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Over-the-counter birth control will give young people more control over their health

Daily Kos - Wed, 06/23/2021 - 11:55

This story was originally published at Prism.

By Micaela Gaviola

I was 20 years old the first time I had a conversation with my parents about making an appointment to go to the OB-GYN. My parents were confused and not keen to talk about it—making an appointment didn’t seem necessary in their eyes since I wasn’t sexually active. I wanted to get more information, to take charge of my health, and to plan ahead, so I made the appointment myself. In all other areas of my life, I had been encouraged to be thoughtful, a critical thinker, and to ask questions. But when it came to making an informed decision about my body or to understand anything about my sexual health, it felt like everyone just wanted to keep me in the dark.

Categories: Politics

Ron DeSantis Goes Full McCarthyism

Crooks and Liars - Wed, 06/23/2021 - 11:51

Ron DeSantis is a stupid wanking fascist, but you knew that.

Did you know he wants to "survey" members of the Florida public college community on their political beliefs in order to "encourage diversity"?

Yeah yeah that's totally unconstitutional, and I suspect opinions about Ron DeSantis on college campuses in Florida are fairly lopsided in favor of "what a jackass."

And of course, Ron's "reasoning" for this is based on vague ka-ka he pulled out of some orifice. Tampa Bay Times:

The governor did not name specific state universities or colleges with this problem. He was broad in his accusations about the higher education system and used vague anecdotes to justify the need for such a survey.

For instance, the governor said he “knows a lot of parents” who are worried that their children will be “indoctrinated” when they go off to college, and that universities are promoting “orthodoxies.” But he did not offer specifics on those claims.

As Driftglass said: "This is the Republican Party that Liberals have been warning you about for 40 years."

read more

Categories: Politics

New poll reveals deep, widespread fears over future of U.S. democracy

Daily Kos - Wed, 06/23/2021 - 11:26

There's not many polling questions these days that draw 90%+ agreement, but Americans are united by one central idea: They believe the country should remain a democracy.

A newly released Daily Kos/Civiqs poll found that fully 93% of registered voters said they believed America "should remain a democracy." Just 3% favored "some other form of government," and 4% said they were unsure. 

Categories: Politics

Delusional Traitor Has 'Not Conceded' The Election

Crooks and Liars - Wed, 06/23/2021 - 10:51

The former seditious ex-president joined David Brody on his Steve Bannon QAonon outlet and said he never admitted defeat or conceded the election.

A fascist never does.

However, it appears Trump is slightly less conspiratorial on Fox News, but keeps up the BIG Lie to the QAnon outlets.

Talking to Hannity on June 16, Trump admitted that he lost the 2020 election but bragged that he did much better in voting totals than he did in 2016.

“We didn’t win,” Trump told Hannity.

But to David Brody, he lied.

Speaking in his broken sentence style Trump told Brody, "No, I never admitted defeat."

"All you have to do is read the newspapers and see what's coming out now."

Does anybody know what the f**k he is talking about?

"No I never. The word is concede. I have not conceded," he said, as if anyone gives a damn whether or not he does.

We have a new president whether he concedes or not.

Categories: Politics

Coronavirus Growth in Western Countries: June 22 Update

Kevin Drumm - Wed, 06/23/2021 - 10:39

Sweden suddenly announced 34 new deaths on Tuesday, so apparently someone finally came into the office and plowed through a week's worth of local reports. It's good to see that the Swedish health bureaucracy is finally lumbering back into action.

Here’s the officially reported coronavirus death toll through June 22. The raw data from Johns Hopkins is here.

Categories: Politics

40 Cows Escape L.A. Slaughterhouse, Stampede Neighborhood

Crooks and Liars - Wed, 06/23/2021 - 09:39

A herd of cows that escaped from an L.A. slaughterhouse after someone left a gate open stampeded through the streets of an L.A. neighborhood yesterday. One cow was shot after it charged a family of four, knocking them to the ground. One cow remains on the loose. Via KTLA:.

