By Paul Ingram, Arizona Week Intern
The U.S. Supreme Court, arguing that Congress could require people to buy health insurance, and penalize those who not with a tax, reaffirmed the Affordable care Act in a 5-4 decision announced this morning.
Led by Chief Justice John Roberts, the court supported nearly all the provisions of the 2010 bill, including the expansion of Medicaid funding to states, however it would not allow the federal government to penalize states that did not cooperate.
This decision protects provisions, including the ban on the use of preexisting conditions to refuse care and allowing adult children to remain on their parent’s health insurance until they are age 26.
President Barack Obama praised the decision, stating “Whatever the politics, today’s decision was a victory for people all over this country whose lives are more secure because of this law and the Supreme Court’s decision to uphold it.”
After the announcement, the stock market was split on the decision as hospital stocks rose while the market price for insurers tumbled, according to the Wall Street Journal.
Arizona governor Jan Brewer reacted to the court’s decision with a prepared statement, “Today’s decision by the U.S. Supreme Court flies in the face of what most Americans know to be true: ObamaCare is an overreaching and unaffordable assault on states’ rights and individual liberty.”
Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney declared during a press conference that he would “act to repeal Obamacare” on his first day in office. Romney’s campaign reported it raised $375,000 in two hours after the decision was reached, according to Politico.
El Rio Community Health Center, one of the largest healthcare providers in Tucson, applauded the decision.
In a press release, executive director Kathy Bryrne wrote, “This means that in the coming years millions of newly insured people, and communities identified as medical shortage areas, will gain access to doctors, nurse practitioners, physician assistants, nurses and other health care professionals, and the quality cost-effective primary and preventive services health centers provide.”
Recent analysis by the U.S. Census Bureau noted that 83.7 percent of people have some kind of health insurance, however, this has declined from 85 percent in 2007, representing about 900,000 people who have lost their insurance since the economic recession started. The number of people covered by private insurance has been decreasing since 2001, according to the bureau; Medicaid has been making up the gap.
As the Arizona Republic noted, 1.2 million Arizonans (or about 19 percent) are not covered by health insurance. While Arizona was at the center of the legal challenge, the state accepted a federal grant to organize and fund the state’s health insurance exchange, the court’s decision will require the state to continue the program or hand it over to the federal government.
The program includes $16.4 million for software to track the exchange, a $1 million planning grant—used to borrow staffers from other state agencies to develop the exchange—and $29.8 million as an “establishment” grant.
While much of the bill’s provisions have yet to be engaged, some of its provision have already affected Arizona residents.
According to figures from U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, and reported by the Arizona Republic, the Affordable Care Act allowed nearly 60,000 adult children under 26 to remained insured.
Similarly, in 2011, more than 637,000 received free preventive care like mammograms and colonoscopies, as well as annual wellness visits. Finally, nearly 2,000 received healthcare despite preexisting conditions.
Friday at 8:30 p.m., Arizona Week will cover this issue in-depth with analysis by the Goldwater Institute, the Arizona Chamber of Commerce and Industry, a health care economist, the head of Tucson medical Center and a physician who operates a care improvement program under the Affordable Care Act.
posted to Cue Sheet by James Reel
Here's a valuable post from Slate's culture blog reminding us how bogus much reporting on science can be. Actually, the post is about how bogus scientific studies of music can be--remember how the popular "Mozart Effect" was pretty thoroughly debunked?--but the core issue comes down to sloppy science reporting in the popular media. Too often, we read in the newspaper some shorthand report on an as-yet unreplicated study that overstates or oversimplifies the preliminary findings. Then, there's no follow-up reporting when further studies support, amplify or disprove the original findings. So every month we see some article about a new study showing that some common substance causes cancer, and then there's another article about another study showing that some obscure berry will add 50 years to our lives. My advice: Watch the reliable science-specialist media for further information. And always be cautious about studies that purport to explain how music works. I'm not saying it's impossible to figure out, but the explanations tend to be facile reasoning by people who don't really know anything about music.
U.S. Rep. Ron Barber has been assigned to two Congressional committees his office says are important to Southern Arizona.
He'll serve on the House Armed Services Committee and the House Homeland Security Committee. Barber's predecessor, and former boss, Gabrielle Giffords also served on the Armed Services Committee before she resigned from office in January.
The assignments are one component of a busy week for Barber. He was sworn in to office Tuesday and later took his first vote on legislation, he spent the rest of the week working in Washington, and he's planning to hold his first public event in the district Saturday morning.
That event is a nod to the popular "Congress on Your Corner" meetings Giffords held, and is the first since the shooting Jan. 8, 2011 at an event with the same name.
posted to Inside TV by Susie Hernandez
I love Saturdays...especially with Steve McQueen, Cary Grant and Paul Newman.
It was a big commitment, and I worried about the risks. Buying the Hollywood film package, that we locally branded as Hollywood @ Home, could have been a disaster…but week after week, it proves to be a very smart buy.
I often have to challenge myself in my programming choices—if I like it, it doesn’t mean I should do it (and vice versa). I love old and new Hollywood classics. I rarely go out on Saturday evenings anymore, and besides Law & Order reruns, there are few shows I will watch on those weekend nights. It was a conversation with our GM, Jack Gibson that sold me on buying this rather large film package that would commit us to a few years of movies. We were talking about our signal and picture quality. Now that we have 6 channels to offer Southern Arizona, with just a TV and an antenna, one could watch at least 2 or 3 channels of great AZPM programs for FREE. (Yes, free deserved to be in all caps!) Though Netflix and DVR’s are popular, not all of our viewers use those services. Would people watch old movies on PBS 6? Yes!
