Biomedical Engineer, Medical Student, Lincoln Democrat
10817 stories
·
141 followers

Hospitals warn Trump: Price’s plan to repeal ACA will cost us $165 billion

1 Share

Leading hospital groups teamed up to warn President-elect Trump this week that repealing the Affordable Care Act could spark an “unprecedented public health crisis,” and cost the hospital industry billions of dollars.

The two hospital trade groups—the American Hospital Association (AHA) and the Federation of American Hospitals (FAH)—even commissioned a study by an outside economics consulting firm to put real numbers to the losses. Their study, conducted by the Dobson | DaVanzo firm, modeled what would happen if the government enacted the ACA-demolishing legislation introduced by Trump’s nominee for Secretary of Health and Human Services, Tom Price (R-Ga.); the legislation was vetoed by President Obama in January.

The study’s verdict: 22 million people would lose insurance by 2026, which would cost hospitals $165.8 billion. And, because the legislation wouldn’t undo certain payment cuts created by the ACA, hospitals would lose an additional $102.9 billion.

In a letter sent this week to Trump, AHA President and CEO, Rick Pollack, and FAH President and CEO, Chip Kahn, wrote:

“Losses of this magnitude cannot be sustained and will adversely impact patients’ access to care, decimate hospitals’ and health systems’ ability to provide services, weaken local economies that hospitals help sustain and grow, and result in massive job losses.”

To avoid this dire scenario, Pollack and Kahn implored the President-elect to only repeal the ACA if there’s a ready replacement that will guarantee coverage to the millions who gained it.

Trump said during his campaign that he intended to swiftly repeal and replace the massive law once he took office. However, he has not provided a plan for how to do that or released any draft legislation for a possible replacement. And Republicans are themselves torn on what a replacement should look like.

Right now, the GOP has reportedly embraced a strategy to quickly repeal the ACA once Trump takes office in January, but then delay the need for a replacement by initiating an ACA-phase out over several years.

Experts warn such a plan could cause massive anxiety in the industry and destabilize the market.

In a recent healthcare poll conducted by the Kaiser Family Foundation, only 26 percent of respondents supported a complete repeal of the ACA. Seventeen percent wanted a scale-back, while 19 percent said politicians should leave it alone, and 30 percent said they wanted the ACA to be expanded.

Read the whole story
satadru
4 hours ago
reply
New York, NY
Share this story
Delete

Andrew Cuomo Stays Silent as an Ally Fuels Disorder Among Senate Democrats

1 Comment

ALBANY — Even by the sometimes funhouse-mirror standards of the state capital, the current battle between Charlie King and some of his fellow Democrats seems truly bizarre. Unless, of course, it makes perfect sense.

For those happily unaware of the byzantine workings of Albany, Mr. King is a former executive director of the New York State Democratic Party and a former senior campaign adviser to Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo, the state’s top Democrat.

For the last few weeks, Mr. Cuomo, a centrist who has worked closely with Republicans in Albany, has been under fire from Senate Democrats who feel the governor should be taking a larger role in unifying his party to assert control in the State Senate.

The topic is a sore one for many party loyalists because Democrats actually hold a numerical advantage in the 63-seat chamber, but remain in the minority because of eight renegade Democrats who have chosen to align with the G.O.P., including Simcha Felder, a senator from Brooklyn who recently reaffirmed that position.

The other seven are members of the Independent Democratic Conference, led by Jeffrey D. Klein, whose partnership with the Republicans has now extended to four years — affording Mr. Klein a central role in Albany’s high-level meetings, and enhanced influence for his allies.

Mr. Cuomo has not responded to the calls for unity. But over the last several days, Mr. King has gone on the offensive, often in ways that were both comic and caustic. He attacked Andrea Stewart-Cousins, the Senate Democratic leader, for a lack of leadership, but also asserted that a veteran Democratic senator from the Bronx, Rubén Díaz Sr., who aligns with Ms. Stewart-Cousins, is a conservative who has “been around since the Lincoln administration.”

“If Senate Leader Stewart-Cousins is a leader,” opined Mr. King, “now is the time to lead.”

