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NYCVG

“In a city of networks, Andrew Yang can win. His candidacy does not exist in 1969, 1981, or 2001, but it thrives here and now. In the analog days, a candidate had to be well-wired with local rainmakers or already rich to fundraise for a serious campaign. This was when raising money meant booking a catering hall, paying for a chicken dinner, and hustling for checks stuffed in wrinkled envelopes.

Yang, coasting off the celebrity of his presidential campaign, can match or surpass the fundraising of his more experienced opponents’ in a short amount of time.

He can command attention through either traditional press or social media. With voters no longer taking cues from their local power brokers—the priests, the Democratic bosses, and the labor machers( Yiddish for big shots) cannot tell tens of thousands of people how to vote—outsiders can seize the imagination. Most voters are free agents. May the most interesting messenger win.”

This is from an article called Can They Stop Andrew Yang?written by Ross Barkan.

We will know much more about whether this is true and how the other candidates are actually doing by the end of the week when the amount of Public funding the candidates will be getting is released.

PLUS—Have you noticed that NO polls have been done and/or released in a month?

NYCVG

Full article if anybody is interested.

wi62

Lets a assume a Yang win for a moment, I very curios to see how govern, and what he will actually accomplish as a mayor. I could see Yang V Petey in a future Prez run as i feel that both have prez. asperations and are young enough to go into the 2040s depending how things go. Yang intrigues me to a point , Petey can go away anytime.

Benny

Biden faces pressure from Pelosi, Sanders over whether to double down on Obamacare or expand Medicare

The White House is facing diverging pressure from two powerful allies — House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and Senate Budget Committee Chairman Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) — over whether to use an upcoming spending package to strengthen the Affordable Care Act or expand Medicare eligibility.

Pelosi’s office is pushing the White House to make permanent a temporary expansion of Affordable Care Act subsidies that were included in the $1.9 trillion stimulus legislation last month, according to a senior Democratic aide who spoke on the condition of anonymity to describe internal conversations.

Sanders said in an interview that he is arguing for lowering the age of Medicare eligibility to 55 or 60 and expanding the program for seniors so it covers dental, vision and hearing care.

The contrasting visions for the next phase of President Biden’s legislative agenda reflect divisions within the Democratic Party about how Biden should further overhaul health insurance in the United States. Pelosi is looking to double down on the ACA, which has become more popular in recent years as it offers insurance subsidies to people well above the poverty line. Sanders, meanwhile, is looking for an opportunity to make progress on his longtime efforts to make government health insurance universal.

Either approach would offer more health insurance to lower-income Americans. But the choice facing Biden will allow him to decide whether he wants to continue to focus on the ACA, which operates largely through private insurers, or use political capital on a government-run program.

The pressure comes as the White House works to formulate what it is calling the American Families Plan, a sequel to the infrastructure and jobs plan announced last month. The new program, which is likely to be focused on child care, higher education, anti-poverty initiatives and health care, is expected to propose cutting spending on prescription drugs by as much as $450 billion over 10 years.

That money, in turn, could be used for the health insurance expansions. White House officials have not said which direction they will pursue. A White House spokesman declined to comment.

“We cannot continue to deal with millions and millions of seniors — primarily low-income seniors — who cannot afford to go to a dentist, so cannot ingest the food they eat, or the millions of seniors who live in isolation because they can’t hear,” because they cannot afford hearing aids, Sanders said in an interview. He declined to discuss the push from Pelosi, but he said, “It is fair to say there are differences of opinion as to how we prioritize health-care needs.”

The divergent paths charted by Pelosi and Sanders point to one of many underlying tensions within the Democratic Party that the White House is being forced to navigate as it figures out its next major agenda item.

The path to passing either plan remains steep. Congressional lawmakers are just now taking up Biden’s $2 trillion jobs and infrastructure plan, which has faced a barrage of criticism from congressional Republicans and some centrist Democrats. The appetite in Congress for yet another $1 trillion or $2 trillion effort on top of the infrastructure package is unclear, although liberals in the Congressional Progressive Caucus have called for trying to move the two plans in unison.

Still, the early jockeying reflects how Democrats are already looking to the next legislative fight, as well as friction within the party over how best to expand health care.

