HomeOpen ThreadA Gem in the ARC Act–And Open Thread for Saturday March 20, 2021
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Thanks NYCVG!

I agree that M4A is the ultimate goal, but anything that increases the number of people covered by Medicare or Medicaid should be welcome. I actually think covering more people will help the push to get it for everyone because more people will see the benefits and want them for themselves.

An article about Medicaid expansion and the Covid relief bill.


With the passage of President Joe Biden’s COVID relief package containing new incentives for expanding Medicaid, states that have refused to deliver healthcare to millions of Americans are quickly running out of excuses.

For more than a decade, politicians in the deepest of red states have twisted themselves into knots trying to justify their denial of lifesaving care to essential workers, small business employees, farmers, and others who earn too much to qualify for Medicaid and too little to afford private insurance.

The preferred argument of Medicaid expansion opponents since the passage of the Affordable Care Act has been that expanding the program would simply cost their state too much — despite the fact that expansion states have always received at least $9 back from the federal government for every dollar they spent, a hefty 900% return on investment.

Now, with President Biden signing the COVID relief bill, the incentive for states to act has become even more generous. Outright budget savings are now being offered to any Medicaid expansion holdout that is willing to say yes to healthcare for essential workers, the return of state tax dollars, and increased economic activity for their local communities and businesses. Not to mention critical funding that can help keep rural hospitals open.

It’s not just Missouri that will benefit, either. Any state that hasn’t expanded Medicaid will get the same deal, receiving a 5% boost in the federal contribution to their overall Medicaid program for two years. The change means that moving forward it’s going to be impossible for politicians to credibly argue that Medicaid expansion is too expensive for a state to pursue.

The number of holdout states has already been shrinking in recent years as voters in red and purple states have rebelled repeatedly against political leaders who blocked the passage of the popular policy. Since 2017, Maine, Utah, Idaho, Nebraska, Oklahoma and the above-mentioned Missouri have all expanded Medicaid through ballot initiatives.

A lot of attention has been given to the fact that a handful of Republican governors are still refusing to advance the issue, but it’s clear that voters across the political spectrum are on the side of Medicaid expansion. Pressure is building in the 12 holdout states, and it’s becoming impossible to ignore. If state politicians continue to block progress, these incentives make it even more likely that voters will pass new ballot measures in 2022.


In addition to her own allegations, she corroborates the groping incident.


He called her and her co-worker “mingle mamas.” He inquired about her lack of a wedding ring, she said, and the status of her divorce. She recalled him telling her she was beautiful — in Italian — and, as she sat alone with him in his office awaiting dictation, he gazed down her shirt and commented on a necklace hanging there.

In the latest allegation against Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo, Alyssa McGrath, an employee of the governor’s office, described a series of unsettling interactions with the governor, telling The New York Times that Mr. Cuomo would ogle her body, remark on her looks, and make suggestive comments to her and another executive aide.

Ms. McGrath, 33, is the first current aide in Mr. Cuomo’s office to speak publicly about allegations of harassment inside the Capitol. Her account of casual sexual innuendo echoes other stories that have emerged in recent weeks about a demeaning office culture, particularly for young women who worked closely with the governor.

The most serious accusation against the governor was made by another current aide who has accused Mr. Cuomo of groping her breast in the Executive Mansion. Ms. McGrath said that the aide described the encounter in detail to her after it was made public in a report in The Times Union of Albany last week.

“She froze when he started doing that stuff to her,” Ms. McGrath said, adding, “But who are you going to tell?”

She added that the co-worker, who has not been publicly identified, told her that the governor had asked her not to talk about the alleged incident, knowing that the two women regularly spoke and texted about their interactions with Mr. Cuomo.

“He told her specifically not to tell me,” Ms. McGrath said.

In several interviews conducted over the past week, Ms. McGrath described a pattern of the governor mixing flirtatious banter with more personal comments, as well as a subtle and persistent cultivation of competitive relationships between female co-workers in his office. It was something she said was compounded and protected by a demand for secrecy, and normalized inside the governor’s inner circle.

Ms. McGrath did not accuse the governor of making sexual contact, though she said that she believed that his actions amounted to sexual harassment.

Over the last three years, Ms. McGrath said, the governor had seemingly fostered an unusual work triangle with her and her friend, the co-worker he allegedly groped, blending a professional relationship with unwanted attention. There was paternalistic patter, but also a commandeering, sometimes invasive physicality.



