ISIS might be expanding its scope and the Kentucky governor's threat to Obamacare newsletter

Today in Slate: ISIS Might Be Expanding Its Scope, and a New Threat to Obamacare

Today in Slate: ISIS Might Be Expanding Its Scope, and a New Threat to Obamacare

What’s happening.
Nov. 5 2015 6:51 PM

Fear Itself?

ISIS might be expanding its scope, and Kentucky's governor-elect might seriously threaten Obamacare.

Debris of the A321 Russian airliner a day after the plane crashed in Wadi al-Zolomat, a mountainous area in Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula, on Nov. 1, 2015.

Photo by Khaled Desouki/AFP/Getty Images

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Slate–y cats,


The West used to think ISIS would never attack it. Democrats used to think the Republicans could no longer threaten Obamacare. Times change.

If ISIS attacked the Russian plane, the group has fundamentally changed its mission.

ISIS has terrified people worldwide because of its brutality, not its reach. But if, as the group claims, it really did take down the Russian airliner that crashed in Sinai last weekend, the world needs to reassess whom it’s dealing with. ISIS has never before targeted civilian airplanes, nor has it targeted enemies outside its home turf. If the group really did attack the Russian plane—in retaliation for Russia’s increased involvement in the Syrian civil war—that might mean ISIS has changed its policies, and that it is now directly or indirectly (through affiliate groups) targeting its enemies across the globe. That would mean in the air and even in the West. It’s too soon to say whether this shift has occurred; it’s not even clear yet that ISIS really did put a bomb on the plane. But even the prospect of ISIS expanding its scope is pretty scary.

If you got health care through the ACA, Kentucky’s new governor should scare you, too.


According to Census figures, Kentucky’s uninsured population fell 40 percent between 2013 and 2014, and the number’s still falling. But the state’s new Republican governor-elect, Matt Bevin, ran on removing all traces of Obamacare—which is responsible for those recently insured Kentuckians—from the state. To do so, he would eliminate the state’s successful insurance exchange and take away coverage from at least some of the state’s citizens who became covered under the ACA’s Medicaid expansion, which is responsible for most of that drop in uninsured people. That’s all in Bevin’s power, and if he acts on it and his popularity doesn’t suffer, Republican governors elsewhere will probably follow suit. And if a Republican wins the White House in 2016, along with the party’s expected congressional majorities, well, the whole law really could be in danger.

Not worried? Relax with the TPP or Philip Pullman, but probably not with someone else’s spouse.

Seth Maxon
Home page editor for nights and weekends