Words of Advice:

"Never Feel Sorry For Anyone Who Owns an Airplane."-- Tina Marie

If Something Seems To Be Too Good To Be True, It's Best To Shoot It, Just In Case." -- Fiona Glenanne

Flying the Airplane is More Important than Radioing Your Plight to a Person on the Ground
Who is Incapable of Understanding or Doing Anything About It.
" -- Unknown

"There seems to be almost no problem that Congress cannot,
by diligent efforts and careful legislative drafting, make ten times worse.
" -- Me

"What the hell is an `Aluminum Falcon'?" -- Emperor Palpatine

"Eck!" -- George the Cat

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Fun Fact About the Senate's Version of TrumpDoesn'tCare

If you took everyone who would be denied health insurance by the Republicans and had them stand, shoulder to shoulder, the line would go from the U.S.-Mexican border to the North Pole and then back down to Vancouver.

The bill does what the Republicans want: Deny health insurance to poor, chronically ill, and disabled people, while giving a massive tax cut to the rich and to corporations.

Did anyone expect anything different from the Party of Hoover?

Kellyanne Conway said that everyone who works for WalMart or a fast-food joint should just go get a better job so they can afford insurance. If that isn't a "let them eat cake" moment, I don't know what is.

The difference, of course, is that the person to whom the saying was attributed really had no clue. That can't be said for Conway.

Aux guillotines!

(Also: No wonder Trump hired that guy.)


dinthebeast said...

Or, as Sherrod Brown put it: "It's the combined population of my state, Ohio, and senator McConnell's state, Kentucky."

It looks like they didn't have the votes to ram it through before the fourth of July break, so that gives us another week to put pressure on Republican senators to vote against it. Dean Heller and Susan Collins are pledged no votes, so we need one more. This time, Rand Paul and Ron Johnson said they wouldn't vote for it because it's not Ayn Rand-y enough, but I wouldn't count on them after some "concessions" get made. Shelley Moore Capito of West Virginia may be within reach, and there are those who say that Rand Paul may vote no just to be important.
Also I read that those "concessions" may push Portman over into the no column, as he has a major opioid problem in his state that the current best response to is funded by Medicaid.
This would be more fun to watch if my own health insurance wasn't hanging in the balance...

-Doug in Oakland

B said...

I hope it passes. It doesn't cut enough. I really want appeal. Most of those folks who get so much assistance still, somehow, have cash for designer handbags, drugs, booze, smokes and tattoos.

I'd like simple deregulation. Plus assistance for the TRULY needy and disabled. The rest can deal with the consequences of their (continued) bad life choices. Or, at least drug test those getting assistance.

CenterPuke88 said...

B., please provide evidence to back up your claims. A knock-off purse is dirt cheap and might be the only "comfort" item some of these ladies have. The heaping of all of them into booze/drugs/smokes/tattoos is racist, plain and simple. I assume you believe that we should stop using NARCAN and just let people OD and die too?

Your generic, sweeping generalizations are typical of the stick it to the poor, countryclub Republican line since Reagan. Go right ahead and show evidence of fraud, which you can find by looking at prosecutions, which proves the system is being policed to remove these abuses. The argument that because some fraud occurs we must stop the system is kinda like destorying the village to save it.

We can look at tax fraud the same way, let's drug test them, hell let's drug test everybody! The numbers show that drug testing welfare, etc., is a black hole of money, because so few test positive.

As for bad life choices, here you go tossing out such a hackneyed old saw. It smacks of a lack of empathy and knowledge on your part, in my opinion (and yes, you can abuse my opinion all you like, that is your right).

Tod Germanica said...

My sister in law got her triple hernia surgery from ACA and is doing OK in therapy. Her life might have been shorter without the surgery.

dinthebeast said...

The ACA helped me pay for my cataract surgeries in 2015, without which I would be blind right now. I paid FICA taxes for 32 years for the social insurance I have collected on since my stroke. I'm not living extravagantly, but we get by OK and I have no complaints.
If they do take my health insurance away, they will probably still see me in the Adult Medicine Clinic at Highland Hospital when I have the sort of health issues that come with being 56+ years old, but it would be a lot cheaper to continue to fund preventative services that catch those health issues before they become expensive and debilitating. So even from a greed standpoint the BCRA doesn't work for anyone except the very wealthy who will get a large tax cut.
Then there is the issue of the sort of rural areas that voted overwhelmingly for president four-year-old where the largest employers are healthcare facilities funded by Medicaid and the ACA. Those places will be devastated by the passage of the BCRA.


If they wanted to actually fix what's wrong with healthcare in this country, I'd be all for it. There is much in need of fixing. But this is not a healthcare bill, it's a tax cut bill. 24,000 poor people will die prematurely each year after it is fully enacted if it becomes and stays law.