Recent headlines about New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s fall from grace may have shocked some people, but Tanya Selvaratnam wasn’t surprised to see another so-called good guy bite the dust.

In a world filled with a seemingly endless supply of bad guys, we’ve become starved for good guys.

In her book “Assume Nothing: A Story of Intimate Violence,” published in February, the writer and producer recalls the chilling details of her physical, verbal and sexual abuse at the hands of a different public figure, former New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman. Notably, the allegations against Cuomo are of a different nature than those levied against Schneiderman. Still, hailed and depicted as an actual superhero in the media and by highly influential political figures like Hillary Clinton, Schneiderman, much like Cuomo, indulged in the male savior fantasy attributed to him by the left.

But as he enjoyed the adulation of the press lauding him as the only hope to lock up abusers like former President Donald Trump and Harvey Weinstein by day, Schneiderman was assaulting, choking, spitting on and calling Selvaratnam his “brown slave” by night.

Thanks to the bravery of Selvaratnam and his other accusers, Schneiderman was forced to step down. He therefore won’t be the one leading the investigation on Cuomo regarding allegations of sexual harassment. (Cuomo has denied allegations of inappropriate touching, but has apologized if he made any women feel uncomfortable.)

In an interview, Selvaratnam told me, “We have to chip away at the cults of personality that form around powerful supposedly progressive men who commit insidious harm in private — when they think no one is looking and that no one will tell on them.”

One way Cuomo differs from Trump is that he didn’t just tacitly enjoy being glamorized as a feminist hero; he actively crafted a pro-woman persona to protect himself and get impunity. It helped him construct an impenetrable male progressive shield and earned him magnanimous endorsements, hefty donations and unbounded electoral power.

He self-appointed himself as a feminist and even founded a bogus Women’s Equality Party to effectively endorse himself and beat his female challenger at the time. His scam worked. Organizations that champion women’s rights like Planned Parenthood backed him, even endorsing him over his female rival in the gubernatorial race, Cynthia Nixon. Cuomo is the con artist of feminist activism. He personally profited off feminism for political gain, in an effort to accumulate power and control over unsuspecting women.


And on the NY Republican side. I don’t think this will be helpful to any possible run for governor.


A former lobbyist has accused Rep. Tom Reed (R-N.Y.) of sexually harassing her in 2017, The Washington Post reported Friday.

Nicolette Davis, now an Army second lieutenant, told the Post that Reed drunkenly rubbed her back and thigh and unhooked her bra at an Irish pub in Minnesota after a day of ice fishing while she was working as a junior insurance company lobbyist.

The allegations come as Reed, a co-chair of the bipartisan Problem Solvers Caucus, is considering a run against New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D), who is facing calls to resign from both parties after multiple women accused him of sexual harassment.

Davis contacted the Post on Feb. 11 — before Reed said in a Fox News interview that he was considering a gubernatorial run — and said that her decision to go public with the allegations wasn’t motivated by the New York Republican’s political ambitions.

Davis said that the interaction with Reed was part of a weekend trip in January 2017 to benefit the campaign committee of then-Rep. Erik Paulsen (R-Minn.). Davis said that Reed appeared intoxicated and at one point slipped and fell on the ice.

Davis said that Reed began touching her while seated next to her at the Irish pub. She felt uncomfortable confronting Reed and asked the person sitting to her right for help. That person pulled Reed away and out of the restaurant, Davis recalled.

“I was also angry,” Davis told the Post. “I had wanted to go on this trip so badly but at that time, it didn’t matter that I had been working hard or that I had a master’s degree. All that mattered was that I was a warm female body.”

The account from Davis was backed by a person at the table that night in 2017, who declined to be named by the Post. Another coworker she had shared details with at the time, Jessica Strieter Elting, who runs Aflac’s political affairs team, also backed the account.


Might be time to elect a female governor


The implosion of current New York governor Andrew Cuomo’s career in a double scandal involving sexual harassment allegations and the misreporting of Covid deaths inside nursing homes marked a sudden turn for Cuomo, a popular politician who just months earlier had won national admiration and international praise for his handling of the pandemic.

But in a slightly longer view, the spectacle of a New York governor’s career spontaneously combusting in a sordid haze of sex allegations and possible criminality might appear more routine than shocking.

Counting the demise of Paterson himself, who exited the governor’s mansion under allegations of witness tampering in a staffer’s domestic abuse case and the improper solicitation of gifts, Cuomo is the third consecutive New York governor to land with extreme flair on the front pages of the New York City tabloids – and possibly to be ejected from office.

