Courtesy of Bloomberg

Pardon Me, the Other Side of My Mouth Is Talking: Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is defending a lawsuit to do away with coverage of pre-existing conditions per the Affordable Care Act, says The Hill and Bloomberg.

The provision is incredibly popular, so the lawsuit is a bit of a political risk, but Sen. McConnell’s not worried.

Our candidates are able to deal with it. There’s nobody in the Senate that I’m familiar with who is not in favor of coverage of pre-existing conditions.

The suit was filed by Texas and backed by the Trump administration and contends that when the tax penalty was taken out, it made the whole law null and void, which would include that pre-existing condition clause. The Justice Department normally defends federal statutes, but this time it’s siding with Texas.

CNN says the administration and GOP have been, well, inconsistent with what they’re saying and what they’re doing, if you can imagine.

President Donald Trump tweeted “All Republicans support people with pre-existing conditions, and if they don’t, they will after I speak to them. I am in total support. Also, Democrats will destroy your Medicare, and I will keep it healthy and well!

But if your Justice Department isn’t defending them, then that’s kind of the opposite of support, along with all the other attempts to just wipe the law out completely.

Or as The Washington Post put it: “Trump says ‘all Republicans’ back protections for pre-existing conditions, despite repeated attempts to repeal Obamacare.”

Which is pretty much what Sen. McConnell said earlier this week to Bloomberg.

It’s no secret that we preferred to start over. So no, I don’t fault the administration for trying to give us an opportunity to do this differently and to go in a different direction.

Nothing wrong with going to court. Americans do it all the time; we can do it, too.

So for those keeping score at home: fully supports coverage of pre-existing conditions; fully supports lawsuit and legislation that could remove pre-existing conditions.

NPR says “The midterm elections could reshape health policy,” and a report from Kaiser Health, which Insider ran yesterday, says health care is the No. 1 issue for the midterms.

I’ve had the flu all week. I can tell you it’s certainly my No. 1 issue.

Fox News poll now shows 54 percent of respondents have a favorable opinion of the Affordable Care Act. That ties an all-time high.

In that Bloomberg interview we talked about a second ago, they also asked Sen. McConnell about the deficit, and he’d like you to blame programs like Medicare and Social Security rather than the massive tax cuts passed last year.

He says:

It’s disappointing, but it’s not a Republican problem. It’s a bipartisan problem: unwillingness to address the real drivers of the debt by doing anything to adjust those programs to the demographics of America in the future.

I think it would be safe to say that the single biggest disappointment of my time in Congress has been our failure to address the entitlement issue, and it’s a shame, because now the Democrats are promising ‘Medicare for all.’ I mean, my gosh, we can’t sustain the Medicare we have at the rate we’re going, and that’s the height of irresponsibility.

The 2017 tax cuts were predicted to increase the deficit and indeed the deficit has grown. The Treasury Department said the deficit grew to $779 billion in Trump’s first full fiscal year as president. As experts predicted it would. But at the time, Sen. McConnell said:

I not only don’t think it will increase the deficit, I think it will be beyond revenue-neutral. In other words, I think it will produce more than enough to fill that gap.

Bobby Petrino | Courtesy of University of Louisville

What About Bob?: They are still talking about what to do with head coach Bobby Petrino this week as your University of Louisville fighting football Cardinals continue to struggle. Things didn’t get any worse this week, but that may be because they didn’t have a game.

Last week, we talked about the unlikelihood Louisville would, could or should make a move at this point, but people are still throwing names around.

SB Nation, for instance, has a suggestion Louisville fans will remember: Jeff Brohm. He currently coaches the Boilermakers of Purdue, so he’s not far, and he’s done some pretty great things with that program. They say picking him up’s a “no-brainer.”

The Spun says: “Yep. That’s a good fit, sure.” But then let’s some air out of the balloon by noting it would take a decent amount of cash to buyout Brohm’s contract, which they don’t have. And yes, Louisville holds a special place for him, to be sure, but he’s building a thing with Purdue with some big recruits on the way — would he even want the job?

