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Obamacare & Healthcare in America (was Tales of People Screwed by...)


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#3481 D. C. Sessions

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Posted 15 November 2019 - 07:03 PM

View PostJackD, on 14 November 2019 - 11:07 PM, said:

Why does that footnote piss me off?

Because you are a person of sense and taste who, like me, believe that words are tools and should not be maltreated.
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#3482 JackD

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Posted 15 November 2019 - 07:35 PM

Yeah! Like he said!

#3483 LFC

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Posted 10 December 2019 - 03:14 PM

The Dems are struggling with a prescription pricing bill. Compare this to the Republicans who want a "free market" that continues to rape people.

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Nearly a year into their latest term, House Democrats are still wrestling with internal conflicts as they consider a vote on their landmark prescription drug prices bill.

Although House Democrats have a vote scheduled this week for HR 3, the Lower Drug Costs Now Act, disagreement over specific provisions — including the number of drugs the legislation would cover — threatens to sink an upcoming procedural step, according to The Hill. Members of the House Progressive Caucus, led by Reps. Pramila Jayapal (D-WA) and Mark Pocan (D-WI), in particular, have urged Democratic leadership to expand the scope of the legislation beyond the concessions moderates made earlier this year.

If passed, House Democrats’ proposal would mark a major shift in the way prescription drug prices are set in the US by empowering the federal government to directly negotiate drug prices for Medicare recipients as well as others purchasing the drug. As Vox’s Dylan Scott has written, a Congressional Budget Office analysis found that the measure could curb Medicare spending by $345 billion over the course of a decade, though it could also lead to some reductions in the number of new drugs brought to market.

As things stand, House progressives have suggested that they could tank a procedural vote, preventing the bill from coming to the floor. They’re still taking a whip count of members, to examine the appetite for stymying it, The Hill reports, but the bill would need 216 votes to clear the procedural hurdle if there was a full House vote. Currently, there are 233 Democratic lawmakers in the lower chamber, meaning they could only afford to lose 17 members at most in order to approve this step, a far smaller number than the 98 members who are part of the CPC, assuming that no House Republicans join the Democrats. If progressives were to vote down the rule, Democrats would effectively be forced back to the negotiating table before a vote on the bill.

Democratic in-fighting on the bill has cropped up throughout its development, but this recent disagreement come as time winds down for Congress to approve the legislation ahead of the new year. House lawmakers had made lowering prescription drug prices a cornerstone of their midterm election campaign and have been eager to pass this bill to show voters that they are making progress on the issue in the face of Republican opposition, even as they pursue an impeachment inquiry.

Progressives, however, are trying to send a different message: one about the type of legislation they see as vital to meaningfully lowering prescription drug prices. Since the Senate isn’t expected to take up the legislation any ways, this bill is an opportunity for Democrats to make their mark.

Speaker Nancy Pelosi, in a letter to the caucus on Monday, touted the changes that had already been made to the bill thus far.

“Members’ input has been very important in the construction of this landmark legislation,” she wrote. “Since the beginning of the bill, we moved from binding arbitration to direct negotiations, increased the bare minimum number of drugs negotiated per year to 35, and created a new Emergency Negotiations mechanism to further address potential price gouging in launch prices of new treatments.”

" 'Individual conscience' means that women only get contraceptives if their employers, their physicians, their pharmacists, their husbands and/or fathers, pastors, and possibly their mayors, Governors, State Secretaries of Health, Congressmen, Senators, and President all agree that in that particular case they're justifiable." --D.C. Sessions

"That's the problem with being implacable foes - no one has any incentive to treat you as anything more than an obstacle to be overcome."

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""The GOP ... where every accusation is also a confession." --Progressive Whisperer

#3484 LFC

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Posted 12 December 2019 - 04:45 PM

Here are some details from September on the House Democrats' prescription drug pricing bill. The bill just passed in the House. And then there's Moscow Mitch. He'll protect Big Pharma's profits for sure. After all f***ing over the American taxpayers by blocking Medicare from bargaining for drug prices and siphoning big bucks to the pharma companies was a wholly Republican "accomplishment."