Footage from Sky5 showed at least 20 cows huddled together at the far end of a cul-de-sac on the 8700 block of Friendship Avenue, about half a mile north of Beverly Boulevard. Several law enforcement vehicles were blocking them in.

One cow sat alone in the middle of the road some distance from the others, near a pool of blood.

Deputies opened fire on one cow after it charged at a family of four, knocking some of them to the ground, according to officials.

“To protect the family from further injury, a Los Angeles County Sheriff’s deputy shot and killed the animal,” the Sheriff’s Department said.

As the cows were being loaded onto trailers last night, three cows escaped and led deputies on a chase across town.

Categories: Politics

A Healthy Primary

Balloon Juice - Wed, 06/23/2021 - 09:23

In the blue urban areas of Western New York, last night’s Democratic primary was the final word in a lot of uncontested races. The news is good.

In the Rochester mayoral primary, Lovely Warren, under indictment for campaign finance violations, her husband waiting to be tried for dealing cocaine, lost in a landslide to a really good candidate, Malik Evans. I didn’t expect a 66/34 outcome in this race. He’s unopposed in the Fall, so he’ll be the next mayor.

In some down-ballot races, a Democratic county legislator accused of sexual harassment, and another Democratic legislator who led a faction that caucused with Republicans were also beat.

In Buffalo, a Democratic Socialist, India Walton, beat four-term mayor Byron Brown. She’s unopposed in the Fall, too. Walton has a hell of a personal story — a single mom of twins at age 14, she became a nurse, a union rep and, now, at age 38, mayor. Brown was a major ally of Andrew Cuomo. Last year’s beatings of demonstrators by Buffalo Police, and the anemic response by Brown, were seen as part of his defeat. Brown didn’t bother to engage at all in the primary and paid the price.

Overall, Democrats turned out and replaced not-so-good incumbents with better challengers. That’s how it should work in areas with one party rule.

The post A Healthy Primary appeared first on Balloon Juice.

Categories: Politics

Protesters gather outside Kyrsten Sinema's office as she refuses to end the filibuster

Daily Kos - Wed, 06/23/2021 - 09:11

Republicans are doing all they can to block a historic voter rights bill. Called the For the People Act, the bill aims to not only set up automatic voter registration but expand early voting, ensure more transparency in political donations, and limit partisan drawing of congressional districts. Republicans are blocking the legislation under the guise that it will increase electoral fraud. Similar claims were made by former President Donald Trump who still refuses to accept his defeat in the 2020 presidential election.

While the House passed its version of the bill in March, the bill is up for a Senate vote, which Republicans consistently vowing to vote against it. In order to advance, the bill will need 60 votes in the Senate. But Republicans are not only the ones who are coming under fire for their stance on the bill. As a legislative filibuster continues, two Democrats are being criticized for refusing to end the filibuster: Joe Manchin of West Virginia and Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona.

Categories: Politics

Houston hospital group fires 153 employees who refused vaccination, and yes, they can do that

Daily Kos - Wed, 06/23/2021 - 09:07

Nobody really should have been surprised about what’s happened at Houston Methodist health care locations. For weeks, it’s been clear that the administration was going to stick to its guns in insisting that all employees be vaccinated. It’s been just as clear that vaccine hesitancy remains high, especially among Republicans. So, what started as a single member of the senior administrative staff being suspended when he refused to take a vaccine, has continued to expand until The Washington Post now reports that 153 people have now resigned or been fired because they would not take a vaccine. 

That sounds like a large number, but considering that the organization has 24,947 employees who did get vaccinated, the ousted group amounts to well below 1% of the staff. However, this case is being examined closely, and made a cause by anti-vax groups, because the argument at the heart of this dispute are already being repeated at locations across the nation. And as schools head back into session for the fall, the precedents being tested here are certain to resurface again and again.

