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Intel “eliminates” wearables division to focus on augmented reality

first_imgHow AR and VR Will Enhance Customer Experience David Curry Related Posts Few Industries will not be Transformed by AR an… AR And VR: Which is More Important to Emerging …center_img Intel has reportedly “eliminated” its wearable division, a year after it issued a recall of all Basis Peak smartwatches, due to frequent overheating. The division had already lost most of its workers in November, when Intel slashed 80 percent of the Basis team, according to CNBC.The chip maker’s New Technologies Group, which looks into emerging markets, has moved its attention to augmented reality. Even though AR headsets are still niche, Intel expects a surge in interest and available over the next 10 years.See Also: Scientists create comfortable e-skin wearable that lasts for a weekEven though the Basis team has been gutted, Intel will continue to work with partners in the wearable industry, including TAG Heuer, Oakley, and New Balance, according to the report.Intel had high hopes for the wearable industry in 2014 when it acquired Basis for $100 million and launched heart-rate monitoring earbuds with celebrity endorsements. That hope soon faded as the wearable market started to shape, with Apple, Xiaomi, and Fitbit the dominant players.Intel has made some major investments over the past 12 months, aimed at reducing the chance of another mobile calamity and diversifying the brand. The acquired Mobileye, a supplier of cameras and sensors for cars, for $15.3 billion. It also acquired Nervana Systems, an AI startup, for $400 million.These investments, while improving Intel’s chances in the respective markets, also push aside smaller divisions, like wearables. How a Modern Gaming Engine Can Supercharge Your… Tags:#Augmented Reality#Basis#Intel#mobile#smartwatch#wearable last_img read more

The Leadership Playbook: How Selling Helps You Become a Leader

first_img Essential Reading! Get my 2nd book: The Lost Art of Closing “In The Lost Art of Closing, Anthony proves that the final commitment can actually be one of the easiest parts of the sales process—if you’ve set it up properly with other commitments that have to happen long before the close. The key is to lead customers through a series of necessary steps designed to prevent a purchase stall.” Buy Now If you want to be a leader, there is no better place to start than in sales. The attributes and skills you need to develop to become a leader are required of you as a salesperson. Including the need to understand business, generate revenue, and build a profitable business.Understanding What Other People WantSelling is the act of helping people get what they want or need. To do that you have to understand what people want. What you need to know and understand is all contained inside your prospective client’s mind. You have to know how to gain access to their thinking.To sell well it helps to have a deep understanding of human psychology. It also helps to be empathetic and to care about other people, both of which eliminate the self-orientation that destroys sales.Understanding what people want and need and connecting with them will help you become a better leader.Creating a Case for ChangeSometimes people don’t know what they want or what they need. Other times, perhaps more often, people don’t want to do what they need to do or what they need to do to achieve better results.Much of the time selling means helping people develop a case for change and the commitment to do something different than they are doing now. In sales, this often requires an investment of money. But it also requires an investment of time and emotional energy. Change isn’t easy.If you want to be a leader, you are by definition an agent of change. Selling will help you become a more effective agent.Creating a Compelling Vision of the FutureWhat salespeople sell is a future state. They sell outcomes that aren’t presently being achieved. To do that, they create a compelling vision of the future that pulls the prospective client towards it.This is also what leaders do. They develop and share a compelling vision of the future they are leading the people and organization in their charge towards.A leader has to sell that vision. He has to convince others that it is the right future, and that is worth their investment of time and energy.Building ConsensusLeaders make decisions. But they don’t make those decisions alone. They build consensus among the leadership team and among the people on whose support they will depend if they are going to generate that future state.A salesperson must be able to bring people together around a common goal, mitigating any damage the change might cause some members, and asking people to set aside what they want for the greater good.Leadership is about more than making decisions. It’s about making decisions stick, and executing once they are made. That requires consensus.Accountability for ResultsThere are varied ideas about what is the most important thing a leader does. Many people say it’s vision. Others say it’s moral authority. If you had ten people in a room you would have eleven opinions on what makes a good leader. For my money, leadership boils down to accountability for a certain set of results.Salespeople are accountable for producing the results they sell. They are accountable for the outcomes they promise their clients. And this, for me, is the essence of leadership: accountability. It’s stepping up and taking responsibility for producing a set of outcomes, something successful salespeople routinely do.If you want to be a leader, sales is the perfect place to begin honing the attributes and skills you will need.last_img read more

