Category Archives: National

How birth control saves money, and two other health care success stories

prego

Health care is expensive, very expensive. So any news about how costs are being controlled is very good news. Here are three examples: 1. Medicare is costing a lot less than predicted  As Kaiser Health reports, Medicare’s costs are now more than $1000 a person less than what was predicted. Even better, new predictions are […]

LePage’s meetings with extremists make Buckley and Smith spin in their graves

Decades ago William F. Buckley and Margaret Chase Smith drew a bright line between legitimate conservatism and the extremist right. Speaking out against Sen. Joseph McCarthy, R-Wisconsin, in 1950 Smith proclaimed, “As a Republican, I say to my colleagues on this side of the aisle that the Republican Party faces a challenge today that is […]

Poliquin pick quickens the pulse of Maine’s far right

What happened last week, in Maine and the nation, shows, to paraphrase Mark Twain, that the reports of the tea party’s death are greatly exaggerated. The national political scene was shaken by the primary defeat of House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, R-Virginia. Cantor’s opponent, David Brat, is a little known college professor who co-authored “An […]

What Planned Parenthood knows about LePage’s positions

BDN photo by Gabor Degre.

At Planned Parenthood’s endorsement event for Mike Michaud, Nicole Clegg noted that there was no way that Gov. Paul LePage could have received the group’s support. While the governor has not spent a lot of time on abortion as an issue, Clegg called LePage an “outspoken opponent of reproductive rights.” Clegg is right. In 2014, LePage […]

In polarized times, who do we politically despise?

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In the song “National Brotherhood Week” Tom Lehrer rhapsodized, “It’s fun to eulogize those we despise.” “All of my folks hate all of your folks. It’s American as apple pie.” A new, extensive Pew study on political polarization shows that reality is getting closer to that poetic license. Polarization is increasing all around. But one finding […]

Two graphs tell the unhappy tale of Maine’s job story

EmployRecMay2014

With the latest jobs report, the U.S. has now, finally, recovered the jobs lost in the last recession. When Obama took office, the economy was in free-fall. According to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, as cited by Politifact: [In] January 2009, when the president was sworn in, the country lost 818,000 jobs. . […]

No wonder Maine’s hospitals wanted Medicaid expansion!

Credit: 401(K)2013/Creative Commons.

What a difference Medicaid expansion makes! More and more evidence is piling up that hospitals are seeing far fewer patients without health insurance. Medicaid expansion is yielding a big drop in uncompensated care and big increases in revenues As Kaiser Health News reports: At Seattle’s largest safety-net hospital, the proportion of uninsured patients fell from […]

Alexander Report got it wrong on charity care and health expansion

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During the recent debate over Medicaid expansion in Maine, Maine hospitals supported expanding the program and argued that doing so would limit the amount of charity care they would provide. In contrast, its foes claimed that expanding wouldn’t reduce the number of uninsured people going to hospitals. The first Alexander Report (p.48) argued that expanding public […]

No need to trust feds to see big drop in people without health insurance

From: Gallup,"U.S. Uninsured Rate Drops to 13.4%," May 5, 2014

As the federal government rolls out figures on the number of Americans with health insurance, some have denied the figures, claiming that the books are cooked. If one really doesn’t trust the numbers from the feds, then it would be best to consult an external, private source of data. Well, here’s the Gallup organization, to […]

Like LePage’s Alexander Report, national GOP manufactures phony figures

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Maine’s Gov. LePage has been a staunch opponent of all components of the federal government’s Affordable Care Act. That’s included blocking Medicaid expansion, with help from numbers put together by the poorly conducted, widely discredited Alexander Report. This report, which had an error of over half a billion dollars, was so badly received that, after […]