Obamacare and Drug Abuse

From a Wall Street Journal op-ed, come a couple of very telling statistics regarding the opioid addiction epidemic.

…overdose deaths per million residents rose twice as fast in the 29 Medicaid expansion states—those that increased eligibility to 138% from 100% of the poverty line—than in the 21 non-expansion states between 2013 and 2015.

And

There were also marked disparities between neighboring states based on whether they opted into ObamaCare’s Medicaid expansion. Deaths increased twice as much in New Hampshire (108%) and Maryland (44%)—expansion states—than in Maine (55%) and Virginia (22%). Drug fatalities shot up by 41% in Ohio while climbing 3% in non-expansion Wisconsin.

We’ll See

In an unprecedented move against North Korea, China on Monday issued an order to carry out the United Nations sanctions imposed on the rogue regime earlier this month.

Of course, in the days immediately following the first meeting between President Donald Trump and the People’s Republic of China President Xi Jinping, just after Trump’s inauguration, the PRC acted like it was going to start honoring then-existing sanctions against northern Korea.

That turned out to be just an act.  Is the present “order” serious, or is it just another empty gesture?

We’ll see, indeed.

Rule of Law

The DC Circuit Court stacked by President Barack Obama (D) seems to be iffy on the thing.  In an appeal concerning whether the monies the Federal government pays to health care plan providers as subsidies so the plan providers will hold down premiums and deductibles can actually be paid—the funds never were appropriated by Congress, so the payments aren’t legitimate, ruled the trial court—the Circuit Court ruled in part:

The States have shown a substantial risk that an injunction requiring termination of the payments at issue here…would lead directly and imminently to an increase in insurance prices, which in turn will increase the number of uninsured individuals for whom the States will have to provide health care[.]

A Bit More on Health Care Coverage

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.

Obamacare and Choice

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.

YGTBSM

Yet again.  This one is from Watts Up With That.

A bloke bought a sheep property of half a million acres in western Queensland for $2.0 million. Instead of running sheep on it, he now gets $350,000 per annum under the federal government’s Direct Action scheme for not using the grass on his property. The idea being that the grass locks up carbon and reduces Australia’s carbon emissions. A neighbouring property gets $600,000 per annum.

Sanctions and Wariness

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).

Germany is “wary” of those sanctions.

The Betrayal of Lisa Murkowski

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.

Republicans and Obamacare

In a Wall Street Journal editorial about Republican Senators’ timorous attitude toward actual repeal and replace of Obamacare now that what they do matters, the editors had this remark toward the end of their piece:

One vote to watch would repeal ObamaCare with a two-year window to replace it, which is similar to a bill that 51 Senate Republicans voted for in 2015. We’ll see how many have changed their minds.

We’ll see how many have changed their minds.  The rest of that sentence is this: …now that their vote has actual consequences, and they can’t hide behind their virtue signaling.

International Censorship

France wants to enforce a “right to be forgotten” law (recently enacted by the EU that allows persons to demand publicly available information about them to be erased from links in search engine results) inside other nations than the EU membership—inside the United States, for instance.  Google, et al., is demurring, and France has taken the matter to the EU’s highest administrative court, the Court of Justice.

The case will help determine how far EU regulators can go in enforcing the bloc’s strict new privacy law….