“This man is not the anti-Christ. He just wants you to have health insurance.”

Puts the website problems into perspective, I think:

Sharon Mills, a disabled nurse, long depended on other people’s kindness to manage her diabetes. She scrounged free samples from doctors’ offices, signed up for drug company discounts and asked for money from her parents and friends. Her church often helped, but last month used its charitable funds to help repair other members’ furnaces.
“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.

As health care coverage under the new law sputters to life, it is already having a profound effect on the lives of poor Americans. Waitresses, fast food workers, security guards and cleaners described feeling intense relief that they are now protected from the punishing medical bills that have punched holes in their family budgets. They spoke in interviews of reclaiming the dignity they had lost over years of being turned away from doctors’ offices because they did not have insurance.

My daughter called me today from Pittsburgh where she lives. She was in the drugstore filling a prescription and they told her she wasn’t on our health insurance policy. Well, she is, so I called the insurance company and I got the auto-line because they’re closed for the holiday. The recorded voice got it straightened out after I punched in 500 numbers and letters.

She wasn’t panicked or even really very concerned. She has the 40 dollars for the meds, she’s healthy, generally, and if she isn’t on my policy she can get on her employer’s plan. I assume she then left the drugstore with her prescription and went back to work, because I didn’t hear back.

Here’s a different story. Two Americas, indeed:

And there is a high price for being uninsured, she said. One patient, a coal truck driver in his 30s with diabetes came in for treatment whenever he was insured, which was not often. Last summer he had a stroke after a stretch when he had no coverage; he now walks with a cane and cannot drive. Another patient, a woman with diabetes, is now legally blind because she could not find an endocrinologist who would treat her, or a lab that would run tests, without insurance, Ms. Justice said.

75,000 people in West Virginia can “breathe again”

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94 replies
  1. 1
    Baud says:

    I was wondering where you were, Kay.

    Sometimes I can’t believe this is still a debate.

  2. 2
    Kay says:

    @Baud:

    Ah, but they’re coming around, a short 4 years later! :)

  3. 3
    West of the Cascades says:

    It puts into perspective the venality and contempt for (poor) human life that the Republicans in the states that didn’t expand Medicaid have shown. They’re evil — and they’re assholes to think that “President Obama promised you could keep your insurance he lied!!” is going to win out over “Republicans didn’t expand Medicaid in 23 states they’re deliberately letting people die” in the elections this fall.

  4. 4
    Calouste says:

    To you it’s 75,000 people who can breathe again, to the feudalist party it’s 75,000 serfs who have been illegally released from their masters. What’s going to happen next? They might even demand clean drinking water or, god forbid, living wages.

  5. 5
    RaflW says:

    I really do think the GOP has wildly misestimated the anxiety that uninsured and the marginally insured have felt for decades.

    None of the elected Republicans I can think of have been within decades of being uninsured, and their cosseted, handled life in office means they don’t really connect to people living with the worries and sleeplessness.

    “Repeal and replace” was always a joke. Now it should be virtually impossible as folks settle into guaranteed issue, no caps, etc.

    So of course watch out for all the back door ways the GOP will continue to f*k up ACA.

  6. 6

    I wonder how many of those voted for Obama?

  7. 7
    Kay says:

    @West of the Cascades:

    I;ve said this before, but I don’t think it’s a political “winner” anymore than Medicare and Social Security or the rest was or is now a guarantee of a political lock. It just doesn’t seem to work like that. I get how it should, but it doesn’t.

  8. 8
    Baud says:

    @Kay:

    The GOP tends to lie about wanting to “preserve” Medicare and Social Security. They’re explicit about wanting to repeal the ACA. Do you think that might make a difference?

  9. 9
    MikeJ says:

    Ok fine, people are getting health care, but they aren’t getting it through my preferred political mechanism.

    Obama is history’s greatest monster.

  10. 10
    Kay says:

    @Baud:

    It’s a good point, so maybe. They also make sure and tell “their voters” they’ll be exempted. Ryan did that, the big phony coward.

    I don’t know, it’s partly that poor people just aren’t that politically engaged, period. It’s been studied. Elected representatives don’t respond to them at all, probably because voting tracks income. I was surprised here when I didn’t see any political response to expanding children’s health care under SCHIP. They love it, it’s a huge relief to parents, they never worried about themselves as much as they did their kids but it just doesn’t translate for some reason.

