Death Of Obamacare Repeal Could Spur New Medicaid Expansions

Death Of Obamacare Repeal Could Spur New Medicaid Expansions

Huffington Post Politics

//delivery.vidible.tv/jsonp/pid=5668ae6ee4b0b5e26955d6a6/vid=58d58dad1de5a133f9571102/56000e19e4b0e4e194b84b31.js?m.embeded=cms_video_plugin_us.edit.huffpost.netfunction onPlayerReadyVidible(e){‘undefined’!=typeof HPTrack&&HPTrack.Vid.Vidible_track(e)}!function(e,i){if(e.vdb_Player){if(‘object’==typeof commercial_video){var a=”,o=’m.fwsitesection=’+commercial_video.site_and_category;if(a+=o,commercial_video[‘package’]){var c=’&m.fwkeyvalues=sponsorship%3D’+commercial_video[‘package’];a+=c}e.setAttribute(‘vdb_params’,a)}i(e.vdb_Player)}else{var t=arguments.callee;setTimeout(function(){t(e,i)},0)}}(document.getElementById(‘vidible_1’),onPlayerReadyVidible);

The failure of President Donald Trump and congressional Republicans to repeal the Affordable Care Act could lead to an ironic result: the expansion of government-run health care.

The Affordable Care Act provides generous federal funding to states that expand their Medicaid programs starting in 2014, but 19 states led by Republicans or by divided partisan control of their governments declined to do so after a 2012 Supreme Court ruling made it optional.

Now that the federal effort to repeal and replace “Obamacare” is dead, states that turned down those federal dollars to cover their poorest residents may revisit the idea to open up Medicaid ― which is jointly managed and financed by the federal and state governments ― to more people.

The Republican-led Kansas Senate passed a bill Monday to expand Medicaid in the Sunflower State, following passage by the majority-GOP Kansas House last month. This legislation had been moving before the collapse of the congressional repeal effort, but it illustrates interest in red states in covering more people using Affordable Care Act funding. Republican Gov. Sam Brownback opposes the bill, however, making its fate uncertain. 

Also Monday, one Democrat began to take action in the aftermath of Trump’s failed bid to undo Obamacare.

Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe, stymied by the GOP-led legislature in his attempts to enact Medicaid expansion in his commonwealth after taking office in 2014, announced Monday he would renew his push to get the legislature to adopt the policy now that Trump and national GOP leaders like House Speaker Paul Ryan (Wis.) have moved on from repeal.

“President Trump’s attempt to repeal the Affordable Care Act failed and even Speaker Ryan has said that Obamacare is the law of the land for the foreseeable future,” McAuliffe said in a news release. “I’m asking the General Assembly to work with me to pursue Medicaid expansion and put this funding to work for our most vulnerable Virginians.”

McAuliffe campaigned in support of Medicaid expansion, so his statements aren’t surprising. But his thinking could spread to even Republican governors and state legislators, said Diane Rowland, executive vice president of the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation.

“There is now a motivation to many of those states who were on the fence to take it,” Rowland said. “They could cover a lot of low-income people with a lot of federal money.”

Another ironic twist is that having a Republican in the White House could make state GOP leaders more willing to negotiate with federal health care authorities on so-called waivers from standard Medicaid rules that would let states nudge their Medicaid expansions in more conservative directions. States like Arkansas and Indiana made such arrangements with President Barack Obama’s administration, but didn’t always get what they wanted.

“They now have an administration that’s very willing to do waivers and set up some of the kinds of things they wanted to have in an expansion, like a work requirement,” Rowland said.

Trump’s top Medicare and Medicaid official, Seema Verma, is a strong proponent of state innovation in Medicaid and was a key figure in the development of the Healthy Indiana Medicaid expansion that Vice President Mike Pence implemented while governor of that state.

The Trump administration would be more willing to allow states to impose rules on Medicaid recipients that the Obama administration wouldn’t approve, such as work requirements, higher monthly premiums and higher costs when patients use their Medicaid benefits.

Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal, a Republican, also indicated Monday that the demise of the federal repeal effort may change his thinking about Medicaid.

“Those are areas that some would like for us to explore, and I think we have the possibility of doing that within the context of our Medicaid program,” he said, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported. Deal did not specify that he would take up the Affordable Care Act’s Medicaid expansion, but expressed an interest in seeking Medicaid waivers from the federal government.

Expansions in the other 31 states and the District of Columbia strongly contributed to the historic reduction in the national uninsured rate, and those localities saw greater success than non-expansion states.

In addition to extending coverage to more people, these Medicaid expansions have been shown to reduce premiums for private health insurance by moving sicker, costlier people to Medicaid instead, and to stimulate local economies as federal dollars flow through the state to medical providers and others.

Under the Affordable Care Act, the federal government pays no less than 90 percent of the cost to cover newly eligible people, which includes anyone earning up to 133 percent of the federal poverty level, or about $16,000 a year for a single person.

Movement could pick up now that the Affordable Care Act seems secure from repeal, including in states that had actively debated Medicaid expansion in recent years but not gone through with it, such as South Dakota and Maine.

In Maine, GOP Gov. Paul LePage has vetoed several bills to expand Medicaid passed by the state’s Democratic-controlled legislature, most recently last year. But Mainers will get a chance to vote on expansion in a referendum this November.