-Doug in Oakland

B said...

Your FICA taxes weren't for "Free Health Insurance". They were earmarked for other things that the Feds could waste money on....

And I am with you 100% on fixing many of the issues with our healthcare industry. But let us differentiate between Health CARE and HealthCare INSURANCE. the two are not the same.

Unless you are blind or willfully ignorant, or never meet "poor" folk, you cannot dispute my (admitted) generalization. My statements are true for greater than 90% of the folks you want covered by Government aid. Yes, there are exceptions. That doesn't make my statement untrue.

I still think that if we simply drug tested those receiving any government aid, be it ObamaCare or other handouts, then we'd solve much of the problem.

You can't fix "poor" people, they have to fix themselves.

B said...

Oh, and: CP: Where did I ever say that it was only one ethnic group that had 'Poor" that made bad decisions? Methinks the racism might be pointed more at you??? Poor is a culture, not a race. Lots more poor whites than any other ethnic group.

And what does NarCan have to do with HealthCare insurance?

deadstick said...

B, suppose you implement your drug testing. Then someone comes to the hospital with a life-threatening illness and fails his drug test. What do you do?

Comrade Misfit said...

Why not, then, drug test everyone who applies for or renews a driver's license or a CCW permit, a park permit, a beach pass.

CenterPuke88 said...

B., you make a general statement and then refuse to support it with data and accuse ME of being blind or racist. I simply pointed out you are blowing on the same dog whistle used by Republicans since the 80's, when it was clearly directed at the African-American community.

You describe "poor life choices" without admitting that governmental and societal actions constrain many decisions that the improvised can make. Instead you cast it as solely an individual issue, thus my question, "do you oppose the use of NARCAN to revive OD victims or do you believe they should be left to die?"

dinthebeast said...

Insurance is, sadly, a part of healthcare in this country. The "I" in FICA is "insurance". If we were sane about it, we would have single payer insurance for basic and preventative care, simply because it's cheaper and more effective in promoting the health of our society than paying some financial services companies who don't do any actual health care work to handle the money for us.
That's cheaper for everyone, not just the recipients of the insurance, as the sort of health problems preventative care helps prevent cost a lot of money to a lot of people besides the sick person who didn't need to be that sick. For example, how much more federal, local, and state taxes would I have paid since 2008 if I'd had access to the most basic of medical check ups between 2005 and 2008 and found out that my blood pressure had increased to 160/100?
That one yearly check up and three prescriptions could have prevented my stroke, and even leaving aside the knock-on effects of economic activity my wages would have created and the better asset to my community I could have been were I not disabled, those taxes alone make preventative care a better deal for everyone.
Now multiply me by 750,000 each year and you get the preventable cost of just one disease out of all of them.
Saying that citizens should just die because you don't like their behavior is unrealistic, extreme, cruel, and works in both directions. Why should your preferred behavior be supported and others be punished? That's what we have laws for, remember?
And then there are the people who will just die. Maybe you don't like them, but they are citizens just like you, and you really don't seem to understand how little separates you from them. One catastrophic illness, like a stroke, and all of the sudden you can't work any more. You require assistance for basic life functions. You can't earn money to pay your bills, one of which is your health insurance. How many months do you suppose it would be before you were applying for Medicaid? Do you think you should have to sell your house first? Your car?
People who make all of the "right" choices get sick. I saw them in rehab from my stroke. When you're learning how to walk again, everyone is on equal footing as long as they can get in the door. And getting in the door is what we're talking about here, and not getting in the door. And whether there should even be a door in a lot of areas where that door is paid for by Medicaid and the ACA.
And lastly, we're not talking about an ideological standard here, we're talking about a specific piece of legislation that is so awful that they wouldn't even show it to their own people while it was being written, and so far can't even get their own senators to vote for it. Like I said in my first comment, if they want to fix health care, let's do it. I'm really not blinded by ideology on this, I'm going on what I've seen myself of the healthcare system, both before and after the passage of the ACA. It's one of the few topics I feel like I can talk about and know what's what.
I apologize for the excessive length of this comment, Comrade, feel free to delete it if you want.

-Doug in Oakland

B said...

So, D: You couldn't check your own blood pressure? You blame the fact that you didn't have insurance on the fact that you had a stroke? Just trying to make sure I understand. It was the responsibility of someone else to make sure you were healthy rather than you? Just FYI, you can check your blood pressure at most Walgreens, CVS and WalMart pharmacies. Or you can buy a simple machine for less that $30 to DO IT IN YOUR HOME.

Do you really think that Government run single payer will be more efficient? Tell that to the Post Office. THey run a deficit most years. Waste and waste and more waste. Plus mismanagement. You really think anything the government does is gonna be more efficient than somewhere that has a profit motive???

