If you don't have health insurance from your employer or other sponsor, the Affordable Care Act requires you to buy coverage by the end of March or pay a fine... unless you join a quasi-insurance network run by Christian ministries with names like Medi-Share. Membership in these faith-based networks has been growing rapidly as the ObamaCare individual mandate deadline approaches, says Fox News' Garrett Tenney. He goes on to explain:
The nation's three largest ministries boast more than 242,000 members, spanning all 50 states, who agree to live so-called biblical lifestyles — meaning regular church attendance; no drugs, tobacco, or sex outside of marriage; and limited alcohol consumption. This kind of healthier lifestyle helps keep monthly premiums lower than that of other health insurers for most members... Each of the ministries varies a bit in what they will and won't cover, but all are exempt from the Affordable Care Act's fines on those without health insurance. [Fox News]
The "won't cover" part is important, though. Some members of these co-ops appreciate that their plans don't cover abortion and other procedures they oppose on moral grounds, but it's also important to note that the sharing networks don't guarantee that they will pay your medical bills.
Police have identified two men who built a 30-foot tunnel in Toronto that was discovered in January.
Toronto police spokesman Victor Kwong told Toronto's CP24 that the space was created as a "man cave." "It is simply two guys who just wanted to dig a cave," Kwong told CBC News. "That really is what our investigation has led to... They just wanted to dig a cave to hang out."
During the investigation of the tunnel, police found a gas-powered generator, food and drink containers, and a sump pump. Police said the tunnel was not built with criminal intent and is not a threat to Toronto residents. No charges were filed, and police told CBC News the men, who are in their 20s, were "very apologetic" for creating the tunnel.
In a Cavuto on Business segment, Fox News host Dagen McDowell lamented college students' choice to "study poetry" — even though McDowell herself has a college degree in art history.
McDowell's statement came during a discussion of the "Corinthian 15," a group of students who declared a debt strike against their for-profit school, Everest College, a part of Corinthian Colleges, Inc. The students are refusing to pay their federal loans, claiming that their degrees led to low-paying jobs or unemployment, thanks to a lack of government oversight and "bogus job-placement statistics," Newsweek reports.
McDowell didn't agree with the debt forgiveness proposal, suggesting the students should have known what their loans entailed. "Why does anybody think it's a good idea to take out $200,000 in debt and then go study poetry?" McDowell said during the show. But as Because Finance is Boring has discovered, McDowell's art history degree from Wake Forest University would cost roughly $188,480 today. Check out the Cavuto on Business segment, including McDowell's remark, in the video below. —Meghan DeMaria
For the first time ever, Hollywood is lagging behind China in monthly film revenue.
In February, Chinese theaters made $650 million in box office sales, while the U.S. only made $640 million, according to research firm Entgroup. The Hollywood Reporter notes that Lunar New Year movie sales helped China beat the U.S., along with the rest of the world.
In China, February's top-grossing film was The Man From Macau II, followed by Dragon Blade. Before February, China's biggest box-office month was July 2014, with $580 million in box-office sales, due in large part to the release of Transformers: Age of Extinction.
The Israeli Prime Minister is going to give an address to a joint session of Congress on Tuesday, where he will argue that the U.S. should cease its negotiations with Iran, because it is very close to developing a nuclear weapon, which would pose an unacceptable risk to Israel. Here are previous occasions in which Netanyahu has given similar warnings, compiled by Murtaza Hussain at The Intercept.
1) In 1992, then-member of parliament Netanyahu warned that Iran was 3-5 years from assembling a nuclear weapon, a threat that must be " uprooted by an international front headed by the U.S. "
2) In his 1995 book Fighting Terrorism, Netanyahu warned that Iran was "five to seven years at most" from assembling a nuclear weapon.
3) In an address to a joint session of Congress in 1996, Netanyahu warned that the "nuclearization" of Iran was "getting extremely close," and only the U.S. could stop it.