In 2015, South Dakota Gov. Dennis Daugaard (R) ended his opposition to broadening Medicaid expansion and began work on an unusual proposal to expand Medicaid while also seeking to improve health care access for Native Americans in his state who have Indian Health Service benefits.

Daugaard courted the state’s majority-GOP legislature and coordinated with the Obama administration in drafting his plan. But the governor dropped it at Pence’s urging shortly after Trump won the presidential election last year, a decision he may reconsider now that repeal isn’t looming.

— This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.

Click here to see original article

U.S. Weighs Bigger Role In War In Yemen

U.S. Weighs Bigger Role In War In Yemen

Huffington Post Politics

//delivery.vidible.tv/jsonp/pid=5668ae6ee4b0b5e26955d6a6/vid=58d7d87fe0fa173759d9aa15/56000e19e4b0e4e194b84b31.js?m.embeded=cms_video_plugin_us.edit.huffpost.netfunction onPlayerReadyVidible(e){‘undefined’!=typeof HPTrack&&HPTrack.Vid.Vidible_track(e)}!function(e,i){if(e.vdb_Player){if(‘object’==typeof commercial_video){var a=”,o=’m.fwsitesection=’+commercial_video.site_and_category;if(a+=o,commercial_video[‘package’]){var c=’&m.fwkeyvalues=sponsorship%3D’+commercial_video[‘package’];a+=c}e.setAttribute(‘vdb_params’,a)}i(e.vdb_Player)}else{var t=arguments.callee;setTimeout(function(){t(e,i)},0)}}(document.getElementById(‘vidible_1’),onPlayerReadyVidible);

WASHINGTON, March 27 (Reuters) – The United States is considering deepening its role in Yemen’s conflict by more directly aiding its Gulf allies battling Iran-aligned Houthi rebels, officials say, potentially relaxing a U.S. policy that limited American support.

The review of potential new U.S. assistance, which includes intelligence support, would come amid increasing evidence that Iran is sending advanced weapons and military advisers to the Houthi movement, a Shi’ite ally.

Any elevation in U.S. support could be seen as a sign that President Donald Trump’s administration has made confronting Iran and its allies an early priority.

For the moment, however, any increase in direct U.S. assistance may be restricted to non-lethal measures and there was no sign the United States was considering waging strikes on Houthi targets, for example.

Trump’s predecessor, Barack Obama, increasingly sought to limit U.S. ties to the civil war in Yemen and his administration became unnerved by civilian casualties caused by the Saudi-led coalition, which have come under intense international scrutiny.

Yemen’s conflict has claimed the lives of more than 10,000 people and pushed the impoverished country to the brink of famine.

Critics of U.S. participation in the conflict, which has included arms sales to Saudi Arabia and refueling of Saudi-led coalition jets, say Washington carries some of the blame for the civilian fallout.

“The U.S. should not escalate our military involvement in a civil war in Yemen halfway around the world without any explanation by the president of what we are doing there and what is our strategy,” said Representative Ted Lieu, a Democrat from California and a longtime advocate in Congress for a suspension of U.S. cooperation with the Saudi-led coalition.

 

MEMO FROM MATTIS

Trump’s defense secretary, Jim Mattis, wrote a March memo to the White House advocating limited support for operations by Gulf partners, officials told Reuters, speaking on condition of anonymity.

One of the officials said the United States was examining offering the United Arab Emirates, for example, U.S. intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance assets and information sharing.

The memo was first reported by the Washington Post and comes amid a broader U.S. review into its policy in Yemen, which for years has been seen almost entirely seen through the prism of America’s fight against al Qaeda.

Al Qaeda’s affiliate in Yemen, al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, has taken advantage of Yemen’s war pitting the Houthis against the Saudi-backed government of President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi to try to broaden its wealth and power.

Iran rejects accusations from Saudi Arabia that it is giving financial and military support to the Houthis in the struggle for Yemen, blaming the deepening crisis on Riyadh.

But Iran’s role in Yemen has increasingly been the focus of U.S. policymakers since the United States struck Houthi targets with cruise missiles in October in retaliation for failed missile attacks on a U.S. Navy destroyer.

U.S. officials say the Houthis have benefited from Iranian-provided know-how and weaponry, including ballistic missiles.

The proposed U.S. support could allow America to aid an eventual push on the western port city of Hodeidah, which is under the control of the Houthis.

It is near the Bab al-Mandab strait, a strategic waterway through which nearly 4 million barrels of oil are shipped daily.

Obama’s administration was long wary of operations involving the port, given its strategic importance as a vital gateway for humanitarian supplies, and last year rejected a proposal to assist its Gulf allies in a push for the port.

(Reporting by Phil Stewart; Editing by James Dalgleish)

— This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.

Click here to see original article

Democrats Demand Devin Nunes Recuse Himself From Russia Inquiry

Democrats Demand Devin Nunes Recuse Himself From Russia Inquiry

Huffington Post Politics

//delivery.vidible.tv/jsonp/pid=5668ae6ee4b0b5e26955d6a6/vid=58d98da2e0fa173759dad26e/56000e19e4b0e4e194b84b31.js?m.embeded=cms_video_plugin_us.edit.huffpost.netfunction onPlayerReadyVidible(e){‘undefined’!=typeof HPTrack&&HPTrack.Vid.Vidible_track(e)}!function(e,i){if(e.vdb_Player){if(‘object’==typeof commercial_video){var a=”,o=’m.fwsitesection=’+commercial_video.site_and_category;if(a+=o,commercial_video[‘package’]){var c=’&m.fwkeyvalues=sponsorship%3D’+commercial_video[‘package’];a+=c}e.setAttribute(‘vdb_params’,a)}i(e.vdb_Player)}else{var t=arguments.callee;setTimeout(function(){t(e,i)},0)}}(document.getElementById(‘vidible_1’),onPlayerReadyVidible);

WASHINGTON — Democratic members of the House Intelligence Committee have demanded that the committee’s chairman, Devin Nunes (R-Calif.), recuse himself from investigating potential ties between the Trump administration and the Russian government. 

