Posts Tagged ‘health care’

In Mid-Pandemic, Trump Challenges Obamacare in Court

June 29, 2020

In Mid-Pandemic, Trump Challenges ObamaCare in Court

On Thursday, in a literal 11th-hour brief, an hour before a midnight deadline, the Trump administration asked the Supreme Court to invalidate the Affordable Care Act, aka Obamacare, and strip healthcare from 23 million Americans during the COVID-19 pandemic. Thursday also marked the largest single-day increase in diagnosed Coronavirus cases in the U.S. to date, the day when the CDC admitted that coronavirus cases may be 10 times higher than reported.

More:

“Trump Administration Asks Supreme Court to Strike Down Affordable Care Act,” Sheryl Gay Stolberg, New York Times

“Trump administration asks Supreme Court to strike down Obamacare,” Meagan Flynn and Tim Elfrink, Washington Post

“Trump, Intent on Self-Destruction, Asks Supreme Court to Kill Obamacare,” Ed Kilgore, New York Magazine

Update:

“Obamacare Versus the G.O.P. Zombies,” Paul Krugman, New York Times

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Coronavirus Stimulus Tax Break Benefits Millionaires

April 16, 2020

Coronavirus Stimulus Tax Break Benefits Millionaires

“More than 80 percent of the benefits of a tax change tucked into the coronavirus relief package Congress passed last month will go to those who earn more than $1 million annually, according to a report by a nonpartisan congressional body ….

The provision, inserted into the legislation by Senate Republicans, temporarily suspends a limitation on how much owners of businesses formed as ‘pass-through’ entities can deduct against their nonbusiness income, such as capital gains, to reduce their tax liability. The limitation was created as part of the 2017 Republican tax law to offset other tax cuts to firms in that legislation.

Suspending the limitation will cost taxpayers about $90 billion in 2020 alone, part of a set of tax changes that will add close to $170 billion to the national deficit over the next 10 years, according to the Joint Committee on Taxation (JCT), the nonpartisan congressional body.”

— “Tax change in coronavirus package overwhelmingly benefits millionaires, congressional body finds,” Jeff Stein, Washington Post

More:

“Coronavirus stimulus law has a tax loophole just for millionaires, report says,” Charles Duncan, McClatchy

“Millionaires to reap 80% of benefit from tax change in US coronavirus stimulus,” Amanda Holpuch, The Guardian

Related:

“White House, GOP face heat after hotel and restaurant chains helped run small business program dry,” Jonathan O’Connell, Washington Post

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Prevent COVID-19. It’s in your hands.

April 2, 2020

Prevent COVID-19. It's in your hands.
Wash your hands, often. Stay home. When you must go out, maintain social distance.

That’s it. There is no vaccine, no magic cure.

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Trump Coronavirus Response: Tax Cuts

March 2, 2020

Trump Coronavirus Response: Tax Cuts

President Donald Trump has been laser-focused on the deadly Coronavirus epidemic, especially one frightening symptom, the biggest stock market dive since the 2008 financial crisis. This is big trouble for Mr. Trump, who has been taking credit for rising stock prices for the past three years. After putting public health expert Mike Pence in charge of the nation’s Coronavirus response, Mr. Trump prescribed his no-fail remedy for Wall Street’s ills: tax cuts. They’ll even pay for themselves! Too bad they won’t treat disease or pay for America’s health care.

More:

“Trump officials discuss tax cuts, other emergency measures in hopes of tackling coronavirus fallout,” Jeff Stein and Ashley Parker,” Washington Post

“Coronavirus Shows the Problem With Trump’s Stock Market Boasting,” Neil Irwin, New York Times

“The coronavirus gores Trump’s bull market,” Robert J. Samuelson, Washington Post

“Trump tries to shift blame as virus outbreak rattles markets,” Jonathan Lemire and Josh Boak, Associated Press

“Only Doctors Can Save the Markets From the Coronavirus,” Binyamin Appelbaum, New York Times

Update:

“Dow plunges despite Fed’s emergency rate cut to stem coronavirus panic,” Rachel Siegel and Thomas Heath, Washington Post

Related:

“Stock markets are headed for a 40 percent plunge, says economist who predicted financial crisis,” Summer Meza, The Week

“Global stock markets have lost $6 trillion in value in six days,” Maggie Fitzgerald, CNBC

(more…)

Trump Health Care: Sick People Rely on Crowdfunding

February 25, 2020

Trump Health Care: Sick People Rely on Crowdfunding

“An estimated 50 million Americans—or 20% of all adults in the country—have donated to a crowdfunding campaign to help cover somebody’s medical expenses, according to a survey from the National Opinion Research Center at the University of Chicago.”