Why did my insurance rates have to go up by a factor of 4 because you and folks like you needed coverage? Because you couldn't be bothered to do even the most basic maintainance on yourself. Multiply that by the smokers, the morbidly obese, the drug users, etc. I'm sorry you had a stroke. I don't wish that on anyone. But it isn't anyone else's fault that you couldn't some up with $60 or so bucks to go to a clinic even once between 2005 and 2008. There are free or low cost clinics where the cost is even less.

Would having health care make those folks who are smokers or who are obscenely obese live a healthier life? How about the Heroin users?

THe original Obamacare legislation was treated the same way...Remember? "We have to pass it to find out what's in it"?? And lets face it, it is imploding. In many places there is already single providers because everyone else is choosing not to participate because the losses are HUGE.

CM: Yes, I'd like to see drug test for any government handout, including ObamaCare. I have to take one to work, why shouldn't the folks getting freebies from the government that is paid for by takes from those same workers that pay taxes and have to be drug tested? We can discuss Drivers licenses or CCW, although I don't see that happening, and it isn't comparable to the Free Shit Army getting Free Shit.

CP: Who c=foces you to get a tattoo when you can't pay the rent? I WORKED WITH THESE PEOPLE, mentoring them and teaching skills. I interacted with 'em as an employer and in my off hours and a volunteer mentor. I know. You refute my statements. Yet, again, I will ask, How much interaction with that socioeconomic cohort have you had? I have more than 15 years doing it as a volunteer and as an employer. What do you have?

Riddle me this please: How much responsibility do YOU have to take care of yourself.....and where is the line wherein it is the responsibility of society to take care of you? Where is it the responsibility of society to alleviate the consequences of your bad choices? How many bad choices do you get? I ask because I think this is the fundamental disagreement we have.

CenterPuke88 said...

B., you still have provided no evidence, just your beliefs.

So a person born into a poor family, living in a location with no mass transit, going to schools with hand-me-down equipment and books and inexperienced teachers, is responsible for their condition? Was it their choice to be born to those poor parents, or what was it?

"Free Shit Army", eh? So, the Great Society and the New Deal, things that drove the American economy for decades, are just Free Shit, eh? Taxes on corporations are at all time lows, and Donnie wants lower...taxes on millionaires are at record lows, and Donnie wants them lower...the portion of the world's wealth held by the 1% is over 48% and climbing toward 51% within a fcouple of years, try a little basic research into what excessive income inequality results in. I'll give you a hint, it isn't a MAGA dream.

Insurance went up so much because of actions by the Republicans that reduced the enrollment of the younger, healthier people and the blocking of the expansion of Medicaid, which would have pulled a number of those expensively ill into a very well run government health program...one that's more efficient than any private insurance company (sorry to burst your bubble).

Oh, and the Post Office is running deficits because the Congress passed a law in 2006 (oh dear, Republican control) mandating that the USPS pre-pay it's retirement obligations, something no other governmental entity has to do.

dinthebeast said...

The most efficient and least expensive medical insurance is run by the government. They call it Medicare. The largest medical insurer in the country is Medicaid. Those profits you speak of get taken in place of care that could be given with that money to people who need it, so no, they will never lead to cheaper healthcare, only substandard care for the non-wealthy.
As for your questions about my finances, have you ever lived in the East Bay on ten or twelve dollars an hour? How about six? I have had jobs that paid all of those rates for years each. $12.50 is the most I've ever been paid straight time over the table.
And while I appreciate your concern for the poor people you claim to have tried to help, having actually been one for my entire adult life, and lived among them the whole time, I can tell you that there is a lot you either don't know or won't admit about what options you have when you don't have much money.

-Doug in Oakland

B said...

From MSM, so you can't say anything about bias....


Can't pay the rent, but can make it to the bar three nights a week.

Can't feed the kids, but got a new tattoo.

Can't pay for medicine, but I got a smartphone.

Can't pay the car insurance, but has a huge new flatscreen.

Car don't run, but it has $3500 worth of rims and a $1200 stereo.

Decisions. Needs vs Wants.

B said...

Oh, and here is an excellent point about socialized medicine:


Coming soon to a hospital near you, thanks to the Democrats and Barry the O.

Sadly, the Republicans won't do full Repeal, so we are gonna be stuck with some form of BarryCare.

dinthebeast said...

The Blaze? Really?
OK, I'll see your dead baby and raise you 28,000 dead poor people yearly, many of whom would be children (CBO)and the likely doubling of the maternal mortality rate as is seen now in Texas since they defunded Planned Parenthood.

