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

Monday, March 4, 2019

9,000 Lies and Counting

Cadet Bone Spurs has now uttered over 9,000 lies since he was sworn in. I'm reasonably certain that Fib #1 was his oath of office.

This was a big one:
President Donald Trump is suggesting that a congressional hearing Democrats arranged with his former personal attorney may have contributed to his failure to reach a deal with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.
There is zero evidence for that, other than the deranged sputterings of Trump and maybe a few Fox News idiots.

The discussions with and about North Korea's nuclear program have been going on for a very long time. It was pretty common knowledge that the Norks regard their nuclear program as both giving them international heft and as a shield against meddling by the United States. They aren't going to give that up lightly. All of the experts knew that.

Trump, on the other hand, seemed to think that he could bluster and persuade Kim Jong Un to take the same deal that the Norks have been refusing to take: Nuclear disarmament in exchange for easing sanctions. Kim probably thought that he could use Trump's bluster as a sort of judo move to get Trump to agree to lifting sanctions for shuttering a reactor.

Both were wrong.

But it had nothing to do with Cohen's testimony.


CenterPuke88 said...

Maybe a kernel of honesty/truth in this one. Donnie explained how he worked to hear as much of the testimony as he could. So, since it distracted him for his job, he argues that it interfered. I know, needing to keep up so he could twitter rant about Cohen isn’t exactly critical, but he thinks it is. Thus, in his mind, interference and meddling. I don’t say it was a intelligent/good kernel, but...

B said...

Would you rather he told a lesser amount of big lies like his predecessor?

I like my Doctor, but I was unable to keep him...

Dark Avenger said...

Trump has told thousands of lies, B. Tell us again how affordable medical insurance and the lower unemployment rate has combined to make your life a living hell.

B said...

I don't have affordable medical insurance anymore. I went from good, affordable insurance to lesser insurance that costs 3 times as much.

But then again, I worked for a living and was a taxpayer and all that, so that probably explains it.

And explain how the current high employment rate is not the result of Trump policies. It certainly wasn't Barry's doing.

Grey One talks sass said...

B - No one has affordable medical insurance anymore and there are several reasons for that fact.

1. I worked for a prominent HMO writing (aka creating) benefits. It was my job to complete due diligence by comparing what was required by the Division of Insurance to what other companies offered to their clients. When I left the company (semi-voluntarily in 2007) the industry was facing the Patient Bill of Rights because profits mattered more than taking care of members. Not much has changed.

2. In 2007 companies - even ones that added preventative measures to their health plan packages - received triple digit increases to the dues they paid to the HMO. This is not the cost each individual employee paid but what the company itself paid.

3. In 2007 there was a story about the president of one of the bigs (aka United Healthcare, Two Blues - I don't remember) who was touring about and found himself at a health fair in rural Virginia. People lined up for days to see a doctor, giving up spaces in the dental care line to others who were in more need than themselves. After the event was over the Healthcare president flew home on the company's private jet. He stared at the gold rimmed dishes while thinking of all the people standing in line for days, just to see a doctor. It changed him and he became one of the backside supporters of what would become the Affordable Care Act.

4. Then President Obama did say people could keep their doctor, a statement he apologized for even though it was what he was told by his staff. Not sure why you can't let this go although based on your comment history you've wandered through bigotry before but I'm going to give you the benefit of the doubt here as this is not my house.

5. The ACA was not intended to be the total package right out of the gate. It was phase one of a several phase project except the GOP decided it was more important to play the bigotry card instead of taking care of their constituents. The reason so many people wanted the ACA was to keep USA Healthcare from entering the Death Spiral a goal that was thwarted.

6. Even if the ACA had never been enacted you, B, would not have any healthcare coverage because it would be too expensive. And it's not the actual costs of healthcare that were going up so much, it's the greed of the upper management. I sat in a meeting where the Vice President and President of the company laid out a plan to increase profits (and thereby their salaries and bonuses) by passing costs already covered by rating methodologies off to members and the companies that employed them.

The evils we face today are the same as they ever have been. Greed is not good, it harms those who are within it's grip.

Please let go the "you can keep your doctor" line. It feels beneath you somehow.

Added Healthcare facts to keep one up at night. Did you know that the benefit Life Time Max means there is a cap to how often you as a member can get sick? During my tenure the LTM was five million. As I left that was dropped to one million. Sounds like a lot, amirite? But think of this - one heart attack, one diagnosis of cancer and you are at the max within a year, maybe less. And no, one is not able to move from company to company because of the pre-existing condition clause that is such a hot topic today.

Medicare for all is the answer and even that answer needs some tweaking to help cover those who cannot use Western medicine due to a multitude of reasons.

Healthcare is very complicated.

Ed said...

There is only one reason that "No one has affordable medical insurance anymore". The reason is that it's not available in a free market.

Dark Avenger said...

explain how the current high employment rate is not the result of Trump policies. It certainly wasn't Barry's doing.

The fact that the trend started during Barry’s Administration, unless you think Trump’s policies can extend backward from when he came into office.

CenterPuke88 said...

B., I would rather that donnie show some semblance of willingness to admit what he has said, rather than just deny it, a willingness to accept the true when it is not flattering, and an ability to admit when he was wrong.