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House Democrats just passed an ambitious bill to lower prescription drug prices after resolving internal conflicts that threatened to sink the legislation as recently as this week. The Senate is expected to give the bill the same treatment it’s given hundreds of others: it won’t take it up.

Because of this dynamic, the bill is widely seen as a values statement for Democrats seeking to put a stake in the ground. It’s also an achievement lawmakers can point to in the 2020 elections to show that they kept a midterms campaign promise — and advanced important legislation — even as the party continues to work on the impeachment inquiry.

This bill, also known as H.R.3, the Elijah Cummings Lower Drug Costs Now Act, would dramatically change the power that the US government has to directly negotiate drug prices for Medicare recipients — resulting in more than $450 billion in spending reductions for the program over the course of a decade. These savings would be offset, in part, by costs tied to expanding dental, vision and hearing coverage for Medicare recipients, a policy change also included in the bill, according to an estimate from the Congressional Budget Office.

The final version of this legislation is a byproduct of extensive back-and-forth between House Leadership and members of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, who’ve played a major role in pushing for this bill to be more aggressive. Earlier this week, progressives still had concerns about whether the legislation was inclusive enough, though CPC Chairs Pramila Jayapal and Mark Pocan were ultimately able to secure concessions that satisfied these qualms.

Ultimately, HR 3 will mandate price negotiations on at least 25 drugs the first year, then a minimum of 50 every year after. It will also include even stronger penalties for companies that raise the prices of drugs at a rate higher than that of inflation.

Still, there were changes progressives pushed for that they did not receive, including expanding access to lower prescription drug prices for people who are uninsured. The final version of the bill would only offer lower prices to patients covered by Medicare and private insurance.

Despite these omissions, Democrats, including progressives, overwhelmingly voted in favor of the bill, which passed 230-192.

“While we didn’t get everything we wanted, the changes we have negotiated over the past few months will bring relief to millions of Americans who would otherwise have been left out of this landmark legislation,” Jayapal and Pocan said in a statement.

" 'Individual conscience' means that women only get contraceptives if their employers, their physicians, their pharmacists, their husbands and/or fathers, pastors, and possibly their mayors, Governors, State Secretaries of Health, Congressmen, Senators, and President all agree that in that particular case they're justifiable." --D.C. Sessions

"That's the problem with being implacable foes - no one has any incentive to treat you as anything more than an obstacle to be overcome."

"The 'Road to Serfdom' is really all right turns." --Progressive Whisperer

""The GOP ... where every accusation is also a confession." --Progressive Whisperer

#3485 LFC

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Posted 19 December 2019 - 02:20 PM

Republican justices seem to be scared to strike down Obamacare but some seem to be still at it. Team GOP seems awfully afraid of allowing the nation to experience true Republicancare as compared to the Republicancare Lite we have today. The case being pushed sounds incredibly weak BTW.

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When Texas v. United States, a lawsuit over Obamacare, was argued last summer, the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit appeared determined to repeal the entire law root and branch.

Instead, in their opinion Wednesday, they punted on the biggest question: whether the entire law should be repealed.

Judge Jennifer Elrod’s opinion holds that what remains of the individual mandate — a provision of the Affordable Care Act that currently does nothing because Congress repealed the only consequence for violating this mandate — is unconstitutional.

Yet while a trial judge held that the whole law must be repealed, the appeals court dodges this question, saying that Reed O’Connor, the staunchly conservative trial judge who struck down the entire law, must redo his analysis.

Elrod’s decision was joined by Judge Kurt Engelhardt — both Elrod and Engelhardt are Republican appointees. Judge Carolyn Dineen King, a Carter appointee, dissented.

Briefly, the plaintiffs argued the individual mandate — or, at least, the shell that remains of it — is unconstitutional. They then argued that the courts should repeal the entire Affordable Care Act because of this alleged defect in one provision of the law.

