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Showing posts with label Health care. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Health care. Show all posts

Friday, March 24, 2017

Let's (Not) Make A Deal

Donald Trump has always been a con man. The fact that people bought into his act shows how fucking stupid people are. That's right, STUPID!.

Now, I'm sure this will offend all those uber sensitive white rural voters whose precious little egos need coddling every single fucking day but I don't care. They elected a guy who talks like this all the time so they better be able to take what they dish out without whining about "smug, liberal elites" who look down on them. How is it my fault that they are ignorant?

Take health care, for example. Trump promised them the moon and assured all those Republicans who hate Obamacare with all the heart and soul that he would give them something better. He would "art of the deal" that mammajamma and deliver. Well, guess what?

He fucking failed.

The so called "repeal and replace" American Health Care Act couldn't get enough votes in the House because of GOP infighting. The actual reason is that children can't govern. When you put people in charge that are not adults, they can't accomplish anything. All they know is how to be against something.

The GOP in Congress and their soon to be impeached leader got a big does of reality today. Health care is all tough and stuff. And maybe the adult who was in office from 2009-2017 knew what the fuck he was doing after all.

Somewhere, Barack Obama is laughing his ass off.

I am too, actually. This is what right wing bloggers governing looks like.

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

The Legacy of the Affordable Care Act

Here's a great piece about how the legacy of the Affordable Care Act will endure forever. People don't like to have things taken away from them and that's why the American Health Care Act is essentially Obamacare lite.

They can’t erase the fact that millions of Americans have now received subsidized insurance coverage via the federal government, however. That’s changed many voters’ expectations for health policy in the United States, and moved the Republican debate over health-care legislation from whether it should be to what it should be.

Yep.

Friday, February 10, 2017

Friday, January 13, 2017

From The Bottom Of His Heart



Yes, Republicans and conservatives, we get it. You don't like it when liberals win and help people. It makes you stomp your feet and throw tantrums. So...what....you're just going to kick guys like this to their coffins so you can score points against those smug liberals who are all smart and stuff?

Saturday, January 07, 2017

Challenge Extended

President Obama has extended a challenge to Congressional Republicans. Come up with something better than the Affordable Care Act and he will publicly support it. I am extending that challenge as well to any of my readers. Post your plan in comments, show me examples of how this has worked more effectively in the past, and I will publicly admit that the ACA has been defeated by a better plan.

My bet is the GOP comes up with nothing and just repeals the ACA out of pure, adolescent spite.

Thursday, February 05, 2015

Who Has The Most Anxiety?

At first glance, the Supreme Court's looming decision in the King V Burwell case will cause the president and the Democrats the most anxiety. If SCOTUS decides that the subsidies do not apply to the states that do not have their own exchanges and are being run by the federal government, millions will lose coverage.

Yet, if I were a conservative, I would think for a moment before I began to thump my chest in victory over the president. This recent piece from AP details how Republicans have quite a bit to lose as well from such a decision.

RED STATES IN THE PATH

Insurance losses would be concentrated in Republican-led states, which have resisted "Obamacare." Florida, Texas, North Carolina, Georgia, Michigan, and New Jersey are among those with the most to lose. Residents of blue states that are running their own markets would continue to receive benefits.

"It is not simply a function of law or ideology; there are practical impacts on high numbers of people," said Republican Mike Leavitt, a former federal health secretary now heading a health care consulting firm.

Because the health law's 2015 sign-up season is still under way, it's unclear how many millions of people could become uninsured. Two independent studies estimate around 8 million. Not all the 37 states where the federal government is currently running insurance markets would be affected equally. Some have made progress setting up their own exchanges.

Imagine you are a Republican governor of one of these states and suddenly millions of your constituents lose their coverage. Certainly, there would be some people that would blame the president but there would be plenty that would blame you.

That's why I predict, in what will be most amusing irony, Republican governors will end up putting together their own exchanges should the court rule against the president. Eventually, every state will and should have their own exchange. This way the federal government can be kept out of it to a greater degree and conservatives can claim some sort of victory. 

