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Editorial Results (free)

1. Mayor’s Race Parses Political Records -

Memphis Mayor A C Wharton Jr. will probably continue to include the comeback of Overton Square in an election year roll call of economic development accomplishments even after being called out for his opposition to the city-funded Overton Square parking garage.

2. Both Sides Dig In for Insure Tennessee Special Session -

Battle lines have been drawn for a Feb. 2 special session of the state Legislature to determine the fate of Gov. Bill Haslam’s Insure Tennessee proposal, which would use federal funds to catch some 280,000 working people falling through a health insurance coverage gap.

3. Both Sides Dig In For Insure Tennessee Special Session -

Battle lines have been drawn for a Feb. 2 special session of the state Legislature to determine the fate of Gov. Bill Haslam’s Insure Tennessee proposal, which would use federal funds to catch some 200,000 working people falling through a health insurance coverage gap.

4. Wharton Defends, Touts Record at State of the City -

Memphis Mayor A C Wharton Jr. defended and touted Thursday, Jan. 29, his administration’s pursuit of the economic development projects that his challengers in the October city elections will likely use to make their case.

5. Almost Half of US Households Exhaust Their Salaries -

WASHINGTON (AP) – The Federal Reserve has declared economic growth "solid." But several new reports show most Americans are treading along a dangerous financial tightrope, where one slip could be devastating.

6. Obama Administration on Track to Surpass Health Care Goal -

WASHINGTON (AP) – Some 9.5 million people have already signed up for 2015 coverage under President Barack Obama's health care law, and the administration is on track to surpass its nationwide enrollment target set last year.

7. Tax Breaks for Ikea Prompt Calls for Changes -

When the board of the Economic Development Growth Engine approved a $9.5 million, 11-year tax abatement incentive last week for the new Ikea furniture store planned for Cordova, the decision set in motion the next wave in an already robust political discussion about such incentives.

8. Government to Overhaul Medicare Payments to Doctors, Hospitals -

WASHINGTON (AP) – Medicare will change the way it pays hospitals and doctors to reward quality over volume, the Obama administration said Monday, in a shift that officials hope will be a catalyst for the nation's $3-trillion health care system.

9. CBO: Deficit to Shrink to Lowest Level of Obama Presidency -

WASHINGTON (AP) – Solid economic growth will help the federal budget deficit shrink this year to its lowest level since President Barack Obama took office, according to congressional estimates released Monday.

10. Questions Still Surround Future of Arkansas Medicaid Plan -

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) – While Gov. Asa Hutchinson has made it clear he wants to keep Arkansas' compromise Medicaid expansion in place through the end of next year, what's less certain is what happens after that for the thousands receiving health coverage through the program.

11. Home Services Keep Seniors Independent -

Sooner or later, most people end up caring for aging mothers and fathers or become seniors themselves, wondering who to turn to when independent daily living becomes impossible.

Both propositions are frightening and stressful.

12. OK, Baby Boomers: Time for Some Hard Decisions -

She works in her yard, maintains a garden, watches her diet and is waiting for her exercise group to get started at the FiftyForward Center in Madison.

Asked about long-term care insurance, Eva Mai Nelson says, “I’ve thought about it. I don’t think it’s worthwhile to buy at my age.” She’s 83.

13. Airlines Expect Another Big Year With Help From Cheaper Fuel -

DALLAS (AP) – Leaders of United and Southwest gave an upbeat forecast for 2015 that combined strong travel demand and cheaper fuel. Airline stocks soared on Thursday.

The price of jet fuel has dropped by about half since September, boosting airline profits and tamping down fear that global economic weakness could hurt the carriers. Analysts expect all four of the biggest U.S. airline operators to post bigger profits this year than in 2014.

14. Frogs And Toads -

OF FROGS AND TOADS. Years and years ago, I was served a couple of striking culinary metaphors that have not only proven to be unforgettable but seem to get better and better with age.

The first was on the wall of my dentist in the 100 North Main building, one of those focal points you stare at while somebody probes your molars with this and that. It was a photograph of a pyramid of frogs inscribed with this:

15. Government Closer to Goal of 9.1 Million Enrolled Under Health Law -

WASHINGTON (AP) – The Obama administration is moving closer to its goal of 9.1 million people signed up for private coverage under the president's health care law.

