Smart. Sharp. Funny. Fearless.
Friday, September 22, 2017
health
McCain

Dear John McCain: Your Health Care Vote Could Kill More Americans Than The Vietnam War

“Your vote on the last-ditch effort to repeal and replace the ACA, the Graham-Cassidy Bill, proposed by your pal Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) and Bill Cassidy (R-La), Dean Heller (R-NV) and Ron Johnson (R-WI) could be the last and most consequential vote of your entire career. Sure, there have been other big votes, but none where you were twice the “decider”—with the long-term well being of so many Americans in your hands.”

September 22, 2017

Senate Republicans Aren’t Just Aiming To Destroy Obamacare And Medicaid; They Want To Provide A Death Blow To Any Future Health Care Reform

The Senate Republicans’ latest anti-Obamacare bill has bigger goals than destroying the Affordable Care Act and dismantling Medicaid. This bill aims to blow up the very foundation upon which a national health care system could be built—even if it roils private insurance markets via massive premium hikes for 2018.

September 22, 2017
Ivanka Trump

Ivanka Trump’s Latest Admission Proves She’s Just As Shameless As Her Father

In what is likely to be hailed as a brave admission, Ivanka Trump told talk show host Mehmet Oz that she had suffered from postpartum depression in an interview set to air Thursday. A clip released ahead of the episode’s broadcast shows the first daughter briefly discussing the emotional difficulties she faced after the birth of each of her three children.

September 22, 2017
Lindesy Graham

Lindsey Graham Tries To Beat The Clock And Odds On Health Care

Despite a handful of Senate GOP co-sponsors and high-profile endorsements from governors and conservative thought leaders around the country, the South Carolina Republican still lacks the 51 votes needed to pass his bill to reshape the American health care system. Graham has just 12 calendar days to seal the deal. Republican lawmakers have been seeking to repeal and replace Obamacare through a procedural maneuver known as reconciliation, which allows the Senate to limit debate with 51 votes. Republicans control 52 of the Senate’s 100 seats.

September 19, 2017
Painkillers

Attorneys General In 37 States Urge Insurance Industry To Do More To Curb Opioid Epidemic

Attorneys general for 37 states sent a letter Monday to the health insurance industry’s main trade group, urging its members to reconsider coverage policies that may be fueling the opioid crisis. The letter is part of an ongoing investigation by the state officials into the causes of the opioid epidemic and the parties that are most responsible. The group is also focusing on the marketing and sales practices of drug makers and the role of drug distributors.

September 19, 2017
opioids

Amid Opioid Crisis, Insurers Restrict Pricey, Less Addictive Painkillers

At a time when the United States is in the grip of an opioid epidemic, many insurers are limiting access to pain medications that carry a lower risk of addiction or dependence, even as they provide comparatively easy access to generic opioid medications.

September 18, 2017

New Hampshire Just Decriminalized Marijuana Possession

As of noon Saturday, the possession of small amounts of marijuana has been decriminalized in New Hampshire. Now, people in New England who are caught with a joint or two will not be subject to arrest. Two New England states—Maine and Massachusetts—have legalized marijuana, and all the others have now decriminalized it. Decriminalization came when, after years of effort, the legislature passed House Bill 640 in June, and Republican Gov. John Sununu signed it into law the following month.

September 17, 2017
ACLU

Woman Fired For Having A Period At Work—Now The ACLU Is Taking On Her Case

This summer, the ACLU announced it is taking on the case of Alisha Coleman, a woman who was fired for bleeding onto her office chair while menstruating at work. The case effectively brings the ACLU into a broader movement known as “menstruation activism,” which includes a number of writers, lawyers, artists and speakers who are campaigning in many ways to change the conversation around women’s periods. The overall goal is to remove barriers that disadvantage and even punish women simply for having a basic biological function.

September 17, 2017
Senate

How To Get A Health Care System For People, Not Just For Corporate Profit

Sanders’ proposal (like Rep. John Conyers’ bill in the U.S. House) will cut the health care costs paid by typical working families from some $6,200 a year to $466. It’ll also cut out the complexity and stress of getting the care you need — just go to any private doctor you choose, show your public insurance card and — Bingo — you’re in! No more co-pays, deductibles or fighting with corporate insurance bureaucrats trying to keep you out.

September 16, 2017
Executive Orders, Trump, Immigrant

New CBO Report: Trump’s Refusal To Pay Obamacare Subsidies Will Raise 2018 Premiums By 15 Percent

President Trump is poised to punish 12 million Americans getting health care through Obamacare’s non-group policies by raising their premiums 15 percent in 2018. That’s the conclusion of a report released Thursday by the Congressional Budget Office/Joint Committee on Taxation on the impact of Trump’s refusal to say if the federal government will pay the Affordable Care Act’s subsidies in 2018.

September 15, 2017
Sanders, Political Analysis, Trump

Bernie Sanders’ Medicare-For-All Bill Has Set the Bar For Democrats In 2018 And Beyond

With 16 Democratic senators beside him, Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-VT, introduced Medicare-for-All legislation on Wednesday, sending a message to Congress that ongoing GOP efforts to cut healthcare safety nets is unacceptable and setting a high visionary bar for 2018’s candidates and national elections.

September 14, 2017
Sanders, Political Analysis, Trump

Who Pays? The Big Flaw In Bernie Sanders’ Single-Payer Bill

“Unless something changes, which I’m [still] hoping, this confirms the two nastiest judgments of critics of single-payer,” said Gerald Friedman, a University of Massachusetts economist and expert on financing universal healthcare coverage. “The liberals are saying, ‘The single-payer community doesn’t know how to do policy, so they need to come to us, the wonks, and we’ll tell them how to do it’—and in the process, we won’t do single payer, we’ll do something else. And the conservatives who say, ‘Single payer will be so expensive that even its supporters are scared to talk about how much it will cost and how much it will raise your taxes.’”

