Fewer Poor Uninsured After Health Law, Study Finds

Obamacare has been (and continues to be) an unequivocal success story at obtaining health coverage for poor folks in the U.S. according to recent findings by the National Health Interview Survey, confirming earlier polling by Gallup and others:

person signing up for healthcare coverage“In all, about 32 percent of poor Americans were uninsured in 2014, down from 39 percent in 2013. The share of near poor Americans who were uninsured declined to 31 percent from 39 percent.

“In states that expanded Medicaid, the share of people under the age of 65 who were uninsured stood at 10.9 percent in 2014, down from 14.9 percent the year before. In states that did not expand, where uninsured rates were higher to begin with, the share dropped far less, to 16 percent from 18.4 percent in 2013.

“Mr. Levitt said the law seemed to have had a greater effect on the long-term uninsured. The report found that the share of Americans uninsured for more than a year dropped to 9.7 percent from 12.4 percent, compared to a drop of about one percentage point for people who had been uninsured for just part of the past year.”

More at NY Times

Julian Assange on the Trans-Pacific Partnership: Secretive Deal Isn’t About Trade, But Corporate Control

“As negotiations continue, WikiLeaks has published leaked chapters of the secret Trans-Pacific Partnership — a global trade deal between the United States and 11 other countries. The TPP would cover 40 percent of the global economy, but details have been concealed from the public. A recently disclosed ‘Investment Chapter’ highlights the intent of U.S.-led negotiators to create a tribunal where corporations can sue governments if their laws interfere with a company’s claimed future profits.”

Julian Assange on the TPP

More at Democracy Now!

All Wound Up: Review of Bacigalupi’s “The Windup Girl”

Cover of "The Windup Girl"I was so inspired by yesterday’s Queer Science Fiction and Fantasy (QSF&F) Book Club meeting that I published a review of “The Windup Girl”! I’d love to read your comments about the review.

California Election Recommendations for May 19, 2009

The California legislature authorized this unnecessary special election in a special deal with Republicans in the state. All of the propositions are pernicious because they would negatively impact spending for human services in the state while not doing anything to cut spending in the areas where it makes sense.

Here are my recommendations:

1A: NO (this is the most important one to oppose because the spending cap would permanently hamper the ability to fund human services programs in California)

1B: Maybe (only goes into effect if 1A passes in which case it might help with preserving some education funding)

1C: No (promotes lottery gambling, which has a disproportionate negative impact on lower-income people, while providing more funding to lottery consultants and less funding to education programs)

1D: No (removes early childhood program funding)

1E: No (removes mental health program funding)

1F: No (constitutional limits to legislator pay increases do nothing to solve the budget crisis… we can always vote them out if they vote to increase their pay inappropriately)

Budget propositions I’d like to see on the ballot this fall that would actually help solve the budget crisis:

  • Reduce the percentage of votes required to pass a budget and/or raise taxes in the legislature from 2/3 to 55%.
  • Get rid of prop 13 property tax limits for corporate real estate
  • Limit 3 strikes to violent crimes
  • Legalize and tax marijuana
  • Single payer health care
  • Tax oil extraction (if the oil companies are permitted do it)
  • Corporate tax based on executive compensation and bonuses