Wiretap: Considering an Obamacare death spiral

If the Supreme Court rules against Obamacare, it will be bad for the millions, of course, who qualify for subsidies in getting their health insurance through the federal exchanges. As of now, that’s around six million people in three dozen states. But that’s not all. The experts are predicting that the prices for everyone else in the individual insurance market may rise as much as 35 percent. There were never any death panels, of course. But there is what economists call the “death spiral,” which is when the insurance pools grow smaller and sicker. And if the death spiral hits, no one is sure how bad it might be. Via Upshot in the New York Times.

In the aftermath of the brazen murder of Boris Nemtsov, Garry Kasparov writes of the culture of fear and death in Vladimir Putin’s Russia. Via the Wall Street Journal.

Fifty thousand came to mourn Nemtsov — an outpouring from Moscow’s “intellectual faces.” Via the New Yorker.

The state requires oil and gas companies to fully restore drilling sites. Like so many oil and gas regulations in the state, that one depends upon drillers to basically volunteer to comply. As the Denver Post reports, more than half of the 47,505 inactive wells in Colorado have not been restored. This data shows that current regulations “are probably not acceptable,” said Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission chairman Thomas Compton. “Probably”?

Jackson Diehl: Netanyahu’s dicey bet on his speech to Congress. It’s risky for him here in America and also risky for him back home in Israel. Via the Washington Post.

Colorado Springs voted to legalize the sale of recreational marijuana in 2013 but you still can’t buy it there because the city council effectively blocked pot retail. As conservative Colorado Springs voters might put it: It’s the nanny state, big government knows best! But it’s election time. Voters will elect a new mayor and five council members come April, and they want to know where each of the candidates stand on marijuana. So the Gazette asked them.

The Justice Department will release a report this week faulting the Ferguson police on racial bias. Via the New York Times.

Everyone hates the No Child Left Behind Act, so why isn’t Congress ever going to change it? Via Vox.

It has been a great way to find out about the real lives of young people and develop policies around “risky practices.” For 25 years, the state has been administering an anonymous survey to a large sample of middle school and high school students asking them about sex and drugs. Conservatives in the statehouse and on the board of education are suddenly scandalized. They want the state to seek permission from parents to survey the students. Via the Pueblo Chieftain.

What makes Scott Walker stand out in the early polling is that he is polling well across the entire spectrum of Republican opinion. Via the National Journal.

It’s a lot of numbers, but if you want to take a close look at the demographic changes coming to America — and what it could mean for the electorate — look at the paper from The Center for American Progress.

Sometimes a banana suit is just a banana suit. Via the Philadelphia Inquirer.

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