The plaintiffs’ legal reasoning in Texas isn’t simply rejected by liberal and centrist legal experts — it’s even rejected by many lawyers who spent a good part of their career trying to convince federal courts to repeal Obamacare.

Jonathan Adler, a conservative law professor and one of the leading evangelists for an earlier lawsuit seeking to undercut the Affordable Care Act, labeled many of these latest arguments against Obamacare “implausible,” “hard to justify,” and “surprisingly weak.”

Ilya Shapiro of the Cato Institute, another conservative lawyer who fought hard to destroy Obamacare in previous cases, wrote that he was “quite skeptical” that even a very conservative appeals court would embrace the plaintiffs’ legal arguments in Texas.

The Wall Street Journal’s editorial board labeled this lawsuit the “Texas ObamaCare Blunder.”

Yuval Levin, a prominent conservative commentator, wrote at the National Review that the Texas lawsuit “doesn’t even merit being called silly. It’s ridiculous.”

And yet the litigation survives another day — at least until O’Connor, a former Republican Senate staffer known for handing down rulings that implement the GOP’s policy preferences, takes another crack at the case.

" 'Individual conscience' means that women only get contraceptives if their employers, their physicians, their pharmacists, their husbands and/or fathers, pastors, and possibly their mayors, Governors, State Secretaries of Health, Congressmen, Senators, and President all agree that in that particular case they're justifiable." --D.C. Sessions

"That's the problem with being implacable foes - no one has any incentive to treat you as anything more than an obstacle to be overcome."

"The 'Road to Serfdom' is really all right turns." --Progressive Whisperer

""The GOP ... where every accusation is also a confession." --Progressive Whisperer

#3486 LFC

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Posted 19 December 2019 - 02:22 PM

And here's what we're fighting for. This is Republicancare.

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osaRosa Diaz was no stranger to hunger and stress and a throbbing pain in the gut that was usually nothing serious — gastritis, she had been told, or lactose intolerance. When she became ill on the evening of January 6, 2015, she figured it was the hot chocolate she’d been drinking with her family to celebrate El Día de Los Reyes. It was made with milk, but she finished it anyway, savoring every drop.

In the middle of the night, her oldest daughter, Diana, found her on the couch, clutching her belly and moaning. Diana half-carried her to the bathroom, offering her some Alka-Seltzer and a sip of Gatorade to wash the antacid down. Rosa started to shiver and cry. “Let me drive you to the emergency room,” Diana urged. “No, I don’t have insurance,” Rosa protested. “I just want to go to sleep. I’m sure I’ll feel better tomorrow.”

Rosa, a 43-year-old Mexican immigrant who became a US citizen in the 1990s, rarely saw doctors. She was employed through temp agencies, mostly working in factories and cleaning schools — jobs that didn’t offer insurance or pay enough to let her afford her own policy. Without realizing it, she’d become pregnant, and the fertilized egg had attached itself to her fallopian tube, instead of her uterus. The condition, an ectopic pregnancy, is extremely dangerous if not treated immediately.

Diana tucked a blanket around her mother and sat with her for a while, then went back to bed. Around 3 am, she heard her mother scream. Rosa’s fallopian tube had exploded, and three liters of blood — almost two-thirds of her total volume — was gushing into her abdomen. By the time paramedics delivered her to the Baylor University Medical Center emergency room in Dallas, her heart had stopped.

When Diana thinks back on the night her mother died, and what was most on her mind, she still gets angry — “because instead of wanting to feel better, she was more worried about the cost.”

From 2012 through 2015, at least 382 pregnant women and new mothers died in Texas from causes related to pregnancy and childbirth, according to the most recent data available from the Department of State Health Services; since then, hundreds more have likely perished. While their cases reflect the problems that contribute to maternal mortality across the United States — gross medical errors, deeply entrenched racism, structural deficiencies in how care is delivered — another Texas-size factor often plays a significant role: the state’s vast, and growing, problem with health insurance access.

