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Rand Paul Suddenly Unsure If Obamacare Should Be Completely Repealed

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on May 31st, 2014 11:08 pm by HL

Rand Paul Suddenly Unsure If Obamacare Should Be Completely Repealed

“[P]eople seem to be very much complimenting our exchange,” Paul admitted.

The post Rand Paul Suddenly Unsure If Obamacare Should Be Completely Repealed appeared first on ThinkProgress.

Rand Paul, Mitch McConnell

Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) has joined Mitch McConnell in suggesting that Kentucky could maintain its Obamacare exchange if health care reform is repealed, saying that he’s “not sure” if the new marketplace (Kynect) should be unraveled. Paul’s comments come as a growing number of Republicans aim to repackage the key tenets of President Obama’s health care law as unique state solutions, designed and built by state officials far away from Washington D.C.

“There’s a lot of questions that are big questions that are beyond just the exchange and the Kynect and things like that,” Paul said. He reiterated that he would like to “repeal all of Obamacare,” but added, “Can a state still have an exchange? You know we live in a 50-state union so some states could have exchanges. They already did before Obamacare.”

“I think the real question that we have in Kentucky is people seem to be very much complimenting our exchange because of the functionality of it, but there are still the unknown questions or what’s going to happen with so many new people,” Paul said.

The senator had previously claimed that the law “strips away your freedom to choose what plan works best for you and your family” and urged Congress to “repeal this partisan mess of a law so we can start over with real input from the American people and members of both parties.”

Since enrollment began in October, Kentucky has been a model for effective Affordable Care Act implementation, enrolling over 400,000 people in health insurance coverage.

Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes, McConnell’s challenger, won’t defend the ACA in its entirety, but has praised the state’s exchange and criticized McConnell for trying to find a new position on a law he has repeatedly voted to repeal.

The post Rand Paul Suddenly Unsure If Obamacare Should Be Completely Repealed appeared first on ThinkProgress.

Pentagon Will Allow Some Undocumented Immigrants To Join The Armed Forces

Though the new Pentagon policy could provide a path to citizenship for some undocumented immigrants, it is limited in scope.

The post Pentagon Will Allow Some Undocumented Immigrants To Join The Armed Forces appeared first on ThinkProgress.

Army recruiters stand at attention in Jackson, Mississippi

Army recruiters stand at attention in Jackson, Mississippi

CREDIT: AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis

The Pentagon approved a policy that will allow a small group of undocumented immigrants to join the military, potentially creating a path to citizenship for them, according to a report by the Huffington Post’s Ryan J. Reilly and Elise Foley. The new policy will affect immigrants currently enabled to remain in the country by the Obama Administration’s Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, a program that benefits certain law-abiding young undocumented immigrants who came to the United States before the age of sixteen. The new military policy, however, only extends to immigrants with certain specialized skills.

As a general rule, federal law provides that “no person shall be naturalized unless he has been lawfully admitted to the United States for permanent residence,” a rule that excludes DACA beneficiaries. A program known as Military Accessions Vital to the National Interest (MAVNI), however, permits non-citizen members of the armed forces to “naturalize without first obtaining a Green Card.” Previously, the MAVNI was open to other non-citizens without green cards, such as refugees and foreign nationals who obtained asylum in the United States. This new Pentagon policy expands the scope of that program.

The scope of the Pentagon’s new policy, however, is still likely to be quite limited. The MAVNI program permits non-citizen health care professionals or “Enlisted Individuals with Special Language and Culture Backgrounds” to join the military, but it does not benefit potential enlistees who do not possess these skills or backgrounds. Thus, many young undocumented immigrants who would like to take advantage of this opportunity to join the armed forces will be unable to do so.

The post Pentagon Will Allow Some Undocumented Immigrants To Join The Armed Forces appeared first on ThinkProgress.

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