It was revealed Monday that Nunes met with a source on the White House grounds last week, one day before he alleged that President Donald Trump and his team were surveilled during the final months of the Obama administration.

In a statement Monday, Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) said his recommendation came “after much consideration.” 

“[I]n much the same way that the Attorney General was forced to recuse himself from the Russia investigation after failing to inform the Senate of his meetings with Russian officials, I believe the public cannot have the necessary confidence that matters involving the President’s campaign or transition team can be objectively investigated or overseen by the Chairman,” he said. 

//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js

Reps. Jackie Speier (D-Calif.) and Eric Swalwell (D-Calif.) have also called on Nunes to recuse himself.

This is a developing story. Check back for updates.  

— This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.

Click here to see original article

Alyssa Milano Wants To Drive You To The Polls In Georgia

Alyssa Milano Wants To Drive You To The Polls In Georgia

Huffington Post Politics

The actress Alyssa Milano is doing get-out-the-vote work for the Democrat fighting to take the suburban Atlanta congressional seat vacated by Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price, she and her colleague Christopher Gorham tweeted on Monday.

The election is set for April 18, and early voting began Monday. 

Turnout in special elections is typically low, meaning that a big run-up of early votes can make all the difference on Election Day. The election in April will winnow the field to two candidates, who will compete in a runoff in June ― unless, that is, one of the candidates can win at least 50 percent outright in the first round. Democrat Jon Ossoff is polling strongly; with enough miles on Milano’s ride, 50 percent is not inconceivable, and would be a devastating rejection of President Donald Trump deep in Republican territory.

“I think people are shocked and happy to see us at their doorstep, but I also think they understand how passionate we are about gaining this seat once we show up and ring the bell,” Milano, who has had roles in “Charmed,” “Who’s the Boss?” and “Melrose Place,” told HuffPost in an email.

“The biggest surprises came on the phone when people realized we were ACTUALLY coming to their house. The initial skepticism was high. Understandably,” said Gorham, who appeared on “Ugly Betty.” 

//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js

Republicans think they see an opening for a Hollywood-liberal charge to stick to Ossoff. “Alyssa Milano and her personal assistant have at least one thing in common with Jon Ossoff — none of them have done anything for Georgia’s 6th Congressional District,” quipped Jesse Hunt, a spokesman for the National Republican Congressional Committee.  

“Carpetbagger charge!?” said Gorham. “I love it. Look, all politics may be local, but this race has national implications. My wife, Anel Lopez Gorham, and her political activist group in Los Angeles, held a bake sale in January and raised over $1,200 for Jon’s campaign. We’re not forcing anyone to support a candidate they don’t believe in. We’re just helping a man whose values we share get his message out.” 

Besides, said Milano, she’s in Georgia working. “If our pilot is picked up and we shoot here permanently, the 6th is an area I’m considering moving my family to,” she said. 

The poll work does not appear to be coordinated with the Ossoff campaign. A spokesman for Ossoff, Andy Phelan, was unfamiliar with Milano’s effort when reached on the phone by The Huffington Post, asking this reporter why he was randomly name-dropping celebrities.

Gorham left a phone number on Twitter for voters to call in order to get a ride. That number leads to a regional field office. Erin Bozek-Jarvis, a regional field director for the campaign, told HuffPost that this isn’t Milano’s first effort on behalf of the campaign, and that she had previously done door-to-door canvassing.

//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js

The offer of a free ride appeared to be having an effect. “A lot of folks are calling now to early vote,” Bozek-Jarvis said. 

Congressional Republicans announced Monday they’re dumping an additional $1.1 million into a race that should be an easy win for the GOP. That’s on top of $1.1 million they already spent. Democrats and other progressives around the country, meanwhile, have kicked in some $3 million to Ossoff’s campaign in a district where they usually spend around $10,000.

Price won in 2016 by 23 points, though Hillary Clinton very nearly beat Donald Trump there.

“We also canvassed for the Ossoff campaign last week and I did a roundtable with Mr. Ossoff and his female leaders as well,” Milano said. “Today, we really wanted to focus on spreading the word that early voting has begun and that this special election is a unique opportunity to gain a seat.” 

Milano said she and Gorham were able to take just five people to vote on Monday. 

“I wish we could have driven more people today, but we ran up against the realities of time and distance,” Gorham said. “Early voting in the 6th, it turns out, is available, but not easy to take advantage of. There are only four polling places where residents can vote and they’re widely spread.” 

Sign up here to get Ryan Grim’s newsletter, Bad News, in your inbox.

— This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.