Democratic leaders have celebrated the durability of the ACA, which has withstood more than a decade of criticism from congressional Republicans and seen its popularity rebound. The White House also has trumpeted figures showing that as many as 500,000 Americans have enrolled in the ACA exchanges during a special enrollment period the Biden administration created.

My hunch is that Bernie may get to expand Medicare coverage of dental, vision, hearing aids, and other medical appliances, in addition to prescription drugs, but not lower the age. ACA will win this round because Biden’s promise to insurance companies. Such a waste of money.

polarbear4

generous of the writer to frame it as an honest decision. joe made up his mind long ago. pour more of our treasure into the fracking insurance corpses. grrrrrrr. as always, would love to eat crow.

here’s where aoc can show her progressive side. back bernie in a big way.

Benny

What’s absurd about pouring more money into ACA subsidies is that insurance companies will jack up prices more and it will remain junk insurance because the out of pockets will be unaffordable. C-suites and lobbyists like Brainwrap wipe up profits.

polarbear4

yes. Like airlines took all that bail out money and now have completely raised the prices. CEOs no doubt laughing while grandmas spend a fortune to see their gks. (me)

Benny

Don midwest
Don midwest

If you’re under the impression that climate change drove ancient civilizations to their demise, you probably haven’t heard the full story.

The ancient Maya, for example, didn’t vanish when their civilization “collapsed” around the 9th century. Though droughts certainly caused hardship, and cities were abandoned, more than 7 million Maya still live throughout Mexico and Central America. The Maya dealt with dry conditions by developing elaborate irrigation systems, capturing rainwater, and moving to wetter areas — strategies that helped communities survive waves of drought.

A report recently published in the journal Nature argues that an obsession with catastrophe has driven much of the research into how societies responded to a shifting climate throughout history. That has resulted in a skewed view of the past that feeds a pessimistic view about our ability to respond to the crisis we face today.

“It would be rare that a society as a whole just kind of collapsed in the face of climate change,” said Dagomar Degroot, an environmental historian at Georgetown University and the lead author of the paper. The typical stories of environmentally-driven collapse that you might have heard about Easter Island or the Mayan civilization? “All those stories need to be retold, absolutely,” he said.

Painting a more complex picture of the past — one that includes stories of resilience in the face of abrupt shifts in the climate — might avoid the fatalism and despair that sets in when many people grasp the scale of the climate crisis. Degroot himself has noticed that his students were beginning to echo so-called “doomist” talking points: “Past societies have crumbled with just a little climate change, Doomists conclude — why will we be any different?” Part of the reason people study the past, Degroot said, “is because we care about the future, and about the present, for that matter.”

Did climate change cause societies to collapse? New research upends the old story.
The untold history of how people survived the past 2,000 years.

This doesn’t mean that we will survive the next 2,000 years this way

Gaia has locked us down

more on that later

NYCVG

“Capturing rainwater”

Didn’t we do that here in the USA until recently?

I recall a song from childhood,about a rainbarrel.

polarbear4

enviros still do it. i have a neighbor and a couple that are close friends that do it.

wi62

i do it for the garden every season

polarbear4

yeah, but i thought the industrial age gave a whole new meaning to the words “climate change.”

of course, we should know the truth about everything, though, agree!

wi62

“and moving to wetter areas” as one of the strategies the Maya used, In this country we cant even get people to get a shot or get out of the way of a hurricane. When the polluted reservoir was on the verge of collapse in Fla. people thier wouldn’t evacuate either. I guess natural selection will deal with these people when climate change hits hard at some point. Then again they’ll be screaming for the big bad Gubbamint to save thier sorry asses

Benny

Tip jar for Orl..

Tip Jar.jpg
Benny

https://www.wsj.com/articles/biden-infrastructure-plan-would-fund-shift-toward-home-healthcare-for-seniors-11618228812

President Biden’s $2.3 trillion infrastructure plan would devote $400 billion to providing seniors more medical care at home, with the aim of shifting treatment away from institutions and hospitals as the U.S. faces a looming surge in its aging population.

Democrats say the measure is needed because the healthcare system is unprepared for the unprecedented growth in the senior population and the bill would boost incomes for the many women and people in minority groups who provide the services.

Republicans contend the plan is too costly and doesn’t meet the definition of infrastructure. Opponents also argue that any boost in wages or the unionization of home healthcare workers would ultimately funnel money—by way of dues—to Democratic-friendly labor unions.