Let’s remember that Obama admitted his statement wasn’t true because of several factors, and he actually got a waiver passed that gave a three year exemption to fines if you didn’t change plans and your current plan didn’t meet requirements. When caught “lying”, Donnie’s response is “I didn’t say that”.

B said...

So, Lets see her, Grey One:

I am a bigot, somehow, because I don't like what Barry did to healthcare. Please, explain that. Because I don't like a socialist program that failed to deliver any of the promises makes me a bigot? How do you get from one to the other?

2. I HAD good healthcare insurance, right up until the "affordable Health Care Act" became law and was efFected....then I (and lots like me) didn't. But that is somehow NOT the fault of Obamacare? Odd how the timing worked Innit?

And I am fully aware of the cost increases...I was the owner of a company. I paid ALL of it.

3. It was promised that costs would somehow, miraculously, go DOWN. (THose of us who could add and subtract and had two neurons to rub together knew they wouldn't, but we didn't get a say) and that everyone would get greater care for less (or even no) cost. Yet, oddly, just the opposite happened immediately after the implementation of BarryCare rules. So, again, Barack Obama LIED. A BIG Lie. But he got another wedge of socialism into the American way of life.

Dark Avenger said...

and that everyone would get greater care for less (or even no) cost

Citation missing.

While there is plenty of room for debate, there are indications that some parties have benefited from the ACA as it currently exists. As citizens, each of us benefits from the fact that the healthcare “problem” is not being kicked down the road to the next generation. Both the public and the legislature are aware that healthcare costs must be lowered and that there is no perfect solution.

On the one hand, our traditional employer-provided, insurance-based system is too expensive, discriminatory, and leaves too many citizens without protection. On the other, the nation may not be able to afford a universal healthcare system that provides unlimited care to all, complete with the bureaucratic complexity that accompanies government programs.

The ACA was a compromise between a government program and an unfettered free enterprise system where services naturally flow to those who can afford them. Undoubtedly, the act will be amended as time goes by, discarding and replacing rules which are overly expensive or ineffective. In addition, consumers are more aware of the need to monitor their own healthcare costs, use healthcare savings accounts, and shop prices. Finally, it should also be noted that according to The Wall Street Journal, the prices for medical care rose just 1% in 2013, well below annual inflation, and the slowest annual rate of increase since the 1960s.


The winners so far include the following groups:

Poor, Uninsured People With Preexisting Conditions. The Congressional Budget Office projected in February 2014 that an additional 25 million people will be covered by 2021 in insurance exchanges or through expansion of Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP). The numbers do not reflect those expected to retain insurance by the law’s prohibition of discriminating against preexisting conditions.
Health Insurers. Health insurers effectively fended off the risk of universal, government-run healthcare, and gained exposure to millions of more customers. While the medical cost ratio was raised to 80%, their profits are unlikely to be significantly affected.
Big Businesses. Large companies have increasingly shifted higher proportions of healthcare costs to their employees through raised premiums, copays, and deductibles – a practice which resulted in personnel and morale problems. However, many employers now justify these moves as a consequence of the ACA, making Obamacare the bogeyman. It is possible, if not likely, for employers to withdraw from private insurance arrangements in the future, transferring insurance costs and administration to the new exchanges. This move would finally sever the long-term relationship between employment and insurance.
Small Businesses. Employers with fewer than 49 employees are not required by the law to provide health insurance. However, the availability of liberal tax credits for those that qualify and provide insurance can allow them to provide a needed benefit to their workers at a low cost.


Anecdote isn’t data.

Dark Avenger said...


Already-Insured Employees. While an estimated three-fourths of employees have yet to see a change in their insurance coverage, there is likely to be more cost-shifting by employers, higher premiums to satisfy minimum requirements, and tax penalties for “Cadillac” plans. In short, individuals are likely to pay a higher price, at least in the near future, for healthcare than in the past.
Self-Employed and Lower Income Workers. Despite the law’s tax credits, the cost of health insurance remains unaffordable for many citizens. While the imposition of a financial penalty may increase participation, it is likely to be at the expense of other necessities.
Young People. Younger people are less likely to incur significant medical costs than older people. Historically, this has been why many young Americans have gone without health coverage in the past. However, the ACA has an individual mandate that requires coverage or imposes a significant tax. In addition, insurers are likely to return to a community rating system for determining premiums, placing young and old into the same actuarial pool. As a consequence, younger people will pay higher premiums, the excess being used to reduce the cost of the older members of the pool.
Health Providers. The imposition of an outcomes-based medical reimbursement system, replacing the traditional “fee for services,” volume-based payment model, will force hospitals, physicians, and other healthcare providers to be more efficient and effective in delivering care. This drive for efficiency should force mergers, as providers seek to gain scale and greater investment in technology – especially information systems and robotics to replace high-cost human-delivered services. At the same time, smaller competitors such as pharmacy chains may establish clinics and health centers with physician assistants and nurses to capture noncritical – but essential – medical treatment and care.
Medical Device Manufacturers. While political sentiment suggests that the 2.3% medical device excise tax established by the ACA may be repealed, the conclusion is not certain. Over the longer term, however, medical device manufacturers should increasingly benefit as innovative technology replaces human labor.