Happy Political Clusterf*ck Day (U.S.)
In one corner: the first federal government shutdown
, born of the House GOP/Tea Party faction's
crusade to delay, defund, and destroy Obamacare (and the Democratic Senate and President's resolve to not do that
have ping-ponged between the two houses, fighting over language to cancel healthcare reform (plus a few other items, such as the implementation of Mitt Romney's entire economic agenda
). National parks are closed
, contractors are hamstrung
, and 800,000 federal workers furloughed
until Speaker Boehner drops the "Hastert Rule"
and passes a bill the other branches can agree to.
In the other corner, heedless of the chaos
(though not without glitches
of its own): the official rollout of the Affordable Care Act and its state insurance exchanges
. The portal at Healthcare.gov
is your one-stop shop for browsing, comparing, and purchasing standardized, regulated insurance coverage
with premium rebates
, guaranteed coverage
, and expanded Medicaid for the poor (in some states)
. A crazy day, overall -- but peanuts compared to what might happen if the debt ceiling is breached in 16 days
. [more inside]
posted by Rhaomi
on Oct 1, 2013 -
The Oregon Health Insurance Experiment, an outgrowth of Oregon's 2008 lottery to allocate Medicaid slots to eligible residents, has released their second year of results
(Previous discussions on the lottery
and the experiment
). The gist of the results are that they found statisitically significant reductions in catastrophic health care expenditures, improvements in the incidences of depression, and increased use of health care services. They found minimal (and not statistically significant) improvements in the rates of physical health indicators (diabetes and hypertension) they tracked. Because of ethical concerns, there are no other randomized controlled tests on this scale that study the effects of Medicaid and few on the effects of health insurance in general (the only significant one being a RAND study released 30 years ago
). Because of the small amount of information available on the topic and the impending Medicaid expansion offered by Affordable Care Act, this study has drawn a lot of attention from political commentators. This will presumably be the last year these results will be published, as the state of Oregon was able to find extra money in 2010
in order cover the rest of its Medicaid-eligible population. [more inside]
posted by Weebot
on May 3, 2013 -
The Geography of Abortion Access
- Forty years ago Tuesday, the Supreme Court ushered in legal abortion for American women when it decided in Roe v. Wade. Today, states—particularly in the South and Midwest—are eroding that right by legislating hundreds of provisions intended to impede access with burdensome obstacles. To understand more fully the complex state of access to abortion services in America, The Daily Beast identified and confirmed the location of the country’s remaining 724 clinics and calculated the distance from every part of the country to its closest clinic.
posted by Artw
on Jan 24, 2013 -
In less than an hour, the Supreme Court will hand down its final judgment in what has become one of the most crucial legal battles of our time: the constitutionality of President Obama's landmark health care reform law.
The product of a strict party line vote following a
of debate, disinformation
, and tense legislative wrangling, the Affordable Care Act
would (among other popular reforms
) require all Americans to buy insurance coverage by 2014, broadening the risk pool
for the benefit of those with pre-existing conditions.
The fate of this "individual mandate," bitterly opposed by Republicans despite its similarity to past plans touted by conservatives
(including presidential contender Mitt Romney
) is the central question facing the justices today
. If the conservative majority takes the dramatic step
of striking down the mandate, the law will be toothless, and in danger of wholesale reversal, rendering millions uninsured
, dealing a crippling blow to the president's re-election hopes, and possibly endangering the federal regulatory state
But despite the pessimism of bettors
, some believe
the Court will demur, wary of damaging
its already-fragile reputation
with another partisan 5-4 decision
. But those who know don't talk, and those who talk don't know
. Watch the SCOTUSblog liveblog
for updates, Q&A, and analysis as the truth finally comes out shortly after 10 a.m. EST.
posted by Rhaomi
on Jun 28, 2012 -
Mary Brown, a 56-year-old Florida woman who owned a small auto repair shop but had no health insurance, became the lead plaintiff challenging President Obama's healthcare law because she was passionate about the issue.
Brown "doesn't have insurance. She doesn't want to pay for it. And she doesn't want the government to tell her she has to have it," said Karen Harned, a lawyer for the National Federation of Independent Business. Brown is a plaintiff in the federation's case, which the Supreme Court plans to hear later this month.
But court records reveal that Brown and her husband filed for bankruptcy last fall with $4,500 in unpaid medical bills. Those bills could change Brown from a symbol of proud independence into an example of exactly the problem the healthcare law was intended to address. [more inside]
posted by gerryblog
on Mar 10, 2012 -
In the summer of 2007 on the campaign trail Barack Obama took a clear stance
on the controversial subject of medical marijuana. “I would not have the Justice Department prosecuting and raiding medical marijuana users. It’s not a good use of our resources.”
As President in 2009 he took action to follow through on this promise by instructing federal prosecutors to “not focus federal resources in [their] States on individuals whose actions are in clear and unambiguous compliance with existing state laws providing for the medical use of marijuana.” The memo cited the “efficient and rational use” of the U.S. Department of Justice’s “limited investigative and prosecutorial resources,” as a motivating factor in the decision."
In the winter of 2012 Rolling Stone magazine takes a look back
on this subject and the record is surprising. "With more than 100 raids on pot dispensaries during his first three years, Obama is now on pace to exceed Bush's record for medical-marijuana busts. "There's no question that Obama's the worst president on medical marijuana," says Rob Kampia, executive director of the Marijuana Policy Project. "He's gone from first to worst." [more inside]
posted by furiousxgeorge
on Feb 19, 2012 -
It is not our role to take power. It is our role to make the powerful frightened of us. And that's what we've forgotten. Give up that dream!
