ACA Medicaid Expansion Cuts Medical Debt Nearly in Half

Vox.com: “Medicaid expansion doesn’t just provide more people health insurance — it appears to cut medical debt enormously, a new study has found. The Affordable Care Act offered states a huge infusion of federal money to expand Medicaid eligibility to low-income adults, and about 30 states took that deal right away in 2014. Since then, new medical debt in those states has fallen 44 percent, a dramatically bigger drop than was seen in the states that refused to expand the program over the same period. Those states showed only a 10 percent decline.”

Missouri Doctor: Locals Getting Vaccinated in Secret to Avoid Harassment

CNN: “The Covid-19 vaccine has become so polarizing that some people in Missouri are getting inoculated in secret for fear of backlash from their friends and family who oppose vaccination, a doctor told CNN on Wednesday.

“‘They’ve had some experience that’s sort of changed their mind from the viewpoint of those in their family, those in their friendship circles or their work circles. And they came to their own decision that they wanted to get a vaccine,’ said Dr. Priscilla Frase, a hospitalist and chief medical information officer at Ozarks Healthcare in West Plains, Missouri. ‘They did their own research on it, and they talked to people and made the decisions themselves,’ Frase told CNN’s Anderson Cooper. ‘But even though they were able to make that decision themselves, they didn’t want to have to deal with the peer pressure or the outbursts from other people about them … ‘giving in to everything.'”

GOP Tea Party Caucus Demands Vote to Oust Speaker Pelosi

Politico: “The conservative House Freedom Caucus is urging Kevin McCarthy to try to boot Nancy Pelosi from her position as speaker, a sign of further escalating tensions after the California Democrat vetoed two of the House Minority Leader’s GOP picks from the Jan. 6 select committee.

“In a letter Friday, the far-right group asked McCarthy to file and bring up a privileged motion by July 31 ‘to vacate the chair and end Nancy Pelosi’s authoritarian reign as Speaker of the House.’

“’Speaker Pelosi’s tenure is destroying the House of Representatives and our ability to faithfully represent the people we are here to serve,’ they write. ‘Republicans, under your leadership, must show the American people that we will act to protect our ability to represent their interests.’

“The motion is all but guaranteed to fail in the Democratic House, but it signals a stewing anger on the right towards the speaker. The Freedom Caucus’ letter indicates that McCarthy would need to initiate the motion, and if he were to do so, it would further escalate partisan acrimony in the House that has remained high, and occasionally gotten personal, since Jan. 6.”

Fascism Doesn’t Pay: Gaetz-Greene Rolling Blunder Tour Is $280k in the Red

Ad for 'America First Rally' with Marjorie Taylor Greene and Matt Gaetz
Ad for ‘America First Rally’ with Marjorie Taylor Greene and Matt Gaetz

The Daily Beast: “At the height of the controversy surrounding Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) and the revelations that he’s under investigation for sex trafficking, Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA) bet big on a nationwide joint fundraising tour with her embattled colleague. But new campaign filings show that not only did the gamble not pay off, but that the much-maligned Republicans actually spent four times as much as they raised.

“Greene, the House GOP’s top fundraiser, is now faced with a decision: She can continue to join forces with her beleaguered ally at the expense of her campaign war chest, or she can cut bait and let Gaetz fend for himself.

“Since Gaetz and Greene kicked off their joint fundraising committee with a May 7 event at The Villages in central Florida, their campaigns and joint fundraising committee have posted a combined loss of $342,000. And according to recent filings with the Federal Election Commission, that joint fundraising effort, ‘Put America First,’ reported only $59,345.54 in contributions.”

Pelosi Rejects Two of McCarthy’s Election-Deniers for Jan. 6 Commission; McCarthy Pulls All five of His Nominees (UPDATED)

*Now McCarthy says that if he doesn’t get his way, he won’t nominate anyone and there will be on select committee:

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-San Francisco) on Wednesday rejected two Republicans picked by GOP leadership to serve on the House committee investigating the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol.
House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Bakersfield) said in response that Republicans will not participate in the investigation unless Pelosi changes her mind.