The reason for Mr. King’s piquant pronouncements remained a mystery, though suspicions of a connection between the invective and the governor’s intentions ran high in Ms. Stewart-Cousins’s camp, in part because of the two men’s past relationships. They also pointed out that Mr. King is currently employed as an executive at a high-powered lobbying firm, Mercury Public Affairs, that has done work on behalf of causes supported by Senate Republicans, who obviously oppose a unified Democratic front.

The Senate Republicans declined to comment on Mr. King’s opinions. On Mr. Díaz’s Senate website, he posted an article Tuesday arguing that he was “a better Democrat than most of them.”

But the lobbyist’s odd campaign continued on Wednesday. Mr. King suddenly announced that he would hold a news conference outside Mr. Cuomo’s Manhattan office to unveil proposals to unify Democrats in the Senate, confronting a group of protesters who planned to rally there asking for the exact same thing.

The governor’s office denied that it had anything to do with Mr. King’s advocacy. “The first we heard of Charlie King’s event was when the advisory for it was released to the media,” said Rich Azzopardi, a spokesman for the governor. Another denial came from a representative of the Independent Democratic Conference.

For his part, Mr. King said his one-man crusade was not coordinated with anybody, mentioning at the news conference that he had not talked to the governor’s office before telling a reporter that he only ever met Mr. Klein in the bathrooms of the Capitol.

Rather, he said, he had taken it on himself to try to convince Ms. Stewart-Cousins to “look inward” for answers, rather than to the governor.

“If this is an exercise in true unification, then let’s have at it,” Mr. King said in a phone interview. “If it’s something else, to embarrass the governor or some other agenda, and it’s just play-pretend, then let’s go on to do something more meaningful.”

Ms. Stewart-Cousins said that sort of introspection was already well on its way in Democratic ranks; indeed, the Senate Democrats she leads were at a retreat in suburban Albany on Wednesday.

“I don’t know why Charlie has a big opinion about any of these things,” she said in an interview, adding: “My conversation has not been with Charlie, it’s not about Charlie. It’s about moving forward with the Dems in the majority.”

Ms. Stewart-Cousins also reiterated her call for Mr. Cuomo to persuade Mr. Felder and the independent Democrats to reunite. “I think the governor would be helpful in helping to engage the parties,” she said.

The groups that had rallied at the governor’s office also seemed confused by the day’s events.

“It’s no surprise that someone whose firm has worked hard to keep Republicans in power in New York’s State Senate would try to block efforts to unite Democrats,” said Javier H. Valdés, co-executive director of Make the Road Action. “But these antics don’t change the facts: Working families across New York are clamoring for progressive leadership in Albany.”

Mr. King said his actions were not related to Mercury’s work on behalf of Republican-backed causes (though the releases had come from Mercury email accounts) or as a proxy for any officeholder. “I believe very deeply in what I’m saying,” he said. He also said he believed the governor would probably be happy that “I’m setting the record straight.”

“I think,” said Mr. King, “he’s probably very pleased.”

Continue reading the main story
Read the whole story
satadru
4 hours ago
reply
What a fucking train wreck.
New York, NY
Share this story
Delete

The Expanse is back with this kickass trailer for season two

1 Comment

The new trailer for season two of The Expanse, from Syfy.

We were blown away by the first season of Syfy's series

The Expanse

, based on the rip-roaringly

great novels by James S. A. Corey

. So we're seriously excited that season two starts February 1, 2017, and Syfy has just dropped a new trailer. Strap yourself in, because the troubles brewing between Earth, Mars, and the Belt are exploding into something that looks like the first war between all the human worlds.

Set 200 years in the future, the series is about what happens after humans have colonized Mars and the asteroid belt (known simply as the Belt). Not surprisingly, our journey into space hasn't made humanity any more peaceful or politically astute. Earth and Mars are on the brink of war, and radicals in the Belt are protesting poor working conditions and gravity deprivation in their cheap-ass habitats on planetoid Ceres. What's so fantastic about this series are its fully imagined political worlds, whose internecine battles feel brutally realistic. It helps that the special effects are pretty damn good, too.