About one in six Texans — just over 5 million people — had no health insurance last year. That’s almost a sixth of all uninsured Americans, more than the entire population of neighboring Louisiana. After trending lower for several years, the Texas rate has been rising again — to 17.7 percent in 2018, or about twice the national average.

The numbers for women are even worse. Texas has the highest rate of uninsured women of reproductive age in the country; a third were without health coverage in 2018, according to a State Health Services survey. In some counties, mainly along the Mexico border, that estimate approaches 40 percent.

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" 'Individual conscience' means that women only get contraceptives if their employers, their physicians, their pharmacists, their husbands and/or fathers, pastors, and possibly their mayors, Governors, State Secretaries of Health, Congressmen, Senators, and President all agree that in that particular case they're justifiable." --D.C. Sessions

"That's the problem with being implacable foes - no one has any incentive to treat you as anything more than an obstacle to be overcome."

"The 'Road to Serfdom' is really all right turns." --Progressive Whisperer

""The GOP ... where every accusation is also a confession." --Progressive Whisperer

#3487 LFC

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Posted 19 December 2019 - 03:19 PM

Here's where the major Democratic candidates stand on healthcare from most to least government control. There's lots more discussion on the politics of healthcare in the piece.

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Bernie Sanders (single-payer Medicare-for-all): Every American would get health insurance from the government after a brief transition period. Private insurance plans would be prohibited.

Elizabeth Warren (public option + Medicare-for-all): For the first two years, most private insurance options would remain, as would Medicare and Medicaid, and a new government plan would be made available for anyone to join. More than 130 million people — kids under 18 and people making less than 200 percent of the federal poverty line — would qualify for free coverage under the public option, according to the Warren campaign’s estimates.

Warren says she would pass Medicare-for-all, which would enroll every person in one government plan and ban private coverage, in her third year in the White House.

Joe Biden, Pete Buttigieg, former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, venture capitalist Andrew Yang, Sen. Amy Klobuchar, and entrepreneur Tom Steyer (public option): Private insurance options, Medicare, and Medicaid would remain in place. A new government plan that is open to everyone would be created. Under both Biden and Buttigieg’s proposals, US workers could choose to join the plan. In Buttigieg’s variation, companies would also have the option of deciding whether to send their workers to the public plan and pay most of the costs.

" 'Individual conscience' means that women only get contraceptives if their employers, their physicians, their pharmacists, their husbands and/or fathers, pastors, and possibly their mayors, Governors, State Secretaries of Health, Congressmen, Senators, and President all agree that in that particular case they're justifiable." --D.C. Sessions

"That's the problem with being implacable foes - no one has any incentive to treat you as anything more than an obstacle to be overcome."

"The 'Road to Serfdom' is really all right turns." --Progressive Whisperer

""The GOP ... where every accusation is also a confession." --Progressive Whisperer

#3488 LFC

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Posted 03 January 2020 - 05:28 PM

The House and Democratic Attorney Generals are looking to get Obamacare in front of SCOTUS. They want a decision before the elections. Makes sense since Barr's DOJ is in the midst of an all out assault on the legislation.

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The U.S. House and Democratic state attorneys general from around the country on Friday asked the Supreme Court to step in and decide the fate of the Affordable Care Act, following an appeals court’s decision that the law’s individual mandate was unconstitutional.

“We’re asking the Supreme Court to swiftly resolve this repeal lawsuit for the sake of saving lives and ending uncertainty in our healthcare system,” California Attorney General Xavier Becerra said in a statement accompanying the news.

The parties also asked the Supreme Court to expedite consideration of the case, given its implications for the country’s health care system.

If the Supreme Court grants the request to take up the appeal, it stands to elevate health care as a major issue going into the 2020 election. Republicans’ failed attempt to repeal Obamacare played a defining role in Democrats’ 2018 takeover in the House.

The Justice Department has argued in the case that not only is the Obamacare mandate now unconstitutional, but that the entire law — including its Medicaid expansion and the its protections for pre-existing conditions — must also be invalidated.

