Shutdown fears spur horse-trading | TheHill


Democrats have offered to agree to an additional $15 billion in military funding as part of a spending package to keep the government operating if Republicans in Congress agree to fund ­ObamaCare insurer subsidies.

Signing off on the Democratic offer would avert a government shutdown set to begin Saturday.

It would ensure that the reimbursements to health insurers would continue, preventing what could be a mass exit from the exchanges.

Source: Shutdown fears spur horse-trading | TheHill

Dahr Jamail | Great Barrier Reef Reaches “Terminal Stage” as CO2 Levels Rise at Record Rate


Several weeks later Eyewitness News in Australia reported on scientists giving the GBR a “terminal prognosis” unless ACD (anthropogenic climate disruption) is slowed dramatically.

By April, scientists were in shock, realizing that two-thirds of the entire reef was now bleached out. Some of them declared the GBR (Great Barrier Reef) had reached a “terminal stage,” describing the situation as “unprecedented.”

Thanks to ACD, Earth has lost approximately half of all its coral reefs in just the last three decades. A quarter of all marine species depend on reefs. Reefs provide the sole source of protein for more than one billion people, and they are now vanishing before our eyes.

Source: Dahr Jamail | Great Barrier Reef Reaches “Terminal Stage” as CO2 Levels Rise at Record Rate

Trump’s 100 days: What we’ve learned | TheHill


Three months into his presidency, though, Trump has found out the hard way that governing the country is the toughest job he’s ever held.

Trump has marveled at the complexity of the thorny issues he’s tackled as commander in chief, from Syria and China to his effort to overhaul the nation’s healthcare system.

“Nobody knew healthcare could be so complicated,” Trump proclaimed in February.

Source: Trump’s 100 days: What we’ve learned | TheHill

I used to support legalizing all drugs. Then the opioid epidemic happened. | Vox


This was exactly what anti-legalization activists have warned about: Companies got a hold of a dangerous, addictive product, marketed it irresponsibly, and lobbied for lax rules. The government’s regulatory response floundered. The government even worked with the drug companies in some cases — under the influence of lobbying, campaign donations, and drugmaker-funded advocacy groups. And people got addicted and died.

Looking at this crisis, it slowly but surely dawned on me: Maybe full legalization isn’t the right answer to the war on drugs.

Source: I used to support legalizing all drugs. Then the opioid epidemic happened. – Vox

The Grim Biology of Being Poor


.. new evidence is emerging suggesting the changes can go even deeper—to how our bodies assemble themselves, shifting the proportions of types of cells that they are made from, and maybe even how our genetic code is expressed, playing with it like a Rubik’s cube thrown into a running washing machine.

If this science holds up, it means that poverty is more than just a socioeconomic condition.

It is a collection of related symptoms that are preventable, treatable—and even inheritable. In other words, the effects of poverty begin to look very much like the symptoms of a disease.

Source: The Grim Biology of Being Poor

Private Hospital Inspections May Become Public at Last


The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) wants to require that private health care accreditors publicly detail problems they find during inspections of hospitals and other medical facilities, as well as the steps being taken to fix them. Nearly nine in 10 hospitals are directly overseen by those accreditors, not the government.

There’s increasing concern among regulators that private accreditors aren’t picking up on serious problems at health facilities.

Source: Private Hospital Inspections May Become Public at Last

What’s Going on With the ACA? | Pacific Standard


Now for some not-so-good news: Thanks to insurer exits, there are a number of counties in Tennessee and Iowa that may be at risk of having no insurers participating in the ACA exchanges in 2018.

This is obviously detrimental for those affected counties. As Vox’s Sarah Kliff succinctly reports: “There is no backup plan for places where no insurer wants to sell Obamacare coverage.”

(This, by the way, would be a great time to have a public option around.)

Source: What’s Going on With the ACA? – Pacific Standard

Why being grumpy at work is good for you | Quartz


Research also suggests being forced to fake happiness for long periods of time can cause physical and emotional health problems, from depression to cardiovascular conditions.

“People who focus on being happy actually, over time, become less happy,” Susan David said recently.

Source: Why being grumpy at work is good for you — Quartz

Britain set to lose EU ‘crown jewels’ of banking and medicine agencies | The Guardian


The European Banking Authority and the European Medicines Agency employ about 1,000 people, many of them British, and provide a hub for businesses in the UK.

It is understood that the EU’s chief negotiator hopes the agencies will know their new locations by June, although the process may take longer. Cities such as Frankfurt, Milan, Amsterdam and Paris are competing to take the agencies, which are regarded as among the EU’s crown jewels.

Source: Britain set to lose EU ‘crown jewels’ of banking and medicine agencies | Politics | The Guardian

Trump, A Symptom Of What? A Radical Message From a Half-Century Ago


The Trump era already seems like the most bizarre twist of all, leaving us little choice but to march and rally at a quickening pace for years to come.

A radical revolution in values? Unless you’re thinking of Trump’s plutocrats and environment wreckers, not so much. If anything, the nation once again finds itself facing an exaggerated symptom of a far deeper malady.

Perhaps one day, like the antiwar protestors of 1967, anti-Trump protestors will say: If the American system we live under can create this atrocity, there must be something wrong with the whole thing.

But that’s the future …

Source: Trump, A Symptom Of What? A Radical Message From a Half-Century Ago