Many health insurance plans offered under Obamacare will have their benefits change in 2015, and consumers may not realize it before they are automatically re-enrolled.
Top of the Alty World
“Big Changes in Fine Print of Some 2015 Obamacare Plans”—ProPublica
Thirty years ago, the Supreme Court lambasted police for use of the choke hold like the one that recently killed Eric Garner in New York City.—Mother Jones
The Red Cross has repeatedly misled donors about how the charity uses their money.—ProPublica
Vladimir Putin used his state of the nation speech to tell his fellow Russians that the West is out to get them.—The Economist
Top of Alty Utah
Officials with the Utah Department of Health explained that there will be no Medicaid expansion until 2016.—Utah Political Capitol
A Pride group in Ogden hopes to organize the fourth active LGBT Pride organization in the state.—Q Salt Lake
Former Salt Lake City Council members weigh in on the now-disclosed affair between current council members Kyle LaMalfa and Erin Mendenhall.—Salt Lake City Weekly
Lawmakers unveiled the top ranked sites to relocate the Utah State Prison.—Utah Political Capitol
Utah Politico Hub asks whether the failure to indict police on a choke hold that killed Eric Garner, a man whose crime was selling unlicensed cigarettes, will finally galvanize a bipartisan call for reform:
But this story looks like it’ll be the tipping point. As more people see the video and scratch their heads, maybe some progress can be made in lowering the amount of cops killing unarmed civilians. To quote
National Review’s Charles CW Cooke: “Seriously, can you imagine what Sam F—–g Adams would have said at the news that a man had been killed over cigarette taxes?”
—Utah Politico Hub
The Long View
More than a decade of military intervention in Afghanistan hasn't rooted out the Taliban, but it has succeeded in propping up the nation's heroin kingpins:
With a record 224,000 hectares under cultivation this year, the country produced an estimated 6,400 tons of opium, or around 90 percent of the world's supply. The drug is entwined with the highest levels of the Afghan government and the economy in a way that makes the cocaine business in Escobar-era Colombia look like a sideshow. The share of cocaine trafficking and production in Colombia's GDP peaked at six percent in the late 1980s; in Afghanistan today, according to U.N. estimates, the opium industry accounts for 15 percent of the economy, a figure that is set to rise as the West withdraws. "Whatever the term narco state means, if there is a country to which it applies, it is Afghanistan," says Vanda Felbab-Brown, a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution who studies illicit economies in conflict zones. "It is unprecedented in history."
Even more shocking is the fact that the Afghan narcotics trade has gotten undeniably worse since the U.S.-led invasion: The country produces twice as much opium as it did in 2000. How did all those poppy fields flower under the nose of one of the biggest international military and development missions of our time? The answer lies partly in the deeply cynical bargains struck by former Afghan President Hamid Karzai in his bid to consolidate power, and partly in the way the U.S. military ignored the corruption of its allies in taking on the Taliban.