Good morning ... I missed this the other day, but the FDA approved contact lenses that get darker under bright light, similar to Transitions lenses for eyeglasses. It's like sunglasses directly on your eyeball. Which will be ... interesting to see in the real world.
It's like, how much more Paul Ryan could this photo be? And the answer is none, none more Paul Ryan. Photo: Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call
Outgoing House Speaker Paul Ryan has been by far his party’s No. 1 champion for an aggressive overhaul of entitlement programs. He won’t accomplish that before retiring next year, but his impact on the GOP’s platform isn’t likely to fade in his absence.
Ryan forced the issue of entitlement cuts into a position of prominence within the Republican Party, largely through his earlier positions as chairman of the Budget Committee and then as Mitt Romney’s vice presidential candidate.
Medicaid: Ryan’s budget proposals called for converting federal Medicaid funding into a block grant to the states.
Medicare cuts have always been a harder sell politically, and none of Ryan’s potential successors have matched his energy on the issue.
The other side: Democrats would love for Holtz-Eakin to be right. Ryan's budgets never became the political poison that liberals (and some Republican strategists) had anticipated in 2012 and 2014, but you could make a strong case that they helped Democrats move back to playing offense on health care.
A health care rally last summer. Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images
Health care is one of the biggest reasons activism and protests are on the rise — specifically, because ACA supporters have been going to a lot of rallies, the Kaiser Family Foundation’s Drew Altman writes in today’s column.
The numbers that matter: A Kaiser Family Foundation-Washington Post survey found that 50 million Americans went to a rally or protest over the last two years, and 14 million — about 28% — said the ACA was one of the main reasons. Of that group, 85% said they were coming out to support the law.
The bottom line: That may not be a surprise, since the law was under attack — but the point is that the energy in health care protests has shifted from the right to the left.
Go deeper: Read the column here.
Zuckerberg testifies before the House Energy and Commerce panel. Photo: Yasin Ozturk/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images
If you missed this yesterday while holding on for dear life in a tornado of news, you can be forgiven, but a couple of House lawmakers pressed Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg about Facebook ads for the illegal sale of opioids.
What Zuckerberg said:
"We need to be able to build tools that can proactively go out and identify what might be these ads for opioids, before people even have to flag them for us to review. ... [B]ut today, if someone flags those ads for us, we will take them down."
As Congress looks for more ways to address the opioid epidemic, one subset of policy changes is focused on making prescription painkillers harder to abuse — limiting the number of pills in a prescription, for example.
But that approach hasn't necessarily worked in the past, and may have had some unintended consequences, according to a new working paper published by the National Bureau of Economic Research.
Between the lines: There have been three distinct phases in this crisis:
Federal data indicates that we're now in a third phase, in which deaths from illegal synthetic opioids like fentanyl are skyrocketing, and have even outpaced heroin. That trend began in about 2013.
Why it matters: As my colleague Caitlin Owens explains in more detail, this is a poignant illustration of why this crisis has been so hard to solve.
My colleague Bob Herman is back at it, breaking down the most recently disclosed health care CEO pay packages and how they stack up against their companies' median salaries. If you missed the previous tranches, you can check them here, here, here and here.
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