike Reynolds said at a news conference it appeared the suspect came into the parking lot behind the police station and “just executed my officer.”

The names of the officer killed and suspect were not immediately released, and neither were the names of the officers who engaged the suspected shooter. Police said in a news release that several law enforcement agencies would be involved in the investigation.

The officer was by his patrol car when he was shot and killed, FOX16 reported.

OFFICERS KILLED IN THE LINE OF DUTY IN 2019

The gunfire sparked a scare at the nearby city square, where a crowd was taking in the Lights of the Ozarks installation and heard the gunshots, the Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette reported.

Police stressed there was no threat to the public.

“We think about stuff like this and we know it could happen here, but you hope it never does,” police spokesman Sgt. Anthony Murphy told the newspaper. “It happened here. Now we’re here to pick up the pieces.”

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The fatal Arkansas shooting followed the shooting death of a Houston police officer Saturday night, who was shot multiple times while responding to a domestic violence call.

Working in law enforcement has been one of the most dangerous jobs in America. As of early December, 113 officers had died in the line of duty this year, with causes running the gamut from vehicular accidents and medical emergencies to homicides, according to data from the Officer Down Memorial Page.

Fox News’ Greg Norman and the Associated Press contributed to this report.

Westlake Legal Group ArkansasShooting1 Arkansas police officer 'executed' in fatal shooting outside department, chief says Travis Fedschun fox-news/us/us-regions/midwest/arkansas fox-news/us/crime/police-and-law-enforcement fox-news/us/crime/homicide fox-news/us/crime fox-news/us/blue-lives-lost fox news fnc/us fnc c2fc2f0d-cbd5-5e87-8b34-b65f079c54ff article   Westlake Legal Group ArkansasShooting1 Arkansas police officer 'executed' in fatal shooting outside department, chief says Travis Fedschun fox-news/us/us-regions/midwest/arkansas fox-news/us/crime/police-and-law-enforcement fox-news/us/crime/homicide fox-news/us/crime fox-news/us/blue-lives-lost fox news fnc/us fnc c2fc2f0d-cbd5-5e87-8b34-b65f079c54ff article

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Sally Pipes: Sanders, Warren want ‘Medicare-for-all’ like Canada – But Canadian health care is awful

Westlake Legal Group 9070737b-Surgery Sally Pipes: Sanders, Warren want ‘Medicare-for-all’ like Canada – But Canadian health care is awful Sally Pipes fox-news/politics/elections fox-news/politics/2020-presidential-election fox-news/person/elizabeth-warren fox-news/person/bernie-sanders fox-news/opinion fox-news/health fox news fnc/opinion fnc e71e8f12-7d6c-5825-bb14-c7ccad2781b6 article

Democratic presidential candidates Sens. Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren want you to believe Canada’s health care system is a dream come true. And they want to make the dream even better with their “Medicare-for-all” plans. Don’t believe them.

In truth, Canada’s system of socialized medicine is actually a nightmare. It has left hospitals overcrowded, understaffed and unable to treat some patients. Americans would face the same dismal reality if Canadian-style “Medicare-for-all” takes root here.

Canada’s health care system is the model for the “Medicare-for-all” plan that both Sanders, I-Vt., and Warren, D-Mass., embrace.

WHY THE PRESS WAS BLIND TO WARREN’S MEDICARE BLUNDER

North of the border, all residents have taxpayer-funded, comprehensive health coverage. In theory, they can walk into any hospital or doctor’s office and get the care they need, without a co-pay or deductible.

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Sanders and Warren would one-up Canada by providing all Americans with free prescription drugs, free long-term care, free dental care, free vision care, and free care for people with hearing problems.

Who could possibly object to all that free care?

Well, politicians in Canada object. They say even their country can’t do what Sanders and Warren want because all this free care would cost too much and cause other problems.

But for Sanders and Warren, money is no object. They can just raise taxes as higher and higher and higher. And the huge tax increases needed to fund “Medicare-for all” would hit us all – there aren’t enough millionaires and billionaires to foot the bill.

