What News Was in My In-Box, November 9, 2022

Some Good Commentary this week. I would pay attention to the articles on Medicare Advantage. There has been a lot of complaints. If you are on Traditional Medicare, Be careful as they have been switching people over to Advantage Plans without asking. Sounds like the Fed believes people have too much cash in savings according to one article in “Economy.”

Lots to read and catch up on in the world.

Politics and Law

Regulators Move Against Two ‘Misinformation’ Doctors,” MedPage Today, Peter McCullough and Sherri Tenpenny. Two doctors accused of spreading misinformation about COVID-19 vaccines are facing challenges from state and national medical organizations.

The Sad Death of Affirmative Action,” The New Yorker, Jay Caspian Kang. Erwin Chemerinsky, the dean of the University of California, Berkeley, School of Law, told me. “So they can’t have any explicit use of race. They have to make sure that their admissions statistics don’t reveal any use of race. But they can use proxies for race.”

Don’t Report Your Abortion Patients to Law Enforcement,” MedPage Today, Jamila Perritt. Among the cases involving adults, 26% were reported by acquaintances (including family, friends, and neighbors) and 45% were reported by care professionals (including doctors, nurses, and social workers) after seeking care.

The Rise of Political Violence,” | The New Yorker, Andrew Marantz. It would be irresponsible to draw too direct a line between the rhetorical climate and any individual’s actions. But, obviously, none of it bodes well.

Why Facts Don’t Change Our Minds,” The New Yorker, Even after the evidence “for their beliefs has been totally refuted, people fail to make appropriate revisions in those beliefs,” the researchers noted. In this case, the failure was “particularly impressive,” since two data points would never have been enough information to generalize from.

American billionaires spent a record $880 million on the U.S. midterm elections,” (cnbc.com), Robert Frank. America’s billionaires spent a record $880 million on the U.S. midterm elections so far. Most of the spending favoring Republicans, according to a new report.

Economics and Business

The Reviews Are In for the Inflation Reduction Act,” Center for American Progress Action, Colin Seeberger. The “best development on health care for the American people in years.” “A sound compromise and a step forward.” A “desperately needed investment in America’s future.” A “game-changer” for the climate.

Opinion | The G.O.P. Plot Against Medicare and Social Security,” The New York Times, Paul Krugman. The committee’s proposals center on raising the age at which Americans become eligible for Social Security and Medicare. Its plan calls for increasing the age at which workers can collect full Social Security benefits — which has already risen from 65 to 67 — to 70, and then raising it even further in the future as life expectancy goes up (if it does).

Top Fed Official: Fed Will “Keep At This” Until Your Savings Accounts Are Drained,” (theintercept.com, Jon Schwarz. “We see today that there is a bit of a savings buffer still sitting for households, that may allow them to continue to spend in a way that keeps demand strong,” she said. “That suggests we may have to keep at this for a while.”

Job Growth Remains Strong as Wage Growth Settles Within Inflation Target,” Center for Economic and Policy Research, Dean Baker. The economy added 261,000 jobs in October, somewhat faster than most analysts had expected. Despite the rapid job growth, unemployment edged up slightly to 3.7 percent. Perhaps most importantly, it seems wage growth is settling down to a level consistent with the Fed’s 2.0 percent inflation target.

Washington Post Says Voters Want Cuts to Social Security and Medicare,” Center for Economic and Policy Research, Dean Baker. Almost none of the Washington Post’s readers have a clue what $80 billion over the next decade means. It would have been useful to provide some context. This comes to $8 billion a year, or a bit less than 0.13 percent of federal spending over this period. (The Post piece does not even bother to tell readers this is spending over a decade, not a single year.)

Labor market showed more signs of cooling in October: Wage growth continues to decelerate,” Economic Policy Institute, Elise Gould. Wage growth continues to decelerate.

Rising profits are driving inflation, UBS economist says,” The Hill, Tobias Burns. A top economist at Swiss bank UBS is warning that high inflation is more the result of rising profits than wages and that Fed Chairman Jerome Powell needs to explain exactly how he thinks higher rates are going to bring down rising prices for consumers.

Foxconn: iPhone maker bets on electric truck firm Lordstown Motors,” BBC News, Peter Hoskins & Monica Miller. It is deepening its investment in a US electric pick-up truck firm, which could challenge Tesla’s Cybertruck. AB, they stole in Wisconsin and now they are in Ohio? Another Republican state.

Why Unemployment Can Stay Low While We Fight Inflation,” Roosevelt Institute, Justin Bloesch. Job growth has been even across sectors. Measures of both labor market tightness and wage growth are already falling while the unemployment rate remains low. There is little reason to think that today’s 3.5 percent unemployment rate is inherently more inflationary than it was in 2019.

