Depends on where you’re standing

This is from commenter Phoenix Rising :

My wife had cancer in 1994. The small business where she worked at the time lost their insurance over it. She hasn’t been insured for 19 years. The only bright spot: the indications that your leukemia is back include full-body bruising and blood coming out your ears when you floss. At least we haven’t spent the decades wondering if something was lurking that regular followups might have found.
In January 2005 her mammogram showed a mass. We knew that we were going to lose everything, as the best-case outcome. My wife went outside after listening to the voicemail (left at 4:55pm on a Friday asking her to come back in Monday morning but not saying why…) and smoked her last cigarette.
By Monday we’d found the baseline film, by Wed. the radiologist that Planned Parenthood referred her to (paid by the YWCA program for uninsured women) had matched them up. The lump was scar tissue from a bee sting in childhood. She still hasn’t smoked again, but that was the longest weekend of my life.
This is what it means to be uninsured: the news that your 5 year old may lose a parent in elementary school takes a backseat to ‘we’re going to lose the house…unless my wife dies quickly’.
I have melanoma, the cancer that lurks. I’m now on a followup schedule that continues until I die of something else, or the lurking semi-solid cells that are statistically likely to be somewhere in my body hit a switch and start to multiply again.
Our business has never been big enough to offer insurance. We knew from 1994 that plans to cover fewer than 50 people wouldn’t pay out or would take the premiums and run if we ever made a claim, so we didn’t bother to offer the option to make Blue Cross richer in order to feel insured. Obviously this has affected recruiting at our company.
Two critical points:
-In the past 4 weeks, I have received 5 resumes from exactly the kind of people we would like to hire more of. All say they’ll be available around the 1st of the year. Demographically they’re very different from the resumes I’ve seen over 15 years in this business. They’re younger and looking for fewer hours doing something they already know is hard in ways they enjoy. They can afford to leave Big Ugly Death Star Corp. because they can buy health insurance.
-I was diagnosed in Sept. 2011. Because my state had already implemented the part of the ACA that requires insurance companies to continue policies at similar rates EVEN IF the individuals on them make claims–not something we expected, after our earlier experience–I’m still insured.
We’re going to buy an exchange plan that puts our family on one deductible and OOP max, for the first time ever, next week.
The technical issue we discovered with the web site was after applying: whoever coded the ‘citizenship for adopted people’ section of the eligibility database chose the wrong field type for the only way our government has to verify my kid lives here legally. So we have to talk to a manager with superpowers before we can choose among the 57 (!) options to get our family covered.
We can afford any of these plans. Fifty-seven choices. Sure, some of them aren’t appropriate for our family’s health profile (rare cancer=must have some out of network coverage; hearing aids for kid must be covered, etc.). Some of them cost more than I’d prefer to spend, once we add up the premium and deductible–which we anticipate meeting sometime in Feb. 2014, with the backlog of preventive and screening that Mrs Phoenix hasn’t had access to since before PET scans were invented.
But we get to buy insurance, in a market that has to take our money and has to pay for the health care we may need.
As a parent, a spouse and a small business owner, I would carry the Congresscritters and President who got us these solutions across a river of acid on my back to keep them.

I feel like this about community health centers, because I relied on one once for pregnancy care so I get Phoenix Rising’s devotion.

Speaking of community health centers, oh look! Here’s a GOP supporter of community health center funding under Obamacare, but only when he’s in Kansas, not when he’s in DC:

moran

(Moran breaking ground at an Obamacare-funded clinic in Kansas. Photo credit: Moran’s Facebook page)

139 replies
  1. 1
    gogol's wife says:

    I’m teaching The Brothers Karamazov and hoping that that burning lake of fire into God throws sinners and then forgets about them really exists, for the guy with the shovel in that picture.

  2. 2
    Anya says:

    The ACA might turn out to be a huge success after all.
    Thousands line up in Dallas for health insurance info

  3. 3
    raven says:

    These fuckers do this shit all the time.

  4. 4
    Kristine says:

    Phoenix Rising’s comment needs to sent to every political blog and newspaper in the country.

    Start with Wonkblog.

  5. 5
    Kay says:

    @gogol’s wife:

    He won’t wear the hard hat like everyone else because he wants his face unobstructed in the photo.

    That alone is reason not to vote for him :)

  6. 6
    Kay says:

    @raven:

    They do, but I think it partly solves the mystery we’re always puzzling over, which is “how do they get away with this?”
    They get away with this because their constituents don’t follow DC political news, like we do.
    My House member does the same thing. He brags about “rural health” (Medicaid) and then goes to DC and trashes Medicaid.

  7. 7
    Just Some Fuckhead, Thought Leader says:

    It’s so hard to walk that fine line between railing against government giving shit to people and working to get government shit to your constituents now that we has the intertronz.

  8. 8
    Matt McIrvin says:

    I’ve come to think that the ban on earmarks was one of the worst things to happen in Congress over the past decade, just because it eliminated much of the power of hypocrisy to produce economic stimulus. As infuriating as it might be to watch “small-government conservatives” funnel money to their districts, and as mis-allocated as the money probably was, at least something was getting spent to help people out. And, of course, that was also a bargaining chip used to keep representatives in line and pull them into coalitions.

  9. 9
    NonyNony says:

    @Matt McIrvin:

    I’ve come to think that the ban on earmarks was one of the worst things to happen in Congress over the past decade, just because it eliminated much of the power of hypocrisy to produce economic stimulus.

    Oh Grod yes.

    Eliminating earmarks is a lot like the idea of term limits for legislators. Things that sound great in theory but actually do more to destroy the bedrock foundation of the way the legislature operates than almost anything else could.

  10. 10
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    The wife and I were going thru the health insurance options at her company (that time of year). Repeatedly she had this observation that “Such and such is covered now.” and I would reply, “You can thank the ACA for that.” After the 4th or 5th time she got this disgusted look on her face that said, “I am soooooo tired of politics…” I just grinned.

  11. 11
    raven says:

    @Kay: Of course it’s not just health care, they we all over taking credit for stimulus projects. They also have a standard response to the criticism, “it’s for the benefit of my constituents”.

