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Healthcare

Despite Trump's Slasher-Flick Attacks, Obamacare Still Undead!

Happy Open-Enrollmentween!

Open Enrollment for 2019 coverage under Obamacare starts today, and despite all the Trump administration's attempts to kill it, the Affordable Care Act just keeps chugging along. Thanks to the constant efforts to undermine the program (and especially the Supreme Court's decision to let states opt out of Medicaid expansion), the ACA isn't covering as many people as it could have, but there's some definite good news to be found this year. For one thing, Obamacare is still alive and kicking, and most Americans have a far more positive opinion of it than of, say, the Big Fat Tax Cut for Rich Fuckwads. For another, thanks both to the ACA's built-in mechanisms to contain consumer costs, most people who qualify for premium subsidies are still able to find affordable insurance, and after a couple years of uncertainty, insurers are actually finding the marketplace plans still bringing in decent, steady business. So hooray, and make sure you update your coverage if you don't have insurance through work!

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Healthcare

New Trumpcare Twist: Screw Those Preexisting Condition Protections Republicans Are Running On

Naw, that was all a lie anyway, so this is fine. It's all fine.

With two weeks to go before election day, Donald Trump's Department of Health and Human Services dropped some new rules designed to further undermine Obamacare by allowing states to sell healthcare plans that don't protect people with preexisting conditions. Why, yes, that is the same administration led by the guy who tweeted last week that "All Republicans support people with pre-existing conditions, and if they don't, they will after I speak to them." It's just that when Rs "support" people with pre-existing conditions, that means they send thoughts and prayers, not any actual protections against higher rates or coverage exclusions. Let's Wonksplain this latest step in the Republicans' delightful plan to "expand" insurance coverage that covers very, very little.

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Science

Arizona Vaccine Education Program Dead Of Stupid People, Also Polio

Seems like a rash decision.

In a move that doesn't surprise this former Arizona resident in the least, health officials in Arizona have killed off an online vaccine education program after some anti-vaxxer parents complained about its very existence. The state that brought us the political careers of Evan Goddamned Mecham, Joe Arpaio, Jan Brewer, Kelli Ward, and Congressman Paul Gosar, DDS, has once again lowered the bar and is now looking at Florida, Texas, and Idaho, just daring them to try something even more craven. Sad thing is, someone's bound to top this almost immediately.

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Post-Racial America

The Andrew Gillum/Ron DeSantis MURRRRRDER Debate, Pt. Deux!

It's a special Florida gov debate Sunday Rundown!

Hello Wonks! Welcome to a very special Sunday Rundown as we cover some moments from the CNN's "The Florida Governor's Debate." Did Stephen already write this up? Well you can't over-cover a MURRRRDERRRR.

Moderated by Sunday Rundown favorite Jake Tapper, the debate was the very definition of contrast, from the calm and precise demeanor of Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum to the more frantic and misleading nervousness of Congressman Ron DeSantis. It was a debate in which Andrew Gillum showed why he should be the next governor of Florida. You know besides that WE LURVE HIM and RON DESANTIS SUX GOATBALLS. Highlights forthwith!

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Science

For F*ck's Sake! Get Your Damn Flu Shot, You Stupid Baby!

Seriously. I'm a scientist. Do as I say.

No, the flu vaccine doesn't cause autism. It doesn't cause the flu either. Oh, you're worried about the "mercury" (thimerosal, actually, not pure mercury, but just being a science dick) or the formaldehyde in the vaccine that will end up being injected into you? Let's take the scary mercury one first. That's used as a preservative for multi-use vaccine vials. If you get a single shot vaccine, it won't have it. If you get one that has it, it is in really small amounts, you nervous Nelly. You'll get the same amount of mercury in one shot as there is in three ounces of tuna fish. If you eat any tuna at all this year, you're getting more mercury in your sandwich or spicy tuna roll than in the one vaccination that might prevent you ACTUALLY DYING from the flu. Yes, healthy people die too. More on that in a bit, but back to formaldehyde. That chemical is used during manufacture of the vaccine in the process to kill the virus, and YES they kill the virus and NO you aren't getting live virus which is why the shot can't give you the flu. The level of formaldehyde in the shot you get is less than the naturally occurring amount of formaldehyde you ALREADY have in your body. Ah, you didn't know you have formaldehyde naturally occurring in you? Now you do, bitches! Okay, so lead paragraph complete and we can check off "safety covered," right? Paragraph two is the scare campaign, so let's get to it.

How many people die from the flu each year in the USA? Well, we don't know for sure, but the CDC estimated 10,000 to 14,000 people died in the 2015/16 flu season with ~60% of those being 65 or older, but that still leaves some 4000 to 6000 younger folks with mostly preventable flu related deaths. Does that seem like a lot? Yes, it does, but last year the estimate was ~80,000 dead due to the flu, the deadliest year since 1976, or basically since we started counting. You don't REALLY want to help break the record again this year. Get your damn shot.

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Russia

'We Got A Great Big Convoy.' Wonkagenda For Mon. Oct. 22, 2018

Turkey's got tapes, there's more Russian hacking, and a caravan immigrants. Your morning news brief!

Morning Wonketariat! Here's some of the things we may be talking about today.

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2018 State and Local Elections

Republicans Suddenly Love Everything About Obamacare Except For the 'Obama' & 'Care' Parts

Don't fall for their BS.