Energy and Ecology

Daylight Saving Time Enters Debate Over Europe’s Energy Crisis,” Bloomberg, Feargus O’Sullivan. Topical line of argument has emerged in Europe: Getting rid of the seasonal time shift could ease the continent’s energy crisis. 

Reflections on Sources of US Energy Consumed,” Conversable Economist, Tim Taylor. Petroleum as a source of energy is down about 10% in the last two decades. Nuclear has edged up just a bit in terms of total energy produced since 2000. The quantity of energy produced by renewables has doubled, from about 6 to 12 quadrillion BTUs.

Why Land Use Is Such an Important Issue for Our Times,” (treehugger.com), Haley Mast. Nature is abundant, but land on our planet is finite. Land has, of course, been the source of many a conflict in the past and continues to be a point of conflict today.

World on highway to climate hell, UN chief Guterres tells COP27,”Al Jazeera. Humanity must ‘cooperate or perish’ in face of climate change effects, Antonio Guterres tells world leaders gathered in Egypt.

Climate emergency: Will polluting rich nations pay reparations?” Al Jazeera, Lou Del Bello. The issue of finance for climate reparations was not even on the COP26 agenda. Singh. Historically, loss and damage has been addressed as a form of adaptation, although the Paris Agreement flags it as a separate issue.

People in China are no longer so optimistic,” SWI swissinfo.ch, Wu Hong. The mood of the Chinese people has increasingly darkened, and why he is making no bets about the country’s future.


Senate Report Decries Medicare Advantage Plan Marketing Deception,” MedPage Today, Cheryl Clark. Widespread Medicare Advantage (MA) marketing scams and deception result in beneficiaries getting switched. Patients are not told or consent to plans that don’t cover their providers or their needs. New report from the Majority Staff of the U.S. Senate Committee on Finance.

Deceptive Marketing Practices Flourish in Medicare Advantage,” (senate.gov), Senator Ron Wyden. Each one of these vignettes represents documented instances of aggressive or deceptive MA and Part D marketing practices that this investigation found to be widespread, not isolated events.

What Should US Policymakers Learn From International Drug Pricing Transparency Strategies?AMA Ed Hub (ama-assn.org). This article compares these countries’ policies on list and net price disclosures and on how international reference pricing is used to evaluate merits and drawbacks of different pricing transparency approaches.

The Links Between Disability, Incarceration, And Social Exclusion,” Health Affairs, The links between disability and incarceration are underexplored, limiting understanding of how carceral institutions punish and contribute to the social exclusion of disabled people.

The Public Shouldn’t Pay for Drugs Twice,” medscape.com, James Stout. Every new drug approved by the FDA between 2010 and 2019 has relied on grants from the NIH. Meanwhile, the companies sometimes turn around and charge the public exorbitant prices for the same drugs their tax dollars helped create.

New MACPAC Data on the Highly Effective Medicaid Drug Rebate Program,” Center For Children and Families (georgetown.edu), A groundbreaking 2021 Congressional Budget Office study found that compared to other federal programs and agencies, including the Department of Veterans Affairs, Medicaid obtained the lowest prescription drug prices, net of rebates and discounts.

Integrating Medicare And Medicaid Data To Improve Care Quality And Advance Health Equity Among Dual-Eligible Beneficiaries,” Health Affairs, Brittany Brown-Podgorski and Eric Roberts. Policy makers continue to test new models to integrate Medicare and Medicaid coverage for the dually eligible population, with the goal of improving quality of care and health equity.

Best of the Substacks

November 8, 2022,” Letters from an American, Prof. Heather Cox Richardson, (substack.com). I just got a text from a Gen Z voter in Michigan who has been in line to vote for more than an hour and predicts he will be there hours more. He has no intention of leaving. If there is an obvious story from today with results still unknown, it is this: a new generation is picking up the torch of our democracy.

The State Election That Could Change Consumer Rights Nationwide,” levernews.com, Julia Rock. One of the staunchest consumer protection advocates in America will face off against a corporate lawyer in an election on Nov. 8 that could shape litigation against corporations nationwide.

More Links

What News Was in My In-Box, November 2, 2022,” Angry Bear (angrybearblog.com).

What News Was in My In-Box, October 26, 2022,” Angry Bear (angrybearblog.com)

Infidel753: Link round-up, for 6 November 2022, Infidel753Blog.

They Really Don’t Want You to Vote …” Homeless on the High Desert, g’da said.