  12. 12
    PsiFighter37 says:

    @Matt McIrvin: But John McCain said all earmarks are evil, and he’s always right.

  13. 13
    Mark S. says:

    I remember reading once that while McCain was railing against earmarks, he would get Kay Bailey Hutchinson to submit the earmarks for his state. Does anyone else remember that?

  14. 14
    martial bliss says:

    @Just Some Fuckhead, Thought Leader: hs ey you’re one of the life time losers in this shithole backwater. whatever happened to that cry like a faggot for daddy bitchboi yutsano? it was funny how the little sissy would always scream about some marine he must have blown once, or just fantasized about, was going to kick everyone’s ass because he says so. dude has serious issues. Like tough guys go around just waiting to get into fights at the say -so of some shriveled ass little cunt like him.

  15. 15
    martial bliss says:

    @Just Some Fuckhead, Thought Leader: hs ey you’re one of the life time losers in this shithole backwater. whatever happened to that cry like a faggot for daddy bitchboi yutsano? it was funny how the little sissy would always scream about some marine he must have blown once, or just fantasized about, was going to kick everyone’s ass because he says so. dude has serious issues. Like tough guys go around just waiting to get into fights at the say -so of some shriveled ass little cunt like him.

  16. 16
    martial bliss says:

    @Just Some Fuckhead, Thought Leader: hs ey you’re one of the life time losers in this shithole backwater. whatever happened to that cry like a faggot for daddy bitchboi yutsano? it was funny how the little sissy would always scream about some marine he must have blown once, or just fantasized about, was going to kick everyone’s ass because he says so. dude has serious issues. Like tough guys go around just waiting to get into fights at the say -so of some shriveled ass little cunt like him.

  17. 17
    Gene108 says:

    For mainstream Republicans winning is all that matters. If posing in front of something you voted against will help you win you do it.

    Modern Republicans have a lot in common with Communist revolutionaries, who will say whatever it takes to build a coalition and then once in power do whatever the hell they want.

  18. 18
    Gene108 says:

    @Just Some Fuckhead, Thought Leader:

    I am sorry, you mean there are other uses of the internets besides seeing how short Miley Cirus’ shorts are?

    When did this happen? And why do most people not know?

  19. 19
    Amir Khalid says:

    @martial bliss:
    I’m really not happy with this new troll. No subtlety at all. John Cole needs to return it to the troll store and get his money back.

  20. 20
    Linda Featheringill says:

    Community health centers are great. I relied on them for years and enjoyed the attention of very caring doctors.

    Now I have a “real” doctor and the medical care I’m getting is frankly not as good.

    Good luck to Phoenix Rising. And to his whole family.

  21. 21
    Xantar says:

    @OzarkHillbilly:

    So wait, you mean “politics” has an actual effect on real people and isn’t just a show that happens in “Washington” for no discernible purpose?

  22. 22
    Mark S. says:

    @martial bliss:

    Who the fuck is this new troll?

  23. 23
    gogol's wife says:

    @Amir Khalid:

    The triple posting is a nice touch.

  24. 24
    Beth in VA says:

    The effect on employment possibilities is a hugely under-reported issue in this healthcare debate. I’d wager every single one of us knows someone who would rather be working somewhere else if only they didn’t have to worry about health insurance. Or someone who is onlyo getting to do the kind of work they like because they’re covered by a spouse.

    This has a hug impact on how happy and fulfilled we are, and perhaps even our productivity as a country.

  25. 25
    Kay says:

    @raven:

    They also have a standard response to the criticism, “it’s for the benefit of my constituents”.

    That doesn’t really apply here, though, because conservatives always supported community health centers. It’s their idea of health care for the poors. It has a sliding scale (or mine did) so you pay, just not a whole lot. Again, I thought it was great, I got as good or better care than I got for later pregnancies with a “private” physician, but it is health care for poor people.

    So, on community health centers they’re completely full of shit. They all supported expansion under Bush, then did a 180 the second Obama was elected.

    I would go to a community health center now, with insurance, if I had one closer. I like the whole “team concept” of health care, where it’s nurses, nutrition people, etc. I don’t care if I see “a doctor”, every time, specifically. I’ll take a nurse practitioner for “ordinary care”.

  26. 26
    Betsy says:

    Wow, I am so glad you posted this wonderful personal story. I mean, it gave this morning such a positive vibe. Good news, good news.

    How can we (commenters) spread this example? It needs to be a facebook epidemic, etc.

  27. 27
    Pogonip says:

    @Mark S.: Probably Doug.

  28. 28
    Roger Moore says:

    @Matt McIrvin:

    I’ve come to think that the ban on earmarks was one of the worst things to happen in Congress over the past decade, just because it eliminated much of the power of hypocrisy to produce economic stimulus.

    It’s also been very destructive to party discipline, since earmarks (and the threat to withhold the same) have been one of the standard methods of forcing the backbenchers to go along. Intra-party insurgencies like the Tea Party are a lot less plausible when the party bosses can use the power of pork to keep people in line, and I’m more and more suspicious that the whole anti-earmark thing was part of a long-term plan to weaken party leadership and ease the way for the crazy.

  29. 29
    El Caganer says:

    @martial bliss: English, not first language for you, is? Yes/no?

  30. 30
    jonas says:

    @raven: Remember all the GOP governors and Congressmen who bashed the stimulus in 2009 and then would attend ribbon cuttings at new projects funded by it? Good times.

  31. 31
    Ash Can says:

    @Amir Khalid: It’s not a new troll. It’s an old one that keeps changing its nym because it keeps getting pied and ignored. Or it might just be DougJ looking to alleviate a little boredom.

  32. 32
    Mark S. says:

    @Pogonip:

    He used to be a little more subtle.

  33. 33
    Jane2 says:

    I don’t know, but judging by the quality of his invective, I’d say he was still a minor.

  34. 34
    Paul in KY says:

    @martial bliss: I’m guessing the blow up doll can’t be repaired…

    That would explain your rage.

  35. 35
    Elizabelle says:

    @Ash Can:

    Yeah, I was thinking it’s doug j. But who knows?