The Health and Human Services Department says at least 400,000 people signed up last week. That brought total enrollment in the 37 states served by HealthCare.gov to more than 7.1 million.

16. Wal-Mart Launches Cash Pickup Option for Tax Refunds -

NEW YORK (AP) – Wal-Mart is launching a service allowing customers to pick up their tax refunds in cash at all stores nationwide.

It's the discounter's latest move to offer more financial services, which is seen as a path to bringing more shoppers to its stores.

17. Medicare Chief Steps Down, Ran Health Care Rollout -

WASHINGTON (AP) – Medicare's top administrator unexpectedly resigned Friday, becoming the latest casualty in the turmoil over the president's health care law, which is still struggling for acceptance even as millions benefit from expanded coverage.

18. Study: Insure Tennessee Could Bring $1.1 Billion to State -

A University of Tennessee economic study commissioned by advocates for expanding Medicaid says Gov. Bill Haslam's Insure Tennessee could create 15,000 jobs and bring more than $1.1 billion in new spending to the state.

19. Booking a Trip to the ER on Your Smartphone? It's a Breeze -

TRENTON, N.J. (AP) – It's like OpenTable for medical appointments.

No waiting weeks to see a dermatologist. No sitting for hours in the emergency room. No frantic calls to find a family doctor with openings.

20. Health Care Overhaul Sign-Ups Edge Higher -

With a month to go in the 2015 open enrollment season, the Obama administration says sign-ups under the president's health care law are edging higher.

The Health and Human Services Department says at least 163,000 people signed up last week for subsidized private health insurance.

21. IRS Cuts Taxpayer Services as Filing Returns Gets Harder -

WASHINGTON (AP) – The IRS is cutting taxpayer services to historically low levels just as President Barack Obama's health law will make filing a federal tax return more complicated for millions of families.

22. FDA Approves Appetite-Zapping Implant for Obese Patients -

WASHINGTON (AP) – Federal regulators have approved an appetite-suppressing implant designed to treat obesity by zapping nerves that connect the stomach and the brain.

The Maestro Rechargeable System uses electrodes implanted in the abdomen to stimulate the vagus nerve, which signals to the brain that the stomach is empty or full. Patients and doctors can adjust the device settings using external controllers.

23. Fellow Republicans Reluctant About Haslam's Health Proposal -

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) – Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam's plan to offer health coverage to more than 200,000 low-income Tennesseans is getting a tepid response from fellow Republicans in the Legislature – so much so, that he has yet to find a Senate sponsor for his proposal.

24. County Commission Endorses Haslam Plan -

At the first Shelby County Commission meeting of 2015, all but one of the 13 commissioners voted for a resolution backing Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam’s Medicaid expansion plan, “Insure Tennessee.”

That included some vocal Republican opponents of the Affordable Care Act in general.

25. County Commission Endorses Haslam's Medicaid Expansion Plan -

Shelby County Commissioners, including some vocal Republican opponents of the Affordable Care Act in general, are calling on the Tennessee Legislature to approve Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam’s Insure Tennessee Medicaid expansion plan.

26. Study: Insure Tennessee Could Bring $1.1B to State -

A University of Tennessee economic study commissioned by advocates for expanding Medicaid says Gov. Bill Haslam’s Insure Tennessee could create 15,000 jobs and bring more than $1.1 billion in new spending to the state.

27. Got Help Paying for Health Care? Watch Your Mailbox -

WASHINGTON (AP) – If you're among the millions of consumers who got financial help for health insurance last year under President Barack Obama's law, better keep an eye on your mailbox.

28. Editorial: Insure Tennessee Expansion Brings Wellness Over Time -

The problem with wellness initiatives is our definition of the health care coverage issue in America.

Politically the issue is defined as one of cost and who pays it.

Obesity rates and other statistics on our health as a population center come into play when we are on the side of the wall where we talk about the burden on public and safety net hospitals. That discussion intensifies and becomes urgent when those hospitals are facing new funding crises.

29. Tennessee’s Health Problem -

For years, the concept of “wellness” or “preventive health” measures has been the “eat your vegetables” mantra of a growing national discussion on health care that has focused primarily on the cost of such care and who should pay for it or try to control it.

30. Sick Irony -

A SPECK OF CEREAL. Insure Tennessee reminds me of Lorne Greene, David Letterman and a can of Alpo.