Monday, January 27, 2014

The Solution to the Abortion Issue

With the passing of another anniversary of the Supreme Court decision on Roe V Wade, it occurred to me that solution to the abortion issue is really not all that difficult. Unfortunately, the two deeply entrenched sides make it seemingly impossible move on the issue. As I have gotten older, this issue has crept up my priority list and I think our nation needs to change the law as it stands today. There are still far too many abortions that happen every year (mostly by single women in their 20s) and this sad fact illustrates that people are being horribly irresponsible with sex. So how do we shift the paradigm?

The first thing that needs to happen is we need to tackle the demand side of the equation. Why do so many women in their 20s get abortions? Do they not know about birth control? Are they stupid? Part of this may be that sex education programs two decades ago were not what they are today. Teenagers today are taught that sex should only happen in loving, committed relationships with serious attention paid to birth control and family planning. The falling teen pregnancy rate shows that kids are abstaining until they are older or using birth control effectively and that is a good thing. A young person's mind isn't fully developed until they are 25 anyway. Honestly, I don't think people are ready to be parents on just about every level until they are 30. Younger parents are part of the reason why we have the problems we do today (see: The Michael Jordan Generation). So, single women in their 20s need to be targeted with marketing, community support, and social pressure to practice healthy sexual habits. That would eliminate some of the demand.

We can also look at the supply side of abortion and curtail it more than we are doing right now. We shouldn't outlaw it completely as that would give rise to a criminal element that would raise more problems, cost more money, and essentially create a whole new series of headaches. A woman's womb should not be a ward of the state. An embryo does not have 14th amendment rights. Here is where the question of "what is life?" needs to be answered. Prenatal development shows us that the heart isn't even beating until week 6. There is no brain function until week 7. It really isn't even a fetus until week 10. Given these facts, I'd say all abortions should be completely illegal after week 10 at least. I'd go as far back as week 6 if it means gaining concessions from the pro life crowd (more on that in a bit). In sum, it's not a human being without a functioning heart and brain.

With abortion legal only up until week 6 period, most people would pay more attention to their sexual habits and be more careful. I realize that Democrats would be loathe to embrace this but if they are truly the party of making laws that prevent people from hurting themselves or others, they should fall in line with this. Of course, they won't be the only ones that should concede on the issue. If the Right truly wants to be pro life, they should put their money where their mouths are and raise Medicare taxes to include free coverage for every child under a certain age. If changes to the abortion law were implemented as I describe above, there would inevitably be more unwanted children. We already have too many now so steps would have to be taken that these kids were taken care of outside of the womb as well. Aid could be given out based on salaries via Medicaid if need be but women who would have had an abortion because they couldn't afford to care for their kid will need some kind of assistance...certainly more than we have now.

I think that if all these steps are taken, our country would see abortion rates fall dramitally. Perhaps we would eventually see demand drop to such a point that few places would even offer them anymore. Take away the demand, you take away the supply. People would be forced to think more seriously about their sexual choices. But if mistakes are made, if a woman is raped, has sex with a family member, or is in a life threatening situation, they should have some sort of an option that won't detrimentally alter their life (and the life their child) forever. There is a way we can ALL be pro life and I sincerely believe the path I have outlined here is the best option.

It's not completely foolproof and perfect but it's better than what we have now which is, quite simply, a tragedy being perpetuated by hubris filled ideologues.

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

75,000 New Democratic Voters in West Virginia?

Sharon Mills is a great example why the Democrats should take Reince Priebus's advice and "stamp Obamacare to their foreheads."

Ms. Mills, 54, who suffered renal failure last year after having irregular access to medication, said her dependence on others left her feeling helpless and depressed. “I got to the point when I decided I just didn’t want to be here anymore,” she said. So when a blue slip of paper arrived in the mail this month with a new Medicaid number on it — part of the expanded coverage offered under the Affordable Care Act — Ms. Mills said she felt as if she could breathe again for the first time in years. “The heavy thing that was pressing on me is gone,” she said.

