Breaking the Bubble

U.S. President Barack Obama signed the final element of the landmark healthcare legislation into law on March 30. The overall reform is set to make significant changes to the nation’s healthcare system over the next decade including barring insurance companies from denying coverage for preexisting conditions and requiring all individuals to purchase health insurance by 2014.

The bill will cost $940 billion over the next ten years, and is aimed at increasing coverage to 32 million Americans currently uninsured. According to estimates from the Congressional Budget Office (CBO), the bill will reduce the deficit by $130 billion over the next ten years and $1.2 trillion in the second ten years.

Over 60 people were injured and 38 killed as a result of two explosions on the Moscow Metro train system during rush hour on March 29. Chechen rebels claimed responsibility for the attacks in an effort to avenge the killings of “poor Chechens” by Russian security forces. The first explosion took place at central Lubyanka station in Moscow, directly underneath the headquarters of the Russian Federal Security Service. Another bomb exploded six stops away at the Park Kultury station. The blasts came six months after Russian President Dmitry Medvedev declared an end to counter-terrorism operations in Chechnya.

The Obama administration is proposing to open areas off the Atlantic Ocean, Gulf of Mexico and northern coast of Alaska, covering 167 million acres of ocean. The proposal drew criticism from a wide range of environmental groups.