  36. 36
    geg6 says:

    @Amir Khalid:

    And repetitive, too.

  37. 37
    Elizabelle says:

    I wish we had op eds like this piece by Phoenix Rising on the Washington Post editorial page.

    Instead of the usual tripe by President Olympia Snowe, and Rand Paul, or whoever.

    In the past 4 weeks, I have received 5 resumes from exactly the kind of people we would like to hire more of. All say they’ll be available around the 1st of the year. Demographically they’re very different from the resumes I’ve seen over 15 years in this business. They’re younger and looking for fewer hours doing something they already know is hard in ways they enjoy. They can afford to leave Big Ugly Death Star Corp. because they can buy health insurance.

    This is huge. Huge.

    It’s the promise of Obamacare, and one reason its opponents are fighting so hard.

    Upends the old order.

  38. 38
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Xantar: I know I know… Who’da thunk it?

  39. 39
    catclub says:

    @jonas: But the internet is creeping out in its efficiency to show hypocrisy. The McConnell- Kentucky kickback was reported almost in real time.

    But I also agree that losing earmarks is overall a bad thing. It means all they have to fight over is
    policy and ideology.

  40. 40
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @Elizabelle: Sorry, but DougJ’s trolling is way better. This one is just stupid.

  41. 41
    a hip hop artist from Idaho (fka Bella Q) says:

    @Amir Khalid: I’ll even cover the re-stocking fee if I need to.

  42. 42
    martial bliss says:

    @Kay: I met this bitch. Kay is your ordinary rando white trash from Ohio . Someone needs to just shut this bitch all the wayup. there is no reason for her to express an opinion. Don’t get me wrong the world needs dumbfuck do-gooders but this cunt acts like that union bullshit still matters. they don’t bring votes but they get to suppress the agenda. its bullshiut and the democratic party sure as hell failed with them we can win or lose without them. in the mean time we will be a better party that actually works for people not some bullshit union with agendas to have agendas to decide on agendas because they all think they are the people’s champion. by which they mean do nothing or as little as possible. real fucking rebels in the unions we are going to have our shot at acting like we imagine fat cats act. everyone ride on the backs of the workers but theunions are bottom bitch andd dig in with spike heels.

  43. 43
    martial bliss says:

    @Kay: I met this bitch. Kay is your ordinary rando white trash from Ohio . Someone needs to just shut this bitch all the wayup. there is no reason for her to express an opinion. Don’t get me wrong the world needs dumbfuck do-gooders but this cunt acts like that union bullshit still matters. they don’t bring votes but they get to suppress the agenda. its bullshiut and the democratic party sure as hell failed with them we can win or lose without them. in the mean time we will be a better party that actually works for people not some bullshit union with agendas to have agendas to decide on agendas because they all think they are the people’s champion. by which they mean do nothing or as little as possible. real fucking rebels in the unions we are going to have our shot at acting like we imagine fat cats act. everyone ride on the backs of the workers but theunions are bottom bitch andd dig in with spike heels.

  44. 44
    Ash Can says:

    @Elizabelle:

    This is huge. Huge.

    I agree. It makes me wonder what the employment statistics are going to look like after the first of the year — not just in terms of overall numbers, but in terms of shifts as well, from business to business (e.g. large to small) and industry to industry. It’ll take a while to quantify and analyze any such changes into a snapshot, of course, but I’m curious.

    And kudos to Phoenix Rising for sharing this story.

  45. 45
    Roger Moore says:

    @Ash Can:

    It’s not a new troll. It’s an old one that keeps changing its nym because it keeps getting pied and ignored.

    Yup. The proof beyond a reasonable doubt is that it calls Yatsuno by his old nym Yutsano, which he hasn’t used in quite some time.

  46. 46
    Bill E Pilgrim says:

    @Mark S.: Overall I’d say a blend of bile and invective, a not-at-all subtle nose with traces of airplane glue and pop tarts, and despite its obvious immaturity, clearly spoiled. Conclusion: this troll is corked.

  47. 47
    a hip hop artist from Idaho (fka Bella Q) says:

    @Kay: The community health centers actually use the ideal model of integrated care in one place. When they’ve rolled “mental” health care into the mix they are ideal. But of course the GOP fuckers will not admit that the ACA has dippity do to do with this kind of care.

    I agree that the great news for Phoenix and Mrs. Rising should be spread far and wide. Wonkblog and TPM are places to start. Please consider this my encouragement that you share there, PR.

  48. 48
    Chyron HR says:

    martial bliss’s journal, 10/28/2013

    Dead dog in alley, tire tread on burst stomach. Stench unbearable just like baloonj uice pimps and adulturers. someday I will bring the cleansing fire downo n the unionists and democrats and they will look up at me and whisper, “goo goo ga joob.”

  49. 49
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Elizabelle:

    Upends the old order.

    You mean we won’t have to ask for permission from our corporate overlords any more? Wow.

  50. 50
    Elizabelle says:

    @Gin & Tonic:

    Point taken.

    Deepest apologies to doug j.

    Troll has just upped the ante, using the c word and disparaging Kay.

    I think Troll’s tour here is going to be a short one.

  51. 51
    gnomedad says:

    @martial bliss:
    You should call 911; I’m sure that this level of whatever is in your bloodstream is toxic.

  52. 52
    raven says:

    @martial bliss: Bye bye shit head.

  53. 53
    Elizabelle says:

    @Bill E Pilgrim:

    Bad vintage in an inferior bottle.

  54. 54
    Pogonip says:

    @Mark S.: maybe he’s tired of subtlety and decided to try Classic Trolling? I don’t think it suits him, myself. His subtle trolling was much funnier.

  55. 55
    ruemara says:

    Based on the use of certain terms to describe Kay, one of the best, most relevant frontpagers on this blog, it’s time to ban the troll.

  56. 56
  57. 57
    Jay C says:

    @Amir Khalid:

    Looking at the obscenities, bad grammar and misspellings; I’m guessing this is probably a bargain-basement troll sold on a final-sale/no-return basis: maybe John will have to put it up on eBay…?

