Thursday, January 9, 2014

Some Good Obamacare News

New Health and Human Services guidelines on drugs covered under the Affordable Care Act means that certain breast cancer prevention drugs will now be covered as part of preventative care.

Women at increased risk of breast cancer can receive so-called chemoprevention drugs, including tamoxifen and raloxifene, without a co-pay or other out-of-pocket expense.
Under Obamacare, most health insurance companies and employer plans must offer certain preventive services at no cost to patients
The American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network praised the announcement in a statement Thursday. 
"This policy means millions of women at high risk for breast cancer will know they can access proven risk-reducing medications at no cost to them," said spokesman Steve Weiss. "Studies show that even modest cost sharing can keep patients from taking advantage of proven preventive tests and therapies. By making prevention more accessible and affordable, the health care law is helping people stay healthy and avoid the high costs of treatment after diagnosis.”

So yes, preventative care is a good thing, especially when it comes to something as devastating as cancer.   It's certainly less expensive than treating the disease when it's full-blown in the latter stages.  The downside is that many of these chemoprevention drugs have some serious side effects.  Hopefully we'll be able to come up with better ones as well.

Mr. Gruden Goes To Washington

Bengals offensive coordinator Jay Gruden is a smart guy.  He's not waiting around to see if he gets the axe after yet another first-round playoff choke for Cincinnati over the weekend, instead he's taking the head coach job for Washington.

Jay Gruden will be introduced as the new coach of the Washington Redskins on Thursday afternoon, becoming the team’s eighth head coach since Daniel Snyder purchased the franchise in 1999. 
Gruden, most recently the offensive coordinator of the Cincinnati Bengals, succeeds Mike Shanahan, who was fired by the Redskins after a 3-13 season in which the team finished last in the NFC East. 
Gruden, the brother of former Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Oakland Raiders coach Jon Gruden, never has been an NFL head coach. He has been a head coach in the Arena Football League and the United Football League. He oversaw the NFL’s 10th-ranked offense this season with the Bengals. He inherits a Redskins team that lost 40 games in four years under Shanahan. 
“I’m really happy for my brother,” Jon Gruden, now an analyst for ESPN, said. “He’s worked extremely hard to get this opportunity. The Redskins are one of the great NFL franchises and I expect him to make the most of this opportunity.”

I'm sure he will.  The franchise deserves Gruden, and I'm sure he'll make a bigger mess in Washington than he did in here in Cincinnati.

That Bridge Too Far Again

Things are getting distinctly worse for New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, as yesterday's story directly tying his office to a series of lane closures on the George Washington Bridge in order to punish the mayor of Fort Lee, NJ as revenge for the mayor refusing to endorse Christie apparently had far more serious consequences:

Emergency responders were delayed in attending to four medical situations – including one in which a 91-year-old woman lay unconscious – due to traffic gridlock caused by unannounced closures of access lanes to the George Washington Bridge, according to the head of the borough’s EMS department. 
The woman later died, borough records show. 
In at least two of those instances, response time doubled, noted EMS coordinator Paul Favia, who documented those cases in a Sept. 10 letter to Mayor Mark Sokolich, which The Record obtained.

"There was a missing child that day. The police had trouble conducting that search because they were tied up directing traffic," says Jan Goldberg, a Fort Lee councilman who works with local emergency personnel. Police found the missing child, a four-year-old. "But with the streets in the condition they were, I would venture to say that the search took longer," Goldberg says. 
Ila Kasofsky, a Fort Lee councilwoman, tells Mother Jones that ambulances and other emergency vehicles could not get through the gridlock. In the aftermath of the lane closures, Kasofsky says she spoke with a Fort Lee resident who couldn't get over the bridge to support her husband through major surgery. Another Fort Lee woman was unable to pick up her son after his dialysis session.

Steve M argues that Christie has been too moderate for the Tea Party lunatics to try to save him.

In Christie's, um, glory days, Fox Nation would have been dominated by items intended to spin this story his way. The most damaging information available would be dug up about the mayor of Fort Lee. We'd be told that the first responders there do a lousy job on ordinary days, so any ambulance delays must be the result of something other than the lane closure on the bridge. There'd be smears against reporters working the story, and against Jersey Democrats denouncing the lane closure. You know the drill. 
But none of that pushback is being generated by the conservative noise machine because Christie hasn't been tickling right-wing pleasure centers the way he once did. When was the last time he yelled at a teacher and posted the video online anyway? Seems as if it's been a while. I guess he wanted to seem like America's new bipartisan dreamboat, going into his reelection campaign and into 2016. 
He should have kept up the on-camera partisan nastiness, because he needs backup now, and he's not getting it. The right has abandoned him.

Indeed.  The right is more annoyed that Christie is distracting the media from BENGHAZI(tm)! than they are worried about saving his national image.  They could care less about him.  They don't want Christie as the nominee anyway, not after McCain and Romney.  They want someone who will make being a woman, a minority, LGBTQ, or a Democrat all but illegal, and Christie's not that guy.

We'll see how the Sunday shows handle Christie's situation.  If the regular Village Pundits there turn on him, he's done.

[UPDATE]  Christie is holding an 11 AM presser, and the NY Post is reporting he's fired Kelly (the aide in the emails from his office) and his campaign manager, who was in charge of "damage control".


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