    Schumer is always so blunt, which I appreciate, and he said in an interview something like “Democrats won’t get any votes out of this”, you know, in his usual charming and sensitive manner. That rings true to me.

  11. 11
    Violet says:

    @RaflW: Don’t think a lot of the people who are benefiting from the ACA will know who is responsible for them now being able to have health insurance. From the article:

    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 anti-Christ. He just wants you to have health insurance.”

    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.

    So Obama’s the anti-Christ but when the Medicaid letter comes in the mail, sign up! Thank goodness for Real American Republican elected officials who make such things happen!

  12. 12
    ThresherK says:

    Wait for the tuttutting of “healthcare not being tied to their no-account low-status jobs will make the poors lazy” because there’s just one less thing tying them to a crummy job.

  13. 13
    Citizen Alan says:

    I remember a time when I had so much more compassion and pity for people who voted Republican out of ignorance rather than evil. Now, it’s all I can do not to sneer at them. That woman who said Obama was the Antichrist and that was why she didn’t insurance? Part of me hopes there’s a followup in five years and she’s bankrupt from medical bills that she could have avoided if she’d just let go of her seething hate for five minutes to sign some damned papers. No sympathy for the fuckers at all.

  14. 14
    slippy says:

    I was driving across the Ohio river, the day Obamacare was implemented. At the end of the bridge, there was a sad, squalid little pack of maybe 10-15 doddering old Teabaggers. These people were all quite clearly on Medicare or Social Security. And they wanted to STOP Obamacare, and Soshulism.

    I stopped there, at the light, and unrolled my window. I have a pretty . . . um . . . present voice. So I let them know, in no uncertain terms, that if we were going to start taking shit away from people that we were going to start looking at Medicare, and Social Security.

    I was a total fucking dick to these people.

    And I’m not at all sorry about it.

    I’d do it again in a heartbeat. The sight of these old bags screaming “freeloader” at everyone else was rage-inducing. I lost my voice that day. I had actually driven around the block because I wasn’t done talking when the light changed, and by the time I got there, they had packed up and run away.

    Apparently, being talked back to was not part of their protest plan.

  15. 15

    @RaflW:

    I think the other thing that’s going to happen is that a lot of the people who were freaking out about “losing” their insurance are going to discover that what they had was junk insurance, like the woman Michael Hiltzik at the LA Times talked to who thought her current insurance had a $40 doctor copay, but that was only for the first 2 visits a year — after that, she was on the hook for the full price.

    Once people understand what it’s like to have insurance that actually covers stuff, you’re not going to be able to pry it away from them. And Republicans know it.

  16. 16
    Chris says:

    @Violet:

    Don’t think a lot of the people who are benefiting from the ACA will know who is responsible for them now being able to have health insurance.

    This.

    I’ve said for a while that the GOP’s reaction to the ACA will be to praise to the highest heavens all the individual improvements that result from it while continuing to damn “Obamacare” as an abomination responsible for everything wrong with the system. And they’ll refer to these as entirely separate and unrelated things. With all the cover our media provides, it’s very likely that they’ll get away with it, too.

  17. 17
    SarahT says:

    @slippy: thank you !

  18. 18
    a hip hop artist from Idaho (fka Bella Q) says:

    @Kay: Schumer is always such a sensitive guy, but he’s on the money there (and mostly). Of course poor people are in part not politically engaged because the system has been rigged – even more recently – to make it so difficult for poor folks to exercise the franchise. Plus they’re too busy trying to survive. not that I need to tell you any of that.

    The Confederate/libertaian/IGMFY party and its megamillions folks truly don’t get that when the poor folks have nothing left to lose there will be hell to pay. With tumbrels I hope, but heavily oxidized sharp farm tools I’ll settle for.

  19. 19
    WereBear says:

    Another patient, a woman with diabetes, is now legally blind because she could not find an endocrinologist who would treat her, or a lab that would run tests, without insurance, Ms. Justice said.

    Holy freaking crap. If I went blind under such circumstances, I would feel morally fine going nuts with an axe, based on my ability to find targets while so handicapped.

  20. 20
    jharp says:

    Not in my state. Mike Pence said no insurance for you.

    A friend of my daughter is one of those in the Medicaid gap. Student. Makes $8K. No subsidies for her and her insurance is $3,100 a year. If she eared $20K she would get $2,100 in subsidies lowering her costs to $1,000 annually. At 8K see does not qualify for Medicaid as it is the “household” income. Her parents are both uninsured. And her brother is uninsured.