Click here to see original article

Maybe Getting Tight With Rep. Devin Nunes Wasn’t Such A Hot Idea For Trump

Maybe Getting Tight With Rep. Devin Nunes Wasn’t Such A Hot Idea For Trump

Huffington Post Politics

//delivery.vidible.tv/jsonp/pid=5668ae6ee4b0b5e26955d6a6/vid=58d95b311de5a133f95916c7/56000e19e4b0e4e194b84b31.js?m.embeded=cms_video_plugin_us.edit.huffpost.netfunction onPlayerReadyVidible(e){‘undefined’!=typeof HPTrack&&HPTrack.Vid.Vidible_track(e)}!function(e,i){if(e.vdb_Player){if(‘object’==typeof commercial_video){var a=”,o=’m.fwsitesection=’+commercial_video.site_and_category;if(a+=o,commercial_video[‘package’]){var c=’&m.fwkeyvalues=sponsorship%3D’+commercial_video[‘package’];a+=c}e.setAttribute(‘vdb_params’,a)}i(e.vdb_Player)}else{var t=arguments.callee;setTimeout(function(){t(e,i)},0)}}(document.getElementById(‘vidible_1’),onPlayerReadyVidible);

WASHINGTON ― President Donald Trump’s White House probably wishes now it had never even heard of Rep. Devin Nunes.

Not a week after calling attention to the House Intelligence Committee chairman’s claims about suspicious surveillance of Trump’s transition team, White House press secretary Sean Spicer on Monday sounded like he was done talking about the California Republican.

“I know that Chairman Nunes has confirmed that he was on White House grounds Tuesday and, frankly, any questions regarding who he met with or why he was here should be referred to him,” Spicer said.

Spicer’s new tone comes as Nunes continues trying to explain why it was that he went to the White House on March 21 to receive documents from a source only to head back to the White House on March 22 to brief Trump on what he had learned. Nunes told Bloomberg News that his source was an intelligence official, not a White House employee.

Spicer, meanwhile, claimed that he knew very little about the whole thing. “All of what I know has been available through public comments,” he said, referring to news accounts.

Monday’s statements are the latest in the evolution of Spicer’s views on Nunes.

Last Wednesday, Spicer went out of his way to make sure everyone had heard Nunes’ announcement that he had come to learn that Trump transition team members had been swept up by surveillance conducted by U.S. intelligence. Nunes’ committee is investigating possible ties between the Trump campaign and Russian spy agencies’ efforts to get Trump elected. “My understanding is that Chairman Nunes is coming to the White House later to brief the president on this development,” Spicer said.

The next day, as Nunes was dodging questions as to where his new information came from, reporters asked Spicer whether the White House itself could have been Nunes’ source. Spicer ridiculed the question.

“I don’t know that that make sense,” he said Thursday. “I don’t know why he would travel ― brief the speaker, then come down here to brief us on something that ― that we would’ve briefed him on. It doesn’t really seem to make a ton of sense. So, I’m not aware of it. But it doesn’t really pass the smell test.”

But by Friday afternoon, after Nunes acknowledged that all the surveillance he was referring to was legal and had taken place as a result of court orders, Spicer again changed his tack when asked if he could rule out that Nunes’ source for his documents was from within the administration.

“I don’t know where he got them from. He didn’t state it,” Spicer said. “I don’t have anything for you on that. So I cannot say anything more than ‘I don’t know’ at this point.”

Monday, prior to Spicer’s daily briefing, the White House put out a statement referring all questions about Nunes’ newly disclosed visit to the White House complex to Nunes himself ― a request that reporters did not honor, forcing Spicer to spend much of the briefing trying to distance the White House from an increasingly embattled ally.

Democrats are demanding that House Speaker Paul Ryan replace Nunes as chairman of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence because of his open coordination with Trump, arguing that Nunes cannot lead an impartial investigation into Trump’s team.

During his campaign last year, Trump frequently praised Russian President Vladimir Putin, even saying Putin was a better leader than President Barack Obama. In the meantime, Putin’s spy agencies were secretly working to help Trump win by stealing and releasing potentially embarrassing documents about the campaign of Trump’s Democratic opponent, Hillary Clinton ― disclosures that Trump cited on a daily basis.

FBI Director James Comey testified at a congressional hearing last week that his office has for nearly a year been conducting an investigation into whether Trump’s campaign colluded with Russian officials.

— This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.

Click here to see original article

Barely Anyone Is Mourning The Demise Of The GOP’s Health Care Bill

Barely Anyone Is Mourning The Demise Of The GOP’s Health Care Bill

Huffington Post Politics

function onPlayerReadyVidible(e){‘undefined’!=typeof HPTrack&&HPTrack.Vid.Vidible_track(e)}!function(e,i){if(e.vdb_Player){if(‘object’==typeof commercial_video){var a=”,o=’m.fwsitesection=’+commercial_video.site_and_category;if(a+=o,commercial_video[‘package’]){var c=’&m.fwkeyvalues=sponsorship%3D’+commercial_video[‘package’];a+=c}e.setAttribute(‘vdb_params’,a)}i(e.vdb_Player)}else{var t=arguments.callee;setTimeout(function(){t(e,i)},0)}}(document.getElementById(‘vidible_1’),onPlayerReadyVidible);

After Republicans’ attempt to repeal Obamacare failed, a narrow plurality of Americans wants to see the party move on to other issues, according to a new HuffPost/YouGov survey.

The American Health Care Act, which was deeply unpopular during its brief lifespan, is no more popular in its demise. Just 21 percent say they supported it, with a majority, 52 percent, saying they were opposed. The 6 percent who say they strongly favored the bill are outnumbered nearly 6 to 1 by those who strongly opposed it.