All our favorite characters are back: there's the once-idealistic Earther Jim Holden (Steven Strait), who accidentally witnessed a war crime in space; mysterious former engineer Naomi Nagata (Dominique Tipper), who has joined Holden as executive officer on the ship

Rocinante

to seek justice; grizzled Belter Josephus Miller (Thomas Jane), a detective who sniffed out a government coverup and is now in major danger; UN Deputy Undersecretary Chrisjen Avasarala (Shohreh Aghdashloo), trying to figure out who would benefit from a war between Earth and Mars; and Fred Johnson (Chad Coleman), the leader of Belter radical group OPA, whose alliances are as ambiguous as his motivations.

I recommend you dive into last season for a re-watch (it's a good one for your holiday binge list) or zoom through it for the first time. It's available to stream and buy from a ton of places. If you're a fan of the book series, I've got good news. Babylon's Ashes, the sixth novel in the series, just came out.

See you in the Belt in February.

Listing image by Syfy

Read the whole story
satadru
4 hours ago
reply
The LoTR movies did help me get past the Bush2 administration... so...
New York, NY
Share this story
Delete

Forward, Always Forward

1 Share
I should have heeded the advice of Pop from Luke Cage:
But I did not, as the US Embassy was hosting an interesting event.  The State Department had put together a team of ten or so Canadians, including a couple of members of parliament, to observe the campaign and the election in its last ten or so days in DC, Louisiana and Ohio.  The Embassy had two of the MPs talk about what they observed.  I thought it would be interesting to hear what they had to say, and it was.  It was all Chatham House rules, so no attribution.

Anyhow, I am now agitated and annoyed because, well, the outcome sucked and the campaign sucked.  There was some complaints about HRC not having a message except that Trump was unqualified (which he proves every damn day).  A good point was that her big speech on the last night started with a reference to the Khan family and not to what she stood for.  BUT dammit, she did have lots of content and policy and messaging that got crowded out by Trump's daily demonstration of being unqualified.

Also, the two speakers did not mention Comey, wikileaks, or the Russians.  They did mention that many folks they met thought Hillary was corrupt, which ignores the kleptocracy that Trump was predicted to be and is.  People didn't care about Trump's corruption, and the media underplayed.  An interesting point was that the media folks in DC thought that they could give Trump heaps of not so negative attention because he wasn't going to win.  Yep, they got cocky too.

One of the speakers downplayed race, and I nearly lost it.  I am sure those around me were probably not thrilled with my mumbled curses. Yes, HRC's deplorable mark cost her some votes and energized Trump's base, but Trump started with racism and built an audience based on that racism.  No, we have no clear strategies for responding to it, but not calling it out seems to be problematic.

No one articulated the basic challenge in this campaign--a heterogeneous party competing with a homogeneous party.  They did mention the misogyny as they repeatedly heard "I will not vote for that woman", but did not discuss it at length.

Overall, a key challenge, as always, is how to relate the master narrative to the micronarratives.  We have that problem in civil war research, and we have that problem in this election.  Because it was so close in a few states, we can blame lots of stuff or focus on a single thing.  Looking backwards?  I blame Comey most of all, HRC and her campaign for not doing more in Wisconsin and Michigan some, the media a fair bit for so much false equivalence, evangelicals for selling out much of their faith for the Supreme Court seat, and the complacent Democrats who had no reason to be complacent after the Comey letters.

I didn't get a chance to ask my question: which do you fear most: Trump causing World War III or a new Great Depression via trade wars and debt defaults?  Yeah, I am in a super cheery mood this holiday season. πŸ™…πŸ˜΅πŸ˜©πŸ˜‘πŸ’©πŸ’€πŸ‘ΏπŸš½
Read the whole story
satadru
2 days ago
reply
New York, NY
Share this story
Delete

Senate Democrats Have One Shot At Saving SCOTUS - Will They?

2 Shares

It is now time for Senate Democrats to take their shot at saving this country from fascists assuming the reins of power in January. It can be done, but it will require them to be courageous and aggressive.