You remember Lorne, don’t you? Dad on “Bonanza”? In an old commercial for Alpo, he made his ancient dog fetch a stick to get fed. As she struggled back with the stick in her gray jaws, Lorne suggested that her longevity was due to Alpo – dog food, he said, “without a speck of cereal.”

31. Haslam Calls Special Session on Medicaid -

Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam has set Feb. 2 as the date for a special session of the Tennessee Legislature on his Medicaid expansion proposal.

The proclamation issued Thursday, Jan. 8, includes more details that legislators have been awaiting since Haslam announced the general terms of his proposal in December.

32. The Preserve at Southwind Sells for $28 Million -

7991 Capilano Drive
Memphis, TN 38125
Sale Amount: $28 million

Sale Date: Dec. 22, 2014
Buyer: Southwind Apartments LP
Seller: G&I VII Preserve at Southwind Apartments LP
Loan Amount: $18 million
Loan Date: Dec. 18, 2014
Maturity Date: Oct. 31, 2020
Lender: Jackson National Life Insurance Co.
Details: A team that includes Memphis-based Foegelman Venture Partners has sold The Preserve at Southwind apartment community for $28 million.

33. FDA Drug Approvals Reached 18-Year High in 2014 -

WASHINGTON (AP) – The Food and Drug Administration approved 41 first-of-a-kind drugs in 2014, including a record number of medicines for rare diseases, pushing the agency's annual tally of drug approvals to its highest level in 18 years.

34. Fast-Food Resolution: Transform Junk Food Image -

NEW YORK (AP) – Fast-food chains have a New Year's resolution: Drop the junk.

As people express distaste for food they think is overly processed, McDonald's, Taco Bell and other chains are trying to shed their reputation for serving reheated meals that are loaded with chemicals. That includes rethinking the use of artificial preservatives and other ingredients customers find objectionable.

35. County Sees New Faces, New Directions -

There was a lot of moving around in Shelby County government in 2014, much of it the literal kind as the Vasco Smith County Administration Building was remodeled.

Shelby County Mayor Mark Luttrell got new offices in the renovation and the Shelby County Commission chambers got an upgrade as well with the commission offices and committee room moving from the fourth floor to the sixth floor.

36. Report: 4 Million Actively Enroll in Health Plans -

The first 50-state report on the latest sign-up season under President Barack Obama's health care law shows that more than 4 million people selected plans for the first time or re-enrolled in what the administration called "an encouraging start."

37. How Wealth Gap Complicates Sibling Relationships -

NEW YORK (AP) – When Jayson Seaver thinks about why he makes so much money while some Americans can't catch a break, he thinks of the sacrifices he's made, the jobs he worked to pay for college, the 12-hour days he spends at the office now.

38. Political Back Pages -

Even in the best of times, the relationship between any Memphis mayor and any group of 13 on the Memphis City Council is adversarial. That has been the intent of the structure of city government since the mayor-council form of government took effect in 1968.

39. Being Uninsured in America Will Cost You More -

WASHINGTON (AP) – Being uninsured in America will cost you more in 2015.

It's the first year all taxpayers have to report to the Internal Revenue Service whether they had health insurance for the previous year, as required under President Barack Obama's law. Those who were uninsured face fines, unless they qualify for one of about 30 exemptions, most of which involve financial hardships.

40. Haslam Reaches Deal to Expand Medicaid -

Gov. Bill Haslam announced Monday, Dec. 15, that he has reached a deal with federal officials to expand Medicaid in Tennessee after months of discussions.

The Republican's administration is touting it as an alternative deal with federal officials. The program, dubbed Insure Tennessee, would provide coverage for the state's uninsured without creating new taxes for Tennesseans.

41. City Council Approves Pension Changes -

Memphis City Council members put to rest Tuesday, Dec. 16, at least the City Hall portion of the debate about city employee benefits and the liability of those benefits by approving changes to the city’s pension plan.

42. Health Leaders: Improvement Possible -

Tennessee’s place in the 2014 America’s Health Rankings makes one thing very clear: There’s a lot of room for improvement.

Tennessee ranked 42nd among all states in the annual analysis of the health of the nation conducted by UnitedHealth Foundation.

43. City Council Approves Pension Changes -

Memphis City Council members put to rest Tuesday, Dec. 16, at least the City Hall portion of the debate about city employee benefits and the liability of those benefits by approving changes to the city’s pension plan.

