Submitted by lambert on Thu, 05/02/2013 - 12:37pm
(Or, more precisely, given that ObamaCare now includes a massive PR component, perceived successful backend implementation). First, let's look at what Scott Gottleib of Forbes thinks is wrong with the form. Good description, wrong analysis:
The length of the old application was largely driven by the need to ensure that consumers were actually eligible for the government subsidies that Obamacare offers as a way to offset the cost of buying health insurance.
Stop right there. It's the eligibility determination that's the fundamental architectural flaw. It cannot be fixed. Americans have to be thrown into different buckets in a complex and confusing system of eligibility determination, and inevitable get thrown in the wrong buckets, or there aren't even the right buckets for them. Adding to the mix is that buckets differ by state, both legally and in terms of insurance markets, and so what should be a simple, national system of Medicare for All instead creates second-class citizens all over the place, both within and between states. Obama chose to go that route. Under a single payer system, where health care is a right, the eligibility paperwork is very simple. There is one form, and it's already been filled out: Your birth certificate. That's the real policy discussion that's being hidden under the discussion about the length of the form.
Back to the complexity: Read below the fold...
Submitted by lambert on Thu, 05/02/2013 - 12:11pm
Submitted by libbyliberal on Wed, 05/01/2013 - 7:17pm
“Braying for war against Syria” by Bill Van Auken:
Van Auken accuses the Washington political establishment of seriously escalating a campaign of propaganda about the alleged use of chemical weapons. This has been prompted, contends Van Auken, from Syrian government forces having military successes in recent weeks. Read below the fold...
Submitted by lambert on Wed, 05/01/2013 - 12:54pm
Noisy assholes in the other unit partying. Grr! On the bright side, I would greatly prefer to have Seborrheic keratosis rather than melanoma, and that is how matters worked out. Read below the fold...
Submitted by libbyliberal on Tue, 04/30/2013 - 8:58pm
"6 U.S. Cities That Criminalize Homelessness" by Kevin Mathews:
... Rather than finding ways to provide assistance to some of the country’s least fortunate citizens, lawmakers have developed strict regulations to criminalize homeless people’s activities, as if they were sleeping on the sidewalk and panhandling out of malice rather than necessity. Read below the fold...
Submitted by lambert on Tue, 04/30/2013 - 3:12pm
Wowsers. How about I write those kind words down on a piece of paper, take it to the clinic, and try to pay for some health care with it? Jonathon Cohn, TNR:
The whole enterprise is going to be a work in progress. And that'll be ok—because it will still do a lot of good and make life better for most people, particularly with the passage of time.
Comforting words from the political class; there speaks a made man who doesn't personally have to worry about health care, but who's very keen to lecture others on why they should wait for it! Read below the fold...
Submitted by lambert on Tue, 04/30/2013 - 2:51pm
UPDATE The coverage says 3. Klein seems to think 5. The form I'm seeing is 5. Not sure where the difference comes from, whether coverage or revised forms or the different classes of forms. Needless to say, there should be exactly one form: Your birth certificate.
Blivet. n. Ten pounds of shit in a five pound bag.
Even Ezra Klein understands this:
The original form was lengthy because it included the forms for a family of six. If you were a single adult, you just ignored most of those pages.
The new form is short because it’s only for a single adult. But if you head to the HHS Web site, you can find the new form for family coverage. It, too, is shorter: A mere 12 pages rather than 21. But it only includes the forms for … two people. If your family includes more than two people, the form advises you to “make a copy of Step 2: Person 2 (pages 4 and 5) and complete.”
The result is that the new form for a family of six is 20 pages long and includes a substantial amount of time spent in front of a copier.
So the new form really is less intimidating for single adults, who now get an application catering to them. But it’s a bigger pain in the neck for a family of four, who now get an application catering to families of two — and to a media that equates fewer pages with better forms and laws. As larger families will now find out, shorter and simpler are not actually synonyms.
The whole "is the form too long" is an entertaining sideshow. The real story here is that Obama just got personally involved in the public relations. And have I mentioned lately what an asshole Obama is? Loading more work onto families of four so he can "win the week" on a PR exercise? Read below the fold...
Submitted by lambert on Tue, 04/30/2013 - 2:32pm
Submitted by lambert on Tue, 04/30/2013 - 2:17pm
(That is, "work" in any other way than further enriching health insurance parasites. To my knowledge, this is the first time a prominent poster at a "progressive" blog has ever said that ObamaCare's problems are architectural, hence cannot be "fixed.") Jon Walker:
Two numbers from the report really stick out. The survey found 54 percent of workers would prefer not to be more in control over their health insurance expenses and options because they will not have the time or knowledge to effectively manage it.
