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01 Mar 2012 14:23


Politics: Sen. Roy Blunt’s health care “conscience” amendment voted down

  • 51-48 Senate defeat for the Blunt amendment source
  • » 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.

16 Feb 2012 12:28


Politics, U.S.: Obama’s health care plan benefited tens of millions in 2011

  • 54 million people benefited from the Affordable Care Act in 2011 source
  • » Approximately one-sixth of Americans received one or more additional preventive care services in 2011, as a direct result of the Affordable Care Act, according to a newly released report from the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services. Over 20 million adult women received an additional service, as well as 14 million children, and just under 20 million adult men. Of the 50 states, Wyoming had the fewest patients (102,000) receive a new service while California took the cake with more than 6 million patients, over 2 million more than 2nd place Texas, receiving at least one new preventive service last year.

09 Nov 2011 14:54


Biz: Dr. Always Low Prices? Wal-Mart wants to be your physician

  • 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

26 May 2011 12:32


U.S.: Two ways Obama’s health care plan is actually working

  • Who’s getting insured? A greater number of people under 26 now get to stay on their parents’ insurance. It helps because they’re paying for it — meaning that they’re helping lower costs for the elderly. When they get older, they’ll be helped by younger generations in the same way.
  • Who’s insuring people? As small businesses are getting incentives for providing health care, insurance-providing businesses with fewer than 10 employees have grown by 46%. That’s huge; it helps people who need health care most. And the IRS has approved more incentives, too. source

11 May 2011 15:04


Politics: Mitt Romney believed in that individual mandate back in 2007

  • I’d think it’s a terrific idea. I think you’re going to find when it’s all said and done, after all these states that are the laboratories of democracy, get their chance to try their own plans, but those who follow the path that we pursued will find it’s the best path, and we’ll end up with a nation that’s taken a mandate approach.
  • Mitt Romney • Expressing his experience-based belief that health care (and insurance) reform would be helped by an individual mandate, on a 2007 episode of Meet The Press. In other words, one of the quotes Romney is hoping beyond feverish hope not too many Republicans read heading into 2012. The thing is, this does conform with what he’s been insisting, that he supports what he did on health care because it was at the state level (the laboratories of democracy), not the federal level. However, he clearly says here that the mandate would, in fact, be the best plan nationwide. This is a problem — the GOP’s talking points haven’t just been saying that the mandate is bad because it’s federal, they’ve also been saying it’s wrong for the government to force you to buy something. Whether it’s Barack’s federal government, or Mitt’s Massachusetts, that argument ought to stay the same, right? source

15 Oct 2010 12:58


Politics: Health insurance: pets prioritized over partners

  • yes Federal employees can now buy health insurance for their pets! Fido has a deductible!
  • no They still can’t get health insurance for their same-sex partners. Laaaaaaame. source

16 Jul 2010 17:56


U.S.: Whoa. A statistics nerd stopped Anthem’s 39% health care increase

And he did it from a hospital bed. David Axene spent 66 hours digging through numbers on a spreadsheet the week after major surgery. It was worth it. source

07 Jul 2010 10:52


Tech: Goatse Security dude: I’ve been denied a lawyer in iPad case

  • He also points out a potentially hypocritical carrying-out of the law. What’s the difference between a hacker using a public Web site to scrape information about iPad users for the purposes of publicizing and fixing a bug, and a law firm that does the same thing to scrape data about a health insurer? The hacker gets raided, arrested and denied a public attorney; the law firm isn’t dinged much at all. So is the case of Andrew “weev” Auernheimer, who broke a gag order on his case to tell you all this. Now, we’re not geniuses here, but we’re guessing social security numbers and other private data are way worse than anything “weev” took (and subsequently deleted). source

28 Apr 2010 10:03


Biz: Protip for WellPoint patients: Don’t get breast cancer before Friday

  • After much criticism, the insurer will back off of canceling policies after on May 1. After a Reuters feature put pressure on the massive insurer by noting many patients were getting their policies canceled almost immediately after getting breast cancer, Democrats put lots of pressure on them to change the policy. They would have had to change it anyway due to the new health care law, but the Democrats got them to change it early. The company claims “there have been a lot of misrepresentations and inaccuracies in recent days,” but the decision would help bring clarity to the company’s stance. Good move. source

12 Apr 2010 22:10


Music: A Big Star without health insurance: The sad end of Alex Chilton

  • At least twice in the week before his fatal heart attack, Chilton experienced shortness of breath and chills while cutting grass. But he did not seek medical attention, [wife Laura] Kersting said, in part because he had no health insurance.
  • New Orleans Times-Picayune reporter Keith Spera • Regarding the last week of Box Tops and Big Star lead singer Alex Chilton, who lacked the health insurance to keep him alive, sadly. That’s despite the fact that he wrote hit songs (including a popular TV show theme song) and had a reputation up there with the greatest in pop music history. Chilton, who lived in New Orleans for most of the last three decades, wasn’t overly sentimental about death, but this ties into the health insurance problems many musicians face. He was only 59. He still had plenty of life left to live; there’s no reason it had to end like this. source