August 01, 2014

The last word...

...of the work week goes to Ken Ward at the Charleston Gazette and Coal Tattoo. Ken points out here that even if WV's ruling class got its wish and made the EPA disappear, the state's coal industry would still be in trouble due to cheap natural gas and coal competition from elsewhere. At some point, we need to deal with it.

July 31, 2014

Coal kabuki and climate

In case you missed, Ken Ward over at Coal Tattoo has some things to say about how West Virginia's leaders might deal with the whole Obama/climate change/EPA thing. I'm not holding my breath though.

Still, it's impossible to deny that these are tough times in the coalfields. Alpha Natural Resources recent layoff announcement is just another case in point.

That's all the more reason why we need to start talking now about economic transition.

July 30, 2014

It's working, continued

Between road trips, I've been blogging a good bit lately about the Affordable Care Act and how it is impacting West Virginia. Here's the latest, via my friends at West Virginians for Affordable Health Care:

*Enrollment in the expanded Medicaid program is now at 137,448. This is higher than I ever thought it would go. Even after a stellar job of signing people up, I expected new enrollments to level off and decline. Instead, it seems to be continuing at a rate close to 1,000 people per week. 

As Joe Biden might say, "Golly, that is a rather significant deal." (On second thought, he probably wouldn't use those exact words.)

*State Medicare recipients are reaping huge savings as ACA provisions that close the  prescription drug "doughnut hole" kick in. Specifically, 15,575 state residents saved over $12 million or $779 per person. Nationally, savings to beneficiaries were $1.3 billion this year and $11.5 billion since 2010.

It really is working.

July 27, 2014

Feeding the trolls

This op-ed of mine probably should have been two. It's kind of schizoid. First, I teed off on Paul Ryan and my nemesis Ayn Rand, then went on a jag about the Affordable Care Act and how repealing might not be the most popular thing to do in WV if it came right down to it. But it's kind of hard to stop when you're on a roll. Besides, feeding the web trolls is an act of Christian charity.