News Junkie: Connecticut joins lawsuit to save Obamacare subsidy

HARTFORD, Conn. — Connecticut Attorney General George Jepsen has teamed up with attorney generals from California, Massachusetts, and Kentucky in challenging President Donald Trump’s elimination of the cost sharing reduction payments.

The complaint which will be filed in federal court in California claims Trump did not follow the law when he announced late Thursday night that the payments would stop.

The cost-sharing reduction payments help lower the co-payments, deductibles and co-insurance for low-income individuals. They are made on a monthly basis to insurance carriers participating in the exchanges.

California Attorney General Xavier Becerra said the president “can’t pick and choose which laws he chooses to follow.”

Read the full story on CT News Junkie.


Mike Lyons October 13, 2017 at 8:18 pm

Making the payments without congressional authorization was illegal under the Constitution. So they’re suing to force the president to keep violating the Constitution. Good luck with that.

Bryan Meek October 14, 2017 at 12:34 pm

Whatever your position on health care, we are here today because our last President thought the three branches of government were himself, his phone, and his pen. Maybe Blumenthal, Murphy, and Himes can put down the sore loser campaign now and get to work on fixing this mess they helped create. I won’t hold my breath.

Donald October 14, 2017 at 4:48 pm

I find it disgraceful that members of the school board would be so bias, either right or left. This is exactly what we do not need on the school board and in my opinion you should both do the right thing and resign from the BOE

Mike Lyons October 15, 2017 at 2:28 pm

Donald – Resign from the BoE because we expressed an opinion on a non-BoE related issue? Funny, I must have missed the section in the Constitution on how one loses one’s First Amendment rights upon election to the BoE.

Donald October 15, 2017 at 2:39 pm

Alan Moccia
First it was Lyons not Meek that gave that incorrect information. Please provide a link to a legitimate source that supports your incorrect opinion.

Donald October 15, 2017 at 5:24 pm

Editor’s note: This comment contained an insult, which was removed. What was left just repeated what was said in an earlier comment, therefore the entire post was disallowed on the grounds of it being annoying and/or possibly harassment.

Donald October 15, 2017 at 6:40 pm

No Nancy you are wrong it did not contain an insult, it contained my opinion . You may want to recheck your 501(c)(3) filing as your editing or as you call it moderating of posts is becoming an issue.

Nancy Chapman October 15, 2017 at 8:04 pm

In our opinion, saying someone doesn’t have class is an insult. We are confident that our 501(c)(3) status is not in jeopardy. In this case we are not even worried about having to defend it, as you would have to use your real name to file a complaint.

Donna Smirniotopoulos October 16, 2017 at 11:23 am

@Donald, comments are edited to fit published community standards. Even if there were bias in the application of these rules (and I sometimes believe there is, though I doubt the bias is conscious), it would be difficult to demonstrate that these editorial decisions alone could compromise non-profit status. However, there are some key markers that distinguish independent not-for-profit journalism. In general, funders of Independent journalism should not try to influence coverage. Pre-publication review should be forbidden. Best practices suggest that funders not try to influence content, nor interfere with editorial decisions. The difficulty with a small online news source like NoN is that resources are not sufficient to build this wall between those who fund and mediation of content and comments. The desire is there, but the money isn’t. On the other hand, I have been both a funder and a commenter who’s been “outed” (wrongly in my opinion). So I guess there is SOME independence.

We are fortunate to have this news source, and we are lucky that Nancy Chapman has the energy to create content seemingly round the clock. My preference would be less interference from board members in the comments section, especially when the purpose is to defend the product, and a more balanced application of the guidelines on comments. But again the job of mediating comments is onerous. And I’m not ready to suggest that NoN has lost its objectivity, my objection to some specific choices notwithstanding.

Nancy Chapman October 16, 2017 at 12:30 pm


NancyOnNorwalk has never allowed pre-publication review, whether it was a 501c3 or not. Funders have no influence over my editorial decisions; they may suggest stories, they may not, but I decide. (Way back in the comments section you’ll find a comment from Lisa Brinton Thomson complaining that I had never done the story on Planning and Zoning that she requested. In that case, I agreed it would be a good story but my resources are limited. Often, stories are suggested that have nothing to do with the mission of the website, which focuses on the functions of city government and the spending of tax dollars. I don’t do those stories.)

I do have a Board member helping me editorially, because as everyone knows, I lost my editor. I asked several people for editorial advice and settled on this person because his advice was the best I had gotten, the type of things Mark would have done. He’s happy to do it for free. Last night, his advice concerned the placement of a paragraph and the flow of the article. I consult with him on comment mediation; his advice is good and not in any way partisan.

When this Board was formed, the first thing John Levin did was make sure everyone understood that it existed for fundraising, not editorial decisions.

The idea that anyone is telling me what to do is laughable. One wonders where you get your “information.”

Donna Smirniotopoulos October 16, 2017 at 1:15 pm

Nancy, I did not say that anyone is telling you what to do. In fact, I challenge you to find that remark anywhere in my comment. You are “attributing motives without proof”, which is not permitted in your own comments section. My comments above were about non-profit journalism in general, and the specific challenges of mainting editorial independence with limited resources and manpower.

The comments I directly specifically to NoN related to board members interfering in the comments section, where in my opinion, the wall that should exist between a funding board and comments content is remarkably porous. I also went out of my way to say that I did not believe that NoN had lost its objectivity, and that Norwalk is fortunate to have this news source.

It’s regrettable that sensitivity levels are so high that commenters are chastized for making relatively benign comments. I have been repeatedly and wrongly identitied as a partisan and singled out for rebuke for making reasonable suggestions and observations. Others have experienced similar treatment reflective of bias, though as I said above, I believe these incidents do not reflect conscious decisions to censor certain opinions. It’s mostly annoying. But sometimes, as now, the need to play defense undermines the mission and goals of independent journalism.

Nancy Chapman October 16, 2017 at 4:38 pm

Again, there is no pre-publication review. Board members are not interfering with the comments section. There is no problem with a “wall between those who fund and mediation of content and comments.”

If you respect my work so much you should stop making the effort to waste my mental energy and time on refuting baseless accusations.

Donna Smirniotopoulos October 16, 2017 at 9:30 pm

I never said there was pre-publication review. I merely described the standard for non profit news. However board members have interjected in the comments section, mostly to defend the product. It’s not a great practice.

Donna Smirniotopoulos October 16, 2017 at 9:42 pm

@Nancy, you’re not wasting your energy refuting baseless accusations. You’re tilting at windmills.

Bob Welsh October 16, 2017 at 10:09 pm


You appear to continue to have concerns about comments made by board members who were speaking for themselves, not for the board. If you wish to discuss this further my offer of a slice of pie and a cup of coffee still stands.

Donna Smirniotopoulos October 16, 2017 at 10:33 pm

Bob, I do sincerely appreciate the offer. But the input from board members has been directed at commentersand has been related to their tone and content. John Levin directly accused me of something I didn’t do on one board based on a poor interpretation of something I did on another—ask Nancy to gather more information for the sake of voters. Meanwhile others are given free reign to badger and harass.

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