Archive for March 13th, 2017
He SAID he had the proof. Trump administration wants more time to give Intel committee wiretapping proof
Joe Uchill reports in The Hill:
President Trump’s administration has asked for more time to comply with a House Intelligence Committee request for evidence substantiating Trump’s claims of wiretapping.
The Monday evening request came hours before the committee-set midnight deadline.
This afternoon, the Department of Justice placed calls to representatives of the Chairman and Ranking Member of the United States House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence to ask for additional time to review the request in compliance with the governing legal authorities and to determine what if any responsive documents may exist,” the DOJ letter read.
House Intelligence Chairman Devin Nunes’s (R-Calif.) office confirmed the request in a statement, and said the delay could force the committee to “resort to a compulsory process if our questions continue to go unanswered.”
“The Department of Justice has asked for more time to comply with the House Intelligence Committee’s request for information related to possible surveillance of Donald Trump or his associates during the election campaign,” Nunes’ statement said.
“We have asked the Department to provide us this information before the Committee’s open hearing scheduled for March 20. If the committee does not receive a response by then, the Committee will ask for this information during the March 20 hearing and may resort to a compulsory process if our questions continue to go unanswered.”
Ranking member Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) weighed in on the delay on Twitter. . .
It’s the tax returns all over again. Do we at least get Arpège?
The maijuana the government supplies to researches might as well be dried oregano. Read the article.
Jason Koebler reports at Motherboard:
We’ve heard brave stories from people whose lives have been saved by health insurance, but thousands of Americans have already died because of lackluster coverage.
It struck me as normal, somehow, to watch my girlfriend enter an online sweepstakes that would help decide whether or not she would be able to afford to buy medicine. Only now, watching the Republican establishment dismantle the Affordable Care Act, has this struck me as cruel.
I don’t remember the specifics of the promotion, but I remember that it was a monthly trivia contest run by an online cystic fibrosis pharmacy. Answer the questions right, and your name was entered to receive $500 toward your meds. I’d ask Katelin about it now, but she is dead.
The Republican plan to repeal Obamacare and replace it with something that offers more “choice” has inspired thousands of people to confront lawmakers with their stories about how the law—and health insurance more generally—has saved their lives or prevented financial ruin. Their courage should be applauded, their voices amplified.
We should remember, though, that we are hearing from the fortunate ones. The ones who were repeatedly fucked by insurance companies before Obamacare? They are dead.
If Jason Chaffetz, Paul Ryan, and Donald Trump want to offer Americans more healthcare choice, they’re on the right track. Obamacare closed many of the loopholes insurance companies used to keep the chronically ill from purchasing coverage, but any system that treats healthcare as a luxury rather than a basic human need is going to afford people plenty of options as their insurance lapses or benefits are suddenly changed.
Katelin was afforded the choice to do fewer breathing treatments to preserve her medicine until her insurance company would pay for more. For a few months, she made the choice to take generic nebulized albuterol because she couldn’t afford the more effective Xopenex out of pocket. She had regular battles with her insurance company about when it was appropriate to refill her prescription for digestive enzymes, which she needed to take in order to eat almost anything. She chose to enter insane online sweepstakes to pay for medicine and wake up before dawn to ride multiple buses to get to work on time and to act in plays.
Three years after she died, I cannot piece together a timeline of when she had coverage, when she did not, and the varying quality of that coverage. There were times when she had excellent doctors and excellent insurance, and times when she had next to nothing thanks to a clerical error or benefits changes.
What I do know, though, is that she was constantly engaged in some bureaucratic battle about whether she was allowed to buy medicine, go to the doctor, or refill a prescription. About whether she should be allowed to live. A pre-Obamacare study found that lack of health insurance killed roughly 45,000 Americans annually. A study published Monday found that Canadians with cystic fibrosis have a life expectancy of roughly 10 years longer than Americans with CF. The discrepancy is attributed to Canada’s universal healthcare.
Somehow, through all of this, most people didn’t know that Katelin was sick, that she had been sick since the day she was born, and that she was slowly getting weaker because skipped treatments were beginning to take a toll on her lungs. . .
NOT the “best healthcare in the world”: Canadians With Cystic Fibrosis Live 10 Years Longer Than Americans
Kate Lunau reports in Motherboard:
Canadians had a 77 percent lower risk of death over the course of this study than US patients with no health insurance.
There’s no cure for cystic fibrosis, a fatal genetic disorder, but better treatments mean that people with the disease are living longer. Still, Canadians with CF can expect to live nearly 10 years longer than Americans, according to a new, wide-ranging study in Annals of Internal Medicine. Given the life expectancy of those who have the disease (median age of survival was 50.9 years in Canada, 40.6 years in the US), getting an extra 10 years is a lot.
The study doesn’t draw any firm conclusions about why there’s such a discrepancy between Canada and the US, but it does offer some insights. Health insurance status, among other factors, seems to have an impact. Canadians have universal and publicly funded healthcare coverage, whereas Americans with no insurance (or unknown insurance) fared worst of all in this study.
