Words of Advice:

"We have it totally under control. It's one person coming from China. It's going to be just fine." -- Donald Trump, 1/22/2020

“We will not see diseases like the coronavirus come here..and isn't it refreshing when contrasting it with the awful presidency of President Obama."
-- Trump Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany, 2/25/20

"I don't take responsibility for anything." --Donald Trump, 3/13/20

"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

Saturday, January 14, 2017

Our International Joke

My guess is that in a couple of years, at most, few, other than those in the Kremlin, will be laughing.

If you're going to lose your health insurance because the Republicans repeal the ACA, remember that elections really do matter. If that does happen to you, if you didn't vote and if you were eligible to vote (whether you registered or not), then this is on you.


bmq215 said...

I'm a little amazed by how far and wide the joke has spread. I took a cab in Morocco the other day and upon learning that I was American the driver immediately launched into humorous speculation about the relationship between Trump and Putin.

I suppose I shouldn't be too surprised that the whole world watches America but it was telling that he automatically assumed I would find it funny too.

CenterPuke88 said...

Pure speculation on my part, but I wouldn't be surprised if few persons within tRump's fan base would travel to most places around the world these days. Their echo chamber shows the world as a dangerous place, a place to avoid. Morocco would be in their wheel house for fear of Islamic attacks.

bmq215 said...

CenterPuke88, I tend to think you're right. That being said, I find it interesting that a working-class Moroccan who has little to no contact with America outside of international news (and presumably only that which is published in Arabic) would come to the same conclusion.

B said...

And while I DO hope that Obamacare is repealed, your point about not voting is spot on.

Those that failed to vote have no reason to bitch about how things are going....

Tod Germanica said...

If it's repealed my sister-in-law won't get the stomach surgery she desperately needs. Fuck you very much.

3383 said...

I've been to a few places out of the country, and everyone was reasonably familiar with the USA, D.C., NYC, and our actions and interactions with the rest of the world.

A cab driver in Tasmania challenged me to identify the Australian capital. He was surprised when I did; I didn't tell him that just because the US was somewhere on the front page everyday, the reverse wasn't true.

dinthebeast said...

The ACA helped me pay for my cataract surgeries last year, so I would literally be blind right now without it. Being blind (especially when I'm already disabled from a stroke) sucked donkey balls.
If the ACA had been in place between 2005 and 2008, I could have had a check up and found out that my blood pressure had gone up to 160/100, taken the meds I now control it with, not had the stroke, and saved the taxpayers $350,000 and counting.
Add to that the money I would have earned and spent, the taxes I would have paid, and multiply by, say 100,000 of the 795,000 US citizens who have strokes yearly, and you have the financial impact the ACA has on ONE preventable disease out of all of them, each year.

Then there's the societal impact to my former employer, and everyone close to me.

You can bet that I voted and got everyone I know to vote, but since I live in California, it didn't count for much (besides legalizing pot, electing Kamala Harris, and sending Barbara Lee back to congress with 80% of the vote).
So yeah, B, perhaps read about the actual law before you want your misconception of it taken away from those of us who rely on it for health insurance. You could very easily need it yourself some time.

-Doug in Oakland

B said...

You bring this up often...

Sorry you had a stroke.

And sorry you DON'T have health insurance. (you could, but you'd not want to pay the real costs)

and sorry you couldn't be bothered to check your blood pressure and relied upon a doctor to do something you can now buy a machine to do for $30. Or do yourself with basic tools.

Do you go to a mechanic to have them check the oil in your car? Perhaps tire pressure?

I have no issue with ObamaCare...it is the failure in pricing and the fact that it treats some people better than others that bothers me....and the subsidies that essentially promote folks to NOT work...And the fact that the poor and unhealthy have TrIPLED the cost of health insurance for the folks who do work. )even more increases if you are an employer. Had the subsidies been payed for by decreasing some other "entitlement" then I would have been all for it. But those same"entitlements" are also paid for by those employers and the employed....Or if the Feds had gotten rid of a few useless three letter agencies. Or something that made sense.

I'm glad you got the care you need. But the SYSTEM is fucked for productive citizens.

If you wanna discuss this lets do it of Comrade's comments.

CenterPuke88 said...

B, from 2013 to 2014, average premiums dropped by between 10 and 21% with the rollout of the ACA. In 2017, average premiums finally rose above the 2013 pre-ACA average. Your "triple" figure is likely a cherry-picking of the rising deducatble cost for the "Gold" plans, and is inherent in a fully compliant health care plan, given the continual increase in health care costs. The Medicaid cost increases have been significantly less, due to cost controls and crackdowns on fraud.

Here, BCBS demanded a 9% increase while stonewalling providers asking for a 5% increase in reimbursement rates, after a 4 years agreement expired. Since BCBS has increased those rates by a net of around 30% over that time, I'm hesitent to blame the provider networks for the majority that cost increase. The huge claims payment/processing networks that have been created over the last decades are a factor in this, and movement to a single-payer system would cut these costs significantly...at the cost of some of those jobs.

