Today the Affordable Care Act (ACA) turns nine.
It is still a BFD.
Today the Affordable Care Act (ACA) turns nine.
It is still a BFD.
Looks like we could use a new election return open thread. A lot of votes to still be counted in a lot of places, so everyone just stay calm. No reason to borrow trouble from the future.
I’ve noticed a lot of commenters are concerned that the polling for specific races was off in those places, for instance Florida. I’ve written in a number of comments over the past several months that I think the polling models are off for this election. Specifically, I thought they weren’t polling the demographics that are signaling a lot of the things that wouldn’t be captured in a poll anyway. Specifically the number of women, women of color, people of color, and religious minorities running for office on the Democratic side. As well as the effects of non-elite and notable donations, organization, enthusiasm, etc. And, in many cases, candidate quality. You want to know why Beto O’Rourke is right now causing Ted Cruz’s human suit to break out in hives? It’s candidate quality. The same reason that Gillum is within about a 1% point in Florida. Mike Espy is currently leading in the Mississippi Senate race, and Stacy Abrams is likely to force a runoff with Brian Kemp. That’s all candidate quality and there are a lot more examples I could provide.
What we should take away from this regardless of tonight’s outcome, is that we’re seeing the leading edge of a major socio-political shift. Specifically, the changes in the demographics in the US are finally beginning to make themselves shown in American elections. From people deciding to run to the outcomes. What we should not expect is that even if the Democrats have a great night, that this shift was going to fully materialize and be realized tonight. Rather it is something that needs to be nurtured, built on, and expanded starting first thing tomorrow morning!
Also, congratulations to Sharice Davids in Kansas 3!
Update at 10:00 PM EST
MSNBC has just called the Kansas governor’s race for Democrat Laura Kelly.
Just 2 more shopping hours on the east coast until the 2020 presidential elections!
Nate McMurray is running against Chris Collins in NY-27, a Buffalo-area R+11 district that is carefully gerrymandered to avoid any urban areas. You probably remember Collins, who was Trump’s campaign chair, because he was indicted in August for insider trading and it’s a slam-dunk that he’s going to jail. It looked like he was going to drop out, but there was no way to replace him on the ballot, so the Republicans lived up to their reputation and he stayed on the ticket.
McMurray is just a great candidate. He’s made the journey from community college, to a Fulbright scholarship, to a career in international law that took him to China, all the way back to the small town of Grand Island, where he’s currently the town supervisor. Nate’s campaign began long before Collins was indicted, when the race was basically a write-off. He’s been making good use of the torrent of cash that’s come his way since the news about Collins broke, but long before that he was doing things like driving in a demolition derby, pounding the pavement to meet voters, and running on a solid set of Democratic issues:
—Medicare for all
—Free, reduced tuition
—Agriculture as a nat security issue
—Broadband for all
—No more wasteful wars
—Human rights, safe immigration
—Fair tax laws
— Nate McMurray for Congress (@Nate_McMurray) July 14, 2018
The polls are all over the place but it’s definitely a tight race. This will be one to watch Tuesday night. (The headline is McMurray’s tagline on Twitter.)
I consume baseball in the most Americana way imaginable. I listen to it on the radio in the summer Midwestern night surrounded by cornfields. In the orange streetlight, moth fluttering nights that refuse to drop below 80. I own a cleaning company and while you are at home winding down your day I am vacuuming and dusting and taking out trash and cleaning toilets and listening to the Chicago White Sox not make the playoffs since 2008. It’s easy to picture me. If I was a character in a Stephen King novel I would surely be the first to get knocked off by a vampire or a clown.
For this reason, most of the visuals of the game are lost to me except when I can tune in on weekends. This is one visual I will certainly not miss.
The New York Times is reporting that the Cleveland Indians, in cooperation with Major League Baseball, are abandoning the Chief Wahoo logo after the 2018 season.
I live fifty miles northwest of Champaign-Urbana and its resident University of Illinois, so I had a mezzanine seat to the Retire the Chief / Save the Chief hullabaloo, which is still going on to this day. The Chief is a sort of local MAGA hat that we’ve had for decades. If I walk into a business or an office that’s festooned Chief stuff, I know the kind of person I’m dealing with upfront. A friend who witnessed the mascot’s formal retirement in 2007–he worked for the local paper and the university–once let me look through his personal letters-to-the-editor Chief file. They ranged from sedate and prosecutorial to spittle-flecked. I liked this:
Unfortunately, all that pageantry was built around a product of the rather odd obsession white people had with their view of Native American culture nearly 100 years ago. Too bad we are still saddled with the decisions of an assistant band director who was just trying to put on a good halftime show. If he had simply chosen some other kind of symbol to be the focus of all that audience participation stuff, we wouldn’t be dealing with this mess today. Can you imagine!
But forsaking the revolting Chief Wahoo logo is more complicated than it appears on the surface. Let’s Go Tribe goes on to say:
It’s interesting, but not surprising, that the Chief Wahoo merchandise will still be sold in local markets. According to Jordan Bastian, this is in part because the Indians still maintain a trademark for the logo and are required to keep it in retail spaces to do so.
“The Indians will maintain control of the Chief Wahoo trademark. In order to do so, it will still have a limited retail presence. No retail presence would open door for another party to seize control of the mark and profit from it.”
Not only will they keep the trademark, but the flood of people who support a logo over their favorite baseball team will likely flock to buy up whatever they can. Make no mistake about it, the Indians are going to keep profiting off the logo for a long, long time.
So either the team profits on its heritage of racism or some third-party does. Short of the team donating those profits to a reservation, there are no good choices here.