For a while now, the one thing we could count on from Republicans is that they hated the Affordable Care Act. They hated it so much they called it "Obamacare," a term first used derisively by Mitt Romney in 2007.

"Let me tell ya, if we don't do [something about health care], the Democrats will," warns Republican Mitt Romney. "And if the Democrats do it, it'll be socialized medicine. It will be government-managed care. It'll be what's known as Hillary-care or Barack Obama-care or whatever you want to call it."

It was easy enough to run against the imaginary horrors Republicans claimed the ACA would inflict -- endless waits to see a doctor like in Canada, with all their poutine-related health issues, or the nightmarish "death panels" Sarah Palin invented -- but once the Affordable Care Act started actually providing Americans with affordable health care, things got tricky. Oh, Republicans still tried to strip coverage away from tens of millions of people, but shockingly they weren't greeted as liberators. Trying to kill your constituents is really unpopular, even in red states where they might've happily died from treatable ailments to spite Barack Obama, but the guy's not even president anymore so where's the fun in that.

Republicans had hoped to sweep their attempted mass murder under the rug and just barrel through midterms, but polls show that health care remains a top issue with voters. Bummer. Oh well, they still have their tried and true electoral strategy of lying their asses off in a shameless insult of our intelligence and short-term memories.

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Healthcare

Mitch McConnell Knows Who Is To Blame For Deficit: Grandma Millie And Her Oxygen Machine

Maybe another great big tax cut would fix this.

Mitch McConnell staked out bold territory in an interview with Bloomberg News published Tuesday, explaining that with Republicans in control of the White House, House and Senate, there's almost certainly no possibility they'll ever take any action to control the debt and deficit, because obviously Republicans only worry about deficits when Democrats are running things. But at least he was clear on one thing: The main reason the USA has a deficit problem is that we simply can't afford Medicare and Social Security, and by golly, the Republicans' $1.5 trillion tax cut last year contributed NOTHING to the debt, because duh, tax cuts are good and "entitlements" are bad, don't you know anything about economics?

Echoing Paul Ryan over the summer (and last winter ... and the winter before that ... and 2012 ...) McConnell insisted that with Washington Politicians unwilling to stick to a budget (like, say, passing a $1.5 trillion tax cut), there just doesn't seem to be the will for bipartisan deficit cutting, because it would have to be bipartisan, don't you understand?

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2018 State and Local Elections

'Guilty Until Proven Innocent.' Wonkagenda For Wed., Oct. 17, 2018

Trump does more interviews, voter suppression is already happening, and Canada legalized weed. Your morning news brief.

Morning Wonketariat! Here's some of the things we may be talking about today.

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Culture

Five Other Stories Today That Are Not Kanye West At The White House

The not giving a fuck is strong with us today.

Because Yr Wonkette loves you very much, we are not going to tell you anything about Donald Trump meeting with Kanye West in the Oval Office, nay nothing even about his sense that, as much as he liked Hillary, her slogan "I'm With Her" didn't make him feel as much like Superman as a MAGA hat did, because we just said we would not be writing about Kanye AT ALL.

And so: Five Stories Having Fuck-All To Do With Kanye:

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2018 State and Local Elections

Your Lies. Wonkagenda For Wed., Oct. 10, 2018

Trump blames the commies, healthcare is back, and the #BlueWave rises. Your morning news brief!

Morning Wonketariat! Here's some of the things we may be talking about today.

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Elections

You Boofed Yet? Wonkagenda For Thurs., Oct. 04, 2018

Kavanaugh vote on deck, more Russian indictments, and Track Palin goes to jail. Your morning news brief.

Morning Wonketariat! Here's some of the things we may be talking about today.

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popular

One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Cardiovascular Benefits Fish

You fucking love science!

We've had a lot of heart stopping moments in the past week thanks to the SCOTUS fun, so let's chat about something GOOD for your heart! I am a huge skeptic of vitamins and supplements, but they make billions of dollars a year from consumers wanting to do healthy things for their bodies. At best, there is no evidence to show that they improve anything, other than maybe your peace of mind that taking some fish oil tablets will counteract those Krispy Kremes you feel guilty about. Well, nopety nope. A study back in 2013 showed zero benefit from taking n-3 fatty acid supplements (think fish oil) versus placebo. It was a big study with over 12,000 subjects enrolled and published in the New England Journal of Medicine. The investigators compared rates of death, heart attacks and strokes in the two groups and found zero difference. Zilch. Nada, amigos. There are plenty of other studies also showing no benefits. But all that changed a week ago with Amarin's Vascepa phase III study.

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Healthcare

Missouri Senate Candidate Josh Hawley Has A Preexisting Condition: Lying His Ass Off

No known cure.

Josh Hawley, Missouri's Republican Attorney General, would very much like to replace Claire McCaskill in the US Senate. And this week, he released one of the most spectacularly dishonest ads of the election season, saying that, as a parent of a child with a rare illness, he understands why Americans are concerned about preexisting conditions, and vowing he supports "forcing insurance companies to cover all pre-existing conditions." Funny thing, though! As state attorney general, Hawley is actually one of the 20 Republican officials from red states who are suing to eliminate Obamacare's protections for people with preexisting conditions! As hypocritical ads go, this one's a doozy!

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