a month agoAC Milan director Maldini jumps to defence of coach Giampaolo

first_imgTagsTransfersAbout the authorCarlos VolcanoShare the loveHave your say AC Milan director Maldini jumps to defence of coach Giampaoloby Carlos Volcanoa month agoSend to a friendShare the loveAC Milan director Paolo Maldini has lept to the defence of coach Marco Giampaolo after defeat to Fiorentina.The Rossonero were thumped 3-1 at home on Sunday.“We chose the Coach, we will defend him, it is right to give him some time. We knew there were some problems that we’d run into, although obviously we didn’t expect to lose four of the first six games, but also the quality of the football is unsatisfactory,” Maldini told Sky Sport Italia.“Right now, it might look like a tunnel with no light, but as our Coach said, the way out is with hard work. We knew that relying on a young squad, during the period when we are waiting for the Coach to really become a leadership figure, there could be a risk of the pressure getting to them.“Of course, it is the fault of the players, the club, the Coach, everyone. Last season, we finished one point off the Champions League places and they always supported us.“I think the fans were right this evening to protest. The responsibility is to be shared around, otherwise it becomes too much of a burden to bear.“We are only six rounds in, all is not lost. We know that in football, situations can turn rapidly. The worrying thing is that we saw such a downturn in performance from the Torino game on Thursday.“It’s strange, because we played very well during pre-season and showed good organisation. There started to be some traffic in the central area of the field, causing some tactical problems and difficulty in moving the ball around.” last_img read more

Texas A&M Used Johnny Manziel In Tweet Promoting Upcoming NFL Draft, Got Trolled By Rival Fans

first_imgTexas A&M Johnny Manziel tweet touting his greatness.Twitter/@aggiefblifeA year ago, former Texas A&M star Johnny Manziel was a first round draft pick by the Cleveland Browns after a stellar college career. Things haven’t gone very well for Johnny Football since, but Texas A&M’s @AggieFBLife Twitter account still used the Heisman winner in a tweet promoting the upcoming 2015 draft. Sign with Texas A&M: ✔️ Win a Heisman: ✔️ Get drafted in the 1st Round: ✔️ #WHOSNEXT pic.twitter.com/HfgOh2fxja— AggieFBLife (@aggiefblife) April 29, 2015As you can imagine, fans of Texas and other rival schools had a lot of fun with this ‘checklist,’ and trolled A&M and Manziel in response.Signs with A&M ✔ plays for 0 titles ✔ goes to 0 bcs bowls ✔ wins the chik-fil-a bowl ✔ https://t.co/RKR4zHfoZu— Chris Bennett (@chrisgb00) April 29, 2015@aggiefblife @chrisgb00 2nd string ✔️go to rehab✔️— Connor Nelson (@ConnorN22231016) April 29, 2015@aggiefblife Get Kicked Out of Manning Camp. Hang out at Rival School & party. Can’t wait to Leave A&M. #WHOSNEXT— joe villa (@mikeejoe) April 29, 2015 @aggiefblife @JManziel2 @CoachSumlin Really?No Championships, soft nonconf schedule, bttm SEC-W, arrests, rehab stints. #fireSumlin.— III & Company (@IIIandCompany) April 29, 2015So…that didn’t go quite as planned for Texas A&M. Reports that Cleveland may trade up to No. 2 to take Marcus Mariota haven’t helped matters in the Manziel Camp either.[Sporting News]last_img read more

Video: Clemson Fan Cries After Getting Orange Bowl Tickets For Christmas

first_imgA Clemson fan gets Orange Bowl tickets.clemson fans orange bowl ticketsClemson, the No. 1 seed in the upcoming College Football Playoff, hasn’t had the chance to play for a national title in a very long time. As such, we imagine that the gift you’ll see below is a popular one in Tigers fans’ homes Friday morning.The Piedmonts apparently came up with a clever way to give a member of the family her Christmas present. When she opened an orange bowl, it signified that she’d be attending next week’s Orange Bowl contest between Clemson and Oklahoma. Of course, tears flowed.The video was posted by Greg Piedmont on YouTube. Check it out:Will there be more tears of joy after a win? We’ll find out in less than a week.last_img read more