It’s true that everyone in Canada has health coverage. But that coverage doesn’t always secure care. According to the Fraser Institute, a Canadian think tank, patients waited a median of nearly 20 weeks to receive specialist treatment after referral by a general practitioner in 2018. That’s more than double the wait patients faced 25 years ago.

In Nova Scotia, patients faced a median total wait time of 34 weeks. More than 6 percent of the province’s population was waiting for treatment in 2018.

Waiting for care is perhaps better than not being able to seek it at all. The hospital emergency department in Annapolis Royal in Nova Scotia recently announced that it would simply close on Tuesdays and Thursdays. There aren’t enough doctors available to staff the facility.

Canadians can’t escape waits like these unless they leave the country and pay out of pocket for health care abroad. Private health insurance is illegal in Canada.

Private clinics in Canada are not allowed to charge patients for “medically necessary” services that the country’s single-payer plan covers. And the government has deemed just about every conceivable service “medically necessary.”

For the past decade, Dr. Brian Day, an orthopedic surgeon who runs the private Cambie Surgery Centre in British Columbia, has tried to offer Canadians a way out of the waits by expanding patient access to private clinics. He’s been battling his home province in court for a decade to essentially grant patients the ability to pay providers directly for speedier care.

During closing arguments in Day’s trial before the British Columbia Supreme Court at the end of November, Dr. Roland Orfaly of the British Columbia Anesthesiologists’ Society testified that over 300 patients in the province died waiting for surgery from 2015 to 2016 because of a shortage of anesthesiologists. And that was in just one of the province’s five regional health authorities!

Shortages of crucial medical personnel and equipment are common throughout Canada. The country has fewer than three doctors for every 1,000 residents. That puts it 26th among 28 countries with universal health coverage schemes. If current trends continue, the country will be short 60,000 full-time nurses in just three years.

In 2018, Canada had less than 16 CT scanners for every million people. The United States, by comparison, had nearly 45 per million.

These shortages, combined with long waits, can lead to incredible suffering.

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In 2017, one British Columbia woman who was struggling to breathe sought treatment in an overcrowded emergency room. She was given a shot of morphine and sent home. She died two days later.

That same year, a Halifax, Nova Scotia, man dying of pancreatic cancer was left in a cold hallway for six hours when doctors couldn’t find him a bed. Yes, people must sometimes be treated on hallway floors because of severe overcrowding.

In fact, some Canadian hospital emergency rooms look like they belong in poverty-stricken Third World countries.
WBUR Radio, Boston’s NPR station, documented these terrible conditions in a story about a hospital in Nova Scotia earlier this month.

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Americans who find the promise of free health care difficult to resist would do well to take a hard look north.

Sure, “Medicare-for-all” as pitched by Sanders and Warren sounds good. But the reality is far from what these two far-left candidates are promising. Like a drug that helps you in one way but causes even more serious problems, “Medicare-for-all” has dangerous side effects that can be hazardous to your health.

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Westlake Legal Group 9070737b-Surgery Sally Pipes: Sanders, Warren want ‘Medicare-for-all’ like Canada – But Canadian health care is awful Sally Pipes fox-news/politics/elections fox-news/politics/2020-presidential-election fox-news/person/elizabeth-warren fox-news/person/bernie-sanders fox-news/opinion fox-news/health fox news fnc/opinion fnc e71e8f12-7d6c-5825-bb14-c7ccad2781b6 article   Westlake Legal Group 9070737b-Surgery Sally Pipes: Sanders, Warren want ‘Medicare-for-all’ like Canada – But Canadian health care is awful Sally Pipes fox-news/politics/elections fox-news/politics/2020-presidential-election fox-news/person/elizabeth-warren fox-news/person/bernie-sanders fox-news/opinion fox-news/health fox news fnc/opinion fnc e71e8f12-7d6c-5825-bb14-c7ccad2781b6 article

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Alan Dershowitz: Some Democrats channeling Soviet minister’s ‘Show me the man, I’ll show you the crime’ maxim

Westlake Legal Group Mark-Levin1 Alan Dershowitz: Some Democrats channeling Soviet minister's 'Show me the man, I'll show you the crime' maxim fox-news/world/world-regions/russia fox-news/shows/life-liberty-levin fox-news/politics/trump-impeachment-inquiry fox-news/politics/house-of-representatives/democrats fox-news/politics/executive/law fox-news/person/donald-trump fox-news/media/fox-news-flash fox-news/media fox news fnc/media fnc Charles Creitz b7f23950-5b65-54a0-a479-209b9d03bf19 article

Some Democrats pursuing the impeachment of President Trump are trying their hardest to pin an impeachable crime on the commander in chief, according to law professor Alan Dershowitz.

