Department of Now It All Makes Sense
My Cautionary Tale about Free Trade Agreements, Healthcare, Presidents, Parties and Lying. Is Everything We've Been Told, Wrong?
[Stickying this because it's important! --lambert]
I'm going to try to write a short piece about a really horrible disconnection that has occurred between the politicians who run the country and its people. The conflict of interest between free trade agreements and the special interests and politicians that enable them, and affordable healthcare. It threatens our country's future and democracy.
Over the last week in several comment threads I've pointed folks to the Nick Skala paper "The potential impact of the World Trade Organization's General Agreement on Trade in Services on health system reform and regulation in the United States" which I think explains a lot that needs to be known in the US about the goals and amoral value system of the so called "free trade agreements". Read below the fold...
What the hell is going on in this country?
Supreme Court Strikes Down Aggregate Limits on Federal Campaign Contributions "The ruling, issued near the start of a campaign season, will change and most likely increase the already large role money plays in American politics." Read below the fold...
Obamacare Clusterfuck: Tips for People Who Have Had to Drop Medical (Not Health) Insurance Because of "Obamaffordability"
Welp, today I dropped my medical (not health) insurance, effective January 1, 2014. Due to "Obamaffordability" I can no longer justify the cost.
Just as Lambert is new to the whole insurance thing, I'm new to the whole un-insurance thing. Prior to now, I have had medical insurance non-stop for the last 20 years, ~12 of those years on the individual market.
So I figured this could be an open thread for people in like situations or otherwise "running naked" pertaining to insurance, for sharing "alternatives" to medical insurance? Read below the fold...
You remember Liz Fowler, right? The Flexian who crafted ObamaCare for Max Baucus while on secondment from her "real" job as a Wellpoint VP, and who then went on to the White House, and then went on to cash in as a Big Pharma lobbyist? Of course you do. And as it turns out -- hold onto your hats, folks! -- she did very well for Wellpoint when she'd parked herself on The Hill:
No health insurance company has aligned itself with Obamacare as closely as WellPoint. The nation's second-largest health insurer opted to participate in the health insurance exchange for every state where it operated. WellPoint's stock scored huge gains in 2013, climbing 51%.
Did the Obamacare connection help make WellPoint a big winner? Yes -- and no. The company's participation in those state exchanges hasn't made much difference so far. Obamacare enrollment has been far behind projections.
However, another facet of Obamacare has helped WellPoint. As a result of the health reform legislation, several states have expanded their Medicaid programs. Those states include California and New York, both of which happen to be [oh ha ha ha!!!!] states where WellPoint does business. Medicaid enrollment stands out as one of the few bright spots for Obamacare thus far. WellPoint, with the largest Medicaid membership of any major insurer, is poised to be a big beneficiary.
A brilliant corporate move. You can see Fowler working out strategy with her C-suite buddies: "What can they possibly not fuck up? Yeah, Medicaid! It already works! They don't have to build a website or anything!" And Wellpoint would have had every opportunity to become intimately familiar with Administration foibles; that's what's so great about being a Flexian! Read below the fold...
A strange thing just happened on the way to a (true blue) full Democratic sweep of Virginia .
The Attorney General election ended with a razor thin victory by the Democrat, Mark Herring. (169 votes out of millions cast).
This being well within the .5% margin entitling the loser to a recount, Mark Obenshain availed himself of the statutory remedy.
Several days into the recount, he decided to concede, rather than let it run its course.
Huh??!! Read below the fold...
ObamaCare Clusterfuck: Why Obama shouldn't have told people to call the 800 number instead of using the website
Obamacare Clusterfuck: Hospital sues its state commissioner over not being included on Exchange plans.
Seattle Children’s filed suit Friday over the state Office of the Insurance Commissioner’s “failure to ensure adequate network coverage” in several health plans being sold through the state’s new online insurance marketplace, called Washington Healthplanfinder. ... Families that enroll in those plans could face significantly higher cost-sharing amounts they have to pay if they seek care at Children’s rather than at in-network providers.
Exactly as I've been saying. Read below the fold...
[Update] I've added some revisions, links and updates.
Thanks for adding me, Lambert
The past couple of days I’ve heard constant talk of the deals people are getting on the Obamacare Exchanges, (when the servers are up, of course). $120/month premiums, $500 or less deductibles. All of this sounds like a great triumph of liberal social policy. And if that were the whole story, I would definitely agree. Read below the fold...
You can run from the truth
You can hide from the truth
You can deny the truth
But you cannot destroy the truth
Robert J. Burrowes
According to Robert J. Burrowes in “Why Violence?” “no-Self” people run from, hide from, deny the truth. “Self” people recognize it and communicate it!
Edward Snowden! Self or no-Self?
Bradley Manning! Self or no-Self?
Gitmo Hunger Strikers! Selves or no-Selves? Read below the fold...
Only briefly, because I don't have time to tease this out: Here's Young Ezra's franchisee on what the requirements are for the IRS under ObamaCare; a tax preparer on stuff the IRS can do with its new toys; and a post by Chris Street ("Agenda 21" alert! (from a guy who also cites EFF)) on what the specs for those new toys are: Military grade.* Read below the fold...
On May 9, 2013, The Republican House passed H.R. 807 the Full Faith and Credit Act. The Bill says in part:
(a) In General- In the event that the debt of the United States Government, as defined in section 3101 of title 31, United States Code, reaches the statutory limit, the Secretary of the Treasury shall, in addition to any other authority provided by law, issue obligations under chapter 31 of title 31, United States Code, to pay with legal tender, and solely for the purpose of paying, the principal and interest on obligations of the United States described in subsection (b) after the date of the enactment of this Act.
(b) Obligations Described- For purposes of this subsection, obligations described in this subsection are obligations which are--
(1) held by the public, or
(2) held by the Old-Age and Survivors Insurance Trust Fund and Disability Insurance Trust Fund.
So, in brief, the Bill provides for the Treasury, even when it is about to reach the debt ceiling, to issue additional debt to pay principal and interest on debt instruments issued to the public including foreign nations, and to pay principal and interest on Social Security (SS) “trust fund bonds” in the course of paying SS recipients. Read below the fold...