On the News With Thom Hartmann: 25 States Have Refused to Expand Medicaid, and More

In today’s On the News segment: Millions of Americans are now realizing that they’re too poor to afford Obamacare; the National Resources Defense Council has released a new report alleging that the FDA knowingly allowed the use of “high-risk” antibiotics in the meat; it looks like Chris Christie is hiding something; and more.

TRANSCRIPT:

Thom Hartmann here – on the news…

You need to know this.

Millions of Americans are now realizing that they’re too poor to afford Obamacare – and it’s all thanks to Republican lawmakers across the country. Twenty-five states – which are either controlled by a Republican governor or have a Republican legislature – have refused to expand Medicaid coverage to their citizens under Obamacare – in what are purely political moves. As a result of the “red-state donut-hole” – nearly 5 million Americans remain uninsured – and are unable to get healthcare through Obamacare. And – a recent study by researchers at Harvard University and the City University of New York found that as many as 17,000 Americans could die directly because of “the lack of Medicaid expansion in opt-out states.” So – millions of Americans will still be without healthcare thanks to Republicans. It’s time to force Republican lawmakers to finally embrace Medicaid expansion – like they did when it was first rolled out in 1965. If they won’t then 2014 is the time to vote them out of office, for refusing to accept federal tax dollars that would give health coverage for the poor.

In screwed news…

The National Resources Defense Council has released a new report – alleging that the FDA knowingly allowed the use of “high-risk” antibiotics in the meat that Americans eat. According to the report, the “FDA continues to knowingly allow the use of drugs in animal feed that likely pose a ‘high risk’ to human health.” The use of antibiotics in livestock puts humans at a greater risk of attracting antibiotic-resistant bacteria – like the bacteria that causes MERSA. Each year – millions of pounds of antibiotics are fed to livestock. In fact – Big Agriculture is the number one consumer of antibiotics in the country. Isn’t time for new rules and regulations that put an end to antibiotic use in livestock – and that protect American lives?

In the best of the rest of the news…

Well – it looks like Chris Christie is hiding something. David Wildstein – the ex-Port Authority official who oversaw the politically-motivated lane closings at the George Washington Bridge claims that he has proof that New Jersey Governor Chris Christie had direct knowledge of the closings and traffic nightmare. In a letter released by his lawyer – Wildstein claims that, “evidence exists…tying Mr. Christie to having knowledge of the lane closures, during the period when the lanes were closed, contrary to what the governor stated publicly in a two-hour press conference.” Christie has repeatedly denied having knowledge of the bridge closures – and his office’s role in them. So – if Wildstein’s claims are true – and he does have evidence that Christie knew about the GW Bridge lane closures, this could be the final nail in the coffin for Chris Christie’s political career.

Marlise Munoz – a pregnant Texas woman who had been on life-support since November in an attempt to save her fetus – was finally disconnected from the respirator that was keeping her “alive.” Even though multiple doctors had said that she was brain-dead and her family had said that they didn’t want her on life support – the John Peter Smith Hospital was refusing to remove her from life support. The hospital finally agreed to remove Munoz from life support after a court ruling -and after tests revealed that Munoz’s fetus was deformed and suffering from a variety of health issues. It came to this point thanks to an ancient Texas law – that lets hospitals go against the end-of-life wishes of women if they are pregnant. Now – even though they wanted to remove her from life support – Munoz’s family may be forced to pay for her hospital costs. Munoz’s husband told CNN that he is receiving medical bills for her care – and the hospital is refusing to say whether it is going to cover the costs or not. So – should Munoz’s husband and her family be forced to pay for healthcare that they didn’t even want in the first place? It seems like it should the responsibility of the hospital to foot the bill – for care that they forced on Marlise Munoz.

According to RadCast.org, We are seeing the higher levels of radiation leaving the States for the most part but we should be seeing the rise of fallout once again in a few more days. Lakewood, Colorado is reporting 66 counts per minute, with spikes of 90, and Charleston, West Virginia is averaging 43, with highs of 65 counts per minute. Colorado Springs, Colorado is sitting at 65 counts per minute, with spikes of 94, and Oxford, Michigan is hovering at 29, with highs of 71 counts per minute. Fredrick, Wisconsin is reporting 46 counts per minute, with spikes of 80, and Spearfish, South Dakota is sitting at 50, with highs of 83 counts per minute. Salbury, Massachusetts is hovering at 81 counts per minute, with spikes all the way up to 122, and Ithaca, New York is averaging 41, with highs of 65 counts per minute. RadCast.org’s alert level is 100 counts per minute, however they remind us that there is no such thing as a safe level of radiation.

And finally… Climate Scientist Michael Mann’s has filed a defamation suit against The National Review Magazine. He alleges that the magazine published defamatory and untrue statements about him, calling him a fraud and comparing him to a child molester. If Michael Mann wins then this suit – it could be held up by climate scientists as an important legitimization of climate change and Mann’s “hockey stick” graph showing spiking global temperatures. If the National Review is found guilty of defamation, it would mean the judge believes the statement that Mann “molested and tortured data” was false and made with “actual malice,” meaning they either knew or deliberately disregarded the fact that it was not true. The National Review told Think Progress “the suit was a free speech issue, indicating Mann was trying to silence those who don’t believe the reality of climate change with serial lawsuits.” Of course, free speech has reasonable limits – including publishing all-out falsehoods and trashing a man’s character.

And that’s the way it is today – Monday, February 3, 2014. I’m Thom Hartmann – on the news.