In an interview airing Sunday at 8 p.m. ET, Dershowitz tells Mark Levin on “Life, Liberty & Levin” that Trump’s phone call with Ukraine does not rise to the level of bribery as defined in common law.

“[I]t can’t operate when you’re the president of the United States and you’re conditioning or withholding money in order to make sure that a country isn’t corrupt and you’re asking them to investigate [something],” he said.

“That just doesn’t fit any definition of bribery — common law definition of bribery, statutory definition of bribery — however you define the constitutional word ‘bribery.’ It just doesn’t fit,” he said.

MARK LEVIN: EX-DNC CONSULTANT CHALUPA SHOULD HAVE BEEN CALLED AT IMPEACHMENT HEARINGS

Dershowitz claimed some Democrats appear to be trying to find a crime to accuse Trump of, rather than going through the impeachment process after evidence of a specific high crime has been established.

He recalled the mantra of a former Soviet Union official who would customarily dismiss any presumption of innocence against the accused.

“What they’re trying to do is what the KGB under Lavrentiy Beria said to Stalin, the dictator — I’m not comparing our country to the Soviet Union — I just want to make sure it never becomes anything like that,” he said.

Beria, once the Soviet deputy premier and interior minister, famously would reassure Stalin, “Show me the man and I’ll find you the crime.”

“And that’s what some of the Democrats are doing,” Dershowitz claimed. “They have Trump in their sights. They want to figure out a way of impeaching him and they’re searching for a crime.”

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Dershowitz said Democrats settled on the charge of bribery after previous allegations either did not stick or rise to the level of an impeachable offense.

“First, they came up with abuse of power — not a crime — it’s not in the Constitution. So now they’re saying ‘bribery,’ but they’re making it up,” he said. “There is no case for bribery based on, even if all the allegations against the president were to be proved, which they haven’t been.”

Dershowitz said that former Treasury Secretary Alexander Hamilton also famously warned against impeaching a president for partisan ends.

“Alexander Hamilton said in Federalist Paper Number 65: The greatest danger would be if impeachment turned on the number of people each party had,” he said.

Impeaching Trump, Dershowitz said, would be a “complete abuse” of the Founding Fathers’ intentions.

For that reason, Dershowitz said he opposed former President Bill Clinton’s impeachment just as he does that of Trump. Clinton’s affair with intern Monica Lewinsky and the ensuing perjury charge did not amount to a “high crime,” the professor claimed.

“What Bill Clinton committed was a low crime, a crime to protect his personal life,” he said, adding that, at the time, Rep. Jerrold Nadler, D-N.Y. — who is helping lead the Trump impeachment proceedings — made the exact case in defense of the 42nd president.

Westlake Legal Group Mark-Levin1 Alan Dershowitz: Some Democrats channeling Soviet minister's 'Show me the man, I'll show you the crime' maxim fox-news/world/world-regions/russia fox-news/shows/life-liberty-levin fox-news/politics/trump-impeachment-inquiry fox-news/politics/house-of-representatives/democrats fox-news/politics/executive/law fox-news/person/donald-trump fox-news/media/fox-news-flash fox-news/media fox news fnc/media fnc Charles Creitz b7f23950-5b65-54a0-a479-209b9d03bf19 article   Westlake Legal Group Mark-Levin1 Alan Dershowitz: Some Democrats channeling Soviet minister's 'Show me the man, I'll show you the crime' maxim fox-news/world/world-regions/russia fox-news/shows/life-liberty-levin fox-news/politics/trump-impeachment-inquiry fox-news/politics/house-of-representatives/democrats fox-news/politics/executive/law fox-news/person/donald-trump fox-news/media/fox-news-flash fox-news/media fox news fnc/media fnc Charles Creitz b7f23950-5b65-54a0-a479-209b9d03bf19 article