    All Romney voters.

  21. 21
    PsiFighter37 says:

    @jharp: Right-wing radio is a helluva drug.

    @slippy: Props to you. Right-wingers are bullies with the thinnest skin.

  22. 22
    Baud says:

    Via Booman

    North Carolina’s enrollment in the Affordable Care Act federal insurance exchange reached a level in December that was surprising given the state’s prior poor performance in signing people up.
    ….
    And when one compares North Carolina’s total to those in similarly sized states that also use the federal exchange, the results show the state has had some of the most robust enrollment activity in the country.

    North Carolina’s enrollment figure exceeded Ohio’s total of 39,955, even though the Buckeye State has a larger total population, ranking seventh in the nation to North Carolina’s 10th.

  23. 23
    MomSense says:

    @jharp:

    Can she overestimate her income? Maybe Kay or Richard can answer this. It is something I have been wondering about for folks that fall in the Medicaid gap.

  24. 24
    Gene108 says:

    @jharp:

    People have different priorities. We may not think them sensible, but it makes sense to them.

    How to get people to change their priorities is a huge undertaking.

  25. 25
    Chris says:

    @Citizen Alan:

    My compassion for Republicans is practically zero simply because I’ve met such a staggering number of them who vote the way they do out of pure spite or self-righteous moralism – and in either case, with the full awareness and deliberate intention of voting to hurt other people. Not elected officials, not political operatives, not what passes for “intellectuals” over there, not the big financiers behind it all. Ordinary voters, people who have nothing to gain from this other than the pleasure of having fucked over another human being.

    There’s nothing there to take pity on.

  26. 26
    donnah says:

    My husband and I enrolled and now have decent insurance for the first time in about fifteen years. The only coverage we’ve had is a prepaid account through one of his part time jobs, and that went away after the ACA went into effect.

    I’ve gotten through kidney stones and impacted teeth and various other infections and ailments with Urgent Care and over-the-counter meds. Other medical expenses have been paid out of pocket. I work and my husband works, but we’ve never had great coverage.

    So now we do. This last week I had to go to Urgent Care for a dreadful sinus infection. I gave her my new Humana card, not expecting it to be accepted. She told me my visit was $35 instead of the expected $135. This will sound as corny as hell, but I almost burst into tears.

    We also made appointments to meet a new doctor. We haven’t had a regular family doctor in fifteen years, either. It will be so amazing to have regular medical care that I’m almost afraid to believe it.

    The only downside is making that big payment every month. I sure hope we can keep up.

  27. 27
    Xantar says:

    I’m starting to think what it will take to make Obamacare widely accepted is for a white Democrat to get elected president (Hillary Clinton will be just fine) and then pass some cosmetic changes so that health care reform is now known under the new president’s name (Hillarycare). Americans in coal country will love the new stuff.

    After all, it’s from a new president who isn’t near.

  28. 28
    ruemara says:

    @slippy: Good. Thank you. They deserve it. And maybe if more liberals spent time yelling at these idiots who show the fuck up to vote every election with every goddamn prejudice and moronic viewpoint, they’d understand how utterly fucking stupid they are. And if liberals actually stopped relying on the same confirmation bias op eds for information and showed the fuck up to vote in every goddamn election, they’d be as effective as these twats.

  29. 29
    raven says:

    And in Georgia Teachers, state workers upset about health plan changes

    “I understand the concept of coinsurance. But what I do not understand is how a teacher in the state of Georgia is supposed to have $1,100 to spend on a stress test/echocardiogram in February,” she wrote to the editors of the Savannah Morning News.
    Gov. Deal’s communications director, Brian Robinson, points toward the Obama administration and the coverage requirements of the Affordable Care Act as the cause for higher insurance rates on state workers.
    “A lot of this is because the mandates of ACA are taking place and impacting the State Health Benefit Plan, definitely, and the governor is as concerned about it as teachers are,” he said. “If you are upset about what’s happened to your healthcare plan, it’s not the Governor’s Office where you should call. It’s the White House.”
    Robinson began his response by pointing out that it was Deal’s appointees on the DCH board, not the governor himself, making the specific policy decisions.

  30. 30
    khead says:

    First Ruth Marcus from the Washington Post discovers my hometown of Welch and now this article. Throw in Kevin Williamson’s article about KY and it appears southern WV/KY is the new Applebees.