A single-payer system when the provider groups have the power to negotiate with the payer does NOT mean rationed medicine or poor health care. The payer has to agree to a deal with providers in an area, so the offered payout increases until either the local group agrees or new providers enter the market to provide services at a lower rate. Sounds pretty competitive to me.

Tod Germanica said...

So, B, if I have your beliefs correct, there are two classes of citizens in the USA, "productive" ones who can afford health premiums and parasites who can't or are too stupid. And it angers you that you have to support those useless people too poor or stupid to afford health care. Better they should go die under a bridge somewhere so your taxes won't be so high. Does that sum it up? It must take a heart excision to be a Republican or libertarian. Be careful you don't get sick or lose your job buddy or us "productive" people will be seeing you living in a van down by the river coughing your guts out.

B said...

CenterPuke. Not.sure whre you get your data, but it doesnt fit the facts. I know what i and others paid, and i know what the costs are for businesses. TRIPLE IN 4 Years. Thems the fqcts. And lesser coverage too.

B said...

Tod: yeah, that is pretty much myy attitude. If folks didnt get shit for free, theyd likely value it more and not make such bad life choices. Not my fault they continue to make bad choices.

Why dont you take your sister on as a dependant and put her under your insurance. Or just pay her insurance directly instead of asking the taxpayers to do so...you seem to think that everyone else should pay for her....why dont you take the burden you want your fellow citizens to shoulder?

Put yer money where your mouth is, so to speak?

CenterPuke88 said...

Figures from OMB, and vetted by CBO. Your experience doesn't make it a fact for everyone, and my insurance is superior to previous-ACA and the cost is up 33% in those 4 years...which, by the way, includes the year the ACA took effect...nice choice of periods to fit your narrative. Shall we also discuss the significant reduction in medical cost,increases since ACA?

dinthebeast said...

My insurance is Medicare (because I'm disabled) and Medicaid (because I'm poor) and I don't go to a mechanic because I don't have a fucking car because I'm poor. I worked for 32 years before my stroke, and pulled my weight and a couple of others' while I was at it. Still do, as I have pretty good skills at living well without much money.
Anyone can have a stroke, not just people you find morally inferior, and I saw plenty of them when I was in rehab. How long do you believe you would have insurance to pay your medical bills if you couldn't work for say, five years to make money for the premiums? I saw people in 2008 get cut off after the third month. That was what it was like before the ACA. You may find that you need it yourself some time, like Ayn Rand did.

-Doug in Oakland

B said...

So as long as it benefits you, it is ok, right? As long as someone else pays.
There is no personal responsibility.
Got it.

Comrade Misfit said...

B- "Go live under a bridge and die" is your core advice.

May illness or tragedy never dislodge you from your high horse. But if that ever happens, I hope that you find people to help you who are nothing like the person that you portray yourself to be.

B said...

So riddle me this:

How much support are we supposed to give those who refuse to help themselves? Who make choices (admittedly sometimes non voluntarily) to not take care of themselves or to prepare for the future? They have no money in the bank, but they have a new set of $300 sneakers....

One thing I've noticed is that folks who are "Poor" are (generally) able to buy beer and cigarettes and have internet and cell phones. They can afford Coffees and Pizza and such. But they can't pay for insurance or health care. Now, I have no issues paying for those who truly can't do it for themselves. But that is, in reality, a small minority. I grew up very poor..... had two pairs of jeans and one pair of shoes much of my life. But I learned to separate Wants from Needs. We all make choices.

I employed many of those folks. They could't afford to pay their rent that month, but they sported a brand new tattoo...

B said...

"B, from 2013 to 2014, average premiums dropped by between 10 and 21% with the rollout of the ACA. In 2017, average premiums finally rose above the 2013 pre-ACA average. Your "triple" figure is likely a cherry-picking of the rising deducatble cost for the "Gold" plans, and is inherent in a fully compliant health care plan, given the continual increase in health care costs. The Medicaid cost increases have been significantly less, due to cost controls and crackdowns on fraud."

And so I went to a higher premium and a HIGHER deductible....and lesser coverage overall. The plan I had pre-obamacare no longer exists, but if it did it would cost nearly 5 times what I paid pre-obamacare implementation.

And your figures come from the same government that claims that unemployment is only 5.5%. Do you believe that figure too?

While it may be true that the rates might have been higher had we not had Obamacare, I doubt that..... However, I have no way of proving it one way or another, nor do you. We can only speculate. I do know that I and many others have lesser care for a higher price and a higher deductible. We do know that most folks who are employed (and their employers) have had to pay significantly more to cover those who aren't employed and who are otherwise not contributing to the shared-risk system that any "insurance" needs to have in order to work. Further, because of Obamacare, the choices for insurance have decreased, as the greater load by the non payers is increasing losses for the insurance companies....who are there to make a profit, like it or not.

I just hope that Trump doesn't fuck things up worse trying to "Fix" it.

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

The inflation of the cost of healthcare has been significantly reduced. You would be paying more for less without the ACA.