    @geg6:

    And repetitive, too!

  58. 58
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @martial bliss: Kay? Whatever you’re doing, you must be doing it right. You just drove one more whacko right over the edge.

    Job well done!

  59. 59
    Kay says:

    @ruemara:

    I don’t know how to ban people. There’s some kind of partial sub-ban but I don’t how it works.

  60. 60
    Fair Economist says:

    I’m thinking somebody may be testing a trollbot.

  61. 61

    Hi all–I agree with whoever commented that the key observation about the ACA is not in fact my heartwarming personal story (sniff) but the change in employer/employee relations that this law is going to create.

    Tidal wave material, for real.

    At the Great Orange Satan, this comment is running as Monday Night Cancer Club next week, which typically gets quite a bit of traffic.

    Gotta run, because I have staff to manage, customers to harangue (no, 14 days of shutdown does not mean you have another 14 days on invoices that were due Oct. 1, but nice try), and a kid to wrangle.

    This is (obviously) a huge impact on my family and my work–it’s touching that anyone understands.

  62. 62
    Bill E Pilgrim says:

    @Elizabelle: Just to underline, in case anyone were unclear, that there are very good reasons that the Washington Post doesn’t run editorials about this angle. The incredible fury with which the Koch-funded corporate right has thrown everything they have into trying to stop the ACA just shows how important it is to them to keep low-paid workers tied to corporations, whose CEOs take in millions and millions every year.

    Fred Hiatt is a loyal servant of those in power. Matt Taibbi, who worked in Moscow in the same years that Fred Hiatt was bureau chief there, commented a year or two ago: “Fred Hiatt would have made a very good Soviet reporter, let me just put it that way”.

  63. 63
    Roger Moore says:

    @Ash Can:

    It makes me wonder what the employment statistics are going to look like after the first of the year

    I think the employment effects are going to be gradual rather than sudden. Hiring and firing doesn’t happen overnight, and growth to need new employees is even slower, especially in an economy that’s still recovering. The changes will be most obvious in the next boom cycle, when businesses are really competing for employees, and big business will no longer have a huge advantage in the kind of health coverage it can offer.

  64. 64
    Tone in DC says:

    @ruemara:

    It was time 20 minutes ago.
    Just sayin’.

  65. 65
    MomSense says:

    @raven:

    “it’s for the benefit of my constituents”.

    They make me crazy with this. Vote against legislation because it is horrible, no good gubmint takeover, then appear at ground breaking/opening saying this benefits my constituents. Why the flip didn’t they vote for it in the first place if it benefits their constituents???

  66. 66
    catclub says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: I agree that this looks like a very good thing.
    My worry is that having portable healthcare in other places – many European countries – has not really spiked up the entrepreneurship there. Maybe the US will be different in this regard.

    They always tell me about American exceptionalism.

    Trolls: Make the troll’s posts only appear to the troll. This is do-able.

  67. 67
    West of the Cascades says:

    I’d forgotten that the Republicans have a “Senator Moran” in Congress – a misspelling?

  68. 68
    Roger Moore says:

    @Chyron HR:
    I see what you did there.

  69. 69
    Violet says:

    So happy for your family that you are able to afford and get–or get and afford–health insurance. Obamacare is working and will work for so many people like you.

    once we add up the premium and deductible–which we anticipate meeting sometime in Feb. 2014, with the backlog of preventive and screening that Mrs Phoenix hasn’t had access to since before PET scans were invented.

    This is going to be a talking point come the first of the year–long lines at doctors offices, rationing, “I have to wait–I never had to wait before” etc. It’s a good thing so many people are getting needed care, but it won’t be spun that way in the media or by Republicans (same thing).

  70. 70
    ruemara says:

    @Kay: You should tell Cole to Thor you up with banhammer powers.

  71. 71

    This troll was previously banned from Balloon-Juice, so now it creates new twitter handles every few days and harasses Imani and her friends with tweets about tumors and liberal use of the c word. Also has a hate hardon for Wonkette.

    Catch it before it’s blocked again:

    https://twitter.com/hotskanks12

  72. 72
    gelfling545 says:

    @Amir Khalid: But it’s a wonderful example of how great it will be when mental health care is available to more people next year under the ACA!

  73. 73
    West of the Cascades says:

    @Jay C: unfortunately, Cole purchased it at trolls.gov, so it may be several months before the “returns” function works properly. But if he calls the help line at 800-DIE-TROLL he should be able to return it right away.

  74. 74
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @catclub:

    has not really spiked up the entrepreneurship there

    I do not know if it will increase entrepreneurship or not, but that is not of what I was speaking. My wife is currently working at a large corporation where recent events have made her decidedly less happy. Do to a marked decline in my physical condition (arthritis, bursitis, tendonitis, probably some other itis yet to be named) I am no longer able to work in my chosen field (union carpenter) and we are wholly dependent upon her health insurance. If the ACA disappeared tomorrow her position would be little better than indentured servitude as I have pre-existing conditions.

    With the ACA she has the freedom to seek greener pastures that may not include health insurance. We might have to make do with less, but if it made her happier, why not?

  75. 75
    gene108 says:

    The small business where she worked at the time lost their insurance over it.

    From PR’s post above.

    My small employer went through this four years ago. We had an employee with a brain tumor (non-cancerous) and one with premature triplets and were dropped from the fully insured market.

    We found a self-insured policy that has worked out for us.

    I’m personally shit scared to add people to our medical insurance, because you never fucking know when one of them is going to have a premature baby, cancer or some other shit that’s going to blow up your renewal rates and make your business uninsureable.

    The next step in fixing America’s health care system needs to address the fact businesses have an incentive to make sure they select young healthy workers, as much as possible and maybe not always the most talented applicant.

  76. 76
    catclub says:

    The St Jude ad which says: “All they should be concerned about is fighting her cancer.”
    and “They should not have to be worrying about a hospital bill.”

    Does not follow up with: “Demand a national single payer system.”
    Funny that.

  77. 77
    burnspbesq says:

    @Beth in VA:

    When I left BigLaw in 2011 to start my own firm, I predicted that BigLaw, BigAccounting, and BigConsulting would all start to hemorrhage talent on 1/1/14. It’ll be interesting to see whether I was right.