Find cheap flights from

first_imgFind cheap flights from: If you fancy a short break a bit closer to home, check out our ultimate guide to holidaying in the UK… Signed up? Then expect more of this…Cheap flight deals of the weekLooking for cheap flights or fancy a last-minute holiday? Each week we round-up the best travel offers and the cheapest flights to a range of destinations. So whether it’s a sunny beach or a budget city break you’re looking for, check out the best deals here before you book.Get the best air fares with Skyscanner Price AlertsOur handy flight price tracker will keep an eye on your chosen flight and let you know as soon as the price drops – or if it starts to climb. The Skyscanner guide to finding a late dealLast minute flights used to be the go-to for travellers looking for cheap flights. But in our era of budget airlines, are last minute flight deals dead?20 money saving travel tips and secretsFrom booking flights to fine dining: find out how to save cash on holiday. Why pay more than you need to on travel?*Flight prices are for journeys from the UK for two adults and two children and are correct at time of publication and subject to availability.Skyscanner is the world’s travel search engine, helping your money go further on flights, hotels and car hire.ReturnOne wayMulti-cityFromAdd nearby airports ToAdd nearby airportsDepart14/08/2019Return21/08/2019Cabin Class & Travellers1 adult, EconomyDirect flights onlySearch flights Map RelatedWeekend city breaks from just £20Make the most of the next bank holiday and get those Instagram filters at the ready. We’ve got cheap flights from airports across the UK – all you’ve got to decide is whether to go for a city break or a few days lazing on the beach! Go on, you…Last minute UK hotel deals from £24 a nightFancy a last minute weekend away without jumping on a plane or a train? Family, romantic, boutique or business: whatever kind of accommodation you’re looking for, we’ve got hot deals on hotels in the UK, perfect for that last minute weekend break. Compare prices and book yourself in for a…Cheap flights for Easter holidays from £31With so many ridiculously cheap flights to choose from, why not over-indulge on chocolate Easter eggs somewhere exotic this year? Check out our flight deals and you could pay a visit to your loved ones or explore a new city this Easter weekend. Because cheap flights make you happier than… Looking for more city break or family holiday inspiration?last_img read more

