Democrats See Health Care as Winning Issue in 2020 US Election

Health care in America is again expected to be a deeply divisive issue in the 2020 U.S. presidential election, with Democrats pressing for more government involvement through the concept of “Medicare for All,” and Republicans warning of increased taxes and looming socialism.

Health care advocates believe that growing public support for protecting and expanding health care programs will help Democrats in 2020, just as the party’s focus on this issue helped it win control of the House of Representatives in the 2018 election.

“Health care is a winning issue for Democrats. So, I think any way that they focus on health care and solutions is going to be beneficial to them,” said Anne Shoup, with the advocacy group Protect Our Care.

Republicans, meanwhile, have been on the defensive of late, unable to agree on a conservative health care alternative to both bring down costs and ensure access to those in need.

Congressional Republicans and President Donald Trump failed in their effort to repeal and replace the Obama administration’s signature health care program, but over time have reduced its coverage benefits.

“Everyone wants to have health care for the sick. No one’s trying to deny the sick health care. I think that’s an important thing to clarify. What’s important is how we achieve that,” said Meridian Paulton, a conservative health policy analyst with The Heritage Foundation.

‘Medicare for All’

The rising cost of health care continues to be a major concern in the U.S., where a typical family with no serious afflictions can spend over $8,000 a year, or 11 percent of their income on health insurance and basic medical care, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation that studies national health issues.

The crowded field of Democratic presidential candidates all endorse health care as a right, and favor a range of plans to achieve or work toward universal health care coverage and bring down costs. 

The most expansive proposal is Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders’ Medicare For All plan, a government takeover of the $2.5 trillion private health care industry that Sanders first proposed during his failed 2016 presidential election bid.

“The goal of a rational health care system is not to make insurance companies billions in profits,” Sanders, an independent seeking the Democratic presidential nomination, said at a recent rally in Iowa. “So, we say to the health insurance industry, ‘Yes, we will pass a Medicare for All single-payer program.” 

Sanders’ proposal would basically expand government-funded Medicare coverage plans for senior citizens to provide free health care for everyone in the country, funded by higher taxes. 

Other Democratic candidates who support this single-payer approach that would ban private insurance plans include California Sen. Kamala Harris and Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren. 

More moderate Democratic hopefuls such as Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar and former Vice President Joe Biden, who reportedly is close to launching his campaign for president, endorse more incremental and pragmatic measures to expand health care that might stand a better chance of passing in a divided Congress.

The dilemma Democrats face in the 2020 campaign is whether to nominate a progressive candidate advocating for a complete health care overhaul — which could alienate moderates in the general election — or support a more moderate candidate who may not generate enthusiasm among the liberal base calling for transformational change.


Trump, who is seeking a second term, has criticized Democratic health care proposals as socialism that will stifle individual choice and private enterprise competition.

“Democrat lawmakers are now embracing socialism. They want to replace individual rights with total government domination,” the president contends.

During the 2016 campaign, Trump repeatedly promised not to cut social assistance programs. But in this year’s budget, he has proposed reducing millions of dollars in funding for both Medicare health insurance for seniors, and Medicaid that provides medical assistance to the poor and disabled.

Democratic options

A recent public opinion poll by the Kaiser Family Foundation showed that 56 percent of Americans favor Medicare For All, and even broader support for incremental improvements to the current system in place. 

However, public approval for expanding health care drops significantly when confronted with the possibility of doubling taxes to pay for it, and the economic disruption of eliminating the private insurance industry.

“They have to believe that what they’d be getting, what would be substituting for what they have now, would be at least as good or attractive to them. And that the increase in the spending on the public side, that would be worth it to them,” said Linda Blumberg, an economist with the Health Policy Center at the Urban Institute, a Washington think tank.. 

An incremental alternative that is gaining wider support among the American public, Blumberg says, is a government “public option” coverage plan to compete against private insurance companies.

Shifting support

The Affordable Care Act of 2010 increased access to health insurance by expanding Medicaid and providing insurance subsidies to working class families, while keeping in place the private sector health care and insurance industries. 