The Biden administration doesn’t have any specific labor provisions in the plan, but changes that make it easier for home health workers to unionize could be part of a proposal from congressional Democrats. States led by Democrats—such as Oregon—have allowed independent home health workers paid by government programs like Medicaid to collectively bargain as public employees.

The diverging perspectives set the stage for a politically fraught battle over a proposal championed by Mr. Biden, who campaigned last year on ending waiting lists of seniors on Medicaid for home healthcare services.

According to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, the aging population is expected to soon strain the U.S. medical system, with total national health expenditures projected to reach $6.2 trillion by 2028 compared with $3.8 trillion in 2019.

By 2030, all baby boomers will be at the retirement age of 65 years old or older, and this will expand the size of the senior population so that one in every five residents will be at retirement age, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. In 2034, older people are projected to outnumber children for the first time in U.S. history.

Seniors get their health coverage through Medicare, which doesn’t pay for daily care at home for those who need help bathing or dressing. It also generally doesn’t cover long-term stays in nursing homes, so many of the 63 million people in the program often use their own money or savings to pay for those services.

Seniors who can’t afford the costs may also enroll in Medicaid, a program for low-income and disabled people, which does cover nursing-home care for individuals. More than 12 million people on Medicare are also enrolled in Medicaid, but they must meet strict eligibility guidelines, and typically don’t qualify until they have only $2,000 or less in total assets, according to the American Council on Aging.

Under Medicaid programs, states can provide healthcare at home or in the community to seniors or people with disabilities, but many limit enrollment and have waiting lists for the home-based medical services. Among seniors and people who are disabled, Florida had almost 50,000 people on its waiting list for home care in 2018, and Louisiana had nearly 37,000.

The current system steers seniors into nursing homes and forces them to exhaust their financial resources, advocates of the Biden proposal say. Home and community care, they say, would be less expensive than nursing-home care.

“People don’t understand how broken our long-term care situation is until they’re a caregiver or a patient,” said Rep. Debbie Dingell (D., Mich.). “Medicaid is the largest payer of long-term care, but you have to be destitute to even qualify.”

Republicans say the proposal doesn’t belong in a legislative package on infrastructure, which they say should focus on repairing bridges and roads and improving broadband internet access.

“This is about Democrats’ goal of increasing government-controlled healthcare,” said Rep. Jason Smith (R., Mo.), adding that the proposal would benefit unions. “It doesn’t belong in an infrastructure bill. This takeover of government healthcare, they’re just trying to slip it through. They’re rewarding friends, donors and allies.”

Benny

part 2

There are more than 790,000 home healthcare aides who could see their wages rise, a provision that was advocated by the Service Employees International Union, which represents home health workers, and other groups. The mechanism for raising wages still has to be determined by Congress, although some ideas include increasing Medicaid reimbursement or enhanced state funding to pay home health workers.

Overall employment of home health and personal-care aides is projected to grow 34% from 2019 to 2029, much faster than the average for all occupations. The mean hourly wage is about $12.18, or $25,000 a year, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

SEIU President Mary Kay Henry said the proposal would benefit an industry composed of women of color. “President Biden has clearly heard the demand of these women—and millions of other essential workers—to be respected, protected and paid,” she said.

Republicans such as Mr. Smith say the $400 billion would be a gift to unions. There are no specific union provisions in the president’s plan, which is still being worked on by Democrats.

Opposing the proposal carries political risks for Republicans because Democrats have already portrayed them as being unsympathetic to the healthcare plight of seniors, who historically have backed the GOP.

When Sen. Marsha Blackburn (R., Tenn.) tweeted on April 7 that “President Biden’s proposal is about anything but infrastructure,” the Democratic National Committee fired back in a tweet, saying, “Republicans in Congress are now opposed to elder care.”

Proponents say the pandemic also has left more seniors wanting to age in place because Covid-19 caused many deaths in nursing homes, which also have had to limit or ban visits. The pandemic has killed more than 174,000 residents and staff of nursing homes and other long-term-care facilities, according to AARP, which focuses on issues affecting those over the age of 50.

“Once upon a time, home was the center of healthcare,” said Thomas Threlkeld, a spokesman for National Association for Home Care and Hospice, which represents the nation’s 33,000 home care and hospice organizations. “And typically, in other countries, the care is paid for by the public purse so they can have the dignity and independence they deserve.”

