Sick Bern: Bernie Sanders’ tweet cost Ariad Pharmaceuticals $387 million

Published: Salon (October 17, 2016)

With a single tweet, Sen. Bernie Sanders has cost Ariad Pharmaceuticals $387 million.

The article retweeted by Sanders was from Stat, a publication that specializes in covering health and medical news. It reported that, since the beginning of the year, Ariad has raised the price of its Iclusig chronic myeloid leukemia treatment by 27 percent. The drug now has a pre-rebate list price of $16,560 a month, or almost $199,000 a year. Even worse for Ariad’s image (to say nothing of consumers), this isn’t the first time they raised the price on that drug, having done so twice last year. read more

The 5 most important takeaways from Obama’s State of the Union address

Published: Daily Dot (January 21, 2015)

The gist of President Obama’s State of the Union speech can be found in one sentence: “The shadow of crisis has passed and the State of the Union is strong.”

This was not the address of a president whose party suffered a historic shellacking in the most recent set of midterm elections, but one whose approval rating has reached 50 percent and is emerging as a tough, creative statesman during his lame duck years. There was no attempt to apologize, no undercurrent of defensiveness, no sense of feeling beleaguered. As Obama enters the final quarter of his presidency, he has made it clear that he intends to position himself as a strong leader. read more

5 Reasons Obama Is A Better President Than You Think

Published: Daily Dot (November 12, 2014)

Supporters of President Obama can rest easy: His legacy as one of America’s greatest presidents remains intact, even if the tide of public and Internet sentiments has turned. (His approval rating stands at a paltry 39 percent.) As the president works to fight for net neutrality, it’s time to celebrate his biggest accomplishments.

Despite the worst midterm election losses suffered by the Democratic Party while controlling the White House since 1946, Obama has more than delivered on the promise of change offered in his 2008 presidential campaign—even if the Supreme Court undercuts the president’s signature healthcare law next year. What’s Obama done for you? read more

Why Even Some Liberals and Independents Are Refusing to Sign Up For Obamacare

Published: mic (March 31, 2014)

The Obamacare deadline is Monday, and a flurry of reports, headlines and talking heads are weighing in its success or failure. But sometimes politics cannot be understood without a human touch.

One of the most devastating aspects of the Affordable Care Act’s (ACA) implementation, flying under the radar, is the unwillingness of Republican-led states to accept the Medicaid expansion provision included in Obama’s legislation. This, and not the law, is making health insurance cost prohibitive for many — forcing people to choose the annual fine rather than accept the costs of even the cheapest plans. read more

Obama’s FunnyOrDie Sketch Proves There Are Other Ways To Push Ideas In Beyond Fear And Anger

Published: mic (March 11, 2014)

If you haven’t seen President Obama’s appearance on “Between Two Ferns with Zach Galifianakis,” stop everything you’re doing and watch it now.

There is a lesson to be learned from this video: Fear and anger aren’t the only effective methods for spreading a political message.

Obama’s right-wing opponents have spent the bulk of his presidency trying to destroy him with shrill accusations, inflammatory rhetoric and hyperbolic distortions of his agenda. The fact that these critics are so often wrong is less important here than the simple reality that they are so overwhelmingly, hysterically vitriolic. But this time, Obama responded with laughter. read more

The Anti-Obamacare Ads Have Been Nothing But Fear-Mongering Drivel

Published: mic (December 4, 2013)

I’m not sure which prospect is more frightening: That Obamacare’s opponents are deliberately lying or that they believe their own bullshit.

This isn’t to say that the Affordable Care Act hasn’t had its hiccups. Certainly there is no excuse for the technical incompetence that has plagued the website since its launch or for the president’s dishonesty regarding whether Americans who preferred their current health insurance plans would be able to keep them. read more

The Disturbing Trend in America We’re Not Talking About — Elder Abuse

Published: mic (October 15, 2013)
Co-authored by Ariel Gordon

Elder abuse may not be making national headlines, but it ought to be.

In Mercer County, Penn., a woman was dropped off starving and emaciated because her grandson spent $86,000 of her money on drugs and personal amenities. Across the country in Oregon, four elderly plaintiffs are in the process of suing a retirement community for financially abusing them by tricking them into signing misleading rental documents. Meanwhile, a Georgia woman has been charged with running an unlicensed retirement home in order to financially gouge its elderly residents while neglecting to meet their needs. read more

Richard Nixon: The Social Liberal Of His Time

Published: mic (August 25, 2013)

On the centennial year of his birth, a renaissance of interest has occurred about President Richard Nixon. First came Penny Lane’s documentary Our Nixon, which compiles home movies shot by the 37th president’s closest aides as a way of humanizing the much-maligned “Tricky Dick.” Then came the release of The Butler, which adds further nuance to Nixon’s cultural image through John Cusack’s performance. Finally there was the recent release of the final batch of secret White House tapes, where Nixon discusses everything from Watergate strategies and circuit court nominations to fielding an accidentally placed phone call from a regular citizen. read more