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Where can I practice water-paint?

The New York Times has a great piece on the new study by the Congressional Budget Office about the effect that a new Medicare-for-all plan would have on the federal budget. I’ve already posted a video covering the study, and I do have to say that it makes a lot of sense. There is no doubt that the program would cost quite a bit of money, but one of the more surprising findings is that the proposal would make nearly all the money the program would have to spend by reducing the federal deficit.

What does that mean? Because the ACA includes funding to states for both expanding Medicaid and making it more affordable to cover the uninsured, the proposed expansion of the program would cut most of the spending the program wouldn’t have to spend. If any portion of that spending had to be eliminated to put a plan in place to expand Medicare-for-many, that reduction would amount to a third of the projected deficit. It also explains the recent push by some on the right — who generally oppose a single-payer system — to call for expanding Medicaid, a move that could cut into the proposal.

Even without any new spending proposed, though, the proposal would still put a lot of money in the federal government’s coffers, and while you usually hear some on the left who are quite in favor of such a system, I’d have to say it could win over some progressives.

UPDATE: Also, the CBO study also looks at the impact on private coverage, finding that the combined spending of the existing plan plus the expansion would be about the same as without any expansion.

This post has been updated to reflect the latest CBO report that adds about $4.7 trillion of spending above what Medicaid could spend under the plan.

This image was taken in 2009 during one of the initial stages of the project. The red, green and blue colours represent the color-shifting of electrons flowing through the metal wires, and the cyan, white and black represent the optical properties of the atoms. (Image: NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center)

A laser has been used to break the ice of a frozen lake in Antarctica, revealing a striking structure that was previously considered completely invisible. The results, presented today at the American Physical Society meeting in Denver, Boulder, Colorado, reveal that the structure is more massive than previously thought, and was discovered by using a laser to push an icicle towards the surface.

“Most people thought that the frozen lake was