The American Health Care Association and National Center for Assisted Living, which represents nursing homes, say they need financial help, too, to cope with the fallout of the pandemic and the coming surge in aging seniors.

The organization says the average age of a nursing-home resident is 85, and most have multiple underlying health conditions that require a high level of specialized care that in-home care is often unable to provide. They are lobbying for an overall increase in Medicaid reimbursement rates because they say more than 1,600 nursing homes could close this year as a result of mounting financial challenges.

“Without a commitment from lawmakers to increase Medicaid reimbursement rates, most nursing homes will be unable to afford the substantive reforms required to continue improving quality of care,” the groups said in a statement.

Torabs
Torabs

Can you imagine thinking that spending on these things is bad?

Benny

Benny

polarbear4

subsidiary of Tyson? or just learned well.

Benny

magsview

I’m happy for anything AOC accomplishes, but Dave frames it as an either/or, which I’m not a fan of.

Hopefully Alexandria can just get stronger and stronger, and learn how to leverage her celebrity AND get “amendments into things”.

She has a lot of people who wish her all the best, and who would stand next to her whenever possible when she makes bold moves. I saw that in person at the Bernie’s Back rally. She talks a good game, and people respond to her, so hopefully she builds on that support and pushes the boundaries whenever possible.

Aint Supposed to Die A Natural Death
Aint Supposed to Die A Natural Death

“She talks a good game …” And then there’s this.

And we can add the $5 million she raised in about 2-3 days to support the victims of the Texas snow storm.

Benny

I agree a bit on the framing, but at the same time, I’m very annoyed at Jimmy Dore, Nikko House, and I noticed a few folks at c99% giving AOC grief about not using her committee votes to garner attention on major legislation. Wiegel is correct that AOC takes governing very seriously, and unlike Nancy Pelosi, who is too busy serving donors and making stock trades based on what she hears from them, AOC does a good job of being the amendment crew. Bernie has gotten a lot done for Vt this way.

polarbear4

polarbear4

magsview

Upvoted for being passionate about dodgeball, lol.

Fun times. It was girls vs. boys at recess at my grade school, and more often than not us girls would prevail. We didn’t play dirty, but let’s just say that if my friend S. looked like she was zeroing in on someone else on your team, be on your guard, because that ball might actually be about to take you out instead. 😉

(Meanwhile, S. was like the smallest girl in our class, haha)

polarbear4
polarbear4

solidarity sistah🌝

polarbear4

Benny

Benny
Benny

I just chipped in to support @Booker4KY who is considering running against Rand Paul in Kentucky. Let’s do this! https://t.co/UhWp8rLfYy

— Benny🌹 (@Benny06) April 12, 2021

magsview

“A people, united, can never be divided”

I like him a lot.

Benny

A City’s Only Hospital Cut Services. How Locals Fought Back

When the only hospital in a small central Wyoming city stopped delivering babies and cut back on surgeries, local residents sought to start their own. The fight that ensued now stretches to Washington, and is shining an uncomfortable light on one of the country’s biggest hospital chains and its private-equity owner.

LifePoint Health Inc., backed by Apollo Global Management Inc., APO 0.72% controls the only hospital in working-class Riverton, Wyo. After LifePoint merged Riverton’s hospital with another facility it owns in the city of Lander, 30 miles away, it began consolidating the hospitals’ services.

With many in Riverton worried that cutbacks would hurt the city’s future and some concerned over Lander’s care, local business and community leaders launched an effort to build a new hospital instead. They say they have secured several million dollars in donations for the effort, including land for the proposed hospital from the Eastern Shoshone Native American tribe.

Today, the group is one step away from achieving its goal of securing $40 million of low-interest loans from the Agriculture Department. LifePoint is trying to scupper the efforts by lobbying the Biden administration and Wyoming’s senators to oppose the project.

The CEO of LifePoint’s Wyoming hospitals, John Ferrelli, said in a statement the company opposed the new hospital because it “will not fill gaps in care.” He said the two hospitals’ merger sought to use scale to better serve patients and coordinate care, adding that both markets are currently being well served.

“I believe the promise of this merger has been realized,” he said. “We continue to explore opportunities to expand services locally.”