“Websites like JustGiving, Fundly, and GoFundMe have risen to prominence in recent years as Americans struggle to pay for rising healthcare costs. Medical fundraisers have become so popular on GoFundMe—over 250,000 medical campaigns are run each year—that the website now publishes guides on how to fundraise for insulin or gender confirmation surgery.

The survey has prompted renewed calls for Medicare for All this week. Presidential candidate and U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders reiterated his support for the policy on Twitter. ‘Enough is enough,’ he tweeted. ‘No one should have to beg for money to get the health care they need in the richest country on Earth.’”

More:

“Millions of Americans Rely on Crowdfunding for Medical Expenses,” Emma Coleman, Route Fifty.

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Homeopathic Snake Oil Fuels the Measles Crisis

June 25, 2019

Homeopathic Snake Oil Fuels the Measles Crisis

Kate Birch, a homeopath based in Minnesota, is a leading quack in the lunatic anti-vaxxer campaign behind the raging measles epidemic plaguing America’s children. Homeopathic products are essentially small vials of very expensive water or alcohol masquerading as preventatives and cures for diseases and ailments. Substances they contain are so diluted that the products are essentially placebos.

Why, you may ask, doesn’t the FDA regulate this kind of bunkum? An original Senate sponsor of the 1938 “Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act” was a dean at a Homeopathic Medical College, and made sure the act identified all homeopathic swill as drugs. Existing FDA regs are, appropriately, watered-down. Since umpteen-hundred scientific studies show that homeopathic medicine doesn’t work, even the woo-woo department of NIH, the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health, points out that homeopathy is bunk.

More:

“US homeopaths claim ‘therapies’ prevent measles and ‘cure’ autism,” Ed Pilkington, The Guardian

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Here Comes TrumpCare

March 28, 2019

Here Comes TrumpCare

Fresh from being not exonerated, legal titan Donald Trump has decided that the Affordable Care Act is unconstitutional, probably because the ACA is often called “ObamaCare.” After conferring with Dr. Mick Mulvaney and senior faculty at Trump University Medical School, the President proposes replacing the ACA with … nothing.

While this will leave 20 million Americans without health insurance and put 100 million at risk, people with preexisting conditions will get exactly the same coverage.

More:

“Trump Administration reverses course, supports decision to strike down ACA,” Kevin Truong, MedCityNews

“White House Obamacare reversal made over Cabinet objections,” Eliana Johnson and Burgess Everett, Politico

“Trump’s all-or-nothing ACA gamble,” Sam Baker, Axios

“The Trump approach to healthcare: Break it and figure out the rest later,” Jon Healey, Los Angeles Times

“Trump: GOP will have replacement if Obamacare is struck down, but no plan is in sight,” John T. Bennett, The Hill

“McConnell to Trump: Health care’s all yours,” Burgess Everett, Politico

“Kevin McCarthy tells Trump new health care push makes no sense,” Jonathan Swan, Sam Baker, and Alayna Treene, Axios

“Donald Trump is very committed to taking away your health insurance,” Sarah Kliff, Vox

“Health insurer stocks fall after Trump administration seeks overturn of Affordable Care Act,” Bertha Coombs, CNBC

Updates:

“Trump’s health care agenda is a legal disaster,” Dylan Scott, Vox

“By striking at Obamacare, Trump could unravel his own drug pricing proposal,” Emily Kopp, Roll Call

(more…)

U.S. Culture War: Doctors vs. Midwives

February 4, 2019

In others countries, many births are attended by midwives. Why is the U.S. different? A Vox/Pro Publica video by Ranjani Chakraborty.

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Mitch McConnell Says He’s Coming For Your Health Care

October 22, 2018

Mitch McConnell Says He's Coming For Your Health Care

“Republicans could try again to repeal Obamacare if they win enough seats in U.S. elections next month, Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell said on Wednesday, calling a failed 2017 push to repeal the healthcare law a ‘disappointment.’

In a forecast of 2019 policy goals tempered by uncertainty about who would win the congressional elections, McConnell blamed social programs, such as Social Security and Medicare, for the fast-rising national debt.”

— “McConnell says Senate Republicans might revisit Obamacare repeal,” David Morgan, Reuters

More:

“Mitch McConnell blames the soaring deficit on Medicare and Social Security, not the GOP tax cuts,” Peter Weber, The Week

“Republican Doublespeak on Health Care Starts at the Top,” Max Nisen, Bloomberg

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Health Care Super Users

April 5, 2018

Each year,  5 percent of the U.S. population is responsible for 50 percent of the nation’s medical spending. Animation by Yukai Du. Written by Yukai Du, Nicolas Pollock, and Andrew McGill for The Atlantic.

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