"So as long as it benefits you, it is ok, right? As long as someone else pays.
There is no personal responsibility.
Got it."

I paid just over a quarter of every paycheck I earned for 32 years in payroll taxes which for the most part went toward the insurance I now collect. There's math there that can be done if you like.

-Doug in Oakland

B said...

"I paid just over a quarter of every paycheck I earned for 32 years in payroll taxes which for the most part went toward the insurance I now collect. There's math there that can be done if you like.:

No, that "quarter of the paycheck" (likely more than that) went to pay for the government. And "entitlements"...and social programs for Minorities. And bridges and roads..... and military. Insurance wasn't a part of it then. For 32 years, no insurance was paid for (at lest not from taxes). Your insurance (now) is paid for by others. Which,actually, I have no issue with, since you are truly disabled. There are a lot of others who aren't disabled. Just poor because of bad choices. And those folks get it for free too....Why don't I? Why do I have to pay for another?

Question: If you worked for 32 years, how come you are in poverty now? Even saving $25 week for that amount of time, you should have about $300K in the bank...

dinthebeast said...

(Comrade Misfit: I have read the rules, and I apologize for the length of this comment. Feel free to delete it if you like, I just wanted to clear a couple of things up and calm some things down a little.)
If you've ever read a pay-stub, you'll see that just over half of what is withheld (from my income range) goes to FICA, which is Social Security and Medicare, the two forms of social insurance I now collect.
And it was always right around 25-26%; when you don't make much money you pay attention to things like that. The system was designed to be paid into while you work and collected when you retire.
As for your question, I don't have any savings because I never made much money. The most I ever got paid for steady, over the table work was $12.50 an hour, and in fact I probably brought the stroke on a few years early because I had the opportunity to work as many hours as I could during a company relaunch and had been working ten to thirteen hour days for three straight months when it hit. I found that at time and a half, I was almost getting paid what I was worth, and my employer heartily agreed.
At those sort of wages, half (or more) of my income went to my rent. Not having a car, $10 to $15 per day went to public transit to get to work and back. I have been a line cook at restaurants, hand sewed fine carpets, driven delivery trucks, run a chain saw for a tree service, welded and fabricated metal, managed a warehouse, and was a supervisor at an organic produce delivery company. Read that as I am a musician who always had a day job.
I did have a couple of thousand saved when my stroke hit, but it was gone before my SSD came through, and my sister paid my rent for me twice.
Sure, I admit it is all my doing that I never made much money, but those jobs I did were all jobs that folks like you (I'm guessing) need done from time to time.
And please let me be clear that I am not complaining about my lot in life, I am happy with what I got and feel that I played fair and got what I had coming. Even got lucky, really, to have been born white and male in California in 1960.
I just have personal experience with the health care system both before (2008 stroke) and after (2015 cataract surgery) the ACA's enactment, have paid a lot of attention to it, like anyone in my situation would, and get really frustrated over the lies about it that I see people both telling and believing. I'm really not attacking you, nor am I brainwashed by my ideology.

-Doug in Oakland

CenterPuke88 said...

"...saving $25 week for that amount of time, you should have about $300K in the bank..."

Ok, so let's look at this statement and what it says? Using a couple of quick resources, we find that $25 a week, earning 10%, will total $235.226 after 30 years. So B's assumption is that Doug could have earned around 10.5% over the last 32 years, with a savings rate of $25 a week. OK, so the long term stock returns over the last 30 years are about 9.9%, that's the first hurdle, and we've already tripped.

The next hurdle is $25 a week, because it HAS to be that, any shortfall at the start results in a massive failure in the end. $25 a week is about 3.5 hours on today's minimum wage and closer to 6.5 on 1985's, that's a steep ask, we stumble again. How do we get $25 a week invested in the market in 1985? Hurdle 3, no simple, low fee index funds, broker fees, commissions, and such would eat you up (after you saved to make the minimum), while your dollars are making 2% or less in savings. Last hurdle, consistent payments, is not going to get cleared working the labor jobs that Doug lists.

It's easy to say "if you did this, then that", but it's instructive to look AT the statements requirements.

B said...

Your math comes up a little short. I used 8.5% (which is the average of what I've earned for the pat 30 years on my most basic IRA investments. Average, mind you.

Yes, it was hard early on to save $25. I found tht if it came out at the same time as rent and food and such, it didn't get spent from the paycheck.

Lets look at 41 per day then. 365/year. that comes up to about $110K at 8.5% for 30 years.

Do the math.

B said...

Oh, and go back and look at interest rates from 1985 on....they were 8% for SAVINGS in '85. Only low in the past 15 years or so.

I'm outa this set of comments...I'll gladly pick it up elsewhere, or y'all are free to contact me at TheMiddleoftheight at thegmail.

I would like to say "Thank You to Comrade Misfit for letting it go so long. And thank you for the compliment on your other post.I too wish we could talk this out over drinks. Each and every one of you. We may disagree, but that doesn't mean I don't respect you.