Drip, Drip, Drip

Add Indiana to the list of GOP-controlled states that will expand Medicaid, so long as they don’t have to call it an Obamacare expansion.  Gov. Mike Pence (who may run for prez in 2016) has negotiated an expansion with the feds under his Healthy Indiana Program.  It’s a win-win — the feds get another state to insure people who fall in the ridiculous gap between those who qualify for Medicaid and those who qualify for Obamacare subsidies, and Pence can say it’s different from the Obamacare expansion.  But bottom line, more people get covered.

The arc of the health insurance universe bends slowly, but it’s bending toward coverage.

1062 and All That

GOP Gov. Jan Brewer of Arizona has vetoed Senate Bill 1062, which would have make it okay for businesses to discriminate against gays based on the “religious beliefs” of their owners and employees.  No soup (or wedding cake) for you!

As with Medicaid expansion, I hope other GOP governors will follow Brewer and do the right thing for their citizens.

Also today, a federal court in Texas found that state’s ban on same-sex marriage to be unconstitutional.

Back when I was growing up, right-wingers who saw Communists everywhere in this country wanted those on the left to move to Russia.  I think those on the right who are unhappy here should move to Putin’s Russia.

Punching Down

Gov. Pat McCrory (R-NC) got an employee at a gourmet grocery store, Drew Swope, fired because he said, “Thanks for nothing” to McCrory.  McCrory couldn’t say “Off with his head,” so he settled for “Off with his apron.”  Instead of taking a little criticism, rich and powerful McCrory took Swope’s low-paying job.

If I lived in NC, I’d feel the same as Swope, given the pass that Duke Energy’s dangerous practices are getting from McCrory, who worked for them for almost three decades before becoming governor.

Duke just had the third largest coal ash spill in history.  Of course, the people of NC should have thought twice before they elected a Duke Energy guy.  Specifically, they should have thought about foxes and hen houses.

Obamacare, Depoliticized

From “Over 1 Million Added to Rolls of Health Plan,” Michael D. Shear and Reed Abelson, NYT:

“But industry experts and insurance officials say that the reality is murkier than either party wants to admit and that the numbers at the heart of the national political debate are largely meaningless outside of Washington’s overheated environment.  The determination about whether the law works from an economic standpoint will not be clear for years, when individual insurance companies are finally able to tell whether their expectations about the health of their customers — and the premiums they set for coverage — were accurate.

“And the economic fate of the biggest health care overhaul in decades will be decided state by state, in hundreds of individual markets across the country, not in a theoretical national insurance marketplace that does not really exist.

“‘There’s going to be tremendous variation in the country,’ said Drew Altman, the president and chief executive of the Kaiser Family Foundation.  He said the focus on national numbers, like reaching the target of enrolling seven million people in the first year, ‘never had anything to do with the real success or failure of the law.'”

Sochi Hypocrisy?

WaPo has an interesting story* pointing out that eight U. S. states have so-called “no homo promo” bans in their school curricula that are very much like Russia’s anti-gay laws.  These states — and I’m sure you already guessed some of them — are Alabama, Mississippi, South Carolina, Louisiana, Texas, Arizona, Utah, and Oklahoma.

But I’m still not watching the Olympics because of the dog killing.  You spent $50 billion and you couldn’t build an animal shelter?

* “Eight U. S. states have policies similar to Russia’s ban on gay propaganda,” Niraj Chokski