Which States Will Opt Out of a Public Option?

Harry Reid announced yesterday that the current health care bill will include an "opt-out public option." In other words, there will be a...

Harry Reid announced yesterday that the current health care bill will include an "opt-out public option." In other words, there will be a government-run plan in which every citizen will be enrolled for which every citizen will be eligible if they don't already have health care, unless their state government chooses to opt their entire state out of the program by 2014. At that point, barring any changes to the law, every state that hasn't opted out will be part of the national public option.So, that begs the question, which states will have the political will to opt out of the plan. Let's be reductive for a moment and assume that Democrats are all for the plan and Republicans are all against it. (Tip of the hat to Michael G. Frank for some of these numbers). There are currently 17 states where the governor is a Democrat and both houses of the legislature are controlled by Democrats. Twenty four more states have Democratic control of either the state house or one house of the legislature.The genius (or evil genius) of the opt-out provision is that it potentially allows one part of a state government to hold out-through filibuster or delay-until 2014, when the plan goes into effect, bucking the will of other members of the government and putting their state into the public plan column. Currently, only nine states are fully controlled by Republicans. They are Texas, Utah, South Carolina, South Dakota, North Dakota, Missouri, Idaho, Florida, and Georgia.Those nine states represent about 25 percent of the U.S. population (and nearly all of that is from Texas and Florida). If the public option is as great as its supporters say it is, will we be looking at a country divided by the health of its citizens, where a vast majority receive cheap and plentiful health care, while insurance companies find profit from a small minority of hold outs? Or will citizens in those states, seeing the public option working elsewhere, demand change of their government?Then again, the bill is far from passed and 2014 is far away.

McDonalds sells a lot of coffee. Over a billion cups a year, to be exact. All that coffee leads to a lot of productive mornings, but it also leads to a lot of waste. Each year, millions of pounds of coffee chaff (the skin of the coffee beans that comes off during roasting) ends up getting turned into mulch. Some coffee chaff just gets burned, leading to an increase in CO2.

Now, that chaff is going to get turned into car parts. Ford is incorporating coffee chaff from McDonalds coffee into the headlamps of some cars. Ford has been using plastic and talc to make its headlamps, but this new process will reduce the reliance on talc, a non-renewable mineral. The chaff is heated to high temperatures under low oxygen and mixed with plastic and other additives. The bioplastic can then be formed into shapes.

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For over 20 years, our country has perceived itself as more divided than united, and it's not getting better. Right after the 2016 election, a poll conducted by Gallup found that 77% of Americans felt the country was divided on the most important values, a record high.

The percentage of Americans who agree that we disagree got higher. During the 2018 mid-term elections, a poll conducted by NBC News/Wall Street Journal found that 80% of Americans felt the nation was "mainly" or "totally" divided.

We head into the 2020 presidential election more divided than ever. A new poll from USA Today found that nine out of ten respondents felt it was important to do something about the conflict in our country. We can't keep on living like this forever.

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via Honor Africans / Twitter

The problem with American Sign Language (ASL) is that over 500,000 people in the U.S. use it, but the country has over 330 million people.

So for those with hearing loss, the chances of coming into contact with someone who uses the language are rare. Especially outside of the deaf community.

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