Parallel to the 410(k) scam. The rentiers take a cut for "managing" our plans, but the market is such a lemon market for us that management isn't really possible. So they shift risk onto our shoulders, take a cut, and then to add insult to injury, structure our "choices" so we get nothing for the cut they take. Note also that "the paradox of choice" shows that too many choices make people unhappy. Read below the fold...
Submitted by lambert on Tue, 04/30/2013 - 12:39pm
Fine word, legitimate, but you know what I mean. Krugman's blog:
There have, however, been a couple of side shows, with what I guess now constitutes mainstream Keynesianism – carried forth in public debate by Martin Wolf, Simon Wren-Lewis, Brad DeLong, Jonathan Portes, Paul DeGrauwe, and whatshisface, among others – subjected to non-austerian criticism on both flanks. On the left are the Modern Monetary Theory types, who assert exactly what the austerians like to claim, falsely, is the Keynesian position – that budget deficits never matter (except for their direct effect on aggregate demand). On the right are the market monetarists like Scott Sumner and David Beckworth, who insist that the Fed could solve the slump if it wanted to, and that fiscal policy is irrelevant.
Well, it's nice that Krugman now recognizes MMT as a legitimate school of economics -- initial caps and all -- beyond the stale salt water vs. fresh water dichotomy.*
On the other hand, I'm not keen on Krugman's framing: "[B]udget deficits never matter" is an offensive echo of Dick Cheney. Which right there is our first copy editing problem: Krugman's got to get his snark straightened out. I mean, you can't classify MMT as part of the left and then put Dick Cheney's words in their mouths, right? It's a category error.** (And since Krugman is a truly brilliant blogger, I'd expect no snark kerfuffles from him at all, signalling, to this close reader at least, some deeper underlying failure to think things through on the Good Professor's part.***)
On the third hand, we've got Krugman's parenthetical:
"(except for their direct effect on aggregate demand)."
This seems to be new; at least the phrasing is new.
Read below the fold...
Submitted by lambert on Tue, 04/30/2013 - 12:35am
First really warm spring day; finally, I sat out in my the garden. This shot is just a little bit raggedy:
Shows differences from last year to this:
1. Lots of leaf mulch, simply because I let my schedule get out of control and didn't put the garden to bed. Then again, nature doesn't do that, so we'll see how that turns out. Read below the fold...
Submitted by lambert on Mon, 04/29/2013 - 11:21pm
Here's Klein's riff, and he's right within its limits:
[T]here were a lot of moments when Obama seemed to be subverting the rules of the evening in order to get away with telling harsh truths that he could later claim were just jokes.
“Some folks still don’t think I spend enough time with Congress,” the president said. “‘Why don’t you get a drink with Mitch McConnell?’ they ask. Really? Why don’t you get a drink with Mitch McConnell?”
Everyone laughed. But do you detect an actual joke there? And lest you think I’m cutting the punchline, here’s Obama’s next sentence: “I’m sorry. I get frustrated sometimes.”
OK (again), so how about this one? Read below the fold...
Submitted by lambert on Mon, 04/29/2013 - 10:30pm
Arizona’s very conservative governor Jan Brewer, hardly inclined to support much coming from the Obama Administration, recognized this gap in coverage, which got her to switch her position to one in favor of expanded Medicaid coverage. Her compatriot Republican governors, Rick Perry in Texas and Rick Scott in Florida, have not changed their stances. So, immigrants who could and should have been covered by Medicaid will have an opportunity to buy subsidized healthcare coverage on the exchanges, but those current citizens with low incomes who don’t get access to expanded Medicaid will not. As national healthcare coverage rolls toward full implementation, nonprofit advocates are going to have to function as real-time watchdogs, identifying the areas where the implementation of the law reveals areas that need to be patched or fully overhauled.—Rick Cohen
Thing is, though, all schadenfreude aside, there's a lot wrong with this item: Read below the fold...
Submitted by lambert on Mon, 04/29/2013 - 10:06pm
Submitted by lambert on Mon, 04/29/2013 - 9:51pm
When the Affordable Care Act was written, its authors assumed that Medicaid — the federal-state health care plan for the poor — would be expanded to low-income adults in every state.
But the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in July 2012 largely upholding the law made the expansion optional. Since then, governors in nearly half of all states have refused to take it up.
In states that choose not to expand Medicaid, small businesses may be liable for substantial penalties they would not have had to pay if the expansion had remained mandatory, according to a recent analysis by Brian Haile of Jackson Hewitt Tax Service. Based on actuarial estimates of the number of low-income workers who would have qualified for Medicaid in the 22 states that so far have said they will not expand, Haile estimated that small businesses could be liable for as much as $1.3 billion in penalties each year. In Texas alone, the penalties could amount to as much as $448 million each year, Haile wrote.
OK, a tax service talking their book of tax savings. Read below the fold...