  78. 78
    Kay says:

    @ruemara:

    I don’t care that much. Or, I should say I care only to the extent that it dominates the discussion, then it’s annoying as hell.

  79. 79
    Sister Rail Gun of Warm Humanitarianism says:

    @Kay:

    I care only to the extent that it dominates the discussion, then it’s annoying as hell.

    Which makes you the perfect person to bear the banhammer.

  80. 80
    rikyrah says:

    Ted Cruz’s Brand of Self-Sufficiency

    by BooMan
    Mon Oct 28th, 2013 at 09:30:40 AM EST

    You may have heard that Senator Ted Cruz is carried on his wife’s Goldman Sachs-provided health insurance policy. What you probably haven’t heard is that the policy cost $40,543 in 2009. Austin Frakt used publicly available data to estimate the size of the tax-subsidy Cruz receives from the federal government for his insurance.

    Plugging and chugging with these numbers (formula here), I compute that the “tax price” of Senator Cruz’s health insurance is about 64%. In other words about 36% of his health insurance premium cost would be government tax revenue if employer-sponsored health insurance were taxed like wages. That’s $14,595.
    A typical, able-bodied, adult Medicaid beneficiary costs government $3,000. In other words, Senator Cruz’s health insurance tax subsidy could fund Medicaid coverage for almost five such adults.

    Sen. Cruz hasn’t done anything to “earn” this tax subsidy beyond agreeing to be married to his spouse. If he were unemployed and had no income, he’d still get the roughly $14,595 in subsidies through lower tax payments for his wife. Because both he and his wife have high six-figure to seven-figure incomes, they don’t really need this tax assistance, but it is particularly galling that Sen. Cruz’s spokeswoman said that his health plan “comes at no cost to the taxpayer.” It actually comes at the expense of paying for five typical adult Medicaid plans.

    And then we can begin calculating the damage Goldman Sachs did to ordinary Americans with their role in the housing bubble and the financial collapse.

    http://www.boomantribune.com/s...../93040/866

  81. 81

    […] far from the cossetted environs of the Beltway media,  the under insured and the uninsured are happy to have access to affordable health insurance, glitchy website and […]

  82. 82
    Roger Moore says:

    @Sister Rail Gun of Warm Humanitarianism:

    Which makes you the perfect person to bear the banhammer.

    Yup. I like John Cole’s general policy of having a light hand with the banhammer, but I wish there was somebody else who had the same general attitude but not John’s soft spot for a particular troll.

  83. 83
    raven says:

    @Kay: You are the best, informative with real experience and a delightful persons from where I sit.. There is no reason for you to be spoken to like that.

  84. 84
    rikyrah says:

    Liberals go to war with each other over Obamacare
    By Ryan Cooper
    October 25 at 4:08 pm




    The rocky Obamacare rollout have sparked a big, raucous debate within lefty precincts over how far to go in criticizing the problems that have plagued the law. On one side, liberal wonks — like Ezra Klein and Ryan Lizza — have been harshly critical of the rollout and of the administration for making a mess of things.

    On the other side, people like Joan Walsh argue that the criticism has exaggerated the problems and enabled the right’s campaign to destroy the law, while Zerlina Maxwell added that the privilege of Ezra and company — as already-insured Americans, and as men – have distorted their perspective on the law’s problems.

    This discussion matters because it’s a small example of a larger phenomenon on the left and internet culture generally: the tendency for discussion to get swamped by unnecessarily personal argument, when large political battles with big stakes are underway.

    Here’s Zerlina:

    …when you defend your negative reporting about the Obamacare website glitches, as The Washington Post‘s Ezra Klein did last night on MSNBC, having the privilege of analyzing the process from the perspective of someone who is already insured and not in need of coverage allows the core impact of the new program on the health and security of millions of Americans to be missed…while some young men may think they are invincible and don’t need health insurance, preventative care is not something that the majority of women can roll the dice with…unless you are a journalist who has been chronically uninsured, your feigned frustration about website issues reeks of privilege. To me, a few website glitches are a lot less frustrating than having to use the same inhaler for over a year because I can’t afford to go the doctor. Perspective is everything.

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/.....obamacare/

  85. 85
    Kay says:

    @raven:

    Thanks. But you know how this goes. The denunciation then becomes the whole focus. I’m guilty of it myself, although responding to Unlimited Corporate Cash was fun, which is why I did it. I would respond in real life to “cunt” (or some other insult) but online to someone I don’t know? We both know that’s the reaction he wants, so I’m not giving him it.

  86. 86
    TriassicSands says:

    Community health centers are great for some things — especially the kind of routine care and maintenance that finds problems before it is too late. However, they are not the place to have cancer treatments, if other options are available. The U. of Washington Medical Center/Seattle Cancer Care Alliance publishes survival rate statistics comparing their outcomes with those of other facilities and community health centers don’t fare well at all. The U. of Washington Medical Center/SCCA is one of the top ten facilities in the country for cancer treatment and their survival statistics show it.

    Rely on community health centers for screening and health maintenance, but, if at all possible, find a research/teaching hospital for treatment of cancer and other life threatening conditions.

  87. 87
    Baud says:

    @raven:

    Ditto.

  88. 88
  89. 89
    Kay says:

    @TriassicSands:

    True, and of course pregnancy isn’t an illness at all. I was healthy the entire time.

  90. 90
    nastybrutishntall says:

    @West of the Cascades: 1-800-DIE TROLL? Ja, aber was kann ich mit dieser Troll zu tun?

  91. 91
    chopper, interrupted says:

    @martial bliss:

    worst song, played on ugliest guitar. 1/10.

  92. 92
    shelly says:

    MSNBC had some Republican rep. from North Carolina on. More wailing and gnashing of teeth over the ACA. Then she started to claim the reason they refused to set up a NC health exchange was because of all the website glitches. The host started to point out that they would have no way of knowing about those in the years when the exchanges were going up. Her response? Just keep talking over any questions and keep repeating the same old tired memes.