I dont have all that many stories for you today—a

first_img I don’t have all that many stories for you today—and I hope there are at least a couple in here that interest you. When small men begin to cast big shadows, it means that the sun is about to set. — Lin Yutang Well, I’m sad to say that the Wednesday trading session turned out exactly as I expected it would, although I was hoping beyond hope that it might be different this time—but it wasn’t. But what should not be lost in this is the continuing engineered price declines in both gold and silver—and after ‘da boyz’ and their algorithms got through with both metals yesterday, there’s only 20 or so dollars to go to get back to the October 6 low in gold. But, as Ted Butler always points out, it’s not the price, rather it’s the number of long gold contracts that JPMorgan et al can get the Managed Money traders to puke up—and how deeply they can guide these same technical funds onto the short side of the gold market.  So how ‘low’ the price goes, will be a direction function of that process. Here are the 6-month charts for both gold and silver. As usual, silver got hit the moment that trading began at 6 p.m. EDT in New York on Tuesday evening—and it didn’t do a thing until the 8:20 a.m. Comex open.  The subsequent rally attempt—and there were a number of them leading up until 2 p.m. EDT—all got dealt with in the usual manner.  Then at that point, the HFT traders and their algorithms showed up—and “Bob’s your uncle!“ The high and lows were reported as $17.315 and $17.015 in the December contract. Silver closed yesterday at $17.09 spot, down 10.5 cents from Tuesday.  Net volume was the same as Tuesday’s at 28,000 contracts. Ted says that with silver, the Managed Money is all ‘locked and loaded’ with a record short position.  It’s possible they may have added to their short position yesterday, but there’s no way of knowing, because Wednesday’s price action occurred a day after the cut-off for tomorrow’s Commitment of Traders Report.  So we’ll have to wait until the COT Report on November 7, which is a lifetime away at the moment. And as I type this paragraph, the London open is about 50 minutes away.  I note that the two tiny rally attempts that occurred in gold—one shortly after trading began in New York yesterday evening—and the one that came shortly after 9 a.m. Hong Kong time, were both sold down.  But the real sell-off began around 1 p.m. Hong Kong time as the HFT boyz leaned on the price—and gold is now at a new low for this move down, and it probably won’t be the low of the day.  Gold volume is already north of 32,000 contracts, which is very heavy for this time of morning—and 99 percent of it is in the current front month, which is December, so it’s not normal trading volume. Silver’s tiny rally attempt in morning trading in the Far East on their Thursday met with the same fate as gold—and ‘da boyz’ really put the boots to the price shortly before 2 p.m. Hong Kong time.  The silver price is now knocking on the door of its old low set back on Friday, October 3.  Gold volume is just north of 12,000 contracts at the moment, which is also pretty big for this time of day. After trading flat for most of the Far East session, platinum also met the same fate starting shortly before 1 p.m. Hong Kong time.  Palladium got hit shortly after trading began at 6 p.m. in New York last night—and has been allowed to trade flat since then. The dollar index has been in rally mode almost since the open yesterday evening—and at the moment it’s up 25 basis points.  But if you believe that these engineered price declines are a result of the ‘strength’ in the dollar index, do I have a bridge for you!  However, that’s what the so-called experts will use as a reason for the decline in all precious metals. I’d like to think that this is the last swing for the fences by JPMorgan et al, but it’s just not possible to tell at the moment.  I think some comfort should be drawn from Greenspan’s use of the world “measurable” because it confirms that there is an end game which, as I’ve said many times over the years, will certainly result in a re-pricing of not just the precious metals, but all commodities in general.  The only thing we don’t know is the timing.  But looking at the current set-up in the Comex futures market, never have the stars been so favourably aligned—and that was Ted’s opinion in his mid-week commentary yesterday, which was headlined “Resolution is Dead Ahead“. So we wait some more. And as I hit the send button on today’s column at 5:15 a.m. EDT, London has been open just over an hour—and as the charts below show, JPMorgan et al—along with their HFT buddies—are still at it.  Gold hit another new low—and is trading just above the $1,200 mark at the moment.  Silver was down almost 40 cents at its low tick that came about 8:30 a.m. GMT.  Platinum is barely off its low—and palladium is still trading flat after its sell-off in early Far East trading. Gold volume is north of 48,000 contracts at the moment—and silver’s volume is way up there as well at 17,000 contracts.  The dollar index is now up 38 basis points. The powers-that-be certainly aren’t wasting any time in this leg down of the current engineered price decline—and based on what I see at the moment, it could be a wild and woolly day once Comex trading begins at 8:20 a.m. EDT this morning—if not sooner. So hang onto your hats—and I’ll see you here tomorrow. The Wednesday trading session turned out exactly as I expected The gold price developed a slight positive bias early in Far East trading, topping out shortly after London opened on their Wednesday morning.  From that point it drifted quietly lower, before getting sold down five bucks beginning at the Comex open in New York.  