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Tuesday, January 17, 2017

More than 70 rural hospitals have closed since 2010 -- and many more may be headed down the same path.

Rural hospitals are facing a myriad of financial challenges, and those in states that have not expanded Medicaid are feeling the most financial pressure. Sixty-three percent of hospitals vulnerable to closure are in states that have not expanded Medicaid, according to a report from iVantage Health Analytics, a firm that compiles a hospital strength index based on data about financial stability, patients and quality indicators.

Thursday, January 05, 2017

U.S. Republican President-elect Donald Trump kept up his attacks on Democrats and Obamacare on Thursday while calling for a bipartisan congressional effort to come up with a healthcare alternative that would lower costs and improve care.

In a series of tweets, Trump, who takes office on Jan. 20, blasted Senate Democratic Leader Charles Schumer and his fellow Democrats, who have vowed to preserve President Barack Obama's legacy-defining healthcare law even as Republicans move ahead with their long-running bid to scrap it. read more


Does he have any idea where he is going with all this?
As one Trump convert has stated, every utterance out of Trump's mouth is the opening gambit in a negotiation. Whether it is factual or not is beside the point. Unfortunately for Trump, when his utterances/tweets aren't factual, it makes him look stupid. On the other hand, if someone knowingly takes a counter factual approach it indicates that (s)he is being intentionally obstinate and argumentative IOW "damn the torpedos, full speed ahead". The problem with Trump is we don't believe that he is being knowingly counter factual. I believe, like I suspect most people believe, that he doesn't know what the hell he is talking about. However, he may still stumble upon a good outcome simply by being in the game. By keeping things in a state of flux, the opposition may make an unforced error. Then again, it could start a war.

We should not leave NATO but European nations do need to put more skin in the game instead of depending on the US so much.
I agree. The US has been "paying the cost to be the boss" for to long. Europe has been able to improve the lives of its citizens and its infrastructure while the lives of US citizens and infrastructure has gone lacking. Furthermore, the US has large debts. Let Europe and especially Israel pick up more of the tab for their own defense.

I get it. Part of the strategy for the US "paying the cost to be the boss" is that it buys the US a seat at the table and it keeps any NATO country from breaking out to become a superpower or becoming a threat to each other. Let's not forget that Europe was the site of the start of two world wars and it was important to change their focus from fighting each other to letting the US do their fighting. It worked.

Obama has deployed a disengagement strategy in the ME i.e. the "US is not paying the costs to be the boss". To often, in the ME, that cost has been US lives and treasure. Quite frankly, I am very pleased with Obama's strategy in the ME. Let them work it out amongst themselves. Our primary role there should be to provide aid and comfort to our friends and to keep the conflict from spreading.

One of the consequences of a no longer "paying the costs to be the boss" strategy is that our dependents begin to show their independence. We might not get an automatic invite to sit in on every negotiation. This is healthy and to be expected. We should be proud of what we've been able to accomplish. Our European "children" have grown up.

There is a lot more data available all over the net. BUT, it's all pretty much traceable back to LBJ.

From your link:

The percentage of white births in the U.S. that was illegitimate, he wrote, had inched upward from 2 percent in 1940 to 3 percent in 1963. The black percentage, however, had jumped during these years from 16.8 percent to 23.6 percent, thereby remaining roughly eight times higher than among whites. Black divorce rates, too, had increased: in 1940 these had been the same for blacks and whites, but by 1964 the nonwhite (here as elsewhere he meant Negro) percentage had become 40 percent higher than that among whites. The result, he wrote, was that "Almost One-Fourth of Negro Families are Headed by Females."

Moynihan reported that by 1964, almost one-fourth of black families were headed by females.

"Incredible mistreatment" over the past three centuries, Moynihan continued, had forced Negro families in the United States into a "matriarchal structure."

As per the link, the study period that Moynihan referenced regarding the breakup of the negro family included 1940 to 1964. Since LBJ only came into office in November of 1963, most of the problems of the negro family identified by Moynihan were well established prior to LBJ.

I don't doubt that Great Society welfare programs contributed in some (small) way to the break up of negro families. However, as per Moynihan, that break up was well underway prior to the implementation of those programs and was the result of "Incredible mistreatment" over the past three centuries. Therefore, don't try to lay all of the blame on LBJ and Great Society Programs. Hundreds of years of slavery, Jim Crow, high unemployment, under resourced schools and poverty followed by the scourge of drugs and mass incarceration deserves the lion share of the blame.

Why are Cubans given residency but no one else? It's baloney.

Residency is not all they get.

Unlike most other immigrants, Cubans qualify immediately for food stamps and Medicaid. If they are over 65 with little or no income, they also can collect a monthly check of up to $733 in Supplemental Security Income (SSI).


None of these policies will last a month.
Perhaps. But if Trump tries to undo what was done, it will draw attention to the benefits that Cuban immigrants receive. Fiscally conservative republicans will be hard pressed to justify spending money on Cuban immigrants when they don't even want to spend it on American citizens.

Like many of Obama's moves during his final days in office, I think Obama is boxing Trump in and forcing Trump to take positions that will decrease his favorability.

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