Saturday, February 24, 2018
News Roundup

Q&A: Medicare, Flight 370, Social Security

Ask the Times

Lies about Medicare

I got an email titled "Medicare at 76" that says, among other things, that at age 76 people on Medicare will not be eligible for cancer treatments. Can that be true?

It is not true. Our colleagues at PolitiFact Oregon looked into this last June and ruled it a "pants on fire" lie. Here are some excerpts from its report:

"There is no rationing, based on age or otherwise, on cancer treatment under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act signed into law in March 2010. Likewise, there is no rationing or cut-off age in 2009's H.R. 3200, which did not become law. H.R. 3200 contained a section on 'treatment of certain cancer hospitals.' But the American Nurses Association described the section as 'the opposite of rationing. The section allows Medicare to pay cancer hospitals more if they are incurring higher costs.' FactCheck.org agrees with the nurses group. And again, the bill never became law."

Further, PolitiFact Oregon contacted Texas judge David Kithil, who was quoted in the email. He said he wrote a letter to a local newspaper in 2009 protesting the initial version of the health care act. He now says he "wants readers to disregard his letter as it is outdated and based on legislation that did not become law."

Flight 370's cargo

Has the cargo manifest been disclosed for Malaysian Airlines Flight 370?

Malaysian Airlines Flight 370 went missing March 8, but the cargo manifest was just released Thursday, when the Malyasian Transportation Ministry issued a 5-page report.

The most interesting disclosure was confirmation that the flight carried 440 pounds of lithium-ion batteries, which are highly flammable and have been cited as a source of problems in more than 100 flights since 1991, according to the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration. Otherwise, the plane carried about 4 tons of mangosteen, a tropical fruit native to Southeast Asia, luggage and other routine items.

Why SSA checks credit

I recently pulled my credit report and noticed that the Social Security Administration was one of the entities that requested my credit report. Why would the SSA request my credit information?

The Social Security Administration uses Experian, one of the three major credit bureaus, to help verify identities when people create accounts on socialsecurity.gov. "We will not share your Social Security number with Experian. Experian will only keep the information we share for the period of time required for federal laws, regulations, or guidelines," the SSA states on its website. It states that the request is known as a "soft inquiry," which does not affect your credit score, "incur any charges related to them" and is hidden from lenders. Experian "will generally" remove the soft inquiry from your credit report after 25 months.

Comments
Live blog: 2018 Gasparilla Distance Classic

Live blog: 2018 Gasparilla Distance Classic

The Tampa Bay Times will be there for every step of this year's Gasparilla Distance Classic. Whether you'll be walking, skipping, jogging or sprinting across the 5K, 8K, 15K or half-marathon finish, join us by using #gasparillarun.(function(d, s, id)...
Published: 02/24/18

High school scoreboard for Feb. 23

Friday’s scoreboardSoftballSpringstead 2, Crystal River 0BaseballCalvary Christian 9, Countryside 2Northeast 15, Tarpon Springs 1
Updated: 6 hours ago
Florida Capitol Republicans promise ‘complete investigation’ of what went wrong

Florida Capitol Republicans promise ‘complete investigation’ of what went wrong

TALLAHASSEE — A bombshell that South Florida police ignored tips that a teenager was planning an assault on a school and then failed to stop him when he attacked seems destined to complicate the election-year discussion around mass shootings.Even in ...
Updated: 8 hours ago
Top Justice official alerted White House 2 weeks ago to ongoing issues in Kushner’s security clearance

Top Justice official alerted White House 2 weeks ago to ongoing issues in Kushner’s security clearance

WASHINGTON — A top Justice Department official alerted the White House two weeks ago that significant information requiring additional investigation would further delay the security clearance process of senior adviser Jared Kushner, three people fami...
Updated: 8 hours ago
Indiana man killed, two hurt as boats collide on Little Manatee River

Indiana man killed, two hurt as boats collide on Little Manatee River

RUSKIN — Arthur D. Showley, 75, went fishing early Friday morning, something he did two or three times a week, friends said. When they saw his car and trailer still parked near a community boat ramp at 2 p.m., they thought that was strange."He never ...
Updated: 9 hours ago
Here are the GOP’s responses to the Parkland massacre. Would any have worked?

Here are the GOP’s responses to the Parkland massacre. Would any have worked?

Gov. Rick Scott and Republican leadership in the Florida Legislature have rolled out their ideas for change in response to the Feb. 14 shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School. But would these measures have made a difference in the worst mass...
Updated: 9 hours ago
Former Florida congressmen say gun control measures need to go much further

Former Florida congressmen say gun control measures need to go much further

TAMPA — A bipartisan pair of former congressmen spoke Friday about gun safety measures that are more drastic than those being considered following the Parkland school shootings, and about hopes for a national youth movement comparable to the 1960s an...
Updated: 10 hours ago
Restricting bullets rather than guns might cut toll of school shootings, some experts say

Restricting bullets rather than guns might cut toll of school shootings, some experts say

This is the sad new math in the age of school slaughter.If one student comes to school with a firearm and 10 ammunition magazines filled with 30 bullets each, and another comes with a firearm and 30 magazines filled with 10 bullets each, who can crea...
Updated: 10 hours ago
Epilogue: Lee Davis, businessman and adventurer, survived many a scrape

Epilogue: Lee Davis, businessman and adventurer, survived many a scrape

TAMPA — Friends and family have a saying about Lee Thornton Davis Jr. Once you met him, even for just a moment, you knew him forever."He was the most outgoing person I’d ever met," Dick Greco said, which is something coming from Tampa’s gregarious, 8...
Updated: 11 hours ago
Edward Peachey demands severance from CareerSource before stepping down

Edward Peachey demands severance from CareerSource before stepping down

The head of the Pinellas and Hillsborough career centers under multiple investigations into the way they report job placement figures says he has no intention of stepping down.That’s unless he is paid five months severance.In a letter from his attorn...
Updated: 12 hours ago