And how many more people in West Virginia are there like her?

Here in West Virginia, which has some of the shortest life spans and highest poverty rates in the country, the strength of the demand has surprised officials, with more than 75,000 people enrolling in Medicaid. While many people who have signed up so far for private insurance through the new insurance exchanges had some kind of health care coverage before, recent studies have found, most of the people getting coverage under the Medicaid expansion were previously uninsured. In West Virginia, where the Democratic governor agreed to expand Medicaid eligibility, the number of uninsured people in the state has been reduced by about a third.

The question now becomes how many people will shift over to the Democrats as a result of the ACA. I think it's going to be far greater than people imagine because there are many poor people who have come to realize that conservatives are not helping them at all. This is a big reason why Mitt Romney lost the 2012 election. They are seen as the party of the aristocratic class.

Of course, we still do have plaque..

Still, even among those who most need insurance, there has been resistance to signing up. President Obama — often blamed here in coal country for the industry’s decline — remains deeply unpopular. Recruiters trying to persuade people to enroll say they sometimes feel like drug peddlers. The people they approach often talk in hushed tones out of earshot of others. Chad Webb, a shy 30-year-old who is enrolling people in Mingo County, said a woman at a recent event used biblical terms to disparage Mr. Obama as an existential threat to the nation. Mr. Webb said he thought to himself: “This man is not the Antichrist. He just wants you to have health insurance.”

How did the froth about the president get to be so thick? Honestly, it's a combination of many things. I think it begins with the fact that they are massively insecure, angry and hateful at someone else succeeding where they are failing. That's rooted in the adolescent behavior that I think is at the core of all of this. As I have mentioned previously, conservatives are also secret aristocrats who don't think Democrats deserve to run anything. Only members of the "club" should be at the high of a station. Race plays a part, of course as does pride and hubris in tandem with an extreme difficulty to admit error. But, as the article notes,

Eventually, though, people’s desperate need for insurance seems to be overcoming their distaste for the president. Rachelle Williams, 25, an uninsured McDonald’s worker from Mingo County, said she had refused to fill out insurance forms on a recent trip to the emergency room for a painful bout of kidney stones. “I wouldn’t do it,” she said. But when she got a letter in the mail saying she qualified for Medicaid, she signed up immediately.

Uh Huh:)

Friday, January 10, 2014

Brainiacs

Stunning piece in the Times about the human brain and an NIH study that will help to answer the following questions: How do differences between you and me, and how our brains are wired up, relate to differences in our behaviors, our thoughts, our emotions, our feelings, our experiences? Does that help us understand how disorders of connectivity, or disorders of wiring, contribute to or cause neurological problems and psychiatric problems?

With the exponential growth of technology, I say that within the next two decades we are going to know far more about the human brain than has been thought possible up to this point in human history. Honestly, I think what we discover is going to be very frightening some people as I think we will discover how we were made.

And why.

Wednesday, January 08, 2014

Still Slow

A recent report by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services shows that health care spending is down for the fourth year in a row. Patients have greatly benefited from this considering past increases in medical and premium costs. The Affordable Care Act has had minimal impact on this slowed growth even though the White House has taken credit for it in terms of lowering Medicare spending by penalizing hospitals with high readmission rates, for example.

Regardless of why it is happening, we are heading in the right direction. Reducing the growth of health care is vital to the overall integrity of our economy. People can't live their lives being one crisis away from losing everything they own.

Thursday, January 02, 2014

What Will 2014 Bring?

It's always fun at the beginning of a new year to predict what may happen. I've enjoyed reading all the partisan predictions for 2014 over the last few days that have ranged from the likely to the absurd so I figured I should throw out a few of my own.

Barring some outlying incident, the economy will continue to improve and unemployment will drop to below 6 percent. GDP will be steady at 3-4 percent for each of the four quarters. This will be the number one factor in the 2014 elections. For those of you inside the right wing bubble, our country is facing imminent economic collapse because of the liberals so nothing really new here.