Chris Hedges talks neoliberalism and neofeudalism, the civil rights movement, Camden, Obama, Clinton, Tea Parties, moral nihilism, inverted totalitarianism and corpocracy, NAFTA, welfare reform, health care, labor, poverty, Yugoslavia, post-industrial capitalism, economic crisis, imperial collapse, socialism, and democracy, among other things. [more inside]
posted by gerryblog
on Apr 24, 2010 -
The Obama Coalition
"These general findings suggest the possibility that the political strength of voters whose convictions are perhaps best described as Social Democratic in the European sense is reaching a significant level in the United States. With effective organization and mobilization, such voters are positioned to set the agenda in the Democratic Party in the near future.
posted by Glibpaxman
on Apr 4, 2010 -
Atul Gawande offers a way
for health care to be improved through experimentation and pilot programs, much as agriculture was in 20th century
posted by reenum
on Feb 27, 2010 -
How American Health Care Killed My Father After the needless death of his father, the author, a business executive, began a personal exploration of a health-care industry that for years has delivered poor service and irregular quality at astonishingly high cost. It is a system, he argues, that is not worth preserving in anything like its current form. And the health-care reform now being contemplated will not fix it. Here’s a radical solution to an agonizing problem.
) [more inside]
posted by kliuless
on Aug 18, 2009 -
A simple question shows how complex the issue is.
Chris at "Cynical C" asks his fellow citizens where they get thier health care (insurance) from and the incredible diversity of the current options and situations is immediately apparent. Quite spontaneously (but surely not unexpectedly), the question of "How much does it cost you?" becomes an essential part of the answers. Outsiders opine and tell stories and commiserate. [more inside]
posted by sid abotu
on Aug 4, 2009 -
Single-payer health care advocates arrested at Senate hearing.
On May 5, 2009 advocates of a U.S. national health care program disrupted
a Senate Finance Committee event to call for single-payer healthcare to be part of the discussion. The eight protesters were subsequently arrested
. The protesters included representatives of Physicians for a National Health Program
, which favors the The United States National Health Care Act, H.R. 676
. Committee Chair Max Baucus (D - Montana), who has received more money
in contributions from health insurance companies than any other member of Congress, favors
requiring Americans to purchase private health insurance from those companies. Baucus, who has previously said that single-payer is "off the table
," responded to the doctors and their fellow activists with, “I want you to know I care deeply about your views," and then, "we need more police [to eject protesters]."
posted by univac
on May 6, 2009 -
The Stakes, 2008.
Eight of the Washington Monthly's
contributing editors "consider the looming challenges that America is likely to face—in the economy, education, the courts, and other areas—during an Obama or McCain presidency, and how, based on what we know about the two men, they are likely to handle them." [more inside]
posted by homunculus
on Oct 14, 2008 -
The state of Oregon is holding a health insurance lottery
where 91,000 hopeful enrollees will be competing for a couple thousand spots under the Oregon Health Plan, the state's Medicaid program. OHP was created to cover those who made too much to enroll in traditional Medicaid but too little to afford market healthcare, and this development comes as a result of budget cuts and a subsequent enrollment closure in July of 2004. It's a far cry from the universal health care coverage that the plan was suppose to lead to, and marks a dramatic turn
for the state's once-ambitious health care reforms.(Previously in dystopic health care developments)
posted by Weebot
on Mar 30, 2008 -
Mysterious Fax Adds to Intrigue Over the Medicare Bill's Cost
"Late one Friday afternoon in January, after the House of Representatives had adjourned for the week, Cybele Bjorklund, a House Democratic health policy aide, heard the buzz of the fax machine at her desk. Coming over the transom, with no hint of the sender, was a document she had been seeking for months: an estimate by Medicare's chief actuary showing the cost of prescription drug benefits for the elderly....
"Ms. Bjorklund had been pressing Mr. Foster for his numbers since June. When he refused, telling her he could be fired, she said, she confronted his boss, Thomas A. Scully, then the Medicare administrator. 'If Rick Foster gives that to you," Ms. Bjorklund remembered Mr. Scully telling her, "I'll fire him so fast his head will spin.'"
(NYTimes.com, reg req)
posted by jpoulos
on Mar 19, 2004 -
How is it legal to present a commercial as real news, without any indication that it is a commercial? And when did it become legal to use government money (i.e. *my taxes*) to push partisan issues, as well as try to influence election politics?
posted by rich
on Mar 18, 2004 -
The GOP is reportedly [+
] proposing $15 billion of cuts — or is it $25? — in veterans' benefits between now and 2007, and groups like the Veterans Against the Iraq War
are hopping mad. Hell, I imagine the pro-war wing is pretty peeved, too. It's part of a plan with delusions of grandeur
to deliver massive tax cuts AND kill the deficit ... you know, the one that did not exist before W was elected, as I understand it ... in six years. The original tip is from Stand Down
. The actual status of the cuts is nebulous at this point, however, with the SF Chron
reporting that they will likely fail in the Senate as the tax cut is halved and others
reporting that the die is not yet cast. The House budget resolution, for metafilter accountants who like these things, is here
posted by hairyeyeball
on Apr 1, 2003 -
We interrupt your war on terror to attack abortion rights...
The Bush administration has declared that a fetus is an unborn child
. And why not? Everyone believes in prenatal care. And of course, if the government wanted to extend medical coverage to poor pregnant women under the Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIPS), it could have done so directly. But then, what fun is that?
posted by jellybuzz
on Jan 31, 2002 -