4) In 2009, Netanyahu warned a Congressional delegation visiting Israel that, according to "our experts," Iran was 1-2 years from assembling a nuclear weapon.
5) In an address to the United Nations General Assembly in 2012, Netanyahu warned that Iran was likely less than a year from assembling a nuclear weapon. (Recently Al Jazeera reported that Israel's intelligence service sharply disagreed with this assessment at the time.)
Via The Washington Post and Reddit comes a handy little graphic that succinctly visualizes how gerrymandering — when political districts are unfairly mapped to manipulate elections — can have such a significant impact:
Of course, in real life, gerrymandered districts often look far more convoluted than the simplified ones in option three. For a look at some of the most ridiculous districts in the country — "crimes against geography" — click here.
Billionaire investor and CEO Warren Buffett, who is supporting Hillary Clinton in 2016, suggested today that Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) should tone down her crusade against Wall Street:
I think that she would do better if she was less angry and demonizing.... I think the whole nature of governing — particularly when you've got a divided government like we have now — is that you end up with bills that each side doesn't like but they like it better than doing nothing. I mean, that's the way that government has to function. And it does not help when you demonize... the people you're talking to. [Business Insider]
Tamir Rice is "directly" to blame for his shooting death at the hands of police, according to the city of Cleveland.
Responding to a lawsuit over Rice's death, the city claimed the incident was "directly and proximately caused by the failure of [Rice] to exercise due care to avoid injury." Brought by Rice's family, the suit faulted the police and city officials for the fatal November shooting in which officers killed Rice as he held a toy gun on a Cleveland playground.
In December, the Justice Department accused Cleveland's police of engaging in a pattern of "unreasonable and unnecessary use of force."
Monica Lewinsky's shadow will forever haunt Bill Clinton. Or at least, it will forever loom over his likeness in the National Portrait Gallery.
Nelson Shanks, the artist who painted the portrait, told the Philadelphia Daily News he snuck a shadow into the picture to both literally and metaphorically depict the Lewinsky scandal.
If you look at the left-hand side of it there's a mantle in the Oval Office and I put a shadow coming into the painting and it does two things. It actually literally represents a shadow from a blue dress that I had on a mannequin, that I had there while I was painting it, but not when he was there. It is also a bit of a metaphor in that it represents a shadow on the office he held, or on him. [Philadelphia Daily News]
Shanks also claimed the Clintons "hate" the portrait and pressured the gallery to yank it, though the National Portrait Gallery denied the latter allegation.
The painting caused a stir upon its unveiling in 2006 because it did not depict Clinton's wedding ring. Shanks explained the omission at the time by saying Clinton's ring finger "was folded over" in the image, adding, "his back isn't showing either."
The Sharknado universe just keeps getting bigger. With the series' upcoming third installment set in Washington, D.C., the SyFy original movie has elected its top politicians: President Mark Cuban and Vice President Ann Coulter.
The Hollywood Reporter broke the news of the duo's unlikely rise to the top of American politics, though it's unclear if Cuban and Coulter will be playing themselves and not just thinly-veiled caricatures of themselves. Sharknado 3's bevy of D-list guest stars also include Jerry Springer, Bo Derek, and N*SYNC alum Chris Kirkpatrick.
A new survey published in the journal Pediatrics found that a majority of doctors will agree to parents' requests to delay their children's vaccinations.
Ninety-three percent of the 534 primary care doctors surveyed said that they were asked to postpone vaccinations by at least one parent a month. One-third of doctors said they "often" or "always" agreed to the delays, and another third said they "sometimes" agreed to delay vaccinations, even though the delay would increase children's risk of developing measles and other illnesses.
"It is sad that we are willing to let children walk out of our offices vulnerable to potentially fatal infections," Dr. Paul A. Offit, a pediatrician at the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, told The New York Times. "There's a fatigue here, and there's a kind of learned helplessness."