The blue states and the U.S. House are asking the Supreme Court to consider whether the individual mandate was made unconstitutional by a provision in 2017’s GOP tax law making the mandate fine $0, and, if constitutional, whether the mandate can be severed from the rest of the health care law. It is also asking the court to review whether the red states who are seeking to dismantle the Affordable Care Act even had the standing to bring the lawsuit in the first place.

It only takes the votes of four justices to agree to take up a case, meaning the Democratic appointees on the court could grant to review — particularly if they think that Chief Justice John Roberts, who has twice before voted uphold Obamacare — would again be on their side.

While it always seemed likely this case would make it to the Supreme Court’s door step, particularly after conservative-leaning lower courts ruled against the Affordable Care Act, the timing of such a request for review had been unclear until now.

" 'Individual conscience' means that women only get contraceptives if their employers, their physicians, their pharmacists, their husbands and/or fathers, pastors, and possibly their mayors, Governors, State Secretaries of Health, Congressmen, Senators, and President all agree that in that particular case they're justifiable." --D.C. Sessions

"That's the problem with being implacable foes - no one has any incentive to treat you as anything more than an obstacle to be overcome."

"The 'Road to Serfdom' is really all right turns." --Progressive Whisperer

""The GOP ... where every accusation is also a confession." --Progressive Whisperer

#3489 JackD

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Posted 03 January 2020 - 06:16 PM

It does make sense no matter what the Supreme Court does; it focuses on Republican efforts to deprive people of health care, an argument that had great impact in the 2018 midterms.

#3490 LFC

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Posted 06 January 2020 - 11:51 AM

The premise of this story could have easily been the basis for a piece in The Onion or Babylon Bee. Instead it's reality in Republican America.

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Eight-year-old Blake Collie was at the swimming pool when he got a frightening headache. His parents rushed him to the emergency room only to learn he had a brain aneurysm. Blake spent nearly two months in the hospital.

His family did not have traditional health insurance. “We could not afford it,” said his father, Mark Collie, a freelance photographer in Washington, N.C.

Instead, they pay about $530 a month through a Christian health care sharing organization to pay members’ medical bills. But the group capped payments for members at $250,000, almost certainly far less than the final tally of Blake’s mounting medical bills.

“Just trust God,” the nonprofit group, Samaritan Ministries, in Peoria, Ill., said in a statement about its coverage, and advises its members that “there is no coverage, no guarantee of payment.”

More than one million Americans, struggling to cope with the rising cost of health insurance, have joined such groups, attracted by prices that are far lower than the premiums for policies that must meet strict requirements, like guaranteed coverage for pre-existing conditions, established by the Affordable Care Act. The groups say they permit people of a common religious or ethical belief to share medical costs, and many were grandfathered in under the federal health care law mainly through a religious exemption.

These Christian nonprofit groups offer far lower rates because they are not classified as insurance and are under no legal obligation to pay medical claims. They generally decline to cover people with pre-existing illnesses. They can set limits on how much their members will pay, and they can legally refuse to cover treatments for specialties like mental health.

“Nothing is guaranteed,” said Dr. Carolyn McClanahan, a physician who is also a financial planner in Jacksonville, Fla. “You have to depend on the largess of the program.”

The main requirement for membership is adherence to a Christian lifestyle. And the alternative sharing plans keep flourishing, especially now that the Trump administration has relaxed rules to permit alternatives to the A.C.A. that don’t provide such generous coverage.

But state regulators in New Hampshire, Colorado and Texas are beginning to question some of the ministries’ aggressive marketing tactics, often using call centers, and said in some cases people who joined them were misled or did not understand how little coverage they would receive if they or a family member had a catastrophic illness.

On Monday, Washington State fined one of the larger health-sharing ministries, Trinity Healthshare, $150,000 and banned it from offering its product to state residents because it was operating as an unauthorized insurer.