  31. 31
    Kay says:

    @donnah:

    over-the-counter meds

    You can make a pretty fair estimate of the poverty in a neighborhood by how many OTC dental remedies there are in the drugstore. HUGE selection or just a lot of mouthwash and tooth whiteners.

    Anyway. My sociological observation.

    I’m glad they took your insurance :)

  32. 32
    Gex says:

    OT: Apparently Bill Keller thinks that today would be a good day to heap praise on a white guy Unsung hero of civil rights

    I’m sure there are many heroes from the Civil Rights battles, of many races, but I’m sure we can all agree with Bill that no story can be properly understood unless we view it from the perspective of a white man. And it would be best to do that in a manner that bumps a black man off of center stage. Because fairness and equality, etc.

  33. 33
    Kay says:

    @Gex:

    Do you think that works, with people other than Bill Keller, I mean?

    To me it always seems like the exception that proves that it’s a generally accepted rule. “There’s this one Republican…” If you have to say that aren’t you admitting there’s a problem?

  34. 34
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    Oh, come on. Of course he’s the anti-Christ! Just look at the color of his skin!

  35. 35
    Kropadope says:

    @Xantar:

    I’m starting to think what it will take to make Obamacare widely accepted is for a white Democrat to get elected president (Hillary Clinton will be just fine)

    I vehemently disagree. While some may resign to enroll because it benefits them, any Democrat, regardless of pigmentation, will be subject to the same type of mythmaking and unreasonable opposition. People have been believing in the Confederate fairy tale book as scripture for a long time. Also, when I think of Hillary Clinton, I don’t think of winning over new allies. She’s more of a fighting partisan, falsely claiming the “progressive” banner.

  36. 36
    ruemara says:

    @Kay: I use that metric but with churches. The poorer, more desperate the life circumstances, the more churches. Rich neighborhood? 1, maybe two houses of worship within 5 blocks at most of each other. Poor and dangerous? Try a store front church every 100ft.

  37. 37
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @raven:

    How can you tell when Brian Robertson is lying?

    The answer, I think, it obvious.

  38. 38
    jharp says:

    @MomSense:

    That is a good question. Though I wouldn’t be too crazy about filing a tax return that didn’t match up with my income I claimed for insurance.

    I think the best solution is for her to move out of her parents house. Just get an address and claim it as her residence even when she lives at home. That would make her eligible for Healthy Indiana Plan.

    Not sure how well Healthy Indiana Plan is working. In the past there was a 50,000 person wait list. And a 3 year wait. Supposedly they are talking the Medicaid expansion money (they only get 2/3rds of it) and allowing 17,000 more get insured.

    And everyone seems in the dark on what the wait list will look like then with the wait being so old.

  39. 39
    jharp says:

    @PsiFighter37:

    @jharp: Right-wing radio is a helluva drug.

    Sadly it’s gonna cost some folks their homes and all of their property. And some folks their lives.

    They really are the worst fucking people on this earth.

  40. 40
    Kay says:

    @raven:

    Ugh. It has to be teachers, right? Not big fans of the Obama Admin. as it is, with a lot of justification, I might add.

    I’m going down to to Austin to see your friend speak at the public ed…meeting. Jamboree. Convention. Whatever it is :)

    I’m looking forward to it. My daughter is coming along, just to keep me company.

  41. 41
    Ruckus says:

    @Chris:
    Agreed

  42. 42
    Roger Moore says:

    @Xantar:

    I’m starting to think what it will take to make Obamacare widely accepted is for a white Democrat to get elected president (Hillary Clinton will be just fine) and then pass some cosmetic changes so that health care reform is now known under the new president’s name (Hillarycare).

    I think a Republican president making some cosmetic changes would be even more effective, because Republican. But the biggest thing will be people giving up on talking about the program as a whole and starting to talk about all the pieces independently. Most of the actual policies in Obamacare are wildly popular; it’s just the overall thing that’s been demonized. Take away the big scary name and start talking about the benefits, and people are all for it.

  43. 43
    Violet says:

    @raven: From the article you linked:

    Now, she must pay the full $130 until she has met Avery’s yearly deductible of $1,500 before the new health reimbursement arrangement plan, or HRA, begins paying the majority of the costs.

    This is exactly the situation I find myself in. My deductible is $2,650 annually and prior to meeting the deductible, every doctor’s visit is out of pocket. I need to see a specific doctor and when the insurance coverage was finally sorted out (took two weeks for the Large Insurance Company to actually have the correct info–despite receiving it in October), it turns out this doctor, and yes they are in-network, will cost me $225 a visit before I meet my deductible. After I meet the deductible each visit is $22.05.