The Affordable Care Act will be a 2014 campaign issue but not in the way the GOP would like it to be. The hundreds of thousands of Americans who will be benefiting from this law will dwarf those who are complaining about it and turn out to vote. The nervous and hyperventilating Democrats will suddenly become calm and happily stamp the ACA to their foreheads:)

After primary season is over in the Spring, GOP House members will pass comprehensive immigration reform. The new law will largely be the same one that was authored by Marco Rubio, Republican Senator from Florida. Political reality will become quite stark for Republicans this year in terms of the Latino vote and they will have no choice.

Failing to extend unemployment insurance for the long term unemployed will erase the political capital gained from the poor rollout of the Affordable Care Act. The Right's failure to address the issue of inequality with anything other than failed economic ideas and bloviating platitudes will take larger chunks out of the electorate for them.

There will be another school shooting and the Gun Cult will scream about Hitler coming to take their guns away, stomp down the hallway to their rooms, and act like belligerent adolescents.

The settled science of climate change will continue to be on display throughout the year. The Right will scream about Stalin coming to take their freedoms away, stomp down the hallway to their rooms, and act like belligerent adolescents.

President Obama's approval ratings will come back up again (they are already) and his 89th political death will quickly be forgotten.

For the 2014 election, the House will largely remain unchanged with either party picking up or losing a few seats. In the Senate, we can say goodbye to Mitch McConnell, Mary Landrieu, the Democratic seats in Montana, South Dakota, and West Virginia. That's a net loss of three seats which would put the Dems at 50 + Bernie Sanders and Angus King who caucus with them. Of course, that's how it looks now without the possible surprise retirement of Susan Collins or the GOP deciding to run far right candidates in the states they should easily pick up. Throw in some more Todd Akins and Richard Murdocks into the mix and nothing in the Senate really changes with the Democrats still holding the majority.

The most interesting races of the 2014 will be the governor's races. Governors Brewer, Heineman and Perry are all retiring. Rick Scott, Tom Corbett, Rick Snyder, and Scott Walker are going to have tough reelection fights. I see the Democrats taking most of these seats and holding on to the very blue states where they are running for reelection. The only one I really see holding on is Scott Walker in Wisconsin. I could be wrong because the state where I grew up really hasn't improved since he took office but I just don't see Kathy Burke beating him. He has moderated his language and criticized the crazies in his own party just enough to win the middle and set himself up for a presidential run.

Well, those are my predictions. What are yours?

Saturday, November 30, 2013

Then What?

Brian Beutler reveals a very interesting conundrum for right wing extremists in his latest piece over at Salon.com. When Healthcare.gov actually starts working, GOP will have to choose between politics or their constituents' health. With the bugs being ironed out at healthcare.gov, Beutler points out what the future holds.

A working site that can service nearly a million people a day destroys that excuse. Some conservative groups have been craven and reckless enough to actively discourage people from enrolling in Affordable Care Act coverage. Elected Republicans have generally used their influence more subtly, by drawing attention to the hassles and supposed dangers of using Healthcare.gov. Manipulation vs. direct appeal. They’ve also maligned an administrative solution President Obama devised that will allow carriers in some states to reissue canceled policies.

But the real fix for 70 percent (or so) of people whose policies have been canceled is to get new, subsidized coverage through exchanges, or to enroll in Medicaid. Once Healthcare.gov is working at high capacity, they’ll owe people with canceled coverage more than just the play-acting they’ve offered for the past month. Democrats will be helping these people find such coverage. Will Republicans?

No, they won't. And that's why I say we should take Reince Preibus's advice: Stamp the ACA right to our foreheads and run proudly on it in 2014. That's exactly what I would do if I was up for reelection next year.

Monday, November 25, 2013

Yep


Sunday, November 24, 2013

Math Doesn't Lie

The main goal of the Affordable Care Act was to reduce the growth of health care costs and guess what? It's doing just that.