Riverton’s effort highlights the struggles in rural healthcare nationwide and the clashes between communities and for-profit chains that own small-town hospitals across the country. Financial pressure on hospitals caused by the pandemic has further raised tensions.

“In a rural community like this, healthcare is one of the major pillars holding it up,” says Dr. Eric Ridgway, a longtime Riverton family physician who previously worked in the hospital’s emergency room and now is backing plans to build a new facility.

Private-equity groups, which poured more than $200 billion into North American health investments over the past decade, have at times exacerbated these tensions. Lucrative returns, an aging population and other factors made healthcare companies attractive targets. But private-equity strategies, which can include the aggressive use of debt to fund dividends or selling off local assets to clean up balance sheets, can deepen conflicts with small communities such as Riverton.

Around 24% of U.S. hospitals are owned by for-profit investors, which includes private equity, according to the American Hospital Association. That is up from 16% in 2000.

Wyoming Gov. Mark Gordon, a Republican, said in an interview that private equity’s aggressiveness in driving efficiency at companies it owns is “hugely problematic” for rural healthcare when it leads to a reduction of services.

He called on Apollo to be aware of how its dealings in Wyoming affect communities: “Get the formula right. Don’t just look at it as a business model.”

The governor said LifePoint’s consolidation of health services “wasn’t what they promised the community and it certainly is something they can reverse.”

I bet Jackson Hole doesn’t have this issue.

polarbear4

No kidding on Jackson Hole. Jackson Davos.

If the locals lose, I hope that it is spread far and wide. It is an example of just how much corporate governance we have if that happens. That local people cannot ban together and build their own hospital????

Benny

Biden is likely to cut about $700 billion from his infrastructure plan in compromise, Goldman says

President Joe Biden probably won’t get everything on his economic-recovery wish list, Goldman Sachs economists said on Sunday.

A month after enacting a $1.9 trillion stimulus bill, the White House is already prepping another massive spending effort. The president unveiled the $2.3 trillion American Jobs Plan in late March and is reportedly teeing up another package that would set the two plans’ combined price tag at roughly $4 trillion. Biden has also proposed a handful of tax hikes set to offset the spending measures’ hefty costs.

The White House will be successful in pushing the proposals over the finish line, but the policies won’t look the same once they get there, economists led by Jan Hatzius said in a note to clients. They said Congress would pass nearly all the “hard infrastructure” Biden has proposed, such as road and bridge renovation, updates to federal buildings, and clean-water initiatives.

Biden’s American Families Plan might not be so untouched. The bank said Congress would likely approve only a slimmed-down version of the package, which is expected to include spending on education and childcare. All told, Goldman said about $3.3 trillion in spending could make its way back to Biden’s desk for his final signature, roughly $700 billion less than the president pushed for.

The bank thinks the Biden administration won’t see its tax plans come to fruition either. Congressional Democrats will end up lifting the corporate tax rate to 25% from 21%, Goldman predicted, coming in shy of the 28% rate sought by the president.

The tax rate for long-term capital gains and qualified dividends could reach 28%, the team added, while the White House has proposed a 39.6% rate. Revenue raised by international tax proposals like a global minimum corporate tax rate would likely be cut in half, according to the bank.

Smaller tax hikes and cuts to spending could garner additional support for the two plans, but Democrats are still likely to lump the proposals together and pass them through reconciliation, Goldman said. The process, used for Biden’s stimulus plan, allows Democrats to approve legislation with a simple majority.

In the bank’s most probable scenario, Democrats skirt GOP opposition and pass a single package through budget reconciliation between July and September. The team said such a plan would cost roughly $3.5 trillion over the next 10 years and be partially offset by $1.5 trillion in new tax revenue over the same period.

“The risk in this approach is that some centrist Democrats might balk at passing such a large bill through the reconciliation process, which could delay or potentially imperil passage,” the economists added.

Less likely options include passing two separate bills through reconciliation and passing three measures through a mix of reconciliation votes and regular congressional processes. Pursuing regular votes would likely punt some bills into the fall as Democrats work to win Republican support, according to Goldman.

Manchin must be Goldman’s dog whisperer.

polarbear4

yes. wall st whisperer. We knew this was going to happen. Wall Street and big tech and heeeeeeeere we go!

Benny