The November midterm elections are vulnerable to the Russian interference that plagued the 2016 presidential election, the Trump administration’s top intelligence official said Tuesday.
Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats warned the Senate Intelligence Committee that Moscow could undertake cyber-influence operations in the coming congressional elections similar to those it stands of accused of running in 2016.
.. “Influence operations, especially through cyber means, will remain a significant threat to U.S. interests as they are cow-cost, relatively low-risk and deniable,” wrote Mr. Coats, a former Republican Indiana senator appointed by Mr. Trump to the top intelligence job in his administration last year. “Russia probably will be the most capable and aggressive source of this threat in 2018.”
.. Mr. Coats, along with the leaders of the National Security Agency and Central Intelligence Agency, told the panel they had already seen evidence Russian intends to interfere in the 2018 elections, but declined to elaborate, citing the public nature of the hearing.
.. Russia’s goal, Mr. Coats said, was to “create wedges that reduce trust and confidence in democratic processes.”
.. Central Intelligence Agency Director Mike Pompeo suggested that North Korea leader Kim Jong Un would be reluctant to give up his nuclear arsenal for fear that it would undermine his standing at home.
.. “The impacts of the long-term trends toward a warming climate, more air pollution, biodiversity loss, and water scarcity are likely to fuel economic and social discontent—and possible upheaval—through 2018,” Mr. Coats’s assessment found.
The nursing home can afford these multimillion-dollar improvements partly because it has, for the past five years, been collecting significantly higher reimbursement rates from Medicaid, the state-
federal health insurance program for the poor.
.. A wrinkle in Medicaid’s complex funding formula gives Indiana nursing homes owned or leased by city or county governments a funding boost of 30 percent per Medicaid resident. The money is sent to the hospitals, which negotiate with the nursing homes over how to divvy it up.
.. Nearly 90 percent of Indiana’s 554 nursing homes have been leased or sold to county hospitals in the past 14 years
.. Today, more than two-thirds of Indiana’s Medicaid long-term care dollars go to nursing homes. The U.S. average is 47 percent.
.. they say, it has provided incentives to steer patients to nursing homes rather than lower-cost options, such as home health care or community-based day-care centers.
.. a bad deal for the poor because it takes a large portion of Medicaid dollars targeted for services for low-
income nursing home residents and sends it instead to hospitals to use as they please.
.. States pay no more than half the costs, although the federal match varies based on a state’s wealth.
.. All the Medicaid funding for nursing homes should be going to those homes to care for the poor, not shared with hospitals to use as they choose, he said.