Americans say by a 7-percentage-point margin, 44 percent to 37 percent, that Republicans should move on to other issues rather than proposing another health care bill. Just under half think Donald Trump and Congress are still at least somewhat likely to repeal Obamacare, with 35 percent saying they’ll be disappointed if it remains standing.

Trump voters were only lukewarmly positive about AHCA ― 45 percent say that they supported it and 31 percent that they opposed it.  

But they generally don’t see its failure as a death knell for Republicans’ prospects of fulfilling their promise to repeal Obamacare. Most, 57 percent, want to see congressional Republicans propose a new health care bill. More than three-quarters say they believe it’s still at least somewhat likely that Obamacare will be repealed, with a similar percentage saying they’ll be disappointed if it is not.

Asked who’s most responsible for the bill’s failure, 27 percent of Americans put the bulk of the blame on its authors, with 17 percent naming the congressional Republicans who opposed the bill, another 17 percent naming Trump and 14 percent citing congressional Democrats.

Just 4 percent of Trump voters, however, believe that Trump is most responsible for the bill’s failure, and only 11 percent assign him even partial responsibility. Instead, they cast the blame nearly everywhere else.

Meanwhile, Obamacare’s popularity, which spiked as its repeal became more plausible, may since have ebbed somewhat, although it’s too soon to tell whether the change represents a genuine shift or the normal volatility present in polling.

In the most recent HuffPost/YouGov poll, Americans are split close to evenly on Obamacare, with 41 percent in favor and 43 percent opposed. In the previous two surveys taken during the heat of the AHCA debate, they split 47/41 and then 44/43. HuffPost Pollster’s aggregate of public polling puts support at an average 48 percent, with 43 percent opposed.

Use the widget below to further explore the results of HuffPost/YouGov’s survey, using the menu at the top to select survey questions and the buttons at the bottom to filter the data by subgroups:

The HuffPost/YouGov poll consisted of 1,000 completed interviews conducted March 25 among U.S. adults using a sample selected from YouGov’s opt-in online panel to match the demographics and other characteristics of the adult U.S. population.

The Huffington Post has teamed up with YouGov to conduct daily opinion polls. You can learn more about this project and take part in YouGov’s nationally representative opinion polling. Data from all HuffPost/YouGov polls can be found here. More details on the polls’ methodology are available here.

Most surveys report a margin of error that represents some, but not all, potential survey errors. YouGov’s reports include a model-based margin of error, which rests on a specific set of statistical assumptions about the selected sample rather than the standard methodology for random probability sampling. If these assumptions are wrong, the model-based margin of error may also be inaccurate. Click here for a more detailed explanation of the model-based margin of error.

— This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.

Click here to see original article

A Visual Evolution Of What We Wear On Planes, From Lapels To Leggings

A Visual Evolution Of What We Wear On Planes, From Lapels To Leggings

Huffington Post Politics

United Airlines blocked girls from wearing leggings on their flight Sunday, not only angering Twitter but also amplifying the difference in dress codes from when people first began flying. 

No longer do passengers expect to have insane amounts of leg room, eat lobster as a main course in coach or see fellow passengers wearing red carpet attire, as they did starting in the mid-1930s. 

When commercial flights first became popular in the ‘30s, the typical cost for a ticket could total up to 5 percent of one’s annual salary, making it a relatively rare and special event for the rich. Keith Lovegrove, author of Airline: Style At 30,000 Feet, told The Huffington Post that in the ‘30s, commercial flights didn’t have tiered classes because only rich people flew ― and of course, they dressed up for the occasion. 

“Over the next few decades, as air travel became steadily more affordable for the middle classes, dress became less important,” Lovegrove said. “And as worldwide air travel is, as its most surreal, a parallel universe, trends and fashion mimic what happens on terra firma.” 

Janet Bednarek, a history professor at the University of Dayton, told The Huffington Post that the major style shifts started in the 1970s. 

“[Passengers] stopped dressing for airline travel about the same time they stopped dressing for other occasions, like shopping,” Bednarek said, noting that the Airline Deregulation Act of 1978, which meant the government could no longer control things like rates and routes, also occurred around the same time as the shift. “The more casual dress on flights is associated with deregulation but really that was coincidence, not causal. There was already a larger shift in the culture.” 

Bednarek and Lovegrove both agree that the accessibility of flying and loss of its once-special feel contributed to the way passengers dress on planes now. 

“Passengers dress for comfort rather than ‘being seen,’” Lovegrove said.  “Budget air travel today is akin to getting on a bus, and we don’t dress up to get on a bus.” 

Flight attendant Heather Poole told The Huffington Post that she doesn’t care what passengers wear, just as long as they’re nice. 

“That said you can run a lot faster away from a burning aircraft if you’re not wearing flip flops,” Poole said via email. “Speaking of shoes, that’s not water on the bathroom floor, so you might want to keep them on.”

Good to know. Take a look at how attire has changed through the years in the slideshow below: 

Slideshow photos curated by Damon Dahlen

The HuffPost Lifestyle newsletter will make you happier and healthier, one email at a time. Sign up here. 

— This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.

Click here to see original article

Gun Industry Congratulates Itself For Drop In Accidental Gun Deaths

Gun Industry Congratulates Itself For Drop In Accidental Gun Deaths

Huffington Post Politics

Once again the gun industry is patting itself on the back for something it didn’t do, namely, reducing accidental deaths and injuries caused by guns. Hey – wait a minute! It’s not the gun which causes the injury, it’s the person using the gun. Remember that one? The NRA will remind you of it every chance they get no matter whether we are talking about a gun which went off accidentally, or on purpose, or on whatever, it’s always the person, not the gun.