Minutes before 2 p.m. EDT, the price was up about three bucks off its interim 8:50 a.m. EDT low—and at 2 p.m. on the dot, the “Buy the dollar index/hit the precious metals” button was pushed—and that was it for the day in all four precious metals, with gold [not surprisingly] getting hit the hardest.  The gold price finished about three bucks and change off its 3:35 p.m. EDT low tick. The high and low were reported by the CME Group as $1,230.40 and $1,208.20 in the December contract. Gold finished the Wednesday trading session at $1,211.60 spot, down $16.20 from Tuesday’s close.  Net volume was 122,000 contracts, but considering the price action, that wasn’t a lot—at least in my opinion. Drilling Intersects 102 Meters of 1.97 gpt Gold at Columbus Gold’s Paul Isnard Gold Project; Drilling Confirms Depth Extension of Gold Mineralization Columbus Gold Corporation (CGT: TSX-V) (“Columbus Gold”) is pleased to announce results of the initial five (5) core drill holes at its Paul Isnard gold project in French Guiana. The holes confirm depth extension of gold mineralization below shallow holes drilled on the 43-101 compliant 1.9 million ounce Montagne d’Or inferred gold deposit at Paul Isnard in the 1990’s and support the current program of resource expansion through offsetting open-ended gold mineralization indicated by the earlier holes. Robert Giustra, CEO of Columbus Gold, commented: “These drill results validate Columbus Gold’s approach to adding ounces with a lower-risk drilling program designed to infill and to extend the mineralized zones to 200 m vertical depth from surface; a depth amenable to open pit mining.”  Fourteen (14) holes have been completed (assays pending) by Columbus Gold in the current program and drilling is progressing at the rate of about 3,000 meters per month with one drill-rig on a 24 hour basis. Columbus Gold plans to accelerate the current program by engaging a second drill-rig as soon as one can be obtained.  Please visit our website for more information about the project. The gold stocks opened down—and were in the hole to the tune of a bit more than 2 percent by around 11 a.m. in New York.  From there they rallied back to unchanged by around 1:20 p.m.  Then they got clubbed on the Fed news—and barely recovered off their lows going into the close.  The HUI got creamed for 4.05%. Platinum didn’t do a lot during the Wednesday session, but met the same fate at 2 p.m. EDT as both gold and silver—and was closed down 8 bucks.center_img That’s the third or fourth time this month that the shares have been hammered to the downside out of all proportion to the declines in the underlying metals themselves—and it’s becoming obvious that these dramatic sell-offs don’t involve free-market forces. The CME Daily Delivery Report showed that there were no deliveries to report, which is not surprising since I mentioned in this space yesterday that the October deliveries for both gold and silver were done. And barring any surprise deliveries in the next 48 hours, the October deliveries in gold were reported as 1,268 contracts—and in silver it was 774 contracts, which is very decent for what is not a ‘normal’ delivery month for silver. The CME Preliminary Report for the Wednesday trading session showed that there were zero contracts in either gold or silver still open in the October delivery month—and just eye-balling the remaining open interest for November in these two metals, it’s apparent that the November will be pretty quiet on the delivery front as well.  November, like October, is not normally a big delivery month for either gold or silver, but there’s always room for a surprise. First Notice Day for the November deliveries is Friday—and whatever they show, I’ll have them in Saturday’s column. There was another withdrawal from GLD yesterday.  This time an authorized participant took out 38,450 troy ounces.  And as of 10:06 p.m. yesterday evening, there were no reported changes in SLV. There was no sales report from the U.S. Mint yesterday. There was very big in/out movement in both gold and silver at the Comex-approved depositories on Tuesday.  In gold, there was 22,505 troy ounces reported received—and 89,183 troy ounces shipped out.  The link to that activity is here. In silver, there was 934,767 troy ounces received—and 343,435 ounces shipped out the door for parts unknown.  The link to that action is here. Here’s a nifty chart that Nick Laird sent our way last night—along with his comment that stated—“Support has now become resistance.”  That’s precisely right of course dear reader, but only if the Plunge Protection Team allows this chart pattern to stand.  The ‘click to enlarge’ feature works wonders here. Palladium made numerous attempts to break above the $800 spot mark, but a willing seller was always at the ready to make sure it didn’t happen.  The metal also got hit at 2 p.m.—and was only allowed to close up 2 dollars.  It would have obviously finished the trading session materially higher if allowed to do so. Here are two of the latest photos from yesterday of the lava flow encroaching on Pāhoa Village on Hawai’i’s ‘Big Island’.  The ‘click to enlarge’ feature really helps here. Sponsor Advertisement Ditto for the silver equities.  The managed to rally into positive territory off their 11 a.m. New York low, but really got hammered starting at 2 p.m., although they did recover off their absolute lows.  Not that it mattered much, as Nick Laird’s Intraday Silver Sentiment Index got bombed for a 4.21% loss. The dollar index closed late Tuesday afternoon in New York at 85.41.  It traded virtually ruler flat until 9:15 a.m. EDT on Wednesday morning, before getting sold down to its 85.20 low at 10:30 a.m. EDT.  Then shortly before 2 p.m. the index blasted higher as ‘The Button’ got pushed, with its 86.03 high tick coming about 2:45 p.m. in New York.  It traded sideways after that, closing at 85.99, which was up 58 basis points on the day.last_img read more