44. City Council to Consider Pension Alternative -

Memphis City Council members again have final votes pending Tuesday, Dec. 16, on several possible sets of changes to the city’s pension plan.

The last meeting of 2014 for the council again finds the body poised to make final decisions on the last in a set of two changes this year to the benefits city employees and retirees receive.

45. Haslam Reaches Agreement to Expand Medicaid in Tennessee -

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) – Gov. Bill Haslam announced Monday that he has reached a deal to expand Medicaid in Tennessee after more than a year of discussions with federal officials.

The Republican's administration touted the plan as an alternative deal with federal officials. The two-year pilot program, dubbed Insure Tennessee, would provide coverage for the state's uninsured without creating new taxes for Tennesseans.

46. Ramsey: Medicaid Expansion ‘Sellable’ in Tennessee -

Senate Speaker Ron Ramsey says that if fellow Republican Gov. Bill Haslam succeeds in his negotiations with President Barack Obama’s administration on a special Tennessee deal for Medicaid expansion, the result could be “sellable” to skeptical state lawmakers.

47. Doctors Face Steep Medicaid Cuts as Fee Boost Ends -

WASHINGTON (AP) – Primary care doctors caring for low-income patients will face steep fee cuts next year as a temporary program in President Barack Obama's health care law expires. That could squeeze access just when millions of new patients are gaining Medicaid coverage.

48. Obama Health Adviser Apologizes for 'Glib' Remarks -

WASHINGTON (AP) – MIT economist Jonathan Gruber – an often-quoted adviser on the president's health care law – told Congress on Tuesday he was glib and "inexcusably arrogant" when he said it was "the stupidity of the American voter" that led to the law's passage. Democrats tried to limit the damage as Republicans raked Gruber at a four-hour hearing, but acknowledged he gave the GOP a political gift "wrapped in a bow."

49. MassMutual Sponsors New JA BizTown Shop -

Junior Achievement of Memphis and the Mid-South Inc. has announced MassMutual Life Insurance Co. as its newest shop sponsor for JA BizTown.

50. Average Affordable Care Premiums Going Up in 2015 -

WASHINGTON (AP) – Many people covered under President Barack Obama's health care law will face higher premiums next year, the administration acknowledged Thursday. While the average increases are modest, it's more fodder for the nation's political battles over health care.

51. Pension ‘Concept’ Flips Council Script -

For most of her seven years on the Memphis City Council, Wanda Halbert has been the most outspoken member when it comes to last-minute items added to the council’s agenda for a vote.

So, when Halbert rolled out a compromise plan on the city’s pension changes Tuesday, Dec. 2, she took some heat from other council members.

52. MassMutual Sponsors New JA BizTown Shop -

Junior Achievement of Memphis and the Mid-South Inc. has announced MassMutual Life Insurance Co. as its newest shop sponsor for JA BizTown.

53. City Council Could Close Pension Debate -

At their next-to-last meeting of the year Tuesday, Dec. 2, Memphis City Council members could put to rest the dominant issue they have faced in 2014 – changing the unsustainable trajectory and liability of city employee benefits.

54. Facing Health Law Hikes, Consumers Mull Options -

WASHINGTON (AP) – Consumers across most of America will see their health insurance premiums go up next year for popular plans under President Barack Obama's health care law.

But it will take time for families to figure out the best bang for their budgets – even as a bigger political battle brews over the program's future.

55. House GOP Sues Administration Over Health Care Law -

WASHINGTON (AP) – House Republicans sued the Obama administration on Friday over its implementation of President Barack Obama's health care law, saying he had overstepped his legal authority in carrying out the program.

56. Poll: Employers Watching Insurance Costs Closely -

Despite years of rising medical costs and pressure from the health care overhaul, employers consider employee health insurance a priority. But new surveys suggest coverage may grow skimpier in the coming years.

57. Incumbent Council Members Weighing Choices -

The only open seat on the Memphis City Council in the 2011 city elections is once again an open seat going into the 2015 city elections.

Current council member Lee Harris was elected to the state Senate in the August elections and will resign effective Jan. 12. That means the remaining 12 council members will appoint someone to fill the year remaining in Harris’s four-year council term of office.