Which is why the gun industry continues to talk out of both sides of its mouth on this one – congratulating itself every time that statistics allegedly show a decline in gun accidents but rejecting any and all efforts to mandate gun safety either through the development of safe-gun technologies or passage of child access prevention (CAP) laws to keep guns out of the hands of kids.  

Why do I say that the statistics ‘allegedly’ show a decline in gun accidents? After all, the National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF) didn’t dream up the latest information on gun safety all by itself.  Their press release is based on the latest report from the National Safety Council (NSC) which says that gun accidents declined 17 percent from 2014 to 2015, the same year that gun sales hit an all-time high.

The NSC’s information comes from the CDC, whose website shows a drop in accidental gun deaths from 586 in 2014 to 489 the following year. Of course the numbers for accidental, non-fatal gun accidents only show a 5 percent drop from 2013 to 2014, but like unintentional gun mortality, this number has also steadily dwindled down.  

Incidentally, although the NSSF couldn’t wait to rush forward and take responsibility for the good news from the NSC, in fact the Council isn’t so enamored of the gun industry’s safety record.  Take a look at the NSC’s Statement on Firearms Policy which actually claims that more than 1,400 deaths occur annually because of gun accidents. The NSC goes on to say, “The absence of a reliable system for collecting and analyzing such accident data makes extremely difficult any meaningful evaluation of the effectiveness of accident prevention programs.”  Know why we don’t have any ‘reliable system’ for understanding the true extent of gun injuries?  Because the gun industry has steadfastly rejected any and all attempts to reinstate CDC funding for gun research, remember?

But when it comes to gun injuries, there’s a much bigger problem than just whether we can get good data, and this is a problem which neither side in the gun debate seems to understand. Because the fact is that unless one breaks down gun injuries not by the number of injuries, or by the age, race, sex or location of the victim (the current categories utilized by the CDC,) but by the type of gun that caused the injury, you really can’t tell much about the issue of gun accidents at all. You might find bits and pieces of such information in the data collected by the National Violent Death Reporting System (NVDRS) but it’s sporadic and highly fragmentary at best.

Why do we need to know what kind of gun caused the accident?  Because most long gun accidents occur during hunting (e.g., Dick Cheney) but handgun accidents rarely have anything to do with walking in the woods. And if we don’t know the ratio of handgun to long gun accidents, both fatal and non-fatal, then we understand very little about guns, gun use or gun safety at all.  

The NSSF is absolutely correct when they use the NSC report to champion the idea that hunting is one of the ‘safest’ outdoor activities around. There’s only one little problem. We don’t hunt as frequently as we used to hunt and most new guns now being added to the civilian arsenal are handguns, and may account for the lion’s share of ‘accidental’ shootings each year. Isn’t it time the gun industry took the NSC at its word and did something meaningful about safety and guns?

— This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.

Click here to see original article

White House Regrouping Before Next Round Of Infighting

White House Regrouping Before Next Round Of Infighting

Huffington Post Politics

Like what you read below? Sign up for HUFFPOST HILL and get a cheeky dose of political news every evening!

After last week’s bruising health care defeat, White House officials are strategizing how best to regain their footing…and also how to get footing in the first place. Sean Spicer conducted today’s press briefing with a piece of lettuce wedged between his teeth, but, as he does so often, he’ll let the leaf speak for itself. And Devin Nunes was “on the W.H. grounds” when he received his briefing about surveillance on Trump officials, which makes it sound like he was tending to Michelle Obama’s vegetable garden and was accosted by an NSA official. This is HUFFPOST HILL for Monday, March 27th, 2017:

WHITE HOUSE HOPING TO PLAY A BIGGER ROLE IN SCREWING UP THE NEXT THING –  Damian Paletta: “The Trump administration is planning a much more assertive role in undertaking a broad overhaul of the tax code than it did during the failed effort to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act, with some advisers working to craft a concrete blueprint for specific changes instead of letting Congress dictate details…. Some GOP allies say they have already produced tax legislation and that it would not make sense for the White House to produce its own. Key division points could be about whether to seek a broad overhaul of the tax code or whether to limit it to more specific provisions — such as those affecting corporations — and whether such an initiative could increase the deficit without offsetting spending cuts or changes to tax policy. Also highly controversial is a proposal to impose a new tax affecting imports.” [WaPo]

KUSHNER TO TESTIFY Jo Becker, Matthew Rosenberg and Maggie Haberman: “Senate investigators plan to question Jared Kushner, President Trump’s son-in-law and a close adviser, as part of their broad inquiry into ties between Trump associates and Russian officials or others linked to the Kremlin, according to administration and congressional officials. The White House Counsel’s Office was informed this month that the Senate Intelligence Committee, which is investigating Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election, wanted to question Mr. Kushner about meetings he arranged with the Russian ambassador, Sergey I. Kislyak, according to the government officials. The meetings, which took place during the transition, included a previously unreported sit-down with the head of Russia’s state-owned development bank.” [NYT]

He went to Jared: “So, if you’re keeping track, Jared Kushner, who comes to Washington with no government experience, no policy experience, no diplomatic experience, and business experience limited to his family’s real estate development firm, a brief stint as a newspaper publisher, and briefly bidding to acquire the Los Angeles Dodgers, will be working on trade, Middle East policy in general, an Israel-Palestine peace deal more specifically, reforming the Veterans Administration, and solving the opioid crisis.” [HuffPost]