Categories: Politics

UPSET: Socialist Declares Victory In Buffalo's Democratic Mayoral Primary

Crooks and Liars - Wed, 06/23/2021 - 09:05

It's not official yet, but it looks like a primary challenger, endorsed by the Working Families Party and Democratic Socialists of America, beat a four-term Democratic incumbent to become the Democratic nominee and likely next mayor of New York's second-largest city. Via the New York Times:

A progressive challenger running her first campaign was poised on Tuesday to beat Buffalo’s four-term Democratic mayor in a primary upset that would upend the political landscape in New York’s second-biggest city and signal the strength of the party’s left wing.

The challenger, India B. Walton, is a former nurse and community activist who ran with the support of the Democratic Socialists of America and the Working Families Party. She was leading Byron Brown, a longtime member of the Democratic establishment, by 7 percentage points, or about 1,500 votes, as of midnight with all of the in-person ballots counted, according to unofficial results.

Should Ms. Walton, 38, win the primary and then triumph in the general election November — a likely result in heavily Democratic Buffalo — she would be the first socialist mayor of a major American city since 1960, when Frank P. Zeidler stepped down as Milwaukee’s mayor. She would also be the first female mayor in Buffalo’s history.

Categories: Politics

Medicaid managed care entry and ACA premiums

Balloon Juice - Wed, 06/23/2021 - 09:02

At the American Society of Health Economist conference (ASHEcon), Yev Feynman of Boston University has jointly presented some work by myself, Paul Shafer and Yev on the impact on gross and benchmark premiums when Medicaid Managed Care (MMC)companies enter ACA markets.

Why should we care?

MMC are one of the big sectors in the ACA individual market.  We have very good reason to suspect that MMCs are fundamentally different than big commercial insurers like Aetna or Cigna in how they structure their business model and their products and who they have core competency at covering.  We have observed that MMCs have lower quality ratings on a few measures and that their premiums tend to be low.  Some of this may be narrow networks and aggressive utilization and some may be risk skimming on premium.  We are also seeing a massive increase in the number of insurers offering products on the marketplace, so an understanding of what is going on and what to expect by type of insurer may be valuable.

So what happens to both the gross premium level and benchmark premium levels?

Impact of MMC entry on Premiums in the ACA

In our instrumental variable approach we find an obvious thing!

  • Gross premiums go down

This is not surprising.  MMCOs are likely low cost carriers, so this should be  downward pressure on premiums.

More importantly, premiums for a particular type of plan go down even more than the general price level decline.  The benchmark plan is the second cheapest silver plan.  The subsidized population is sensitive to the premium spread between the plan that they choose and the benchmark plan’s premium in order to determine the net premium that they pay.  When the benchmark plan premium increases faster than the general price level, net affordability increases for the subsidized population.  Conversely, when the benchmark plan premium decreases faster than the general price level, net affordability decreases for the subsidized population.  Subsidized buyers who are not buying zero premium plans have a preference towards low price levels except for the benchmark.  This is effectively what happened with Silverloading when that principle is taken to the extreme.

Insurers have a strong incentive to offer either the cheapest or second cheapest silver plan.  Those two plans get most of the Cost-Sharing Reduction (CSR) eligible enrollment, and the CSR-eligible population is most of the enrollment pool.  Plan characteristics such as bigger networks, or better brand unobservables matter a little bit and people are willing to pay for them a little bit, but most of the competition is for people who are buying almost entirely on price.

So on the premium story, the introduction of Medicaid Managed Care into a market means unsubsidized buyers are seeing cheaper plans, the federal government spends a bit less in subsidies on both a direct and likely an indirect path, and subsidized buyers pay a bit more unless they buy the benchmark plan and then they pay the same.


The post Medicaid managed care entry and ACA premiums appeared first on Balloon Juice.

Categories: Politics

Medicaid enrollments surged during pandemic, demonstrating how critical the program is

Daily Kos - Wed, 06/23/2021 - 09:00

Ten million Americans gained health coverage through Medicaid and the Children's Health Insurance Program from February 2020 through January 2021. That's 10 million Americans able to gain and keep affordable health coverage, during a global pandemic, and in large part thanks to the Affordable Care Act and the Medicaid expansion it included. That was a 13.9% increase in enrollments in the program.

That's coverage for a total of 80,543,351 people as of January, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services reports. That included "over 38.3 million children ... enrolled in Medicaid and CHIP combined, approximately 50% of the total Medicaid and CHIP enrollment." That's a big deal.

"The Biden-Harris administration is using every lever to ensure any American needing access to quality health coverage receives it. Now more than ever, people need the peace of mind of knowing that they have health coverage," said Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra. "This report reminds us what a critical program and rock Medicaid continues to be in giving tens of millions of children and adults access to care. This pandemic taught us that now more than ever, we must work to strengthen Medicaid and make it available whenever and wherever it's needed using the unprecedented investments Congress provided."

Categories: Politics

CAUGHT ON VIDEO: Ft. Myers Trooper Tasers Black Teen For Visiting His Girlfriend

Crooks and Liars - Wed, 06/23/2021 - 08:38

So Jack Rodeman, 16, was standing on the back deck of his girlfriend's home. He reached for his phone to text her that he was outside so she could let him in.

And that's when he was tased by a state trooper.

Local news station CBS-12 says the official police report states that the trooper believed he was a "suspicious person" because he was wearing all black clothing. The trooper also said he "darted" and hid.

So the trooper said he was forced to tase the kid because he refused to put his hands behind his back. The kid protests, "I didn't do nothing!" (Because he didn't.) The trooper tases him and he falls to the ground.

Girlfriend's parents have surveillance video.

You can see the girlfriend coming outside, where she presumably told the trooper Rodeman was her boyfriend.

The teen is being detained for 21 days for resisting arrest and possession of marijuana. He was on probation.

UPDATE: Thanks to commenter Pocatello for pointing out the errors in the original post.

Categories: Politics

Steven Crowder Cancels Himself From Debate With Liberal Sam Seder

Crooks and Liars - Wed, 06/23/2021 - 08:35

Right-wing bully Steven Crowder got the mockery he deserved after he turned and ran from a debate with The Majority Report's Sam Seder.

If you’re not familiar with Crowder, he’s a former Fox News contributor and “comic” who lost his contract for being offensive and obnoxious, such as making jokes about rape-survivor Ashley Judd being “obsessed” with rape. He’s also a racist who has been suspended indefinitely from monetizing his YouTube videos after promoting election lies.

Crowder had been demanding that YouTuber Ethan Klein debate him. Vice explains:

Ostensibly, Crowder loves to debate and, for the past few weeks, he’d been calling out Klein and demanding the two match wits on air. Klein is an old-school YouTuber who produces podcasts and shows, much of it about the YouTube community and its drama. By his own admission, Klein isn’t a debater but he agreed to debate Crowder.

read more

Categories: Politics

New Daily Kos/Civiqs poll: Majority of Americans very worried we're becoming less of a democracy

Daily Kos - Wed, 06/23/2021 - 08:05

The best antidote to hot takes is hard data, and the latest Daily Kos/Civiqs poll is here with your cure. This survey of 1,416 registered voters was conducted online from June 19-22 and finds that a staggering 87% of Americans are worried that the United States is becoming less of a democracy (61% very worried, 26% somewhat worried). Fully one-half of Americans view the new voting laws being passed by Republican legislators in many states as an attack on American democracy.

Categories: Politics

Morning Digest: How the GOP collapse in Denver's suburbs has put Colorado Democrats in firm control

Daily Kos - Wed, 06/23/2021 - 08:00

The Daily Kos Elections Morning Digest is compiled by David Nir, Jeff Singer, Matt Booker, and Carolyn Fiddler, with additional contributions from David Jarman, Steve Singiser, Daniel Donner, James Lambert, David Beard, and Arjun Jaikumar.