Which is all moot for the moment, right here in the middle of the season. Athletic Director Vince Tyra talked about Petrino to The Athletic this week and said while he’s aware the Cardinals are not in a good place, he’s not making any moves just yet.

You assess everything. You’re assessing where you are by the freshmen through seniors, where each class is and how they’re performing, (what) the next class of recruits that we’re onto look like. You’re certainly assessing both sides of the ball and the staff, but I think it’s one that I’m not quick to make final assessments when we’re halfway through the season.

So, I’m pretty thoughtful about when we need to look at things, and I think that we’re going to run this season out and we’ve still got five games left to make some improvements and hopefully we’ll see that. But we’re not meeting the coaches’, the players’ or anyone’s expectations today on where we thought we’d be. Certainly, I don’t think when we started the season that the staff, the players, the administration thought we’d be 2-5.

And then there’s also this from Louisville defensive end Jonathan Greenard.

Which is a pretty accurate assessment of the year. And even if they don’t win another game, they’re getting something out of it. Growth. Perspective. Grit. That’s good.

Louisville Metro

Averett Arrested: Louisville sophomore tight end Kemari Averett is charged with threatening to kill his girlfriend, pointing a gun at her head, says ESPN, Sports Illustrated, The Chicago Tribune, The Washington Post, USA Today and Bleacher Report.

According to the police report, Averett was studying with his girlfriend on Sunday and left his backpack at her place. When she returned it on Monday, he noticed his laptop missing from the backpack. He approached her car, put a gun to her head and threatened to kill her. The report goes on to say he threatened to shoot her car and “have my people looking for you.”

His girlfriend says she didn’t know the laptop was missing.

Averett has pleaded not guilty to the charges. His lawyer J.P. Ward told the AP:

Mr. Averett disagrees with the allegations as stated. We’ll look at those allegations going forward and look forward to our day in court.

That day will be Friday, Oct. 26. Or the hearing, anyway, so more on that soon. He’s currently in jail in Louisville on a $10,000 bond.

Averett’s girlfriend is pregnant, according to the police report, and Averett is said to be the father, which he also denies.

Louisville has suspended him indefinitely. In a statement, coach Bobby Petrino said:

Kemari Averett has been suspended immediately from all football activities per further investigation. He will not have access to our facility or be involved in any team activities during this suspension.

YouTube

Shout Out: Sen. McConnell isn’t the only one eyeing Election Day. Jennifer Lawrence has been popping up all over the country to lend her voice on some key issues. You may recall she’s on the board of RepresentUs, billed as the largest grassroots anti-corruption campaign.

First up: Memphis. She’s released a video asking Memphis voters to vote no on a ballot measure to repeal Instant Runoff Voting and to keep existing term limits, says The Tennessean, Commercial Appeal and WREG Memphis.

She says in the video:

Memphis, you’re about to get blindsided by your own government. Surprised? You shouldn’t be. Ten years ago, voters approved laws that give the people more power over elections, hold politicians accountable, and create term limits. Politicians are sneakily trying to reverse those laws, so they put dishonest questions at the bottom of Memphis ballots. We should protect our elections by saying ‘no’ to all the questions. Tell the politicians they work for us.

Here’s the video for you:

There are three items in question: the first expands the four-year term limits from two to three while the other two would seek to repeal IRVs, which allows voters to rank their first, second and third choices on a ballot so there’s no need for a big runoff election.

Moving up north to Detroit, she’s taking on gerrymandering, says The Detroit Free Press, advocating for Proposal 2.

Here’s that video:

Proposal 2 wants to take districting out of the government’s hands and create a citizens group to be in charge of it.

And finally, we’re headed west to Colorado. She’s speaking out about gerrymandering there, too, supporting Amendments Y and Z, which would make it illegal, says Denverite.

Here’s that video:

They’re all very similar, sure, but we’re not meant to see them all together quite like that.

***

Here’s an odd KFC video sent to me this week. They do enough odd on their own, I thought it might have been official for a second:

Which goes perfectly well with this, which is official:

See you next week.

Kyle Ware is a Louisville-based actor, artist, educator and writer. His column, In Other News, appears at Insider Louisville every Friday.


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