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Hometown: Austin, TX
Home country: U.S.
Member since: 2001
Number of posts: 18,063

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Perry says no to exchanges, Medicaid expansion

Postcards from the Lege blog AAS 7/9/12

Perry says no to exchanges, Medicaid expansion

Gov. Rick Perry said today that he would not set up a state-run health insurance exchange or expand Medicaid, two key provisions in President Obama’s health care plan.

Emily Ramshaw of The Texas Tribune reported this morning that Perry would be sending a letter to U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius to advise her of Texas’ position.

“I stand proudly with the growing chorus of governors who reject the Obamacare power grab,” Perry said in a statement. “Neither a ‘state’ exchange nor the expansion of Medicaid under this program would result in better ‘patient protection’ or in more ‘affordable care.’ They would only make Texas a mere appendage of the federal government when it comes to health care.”

When the U.S. Supreme Court ruled last month that the federal health insurance overhaul was constitutional, the justices also said that states could not be punished for declining to expand Medicaid to cover more people.

Oh you knew that little ricky wasn't going to miss the crazy train. Once bobby jindal jumped on board, little ricky had to buy in too.

And Texas with the worst health care coverage in the country will let the situation just get worse.

The Curious Case of the Poisoned Cows

Wired Magazine - Science Blog 6/29/12

The Curious Case of the Poisoned Cows

On a bright morning in early June, a Texas rancher named Jerry Abel turned his small herd of cattle out to graze. The 18 cows moved hungrily into that field of fresh grass. Within a few hours, only three were still alive.

Abel’s 80 acre ranch sits just a little east of Austin and the story was strange enough that on Sunday a local CBS affiliate picked it up. “There was nothing you could do,” Abel told KEYE about his desperate efforts to save the animals. “Obviously, they were dying.”

The television reporter apparently saw the evil hand of science at work in the episode, at least that was definitely the message in the story: “Genetically modified grass linked to cattle deaths.“ Alternatively, she just didn’t do her homework because the grass in question – Tifton 85 - is not a GM product. It’s a decades old hybrid grass developed by Georgia agricultural scientists as a high-protein, easily digestible forage.

The CBS story was immediately circulated – and by circulated, I mean embraced – by anti-GM activists and bloggers. I wrote a summary of this for the Knight Science Journalism Tracker earlier this week which detailed both the activist enthusiasm for the story (one suggested that GM grass was practically producing chemical warfare agents) and the rapid corrective response from science writers who knew what “hybrid” actually meant. The you-got-this-wrong message was so strong that CBS News corrected the story within a day.

Heat and drought stress are very, very bad for plants.

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