Take a look at the chart below.





















According to the report, the overall inflation rate for medical goods and services is at historic lows. The link above also has some very interesting information about readmission rates.

The conclusion?

The majority of experts now believe Obamacare is at least partly responsible for the slowdown. They think it is encouraging permanent, structural changes in medical care—the kind that will generate more and more savings over time. The slowdown's effects are largely invisible. They take the form of premium and tax increases that people will never have to pay. But the effects seem very real—and, if so, they constitute a bona fide policy success, the kind that even many experts once doubted was possible. It may not show up in the polls. But it will show up in people's wallets. 

And this would be exactly why Democrats should take Reince Priebus's advice and stamp Obamacare right to their forehead. 

Wednesday, November 06, 2013

Other Shoe=Dropped

I was wondering when the other shoe would drop in terms of the hysteria over "If you like your insurance, you get to keep it." It looks like it has.

"If you're an insurance company, you're trying to hang onto the consumers you have at the highest price you can get them," Laura Etherton, a health policy analyst at the U.S. Public Interest Research Group, told TPM. "You can take advantage of the confusion about what people get to have now. It's a new world. It's disappointing that insurance companies are sending confusing letters to consumers to take advantage of that confusion. The reality is that this could do real harm."

It never ceases to amaze me how folks like Mika Brzezenski get sucked in to the faux outrage. Why are they so insecure? Ah well, I used to be like that so maybe she will learn and become like Juan Williams over at Fox someday.

You should be blaming your insurance company because they have not been providing you with coverage that meets the minimum basic standards for health care. Let me put it more bluntly: your insurance companies have been taking advantage of you and the Affordable Care Act puts in place consumer protection and tells them to stop abusing people. The government did not “force” insurance companies to cancel their own substandard policies.The insurance companies chose to do that rather than do what is right and bring the policies up to code. This would be like saying the government “forces” chemical companies to dispose of toxic waste safely rather than dumping it in the river.

People should be angry that their insurance companies were not paying for these humane, common sense benefits all along. It baffles me that people are directing their anger at the ACA which rights these terrible wrongs.

There's nothing baffling about it. Our country is filled with adolescents who have problem with authority figures and would never think to blame insurance companies because they are filled with wealthy people who, by their very nature, are perfect and should be worshiped. Just blame the government...it's easy!!

So, what does happen to those people whose policies are "cancelled?"

Yeah, you'll have to excuse me if I don't fall for their bullshit again.

Monday, October 28, 2013

A Tale of Two Web Sites

Great piece on Bloomberg discussing how the state run sites are faring much better than those in the states who refused to set up their own exchanges.

Don’t tell Elisabeth Benjamin it’s tough to sign up for Obamacare. For two weeks, she has been enrolling uninsured people from her New York City office through an online marketplace created by the law.

Most recently, she helped a Bronx home-health worker in her 30s get health coverage for $70 a month. “By week two, the system was pretty smooth,” said Benjamin, who’s certified to assist people signing up for health insurance.

It does help if you live in a state that isn't actively trying to sabotage the ACA's efforts. Kentucky, the only southern state to set up their own exchange, is doing just fine.

Elizabeth Watts of Kentucky, which runs an independent exchange, had her application accepted at 12:04 a.m. on Oct. 1, making her one of the first to start the enrollment process. Because of a rare disorder, she has already had a heart attack and a stent put in place. She makes $220 a week working at a Shell service station. Previously, the only insurance she could find was for $300 a month, which was too much for her to afford. Using the exchange site, Watts learned she was eligible for Medicaid, the state-federal program for the poor that was expanded under the law and will cover most of her costs. “It’s been such a relief,” said Watts, 31. The last time she saw her heart doctor, “it took 15 minutes and cost $160.”

Ms. Watts is a fantastic example of why the Right are shitting themselves right now. They know that once people like her in other deep red states start to sign up, they lose votes.

And then, they lose power.