While the consecutive scandals involve a range of alleged offenses of varying degrees of seriousness, the overall streak is impressive, said Doug Muzzio, a professor of political science at City University of New York’s Baruch College.

“First of all, the current scandal is not the first, not the second, not the third – but many scandals in a row,” Muzzio said. “It’s not only the governors, it is the legislators. If there were a contest between – a stakes for who was the most legislatively and executively corrupt, I don’t know, New York would be right up there.”




And from the past


The mention of the Chinese population triggered something from BTF III Mad Dog Tannen-
“He was quick on the trigger and bragged he had killed 12 men not including Indians or Chinamen.” Wonder why that was put into the script? Was the writer making an historical point about the old west.


I think Cuomo is rushing to reopen because he knows that’s popular and right now he’s taking a hit because of the scandals.


Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo announced recently that New York City would take several more steps toward normalcy: More people would soon be allowed in restaurants; an 11 p.m. curfew at businesses like movie theaters would end; and yoga classes, among other indoor fitness activities, would be allowed to restart.

“Covid’s coming down, vaccine rates are going up,” the governor said at a news conference on Thursday. “Start to look to the future aggressively, and let’s get back to life and living and get that economy running, because it is safe.”

Daily coronavirus cases reported in the city and state appear to have reached a plateau after a post-holiday spike, death rates and hospitalization rates related to the virus are on the decline, and more people are receiving the vaccine.

But not everyone agrees that reopening is safe, partly because the presence of variants that are more contagious, and possibly deadlier, complicate the short-term outlook.

Deaths and hospitalizations in the city have fallen in recent weeks, but newly reported cases in New York City are hovering at a 14-day average of more than 3,500 a day, which is still very high, according to a New York Times database.

Also, according to the city’s metrics, the seven-day average test positivity rate has remained above 6 percent for weeks.

City officials say it is too soon to relax some of the restrictions that have helped slow the spread of the virus, especially those around fitness classes.

Several epidemiologists agreed that caution was important.

“It’s not a good time to be opening up in many of the ways that our state and city seem to be opening up,” said Denis Nash, an epidemiologist at New York University, adding that “I really don’t understand the calculus, and I don’t know what public health rationale there is behind the decisions.”

Dr. Nash said that the level of community transmission was still high in the city and that because testing has decreased, the actual number of daily cases could be up to three times as many as are being reported. (The average number of people getting tested per day has significantly dipped since January, according to city data.)

The leveling number of new cases could indicate an inflection point and precede a sharp rise, he said.

Dr. Wafaa el-Sadr, an epidemiologist at the Mailman School of Public Health at Columbia University, said she was dubious of claims that reopening different businesses and activities had not resulted in more infections.

“We cannot say that with any certainty,” Dr. el-Sadr said. “It is very difficult for most people to know where they acquired infection, except for those who acquired infection in their households. There must be a reason why we are consistently seeing such a large number of daily cases in the city.”



Dr. Anthony Fauci, the U.S.’s top infectious diseases expert, has warned that there could be another COVID surge on the way as many as 15 states face rising case numbers.

The national daily case tally has fallen by nearly a third over the last month and, as of Saturday, more than 118 million vaccine doses had been administered, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

But health experts are worried there could be a resurgence if health measures like mask use are relaxed too soon.

Dr. Fauci, the director of National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said he was concerned that the flattening of cases was making Americans complacent, and that it could presage a rise in case numbers.

More than a dozen states, primarily in the upper Midwest, the New York area and the Mid-Atlantic, have had at least a 10 percent spike in numbers, according to analysis by ABC News of CDC data.

Fauci highlighted how the U.S. should take heed of the European Union, which is around a month ahead of the U.S. in the dynamics of their outbreak and currently experiencing a COVID surge.



In the aftermath of the GOP’s assault on the integrity of the 2020 presidential election and amid a torrent of Republican measures aimed at restricting voting rights in the name of security, Democrats are pushing for a far-reaching solution to counter attempts at narrowing access to the ballot box.

H.R. 1, known as the For the People Act, seeks to abolish hurdles to voting, reform the role of money in politics and tighten federal ethics rules. Among the key tenets of the bill to overhaul the nation’s election system: allowing for no-excuse mail voting, at least 15 days of early voting, automatic voter registration and restoring voting rights to felons who have completed their prison sentences.

