Category Archives: Aside

Healthcare

HEALTH CARE: The WAPO reports, “A new study from the U.S. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services found a small one percent decrease in American retail drug prices in 2018 — the first decline in more than 40 years — but a significant jump in the cost per person for private health insurance. The study, which was published in the journal Health Affairs, says that last year health care spending overall grew by 4.6 percent to a total of $3.6 trillion, or an average of $11,172 per person. If you felt like you were spending more on out-of-pocket fees such as insurance deductibles and co-payments in 2018 , those also increased last year by 2.8 percent.”

GOP Retirement

GOP RETIREMENTS: When things don’t look great for your political team, sometimes you decline to go another round. As of Thursday, 17 House Republicans have announced they are not seeking reelection in 2020. FiveThirtyEight’s Geoffrey Skelley pointed out many of these names have been members of the House for at least two decades, are from safely Republican districts and in their early-to-mid 60s, making them relatively young for retirement. Overall, it’s not a positive sign for the GOP

New Jork

NYC’s BROGUE: Five linguists at the City University of New York are nearing the end of a three-year project to document the “New Yawk” accent and “to catalog just what makes the dialect so distinctively New York.” The researchers employed undergrads across the five boroughs to record interviews. They found dropped R’s, nasally A’s, and “a trademark spin on the first vowel in words like coffee, making it cawfee.” Hey, undergrad, I’m walking heeah

Opiods

PILL MILLS? Nearly half of the opioid pills sold in the U.S. from 2006 to 2012 were purchased by just 15 percent of the pharmacies, according to the Washington Post’s ongoing analysis of a large federal pain pill database. That 15 percent includes pharmacies such as Shearer Drug in Clinton County, Kentucky, which had the equivalent of 96 pills per person, based on that county’s population.

The Court

VIEW OF COURT: “In 2015, after the Supreme Court had upheld same-sex marriage and the Affordable Care Act, only 33 percent of Republicans viewed the court favorably. Now, after the confirmation of two justices nominated by President Trump, 75 percent of Republicans have a favorable view of the court. Its favorability among Democrats has fallen from a high of 72 percent in 2016 to 49 percent today.”