The fate of the Affordable Care Act will not be resolved by Election Day, as the Supreme Court on Tuesday refused a request from the House of Representatives and Democratic-led states to fast-track a review of a lower court’s decision declaring part law unconstitutional. In December, the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals threw out the mandate that individuals buy health insurance, but left it to a lower court to decide whether the rest of the law could stand. The Washington Post’s Robert Barnes explains why the timing matters:
The House and Democratic states were eager to get the issue before the Supreme Court because the majority that has upheld the ACA in two previous Supreme Court challenges remains. “Today’s disappointing decision by the Supreme Court only prolongs and worsens the uncertainty and fear that Republicans’ anti-health care agenda is inflicting on American families,” Pelosi said in a statement, adding that “the Trump Administration and its GOP allies have engaged in an outrageous sabotage campaign to systematically destroy protections for the millions of Americans with pre-existing conditions as well as every last benefit and protection provided by the Affordable Care Act.”
If the ACA is thrown out, it would reverse the gains Louisiana has made in bringing its uninsured rate to a record low. The federal law protects 849,000 Louisianans with pre-existing medical conditions such as cancer and heart disease, while more than 450,000 low-income adults get health coverage through Medicaid expansion that’s made affordable thanks to the ACA.
Breaking up is hard to do
Gov. John Bel Edwards wants the governance of LSU to return to the way it was prior to 2013, with a system president that oversees the entire university system and a separate chancellor leading the main campus in Baton Rouge. The move comes as the university’s Board of Supervisors is tasked with replacing outgoing President-Chancellor F. King Alexander, who bolted for a parallel job at Oregon State University. The Advocate’s Sam Karlin reports:
“I don’t think one person can do everything that’s expected of them, to both run the A&M campus in Baton Rouge and the system,” Edwards said. “Because you want your chancellor present at events on campus but also to do fundraising specific for the campus at A&M university, whereas the system president has to do that all across the state of Louisiana.” The governor’s comments come more than seven years after former Gov. Bobby Jindal called for consolidation of the LSU system president and LSU Baton Rouge chancellor into one job.
Landry wrong on opioids
States that expanded Medicaid have seen a reduction in opioid overdose deaths because more people have received treatment for substance abuse. This seems logical, but there was a time when Louisiana Attorney General Jeff Landry stated the opposite, comparing a Medicaid card to a credit card for drug dealers. Stephanie Grace of Nola.com | The Advocate explains Landry’s track record of going after popular health care programs.
(Landry), like many of his fellow Republicans across the country, continues to go after the health care law that was passed by congressional Democrats and signed by President Barack Obama a decade ago. Landry also signed Louisiana on to a lawsuit led by Texas to invalidate the law, which would lead to the loss of not only Medicaid expansion, but other provisions such as guaranteed coverage for people with preexisting conditions.
Despite gains, women still struggling in workforce
Women are doing a better job than men in capitalizing on the U.S. economy and now hold more than half of its jobs. That’s because jobs that are traditionally female-dominated – in fields such as health care and education – are increasing-, while male-dominated jobs – such as manufacturing – are shrinking. Unfortunately, these “pink collar” jobs held by women don’t pay enough. Claire Cain Miller of the New York Times’ Upshot blog explains how these two issues can resolve themselves.
“There are immense economic benefits to these jobs,” Ms. Yavorsky said. “Inevitably, if they were more highly valued in our society, I think men would be more likely to enter them, and women would very much benefit from the higher wages.” Improving the quality of pink-collar, working-class jobs has the potential to close gender gaps — and also to shrink the widening gaps between the highest and lowest earners, both women and men.
Number of the Day
10 million – Number of children in the U.S. that live in low-opportunity neighborhoods. 4.5 million of these children are Hispanic, while 3.6 million are black. (Source: Brandeis University via Axios)