David Waldman (KagroX on Twitter) has outlined how they can confirm Judge Merrick Garland on January 3rd for the few minutes that they will be the majority in the Senate. Waldman is a long-standing expert on Senate procedure and political plays. He was one of the first to call for passage of the ACA via reconciliation in the Senate after Scott Brown was elected.

Here it is, in a nutshell.

On January 3, 2017, Democrats will hold the majority in the Senate for a few minutes, until the newly-elected Senators are sworn in. Biden could convene the Senate in those few minutes and call for a vote. The majority could then suspend the rules and vote in Merrick Garland.

The key here is that VP Biden would have to be willing to convene the Senate and recognize Senator Dick Durbin instead of Mitch McConnell. Durbin moves to re-nominate Garland, and Senate Democrats then vote to confirm him. They will have a quorum for those few minutes.

It's bold. Garland would be confirmed by 34 Democrats and no Republicans. It will certainly enrage Republicans, but they're already enraged and full of hubris about how they're going to screw Democrats anyway, so what do they really have to lose?

Not much. It takes courage. It takes a resolve to do what's right for this country, to reclaim the Supreme Court nomination Republicans think they stole from us. It takes backbone.

Here's where the rubber meets the road. We're not talking about "comity" anymore. We're talking about conviction and confirmation.

Here are Waldman's tweets. Let's start making some noise about this. Call everyone. Get Bernie Sanders on board, fired up. Let's DO THIS.

Senators, don't throw away your shot.

Read the whole story
mareino
2 days ago
reply
Washington, District of Columbia
satadru
2 days ago
reply
New York, NY
Share this story
Delete

Brigadoon

jwz
1 Share
Brigadoon The Time Machine

Brigadoon isn't a love story -- I mean, it is, of course, because it's a musical, but it really shouldn't be. It's a horror movie, a grotesquerie, a terrifying sci-fi cautionary tale with extraordinarily threatening religious undertones. It shouldn't be a lushly produced, Vincente Minelli-directed Cinemascope tentpole with an iconic Lerner-and-Loewe book and score (respectively), it should be a deeply chilling, very special episode of the Twilight Zone. [...]

First: Effectively, the residents of Brigadoon are experiencing a normal, continuous life, going to bed and then waking up, except that when they wake up, it's 100 years later than when they fell asleep. Where the village goes when it disappears, and whether the residents literally sleep for 100 years without aging or whether they in fact are in a Brigadoon-effect bubble of time dilation and sleep for just one night is unclear, but since the source of the village's magic in this world is actually, literally, Yaweh the Judeo-Christian god, let's just wave away the question and file it under "omnipotence, idk." Functionally, when you go to sleep in Brigadoon, you wake up a century in the future.

Second: If the village was cursed blessed with its time-dilation bubble 200 years ago, and it's on a century cycle, that means that this is only the second time ever that the village has reappeared. More to the point, because the Brigadoonians experience time continuously, it's only two days later for them. The priest prayed his magic wish-prayer and it was granted by apparently Loki-Yahweh or someone and the entire town is trapped in a time-dilation bubble and it's ONLY BEEN TWO DAYS and they are all SHOCKINGLY CALM ABOUT THIS which is ABSOLUTELY INSANE. [...]

More to the point, though, how is this nightmare reality in which they now live not the entire focus of the story? [...] It seems to me that a foundational allure of creating a world in which magic/weird science/God-induced miracles exists would be sitting down and seeing what the logical consequences are of your authorial tweak to the fabric of reality. (For example, I am constantly annoyed whenever characters in stories encounter ghosts or the spirits of dead people, and don't immediately reassess their metaphysical understanding of reality, particularly their own corporeal forms, and also just completely recalibrate their own fear of death. Wouldn't you?)

But seriously. If you're going to create a world where an entire town of Puritanical eighteenth-century Scots(wo)men have their town converted into a forward-motion-only time machine that will, in the span of just one year in their eyes, deposit them in the year 38235 -- that's thirty-eight thousand two hundred thirty five -- in what frickin universe does it make any sense whatsoever to make your story about a guy one of the village girls develops a crush on, on day goddamn two!?!

Previously, previously, previously, previously.

Read the whole story
satadru
3 days ago
reply
New York, NY
Share this story
Delete
Next Page of Stories