58. Wharton’s Hybrid Pension Falls in Council -

Memphis Mayor A C Wharton Jr.’s hybrid pension proposal, the second of two parts of his overhaul of city employee benefits, was voted down Tuesday, Nov. 18, by the Memphis City Council in a bid by some on the council to end “uncertainty” among city employees.

59. Tennessee Has Lowest Number of Uninsured in Decade -

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) – A new University of Tennessee report says the number of uninsured people in Tennessee has hit a 10-year low.

Media cited the study in reporting that the number of people without health insurance shrunk about 25 percent in the first year of the health insurance marketplace, which was implemented under the federal Affordable Care Act. It was the biggest drop since the university began collecting data 20 years ago.

60. Wharton Defends Record, ‘Tough’ Decisions -

When he ran for Memphis mayor in the 2009 special election, A C Wharton Jr. said he was running to win, but also to change the nature of the city’s politics.

“This is what hurts us in politics today,” Wharton said five years later during the first fundraiser Monday, Nov. 17, in his campaign for re-election to a second full four-year term as mayor. “Everybody wants to stand up and say how is this going to go over. And if it doesn’t look like it’s going to go over well, they back down.”

61. Wharton Begins Re-Election Fundraising -

Memphis Mayor A C Wharton Jr. told a group of supporters Monday, Nov. 17, at his first re-election fundraiser that he is running to win and in the race for a second full term to stay.

Wharton estimated he drew a group of 300 supporters to the fundraiser at the Memphis Botanic Gardens with some leaving early to attend a Grizzlies basketball game Downtown.

62. College Prices Continue to Creep Up -

WASHINGTON (AP) – Time to stock up on the ramen noodles. The average cost of attending college crept up again this year, the College Board said Thursday.

The average sticker price, with room and board included, for undergraduate students attending a four-year college or university in their home state was $18,943. Out-of-state students at those schools paid, on average, $32,762. At two-year public schools, in-state students paid an average $11,052.

63. Small Business Insurance Exchanges Seek Rebound -

Early enrollment for the health overhaul's small business insurance exchanges fell far short of the 2 million workers who were expected to sign up this year. The shortfall calls into question the future of the exchanges as they begin accepting enrollment for 2015.

64. Ask Your Parent the Difficult Questions -

Ray’s take: The whole idea of talking to your elderly parent about their finances and estate planning may make you feel slightly ill.

You may worry that they’ll think you’re invading their privacy, don’t trust their judgment or are trying to make a grab for their money, all of which seem like good reasons to put off that conversation. The more financially successful many parents are may make them more patriarchal.

65. McGuire Joins Insight Risk Management -

Myles McGuire has joined Insight Risk Management LLC as a corporate consultant. In his new role, he will consult with commercial clients and place them with the appropriate coverages to protect their business from risk and liability issues.

66. Justices to Hear Challenge to Health Law Subsidies -

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Supreme Court agreed Friday to hear a new challenge to President Barack Obama's health care law.

The justices said they will decide whether the law authorizes subsidies that help millions of low- and middle-income people afford their health insurance premiums.

67. US Services Firms Grow More Slowly, But Hiring Up -

WASHINGTON (AP) – U.S. services firms expanded more slowly in October, but the pace of growth was still healthy. Hiring also rose to the fastest pace in more than nine years.

The Institute for Supply Management said Wednesday that its services index dropped to 57.1 in October, down from 58.6 in September. That was the second straight drop after the index had risen steadily since February to 59.6 in August, the highest in eight years. Any reading over 50 indicates expansion.

68. Council to Vote on New Pension Proposal -

Memphis City Council members start all over Tuesday, Nov. 4, in their votes on pension reforms.

A pair of ordinances representing a revised pension proposal by Memphis Mayor A C Wharton Jr. are on Tuesday’s agenda for the first of three readings. They replace another set of ordinances that had been set for final votes at the last council meeting in October.

69. Medicare Paid for Meds After Patients Were Dead -

WASHINGTON (AP) – Call it drugs for the departed: A quirky bureaucratic rule led Medicare's prescription drug program to pay for costly medications even after the patients were dead.

That head-scratching policy is now getting a second look.

70. Evans Rules City Health Insurance Cuts Can Proceed -

Chancellor Walter Evans has denied a move by city government retirees to stop the city from enacting changes to health insurance coverage effective Jan. 1.

71. City, County Take Different Paths on Insurance -

City of Memphis human resources director Quintin Robinson came from City Hall on the other side of the Main Street Mall last week to watch how Shelby County government handled changes to its health insurance plan for employees.

