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ObamaCare Clusterfuck: If you've got leukemia and good coverage, wait, and your policy will hit the lowest common denominator

An interesting paper from Millman, Inc (a provider of actuarial services):

2014 Individual Exchange Policies in Four States: An Early Look for Patients with Blood Cancer
The ACA rules do permit variation among exchange plans, and these variations can be significant for services important to people with blood cancer.

This variation among plans is high in the initial 2014 exchange launch, but the authors believe it may diminish in future years as competing insurers converge toward lower-cost and more restrictive features.

So if you like your plan, you won't be able to keep it. Read below the fold...

Classholes

Mashable ran a Glass* launch post mortem in early April. Tossing aside the tech stuff, I found this interesting:

Glass in 2014 has become an emblem for technology's worst stereotypes: ultra-geeky, expensive and — worst of all — privacy-destroying.

The ostentatious design had a secondary effect: It ensured Glass's earliest ambassadors would be people who wanted to be noticed. These aren't the soccer moms and guitarists we saw in the earliest promo videos for Glass, sharing clips and getting directions to the nearest cool food truck. No, the people introducing Glass to the world are digital marketers, consultants and bloggers — people more likely to use Glass for a reality show or advertising campaign than logging their everyday moments.

[B]ut standing out from the crowd is part of the deal, and a large number of Glass Explorers clearly see the device as a $1,500 ticket to notoriety.

I suppose that neo-feudalism** requires banners and devices exactly as did feudalism, so Glass instead of armor, a lance, and a shield? This Wired article sharpens the class angle:

Wearing Glass separates you. It sets you apart from everyone else. It says you not only had $1,500 to plunk down to be part of the “explorer” program, but that Google deemed you special enough to warrant inclusion (not everyone who wanted Glass got it; you had to be selected). Glass is a class divide on your face.

And this Glasshole sharpens the class angle and cuts themselves on it: Read below the fold...

letsgetitdone's picture

More Misdirection from Rampell in the Service of Generational War

In my last post, I took issue with a recent column by Catherine Rampell, who tries to make the case that seniors haven't paid for their Social Security and Medicare because they “generally receive” more in benefits out of these programs than they pay into them. Rampell relies on an Urban Institute study to make her case. Since that post, she's offered another that replies to some of the questions raised by commenters on her earlier effort. I'll reply to that new post shortly, but first I want to present key points emerging from my analysis of Federal monetary operations in my reply to her earlier post. See that post for the full argument.

First, once Congress mandates spending, there is no way that the Treasury can be forced into insolvency or an inability to pay its obligations as long as it is willing to make use of all the ways it can cause the Fed to create reserve credits in Treasury spending accounts which can then be used for its reserve keystroking into private sector account activities that today represent most of the reality of Federal spending. Read below the fold...

transcriber's picture

Lies and consequences - Marcy Wheeler interviewed on the CIA torture report, cont'd

Marcy Wheeler: I think that the people close to Cheney, they’re going to double down. John Rizzo, going to double down. Jose Rodriguez, they’re going to double down. And the reason they can do that is because the press is not going to hold them to account... I mean, that’s what happened the last time, and I do think that the people who really stake their reputation on torture aren’t going to back down. Because partly they can’t legally. Cheney should go down as a war criminal, but he’s going to do what he can to avoid getting that reputation, at least while he’s still alive.

More between Marcy and Scott on the CIA torture report – another transcript that I'm late posting; this one from April 4. Podcast here. Earlier interview here. Read below the fold...

Horse race: Coverage for NH 2016 primary begins

I want to claw out my eyeballs:

A new WMUR Granite State poll, conducted by the University of New Hampshire Survey Center and released Friday night showed 7 percent of likely Democrats have definitely decided who to vote for, while 1 percent of Republican primary voters have made up their minds.

Among Democrats, Clinton is currently ahead with 65 percent, followed by Vice President Joe Biden's 6 percent. Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul leads the GOP field with 15 percent, and 2012 vice presidential nominee and Sen. Kelly Ayotte of New Hampshire are tied at 13 percent. New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie gets 12 percent, down from the 21 percent of last July.