In December, Nevada insurance regulators warned consumers to beware of these plans. “They may seem enticing because they may be cheap, look and sound like they are in compliance with the Affordable Care Act (‘A.C.A.’), when in reality these plans are not even insurance products,” the department said.

The Texas attorney general brought a lawsuit last summer against Aliera Healthcare, which marketed Trinity’s ministry program, to stop it from offering “unregulated insurance products to the public.” The Houston Chronicle featured one couple who was left with more than $100,000 in unpaid medical bills. Trinity said most members are satisfied with its services.

Aliera, which says it has stopped offering its plans in Texas, said it is working with regulators to resolve their concerns. The company says it has taken steps to make sure its customers are not confused about what they are buying.


The rest of the article is no less puke inducing.
" 'Individual conscience' means that women only get contraceptives if their employers, their physicians, their pharmacists, their husbands and/or fathers, pastors, and possibly their mayors, Governors, State Secretaries of Health, Congressmen, Senators, and President all agree that in that particular case they're justifiable." --D.C. Sessions

"That's the problem with being implacable foes - no one has any incentive to treat you as anything more than an obstacle to be overcome."

"The 'Road to Serfdom' is really all right turns." --Progressive Whisperer

""The GOP ... where every accusation is also a confession." --Progressive Whisperer

#3491 golden_valley

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Posted 06 January 2020 - 12:14 PM

View PostLFC, on 06 January 2020 - 11:51 AM, said:

The premise of this story could have easily been the basis for a piece in The Onion or Babylon Bee. Instead it's reality in Republican America.




The rest of the article is no less puke inducing.

My yoga instructor was part of one of these things. She bragged about the cheapness and of how smart the plan was to demand that her husband lose weight. Oh and they needed a letter from their pastor to show they were in good standing.

#3492 LFC

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Posted 08 January 2020 - 04:14 PM

The is what the best health system in the world looks like if you believe Republicans.

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The United States health care system is by far the world's most expensive – not just in total but per person served. Bureaucratic costs are the single largest reason, and a new study reveals the scale. In 2017, Americans spent an estimated $812 billion on paperwork associated with medical care, either through direct payments or taxes, on top of the actual costs of being treated. Even worse, its proportion is growing.

The figure comes from a study published in the highly influential Annals of Internal Medicine. On average, each American spends $2,479, so that bits of paper concerning their health coverage can be shuffled around, a figure separate from corporate profits made in the process. Canadians, who the study used as a sort of control, spend less than a quarter of that.

The largest American component, $933, is in hospital administration costs. That's an average, including millions of people who didn't set foot in a hospital all year. Naturally, no hospital runs for free, but north of the border, the cost is just $196 per Canadian. It's a lot cheaper dealing with one (government) insurer than with dozens of competing private firms desperate to pay as seldom as possible, let alone extract payments from the uninsured.

Meanwhile, the overheads of the insurers themselves cost Americans $844 per person. For Canadians, that's $146.

" 'Individual conscience' means that women only get contraceptives if their employers, their physicians, their pharmacists, their husbands and/or fathers, pastors, and possibly their mayors, Governors, State Secretaries of Health, Congressmen, Senators, and President all agree that in that particular case they're justifiable." --D.C. Sessions

"That's the problem with being implacable foes - no one has any incentive to treat you as anything more than an obstacle to be overcome."

"The 'Road to Serfdom' is really all right turns." --Progressive Whisperer

""The GOP ... where every accusation is also a confession." --Progressive Whisperer

#3493 LFC

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Posted 10 January 2020 - 06:21 PM

William Barr continues to be a partisan piece of shit that views the DOJ as nothing more than another political lever. By all means let's dictate the timing of a Supreme Court decision on political advantage and disadvantage. It's not like they're a department designed to serve Americans, not a political party.

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The Justice Department and several red states urged the Supreme Court on Friday not to expedite its consideration of a major anti-Obamacare lawsuit coming out of Texas, as Democratic state attorneys general and the U.S. House requested last week.