    A family member needs to get a thyroid ultrasound and the cost for the ultrasound will be completely out of pocket until the deductible is met. So we’re expecting $500 minimum. That’s only a guess could be $1,000 or more. It is the negotiated rate, but until the deductible is met, it’s all out of pocket. It’s just a three-year followup, so from a budget standpoint we’re looking at waiting until later in the year. If it were because of something suspicious we’d have to find the money now.

    The timing of all this is really crappy. Christmas bills are here, people haven’t received any tax refunds or anything. There’s zero extra money in people’s budgets right now and this is the time of year everyone has to find the money to meet the fairly large deductibles.

  44. 44
    MomSense says:

    @donnah:

    I know how you feel-I cried paying my insurance bill and they were happy tears!

    I hope you feel better.

  45. 45
    pat says:

    @Gex:

    I read that piece and found it very interesting, how they actually got the civil rights bill passed. I could find fault with how Keller continually referred to Souther Democrats, or how he neglected to actually name the person who’s honored today, but I think it’s important to highlight some of the things that had to be done to get it passed.

  46. 46
    Kropadope says:

    @Roger Moore: A Republican president could bring about single-payer and it would be considered a triumph for free-market capitalism.

  47. 47
    mdblanche says:

    This site is probably the best resource out there to follow the progress of Obamacare signups. Almost all the updates are cross-posted on DailyKos and a commenter there pointed out the other day that millions of households freed from a real or potential source of financial insecurity or paying hundreds of dollars less each month for insurance amounts to an economic stimulus. People freed from these burdens will now have more money in their pocket that they can start spending elsewhere, boosting the rest of the economy.

  48. 48
    Carolinus says:

    @West of the Cascades:

    “President Obama promised you could keep your insurance he lied!!” is going to win out over “Republicans didn’t expand Medicaid in 23 states they’re deliberately letting people die” in the elections this fall.

    One issue is the former message is all folks are hearing at the moment. I”ve been subjected to an AFP ad before every last YouTube video I’ve watched over past few days. They’ve seemingly bought up all the YouTube advertising spots for my area. It features my local Senator saying the “if you like it you can keep it” line and it’s stuffed full of all sorts of BS “facts” about how Obamacare is menacing to my state.

    I’ve been tempted to click the ad in order to leave a comment at its source. Something like: “Hi. Not that I don’t appreciate your letting me know who the Koch Bros. think I should vote for, but seeing as how this ad plays in front of every last video I watch, would it kill you to enable the skip button? Trust me, I’ve already got the message loud and clear: Our betters, the Kochs, would very much like all of us serfs to vote Republican.'”

  49. 49
    Roger Moore says:

    @ruemara:

    I use that metric but with churches. The poorer, more desperate the life circumstances, the more churches.

    My neighborhood would appear to be the exception to that rule. It’s a well off neighborhood, but there’s a stretch that goes public school, church, church, church, Catholic school. Catty-corner from the Catholic school is another church. The churches are all big, prosperous ones, too. Pasadena as a whole seems to have a boatload of churches, synagogues, temples, etc. as well as a large, prestigious theological seminary and, at least until recently, the headquarters of the Worldwide Church of God.

  50. 50
    donnah says:

    @MomSense:

    It’s funny how you struggle for so long and make do or go without, then suddenly everything is okay. I don’t take this new care plan lightly.

    And thanks, I’m taking antibiotic capsules the size of horse pills, and I’m doing better!

  51. 51
    ruemara says:

    @Roger Moore: Are they 2 & 3 churches to a block? I don’t think so. Reread my metric. 2 churches within minimum 5 block radius=well off. 2-3 churches on the same block=lock your windows and keep driving. Can’t say I’ve ever really experienced Pasadena, but I have driven through it. Looked like it hit the right points on my scale.

  52. 52
    gelfling545 says:

    @Violet: I’ve felt there was a timing problem in the whole thing, enrollment in Oct. to Dec. for example. That’s just when heating bills are starting to go up, people have had back to school expenses for their kids & then there are the holidays. Last June might have been a better time. Also the delay of full implementation until this year gave certain political groups a lot of time to whip up fear & worry. Timing has not been auspicious.

