What In the World Is Going On?

Medicaid:

 

 

What happened?

 

This week, voters in Kentucky and Virginia voted against Obamacare’s Medicaid expansion. As a result, hundreds of thousands of people have been left uninsured, falling into something called the Medicaid gap.

 

Why is it important?

 

The Medicaid gap is best described as the population of Americans that make too much to receive Medicaid, or government-subsidized health insurance intended for low-income people, but not enough to have their health insurance covered by what’s known as marketplace subsidies. Under Obamacare, Medicaid was supposed to be expanded to cover Americans who were uninsured as a result of this gap. In 2012, the Supreme Court upheld Obamacare, voting 5-4. However the Supreme Court voted in such a way that states were not forced to implement Obamacare’s Medicaid expansion, allowing states like Kentucky and Virginia (aka largely conservative states that are not fans of Obamacare) to strike down Medicaid expansion. However, Kentucky and Virginia are not alone; 20 other states have also voted against Obamacare’s Medicaid expansion. Long story short, many Americans living in these states are now uninsured.

 

Ohio:

 

 

What happened?

 

Ohio recently voted against legalizing marijuana for recreational purposes, despite the fact that polls in Ohio show that the state is largely in support of legalization.

 

Why is it important?

 

Ohio’s marijuana legislation was super controversial, mostly due to the fact that the legislation called for the complete ownership of Ohio’s marijuana industry by a few wealthy donors. Although Ohio voters struck down the legislation, there is talk that those in favor of legalizing marijuana now have another battle to fight: preventing potential marijuana monopolies in states that vote to legalize it.

 

Houston:

What happened?

After over a year of campaigning, Houston voters have officially said “No” to the Houston Equal Rights Ordinance.

 

Why is this important?

The bill covered many different topics, including equal protection for housing and employment, but the people against the bill managed to take this and successfully create a campaign against sex-offenders “legally” entering bathrooms. The Houston Equal Rights Ordinance (HERO) has become known as the “Bathroom Bill” because it would have explicitly allowed transgender people to use either the men or women’s bathroom (whichever they identified with). The people against the bill claimed that this would only lead to registered and potential sex offenders claiming to be women to legally enter bathrooms where they could take advantage of women and children. Never mind the fact that there is a current law banning men from entering the women’s restroom to “cause a disturbance” (and vice versa). Unfortunately, the vote has really just ended with a setback for equal rights advocates and is fueling other bathroom bill advocates around the country.

 

Mississippi:

What happened?

Mississippi’s had a pretty rough week. In other news, Mississippi voters rejected a constitutional amendment to increase funding in public schools, a man tried to bomb a Walmart because it stopped selling Confederate flags, and a parking lot and the 12 cars parked on it sank into the ground. Like we said, it’s been a rough week for Mississippi.

 

Why is this important?

 

The vote for a constitutional amendment was between two different initiatives: Initiative 42 (the citizen-led bill) and Initiative 42A (the conservative-supported bill). The amendment was supposed to increase funding for public schools (which really need more money) by requiring the government to establish “adequate and efficient system of free public schools.” Conservatives had a problem with the word “adequate” and the idea of the judicial system getting involved, so they created their own alternative. 42A claimed their proposal would help “effective schools” instead of taking away money from “good schools” and “putting it other places.” Either way, though, the election ended with neither initiative winning and Mississippi schools staying where they are, still underfunded.

 

To bring it back to the controversy in South Carolina this past summer, there has been a lot of debate about whether the Confederate flag is a way to honor veterans from the Civil War or is more a symbol of racism. Walmart decided it didn’t want to offend anyone who agreed with the racist viewpoint, so it stopped selling the flag in June. Many people are still proud of the Confederate flag, though, like Marshall Leonard. Thankfully, though, Leonard’s homemade bomb did not work and he was later arrested while running a red light.

 

As for the sinking cars, no one really knows what happened. The director of public safety is sure that it wasn’t a sinkhole, though, so basically, who knows. Thankfully, though, no one was hurt.