Senator Susan Collins (R, ME) is worried about health care plan availability to our poor, which she thinks would be endangered were President Donald Trump to act on his thoughts regarding cutting off the funds the Feds pay to health coverage plan providers to get them to charge (artificially) lower deductibles and copays from the poor.
It really would be detrimental to some of the most vulnerable citizens if those payments were cut off. They’re paid to the insurance companies, but the people that they benefit are people who make between 100% and 250% of the poverty rate.
There are 3,142 counties and equivalents (Louisiana has parishes, Alaska has boroughs, three States each have an independent city, Virginia has 38 of them, and State of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations does things entirely differently) in the US.
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services expects that 40 of those counties will have no health care coverage plan providers at all in 2018, and 1,332 of those counties—over 40% of them—will have only one such provider.
Richard Whitmire, a contributor to The 74, offered some information that might bear on the question in his piece in The Wall Street Journal. The National Education Association and the NAACP both oppose charter schools, the one because they don’t use union teachers and the other because they attract poor kids to charters and away from inner city public schools in which the NAACP is so politically invested. In other words, because as Whitmire put it, charters upset the comfortable status quo of these adults.
Congress has passed and sent to President Donald Trump a bill that increases sanctions against Russia, particularly its energy sector, and against Iran and northern Korea. It also adds limits Trump’s ability (and State’s) to ratchet those sanctions up or down in real time in response to Russian—or Iranian or northern Korean—behavior, a fillip that adds a question to whether he’ll sign it (his veto likely would only delay the thing; the bill was passed with veto-proof majorities in both houses).
Lisa Murkowki is a Republican Senator from Alaska who voted against even opening debate on repeal and replace of Obamacare.
Murkowski has betrayed her constituents. She betrayed them this week by trying to block debate on repeal and replace. Or, she betrayed her constituents when she lied to them in 2015 with her vote in favor of repeal in the full knowledge that her vote didn’t matter because then-President Barack Obama (D) would veto the matter.
LtGen James Abrahamson, USAF (Ret) and Ambassador Henry Cooper, who were directors on President Ronald Reagan’s Strategic Defense Initiative, had some thoughts on this in their recent Wall Street JournalLetter to the Editor.
Brilliant Pebbles, the space-based interceptor we advocated, promised a high probability of kill (over 90%) of all of a “limited” strike of up to 200 attacking re-entry vehicles—the number then controlled by a Russian submarine commander. It’s better than anything we have today. It became the SDI era’s first formally approved ballistic-missile defense system, with a validated cost estimate of $10 billion in 1988 dollars (now $20 billion) for concept definition and validation, development, deployment and 20 years operation of that constellation of 1,000 Brilliant Pebbles. This isn’t expensive….
It’s already paying dividends for the EU in the form of potentially extensive free market reforms as the continent begins to compete with a freed Great Britain for commerce. Here are some doings in the competition for the financial industry currently centered in Great Britain.
France has promised changes to cut labor costs and Italy is changing its tax regime to make it less burdensome for bankers and other professionals. Spain’s markets regulator is trying to make Madrid more international by hiring native English speakers to revise and edit all communication the agency sends out in English.
Is technology—automation—really going to kill jobs? No. As many, including me, have written before, automation is only going to shift the nature of jobs. Minimum wage laws are killing jobs, and will continue to and at increasing rates, by making robots cost effective despite their high up-front costs.
Wal-Mart, for instance, used to employ humans to track individual stores’ cash and manage their books. Now at roughly 4,700 Wal-Marts, roughly 4,700 of those employees have been replaced by a machine that can track the books and while counting bills and coins at rates of 480 and 3,000 per minute, respectively. Because it’s Wal-Mart, those folks, where they’ve wanted to, have taken jobs elsewhere in their store at the same pay, but those jobs are at risk, too. Cashiers are being replaced by automated check-out stands, for instance.