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Bernie Sanders campaign staffer departs after anti-Semitic, other offensive tweets surface: reports

A newly hired community organizer for the Bernie Sanders presidential campaign has left just days after taking the job – reportedly because some of his past tweets allegedly contained anti-Semitic and homophobic statements, as well as derogatory remarks about women and Asians.

Several of the tweets also reportedly included crude sexual references.

Darius Khalil Gordon had announced Wednesday that he had been named deputy director of constituency organizing for Sanders, the independent U.S. senator from Vermont who is among the top contenders for the Democratic Party’s 2020 presidential nomination, the Washington Free Beacon reported.

CAL THOMAS: 10 COMMANDMENTS SAY SOMETHING IMPORTANT ABOUT PLANS BY BERNIE SANDERS AND ELIZABETH WARREN

But after a report about Gordon’s past tweets appeared Thursday in the Free Beacon, a Sanders spokesman told CNN on Friday that Gordon was no longer with the senator’s campaign.

Westlake Legal Group Bernie-Sanders Bernie Sanders campaign staffer departs after anti-Semitic, other offensive tweets surface: reports fox-news/topic/anti-semitism fox-news/politics/elections fox-news/politics/2020-presidential-election fox-news/person/bernie-sanders fox news fnc/politics fnc Dom Calicchio article 119afeec-6c51-5959-91ca-31540c520fbd

Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., speaks during a fundraiser for the Nevada Democratic Party, Sunday, Nov. 17, 2019, in Las Vegas. (Associated Press)

“He is no longer with the campaign and we wish him the best,” Mike Casca, the Sanders campaign spokesman, told CNN.

On Friday, the Republican Jewish Coalition, based in Washington, had called upon Sanders to fire Gordon.

“It is outrageous that Bernie Sanders would hire him, given Gordon’s history of posting blatantly anti-Semitic comments on social media,” The RJC wrote in a statement.

Gordon’s tweets have since been deleted but screen captures of the messages are still visible on social media.

Staffing issues have been problematic for Sanders’ presidential campaigns, both in 2016 and currently.

Back in January, Sanders posted on Twitter an open apology to all women working on his 2016 campaign “who were harassed or mistreated.” Several women had complained about one of the state campaign directors who worked for Sanders.

In March, Sanders hired a campaign spokeswoman who claimed to be an illegal immigrant, as well as two other staffers who were non-American citizens — in possible violation of federal election rules.

In September, a shakeup of Sanders’ current campaign operation occurred soon after the candidate lost out on a key endorsement: that of the progressive Working Families Party, which opted instead to back Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass.

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Sanders also contends with potential fallout from the endorsements of two Muslim women serving in Congress: U.S. Reps. Ilhan Omar, D-Minn., and Rashida Tlaib, D-Mich., have been accused numerous times of making anti-Semitic statements and being anti-Israel. But their supporters have noted that both women support Sanders, who is Jewish.

Both CNN and the Washington Free Beacon said Gordon had not responded to their requests for comment.

Westlake Legal Group Bernie-Sanders Bernie Sanders campaign staffer departs after anti-Semitic, other offensive tweets surface: reports fox-news/topic/anti-semitism fox-news/politics/elections fox-news/politics/2020-presidential-election fox-news/person/bernie-sanders fox news fnc/politics fnc Dom Calicchio article 119afeec-6c51-5959-91ca-31540c520fbd   Westlake Legal Group Bernie-Sanders Bernie Sanders campaign staffer departs after anti-Semitic, other offensive tweets surface: reports fox-news/topic/anti-semitism fox-news/politics/elections fox-news/politics/2020-presidential-election fox-news/person/bernie-sanders fox news fnc/politics fnc Dom Calicchio article 119afeec-6c51-5959-91ca-31540c520fbd

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