72. County Commission Approves Health Insurance Changes -

Shelby County Commissioners approved changes to county government employee health insurance coverage Thursday, Oct. 30, that raises employee premiums by 5 percent and drops working spouses who are offered equivalent coverage of the county’s bronze plan by their employers effective Jan. 1.

73. Health Overhaul's Subsidies at Supreme Court -

WASHINGTON (AP) – Supreme Court justices have their first chance this week to decide whether they have the appetite for another major fight over President Barack Obama's health care law.

74. County Commission to Meet on Health Insurance -

For the second time in a week, Shelby County Commissioners meet Thursday, Oct. 30, to take up changes in health insurance coverage for county government employees.

Commissioners voted at their regular Monday to delay a vote on the changes to get more information.

75. Commission Sets Votes on Health Insurance -

Shelby County Commissioners may not hear a whole lot new in the way of answers between now and a Thursday special meeting to settle the politically volatile issue of changes to health insurance coverage for county government employees.

76. Commission Moves Health Insurance Vote to Thursday -

Shelby County Commissioners moved a critical vote on changing health insurance benefits for county employees to a special Thursday, Oct. 30, meeting in a Monday session dominated by the proposed changes.

77. Events -

Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation will hold a presentation and public hearing on the 2015-2025 Solid Waste and Materials Management Plan Monday, Oct. 27, from 1:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. in the Benjamin L. Hooks Central Library meeting room A, 3030 Poplar Ave. Visit tn.gov/environment/solid-waste to review the draft plan.

78. County Commission Differences Remain -

Shelby County Commissioners still have a problem with each other. And the problem at the center of all of the complexities of what are normally routine items remains a Democratic county commissioner elected chairman in September with the votes of all six Republican commissioners and himself.

79. HealthCare.gov's EZ Form Not for Legal Immigrants -

WASHINGTON (AP) — HealthCare.gov's simpler online application is being touted as a big win for consumers. But it can't be used by legal immigrants and naturalized U.S. citizens, who represent millions of potential new health insurance customers.

80. Pension Reform Decision Back At Square One -

It happened in the shadow of a change in the pension reform proposal Memphis Mayor A C Wharton Jr. had backed all through the summer and two of three council votes.

As the Memphis City Council got its first formal presentation Tuesday, Oct. 21, of Wharton’s new hybrid pension plan, it settled City Hall’s tumultuous discussion about changes to health insurance coverage for city employees and retirees.

81. Hybrid Pension Plan Resets Council Debate on Benefits -

If it wasn’t apparent before, it became apparent Tuesday, Oct. 21, that the city’s effort to change the pension system of city employees is back at square one.

The council was already scheduled Tuesday to hear from Segal Consulting, the actuary firm the council hired at the outset of its discussion about pension changes proposed by Memphis Mayor A C Wharton Jr.

82. Advocates Continue Call for Medicaid Expansion -

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Members of the state chapter of the NAACP and other health care advocates held a mock funeral across from the state Capitol on Tuesday to characterize lives they say will be lost if Medicaid is not expanded in Tennessee.

83. County Charts Quieter Course On Insurance -

With less than two weeks to the open enrollment period for county employees, Shelby County Commissioners take a look at changes to county employee health care benefits Wednesday, Oct. 22, in committee sessions.

84. GOP Governors Don't See 'Obamacare' Going Away -

WASHINGTON (AP) — While Republicans in Congress shout, "Repeal Obamacare," GOP governors in many states have quietly accepted the law's major Medicaid expansion. Even if their party wins control of the Senate in the upcoming elections, they just don't see the law going away.

85. Council Wades Into Pension Reform -

For the second time in three weeks, Memphis Mayor A C Wharton Jr. has made major changes to the overall plan to right the city’s financial condition by changing employee and retiree benefits.

Late Friday, Oct. 17, Wharton proposed a “hybrid” retirement plan for employees that would allow new hires and those with less than 10 years on the job to enroll in a two-part plan that includes a professionally managed market-based fund as well as a 401(k)-like plan.

86. City Council Parses Wharton's Pension Revision -

A weekend revision by Memphis Mayor A C Wharton Jr. to his proposed changes in the city’s pension plan goes to Memphis City Council members Tuesday, Oct. 21, in council committees.

