Tuesday, March 26, 2019

The Trump administration wants all of Obamacare overturned by the courts

The Trump administration wants the federal courts to overturn the Affordable Care Act in its entirety, an escalation of its legal assault against the health care law. The Justice Department said in a brief filed on Monday that the administration supports a recent district court decision that invalidated all of Obamacare. So it is now the official position of President Trump’s administration that all of the ACA — the private insurance markets that cover 15 million Americans, the Medicaid expansion that covers another 15 million, and the protections for people with preexisting conditions and other regulations — should be nullified. When...

House plans first-ever hearing on surprise medical bills

As surprise medical bills get a whole lot more attention in the media, Congress seems to be getting serious about cracking down on the practice. A congressional aide tells me that the House will hold a hearing on the issue on April 2. The hearing is meant to explore the scope of the problem and what types of policy solutions would be best to fix it. The hearing will be convened by a subcommittee of Education and Labor, which has jurisdiction over some of the key laws that regulate surprise medical bills. As far as I can tell, this will be...

6 unanswered questions from William Barr’s summary of the Mueller report

Special counsel Robert Mueller did not find that the Trump campaign “conspired or coordinated” with the Russian government to meddle in the 2016 elections, according to Attorney General William Barr’s summary to Congress delivered Sunday. Barr’s four-page letter outlines the “principal conclusions” of the nearly two-year special counsel probe, reiterating that the Russian government sought to interfere in US politics but that the investigation did not establish that Trump associates aided them in their efforts. His summary also took up the other major element of Mueller’s investigation: whether President Donald Trump obstructed justice. Here, Barr cites language from Mueller’s report, noting...

Two Parkland school shooting survivors have died

Two Parkland school shooting survivors have died by suicide over the last week — a tragic reminder of the lingering pain and trauma brought by gun violence. Sydney Aiello, a 19-year-old recent graduate of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, took her life last weekend. On Sunday, police confirmed that a second survivor, a current student, is also now dead in an apparent suicide. The pair of tragedies comes just over one year after a gunman opened fire in the Florida high school, killing 14 students and three teachers. The shooting marked a turning point in the debate over...

Shazam! is an unapologetically buoyant triumph of a superhero movie

Shazam has arguably the goofiest plot device in the long history of goofy superhero plot devices: In order to tap into his superpowers and transform into his superhero self, Billy Batson (played by Asher Angel in this movie), a 14-year-old runaway teen, must shout “Shazam!” into the ether and get throttled with a bolt of lightning. Saying that magic word grants him the wisdom of Solomon, the strength of Hercules, the stamina of Atlas, the power of Zeus, the courage of Achilles, the speed of Mercury (SHAZAM!), and a body some 15 years older and at its physical peak...

The Mueller report: what we know and don’t know

Special counsel Robert Mueller has completed a report on his findings in the Trump-Russia investigation, the Justice Department announced Friday. So far, the report’s actual details have not leaked. But Justice Department officials have been disclosing some procedural information about what the report looks like, and when the public might get to see it. The latest is that Attorney General Bill Barr has been reviewing the report at the Justice Department Saturday, but he will not release any findings to Congress today. We’ll collect the newest information about what government officials are saying — and the key questions that still need...

Vox Sentences: It’s Mueller time

Vox Sentences is your daily digest for what’s happening in the world. Sign up for the Vox Sentences newsletter, delivered straight to your inbox Monday through Friday, or view the Vox Sentences archive for past editions. The special counsel finishes his work; the UK extends its deadline. The Mueller report is in Win McNamee/Getty Images After 22 months, 34 indictments, and weeks of breathless anticipation by reporters around the world, special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into the Trump campaign and Russia is concluded. He has submitted a...

Us’s big plot twist, explained

You can be forgiven for being confused at the end of Us. The movie, like creator Jordan Peele’s directorial debut Get Out, is rife with metaphors — only in Us, the allegory is much more ambiguous. That’s partly due to the complicated relationship between the main character, Adelaide, and the mysterious woman, Red, who appears out of her past. (Both women are played by Lupita Nyong’o in an incredible dual performance.) If you’ve already seen the film then you know there’s a lot more connecting the two women than a mere case of stalking. But you might not have caught...

Vox Sentences: Should Harvard profit from photos of slavery?

Vox Sentences is your daily digest for what’s happening in the world. Sign up for the Vox Sentences newsletter, delivered straight to your inbox Monday through Friday, or view the Vox Sentences archive for past editions. Harvard is accused of profiting from images of enslaved people; an explosion at a chemical plant in China turns deadly. Will a lawsuit force Harvard to reckon with its past? Kevin Hagen/Getty Images Tamara Lanier, a Connecticut woman descended from enslaved people, sued Harvard University on Wednesday for profiting off images...

Trump’s new executive order on campus free speech is more symbolism...

President Donald Trump will sign an executive order Thursday on a cause célèbre for conservative activists: upholding free speech on college campuses. But the executive order won’t do much more than reiterate the Trump administration wants schools to follow existing laws on free inquiry and direct the federal agencies that fund research to make sure that they’re doing so. It’s a largely a symbolic move meant to satisfy a key demand of Trump’s conservative base. Trump first promised he would draft an executive order to protect free speech earlier this month during a speech at the Conservative Political Action Conference....