  93. 93
    fuckwit says:

    @Kay: You know what’d be awesome of WP had it (hahahah! I know, tears are coming out of my eyes too! heeehe!): threaded comments!

    Threaded comments would be awesome for the following reason: you’d be able to visually see a stupid flamewar.

    Or, if you see a post from some troll, you’d know that any replies to it would be useless too and not worth reading: just people naively taking the trollbait, so can be skipped. Likewise, any replies FROM a troll: you know right away that everything at an indentation level below that is shit not worth reading, and you can still salvage the thread by reading the replies not made to the troll and the other sub-threads under that.

    However, WP is not designed for this kind of thing. So, nevermind, I guess. Sigh.

  94. 94
    MomSense says:

    @schrodinger’s cat:

    Spandan made some great points about this concern that the youngs will be dissuaded–he even uses some facts like current enrollment levels are ahead of schedule generally and that the youngs have experience dealing with website glitches and know that they can try at off-peak times.

    http://www.thepeoplesview.net/.....ls-to.html

  95. 95

    @Kay: The troll is wrong, the c word to describe you, is classy.

  96. 96
    chopper, interrupted says:

    @rikyrah:

    one of the problems from the very beginning regarding the ACA was and still is that none of the pundits or columnists, none of the jon stewarts, ezra kleins or dudes on the sunday gabfests are the sort of people who have any trouble whatsoever with access to health care for themselves and their families.

    for them this is all an issue merely of ‘optics’, who looks good/bad this week, etc etc. all the people who actually need this system aren’t the ones on TV.

  97. 97
    Matt McIrvin says:

    @fuckwit: A lot of people have a deep, visceral hatred of threaded comments. It seems as if, whenever they get introduced somewhere, most of the commenting population starts clamoring to find some way to turn them off.

    (Maybe partly because of bad implementations. Disqus used to have indentation that would jam comments up against the right margin in a vertical column of characters when the thread got too deep. I think they eventually fixed that.)

  98. 98
    Roger Moore says:

    @shelly:

    Then she started to claim the reason they refused to set up a NC health exchange was because of all the website glitches. The host started to point out that they would have no way of knowing about those in the years when the exchanges were going up.

    Not to mention that the glitches are on the Federal exchange, and states that have set up their own exchanges have typically had smoother sailing than the Feds have. The only other way that argument makes sense is if they’re saying that they wanted the glitches on the Federal site and/or they knew that the NC government would have done an even worse job than the Feds.

  99. 99
    Kay says:

    @fuckwit:

    It’s pretty easy for me not to ban because I don’t get stalked or even insulted often. I’d probably change my mind about it if it happened a lot.
    The only time I had to rush in and intervene is when a regular commenter (mild mannered, reasonable person) got mad and physically threatened Scott Walker.
    HE was horrified, so I deleted the comment.

  100. 100
    catclub says:

    @fuckwit: Perhaps a modification of the pie filter is in order.

    I know, work.

  101. 101
    Elizabelle says:

    @fuckwit:

    I don’t like threaded comments. It’s not that hard to scroll through here.

    People respond to several issues and commenters; threaded comments are onerous.

    I find loading comments on Ta Nehisi Coates’ site difficult, which is a shame, because I suspect there’s a lot of wisdom and information there.

  102. 102
    Gene108 says:

    @shelly:

    She does realize 36 states refused to set up exchanges, 25 or so refused the Medicaid expansion, a bunch made their intentions known only after the SCOTUS ruling last summer and therefore the rules the software system at healthcare.gov had to handle kept getting more complicated, as development was well under way?

    The fact it is even functioning is impressive.

    I wish math and science (like what is required for science and engineering majors) was a requirement at all journalism schools. The unwillingness and inability of reporters to deal with math and science has led to terrible reporting.

    And the roll out of healthcare.gov is no exception.

  103. 103
    Elizabelle says:

    @schrodinger’s cat:

    Saw that: Annie Lowey, aka Mrs. Ezra Klein:
    Health Site’s Woes Could Dissuade Vital Enrollee: the Young and Healthy

    [And for God’s sake, can’t the youngs use the telephone, if they’re having too much trouble on the website?]

    The top-recommended NYTimes reader comments call her out for the concern-trolling.

    From JM in the Midwest:

    Why is the New York Times running a “oh no, it’s a disaster” article every day and ignoring the fact that the website is running much better and you can apply by phone or mail? To serve the public, the phone number could be on the front page daily. Instead, it seems the Times is determined to tell us the sky is falling. That’s not responsible.

    From Bill in New Hampshire:

    Speculation. Pure speculation, with a negative twist.

    Why do older people always assume young people are clueless?

    In my experience, most young people are VERY aware of the risks of being uninsured. This is just another point of vulnerability in their vulnerable lives. Oh, there is an invincibility factor, and often a lot of bluster, but there also is awareness of the risks and problems they face.

    Up until now there hasn’t been much they could do about medical risks because of the sheer cost of insurance. Now there is, and many will take advantage of it — not because of the mandate, but because they know somebody who has been sick or hurt, and suffered enormously by not having any insurance.

    Don’t know about the risk? Don’t care? You gotta be kidding!

    From David Gifford in New Jersey:

    This type of article is the reason people give pause to everything in newspapers today. What is this OpEd piece doing in the reporting sections. This article does nothing to help anyone it is all opinion and conjecture. A year or so from now, we should see how Obamacare is progressing and make the necessary changes but now we need to allow time to get the program up and running. This means allowing the program to actually have the time to flower. All these “boy who cried wolf” accusations are in no way helpful, even if they do come under the guise of real reporting.

    From Boo in East Lansing:

    This is crazy talk. Young people get sick, get injured on the job or playing sports, 20-year-olds get in car crashes, young women get pregnant and have babies, and unfortunately young people of all ages, genders and races get shot (sometimes accidentally by themselves, a friend or a family member). Why is the GOP peddling the falsehood that young people don’t need health insurance?

    From Linda in Brooklyn:

    really?… this would be the same demographic that will line-up at apple stores days before the release of their latest toy; and the opinionators are all convinced that a temporarily buggie website will dissuade them from purchasing insurance.