BAD NEWS FOR PEOPLE WHO DON’T WANT THEIR OFFICE’S FIRST AID KIT PACKED WITH TIC TACS – Dave Jamieson: “President Donald Trump signed a bill Monday repealing a regulation that had encouraged federal contractors to follow labor laws. Under the Obama-era rule, companies with an egregious record of violating wage and safety laws would lose their government contracts if they didn’t come into compliance. The idea behind the rule was to make sure unscrupulous employers didn’t receive taxpayer dollars. But Republicans in Congress thought the rule was too punitive and unfair to businesses. They used an arcane tool known as the Congressional Review Act in an effort to kill the regulation, which was called the Fair Pay and Safe Workplaces rule. By approving the legislation sent to him by the Senate, Trump has ensured not only that the regulation will die, but also that no similar regulation can be put forth by the Labor Department again.” [HuffPost]

Like HuffPost Hill? Then order Eliot’s book, The Beltway Bible: A Totally Serious A-Z Guide To Our No-Good, Corrupt, Incompetent, Terrible, Depressing, and Sometimes Hilarious Government

Does somebody keep forwarding you this newsletter? Get your own copy. It’s free! Sign up here. Send tips/stories/photos/events/fundraisers/job movement/juicy miscellanea to eliot@huffingtonpost.com. Follow us on Twitter – @HuffPostHill

DEVIN NUNES UPDATE – We can’t wait for the chairman of the House Select Committee on Intelligence to star in the “Being There” remake. Jake Tapper: “It has been something of a mystery, the whereabouts of House Intelligence Committee Chairman Rep. Devin Nunes on the day before his announcement that he saw information suggesting that communications of then-President-elect Donald Trump and his advisers may have been swept up in surveillance of other foreign nationals. The California Republican confirmed to CNN in a phone interview Monday he was on the White House grounds that day ― but he said he was not in the White House itself. (Other buildings, including the Eisenhower Executive Office Building, are on the same grounds.)” [CNN]

SWAMP DRAINING UPDATE Plus who would want to read all that cyrillic, anyway? Rebecca Ballhaus: “One way the White House could help clear up potential future controversies: if it began updating the online visitor log maintained by former President Barack Obama’s administration. Under the former administration, visitor logs were typically updated within 90 to 120 days. Since President Donald Trump took office, the website has been down, with a message that says: ‘This page is being updated. It will post records of White House visitors on an ongoing basis, once they become available.’ The White House in recent months has declined to say when or if it will update the log.” [WSJ]

GOOD FODDER FOR THE MNUCHIN MUSICAL – ♫My name is Steven Mnuchin/And there’s a million things I haven’t done/Like sideline Trump’s loonies♫ Ben White and Nancy Cook: “The fight for the direction of Donald Trump’s presidency between the Goldman Sachs branch of the West Wing and hardcore conservatives is spilling into the Treasury Department, threatening Trump’s next agenda item of overhauling the tax code. Conservatives inside and outside Treasury say the new secretary, former Goldman Sachs banker, movie producer and Democratic donor Steven Mnuchin, is assembling a team that is too liberal and too detached from the core of Trump’s ‘Make America Great Again’ platform of ripping up trade deals, gutting the Dodd-Frank banking rules and generally rejecting ‘globalism’ in all its forms.” [Politico]

TRUMP’S NUMBERS STILL PRETTY BAD – Ariel Edwards-Levy: “In a Gallup survey released Monday, just 36 percent of Americans said they approved of Trump’s job as president. It was a new low for him, and 2 percentage points below former President Barack Obama’s all-time worst numbers, according to Gallup’s polling. That specific number, like any individual data point, doesn’t actually mean all that much…. HuffPost Pollster’s average…puts Trump’s approval rating somewhat higher: It’s about 40 percent as of Monday afternoon, with just under 56 percent disapproving. (In March 2009, by comparison, Obama was at about 60 percent approval, although that number was rapidly declining.)” [HuffPost]

APOLOGIES TO FLORIDA REAL ESTATE OWNERS – And congratulations to whichever contractor will get to build a giant levee system around whatever is left of the state. Alexander Kaufman: “President Donald Trump plans to sign an executive order on Tuesday rolling back Obama-era policies to curb planet-warming greenhouse gas emissions, Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt said Sunday…. The executive order will likely take other measures to protect the coal industry, such as instructing the Department of the Interior to lift a temporary ban on coal leasing on federal lands that the Obama administration put in place last year. The order is also expected to scrap federal guidances instructing agencies to factor climate change into policymaking, and to disband a team tasked with calculating the ‘social cost of carbon.’ … Doing so would also hamper U.S. efforts to meet the commitments made more than a year ago in the 195-country Paris Agreement.” [HuffPost]

GEORGIA 6TH AN HONEST TO GOD RACE – Even money that if this story came out last Thursday, there’d be even fewer votes for Trumpcare. Eric Garcia: “A new poll shows Democrat Jon Ossoff in close head-to-head matchups against the top Republican candidates in the special election for Georgia’s 6th Congressional District. Ossoff led with 40 percent of the vote in the jungle primary race scheduled for April 18, according to the poll conducted for Fox 5 Atlanta by Opinion Savvy. Former Georgia Secretary of State Karen Handel came in second with 20 percent, ahead of a pack of Republicans. Republican votes are split between Bob Gray, Judson Hill and Dan Moody, all polling between 8 and 10 percent. In head-to-head matchups, the survey showed Ossoff with a narrow lead over Gray, Moody and Handel. Hill was the only Republican to outpoll Ossoff by a narrow margin.” [Roll Call]