  53. 53
    Violet says:

    @gelfling545: Yeah, annual enrollment is always such a hassle being at the end of the year. It would be much nicer if it were in August/September–sort of back to school time. And having the most expensive time for people be at the first of the year is tough. There’s just no way around that. Without changing the timing, I mean.

  54. 54
  55. 55
    raven says:

    @Kay: Teachers aren’t all that thrilled with Deal either. There is a lot of noise about teachers and other state workers getting raises for the first time in 5+ years> Funny how that works when there is an election.

    I’ll make sure he knows you will be there, you have to say hi!

  56. 56
    raven says:

    @Violet: So this is an example of health care costs getting “shifted” (or should I say shafted)?

  57. 57
    LanceThruster says:

    It feels good that fellow countrymen and women can live lives not racked with sickness and anxiety because enough of us have determined that the collective good is truly good for us all.

    The other side believes that an injury to all (others) is of no concern if it is not to them.

  58. 58
    LanceThruster says:

    It feels good that fellow countrymen and women can live lives not racked with sickness and anxiety because enough of us have determined that the collective good is truly good for us all.

    The other side believes that an injury to all (others) is of no concern if it is not to them.

  59. 59
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    @pat:

    Keller could easily have waited a week or so to run it, instead of actually on (well, weekend of) the MLK holiday. It’s the timing that’s offensive — that, and never even mentioning Dr. King by name.

  60. 60
    Violet says:

    @raven: Yeah, I guess so. It’s definitely feeling like we’re getting shafted. We’re getting the same coverage but paying a lot more for it–both in monthly costs and the various out of pocket deductibles, etc. I have one doctor who is out of network that is irreplaceable. No one is like him and there’s no way I’m leaving him to go somewhere else that’s in network, so that’ll cost me $108 every visit. At least that’s what I paid last week. We’ll see how it comes out when the insurance comes in. Probably kick it up to $200 or more.

    I do all the health insurance stuff, so I know what we’ve been paying and what we’re paying now. It’s a lot more now. I’m not complaining because I know increased costs for us mean more availability of insurance for everyone. And I’m so glad that’s the case. If I ever need it, then hopefully it’ll be there for me. Still, it’s more money out of the budget. That’s just a fact.

  61. 61
    LanceThruster says:

    @ruemara:

    There’s a stretch of Vermont Blvd in South Los Angeles that has about 4 storefront churches per block.

  62. 62
    Kay says:

    @raven:

    I’m going to his event because it’s the political part where I think I could help. There’s a lot of money and a lot of professional marketing on the other side. It’s really sophisticated. They’re running political campaigns all over the country, the “reform” folks.

    I signed up for Saturday, because I can’t stay thru Sunday. We both have to work Monday AM, so daughter has to get back to PA and I have to get back to OH.

    I will go up and say “hi” :)

  63. 63
    raven says:

    @Kay: He just told me there were a lot more important people than him coming!

  64. 64
    pseudonymous in nc says:

    Health Calvinism preaches that peace of mind comes with gettin’ rich and being saved, but I repeat myself.

    In, say, 30 years’ time, people will be astonished at such a set of beliefs.

  65. 65
    pseudonymous in nc says:

    @Kay:

    I don’t think it’s a political “winner” anymore than Medicare and Social Security or the rest was or is now a guarantee of a political lock. It just doesn’t seem to work like that.

    I agree with this. Taking away the anxiety of ruination through ill health is not a cut-and-dried vote winner. Tax cuts are an obvious vote winner. That’s why I think the ACA required political courage from the top down, even if it is a flawed bill.

  66. 66
    rikyrah says:

    @jharp:
    And thus why I have no fucks to give for people this stupid.

  67. 67
    Kay says:

    @pseudonymous in nc:

    That’s why I think the ACA required political courage from the top down, even if it is a flawed bill.

    I do too. I honestly think if they hadn’t gotten something thru this time it would be really difficult to get a President to attempt it again. It would be “Clinton failed and then Obama failed”. Those are two really talented politicians and people. If neither of them had been able to pull it out, who could?

    It’s ALL downside risk, and let’s face it. The people who needed it most are not big donors or big voters, even.

  68. 68
    ruemara says:

    @Kay: Which is why I remain pissed at principled comfortable liberalism. The key people we need to have show up at the booths to have a real sustained change in America, consistently sit things out or vote against their interests to stick it to the people they want to look down on. Doing any goddamned thing for this bunch takes a hell of a lot of courage and if it stinks to you that getting these little bits of social good requires a buttload of compromise, well, I suggest you step up your efforts to talk to these guys. They don’t seem to comprehend just how they’re being screwed by the lack of participation. So stop with the ‘activism’ that’s about showboating and yelling and do some activism that’s about voter education and organization.

