Republicans have unveiled their replacement for Obamacare. It will cover fewer people but, unlike Obamacare, it will not force people to buy coverage if they don’t want to. This article lists items that would be removed from Obamacare and those that would be added, such as a penalty if people fail to keep themselves continuously covered. Also, insurers will be allowed to charge a higher amount for older customers than for young adults. This is the same as charging older people a higher rate for life insurance or charging drivers with bad driving records a higher premium for collision insurance. In other words, the cost is higher for those most likely to benefit, which is a necessary feature of insurance if it is to function without tax subsidies.
All plans to amend, repeal or replace Obamacare are based on the false idea that there is an insurance problem when the real problem is billing. Healthcare pricing is based on how much can be extracted from an individual or an insurance company, so prices fluctuate widely. People cannot shop for a better price because price comparison is prohibited. In fact, pricing is considered to be a trade secret that is protected by law.
California: A Superior Court judge has ruled that a report on cell-phone risk, written by the state’s Environmental Health Investigations, must be released to the public. The report shows that use of cell phones involves a significant risk of contracting cancer. So far, the report has been covered up because officials are afraid of law suits by the cellphone industry.
A retired EPA official is at the center of more than 20 lawsuits that allege Monsanto failed to warn of cancer risks from glyphosate, the key ingredient in its Roundup weed killer. Jess Rowland, a former EPA deputy division director, is accused of helping Monsanto by publishing a report advising that there was not enough evidence to link glyphosate to cancer, which preempted further research. The EPA is trying to stop his deposition in March.
The government of India is banning the vaccine program sponsored by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation over fears that pharmaceutical-company donors tied to the Foundation are influencing its policies on vaccination. A study from the Global Policy Forum shows that the Gates Foundation is not a neutral charity but, instead, promotes neo-liberal (collectivist) economic policies and globalization, which benefits big business, especially in the fields of health and agriculture.
Okanagan, a Canadian company, will begin selling ‘Arctic’ GMO apples that are genetically engineered to resist browning. The company has Arctic versions of Golden Delicious, Granny Smith, and Fuji apples, and expects to add more. The only way customers can detect the GMO apples is to scan the product code (not many customers carry around a scanner) or to rely on stores to state they are GMO apples – which most stores have no intention of doing.