The Supreme Court is expected to issue a decision in a major new lawsuit against Obamacare this June, and the health coverage for millions hangs in the balance.

This challenge to the Affordable Care Act, called King v. Burwell, came from longtime Obamacare opponents who claim that, because of a key phrase in the law, the federal government may provide tax credit subsidies only in states that operate their own health insurance exchanges. Thirty-four states declined to establish these marketplaces, and instead left that responsibility in the hands of the federal government.

If the Supreme Court rules for the plaintiffs in this case, it would eliminate health insurance subsidies for 7.5 million low- and moderate-income people in those states, causing most of them to become uninsured when their premiums become unaffordable without financial assistance.

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Alex Wellerstein, an historian of science who specializes in the history of nuclear weapons and nuclear secrecy, has put together two online maps mashups: NUKEMAP2, and NUKEMAP3D, which use Google Maps and Google Earth, respectively. With those tools, you can see the blast radius for nuclear explosions of your own design, or from one of the presets. But this doesn’t get into dispersion of fallout. If you’re interested in that kind of thing, you might want to see various smoke modeling tools, which are used for wildfire management.”

Via Metafilter

Image:Nuclearsin by Vinicius Quesada

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Historical Map: “Futuroute” Route Selector for Picc-Vic Rail Project, Manchester, 1970s

Everything about this rather fabulous mechanical route selector – a unique piece created to build interest and publicity for the eventually-cancelled rail project – just screams early 1970s modernist design. From the gaudily coloured stripes on the case, to the tightly-spaced sans serif typeface, to the very name itself: “Futuroute” – literally the route for the future! Although I keep wanting to pronounce it as “futuro-route” rather than the intended “futu-route” for some reason…

The unit is now part of the permanent collection at the Museum of Transport, Greater Manchester, and is apparently every bit as clunky to operate as it looks.

For more information on the Picc-Vic project, check out the Wikipedia entry, or Chapter 3 of the Infra_Manc exhibition catalogue (PDF).

Source: Tim Dunn/Twitter