Smart. Sharp. Funny. Fearless.
Thursday, February 23, 2017
health
Planned Parenthood

Judge Blocks Texas Plan To Cut Planned Parenthood Medicaid Funds

U.S. District Judge Sam Sparks said state health officials “likely acted to disenroll qualified health care providers from Medicaid without cause.” He said the preliminary injunction will preserve the court’s ability to render a meaningful decision on the case’s merits.

February 21, 2017
Planned Parenthood

Virginia Governor Vetoes Bill Defunding Planned Parenthood

The bill passed by the Republican-controlled legislature would have barred the state from providing funds to clinics that perform abortions not covered by Medicaid, the federal healthcare program for the poor. McAuliffe, a Democrat, said the measure would harm thousands of Virginians who relied on Planned Parenthood healthcare services and programs.

February 21, 2017
Abortion

Norma McCorvey, Plaintiff In Roe v. Wade Abortion Ruling, Dies At 69

Norma McCorvey, the anonymous plaintiff known as “Jane Roe” in the U.S. Supreme Court’s landmark Roe v. Wade ruling legalizing abortion, died on Saturday at the age of 69, a journalist close to McCorvey said. McCorvey lent her real name to supporters of the abortion-rights movement in the 1980s. However, she did an about-face and later spoke out on behalf of anti-abortion campaigners.

February 19, 2017
Health, Obamacare

Trump Administration Moves To Block Access To Health Insurance

The Trump administration is moving to make it harder for you to get health insurance through the Affordable Care Act. The net effect of the proposals would be significantly greater regulatory and paperwork burdens for both consumers and health insurance exchanges, the opposite of Trump’s promise during the campaign and since taking office.

February 18, 2017
Democrats

Democrats Look To Exploit Trump’s Troubles

The president’s tumultuous first four weeks in the White House — highlighted by the resignation of national security adviser Michael Flynn and renewed questions about the Trump campaign’s connections to the Russian government — have given Democrats an unexpected lift less than a month into the new White House.

February 17, 2017
Obamacare

Thanks To Obamacare, U.S. Uninsured Rate Hit Record Low In 2016

The nation’s uninsured rate tumbled further last year, hitting the lowest rate on record, according to new government data that underscored what is at stake in the Republican effort to repeal the Affordable Care Act. In the first nine months of 2016, just 8.8 percent of Americans lacked health coverage, survey data from the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention show.

February 15, 2017
Abortion

New Oklahoma Bill: Men Must Give Permission For Abortions

Oklahoma legislators will discuss a bill on Tuesday that, if passed, would require a pregnant woman to get written permission from a man to get an abortion. The Oklahoma bill is the latest of many bizarre anti-abortion initiatives to be debated at the state level, says abortions could not be performed “without the written informed consent of the father of the fetus.”

February 15, 2017
Trump, Drug war, Allies

Trump Goes Full Nixon On The Drug War

In a sharp break with the Obama administration, which distanced itself from harsh anti-drug rhetoric and emphasized treatment for drug users over punishment, President Trump this week reverted to tough drug war oratory and backed it up with a series of executive orders he said were “designed to restore safety in America.”

February 13, 2017
Obamacare, Healthcare

How Democrats Can Hold GOP Accountable For Healthcare Fix

In the Senate, Democrats could propose amendments to a replacement bill that would set specific goals of access, cost, and quality—essentially requiring Trump to take responsibility for his promises that the healthcare replacement will be, in his words, “insurance for everybody.”

February 12, 2017
Abortion

Protesters Face Off As U.S. Abortion Debate Heats Up

With anti-abortion groups expecting protests at up to 225 clinics, Planned Parenthood supporters organized 150 protests of their own at parks, government buildings, and other sites, including clinics. At some of those clinics, the counter-demonstrators outnumbered those demanding an end to federal funding for Planned Parenthood.

February 11, 2017
Pence, Evangelicals

On Trump Train, Evangelicals Are The Higher Power

When Vice President Mike Pence cast the deciding vote that put the billionaire Betsy DeVos in charge of the Department of Education, his action highlighted once again the curious alliance between the most libertine president in American history and the most politically powerful flock of evangelical Christians Washington has ever seen.

February 10, 2017
Tom Price, a rabid Obamacare critic, tapped to lead the HHS

Senate Confirms Obamacare Opponent As Health Secretary

The Senate voted 52-47 on Friday to confirm Representative Tom Price as the top U.S. healthcare official, putting a determined opponent of Obamacare in position to help President Donald Trump dismantle the healthcare law. Price, in his new job, will have authority to rewrite rules implementing the 2010 Affordable Care Act.