“House rules give the speaker final say over committee assignments, but the speaker normally defers to the minority leader’s choices of committee members to represent the minority party…

“The committee is scheduled to hold its first meeting July 27. Under the rules, it would have enough members to make a quorum and proceed even if none of McCarthy’s picks served.

[…]

Taxpayer Perks for Some Members of Disgraced Ex-President’s Crime Family Ended July 20

News & Guts: “Wednesday marks six months since Trump’s reluctant departure from The Oval Office. The milestone wipes away certain post-presidency perks, including funding for staff. Gone, too, is Secret Service protection for Trump’s adult children. Trump and his wife Melania are entitled to it for life; Barron, the couple’s 15-year-old son, will be protected by the Secret Service until he’s 16.”

Missouri Legislative Committee Holds Hearing on Bogus Critical Race Theory Fears – No African-Americans Allowed

Kansas City Star: “A Missouri legislative committee on Monday held a hearing on how educators teach K-12 students about race and racism without hearing from any Black Missourians.

No Black parents, teachers or scholars testified to the Joint Committee on Education during the invite-only hearing on critical race theory. Aside from an official from Missouri’s education department, the only people who testified Monday were critics of critical race theory, which is a way of thinking about America’s history through the lens of racism.”

Critical race theory analyzes ways in which racist laws like segregation rules and voter suppression affect the law, culture and politics even after they have been overturned. It is taught in law schools, never in K-12.

Afro-Cuban Proud Boys Leader Pleads Guilty to Burning Black Lives Matter Banner

Enrique Tarrio (CNN)
Enrique Tarrio (CNN)

CNN: “The leader of the far-right Proud Boys pleaded guilty Monday to two misdemeanors stemming from his conduct in Washington, DC, amid violent pro-Donald Trump protests in December. Enrique Tarrio appeared in DC Superior Court to plead guilty to property destruction for burning a Black Lives Matter banner that belonged to a historic Black church in DC. He also pleaded guilty to attempted possession of a high-capacity magazine, a violation of local gun control laws.

“He will be sentenced next month and could face up to one year in jail, though defendants rarely get the maximum penalty. The charges were filed in local DC court and are separate from the sprawling federal investigation into the January 6 Capitol insurrection — during which dozens of Proud Boys stormed the building and have since been charged with conspiracy and other crimes.”

Tarrio’s Wikipedia page describes the Proud Boys as “a far-right, neo-fascist exclusively male organization.” Fascist organizations typically hold strong racist views, which makes Tarrio’s “Afro-Cuban background,” according to Wiki, unusual.

With the Rise of Delta Infections, Gov. DeSantis’ Covid Denial Is a Renewed Threat to Floridians’ Lives

Miami Herald Editorial: “The law [Gov. Ron DeSantis, R-FL] signed in May, SB 2006, gives him the authority to invalidate a local emergency order that ‘unnecessarily restricts individual rights or liberties.’ The governor’s campaign has been selling T-shirts and drink koozies emblazoned with ‘Don’t Fauci my Florida’ — there’s no doubt he would exercise that authority with gusto.

“Miami-Dade’s case rate jumped to 242 per 100,000 people last week from 150 the week before, and test positivity grew from 5.4 percent to 7.4 percent despite the county having the largest percentage of people who have received at least one vaccine dose (75 percent).

“Experts suspect groups with low immunization rates, such as younger people, are behind this surge. But knowing that for sure is hard because the state isn’t releasing county-by-county demographic information on vaccinations. The state also stopped classifying deaths by county, releasing hospital data and reporting coronavirus numbers on a daily basis, switching to weekly reports. That made it harder to get a real picture of the pandemic, but perhaps that’s the intention. Burying Florida’s COVID-19 stats is the governor’s MO, as it was throughout 2020.”