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  • I’ve had arguments with people who, seemingly in earnest, insist that they would rather pay a lot more for crappier insurance and foot significantly higher provider bills than help subsidize lazy, good-for-nothing moochers (by which I assume they mean hippies and people of color, but mostly people of color). In some people, the preference for actuarial fairness (solipsism) over distributive justice (solidarity) is apparently so strong that it’s actually self-harming. Of course, there’s a chance the people I was arguing with were actually Big Health sockpuppets…

  • Wow, that’s a lot of typos for such a short post. With age, the portion of my brain that controls my fingers is becoming dissociated from the portion that formulates speech and my fingers are going on autopilot, plus, my eyesight is getting worse and worse. Too bad I don’t have one of them nifty Obamacare Marketplace plans… Oh!, that’s right: no vision coverage.


    * before, before >>> before, but
    * that that >>> that the
    * >$29 >>> <$29

    I'm sure you all got the substance of what I wrote, but I apologize nonetheless.

  • With the narrow networks, high deductibles, for tens of thousands it is being forced to buy something you can’t afford to use.

    Tens of thousands? I think you’re being … hypobolic? (okay, overly conservative) … in making your case.

    I hope, Jon, you are keeping your ear to the ground on medical related bankruptcies from those on Obamacare plans. I would love to see the stats.

    Agreed. With high out-of-pockets for covered care and astronomical out-of-pockets for surprise exclusions (e.g., ER at an out-of-network hospital, out-of-network anesthesiologist, out-of-formulary drugs), I don’t expect the “medical bankruptcy” rate to fall more than insignificantly. Unfortunately, the Bankruptcy Reform Act of 2005 has made it much more difficult for individuals to get a discharge and the Great Recession doubtless fueled a spike in filings, so long-term apples-to-apples comparisons will be muddied by those events. It will be hard to tell how much of any drop (ha!) is due to the BRA, how much is due to the “recovery” (ha!), and how much is due to the ACA (ha!).

    [I can't mention the 2005 Bankruptcy Reform Act without also bringing up the fact that both of my Democratic senators took in a lot of FIRE contributions when it was up for consideration, that both of them voted for it, and that both of them blew me off with evasive boilerplate replies when I asked them to justify their vote. Obviously, they also both voted for the Patient Protection-Racket and Unaffordable Care Act ... because they're good "liberal Democrats."]

  • Switzerland has an individual mandate, but the mandate is for a uniform, non-profit, basic insurance package, premium subsidies are more extensive, and provider prices are monopsonistically bargained. Japan has an individual mandate, but health insurance is non-profit, the Japanese government sets both insurance premiums and provider prices at levels dramatically lower than American ones, taxpayers subsidize coverage for the unemployed and the poor, and there is no penalty for shirking the mandate. The American individual mandate to buy loophole-ridden underinsurance at un-price-controlled premiums for care at un-price-controlled provider prices is simply a mandate to pay a big chunk of one’s income to a profiteering insurance company with no guarantee of getting access to affordable care in return; it’s government-mandated participation in what amounts to a protection racket. To anyone who knows anything about healthcare economics and comparative healthcare systems, not all the talking points and lip-flapping in the world can disguise that truth.

    I’ve brought this up before, before it bears repeating that that $30 or $40 copays that come with a lot of American health insurance policies costing thousands of dollars a year are higher than the total fee (>$29, pre-insurance) for a standard GP consult in France. That makes it hard to rejoice in the “patient protection” and “affordable care” that Obama and the Democrats have foisted on us in the guise of reform.

  • PCM commented on the diary post Chances Are the FBI Has Files on Your Favorite Human Rights Activist by Ben Norton.

    2014-11-22 12:08:23View | Delete

    The ruling élite using the little people’s tax dollars to protect the ruling élite from uppity little people. As Honecker or Ceaușescu might say, what could go wrong?

  • PCM commented on the blog post Come Saturday Morning: Obama, Immigration, and the Cray-Cray

    2014-11-22 11:44:54View | Delete

    Evan Bayh … the guy who took Wellpoint’s ACA payoffs via his wife.

  • PCM commented on the diary post Where To, What Next by Erica Washington.

    2014-11-22 11:17:09View | Delete

    Courage and fortitude, Erica. You live in a country with a sub-living minimum wage and some of the weakest mandatory-minimum labor standards in the developed world (employment security, hours security, shift security, health insurance, sick pay, paid family leave, paid vacations, labor-standards enforcement, etc.). Add to that a re-inflated housing bubble, with banks able to withhold foreclosed [...]

  • PCM commented on the diary post My experience applying to ACA in Texas by Crane-Station.

    2014-11-15 17:01:18View | Delete

    Not to flog a dead horse or rub salt in anyone’s wounds, but to anyone paying health insurance premiums and then having to pay a $30 or $40 copay for each primary care visit, you might be interested to know that the total charge, pre-insurance, for a standard GP consult in France is 23€, or a [...]

  • PCM commented on the blog post Jonathan Gruber Admits the Plan to Sell Obamacare Was a Long Con

    2014-11-12 17:40:58View | Delete

    Sarah B. having hit the nail on the head, there isn’t much left to add, save a reminder that:

    * In 2009, Jonathan Gruber was paid almost $400,000 by Obama’s DHHS to “consult” on the development of Obamacare.