February 10, 2017
Obamacare, Tom Price

With Obamacare Repeal Sputtering, GOP Pins Hopes On HHS Nominee Price

From cutting off free birth control for women to tightening the eligibility rules for mid-year health insurance enrollees, Price — once confirmed as secretary of Health and Human Services — will be able to tinker around the edges of the 2010 law. And that gives Republican lawmakers a bit more time to find consensus on their repeal-and-replace effort.

February 9, 2017
Gun violence

How Gun Violence Literally Infects Communities

In the mid-1980s, public health experts began referring to youth violence as an epidemic because it was occurring in higher than expected numbers. Until now, that assertion has remained more poignant analogy than biting reality. But a new study provides the first evidence that gun violence behaves exactly like a blood-borne pathogen.

February 8, 2017
Tom Price

Democrats Insist New Details Warrant SEC Probe Into Tom Price’s Stock Trades

Price testified before the Senate health committee that he had purchased the stock at the same price that was available to all other investors. But the Senate Democrats noted that new reports indicate Price had purchased discounted shares in two separate private placements offered to fewer than 20 U.S. investors.

February 7, 2017
Trump

While We Are Distracted By Tweets, Trump Is Building A Corporate State

The destructive toll of Donald Trump’s presidency is beginning to emerge, foreshadowing what’s likely to come as the White House and congressional Republicans begin to reverse, repeal, and replace federal laws and regulations. While Trump’s red-state supporters may be cheering now, they’ll soon feel the consequences.

February 7, 2017
Democratic

The Democratic Party Finds Its Voice In The Protests Against President Trump

The fight over the future of the Democratic Party has been decided in the streets. The swelling crowds at women’s marches and the chanting airport cadres protesting President Donald Trump’s new immigration plan have finally pushed the party to the left after years of mincing steps in that direction.

February 7, 2017
Price, HHS, Obamacare, Affordable Care Act

Don’t Fall For The GOP’s Sham Plan To ‘Repair’ The Affordable Care Act

The continued fight over the potential replacement has inadvertently highlighted the tangible gains achieved by the ACA and made the public acutely aware of the negative impacts of repeal. New polling finds the ACA is increasingly popular, especially as news outlets highlight stories of individuals who would be impacted by repeal.

February 7, 2017
Obamacare

Obamacare: 9.2 Million Sign Up Amid GOP Repeal Push

With several insurers pulling out over rising costs and Republican congressional efforts to scuttle the Affordable Care Act (ACA), the enrollment period was seen as a test of the program’s popularity. Of the 9.2 million, about 3 million were new consumers while 6.2 million were returning consumers.

February 4, 2017
Abortion rights

New York Governor Calls For Amending State Constitution To Protect Abortion Rights

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo said that he would seek to ensure that women have access to late-term abortions in the state even if conservatives on the U.S. Supreme Court remove federal legal guarantees in place since the 1973 Roe v. Wade ruling.

January 30, 2017
GOP, Obama Regulations

Republicans Take First Steps To Kill Five Obama-Era Regulations

Under the Congressional Review Act, Congress can use simple majority votes to stop recent regulations in their tracks. Timing in the law means any rules enacted after May 31 are eligible for axing. The law has been used effectively only once, ending a rule on ergonomics in 2001. Both sides consider this week a test of its powers.

January 30, 2017
Obama, ACA, Obamacare

Obama Wastes Little Time In Condemning Republicans For ‘Repeal And Replace’

In the commentary published Jan. 26 in the New England Journal of Medicine, one week after the inauguration of Donald Trump, Obama makes good on the pledge in his farewell news conference to speak out “where I think our core values may be at stake.”

January 28, 2017
Trump, Allies

Trumped Up: The First Seven Days In Trumplandia

Authoritarians love walls. That will be his scrawl across America. It will make an enemy of our neighbor, Mexico, but who cares? That may be his foreign policy in a nutshell. We’re living in Donald Trump’s reality now, and the “truth” is what Trump says it is.

January 28, 2017
Trump

9 Terrible Things Trump Has Done In His First Week As President

While the media spent the last week spilling digital ink over inauguration numbers, the new administration was diminishing women’s health and safety around the world, chipping away at health care for millions of Americans, and pouring money that could feed and insure children into a useless garbage heap along the border.

January 27, 2017
Executive Orders, Trump

Trump’s Executive Orders: More Symbol Than Substance

President Donald Trump has signed a flurry of executive orders since his swearing in—a sign of “bold action,” according to his White House. Yet despite the pomp and circumstance of the signing ceremonies and the accompanying headlines, they do little, on their own, to advance Trump’s main policy goals.

January 27, 2017