Hollywood @ Home premiered on Sept 24th with the Thin Man (1934) starring William Powell and Myrna Loy. So far, in every ratings period H@H films make our top 10 most watched hours! (May 2012 ratings haven’t been reported yet. Crossing fingers, those movies made the list!)
Many talented and movie obsessed volunteers have joined the ranks to help promote the series and research each film title for the Hollywood @ Home website providing background behind the film and trivia for movie buffs! Check it out!
A few weeks ago, we got a call from a viewer who was so happy about the uninterrupted broadcast of Papillon, that she made a donation. She exclaimed on the phone, “It’s just wonderful!” I wish I was working that night, as I would have loved to have chatted about the movie! I was watching at home, most likely lying on the couch! It’s very rare that someone makes a donation during non-pledge times. When someone does, it carries a lot of weight with AZPM. We can’t rely solely on ratings for programming decisions. I love to hear from active viewers and members who share what they love, what they’d like to see, and what they dislike. I encourage you to make a contribution at any time, especially when you really appreciate something you've seen. As the programmer, this tells me, in a very concrete way, that you enjoy that type of programming. Okay, okay, enough about pledge…
A few fans have let us know that without Hollywood @ Home, Saturday nights would be lonely. Nothing is on cable, they don’t have Netflix, their local video stores closed down, and they don’t want to watch a movie on their laptop. People have told me that they decide on whether to go out or not based on the movie. Are we encouraging a great night in? Yes!
Lately I’ve been getting the same question from viewers and staffers (and some University of Arizona faculty): What movie will be on next? This summer, I’m definitely going for lighter fare with some classics from the 30’s and 40’s to start us off. For your Saturday night planning, here’s a sample of what’s to come: (all movies start @ 9PM)
Bringing Up Baby on June 23rd
Gaslight on June 30th
Dial M for Murder on July 7th
Hustler on July 14th
Eight Men Out on July 21st
Rocky II on July 28th
Thunderbolt and Lightfoot on August 4th
Auntie Mame on August 11th
I may do a mini marathon with Dial M and Gaslight in one week. Thoughts? I’m thinking maybe in late August, during the Olympics.
Susie the TV Programmer
PLEDGE online anytime by clicking here
Martha McSally, a Republican seeking election to the U.S. Congress in Southern Arizona, announced today she's accepted the resignation of campaign communications director Sam Stone.
Stone was recently accused of reaching out to help the campaign for Democrat Ron Barber before he won election against Republican Jesse Kelly. The story, first reported in Politico, is that Stone contacted a Barber campaign staffer at a public event days before the special election which Barber won.
According to the report, Stone offered advice on how Barber could beat Kelly earlier this month, but Stone denies that, saying only that he talked to Barber staffers and "exchanged pleasantries."
Today, McSally issued a statement on Stone's resignation, referring to staff conduct, but didn't directly reference the alleged contact with Barber's campaign.
"Members of my campaign team are representatives of who I am, what I stand for and why I am running for Congress," McSally said in the emailed statement.
"Because of that, my communications director, Sam Stone, has resigned his position with the campaign effective immediately. Sam was a valuable member of our campaign and helped us go from zero to 25% in just 68 days during the Special Election in April," McSally wrote. "We need to reform Washington and change who we send there. The people of Arizona deserve the best from its elected leaders and candidates, and I will give it to them."
McSally faces Mark Koskiniemi in the Republican Party primary in CD2.
Democrats Barber and Arizona Rep. Matt Heinz compete for their party's nomination.
The primary election is Aug. 28, and the winners from each party compete in the Nov. 6 general election for a two-year term in Congress.
posted to Cue Sheet by James Reel
Here's an article from the New York Times about how radio producers are hoping to fill the gaps left by the anticipated departure of some very popular, very long-running shows like Car Talk and A Prairie Home Companion. The trouble is, those programs aren't really going away, even if the hosts do. The Car Talk guys are retiring after a 35-year run, but their old programs are going to be cannibalized and restitched for broadcast into the foreseeable future (they will continue to run locally on KUAZ). Garrison Keillor blows hot and cold on the idea of retiring from A Prairie Home Companion, and although he's not talking about retirement right now, he has said that he's on the lookout for a replacement host so the show won't die with him. Well, good luck with that. When Keillor ran away to Denmark with his high-school sweetheart in the 1980s, he left the show behind, and it was refashioned into something only slightly different with a new host, Noah Adams. It didn't quite work, and so we were then subjected to what seemed like centuries of PHC reruns until Keillor relented, revived a version of his show from a New York base, realized that wasn't quite right, and went back to the old PHC format in Minnesota. So it's pretty clear that if Keillor leaves someday, a new host won't be able to carry the show, which revolves around Keillor's personality, and we will once again be subjected to endless reruns. Same thing happened with Saint Paul Sunday: The series ended production, but repeated the final year's broadcasts for the next five years. We finally dumped the thing around the fourth rerun cycle, and now the reruns are finally being mothballed nationally.
I'm sure there are people who will gladly listen to rebroadcasts of these popular shows again and again for years to come. But I don't think endless reruns will serve the larger audience, and they will only make public radio seem increasingly hidebound and averse to innovation. The solution seems easy: Archive the old shows online, so people can have free and easy access to them forever. Then do something new on-air--don't muddle through with a hapless new host trying to maintain the old format, but create completely new programs. Some will fail. But a few decades ago, a lot of people scoffed at the idea that the peculiar A Prairie Home Companion could ever achieve a national following. We just have to keep trying new things until the public finds something it loves.
But one thing is certain: The next Prairie Home Companion will have to be completely different from Prairie Home Companion.