Democrats’ comprehensive bill passed the House — for the second time — nearly along party lines earlier this month and was introduced in the Senate this week. But it faces steep opposition from the GOP over its potential implications for future elections, including the 2022 midterms, with some Republicans openly fretting that broader access to voting will harm the party’s chances.

And some Republican lawmakers, officials and strategists go even further, signaling the GOP’s opposition to such extensive electoral reforms is based on the fear it will cause them to lose elections.

“If the Democrats pass H.R. 1, it’s going to be absolutely devastating for Republicans in this country,” said Jay Williams, a Republican strategist in Georgia, a state seeing one of the most aggressive campaigns to restrict voting. “They’re just going to basically just shaft so many Republicans in places where they would actually have opportunities to pick up.”

In Arizona, another battleground seeing an onslaught of election-related legislative battles, state Rep. John Kavanagh, a Republican, told CNN, “Democrats value as many people as possible voting, and they’re willing to risk fraud. Republicans are more concerned about fraud, so we don’t mind putting security measures in that won’t let everybody vote — but everybody shouldn’t be voting.”

After more than a decade of Republicans scaling back voting access, the latest push comes after former President Donald Trump and his allies spent months seeding distrust in the electoral system based on fabricated claims of a “stolen” election.

The measure comes as many Republican state lawmakers, some of whom peddled Trump’s baseless allegations of widespread fraud, are now leaning into what they cast as a lack of confidence in the democratic process to justify their election-related offensive. Republican state lawmakers across 43 states have advanced at least 250 bills so far aimed at limiting absentee and early voting and implementing stricter voter ID laws, among other provisions, according to the Brennan Center for Justice.


Another words if you dont vote R your vote is considered fraudulent, seems thats the goal of the Rs


T&R, NYCVG! not selling out, but a path to give people health. And a great by product of them also seeing how great M4A will be.

let’s hope they also stop the incursion of health insurance corpses into our Medicare and they don’t allow them into Medicaid, either. there are just so many fronts to fight on now that i’m afraid this will continue through the back door while we are putting out fires.



love this.


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

I miss Michael. gone too soon.


you know it.


in Britain. wonder what it is here.






BDS win: Virginia governor hopeful backs Israel boycott movement

WASHINGTON D.C. (The New Arab) – In a rare move in US politics, a candidate for governor of Virginia has expressed his strong support for the Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions (BDS) movement – a pro-Palestine campaign promoting the boycott of Israel.
Lee Carter confirmed his stance at a virtual Q&A session with other contenders, when he was asked if we would ever issue a gubernatorial directive against BDS.

“No, I would never do that. I’m a supporter of the BDS movement,” Carter said. “I believe that the human rights abuses that are being inflicted upon the [Palestinian] people are among the worst currently ongoing in the world.”

He continued: “And there is only one state in America that has an agency dedicated to increasing its trade deficit with a foreign country, and that agency is the Virginia Israel Advisory Board.

“I don’t think that we should have an agency like on our books that for any country, but specifically for a country that has a military occupation over a captive population like the Israeli government does over the Palestinian people.”

The agency Lee was referring to, the Virginia Israel Advisory Board, is an Israeli government agency located in northern Virginia, whose stated aim is to improve economic and cultural ties between the two entities.

Critics, however, point to an increased trade deficit with Israel and also allege conflicts of interest.

The BDS movement has seen executive orders issued against it in 32 states, all of which have been rebuked on grounds of freedom of speech.

Waleed Mahdi, assistant professor of US-Arab cultural politics at the University of Oklahoma, told The New Arab that Carter’s support of BDS is “significant – especially in the context of the challenges BDS has faced in litigation”.

He said he would be interested to see what the response will be to Carter’s stance.

“It could be a good way to measure where BDS is. Has it garnered more support? The response to his candidacy could be a litmus test,” he said.

Carter’s background – a white military man from a rural part of Virginia – could also be a sign that the BDS movement is appealing to those beyond Arab and Muslim communities.

“It’s important for the face of movement to be represented by individuals who are not representative of the Middle East. Sometimes it takes a white individual to mainstream an issue. It diversifies the narrative of BDS and makes it more multiracial,” Mahdi said.

Virginia’s gubernatorial election will be held November 2. There are currently 12 other candidates vying for the position.

Carter, who now serves in Virginia’s House of Delegates, is considered among the more liberal candidates. He previously co-chaired the Democratic presidential campaign in Virginia for Senator Bernie Sanders.


go Lee! also, benny, i was in a brain fog yesterday, and turned 36 hours into 3 days. lol still, sorry you felt bad for 1 1/2 days. :o)