I don't know what anyone else does with their money, but I mostly spent half to two thirds of my earnings (depending on how many hours I got at work that month) on my rent, and with utilities it was closer to three quarters. The rest was my transportation and food budget. Transportation first, because if I don't have bus fare, I can't get to work and back. Things go wrong, and there were times when I walked home to East Oakland from the MacArthur BART station where the free shuttle in Emeryville let me off. It's about a two hour walk, on top of the five or so miles I put in pulling orders and loading trucks. Financial planning mostly consisted of getting some cheap sneakers at the flea market on payday so I would have them when the ones I was wearing wore out past wearability, again impacting my ability to earn my paycheck, and getting a money order for half the rent when I cashed my paycheck so I couldn't accidentally spend into the rent money.
I've never owned a television, and of the three vehicles I have owned, one was the Torino I got from my parents on my 20th birthday (a '70 with a 351 Cleveland that my dad bought brand new), one was an RZ350 Yamaha that Briana and I bought jointly in '85 for $2,500 brand new, and one was a Toyota Corolla I bought with the retroactive payment check I got when my SSDI came through. Never got to drive that one. All three of them were taken from me by OPD for one too-broke-to-pay-the-fee situation or another. Hint: if somebody crashes into your car and they impound it, you need close to a grand to get it back.
I don't drink alcohol, although I used to smoke some pot... No, let me get real, I grew up in Humboldt County and I have smoked a large boatload of very good pot, but very seldom have I spent real US currency on it. I think the last time I smoked any was 2002.
Still don't own a smartphone, my phone I have to buy minutes on a card to use, this laptop was a gift from a good friend who saw me living at the foundry building with no electricity and gave it to me.
In short, I am a musician. There are lots them like me.

-Doug in Oakland

CenterPuke88 said...

B., so the story is taken from Dow Jones and Co. and comes from a Deutsche Bank study, but fails to explain luxury goods. It also shows the poor spend the least (40% vs 50% vs 65%) on "luxury goods". So, let's see the definition of "luxury goods", and it turns out to be things that are increasingly spent on as income increases, while necessities are goods that you spend lass on as income increases. So, by this definition, bread and rice is a necessity and meat is a luxury. A car is a luxury while mass transit is a necessity...but no provision is made to determine if the necessity was available in that area the person lived. Also, the study period is 1984 to 2014, a period between of time that encompasses significantly differing periods of economic down and upturns.

Let's consider the average food jungle, where you can buy food from a corner store because there is no grocery store in the area and where transportation doesn't allow you to get to a grocery store and back with cold goods. Milk is a luxury, because you drink water. Prepackaged foods may be considered a luxury, but may be all that is available. Additionally, the prices are higher, thus the proportion of your spending is higher. Nowhere in the story is any suggestion that it relates to any spending on "designer handbags, drugs, booze, smokes and tattoos", and the subject matter and description of this study suggests that several of these items would not have been considered.

CenterPuke88 said...

Oh, and B., that baby story is the U.S. Medicaid system if the Senate or House plan passes.

B said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
B said...

If you care to use that definition of "Luxury goods" in your mind, then there is no help for you. You can twist it all you want, but the truth is there for you to read if you can get beyond your preconceived ideas.

I did what you asked. Showed some documentation. You don't want to believe it. You should really get out more and mingle with those who you want to help with other people's money. You'd learn a lot.

But it is easy to tell me all about things when you don't know anything about those you want to help. I don't know how to help them, they have to help themselves. I do know that throwing money at the "poor" for over 50 years hasn't fixed the problem. But since you don't know anything about those you wish to help, you think you can toss tax money to them and it will fix things. It won't. But it is easy to believe when you have no experience, innit?

dinthebeast said...

What about me, B? Do I have any experience with poor people? And more to the point, do you?

-Doug in Oakland

dinthebeast said...

And if you read somewhere reputable you'd find that baby has 1.2 million pounds in a gofundme and doctors in the US have said they can't help him. The only remaining issue the parents were raising now that the hospital has agreed to leave the life support turned on, is the original decision to not let the baby go home to die among family, instead of dying at the hospital among family.

-Doug in Oakland

B said...

OR let the baby go to the US for experimental treatments. The State won't even let that happen.

Kid will die no matter what. But the point is that the State makes the decisions, with no compassion when the money becomes and issue. Heartless. State knows better... And they have all the power.

Remeber, they are also refusing treatment to people who are too heavy....

dinthebeast said...

Sort of like US insurance companies before the ACA?

-Doug in Oakland

B said...

D: If you read for comprehension, you'll see that I employed a great number of unskilled (not my words) lower economic class folks. Further, I was an unpaid volunteer counselor, trying to help folks make their money go farther....teaching budgets, how to make food dollar stretch (hint, buy food and cook it instead of buying prepared meals), etc. I helped a lot of folks, but most are beyond help. Most people are poor because of decisions they make. usually more than once. And because of poor impulse control.

Most never learn.

I've spent 25 years interacting with the "poor". Does that answer your question?