The ACA, also known as Obamacare, was criticized for not containing the rising cost of health care, driven in part by a lack of competition in some markets, and by the role of for-profit insurance companies that charge excessive administrative fees.

Tea Party groups, limited government activists opposed to what they viewed as an increasing government takeover of the private health care industry, organized widespread Obamacare protests that helped the Republican Party win control of Congress in 2011 and to elect Trump in 2016.

However, Republican efforts in the last two years to repeal Obamacare failed, in large part because opponents did not have a clear alternative, and because the public favored keeping many elements of the ACA, particularly the prohibition against denying anyone health insurance because of pre-existing conditions such as a long-standing illness or pregnancy.


Венесуела: Мадуро закликав уряд піти у відставку

Президент Венесуели Ніколас Мадуро закликав уряд країни піти у відставку для «повної реструктуризації» кабінету міністрів, щоб «захистити батьківщину Болівара і Чавеса від будь-якої загрози». Про це написала в Twitter віце-президент Венесуели Делсі Родрігес.

Згідно з опублікованими 17 березня даними соціологічного опитування, проведеного венесуельською компанією Meganálisis, майже 89 відсотків жителів Венесуели висловилися за те, щоб президент країни і уряд пішли у відставку.

У січні лідер венесуельської опозиції Хуан Гуайдо оголосив себе тимчасовим виконувачем обов’язків президента і закликав до проведення незалежних виборів. Гуайдо підтримали США, багато країн Латинської Америки і більшість країн Євросоюзу.

Чинного президента Ніколаса Мадуро вважають легітимним Росія, Китай, Куба і Мексика. Москва звинувачує Вашингтон в намірі силою змінити владу в Венесуелі.

Венесуела, що володіє найбільшими запасами нафти, роками потерпає від браку харчів і медикаментів. У 2018 році показник інфляції в країні перевищив позначку одного мільйона відсотків.


Мей може відмовитися від спроб провести Brexit найближчим часом – ЗМІ

Прем’єр-міністр Великобританії Тереза Мей може відмовитися від ідеї реалізувати Brexit найближчим часом, якщо євроскептики з Консервативної партії, яку вона очолює, не пообіцяють голосувати за її план виходу Сполученого королівства з ЄС. Про це повідомляє агентство Bloomberg.

Мей продовжує спроби заручитися підтримкою парламенту, але вона не буде виносити угоду на голосування у вівторок, якщо не буде значних шансів на її схвалення. Тоді під час візиту на саміт лідерів Європейського союзу в четвер вона буде вести переговори про перенесення Brexit на довгий термін.  

За даними Bloomberg, сьогодні Мей має продовжити переговори з Демократичною союзною партією Північної Ірландії та депутатами-торі, які не підтримують план свого лідера. Щоб з третього разу схвалити угоду з ЄС у Палаті громад, Мей потрібна підтримка обох груп.

Читайте також: Британські депутати відкидають план прем’єра щодо Brexit. Можливі варіанти розвитку подій

Британія і ЄС досі не домовилися про умови Brexit. 13 березня британський парламент відхилив варіант виходу з ЄС без угоди про умови цього кроку. 14 березня депутати проголосували за перенесення виходу країни з Євросоюзу щонайменше до 30 червня.

Ще раніше того тижня депутати вдруге відкинули умови угоди, які прем’єр-міністр Тереза Мей погодила з головою Єврокомісії Жан-Клодом Юнкером.

Уперше депутати відмовилися схвалити угоду в січні. Після того Мей продовжила переговори з керівництвом ЄС, але не домоглася істотних поступок. У березні Юнкер заявив, що на нове обговорення ЄС не погодиться.

Рішення про вихід Великої Британії з ЄС британці схввалили на референдумі влітку 2016 року. До того моменту Мей, яка очолювала МВС, виступала проти Brexit. Очоливши уряд, вона пообіцяла виконати волю виборців про вихід із ЄС.


Democrats See Health Care as Winning Issue in 2020 U.S. Election

Health care in America is again expected to be a deeply divisive issue in the 2020 U.S. presidential election with Democrats pressing for more government involvement, and Republicans warning of increased taxes and what they see as creeping socialism. But Brian Padden reports there are also competing proposals among Democratic candidates that advocate either transformational change to energize the progressive base or incremental progress to attract moderate support.


