Medical problems, Donald Trump and more: political links

As I mentioned in a previous linkpost, Aetna is looking to quit the Obamacare exchanges because it’s losing money. Jim Newell at Slate looks at other problems that have developed in Obamacare and how to fix them.

•Deaths from pregnancy-related complications rose 27 percent in the US between 2000 and 2014 (the rest of the world, the rate went down). In Texas, the rate doubled.

•The company that makes Epipens has increased the cost 400 percent since 2007. Why? Because they can (Consumerist profiles the CEO responsible) And insulin prices are skyrocketing too — one form has gone from $45 to $1,447 for a month’s supply. The company that makes Epipens says it’s providing discounts for some customers, and anyway the price increase is totally not their fault.

•Megan McArdle richsplains that there’s no reason to provide affordable health care, it’s just our irrational nurturing instincts that make us think these price hikes are objectionable. After all, food is more vital than medicine so why aren’t we protesting the price of food? Answer, because it’s a lot easier to switch brands or switch to something cheap without dying. That was easy!

•Health officials are questioning if moderate drinking is really good for people. The liquor industry is upset.

•Thinkprogress argues that Donald Trump is courting the white supremacist vote. Digby discusses this. One apparent Trumpite/white supremacist attacked an inter-racial couple with a knife. Shakezula looks at an article covering a white supremacist protest and the reporter’s efforts to sound neutral. But have no fear, Trump plans to reach out to minorities (by telling them their lives suck) LGM suggests that while Trump makes bigotry more mainstream, he makes it easier to condemn it.

•Lance Mannion suggests that Donald Trump has bought into the illusion he offers—that he thinks he really is a hypercompetent savvy business leader who knows what has to be done to fix America.

•Trump’s campaign may lose, but he’s making money off it.

•Pumping up the terrible threat of Russia is great for the defense industry.

•Consumerist looks at Wal-Mart’s reliance on police to substitute for on-staff security.

•The American Bar Association may get tougher on accrediting law schools by putting some teeth into one requirement, about how many graduates pass the bar exam. One school has a solution: require seniors take a sample bar exam before graduation and flunk anyone who can’t pass.

•Right-wing pundit David French warns that doctors are too accepting of transsexuals kids. “When the kids grow up” — you know, become adults — the doctors might actually authorize a sex-change operation!

•A smart lightbult is no longer smart as the manufacturer no longer supports it.  ZDnet suggests this is going to happen more and more unless manufacturers adopt common standards for the internet of things rather than proprietary systems.

•A British CPA firm sends an employee home for not wearing high heels.

•Why are there so many bank branches everywhere? Apparently customers like it.

•A recent hack exposes malware the NSA deploys on targeted computers.

•A teenage athlete finds two women asleep and puts his finger inside them. No jail time though—the judge decided rape was a harmless mistake and there’s no need to ruin the kid’s life.

•A study finds that while people are judgmental about parents leaving children alone, the judgments of whether it’s wrong depend on the parent’s reason (meeting a lover? Running an errand? Caught in an accident?) but so do judgments of whether the child’s in danger (i.e., the more “selfish” the parent, the more risk to the child).




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