The council has set aside a two-hour executive session starting at 1 p.m. to hear from its consultants on Wharton’s original plan, now his new plan and other option.

87. Wharton Proposes Hybrid City Pension Plan -

Memphis Mayor A C Wharton Jr. wants to change his original proposal from earlier this year to overhaul the city’s pension plan.

Wharton is proposing a new hybrid pension plan that is a mix of a market-based plan and the defined contributions plan, like a 401-k plan, for all city new hires as well as employees with under 10 years of service who are not vested in the city’s current defined benefits plan.

88. Recruiter’s Career Twist -

Ask Janet Miller about her remarkable career at the Nashville Area Chamber of Commerce and she’ll likely attribute it to good timing or pass credit onto others.

89. City Hall Opens Enrollment on Changing Health Plan -

City of Memphis employees just emerged from the open enrollment period for the still-evolving changes in health insurance benefits for 2015. And city retirees are about to enter their open enrollment period for the same benefits plans that take effect in January.

90. Regions Insurance Expands in Memphis -

The recent expansion of the employee benefits practice of Regions Insurance in Memphis involved the addition of Stuart Zalowitz and Jonathan Frisch, owners of Zalowitz Frisch Benefits Group, along with a team of associates.

91. Poll: Many Insured Struggle With Medical Bills -

WASHINGTON (AP) – They have health insurance, but still no peace of mind. Overall, 1 in 4 privately insured adults say they doubt they could pay for a major unexpected illness or injury.

92. November Council Vote On Pension Reform Likely -

Memphis City Council members again delayed final votes on a set of ordinances that would change pension benefits for city employees.

The delay Tuesday, Oct. 7, on third and final reading of several pension ordinances was expected. The items are now on the Oct. 21 council agenda, but council members expect there will not be a vote then either and city Chief Administrative Officer George Little said the administration can live with a further delay.

93. Annual Church Health Center Christmas Cards Return -

The idea isn’t new or original. It’s just successful and worth repeating. In 1989, the Church Health Center started a Christmas card program as a fundraiser. Now, the annual CHC Christmas card effort raises about $250,000 annually.

94. Some Council Members Feel Dissed By Wharton -

It was a phrase guaranteed to put more diss in the dysfunction between the Memphis City Council and Memphis Mayor A C Wharton Jr.

And some on the council had plenty to say Tuesday, Oct. 7, about the weekend press release from Wharton announcing changes in the city’s health insurance plan starting next year.

95. Council Delays Pension Action, Broods Over 'Key Members' Designation -

Memphis City Council members debated who is a “key member” of the body Tuesday, Oct. 7, as they delayed action on changes to city employee pensions into November.

The delay on third and final reading of several pension ordinances was expected. The items are now on the Oct. 21 council agenda. But council members expect there will not be a vote then either and city Chief Administrative Officer George Little said the administration can live with a further delay.

96. Health Law Waivers: Too Complicated to Claim? -

WASHINGTON (AP) — Millions of Americans may qualify for waivers from the most unpopular part of President Barack Obama's health care overhaul. But getting that exemption could be an ordeal.

97. Wal-Mart Cuts Health Benefits for Some Part-Timers -

NEW YORK (AP) — Wal-Mart Stores Inc. plans to eliminate health insurance coverage for some of its part-time U.S. employees in a move aimed at controlling rising health care costs of the nation's largest private employer.

98. Retirees, City Attorneys Spar Over Lifetime Subsidies -

The move by city retirees to block the end of a 70-percent subsidy of their health insurance premiums by the city of Memphis drew heavy fire Monday, Oct. 6, in Shelby County Chancery Court.

Several retirees testified before Chancellor Walter Evans that they were promised the subsidies for the rest of their lives when they were hired by city government.

99. Evans Hears Arguments Over City Health Insurance Benefits -

Chancellor Walter Evans won’t rule until later this month on a move by city retirees to at least temporarily halt the city’s plan to end a 70 percent subsidy of health insurance premiums for city retirees.

100. Wal-Mart Plans 1-Stop Health Coverage Shopping -

Wal-Mart is taking one-stop shopping to another area: health insurance.

The world's largest retailer plans to work with DirectHealth.com, an online health insurance comparison site and agency, to allow shoppers to compare coverage options and enroll in Medicare plans or the public exchange plans created under the Affordable Care Act.