Must Reads: GOP Would Boot 44 Million Medicaid Patients - Rolling Stone
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Must Reads: GOP Would Boot 44 Million Medicaid Patients

IRS hits anonymous donors
Ben Smith at Politico reports that the IRS is cracking down on donors to super-secret big money political groups, requiring them to pay gift taxes at rates as high as 35 percent. “Republican donors who gave generously to [the Karl Rove-directed] Crossroads GPS and other groups last cycle,” Smith writes, “may find themselves on the hook for substantial back taxes.” [Politico]

GOP voted to kick 44 million patients off Medicaid
When the GOP locked arms last month vote for Paul Ryan’s plan to turn Medicaid into a block grant to the states, Republicans claimed the move would save a cool $1 trillion. What they didn’t tell you is that those savings come at a high price – namely, depriving 44 million of America’s most vulnerable patients of health insurance, according to an analysis by the Kaiser Family Foundation. Reimbursements to hospitals would also crater: “Federal government payments to facilities caring for Medicaid patients would drop by as much as 38 percent.” [PBS Newshour]

Was Sarah Palin a loveable guv?
In a piece that has a whiff of Trying … Too … Hard …, The Atlantic‘s Josh Green argues that Sarah Palin was actually a thoughtful, engaged, centrist governor before 2008’s run for the vice presidency transformed her into a hard-right ideologue. “As governor, Palin demonstrated many of the qualities we expect in our best leaders,” Green writes. “She set aside private concerns for the greater good, forgoing a focus on social issues to confront the great problem plaguing Alaska, its corrupt oil-and-gas politics …. Had she stayed true to her record, she might have pointed her party in a very different direction.” [The Atlantic]

Mitt to bite the bullet on Romneycare
Mitt Romney is set to make the speech of the young 2012 season in Michigan on Thursday, seeking to thread the needle with Republican voters. His challenge: to own up to Romneycare in Massachusetts  while still hammering home a credible denunciation of its federal cousin Obamacare. His problem: GOP primary voters are not big on nuance, writes Karen Tumulty: “Some conservatives view ‘Romneycare’ as such an apostasy that they say nothing short of an act of contrition – similar to the one Pawlenty has offered for his previous support for a cap-and-trade system to deal with climate change – will do.” [Washington Post]

If you can light your tap water on fire, blame fracking
A new study of hydraulic fracturing – or fracking – in Pennsylvania and New York state has found that the new-fangled techique for extracting natural gas is routinely leaking methane into nearby drinking water supplies, creating such unpleasant hazards as drinking water that catches fire. ““We certainly didn’t expect to see such a strong relationship between the concentration of methane in water and the nearest gas wells,” one of the study authors told ProPublica.”That was a real surprise.” [ProPublica]


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