There was no red carpet but there were drums dan

first_imgThere was no red carpet, but there were drums, dancing, and general mayhem.The premiere of Black Panther on Thursday night was definitely the wildest event in the history of the movie theater at the central mall in Accra, Ghana, says Joshua Nyamekye, who works as a ticket collector there. Before the night was over, fans trying to crowd into the theater left Nyamekye, 23, looking like he’d been roughed up by the titular clawed hero himself.But Nyamekye doesn’t resent his wounds; he was just as enthusiastic to see the movie himself.”Marvel [Studios] movies are always crazy like this,” he says. But this time, “we almost needed to call the police.”The movie, which builds off the popular “Avengers” superhero franchise, stars Chadwick Boseman as the butt-kicking King T’Challa of Wakanda, a mythical African nation that faces internal strife over whether to share its super-advanced technology with the outside world. Needless to say, the nearly all-black cast and African setting are a significant departure from typical Hollywood action-flick fare, and it has had a rapturous reception across the continent, starting with its global premiere in Kisumu, Kenya, co-star Lupita Nyong’o’s hometown.On the film’s second night in Accra, the drums had died down, but the house was still packed, including a large contingent of self-avowed comic book nerds who say the movie held a special resonance for African audiences.”There hasn’t been a mainstream black hero, so we’re really holding up this character,” says Kofi Ofori-Amanfo, a 24-year-old software developer and lifelong Marvel fan who grew up following a Spiderman strip that occasionally appeared in the local newspaper. He was there with his friend David Kumi, who confessed to be more a fan of rival DC comics (Superman, Batman, etc.) but was willing to make an exception for Black Panther. The two had eagerly awaited this premiere since catching a short appearance of Black Panther in last year’s Captain America: Civil War.”I’m really glad about the way everyone is embracing it,” Ofori-Amanfo said. “I believe in one way or another it could help people see Africa in a different light.”The audience in Accra was boisterous and found plenty of moments to cheer. Particular audience favorites included a mention of Ghanaian traditional masks in a scene set in a museum gallery, and a joke about vegetarianism that comes at the expense of one of the movie’s few white characters (a CIA agent played by Martin Freeman), which audience members took as a lighthearted jab at the ridiculous ways of obroni, the local Twi language word for “foreigner.”Less popular was the “African” accent affected by many of the characters, which several audience members here found forced, vague and unconvincing, with heavily articulated consonants and a grab-bag of speech patterns from Nigeria, South Africa, and the Swahili-speaking countries of East Africa.Apart from the accent issue, the movie’s representation of pan-African culture was well-received. The movie’s costume designer, Ruth Carter, told NPR that her team pulled color, geometry and other design elements from a variety of African cultures into the distinctive vision of “Afrofuturism” on display in Wakanda. It’s a difficult balance to strike: How to show off the continent’s cultural diversity without mashing things together so much that the movie plays into the Africa-is-a-country stereotypes that frequently afflict mainstream Western representations of the continent. Here, flying vehicles whiz past a vendor hawking woven baskets, and King T’Challa’s space-age black robes are trimmed in kente, a brightly colored traditional Ghanaian textile.”African culture is represented very well,” Ofori-Amanfo says. “They integrated the whole African touch in a way that was intriguing and exciting.”Beyond the design, audience members pointed to other elements that seemed familiar here (don’t worry, no spoilers ahead). Wakanda struggles with the simultaneous blessing and curse of highly valuable natural resources, which has been the root of many African nations’ troubles from colonialism to modern-day corruption and conflict. Despite a strong nationalist tradition, Wakandans are prone to be torn apart from within by tribalism, a familiar crisis across the continent, including in Ghana, which has recently experienced an uptick in violent clashes between cattle herders of the Fulani ethnic minority and farmers of other groups.Characters in Wakanda have a significant debate about how to relate with the global African diaspora, which as the Washington Post’s Karen Attiah notes, mirrors a similarly complex real-life relationship between Africans and black Americans about why they haven’t been more mutually supportive on issues from colonial occupation to police brutality.And although Wakanda is ultimately a paternalistic society, it relies on powerful women, like Nyong’o’s warrior princess Nakia and Letitia Wright’s saucy engineer Shuri, who are valued for their brains and brawn as much as for their beauty.Ultimately, the movie’s representation of Africa is one of resilience, progressivism, compromise, fierce dignity and cooperation.”They are portraying the African sense of being there for each other,” Ofori-Amanfo says. “They’re showing that Africans as a whole can stand up.”But as Amartey Amarteifio, 25, puts it, Ghanaians don’t need Hollywood to tell them that.”I already know how amazing Africa is,” he said. “I’m just happy that America will get to see this side.”Tim McDonnell is a journalist covering the environment, conflict and related issues in sub-Saharan Africa. Follow him on Twitter and Instagram. Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.last_img read more

