Only in America
An Illinois woman who was wearing a T-shirt with the Puerto Rican flag at a public park was harassed by a man demanding to know whether she was a U.S. citizen. A video shows the man shouting at Mia Irizarry, 24, “You should not be wearing that in the United States of America!” even as Irizarry explains that Puerto Rico is part of the U.S. The man was later charged with disorderly conduct.
A Muslim inmate who signed up for the Ramadan fast at his North Carolina jail is suing authorities for not serving him lunch. Inmate Travaile Speller had previously alerted officials at Mecklenburg County Jail that he would be observing Ramadan, but wants $250,000 in damages for denying him lunch, which he calls “cruel and unusual punishment” based on his religion.
Boring but important
White House halts Obamacare payments
The Trump administration announced this week it would suspend risk-adjustment payments to health insurers, an essential component of the Affordable Care Act designed to stabilize insurance markets. Insurers say the move will result in significantly higher premiums in 2019 for individuals and small-business owners. The payments, which totaled $10.4 billion last year, transfer funds from insurers with healthier patients to those with sicker, costlier enrollees. The administration’s decision follows a ruling by a federal judge in New Mexico, who said the formula for calculating payments is flawed. But rather than freezing payments in New Mexico alone, the administration stopped them indefinitely nationwide.