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Here’s how a new study implies the Supreme Court has killed 16,000 people since 2012

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A new paper published by the National Bureau of Economic Research looked into the effects of the Affordable Care Act’s Medicaid expansion to people below 138 percent of the poverty line, which has seen nearly 15 million people enrolled in participating states. The results were encouraging: the mortality rate for near-elderly adults has dropped over 9 percent in the four years for which data is available.

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But while this is cause for celebration, The Atlantic staff writer Annie Lowrey offered a darker take on the implications of these numbers:

Lowrey is referring to the Supreme Court’s 2012 decision in National Federation of Independent Businesses v. Sebelius, the landmark case that decided whether key parts of the ACA were constitutional.

The Court famously ruled that the individual mandate to purchase health insurance was constitutional, with conservative Chief Justice John Roberts casting the deciding vote — but the Court also struck down the part of the law that let the federal government take punitive action against states that decline to expand Medicaid. This left the door open for Republican governors and legislatures to block Medicaid expansion in their states, which many did.

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While some of the initial holdouts have since joined the expansion, like Louisiana, Maine, and Virginia, many states went years without covering tens of thousands of low-income adults, and some still haven’t moved to expand Medicaid at all.

The Supreme Court could well cause tens of thousands more deaths if it decides to uphold the Texas lawsuit trying to throw out the entire ACA, which is currently being considered by the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals.


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‘Drinking the Kool-Aid’: Famous anti-cult attorney explains what Trump has in common with notorious People’s Temple leader

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Los Angeles-based attorney/journalist Paul Morantz is famous for his work against cults — most notably, Synanon, which tried to kill him in 1978 by placing a rattlesnake in his mailbox. And in a scathing op-ed for his website, Morantz compares President Donald Trump to the infamous cult leader Jim Jones, arguing that Trump, in effect, committed “mass murder” by downplaying the severity of the coronavirus pandemic and encouraging large gatherings despite the dangers.

In 1978, the same year in which Morantz survived a rattlesnake bite, Jones was responsible for a mass killing in a remote area of Guyana — where the leader of the People’s Temple ordered his followers to drink Kool-Aid that was laced with cyanide. More than 900 cult members died at the Jonestown settlement on November 18, 1978, and in 2020, the slang expression “drinking the Kool-Aid” is still used to criticize people who blindly accept bad information.

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Ignorant mask opponents keep using one of the worst analogies imaginable as COVID-19 sweeps across America

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Earlier this year, my college students and I joined our chaplain and a graduate student in traveling to the Holocaust Museum in Washington, DC. The insensitive treatment many attendees gave the terrors that the museum was trying to educate people about are being repeated in a new way: weaponizing the Holocaust against any mask mandates, social distancing, or other health regulations designed to combat the deadly spread of COVID-19.  Amazingly, some of their targets are Jewish.

About a week ago, a couple went into a Minnesota Wal-Mart with swastika masks over their faces.  The Minnesota GOP apologized this month for a Washaba County Republican Party meme comparing mask mandates to Jews having to wear yellow stars.

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Louie Gohmert’s daughter begs him to heed medical advice and not to follow Trump to ‘an early grave’

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In a statement posted to Twitter this Friday, the daughter of Texas GOP Rep. Louie Gohmert said that her father contracted the coronavirus because he chose to ignore medical expertise.

Gohmert’s daughter Caroline, who is also a recording artist known as BELLSAINT, said that “wearing a mask is a non-partisan issue.”

“The advice of medical experts shouldn’t be politicized,” her statement read. “My father ignored medical expertise and now he has COVID.”

“It’s not worth following a president who has no remorse for leading his followers to an early grave,” she added.

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