Obamacare — as the Affordable Care Act is commonly

first_imgObamacare — as the Affordable Care Act is commonly known — won’t be on the ballot next month. But the fate of the eight-year old health care law could be decided by which party wins control of Congress in November. “Medicare for All” — the progressive alternative to Obamacare — also stands to gain or lose ground. And the Trump administration will be looking for a green light to keep making health care changes of its own.Republican strategist Karl Rove wrote about what’s at stake in a recent Wall Street Journal column. The headline described health care as the “sleeper issue” of the 2018 midterm elections.Republican Lou Hendricks agrees. The Kansas City retiree told pollsters health care is at the top of his list as he ponders his midterm vote.”One of the big concerns that we have as as a family is making sure that there continues to be coverage for previous conditions,” Hendricks said. Sen. Claire McCaskill, D-Mo., who’s in a tough battle for re-election, is trying to tap into that concern. McCaskill describes her own struggle with breast cancer in a new campaign ad. “I don’t talk about it much,” she says, over video that shows the senator meeting with other women. “Those who faced cancer and many other illnesses have a pre-existing condition when it comes to health coverage.”McCaskill blasts her Republican opponent, Missouri Attorney General Josh Hawley, for joining a lawsuit that seeks to overturn Obamacare and its requirement that insurance companies offer coverage regardless of a person’s medical history. Republicans insist they will also protect patients with pre-existing medical conditions, though they’ve been vague in saying how.Democrats around the country have seized on this issue. Health care dominates congressional campaign ads, outpacing jobs, taxes, and immigration.”Democrats have been laser-focused on health care this year,” said Erika Franklin Fowler, who tracks campaign ads for the Wesleyan Media Project. It’s the mirror image of past election cycles, when Republicans ran a blitzkrieg of ads attacking Obamacare while Democrats stayed largely quiet. “Regardless of how Americans feel about the Affordable Care Act, there are provisions of it that are very popular,” Franklin said. “Once it became clear that those provisions are in trouble, I think that has sort of changed the landscape of how politicians will talk about it this cycle.”Democrats are determined to protect those popular provisions if they win one or both houses of Congress in November. On the other hand, if Republicans keep control, they could take another run at repealing Obamacare.”Many Republicans want the ability to finish the job,” said Jessica Anderson, vice president of the conservative group Heritage Action. “They’ve campaigned on this for over eight years.”Anderson said even if Republicans lose in November, they could mount a last-ditch effort to repeal Obamacare during the lame-duck session. The late Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., who helped torpedo the last repeal effort, has now been replaced by Jon Kyl, a more reliable GOP vote.No matter which party controls Congress next year, the Trump administration will likely keep trying to chip away at Obamacare. For example, the administration has already relaxed regulations to allow stripped-down insurance policies with reduced coverage. “The president will still be in office, and his administration will still be active,” Anderson said.But if Democrats win control of either chamber, they might be able to put the brakes on those efforts.”What you’re likely to see is much greater and even fierce oversight of the administration’s efforts to change — and many would say undermine” the Affordable Care Act, said Drew Altman, president of the Kaiser Family Foundation, a health care research organization.In Kansas City, Hendricks described himself as a fan of the Affordable Care Act. But more and more he’s leaning towards a single-payer insurance system, which progressive advocates like to describe as “Medicare for All.” “It makes it easier and simpler for everybody,” Hendricks said, “with he exception of Aetna, Blue Cross/Blue Shield, enter the medical insurance company here.”President Trump has gone on the offensive, claiming without evidence that any expansion of Medicare will come at the expense of today’s seniors.Even if they win a sweeping victory in the midterms, Democrats won’t have the power to pass “Medicare for All” over a presidential veto. But they might jump start the conversation ahead of the next election in two years. Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.last_img read more