  69. 69
    Mike in NC says:

    @LanceThruster: Real Americans* don’t need or want this abomination called Obummercare!

    (* defined as assholes over age 65 who are enrolled in Medicare and constantly bitch and moan about how they deserve better)

  70. 70
    gelfling545 says:

    @Roger Moore: Where I was raised (traditionally a largely Irish part of town) we were pretty sure there was some kind of local ordinance requiring a Church & a tavern at every major intersection.

  71. 71
    J.D. Rhoades says:

    Only when people are terrified of financial ruin are they truly free.

  72. 72
    LanceThruster says:

    @Mike in NC:

    I still have my dad forwarding FAUX/SPEWSMAX pieces to me even though I asked him to cease. At this point in life I see him resist everything unfamiliar and only listen to sources that reinforce his views.

  73. 73
    Brian R. says:

    @Mnemosyne (iPhone):

    I think the other thing that’s going to happen is that a lot of the people who were freaking out about “losing” their insurance are going to discover that what they had was junk insurance

    Exactly.

    There’s a big rainstorm out there, and they’ve been trying to keep dry with a newspaper. They don’t realize they’re being offered an umbrella.

  74. 74
    ruemara says:

    @gelfling545: I was in W. Oakland where I noticed that it was church, liquor store, church. Talk about opiates!

  75. 75
    Brian R. says:

    @LanceThruster:

    Had the same thing with my mom. Try this:

    Just start ignoring all the emails, political or not. At some point, you’ll get a call from him wondering why you never answered his question about whatever, and you can simply say, “Oh, I’ve stopped reading your emails. Just seemed like they were all that political stuff I asked you not to send.”

    That’ll thin out the crap quickly.

  76. 76
    Roger Moore says:

    @ruemara:

    Are they 2 & 3 churches to a block?

    In some places, though it generally has to be a pretty big block for two or three churches to fit. I guess that’s probably part of your point: large numbers of small, storefront churches are a sign of poverty while a few massive edifices are a sign of wealth. There are definitely a lot of the massive edifice type in Pasadena, but a fair number of the tiny storefront type, too.

  77. 77
    Joey Maloney says:

    75,000 people in West Virginia can “breathe again”

    But now they can’t drink the water. Oh well, win some, lose some…

  78. 78
    Roger Moore says:

    @Brian R.:

    There’s a big rainstorm out there, and they’ve been trying to keep dry with a newspaper. They don’t realize they’re being offered an umbrella.

    Or, more to the point, they’re complaining that an umbrella costs more than the 50 or 75 cents they’re used to paying for a newspaper, so their rain protection is unreasonably expensive.

  79. 79
    WaterGirl says:

    @Joey Maloney: “It’s your decision whether to drink the water”. Paraphrase from the governor. That’s crazy! I don’t think I’d be drinking the water, or bathing in it.

  80. 80
    Mnemosyne says:

    @ruemara:

    It’s the store front church that’s a poverty marker, not just any church. One stretch of the main drag through my neighborhood has a church on every block, but they’re Roman Catholic, Episcopalian, Lutheran, and Christian Science (with the Mormons one block over) in traditional “church” buildings. If you go down to the other side of town, the storefront churches start popping up.

  81. 81
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Violet:

    It also depends on what your employer chose for you, though. At the Giant Evil Corporation (which is self-insured, meaning the company pays all the bills and the insurance company just administers it), they offered three plans this year that were roughly analogous to Bronze, Silver and Gold. I chose the Gold plan even though it took the most out of my weekly paycheck because it did not have a deductible and the other plans did. If my employer had decided to only offer the “Bronze” plan, I would have been pretty screwed.

  82. 82
    Roger Moore says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    It’s the store front church that’s a poverty marker, not just any church.

    A tiny, poorly maintained traditional church will also fit the bill. And a storefront church might not be a sign of poverty if it’s an obvious stopgap for a growing congregation that hasn’t found a better home yet. There’s a church in my old neighborhood in Pasadena that’s in a repurposed movie theater, and I don’t think that’s a sign that it’s a bad neighborhood. It’s probably better than back when I was living there, it was still a movie theater, and I came out from watching a movie once to find the police investigating a shooting that had taken place right outside.

