4companies pulled their ads from Rush Limbaugh’s show today source
» Why? Because of this, of course. Really, we’re surprised that any advertisers offended by this weren’t offended by anything else Limbaugh’s said over the last twenty years. Regardless, advertisers aren’t the only ones reacting negatively to Limbaugh’s comments.
» Roy Blunt, blunted: The amendment authored by the Missouri senator was a response, initially, to a very public dispute between the Catholic Church and the Obama administration over contraception insurance. If passed into law, it would have stated that any employers could deny a certain type of health care service if that service violated their religious beliefs, or moral conscience. The latter provision is the key one – there isn’t a stipulation as to what constitutes a moral objection, which means employers would have a great deal of power over workers’ health care. One person who might benefit from this failure? Mitt Romney, who publicly flip-flopped on it yesterday. He’d likely be happy just to have it out of the news cycle.
1.8%decline in cancer deaths for men in the U.S. from 2004 through 2008
1.6%decline in cancer deaths for women in the U.S. over the same period source
» The march of medical advancement: That’s what’s being touted as the cause for this heartening reversal of trend, as reported by the American Cancer Society’s annual report. The news isn’t entirely as rosy as it might be — some less pervasive types of cancer, such as pancreas, kidney, liver and esophageal have seen their incidences rise. The most common types — lung, breast, colon, and prostate — all saw declines, however, with black and Hispanic men demographically showing the most improvement in avoiding the lethal diseases.
We ask that you share with us your specific rationale and the scientific data you relied on for the decision to overrule the FDA recommendation [to increase access to Plan B].
Fourteen Democratic Senators • In a letter to HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, who last week overruled an FDA recommendation that Plan B, the emergency contraception, be available without prescription to minors. In the words of Greg Sargent, who reported the story, “it isn’t every day that 14 Senators aggressively call out their own party’s Health and Human Services Secretary.” Then again, a lot of Senate Democrats are up for re-election next year, so there is an element of realpolitik at play. source
Wal-Mart expanding into medical care: Beloved by some for their low, low prices and reviled by others for suspect workplace practices and their debilitating effect on local economies, Wal-Mart is moving a new direction that figures to stoke similar passions — the health care industry. Their thinking seems to be that with a huge surge in insured citizens on the horizon, thanks to the Affordable Care Act, there will be a shortage of general practitioners and medical clinics to accommodate them. These in-store medical clinics would, according to NPR, be equipped to handle such critical things as HIV and diabetes management. source
good “Issue 2,” on which a yes vote meant approval of the Ohio state GOP’s stripping of public employees’ collective bargaining rights, was resounding defeated with 63% voting no. Gov. John Kasich’s chastened reply: “The people have spoken clearly.”
bad Ohioans also passed an amendment to their state constitution, saying they can’t be forced to buy health insurance. So while a union-backed Obama looks stronger now in Ohio, the health care mandate seems to irk voters in the critical swing-state. source
Affordable Care act ruled constitutional: Not that it hasn’t been ruled unconstitutional before, and not that this is the last you’ll hear of the issue. That said, the District of Columbia Court of Appeals ruled in favor of the Affordable Care Act yesterday, a move considered a surprise given the court’s conservative tilt. Said Judge Laurence SIlberman: “That a direct requirement for most Americans to purchase any product or service seems an intrusive exercise of legislative power surely explains why Congress has not used this authority before — but that seems to us a political judgment rather than a recognition of constitutional limitations.” source
Throughout history, there have been similar challenges to other landmark legislation such as the Social Security Act, the Civil Rights Act and the Voting Rights Act, and all of those challenges failed. We believe the challenges to Affordable Care Act … will also ultimately fail and that the Supreme Court will uphold the law.
A statement from the Justice Department • Defending Obama’s Affordable Care Act ahead of a Supreme Court decision expected to come next year, after the Obama administration decided to appeal the case — specifically the individual mandate, which is the bill’s most controversial part. Expect the decision in this case in the middle of 2012, just as Obama takes on … uh … let’s say Herman Cain … for the presidency. source
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