Category Archives: National

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


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 […]

How the Everest avalanche can remind us of government’s potential to do good

Doing their jobs at high, high altitude, they had no warning of the avalanche before tons of snow hurtled down and literally tore limbs from bodies. On Mount Everest, at least 13 were killed when snow above them let loose. Now the Sherpas, on whose skills and sweat wealthy adventurers rely, are considering a strike. […]

As Obamacare goes forward, guess where more are covered?

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More people have health coverage than before, as Obamacare is working. The newly covered include people who signed up for private insurance or got coverage through Medicaid or via their parents’ plans. The proof? Look to data on the percentage insured and uninsured. These data are not fully up to date yet, but see this […]