  83. 83
    JoyfulA says:

    @ruemara: In various PA towns I’ve lived in, including Philadelphia, there are nice, more-or-less downtown areas with 3 or 4 big churches with steeples and parking lots and Sunday school additions within a few blocks and often side by side. One Philly neighborhood “downtown” corner had Catholic churches on three corners for three ethnicities (and another two blocks away). In other parts of bigger towns, there are storefront churches in run-down retail areas. I always figured the rent was cheap. Evangelical iglesias were booming when I was last in Philly, but no more per block where they were located than the “real” churches.

    In the rural South, I’ve seen roads with many small and very small churches, usually “church-shaped” and usually Baptist with different adjectives and sometimes adverbs. I’ve asked how so many churches can be supported where there are few businesses and not even many houses around, and I’m told the pastors typically have full-time jobs elsewhere, and the little churches take in just enough money to maintain the buildings. The towns of any size have several bigger churches downtown.

    There are some big churches in suburbs now (other than megachurches) because old downtown churches often lacked much parking and anywhere to expand for parking. The suburban churches aren’t near each other.

  84. 84

    What is a store front church? I don’t think I have seen one.

  85. 85
    LanceThruster says:

    @Brian R.:

    If it was contentious I’d go that route to be sure. Instead I just ignore it because he’s a wonderfully loving and decent man. I think he’s kinda parroting the politics of the 2nd wife (who is also sweet but politically ignorant IMHO)

  86. 86
    Luthe says:

    @Violet: What kind of plan do you have, Violet? Is it through your employer? Because when I signed up on the Exchange I went with a Silver level plan *because* I didn’t have to meet the deductible before I could start paying just the copay.

  87. 87
    Mnemosyne says:

    @schrodinger’s cat:

    It’s pretty literally what it sounds like — a church that is in what used to be a retail space. They do tend to turn up more often in impoverished parts of town (though, as Roger Moore said, they’re also taking over old theaters in more middle-class parts of town), presumably because the landlord would rather have a church in there than have the space sit completely vacant.

  88. 88
    Honus says:

    @Calouste: but they’ll vote for a guy in prison in Texas before they’ll vote for Obama.

  89. 89
    JoyfulA says:

    @Mnemosyne: On my way to church, I see a one-story office building with either a church located inside or renting an office on Sundays. There’s a sign in the building parking lot giving the name of the church and time of services, with an arrow.

    I also know of church services held in schools, where school districts rent out space when classes aren’t in session.

  90. 90
    Honus says:

    @Violet: fuck those dumb ass hillbillies. And I’m a West Virginia native. Believe me, they’ll be complaining about the persecution of Freedom Industries and lining up to vote for arch moore’s daughter I six months.

  91. 91
    Violet says:

    @Luthe: It’s an employer based plan. There were only two plans offered and no indication as to what level (Gold, Silver, etc.) they might be. There was a calculator thing offered to help people figure out what plan would work best for them, and we calculated the thing every which way and the best we could come up with, this plan was the best option. We had spreadsheets going, pulled EOBs from all doctors for the last year, calculated out of pocket expenses, even put in what might happen with one, two, three, four “major medical events”. It was a real pain to calculate.

    It seems the company is pushing everyone to this plan by making the other plan prohibitively expensive. I’m guessing eventually they’ll discontinue the more expensive plan.

  92. 92
    Another Holocene Human says:

    @Xantar: I think that ship has sailed. Let it go.

  93. 93

    I saw an interview once with a doctor who had been in practice when Saskatchewan introduced medicare in 1962. He said he hadn’t supported medicare because he had always believed that anyone who really needed it was able to get treatment.
    So he was surprised and embarrassed and humbled when a stream of middle-aged and elderly patients started coming to his office for treatment of longstanding health conditions which they had never had treated because they hadn’t been able to afford it.
    They were not desperately poor people, not homeless, not on welfare, but they were just ordinary people who hadn’t wanted to ask anyone for charity.
    I would think you will now see this kind of thing happening all over the States.

  94. 94
    Matt says:

    Diabetes is definitely a condition that just exposes the utter idiocy of the GOP position – it’s reasonably well-understood and responsive to treatment, with MASSIVE consequences if not treated. The fact that the RW loons can’t even do a cost-benefit analysis on “pay for treatment” vs. “pay for disability” (human costs notwithstanding – literally just $$$ vs $$$) speaks volumes about how completely fucked they are.

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