Should Media Avoid Naming the Gunmen in Mass Shootings?

A few months after teen shooters killed 12 classmates and her father at Columbine High School, Coni Sanders was standing in line at a grocery store with her young daughter when they came face to face with the magazine cover.

It showed the two gunmen who had carried out one of the deadliest school shootings in U.S. history. Sanders realized that few people knew much about her father, who saved countless lives. But virtually everyone knew the names and the tiniest of details about the attackers who carried out the carnage.

In the decades since Columbine, a growing movement has urged news organizations to refrain from naming the shooters in mass slayings and to cease the steady drumbeat of biographical information about them. Critics say giving the assailants notoriety offers little to help understand the attacks and instead fuels celebrity-style coverage that only encourages future attacks.

The 1999 Colorado attack continues to motivate mass shooters, including the two men who this week stormed their former school in Brazil, killing seven people.

The gunman who attacked two mosques in New Zealand on Friday, killing at least 49 people, was said to have been inspired by the man who in 2015 killed nine black worshippers at a church in Charleston, South Carolina.

Adam Lankford, a criminologist at the University of Alabama, who has studied the influence of media coverage on future shooters, said it’s vitally important to avoid excessive coverage of gunmen.

“A lot of these shooters want to be treated like celebrities. They want to be famous. So the key is to not give them that treatment,” he said.

The notion hit close to home for Sanders. Seemingly everywhere she turned — the grocery store, a restaurant, a newspaper or magazine — she would see the faces of the Columbine attackers and hear or read about them. Even in her own home, she was bombarded with their deeds on TV.

Everyone knew their names. “And if you said the two together, they automatically knew it was Columbine,” Sanders said. “The media was so fascinated — and so was our country and the world — that they really grasped onto this every detail. Time and time again, we couldn’t escape it.”

Criminologists who study mass shootings say the vast majority of shooters are seeking infamy and soak up the coverage as a guide.

Just four days after the 2017 Las Vegas concert shooting, which stands as the deadliest mass shooting in modern U.S. history, Lankford published a paper urging journalists to refrain from using shooters’ names or going into exhaustive detail about their crimes.

These attackers, he argued, are trying to outdo previous shooters with higher death tolls. Media coverage serves only to encourage copycats.

Late last year, the Trump administration’s federal Commission on School Safety called on the media to refrain from reporting the names and photos of mass shooters. It was one of the rare moments when gun-rights advocates and gun-control activists agreed.

“To suggest that the media alone is to blame or is primarily at fault for this epidemic of mass shootings would vastly oversimply this issue,” said Adam Skaggs, chief counsel for the Giffords Law Center, which works to curb gun violence.

Skaggs said he is “somewhat sympathetic to journalists’ impulse to cover clearly important and newsworthy events and to get at the truth. … But there’s a balance that can be struck between ensuring the public has enough information … and not giving undue attention to perpetrators of heinous acts.”

Studies show a contagion effect from coverage of both homicides and suicides.

The Columbine shooters, in particular, have an almost cult-like status, with some followers seeking to emulate their trench-coat attire and expressing admiration for their crime, which some have attributed to bullying. The gunman in the 2012 Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting kept a detailed journal of decades’ worth of mass shootings.

James Alan Fox, a professor at Northeastern University who has studied mass shootings, said naming shooters is not the problem. Instead, he blamed over-the-top coverage that includes irrelevant details about the killers, such as their writings and their backgrounds, that “unnecessarily humanizes them.”

“We sometimes come to know more about them — their interests and their disappointments — than we do about our next-door neighbors,” Fox said.

Law enforcement agencies have taken a lead, most recently with the Aurora, Illinois, police chief, who uttered just once the name of the gunman who killed five co-workers and wounded five officers last month.

“I said his name one time for the media, and I will never let it cross my lips again,” Chief Kristen Ziman said in a Facebook post.

Some media, most notably CNN’s Anderson Cooper, have made a point of avoiding using the name of these gunmen.