September 13, 2017
Roger Stone

Roger Stone Yanked As Conference Keynote Speaker After Cannabis Community Erupts

The Cannabis World Congress and Business Exposition had selected the white-haired provocatuer to address the two pot business conferences after Stone came out for pot legalization early this summer. But Stone’s pro-legalization stance wasn’t enough to protect him from charges of racism, misogyny and being too close to Trump, who rode his own racist dog whistles to the White House.

September 9, 2017
Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) waves at the BlueGreen Alliance Foundation's 2015 Good Jobs, Green Jobs Conference in Washington, April 13, 2015. REUTERS/Yuri Gripas/File Photo

Elizabeth Warren Joins Kamala Harris In Co-Sponsoring Bernie’s Landmark ‘Medicare-For-All’ Bill

Warren is the second Democratic senator to co-sponsor Sanders’ as-yet-unseen bill, following California’s junior senator, Kamala Harris. Warren’s letter describes many well-known steps long suggested by progressives that could be taken to reduce health care costs and increase access. But it does not offer any new details on what’s being labeled, in bumper-sticker fashion, “Medicare for All.”

September 8, 2017
McCain

So Now John McCain Flip-Flops, Says He’ll Vote To Destroy Obamacare And Medicaid?

Sen. John McCain, whose vote stopped the Senate’s effort to gut Obamacare and dismantle state-run Medicaid programs for the poor, is now poised to vote yes on an equally destructive bill, according to reports circulating among health policy analysts. “McCain says he supports Graham-Cassidy healthcare bill. Would vote for it,” tweeted Pete Sullivan, staff writer for The Hill, on Wednesday.

September 7, 2017
pregnant woman us

Another Thing Disappearing From Rural America: Maternal Care

Maternity care is disappearing from America’s rural counties, and for the 28 million women of reproductive age living in those areas, pregnancy and childbirth are becoming more complicated — and more dangerous. That’s the upshot of a new report from the Rural Health Research Center at the University of Minnesota that examined obstetric services in the nation’s 1,984 rural counties over a 10-year period. In 2004, 45 percent of rural counties had no hospitals with obstetric services; by 2014, that figure had jumped to 54 percent. The decline was greatest in heavily black counties and in states with the strictest eligibility rules for Medicaid.

September 6, 2017
Trump

Pundits Focused On Trump’s Craziness Are Ignoring His Threat To Mentally Ill People And Addicts

Even as pundits and political observers, including former intelligence director James Clapper and some House Democrats, are increasingly questioning President Trump’s mental stability, they’re not paying nearly as much attention to the threat he poses to people already proven to be grappling with mental illness, addiction and chronic pain.

September 2, 2017

I Don’t Think I Can Watch Football Anymore

But it turns out we’ve been doing that for years, watching the most popular sport in America. Many of football’s hazards are obvious: shredded knees, dislocated shoulders, broken ribs, even spinal cord injuries. But the worst one has been invisible. Football carries the high risk of irreversible, life-impairing brain damage.

September 2, 2017

How To Protect Yourself From Surplus Trump Stress

In the contest between crisis and calm, oy has an edge over om. Case in point: Just as I was giving meditation another try to take my mind off Donald Trump, the North Korea fire-and-fury horror show broke out, and Trump’s itchy finger on the locked and loaded nuclear trigger made my strategy for sanity look awfully iffy.

August 23, 2017

Why Are Pregnant Women Likelier To Die At Rural Hospitals?

While giving birth at a small hospital in central Tennessee, Whitney Brown developed terrible breathing problems and seizures. The medical staff in McMinnville decided she needed the attention of specialists at a big hospital in Chattanooga. It took nearly two hours to get her there. Despite the new team’s heroic efforts, the 28-year-old died shortly after her arrival.

August 22, 2017

Marijuana Becomes A Player In California Politics And It’s Putting Its Money On Gavin Newsom

Marijuana is already a multibillion-dollar-a-year business in California, and with recreational sales to adults coming online next year, it’s about to get even bigger. Now, the legal pot industry is beginning to throw its weight around in state office-level politics, and it’s doing it the old-fashioned way: with a checkbook.

August 20, 2017

Many Nurses Lack Knowledge Of Health Risks For New Mothers, Study Finds

In recent months, mothers who nearly died in the hours and days after giving birth have repeatedly told ProPublica and NPR that their doctors and nurses were often slow to recognize the warning signs that their bodies weren’t healing properly. Now, an eye-opening new study substantiates some of these concerns.

August 19, 2017
Trump sued 34 times

Trump Could Personally Cost Americans Thousands In Bigger Health Care Bills

Nearly 8 million Obamacare policyholders who now receive federal subsidies to help defray the cost of their health insurance could lose that support and see premiums rise by 20 percent starting next January if the Trump administration stops those “cost sharing reductions” in 2018, two congressional fiscal agencies reported Tuesday.

August 17, 2017

Neil DeGrasse Tyson: ‘No Reason’ For Marijuana To Be Illegal

Speaking with co-host Chuck Nice during a StarTalk Radio Q&A session Monday, Tyson mainly discussed various aspects of outer space and his book, Astrophysics For People In A Hurry. But the celebrity scientist touched on marijuana and its legality following a question from Tom Angell of the pro-legalization group Marijuana Majority.

August 11, 2017

Generic Drug Prices Are Declining, But Many Consumers Aren’t Benefiting

Amid the public fury over the escalating costs of brand-name medications, the prices of generic drugs have been falling, raising fears about the profitability of major generic manufacturers. Last week, Teva Pharmaceuticals reported that it had missed analysts’ earnings estimates in the second quarter and planned to lay off 7,000 workers.

August 10, 2017