ChrisWeigant.com

Archive of Articles in the "Health Care" Category

Some Recall Reflections

[ Posted Wednesday, September 15th, 2021 – 17:17 UTC ]

California Governor Gavin Newsom emerged victorious from his recall election last night, chalking up a rather stunning margin: with 71 percent of the vote counted, "No" on the recall was beating "Yes" by a whopping 28 points (64 percent to 36 percent). Not quite 2-to-1, but close. Since it was a special recall election held at an odd time, it garnered more than the normal amount of media and political interest nationwide -- especially after a poll a few months ago seemed to suggest that the race was somehow neck-and-neck. Obviously, it wasn't. Newsom may in fact beat the margin of victory he managed in his last election. Whatever the final numbers turn out to be, though, it's hard not to use the word "landslide" to describe the outcome.

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It's Not A Vaccine Mandate, It's A Testing Mandate

[ Posted Monday, September 13th, 2021 – 15:36 UTC ]

Republicans, as they are wont to do, have been falsely framing President Joe Biden's order to medium-to-large businesses last week as a "vaccine mandate" or "vaccination mandate." House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy even tweeted it out in all caps yesterday: "NO VACCINE MANDATES." On the Sunday morning political chat shows, this framing was presented by other Republicans with little or no pushback from either the hosts or even the Democratic guests. But it is false. It is highly misleading. What Biden ordered for the private sector was not a vaccine mandate. It was a testing mandate. Nobody's going to get fired for not getting vaccinated -- but people could get fired for refusing to submit to weekly testing. That's a big difference. Republicans are trying to obscure this reality by framing it as a "getting fired for refusing a vaccine" issue. And so far, at least on television, this seems to be working for them.

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Friday Talking Points -- Democrats Should Lean In To Biden's New Pandemic Mandates

[ Posted Friday, September 10th, 2021 – 17:04 UTC ]

This week, President Joe Biden picked a political fight. Or, more accurately, he got up off the sidelines and engaged in a political fight that had already begun, by strongly opposing Republican politicians fighting against basic public health safety measures under the fake guise of "freedom." Biden stood squarely for science and safety, while Republicans are left to fight for recklessness and death. That is precisely how the matter should be framed politically, and so far it looks like Biden is doing a fairly good job of presenting this dichotomy to the public. He's even taking the fight directly to all the GOP governors who are sounding increasingly unhinged about the basic concepts of public health and safety.

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Biden Rolls Out New Vaccine Plans

[ Posted Thursday, September 9th, 2021 – 16:16 UTC ]

President Joe Biden today gave a speech outlining the next steps the federal government will be taking to combat the COVID-19 pandemic. While some of these steps do not go as far as some had been hoping, there were several which will be significant in upping the pressure on unvaccinated people to get their shots. Although Biden didn't explicitly say so, at this point the best way to convince more people to get vaccinated is to make life harder and harder for the unvaccinated. And Biden took several large steps which will do so.

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Friday Talking Points -- Supreme Court Shows Its True Colors

[ Posted Friday, September 3rd, 2021 – 16:47 UTC ]

This week began with conservatives and liberals upset because the women of Afghanistan will now lose their freedoms under a tyrannical extremist government. It ended with liberals upset that the women of Texas have now lost freedoms under a tyrannical extremist government. Conservatives were notably silent, which is understandable since they were the ones instituting this unconstitutional denial of rights from the women of the Lone Star State.

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Roe On Life Support

[ Posted Thursday, September 2nd, 2021 – 15:50 UTC ]

The anti-abortion movement finally got what it wanted all along: a pliant Supreme Court that would overturn Roe v. Wade. It took them a long time and a lot of effort to accomplish this -- this movement truly started in the Reagan years with the self-titled "Moral Majority," after all -- but they've finally reached the end of the road. Maybe this will finally get Democrats to pay a little more attention to the importance of Supreme Court picks when voting in presidential races, because the rightwingers have known this for decades now. And it has finally paid off for them.

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Friday Talking Points -- A Grim Week

[ Posted Friday, August 27th, 2021 – 17:09 UTC ]

This was never going to be a good week for President Joe Biden. The ongoing crisis in Afghanistan pretty much guaranteed that. But although the week started out with signs of optimism -- more and more people being airlifted out of Kabul, to top 100,000 by week's end -- it ended in disaster. A suicide bomber exploded his vest right at the gate to the airport, which killed at least 13 American servicemembers and over 100 Afghans (as of this writing the official death toll for Afghans had hit 169). So while this week could have been perhaps tense but slightly optimistic, by week's end that was no longer possible. It was disastrous; there's just no other way to put it. One grim way to measure it is Biden has now made his first addition to the number he always carries around with him in his jacket pocket -- the number of fallen U.S. servicemembers from both Iraq and Afghanistan.

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The Clock Starts Ticking

[ Posted Tuesday, August 24th, 2021 – 14:40 UTC ]

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi just pulled off a very big win. The House just voted (220-212) to advance the $3.5 trillion budget reconciliation bill, which will allow both houses of Congress to begin hashing out the actual details and draft the language into a final bill. This was accomplished by cutting a deal with the Mod Squad -- the nine conservative House Democrats who balked at voting for the reconciliation bill before the final vote on the bipartisan infrastructure deal. In the end, Pelosi convinced them to do what they had sworn they wouldn't -- vote to move the reconciliation bill forward. To get them on board, Pelosi gave them an iron-clad promise to put the infrastructure bill up for a vote on September 27. Pelosi has always said she was going to schedule a vote on it "before October 1" (when transportation funding runs out, making it a hard deadline), so this wasn't all that big a concession for her to make.

Of course, there's still no guarantee Pelosi's "two-track" strategy will work, in the end. But she just moved a big step towards making it work. There are really only three important votes left in the process: the House infrastructure bill vote, and both houses passing the same version of a budget reconciliation bill. And since the infrastructure bill's clock is now ticking (with a hard deadline), it means the Senate and the House only have a little over a month to make the other two votes happen.

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The Return Of Doomscrolling

[ Posted Thursday, August 19th, 2021 – 16:53 UTC ]

I haven't written about the progress of the pandemic data for a while, so I thought it was time to take a close look at the fourth wave. Mostly because one thing the Delta mutation of the COVID-19 virus has brought back (at least for me) is "doomscrolling" -- checking in on a daily basis to see what the numbers are and what the data show. It's not exactly a pleasant picture, but there are glimmers of hope here and there, at least.

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Why I'm Not Worried About The California Recall

[ Posted Tuesday, August 17th, 2021 – 15:39 UTC ]

In my mail today, I received my ballot for the upcoming gubernatorial recall election here in California. But while plenty of pundits have been sounding alarms and all but tearing their hair out over the prospects that Democratic Governor Gavin Newsom could be out of a job in a matter of weeks, I am much more sanguine. The reason I am so calm is that the one poll which caused everyone to freak out was really a comparison of apples and oranges. I think Newsom will sail through the recall unscathed, in fact, winning by at least a 10-point margin. The entire exercise will be yet another example of "fiscally responsible" Republicans wasting a whole bunch of money for no apparent reason -- to the tune of the over $200 million that this recall is costing California taxpayers.

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