The Friday filings argued that the Supreme Court should hold off intervening in the case until an appeals court came to a final decision on whether the Affordable Care Act must be dismantled now that Congress has eliminated the individual mandate’s tax penalty.

Last month, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 5th Circuit side with the Trump administration, Texas and other red states in ruling that the mandate was now unconstitutional due to the 2017 GOP tax law. However, the appeals court ordered the district court to re-examine its decision on how that effected the rest of the health care law; U.S. District Judge Reed O’Connor, siding with the Justice Department, had previously ruled that the whole law must be go down with the mandate.

The appeals court ruling had the effect of delaying any major blow to Obamacare for at least several more months, taking political pressure off of President Trump and Republicans to come up with a replacement before the 2020 election.

The Justice Department’s filing Friday essentially told that the Supreme Court it shouldn’t do anything to get in the way of that timeline.

" 'Individual conscience' means that women only get contraceptives if their employers, their physicians, their pharmacists, their husbands and/or fathers, pastors, and possibly their mayors, Governors, State Secretaries of Health, Congressmen, Senators, and President all agree that in that particular case they're justifiable." --D.C. Sessions

"That's the problem with being implacable foes - no one has any incentive to treat you as anything more than an obstacle to be overcome."

"The 'Road to Serfdom' is really all right turns." --Progressive Whisperer

""The GOP ... where every accusation is also a confession." --Progressive Whisperer

#3494 D. C. Sessions

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Posted 10 January 2020 - 08:32 PM

View PostLFC, on 10 January 2020 - 06:21 PM, said:

William Barr continues to be a partisan piece of shit that views the DOJ as nothing more than another political lever. By all means let's dictate the timing of a Supreme Court decision on political advantage and disadvantage. It's not like they're a department designed to serve Americans, not a political party.

Why else does SCOTUS have a "Trump Docket?"
The way a lot of catastrophes happen is that X doesn't occur because there are safeguards in place, therefore people assume X isn't a worry and they remove the safeguards. Then X happens.
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#3495 LFC

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Posted 14 January 2020 - 06:35 PM

Once again California is way out in front in trying to solve problems that the federal government should be dealing with.

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California could become the first state to introduce its own brand of generic prescription drugs in an effort to drag down stratospheric healthcare costs.

The plan for state-branded drugs is part of California Gov. Gavin Newsom’s budget proposal, which he is expected to unveil Friday, January 10.

“A trip to the doctor’s office, pharmacy or hospital shouldn’t cost a month’s pay,” Newsom said in a statement. “The cost of healthcare is just too damn high, and California is fighting back.”

A plan for California to sell its own drugs would “take the power out of the hands of greedy pharmaceutical companies,” Newsom said, according to the Associated Press.

Under the plan, the state would contract with one or more generic drug companies, which would manufacture select prescription drugs under a state-owned label, according to an overview of the plan reported by the Los Angeles Times. Those state generics would presumably be offered to Californians at a lower price than current generics, which could spark more competitive pricing in the market overall.


They're not the only ones taking this track. Expect Republicans to do everything in their power to shut efforts like this down.

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If the plan moves forward, California would be the first state to have its own drug label. But it’s not the first to try to thwart the current drug market. As the Times notes, over 1,000 hospitals in 46 states banded together in 2018 with philanthropies to form a nonprofit drug-making venture called Civica Rx. The company manufactures generic injectable drugs used in hospitals, offering lower prices and stable supplies.

In October, it delivered its first generic drug, the antibiotic Vancomycin Hydrochloride, which had been subject to shortages. “This first delivery demonstrates the Civica model in action and is a dream come true,” Martin VanTrieste, president and CEO of Civica Rx, said in a statement at the time. “We thank our founding philanthropies for prioritizing accessible and affordable healthcare.”

The company has since shipped several other essential medicines, including the blood thinner heparin and the opioid overdose rescue drug, naloxone.


BTW there's a link on that page to an article on the "authorized generics" scam that big pharma companies are engaged in to keep their prices and profits up.
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