Work it Out: Last Friday, Kentucky became the first state to receive approval from the Trump administration to place a work requirement for Medicaid benefits, says USA Today, New York Magazine, The Washington Post and TIME.
The Medicaid waiver requires able-bodied adults to complete 20 hours a week of “community engagement,” defined as work, pair or volunteer, or school. It does not apply to the elderly, disabled or those who are pregnant.
Said Governor Matt Bevin at a news conference in Frankfort:
We are ready to show America how this can and will be done. It will soon become the standard and the norm in the United States of America, and America will be better for it.
Another nine states are seeking work requirements: Arizona, Arkansas, Indiana, Kansas, Maine, New Hampshire, North Carolina, Utah and Wisconsin. All but one has a Republican governor.
Opponents say people will lose coverage; proponents say people will lose coverage.
The governor acknowledged that’s a likely outcome to NPR, saying he hopes they get off for the right reasons, either through a job that offers benefits or making enough money to afford a private plan.
Respectfully, I think it’s been a long time since you’ve applied for a job, governor.
CBS News talks to Rebecca Vallas, managing director of the Poverty to Prosperity Program at the Center for American Progress. She says that perception and that of supporters of the move are built on some false assumptions:
Work requirements are premised on a set of myths about poverty. First, that ‘the poor’ are some stagnant group of people who ‘just don’t want to work.’ Second, that anyone who wants a well-paying job can snap her fingers to make one appear. And third, that having a job is all it takes to not be poor.
Which is part of why The Washington Post calls the plan “a solution in search of a problem.” According to the Kaiser Family Foundation, 60 percent of the target group already works; 79 percent lives with someone who does. The Post posits less people with health care will once again turn emergency rooms into the primary care physicians of the poor.
The New York Times says Kentucky would do well to look south to Tennessee, which excised a large group of working poor from Medicaid back in 2005, with not great results. With no coverage, patients delayed trips to the doctor, which delayed diagnosis and treatment, with worse or catastrophic outcomes.
Strangely, the governor told MSNBC host Ari Velshi he believed that access to health care was not making anyone healthier and the absence of access would lead to people being more proactive in their own health. Here’s that exchange:
Bevin: The intent is not to save money. The intent is to get people engaged in their own health outcome, because what we’ve seen for fifty some odd years of these programs, Medicaid, we are not helping people’s health become better. We’re not. Especially for those who are able-bodied.
Velshi: That is strange to say, it doesn’t help people’s health get better.
A report from the Annals of Internal Medicine pretty well disagrees with that, too. They say the odds of dying for non-elderly adults are between 3 percent and 41 percent higher for the uninsured than for the insured.
Some health advocacy groups are more than a little concerned. No lawsuits have been filed, says The Chicago Tribune, but Mr. Bevin has threatened to end coverage for over 400,000 Medicaid recipients if any part of his plan is denied in the courts.
The Commonwealth will not be able to afford to continue to operate its Medicaid expansion program as currently designed in the event any one or more of the components of (the new program) are prevented by judicial action from being implemented.
Which is a strange tact to take if your intended goal is the health of your citizens.
All Aboard!: Hey there! Do you like the mega-sized outdoor turbo-fancy music festivals? Because your big Forecastle Festival released its 2018 lineup this week, says Rolling Stone, Consequence of Sound, Billboard, Paste and Los Angeles Times.
And it’s a pretty darned good lineup, too. Chris Stapleton, Arcade Fire and Modest Mouse will headline alongside Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit, T-Pain, Jimmy Eat World, Houndmouth, hailing from just across the river in New Albany and more.
Here’s the full lineup:
Forecastle invades Waterfront Park July 13-15. Tickets go on sale this morning (Jan. 19) at 10 a.m. at ForecastleFest.com.
And here’s your Forecastle announcement spectacular:
Chris Stapleton on “Jimmy Kimmel Live” performing “Millionaire” from his latest, “From a Room: Vol. 2”
Here’s Arcade Fire’s “Afterlife,” performed live at the YouTube Music Awards:
Why, yes. That is “Ladybird” Golden Globe-winning writer/director Greta Gerwig front and center for that.
Here’s the Punch Brothers doing a brilliant cover of The Strokes’ “Reptilia”:
And their tour mates I’m With Her with an equally brilliant cover of Adele’s “Send My Love (To Your New Lover)”:
Here’s Jimmy Eat World doing “The Sweetness”:
There’s a Forecastle 2018 Spotify playlist to get you primed and ready to set sail.
French Fried: So the marketing madhouse of KFC is causing an international stir this week.
We travel first to France, where Adweek and Creativity take a look at a new ad campaign focusing on the Colonel. Over on this side of the pond, we’ve seen the Colonel steal hearts in his own romance novel, launch his own suntan oil line, wrestle a giant chicken, but only 3 percent of the French know the Colonel, despite KFC appearing in France as early as 1991.
But there’s a new ad from Sid Lee Paris seeking to change that once and for all:
It’s an epic journey for the Colonel — riding alligators, performing death-defying motorcycle stunts, walking alongside time-traveling luminaries and by golly, even walking the face of the Earth as a giant — all in the name of chicken.
Over to the UK and Ireland, they know who the Colonel is, thank you. They’re getting KFC gravy cocktails, says The Drum.
There’s The Gravy Mary, The Southern Twist, and The Fingerlickin’ Sour from which to choose. They’re not offering in stores; they’re just giving you the recipe. Here’s The Gravy Mary:
One of the commenters said: “KFC you have officially lost it.” Fair. But he must have missed this:
And finally, a little closer to home in the great white north, KFC is releasing a bucket you can only purchase with Bitcoin, says Fortune.
KFC Canada presents The #Bitcoin Bucket. Sure, we don’t know exactly what Bitcoins are, or how they work, but that shouldn’t come between you and some finger lickin’ good chicken. https://t.co/2OKuCHk5Hb pic.twitter.com/UwaduB8toi
— KFC Canada (@kfc_canada) January 11, 2018
It’s a limited time offer with your $20 getting you 10 original recipe tenders, waffle fries, a medium side, gravy, and two dipping sauces. Which presumably you can then turn into a cocktail or slushie or who knows what.
Catching up: This week is sort of a Jennifer Lawrence recap in the news — they’re talking about her friendship with Emma Stone, the trailer for her coming film, “Red Sparrow” and believe it or not, they’re still talking about the controversial “mother!”
You’ll recall Darren Aronofsky’s psycho-thriller-horror-allegory doing well with critics but not so much with audiences and joined a very exclusive yet dubious group of films to receive a failing CinemaScore grade.
In their efforts to really get the film, the good people at Crave sat down to watch it, which may be three and a half times more than a lot of audiences made it through.
They came away with 10 take-aways, most of them to do with its biblical and environmental allusions and themes. They also conclude its Mr. Aronofsky’s most personal film to date, with its statement on the relationship between the artist and the art and the audience of said art.
That’s a lot going on for one film, which may be part of why people had a tough time with it and that CinemaScore grade.
See you next week.