July 30 marks the 53rd anniversary of Medicare and Medicaid, the iconic health programs that have kept millions of Americans out of poverty — and alive — for over half a century now. But it’s a grim birthday, Martha Burk writes, because Republicans have rolled out plans to privatize one and gut the other. Martha reflects this week on what the programs have meant for women especially.
Speaking of health care, we’re taking a close look at how efforts to chip away at the Affordable Care Act are harming health in rural states. Chris Petersen, an Iowa small farmer, writes this week about the importance of protections for people with pre-existing conditions, which the administration is trying to take away. And Andy Spears marvels at Tennessee’s decision to let people barter for their health instead of accepting a cost-free Medicaid expansion.
Also this week, Nicole Braun shares a moving personal essay about another aspect of America’s family separation crisis: the juvenile detention system, which locks tens of thousands of U.S.-born kids away from their parents. Meanwhile, Jim Hightower calls the situation on the border Kafkaesque.
Rounding us out, Jill Richardson reports on the administration’s decision to ignore evidence about the benefits of national monuments in favor of opening them for drilling. And Khalil Bendib thinks the president quacks like a Russian asset.
Finally, this week we mourn the passing of Donald Kaul, a two-time Pulitzer-nominated columnist who wrote thousands of syndicated columns for the Des Moines Register, the Cedar Rapids Gazette, and later on, for us here at OtherWords.
Don’s mordant humor and curmudgeonly kindness made him perhaps the most popular columnist we’ve ever run. This week in OtherWords, my old boss Emily Schwartz Greco — who edited Don for years — reflects on how starstruck Iowans would become when she mentioned that she’d worked with him. Not that any of them could imagine him needing an editor. Don’t miss her column, or the moving obituaries in the Washington Post and Des Moines Register.
New This Week…
- Let Me Tell You What Forced Separation Feels Like | Nicole Braun
Our country puts thousands upon thousands of U.S.-born kids behind bars, too. Mine was one of them.
- An Unhappy Birthday for Medicare and Medicaid | Martha Burk
As the iconic health programs turn 53, the GOP is advancing plans to privatize one and gut the other.
- Remembering Donald Kaul | Emily Schwartz Greco
I used to edit the legendary writer’s columns. Telling his fans about it sounded as far-fetched to them as if I’d claimed to be Warren Buffett’s broker.
- I’m a Small Farmer from Iowa. Why Does Trump Want to Take My Health Care? | Chris Petersen
Republicans want to bring back “pre-existing conditions” as a reason to deny you care.
- The Two-Chicken Checkup: Bartering for Health Care | Andy Spears
Instead of expanding Medicaid to cover 300,000 uninsured residents, Tennessee has proposed letting them barter for their care.
- What Is Our Land For? | Jill Richardson
Should we graze it, log it, drill it, and mine it? Or should we preserve it, study it, recreate in it, and revere it?
- Kafka on the Border | Jim Hightower
The administration has trapped immigrant families in a bureaucratic nightmare — and brought media hacks rushing to defend the indefensible.
- If It Looks Like a Russian Asset… | Khalil Bendib
Putin says he didn’t do it.
In Case You Missed It…
- What’s Behind Trump’s Attacks on Europe? | John Feffer
Maybe Putin has some dirt on Trump. But the real problem is Trump thinks like Putin.
- Local Police Shouldn’t Cooperate With ICE | Chia-Chia Wang
Until the federal government stops its relentless persecution of immigrants, it’s up to us to provide refuge in whatever ways we can.
- Our Missing $10 Trillion | Josh Hoxie
Tax cuts from the Bush, Obama, and Trump years have left a massive gap in the public coffers. This hurts everyone.
- Elon Musk vs. the Media | Justin Anderson
After an investigation into labor conditions at Tesla, the eccentric billionaire announced a new website to smear reporters.