    It is to wonder.

  104. 104
    Kay says:

    @Elizabelle:

    I think it’s weird, because “young and healthy” isn’t as clearly defined as Klein is making it out to be.

    It’s not like people fall apart at 25, when the clock strikes midnight. It’s a continuum. It’s not some rigid requirement of X number who are younger than 25.

    They want some more people on the young-er and health-ier end of the thing. For God’s sake, if there’s anyone who knows all the ins and outs and specific and nuanced nature of risk management, it’s insurance companies. They’ll be thrilled to get the thirty year olds, too.

  105. 105
    Ruckus says:

    @TriassicSands:
    The results may not be as good, but they are way better than nothing at all. Fortunately we are seeing that getter better. My sister had nothing at all until she had breast cancer. And at that time it was too late.

  106. 106
    Elizabelle says:

    @Kay:

    I like how the article referenced “young invincibles”, a group wary of signing up for any insurance.

    We could call libertarians “male invincibles” and be pretty damn accurate.

    All depends if you see yourself as always the apex predator, or if you realize you too could be a food animal at some point.

  107. 107
    Yatsuno says:

    So…did the troll get spanked?

  108. 108
    Yatsuno says:

    @Elizabelle: Check and see how many of these “young invincibles” refuse insurance through their work. Or aren’t covered under their parents because they’re under 26. I get the feeling this pool of people is much smaller than Mrs Klein wants to admit. But doesn’t fit TEH NARRATIVE!!!

  109. 109

    Serious question has anyone in the MSM blamed the Republican Governors intransigence for the glitchy website problem?

  110. 110
    Yatsuno says:

    @schrodinger’s cat: Oh u funnee. Teh Village must ALWAYS blame the Democrat in the White House for anything that goes wrong evar. Those sweet innocent Republican governours are only doing their jobs and representing their states’ interests.

  111. 111
    Elizabelle says:

    @schrodinger’s cat:

    Maybe that’s next week’s gameplan?

  112. 112
    rikyrah says:

    @chopper, interrupted:

    one of the problems from the very beginning regarding the ACA was and still is that none of the pundits or columnists, none of the jon stewarts, ezra kleins or dudes on the sunday gabfests are the sort of people who have any trouble whatsoever with access to health care for themselves and their families.

    You aren’t telling me anything I don’t already know. There are a handful of people on tv who even feature those without healthcare. Who actually covered the Free Clinics around the country, and what this healthcare meant to them…you know…the people Obamacare will help.

  113. 113
    rikyrah says:

    @Elizabelle:

    I like how the article referenced “young invincibles”, a group wary of signing up for any insurance.

    We could call libertarians “male invincibles” and be pretty damn accurate.

    sigh…gotta correct you Kay.

    Call them WHITE male invincibles…

    I don’t see non-White males running around talking this nonsense unless they’re slave catchers.

  114. 114
    MomSense says:

    @schrodinger’s cat:

    HA! When. Hell. Freezes. Over.

  115. 115
    Elizabelle says:

    @rikyrah:

    I missed that point. So right.

  116. 116

    @rikyrah: My theory is, that they exist in the imaginations the MSM bots and their right wing paymasters.

    Most sane people of whatever age, gender or color are happy to have access to affordable health insurance.

  117. 117
    Roger Moore says:

    @Gene108:
    And, as I point out above, complaining about problems with Healthcare.gov as an excuse for not setting up a state exchange is ass backward. The only states that have to worry about problems with the federal web site are ones that refused to set up their own exchange. If people knew in advance that the federal web site was going to be a disaster, that should have motivated them to set up a state exchange so they could avoid the disaster, not to refuse to set up a state exchange and let the supposedly incompetent feds do it for them. There’s no plausible, public spirited reasoning that goes from belief in federal incompetence to refusing to set up a state exchange.

  118. 118
    Richard Fox says:

    After losing my job of 20 years this past August, I was horrified, but also comforted too. The ACA will be up and available just about the time my severance package ends early next year. I can seamlessly go from one insurance provider to another, at rates I can deal with. My partner was on my insurance, so it is a double relief. Doing freelance work now–and getting insurance by my own efforts rather than a firm– a new normal for me, but one that is far less fraught with worry, than say, if this had happened a few years ago. Rates in NY were bloody hell. I’ll deal with website glitches whatever they may or may not be.. Seems a minor irritation in the scheme of things. I want the insurance, and that is what matters.!

  119. 119
    Dolly Llama says:

    @raven: Hear, hear. Kay, if you don’t know how to ban somebody, reach out to one of your Balloon Juice compatriots who can. I’m all for free and unbridled discussion, and I’ve never, ever called for someone to be banned — even some people who for sure deserved it — but this son of a bitch needs to go.

  120. 120
    rikyrah says:

    @schrodinger’s cat:

    My theory is, that they exist in the imaginations the MSM bots and their right wing paymasters.

    Most sane people of whatever age, gender or color are happy to have access to affordable health insurance.

    And don’t all these ‘ invincibles’ have MOTHERS that know it’s all bullshyt?

  121. 121
    Jebediah, RBG says:

    @Amir Khalid:

    I’m really not happy with this new troll. No subtlety at all. John Cole needs to return it to the troll store and get his money back.

    Agreed. Really makes a mockery of it and should not be tolerated.

  122. 122
    StringOnAStick says:

    I heard a bit of an NPR story about how sign-ups progressed when MA set up their exchange. The guy said that they had data showing that the group that signed up mostly at the last minute were the younger applicants, and that he expected the same thing to happen with Obamacare.

    It makes great sense to me to expect the demographics of signing up for ACA to be similar to the most recent experience with such a thing (MA’s experience). All this whining and moaning from the wankers will look that much sillier if/when there is a huge influx of the young at the end of the year; they can all take their “death spiral” talk and shove it (and seriously, the wankers obviously got “death spiral” in this week’s talking point blast-fax).

  123. 123
    Jebediah, RBG says:

    @martial bliss:
    Please let the door hit you on your way out.

