Julie Boonstra says in an Americans for Prosperity anti-Obamacare ad that she was diagnosed with leukemia five years ago and her health care plan was canceled when Obamacare went into effect. "Now, the out-of-pocket costs are so high, it's unaffordable," she said. This claim is false. Before her plan was canceled, Boonstra was paying a $1,100 monthly premium. That's $13,200 a year, without adding out-of-pocket expenses like co-pays and prescription drugs. But under her new plan, the Blue Cross Premier Gold, Boonstra's premiums are down to $571 a month and out-of-pocket costs are capped at $5,100. That's a maximum annual expense of $11,952 a year. According to the Detroit News, Boonstra said it "can't be true" that her new coverage is cheaper than her old. "I personally do not believe that," she said.
As part of trade talks, the European Union wants to ban the use of European names like Parmesan, feta and Gruyere on cheese made in the United States. The argument is that the American-made cheeses are shadows of the original European varieties and cut into sales and identity of the European cheeses. The Europeans say Parmesan should only come from Parma, Italy, not those familiar green cylinders that American companies sell. Feta should only be from Greece, even though feta isn't a place. The EU argues it "is so closely connected to Greece as to be identified as an inherently Greek product."
From Grayson spokeswoman: "Today the Orange County Sheriff's Department confirmed what we have known all along: Congressman Grayson did nothing wrong. We are relieved that this ridiculous ordeal is over, and that the Congressman can continue to focus on taking care of his family and serving his constituents."
As Russia tightens its grip on Crimea in what Britain's foreign minister called the "biggest crisis in Europe in the 21st century," National Geographic staff writer Cathy Newman spoke with Nina Khrushcheva, granddaughter of former Soviet premier Nikita Khrushchev. (Related: "Inside Crimea: A Jewel in Two Crowns.")
As Russia's Ukraine power play reaches boiling point in Crimea, there are clear signs a Russian invasion may be a disaster for its architect, President Vladimir Putin.
Even a week ago, the idea of a Russian military intervention in Ukraine seemed far-fetched if not totally alarmist. The risks involved were just too enormous for President Vladimir Putin and for the country he has ruled for 14 years. But the arrival of Russian troops in Crimea over the weekend has shown that he is not averse to reckless adventures, even ones that offer little gain. In the coming days and weeks, Putin will have to decide how far he is prepared to take this intervention and how much he is prepared to suffer for it. It is already clear, however, that he cannot emerge as the winner of this conflict, at least not when the damage is weighed against the gains. It will at best be a Pyrrhic victory, and at worst an utter catastrophe. Here's why: