Category Archives: Poli-kicks

CHIP Reauthorization

Congress last-last-last-minute renewing CHIP for 6 years (instead of the CBO-recommended 10 years) feels like the ice cream cone your dad buys you after telling you how bad he feels that you made him beat you up.

Good governing, guys.

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On Medicaid Work Requirements

As expected, and I’m shocked they took this long, Donald Duck’s administration announced that they will allow states to institute work requirements for Medicaid recipients.

A few panic-staving reminders: Continue reading

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Single Payer NOW!

Kaiser Health News sent an intrepid reporter to uncover just how utopian, on a scale from the Trump White House to Star Trek: The Next Generation, Canada’s single-payer health care system is.

Turns out it’s about Gilmore Girls utopian: some obvious inequities (where’re the people of color in Rory’s Yale??) but, in general, a heartening collective belief in shared values.  Continue reading

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That CDC Orwellian News

Daniel Engber wrote a clarifying response to the panicmongering about the Center for Disease Control (CDC) self-censoring certain flashpoint words like “evidence-based” and “vulnerable” from their internal documentation. Engber suggests (based on National Review reporting) that CDC employees are circulating rhetorical tips on bolstering the chances that their program funding will survive. Paranoid public health officials are telling each other to replace certain snowflake boogeywords with GOP-friendlier jargon.

A government Pee-Yew-rocrat myself, I buy this argument. We have to sell our programs to hostile electeds, so we’ll use whatever tricks we can. “These are not the general fund line items you are looking for.”   Continue reading

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Peter Thiel’s Herpes Problem

A medical researcher dying of cancer, William Halford, couldn’t get institutional approval to run trials on a herpes vaccine that he designed. So he got cash from anti-government bully Peter Thiel to run rogue experiments in St Kitts. A year later, many participants in these trials are sick, possibly from the experimental vaccine. One participant believes that instead of curing the herpes he had, he contracted an entirely new strain of the disease. But they have no clear legal recourse because the experiment happened outside any system of regulation. And Halford died in June.  Continue reading

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Tis the Season, The #metoo Season

Just about all women I know have gone about their dailies, walking down the street, talking to a colleague at a conference bar, filing some paperwork, and had an anvil fall on their heads: I am not a person. I’m a collection of parts to be used by others. I am breasts and a vagina, and sometimes also an ass.

My deepest wish for this chaotic #metoo season is that our culture finally understands the depth of trauma sexual harassment incurs. That we stop making women feel like they should, if they’re strong and good and right enough, shake it off, suck it up, and hold it in. That their violation wasn’t as bad as other women’s, so they don’t need to demand their right to bodily autonomy, nor loudly protest its abrogation. Continue reading

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