The Associated Press names suspects identified by law enforcement in major crimes. However, in cases in which the crime is carried out seeking publicity, the AP strives to restrict the mention of the name to the minimum needed to inform the public, while avoiding descriptions that might serve a criminal’s desire for publicity or self-glorification, said John Daniszewski, the AP’s vice president and editor-at-large for standards.

For Caren and Tom Teves, the cause is personal. Their son Alex was among those killed in an Aurora, Colorado, movie theater in 2012.

They were both traveling out of state when the shooting happened, and it took 15 hours for them to learn the fate of their son. During those hours, they heard repeatedly about the shooter but virtually nothing about the victims.

Not long after, they created the No Notoriety movement, encouraging media to stick to reporting relevant facts rather than the smallest of biographical details. They also recommend publishing images of the shooter in places that are not prominent, steering clear of “hero” poses or images showing them holding weapons, and not publishing any manifestos.

“We never say don’t use the name. What we say is use the name responsibly and don’t turn them into anti-heroes,” Tom Teves said. “Let’s portray them for what they are: They’re horrible human beings that are completely skewed in their perception of reality, and their one claim to fortune is sneaking up behind you and shooting you.”


Дані «чорних скриньок» показали схожість між авіакатастрофами в Ефіопії й Індонезії – влада

«Чорні скриньки» з літака «Ефіопських авіаліній», який розбився тиждень тому, містять дані, які вказують на «чітку схожість» цієї катастрофи з тією, що сталася поблизу Індонезії минулого року, повідомила міністр транспорту Ефіопії.

За словами Даґмавіт Моґес, попередній звіт буде оприлюднений упродовж 30 днів.

Boeing 737 MAX 8 «Ефіопських авіаліній» розбився невдовзі після зльоту в Аддис-Абебі 10 березня. Внаслідок цього загинули всі 157 людей на борту.

Це друга катастрофа літака такої моделі від жовтня, коли борт компанії Lion Air впав в океан біля узбережжя Індонезії. Внаслідок цієї авіакатастрофи загинули 189 людей.

Після катастрофи літака «Ефіопських авіаліній» країни почали відмовлятися від польотів Boeing 737 MAX 8.

Дані з «чорних скриньок» аналізують французькі експерти.


Gillibrand Launches Bid For 2020 Presidential Race

U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand of New York has launched her campaign to win the Democratic Party nomination to oppose President Donald Trump in the 2020 election.

She formally launched her bid Sunday morning, not with a big speech, but instead with a video that poses the question, “WIll brave win?”

“We need a leader who makes big, bold, brave choices,” Gillibrand says in the video. “Someone who isn’t afraid of progress.”

The lawmaker is set to deliver her first major speech next week in front of Trump International Hotel in New York City.

She gave an indication in the video of the issues she will focus on during her campaign. “We launched ourselves into space and landed on the moon. If we can do that, we can definitely achieve universal health care,”she said. “We can provide paid family leave for all, end gun violence, pass a Green New Deal, get money out of politics and take back our democracy.”

She joins a large group of presidential hopefuls that includes, among many others, some of her fellow female lawmakers: Sens. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts, Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota and Kamala Harris of California, along with Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard of Hawaii.

Gillibrand was appointed to the Senate in 2009.  She filled the New York Senate seat vacated by Hillary Clinton, but since then has won three elections to retain the seat.


ЄС критикує Росію через анексію Криму

Євросоюз підтримує український суверенітет і територіальну цілісність – верховний представник Європейського союзу із зовнішньої політики


Paris Exhibit Traces Post-Colonial Migration Through Music

As rising nationalism and the crisis surrounding Britain’s exit from the European Union intensify divisions on the continent, a new exhibit in the French capital looks instead at a powerful unifier: Music.

The music the came with the postwar colonial migrations helped turn two of Europe’s most important hubs, London and Paris, into multicultural melting pots.

Rhythm and blues, reggae, rai and rock ’n’ roll — Europe and other Western regions got world music long before the term was invented. Even the Beatles were much more than a British brand — borrowing from Asia and sometimes West Africa.