I wish the primariez were like Hollywood, where nobody knows anything. Read below the fold...

Single Payer: The Vox video

Here's the Vox original, in case this is just too small for you. (Vox is Ezra Klein's new venture, and apparently he brought along Sarah Kliff, who narrates the video, from WaPo. I have to say that I reread a good deal of Wonkblog's health care coverage looking for ObamaCare big lies, and Klein/Kliff actually seemed to maintain a little critical distance, amazingly enough.) Read below the fold...

danps's picture

Saturday morning music

danps's picture

Laying down markers for 2016

Some thoughts on what might make for a better nominating process in the next presidential election.

Cross posted from Pruning Shears. Read below the fold...

Independent single payer candidate in California

A colorful character:

James Hinton of Napa, a former online Texas Hold 'Em poker player, is doing something no Republican has dared to this year: He's going all in and challenging incumbent Democratic U.S. Rep. Mike Thompson in the heavily Democratic 5th Congressional District.

And Hinton said despite the odds, he's not bluffing in his quest to unseat Thompson.

So, who is Hinton?

In a recent Times-Herald interview, the 39-year-old underdog described himself as a fiercely independent social libertarian. Unencumbered by a political party, Hinton's views are a mix of libertarianism and liberalism: He favors legalizing marijuana, taxing Wall Street and replacing the Affordable Care Act with a one-size-fits-all [note editorializing] single-payer health care system.

His dislikes?

America's two-party system and deep-pocketed special interests, he said.

"I'm running for U.S. Congress ... in order to work with and for the people to protect our beautiful God-given environment, strengthen our economy and improve our health," his campaign leaflet says.

Sounds like a middle-of-the-road reformist, to me. Read below the fold...

DCblogger's picture

Tweet of the Day

Evil as a state of matter

I ran across this quote from William Burroughs the other day:

We have observed that most of the trouble in the world has been caused by ten to twenty percent of folks who can’t mind their own business, because they have no business of their own to mind, any more than a smallpox virus. Now your virus is an obligate cellular parasite and my contention is that evil is quite literally a virus parasite occupying a certain brain area… The mark of a basic shit is that he has to be right.

So, today we read this about sociopaths: Read below the fold...

transcriber's picture

Marcy does the Rizzo CIA lie count for lazy journalists

If Rizzo were to admit that the representations he made to Yoo back in 2002 were false, then the legal sanction CIA got to conduct torture would crumble.

This is an update to my last transcript, Marcy Wheeler last month on CIA torture, comedic Senate oversight, and the presidential authorization for torture that we are not supposed to know about. That one. Just saw this new post up at emptywheel:

A Guide to John Rizzo’s Lies, For Lazy Journalists Read below the fold...

Boeing to experiment by building planes with a de-skilled, demotivated workforce

What could go wrong? Seattle Times:

Boeing’s December disclosure that it will transfer about 1,000 research engineering jobs out of Washington state has sown widespread internal dissent, distrust and confusion, according to internal employee feedback gathered by company managers.

Employees cited in the feedback meetings expressed concerns that those high standards can’t be maintained.

Read below the fold...
letsgetitdone's picture

Misdirection: Rampell Views Entitlements Through the Generational War Lens

Some of the favored children of the economic elite who have a public presence, work hard in their writing and speaking to divert attention from inequality and oligarchy issues by raising the issue of competition between seniors and millennials for “scarce” Federal funds. That's understandable. If millennials develop full consciousness of who, exactly, has been flushing their prospects for a decent life down the toilet, their anger and activism might bring down the system of wealth and economic and social privilege that benefits both their families and the favored themselves in the new America of oligarchy and plutocracy.

Here and here, I evaluated Abby Huntsman's arguments for entitlement “reform,” and, of course, Pete Peterson's son, Michael fights a continuing generational war against seniors in pushing the austerian line of the Peterson Foundation. Now comes Catherine Rampell, who, in a recent column, sets forth the position that seniors haven't paid for their Social Security and Medicare because they “generally receive” more in benefits out of these programs than they pay into them.

I'll reply to all of the main points in Rampell's argument, by quoting liberally and then replying to the points she makes in each quote. She says: Read below the fold...

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