Under the GOP’s new legislation, and following the repeal of the Affordable Care Act, an estimated 14 million Americans stand to lose coverage by next year alone. It’s another stark reminder—if we needed one—that a patient’s insurance status has a real impact.
Dr. Anne Stephenson, lead author of the paper, is a respirologist at St. Michael’s Hospital in Toronto, where she works with CF patients. “It’s the largest adult centre [for CF patients] in Canada,” she told me, with over 450 patients in treatment.
In the study, she and collaborators in the US looked at data from national cystic fibrosis registries, where patients are tracked. (It included 5,941 in Canada and 45,456 in the US, from 1990 to 2013.) Even after adjusting for other characteristics, like age and how severe the disease was, the risk of death for CF patients was 34 percent lower in Canada. . .
With Trumpcare, Canadians will move even further ahead in cystic fibrosis survival.
The CBO score is calculated. They use numbers. All assumptions are explicit. Trump should not just say it’s not believable, he should show where it’s wrong. But he cannot. Same reason he cannot produce the evidence that convinced him that Obama had had his phones tapped.
Jordan Fabian reports in The Hill:
The Trump administration on Monday slammed a Congressional Budget Office (CBO) estimate that millions of people would become uninsured under the Republicans’ plan to repeal and replace ObamaCare.
“We disagree strenuously with the report that was put out,” Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price told reporters at the White House.
Price said the analysis released Monday afternoon does not take into account the entirety of the GOP plan to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act, which he said would cover more people while lowering costs.
The long-awaited report has roiled the debate over the GOP’s bid to overhaul the healthcare system, which would include repealing many elements of the Affordable Care Act and creating a new tax credit to help people buy insurance.
The plan, formally titled the American Health Care Act, is already facing resistance from conservatives who say the bill doesn’t go far enough, while more moderate Republicans have expressed concern about the bill’s defunding of Planned Parenthood and the rollback of expanded access to Medicaid.
The CBO, an independent scorekeeper for Congress, found that 14 million people would lose their insurance coverage by next year under the bill, with the number rising to 24 million over a decade.
Of the 14 million figure, Price said, “it’s virtually impossible to have that number occur.”
“It’s just not believable, is what we would suggest,” he added.
The health secretary said the nonpartisan budget office only looked at the House bill and not the two other parts of the administration’s three-phase healthcare plan, which includes regulatory changes and additional legislation. . .
Show where it’s wrong, Price.
Patrick G. Lee reports in ProPublica:
This story has been updated to add that Customs and Border Protection agents must have probable cause of wrongdoing to make stops outside the 100-mile border zone within which they have broad search powers.
A NASA scientist heading home to the U.S. said he was detained in January at a Houston airport, where Customs and Border Protection officers pressured him for access to his work phone and its potentially sensitive contents.
Last month, CBP agents checked the identification of passengers leaving a domestic flight at New York’s John F. Kennedy Airport during a search for an immigrant with a deportation order.
And in October, border agents seized phones and other work-related material from a Canadian photojournalist. They blocked him from entering the U.S. after he refused to unlock the phones, citing his obligation to protect his sources.
These and other recent incidents have revived confusion and alarm over what powers border officials actually have and, perhaps more importantly, how to know when they are overstepping their authority.
The unsettling fact is that border officials have long had broad powers — many people just don’t know about them. Border officials, for instance, have search powers that extend 100 air miles inland from any external boundary of the U.S. That means border agents can stop and question people at fixed checkpoints dozens of miles from U.S. borders. They can also pull over motorists whom they suspect of a crime as part of “roving” border patrol operations.
Sowing even more uneasiness, ambiguity around the agency’s search powers — especially over electronic devices — has persisted for years as courts nationwide address legal challenges raised by travelers, privacy advocates and civil-rights groups.
We’ve dug out answers about the current state-of-play when it comes to border searches, along with links to more detailed resources.
Doesn’t the Fourth Amendment protect us from “unreasonable searches and seizures”?
Yes. The Fourth Amendment to the Constitution articulates the “right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures.” However, those protections are lessened when entering the country at international terminals at airports, other ports of entry and subsequently any location that falls within 100 air miles of an external U.S. boundary.
How broad is Customs and Border Protection’s search authority?
According to federal statutes, regulations and court decisions, CBP officers have the authority to inspect, without a warrant, any person trying to gain entry into the country and their belongings. CBP can also question individuals about their citizenship or immigration status and ask for documents that prove admissibility into the country.
This blanket authority for warrantless, routine searches at a port of entry ends when CBP decides to undertake a more invasive procedure, such as a body cavity search. For these kinds of actions, the CBP official needs to have some level of suspicion that a particular person is engaged in illicit activity, not simply that the individual is trying to enter the U.S.
Does CBP’s search authority cover electronic devices like smartphones and laptops? . . .