How it blended into popular culture today is a central theme of a new exhibit that examines three decades of post-war migration to Paris and London — through music.

France and Britain needed extra manpower to fuel their fast-growing economies. They got it from former colonies that had just achieved independence. For immigrants in Paris, it was a tough beginning.

“Immigrants lived in special areas, what we call foyers,” said Stephane Malfettes. “There were a lot of strikes in the foyers de travelers. They were working in factories during the day — sharing the life of everybody — but at the end of the day, they vanished in their foyers.”


WATCH: Post-Colonial Migration to London, Paris Traced Via Music

Malfettes is the curator of the exhibit that opened this week at the Paris Museum of Immigration History. He says the immigrants were initially sidelined from France’s mainstream musical scene, as well. Things changed in the 1970s.

“The music became a very strong protest in the public space as an instrument of revolt and protest,” he said.

Across the English Channel, migrants in London also faced racism. But Martin Evans, another exhibit curator, said they were introducing the city to ska and reggae from Jamaica, music from East Africa, and calypso from Trinidad and Tobago.

“They become profoundly London,” Evans said. “And in a sense, I think that’s a measure of how much this migration has transformed London by the end of the 1980s.”

The parents of British musician and filmmaker Don Letts immigrated to Britain from Jamaica as part of the so-called Windrush generation. He says they wanted to integrate by denying their roots. It didn’t work.

“Ironically, it was their culture, particularly their music, that would capture the imagination of the white working-class kids,” he said. “And it was our culture that would actually help us to integrate with society.”

Letts says the cultural exchange went both ways.

“I was inspired by a lot of things that I grew up with. I grew up digging the Stones, the Beatles, Bowie, Roxy Music and all the rest of it,” he said.

Meanwhile, Paris by the 1980s had become a hub for African music — singers like Papa Wemba, Khaled, Youssou Ndour and Salif Keita. Music producer Martin Meissonnier was among their earliest fans — and producer for some of the biggest artists.

“Out of pleasure I was discovering all these new musics, and I thought it was a gold mine. It was fascinating. It was all these incredible bands,” Meissonnier said.

The musical fusion has left a powerful imprint on today’s artists. And it has changed not only how we think about music, but about each other.


Preeclampsia Test Can Identify Dangerous Condition Quickly, at Home

A new test can quickly identify preeclampsia, a common and dangerous condition during pregnancy and help keep mothers and babies healthy and safe.

When Jessi Prizinsky was pregnant with her first child, her feet started swelling.

“Well, you hear, everybody tell you, you know, the swollen ankles, and get your feet up and all that,” Prizinsky said. “That was where I thought, ‘OK.’ And then it started to be, it kind of looks like it’s in my arms and hands, too.”

Most women expect some swelling when they are pregnant. But these symptoms can also be signs of preeclampsia.

It’s a complication of pregnancy that raises the mother’s blood pressure and affects the blood flow to the placenta. This can lead to smaller or premature babies. Untreated, it can be fatal to mom, or baby, or both.

Fast, easy test developed

Researchers at the Ohio State Wexner Medical Center have developed a fast, easy test to diagnose preeclampsia. That’s where Dr. Kara Rood practices maternal and fetal medicine.

“One of the hard parts with preeclampsia is there’s a lot of symptoms of just pregnancy alone, and other medical conditions that have similar symptoms that the women experience, like high blood pressure, headaches, changes in vision. Those can be attributed to a lot of other things,” Rood said.

Preeclampsia is more serious if it occurs earlier in the pregnancy, or in a woman who had high blood pressure before getting pregnant.

Rood says managing this condition early is best for both mothers and babies.

“Without the certainty of this test aiding in the diagnosis,” she said, “we as providers are definitely overcautious, as this is definitely something we don’t want to miss because of the life-threatening results of a misdiagnosis for moms and babies.”

Listen to your body

Because of her preeclampsia, Prizinsky was induced three weeks early. She had a successful second pregnancy and has this advice for other women.

“The biggest thing is listening to your body,” she said.

The test is so easy, women can take it at home, and preeclampsia can be treated as soon as it develops. The researchers expect the test to be approved by the Food and Drug Administration in the next few years.