This is worth at least an quasi-ironic chuckle. The implementation of the Affordable Care Act in 2018 is closer to some elements of the early 2007 campaign version of Obama’s health care vision than the ACA implementation from 2010-2017 was.
Now let’s go look at the tape, from Polifact 2007:
Obama shot back: “Well, let’s talk about health care right now because the fact of the matter is that I do provide universal health care. The only difference between Sen. Clinton’s health care plan and mine is that she thinks the problem for people without health care is that nobody has mandated — forced — them to get health care.”….
One of the few differences is that Clinton and Edwards include a universal mandate….
Obama’s decision not to include a mandate is a more cautious approach, one Obama says is designed not to penalize people with modest incomes. If premiums don’t drop enough after all the reforms are implemented, people will still be unable to afford insurance.
Obama contended during the 2008 primary that the subsidies would be rich enough that no mandate would be needed. And then the desire to hit a particular CBO score came into play as well as a need to not lose a single Democratic senator dictated that subsidies were going to be a lot weaker than the House wanted.
However with Cost Sharing Reduction (CSR) sabotage leading to Silverloading and Gold gapping, subsidies for individuals who make between 100% Federal Poverty Line (FPL) and 400% FPL ($12,020-$48,080) will have become effectively much richer for people who buy plans that cost less than the benchmark.
This is just an irony if seen from a skewed point of view.
In comments to the post on pragmatic evolution of US health policy on Monday, The Question raised a point that I want to respond to:
on health care why do we always have to pre-negotiate with ourselves and have ourselves primed to accept half a loaf? I am so tired of being sensible when there is no gorram reward. If loudly shouting the most extreme thing we want gets us even half what the republicans have gotten out of it why the hell not??
I want to raise an empirical point and then a broader political/policy point that explains my thought process.
First, empirically, what has “shouting the most extreme thing” gotten Republicans?
It has gotten them power.
What have they done with it so far? In 2009, Democrats at this point had a smaller functional majority in the Senate and a slightly larger majority in the House than the Republicans have today. Democrats had passed and signed into law the stimulus, CHIP re-authorization, Lily Ledbetter, and the
Dodd-Frank CARD ACT by now. They were grinding their way through what would become the ACA.
What have the Republicans accomplished as of today?
They got a Supreme Court justice at the cost of allowing liberals to nominate liberals in the future. And they named a bunch of post offices. What else have they gotten at the legislative level? And they also got a President who is at 34% who is leading to massive swings against the GOP. Those swings are large enough to endanger the gerrymandered House GOP majority even if they do nothing.
That is my pragmatic point. Being howler monkeys may be a successful strategy to gain power but it has not been a successful strategy to exercise power.
Now onto the broader point of pragmatism or pre-compromising depending on your point of view, I want to bring back a post from December 2015 regarding a statement made by the current FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb on the ACA Exchanges. First I will highlight a post from earlier that week explaining the bullshit:
leading lights of the conservative “health wonk” community is peddling bullshit that is technically true if you parse it correctly but designed to mislead anyone but a hyper technical reader.
Last year open enrollment started on November 15th. The 6th week of open enrollment would have been the first week of January.
This year, open enrollment started on November 1st. The 6th week of open enrollment just wrapped up.
Yes, at the six week mark of open enrollment, 2014 enrollment is running higher than 2015 enrollment. However there is one massive fact that will show 2015 open enrollment 7th week selections running ahead of 2014 7th week selections. Sometime at the end of this week, Healthcare.gov and most of the state based exchanges will conduct a massive automatic renewal of plans.
Trump is a partial consequence of over-promising
And next year, when Obamacare does not collapse in on itself like a neutron star of fail, the same opinion leaders and expert validaters will trot out the same story.
The Republican base has been promised a lot and their party can’t deliver on those goals. The elites don’t have legitimacy because their bullshit has been marked to market so new entries with new, creatively destructive forms of bullshit have a niches that they can fill and a willing mass audience that wants to believe that this time the new guy can deliver on their promises while ignoring the elites who have no credibility.
I want to avoid that cycle. I would rather under-promise and over deliver than over promise and under deliver.
I also believe that the details matter and an accurate assessment of the current state and a reasonable approximation of future states is critical in doing anything well. I can be accused of having that bias for professional and financial reasons as I am a health policy wonk and figuring out complex systems pays the mortgage. I don’t think that is what drives me, but I will acknowledge that possibility.
I want a political and policy program that has two realistic chances. The first is that it needs a realistic chance of passing Congress and being signed into law. The second is that once it is law, it needs to have a realistic chance of actually working and doing what it intends to do without surprising consequences in type or scale.
From these preferences, that means identifying things that imperil those two chances. Great politics don’t always means great policy as we see with the risk pool damage that the Under-26 provision of the ACA creates by pulling out healthy young people from the market. Needed policy is not always great politics as we see with the individual mandate. Sometimes a bad is needed to be accepted on one side of the equation to allow the other side to work but those bads should be minimized to the essentials for passage or functionality. And that means being disciplined in our thinking.
The valuation of “bad” will vary. It is a combination of projection and a value judgement as to what trade-offs are acceptable. Having that discussion now and hopefully coming to some type of consensus or at least a clear understanding of different valuations is a good thing as there is time to tweak and rejigger plans.
What a fucking idiot. The first rule of opposing a livable wage is you don’t call it a livable wage.
During Tuesday night’s debate for an open U.S. House seat in Georgia, Republican candidate Karen Handel said that she does not support a “livable wage.”
I’m not raising money for Ossoff because I think the 30 million spent on the race already is enough but let’s keep raising money for the eventual Democratic nominee in all 238 districts Republicans currently hold. Let’s make the next Democratic majority a 435 seat one.