Leading Off

Pres-by-LD: Daily Kos Elections has calculated the 2020 presidential results for every state Senate and state House district in Colorado, a one-time swing state that has shifted sharply to the left over the last few years. You can find all of our district-level data nationwide at this bookmarkable permalink.

Joe Biden beat Donald Trump by a wide 55-42 margin last year, which was the best Democratic performance at the top of the ticket since Lyndon Johnson's 1964 landslide. Unsurprisingly, Democrats also maintained their majorities in both chambers of the legislature.

Categories: Politics

This week on The Brief: Young voters, corporate accountability, and canceling student loan debt

Daily Kos - Wed, 06/23/2021 - 08:00

Last election cycle, Democrats were able to capture the trifecta of the White House, the U.S. House, and the U.S. Senate by thin margins. On this week’s episode of The Brief, hosts Markos Moulitsas and Kerry Eleveld break down the fragile coalition—young people, people of color, and LGBTQ folks—Democrats pulled together to eke out victory in 2020 and why losing just one of those groups could spell doom for their prospects in 2022 and 2024. In particular, a surge in turnout among young voters (aged 18-29) made a huge difference in deciding the presidential election and several competitive downballot races in 2020. Guest Ben Wessel, former executive director of NextGen America and a passionate advocate for increasing the youth vote, joined to offer his thoughts on how and why we can get more young Americans involved as reliable voters and activists.

Categories: Politics

Wednesday Morning Open Thread: Nevertheless, Life Goes On

Balloon Juice - Wed, 06/23/2021 - 07:58

I think the whole world — as well as many of us — feels worn-down, touchy, gun-shy. There was that moment in May when it seemed like vaccination might finally loosen the global pandemic’s grip… and then came Variant Delta.

Maybe we can envision this as the second part of a trilogy, where the clean opening arcs are smudged by narrative complications. Can we start the third, triumphant arc over the summer, beginning on Independence Day?

The post Wednesday Morning Open Thread: Nevertheless, Life Goes On appeared first on Balloon Juice.

Categories: Politics

Mike’s Blog Round-Up

Crooks and Liars - Wed, 06/23/2021 - 07:56

Sometimes, all the the hot-button issues —that our polite parents told us to avoid— converge:

Bark Bark Woof Woof tells us that Las Vegas Raiders defensive lineman Carl Nassib became the first active NFL player in history to announce that he is gay.

Eschaton reports that the Surpemos did good for a change: NCAA lost the right to get rich off of uncompensated labor, bigly.

Liberals are Cool has a hashtag on #LateStageCapitalism that points out an inherent flaw in Wingnuttia's argument of life under socialism.

Bonus Track: Miss Cellania shames the Fat Cats!

For 17 years, Mike’s Blog Round-Up has been part of Crooks and Liars. If you can contribute to the fundraiser, you will be helping to amplifying the voices of diverse bloggers that we do at Mike’s Blog Round-Up. Thank you for your consideration.

Categories: Politics

More Younger Evangelicals Have Had It With Right-Wing Culture War

Crooks and Liars - Wed, 06/23/2021 - 07:55

Terry Shoemaker, Arizona State University

Since the 1970s, white American evangelicals – a large subsection of Protestants who hold to a literal reading of the Bible – have often managed to get specific privileges through their political engagement primarily through supporting the Republican Party.

In the 1980s, President Ronald Reagan symbolically consolidated the alliance by bringing religious freedom and morality into public conversations that questioned the separation of church and state. In 2003, President George W. Bush signed the Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act into law. In October 2020, President Donald Trump appointed a conservative evangelical, Amy Coney Barrett, to the Supreme Court, and went on to win 80% of the white evangelical vote in the following month’s election.

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Categories: Politics