  124. 124
    Another Holocene Human says:

    Why do people fall for these two faced politicians? Is it really from huffing lead based gasoline fumes all those years? Maybe a little benzene too? This has been going on my ENTIRE FUCKING LIFE and I just don’t get it.

    Also, remember how we used to snigger at the Russians and PRAVDA (“Truth”)?

  125. 125
    Dolly Llama says:

    @raven: By the way, how are you, Dawg? Long time, no speak. I wouldn’t be on here this time of day except I just got back from a conference in New Orleans over the weekend and brought back some bayou swamp crud illness with me. God knows what foul pestilence I picked up down there. I have officially seen enough of NOLA.

    You reckon we’ll win any more games this season other than App State and Kentucky? Ironically, the only other one I think we might win is UF, if only because they’re the only other team I know of with as many guys hurt as us.

  126. 126

    @rikyrah: I had a neighbor who the media bots would have categorized in the “invincibles” category. He was young, white and in his early twenties, he worked in construction and was quite happy to be on his mother’s insurance while he was trying to figure out what to do with his life and was quite an Obot.
    ETA: He was glad to have insurance because he had some work related injury and needed some physical therapy.

  127. 127
    Another Holocene Human says:

    @NonyNony:

    Eliminating earmarks is a lot like the idea of term limits for legislators. Things that sound great in theory but actually do more to destroy the bedrock foundation of the way the legislature operates than almost anything else could.

    But which enrich the richest. Hell, the earmark thing favors lobbyists for the big boys over lobbyists for the locals (kinda the way the national Chamber talks out of its neck about small business but actually lobbies to make it easier for big business and banks to crush them)

    When I read about what happened when Mexico instituted term limits I was horrified… even more shocking to see them implemented here knowing that. Florida has term limits on all levels and while in my opinion most of the lege are scum anyway (there are a few good ones and a few not good but at least tolerable ones, and not the party you think, either, although that’s changing) I think the negatives outweigh the benefits–even well meaning legislators don’t know the ins and outs of the law or what the very, very well paid lobbyists for big businesses that want to keep making money in Florida but to pay less taxes for the privilege are REALLY trying to do. And with a corporate whore like Scott in charge it’s hopeless.

    Don’t blame Scott for the medicaid expansion failure… I mean, sure, blame him for sucking and being unable to cooperate with the lege on, like, anything. They’ve had a mutual hatred from Day 1. It’s true. But he has a scheme to extract a personal rent out of Medicaid and wants it expanded… but the heads of the GOP-controlled lege are skinflint conservative tea-party panderers who have always been about the maximum pain for the maximum # of people and going around the “rules” (you know, that whole social contract rule of law thing? ha ha) to get ahead.

    But the beautiful thing is that Jeb’s #winning Florida GOP is starting to crack up. Couldn’t happen to more deserving assholes.

    (The second most deserving assholes are the Florida Democratic Party. Don’t give them money, boys and girls. Give money to the AFL-CIO of Florida’s PAC–Working Family Lobby Corps is tha bomb–or to individual candidates. In the primary. And pay attention. Weak tea limousine liberals, bounders, and conservadems always out themselves in candidate forums.)

  128. 128
    Another Holocene Human says:

    @Chyron HR: WIN.

  129. 129
    Another Holocene Human says:

    @schrodinger’s cat: huh, I kinda expected a take-down, not a short comment on a headline

    you didn’t even include a pic of the offender

    I mean why is this even a blog post rather than a comment here linking NYT?

    if you’re going to blogwhore, be less lazy, mmkay?

  130. 130
    Another Holocene Human says:

    @Elizabelle: See, Schrodinger’s Cat? This comment by Elizabelle with choice nuggets already fisked for our delectation is how it’s done. She even identifies the OP clearly for those not in the know. Servicey!

  131. 131
  132. 132

    […] See also How I became the poster girl for liberal agitprop, Florida Blue CEO Refuses to Play Along with David Gregory’s Concern Trolling and Depends on Where You’re Standing. […]

  133. 133
    rikyrah says:

    @schrodinger’s cat:

    I had a neighbor who the media bots would have categorized in the “invincibles” category. He was young, white and in his early twenties, he worked in construction and was quite happy to be on his mother’s insurance while he was trying to figure out what to do with his life and was quite an Obot.

    He’s on Mama’s insurance. He’s not an invincible.

    The invincible is the one with no insurance.

  134. 134
    Elizabelle says:

    @rikyrah:

    The invincible is the one with no insurance.

    And no imagination.

  135. 135
    Julia says:

    I am ashamed to admit I was a law school classmate of both Sen. Moran and Gov. Brownback…shudder.

  136. 136

    @rikyrah:

    He’s on Mama’s insurance. He’s not an invincible.

    Nobody is, my ex-neighbor is just smart enough to realize that. He shares the demographic characteristics of the so called invincibles.

  137. 137
    Just Some Fuckhead, Thought Leader says:

    Now my name is going to show up every time someone does a search for “faggot” on Balloon Juice. This is Stuck’s revenge.

  138. 138
    Gene108 says:

    @Roger Moore:

    They did not set up state exchanges because of their principled stand against a government take over of health care and the belief that only the power of free markets can solve the problems in our health care system.

    Clearly they cannot be blamed for contributing to Obummers failure of healthcare.gov.

  139. 139
    slippy says:

    @NonyNony:

    I had to jump in at your mention of term limits. I tell people Term Limits are a loud, rude, “fuck you” to the voters. They say “well, you may or may not like your legislator, but the choice IS NOW NOT YOURS ANYMORE. ROLL THE DICE AGAIN!!”

    I think they are butthurt from Republicans who can’t consistently win elections or advance an agenda, but feel they are entitled to “get back” in power every so often and if they just have to force the other guy out that is what they’ll do.

    So, TL;DR, Fuck Term Limits.

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  1. […] See also How I became the poster girl for liberal agitprop, Florida Blue CEO Refuses to Play Along with David Gregory’s Concern Trolling and Depends on Where You’re Standing. […]

  2. […] far from the cossetted environs of the Beltway media,  the under insured and the uninsured are happy to have access to affordable health insurance, glitchy website and […]

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