Susan Clark (left) argues with another protester about the Affordable Care Act outside the U.S. Supreme Court. Chief Justice John Roberts likened the law's Medicaid expansion provision to "a gun to the head" of states.
Originally published on Thu April 4, 2013 12:58 pm
Nothing breeds lawsuits like uncertainty. That being the case, the Supreme Court's landmark health care ruling is almost certain to open the door to lawsuits challenging the federal government's authority.
The court ruled the federal government can't force states to participate in a major expansion of Medicaid or else risk losing existing Medicaid funds from Washington. That threat amounted to unconstitutional coercion.
The southern African nation of Botswana is grappling with a relatively new problem in the evolving AIDS pandemic: It now has a large group of HIV-positive adolescents.
The teenagers were infected at birth before Botswana managed to almost wipe out mother-to-child transmission of the virus. These children have survived because of a public health system that provides nearly universal access to powerful anti-AIDS drugs.
In her new memoir, Joy Harjo recounts how her early years — a difficult childhood with an alcoholic father and abusive stepfather, and the hardships of teen motherhood — caused her to suppress her artistic gifts and nearly brought her to her breaking point. "It was the spirit of poetry," she writes in Crazy Brave, "who reached out and found me as I stood there at the doorway between panic and love."
Any doubt, and there probably wasn't much, that Texas would reject an expansion of Medicaid under the big federal health law was dispelled today.
The Supreme Court decision on the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act allows states to opt out of the expansion without losing all federal Medicaid funding. Only the federal money that would have gone toward the expansion is affected.
And now, the Opinion Page. The ancient Greek philosopher Diogenes famously carried a lantern in daylight in hopes of finding an honest man. In an op-ed in Sunday's Washington Post, Kathleen Hall Jamieson embarked on an even more changeling quest: a search for an honest politician. Now more than ever, she wrote, with a public highly anxious about the economy and worn down after years of promises that things would get better, the time is ripe for a candid candidate.
This is TALK OF THE NATION. I'm Neal Conan in Washington. At the end of last month, a line of powerful storms left millions without electricity in the midst of record-breaking heat. The storms killed some as trees fell on houses and cars, then the heat took more lives as people sweltered without fans or air conditioning.
The heat wave's broken, the power's back on for most, but the widespread outages left many frustrated and angry. What took so long? Can't we protect power lines? And what about the crews who arrive to help out?
When we think about improving urban food systems, we tend think about growing more vegetables — densely planted backyard plots and community gardens, with tiny tomatoes ripening in the sun. But according to some experts, we should start thinking smaller — way smaller — as in bugs.