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Monday, March 25, 2019

March Madness

OK, what a weekend. The President and his crew do Mueller wrap-up post-Barr announcement victory laps and end-zone spikings touting his "total exoneration," while his (for now punked) political adversaries (including the "liberal fake news media") bravely vow to ramp things up yet another notch.

Trump Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders tweeted this (click to enlarge):

Gotta admit, that's pretty funny.

Is actual governance at the federal level now beyond passe? Health care, infrastructure, climate change, international trade policy, North Korea, etc?

But her emails!

The Trump Administration Now Thinks the Entire ACA Should Fall
In a stunning, two-sentence letter submitted to the Fifth Circuit today, the Justice Department announced that it now thinks the entire Affordable Care Act should be enjoined. That’s an even more extreme position than the one it advanced at the district court in Texas v. Azar, when it argued that the court should “only” zero out the protections for people with preexisting conditions.

The bad faith on display here is jaw-dropping. Does the administration really think that the very position it advanced just month ago is so untenable that it must now adopt an even crazier view?

Much as it may dislike the fact, the Trump administration has an obligation to defend acts of Congress. Absent that obligation, the sitting administration could pick and choose which laws it wants to defend, and which it wants to throw under the bus. Indeed, the decision not to defend is close cousin to a decision not to enforce the law. If the ACA really is unconstitutional, wouldn’t continuing to apply the law would violate the very Constitution that empowers the President to act?

Even apart from that, the sheer reckless irresponsibility is hard to overstate. The notion that you could gut the entire ACA and not wreak havoc on the lives of millions of people is insane. The Act  is now part of the plumbing of the health-care system. Which means the Trump administration has now committed itself to a legal position that would inflict untold damage on the American public…
 From The Incidental Economist. Read all of it.

"You're going to have such great health care, at a tiny fraction of the cost, and it's going to be so easy." - Donald Trump, October 2016 Florida campaign rally.
23andMe Thinks Polygenic Risk Scores Are Ready for the Masses, But Experts Aren’t So Sure
A new genetic test that estimates your risk for diabetes is probably less useful than standing on a scale.
Don't get the risk modeling analyst in me started on this kind of stuff. Yeah, let's waste more money. I am reminded of my January 2018 coverage the the Health 2.0 WinterTech conference:

"Also on the agenda, the "FICO Score for Health" was back.
Dacadoo is the "Health Score" company - providing a mobile-first digital health platform that helps people live healthier, more active lives. The dacadoo platform allows organizations to offer a fun, engaging experience that measures, coaches and improves people's health across three key dimensions: lifestyle, biometric and emotional wellbeing. Dacadoo takes inputs from a variety of tracking devices, as well as its own app and applies a research-backed, patented process to calculate a single, composite health score for each individual. Dacadoo's customers include large and mid-sized companies, health and life insurance companies, and health & wellbeing service organizations.
I used to work in credit risk modeling and management (large pdf). Would love to see this algorithm."

What could possibly go wrong?

House Democratic leaders urge focus on health care in wake of Mueller findings

More to come...

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