BATHROOM BILL COSTING NORTH CAROLINA BILLIONS – Looks like someone has been stuck with quite the (bathroom) bill, amirite? *dodges chair* Emily P. DaLesio and Nathan Drew:  “Despite Republican assurances that North Carolina’s ‘bathroom bill’ isn’t hurting the economy, the law limiting LGBT protections will cost the state more than $3.76 billion in lost business over a dozen years, according to an Associated Press analysis. Over the past year, North Carolina has suffered financial hits ranging from scuttled plans for a PayPal facility that would have added an estimated $2.66 billion to the state’s economy to a canceled Ringo Starr concert that deprived a town’s amphitheater of about $33,000 in revenue. The blows have landed in the state’s biggest cities as well as towns surrounding its flagship university, and from the mountains to the coast. North Carolina could lose hundreds of millions more because the NCAA is avoiding the state, usually a favored host. The group is set to announce sites for various championships through 2022, and North Carolina won’t be among them as long as the law is on the books. The NAACP also has initiated a national economic boycott.” [AP]

BECAUSE YOU’VE READ THIS FAR – Here’s a livestream of bald eagle eggs hatching in the National Arboretum.

FAKE NEWS IS TOO REAL RIGHT NOW – Congratulations to President Hillary Clinton. David Blood: “Nearly a quarter of web content shared on Twitter by users in the battleground state of Michigan during the final days of last year’s US election campaign was so-called fake news, according to a University of Oxford study. Researchers at the Oxford Internet Institute (OII) also determined that these users shared approximately as many fake news items as “professional news” over the same period. The report, published on Monday, concludes that links to fake news stories accounted for 23 per cent of the links tweeted by a sample of 140,000 Michigan-based users during the ten days up to November 11 last year.” [FT]

COMFORT FOOD

– Dog plays catch on a hockey rink.

– Because you came here for monster truck news, here’s one performing history’s first vertical flip.

– Gym bro looks like an idiot while senior citizen nails free throws in the background.

TWITTERAMA

@joelight: So…the market is down 0.34%. Please update your Trump trade headlines

@SimonMaloy: hold on, hold on…

[fingernails rake against bottom of AHCA joke barrel]

the… [looks at grime under nails] Paul Blart of the Deal

@MEPFuller: “As a commentary on the economic threats of automation, Cash Cab will be a self-driving car with IBM’s Watson asking the q—*deletes account*

Got something to add? Send tips/quotes/stories/photos/events/fundraisers/job movement/juicy miscellanea to Eliot Nelson (eliot@huffingtonpost.com)

— This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.

Click here to see original article

Utah Forces Doctors To Tell Women Some Abortions Are Reversible

Utah Forces Doctors To Tell Women Some Abortions Are Reversible

Huffington Post Politics

NEW YORK― Utah Gov. Gary Herbert (R) signed a bill into law this weekend that requires doctors to tell women that medication abortions can be reversed midway through the process ― a claim that is unsupported by science.

Medication abortions involve taking two separate medications, mifepristone and misoprostol, within two days of each other. The first drug blocks progesterone and sheds the uterine lining, and the second causes a full miscarriage. The Utah law, passed by the GOP-controlled House and Senate, claims that a woman can stop her abortion after taking the first pill by ingesting the hormone progesterone. Doctors’ groups dispute that theory. 

“Claims of medication abortion reversal are not supported by the body of scientific evidence,” the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists said in a statement, “and this approach is not recommended in ACOG’s clinical guidance on medication abortion.” 

The author of the bill, Rep. Kevin Stratton (R), said it helps women be more “educated” about their decision. “If you’re pro-choice, I would say that it helps you be educated in making the choice,” he said in an interview with the Deseret News. “If you’re pro-life, it gives an opportunity to look at the options if a decision is made to reverse course.”

Republicans in five states have passed or tried to pass “abortion reversal” bills, and a federal judge in Arizona blocked a similar law in 2015 after ACOG called it “tantamount to quackery.” The legislation is based on a single study of six women who had taken a dose of mifepristone and then tried to reverse their abortions. Four of the women in the study were able to continue their pregnancies. But mifepristone alone only works 30 to 50 percent of the time to end a pregnancy, so researchers say there is insufficient evidence to claim that it was the dose of progesterone that halted the abortions. 

The Utah bill is the latest in a trend of state legislatures encouraging doctors to give women false or incomplete information about abortion. Last week, the Texas Senate approved a bill that would permit doctors to lie to women about fetal abnormalities in order to discourage them from choosing abortion. And Republican lawmakers in Texas and Kansas have passed legislation requiring doctors to tell women that abortion is linked to breast cancer ― another medically unsupported claim. 

But “abortion reversal” laws could actually put women’s health in danger by encouraging them to take a hormone that “can cause significant cardiovascular, nervous system and endocrine adverse reactions as well as other side effects,” according to ACOG. The doctors’ group recommends that instead of listening to politicians, women who change their minds halfway through a medication abortion have the same chance of success by “doing nothing and waiting to see what happens.” 

— This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.

Click here to see original article