    * In 2011, Jonathan Gruber wrote a comic book intended to popularize Obamacare and then went on tour to promote it.

    And, well, as a former econ major and uncompromising national single-payer supporter, after listening to most of the above clip I can’t help adding that perhaps the greatest contribution Mark Pauly and Jonathon Gruber could make to health care would be as organ donors.

  • PCM commented on the blog post President Obama Failed

    2014-11-10 13:47:02View | Delete

    His wife will complete the process of making turning the world’s oldest political party irrelevant into the world’s oldest profession.

    Fixed that for you.

  • PCM commented on the blog post President Obama Failed

    2014-11-10 13:40:08View | Delete

    I love how some people come here baldly stating that progressives are “against” raising taxes and “want everything for free.” But of course, no links.

    “Some people” is a troll, whose sole aim in coming here is to waste “firebaggers’” (or is that “fucking retards’”?) time and energy tearing down his straw men and refuting his vacuous bullshit. Good-faith, factually substantiated dissent keeps discussion threads from becoming stale echo chambers, but “some people” should have been banned as a troll long ago. I know how tempting it can be to get into a mud-slinging fight with a truculent pig — and I sometimes succumb to the temptation myself — but the wiser approach is to


    the troll.

    For what it’s worth, while perusing the comments to this article, I accidentally scrolled past “some people’s” handle alone and started reading his comment. I knew to a certainty who it was from within a few sentences.

  • PCM commented on the diary post Who Should the Democrats Fire? by masaccio.

    2014-11-09 11:43:47View | Delete

    They don’t need to fire anyone; they represented themselves accurately. The simple fact is, today’s Democrats have absolutely nothing to offer working- and middle-class Americans, other than lip service.

  • [T]he states are not bought out like Congress is.

    I think it depends on what state you live in. I live in Washington, where state legislators keep a yoga mat and a tub of Astroglide on hand in case Boeing or Microsoft come calling. Vermont is a special case, since it doesn’t seem to have a dominant industry — excepting, of course, Big Maple Syrup — and California is as well, since it has a diverse enough economy to be a country unto itself. But I suspect that a majority of states are company states, like Washington.

  • Regarding the Democrats, I give you Voltaire:

    Lord, protect me from my friends; my enemies I can take of.

    and my own adaptation of a widely used maxim:

    The putative enemy of my enemy is not necessarily my friend.

    And if that’s too subtle, I’ll just come right out and say that I consider today’s Democrats to be every bit as much my enemies as Republicans on all but a handful of social wedge issues … both nationally and locally. Accordingly, the Democrats’ loss of the Senate leaves me largely indifferent. I guess the interesting question is whether remaining Dems will eventually muster 41 votes to filibuster something symbolic, and whether the Republicans will allow them to do so, just so they can preserve the pretense that they are on opposite sides rather than working for the same corporate principals.

  • PCM commented on the blog post The Roundup for November 4th, 2014

    2014-11-05 12:41:56View | Delete

    Bon dia, Brandon. The people, language, and culture of Catalonia are Catalan. The adjective pertaining to Catalonia as a political entity could be either Catalonian or Catalan, but not Catalanian.

  • PCM commented on the diary post The Progressive Presidential Primary by Cenk Uygur.

    2014-11-04 12:27:03View | Delete

    HRC could actually make me abandon the democratic party for the first time in my adult life. We need a viable candidate too. That could prove difficult.

    When the entire Congressional Progressive Caucus voted for the Patient Protection-Racket and Unaffordable Care Act in 2010, that was my Bridge on the River Kwai moment. I’m embarrassed that I [...]

  • PCM commented on the diary post The Progressive Presidential Primary by Cenk Uygur.

    2014-11-04 12:07:15View | Delete

    I’m no expert, but from what I’ve seen, heard, and read, the Green Party’s platform/agenda goes far beyond “mere” environmental concerns, extending to healthcare, trade, tax policy, income and wealth distribution, and more. I guess you can be forgiven for not knowing that, since American media systematically blackballs the Greens, as they do anyone to [...]

  • I’m terrified. If the Democrats lose the Senate, who will protect us from wage-killing, job-killing, industry-killing, environment-killing corporate trade agreements? From union-busting? From fracking? From state-security-police tactics? From banking fraud? From skyrocketing college tuition? From rampant abuse of both white-collar and blue-collar guest workers? From perpetual warmongering? From media and communications monopolies? From ever-increasing wealth and income inequality? From slashed NIH and CDC budgets? From sub-living wages and poverty? From a parasitic, predatory medical-care racket?

    When some of our brave Democratic heroes get tossed out by their ungrateful constituents, keep an eye out for their revolving-door payoffs. I think they have to wait a year before they can cash in the balloon payment, so they might have to do stints as ambassadors to China or something in the interim to run down the clock.

  • I’m sure they were preëmptively tracking these dangerous dissidents using “metadata” alone, all perfectly kosher-like. Show’s over, folks, nothing to see, move along, go back to your homes. /s

  • I hope the damages awarded McGovern in a false arrest and § 1983 suit will be nothing short of mind-boggling.

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