[And if you have your own experiences to share, and especially screen dumps, please add them in comments or contact me. Either Federal Exchanges, or state exchanges. I'm especially interested in Covered California! Thank you! --lambert]
firstname.lastname@example.org from Maine had a registration #FAIL at step 3. Here's the screen dump:
Sen. Bernie Sanders on Monday introduced legislation to provide health care for every American through a Medicare-for-all, single-payer system. Rep. Jim McDermott has filed a companion bill in the House.
Sanders supported the Affordable Care Act, but in an interview with The Daily Beast he called the health care law passed in 2010 “only a modest step forward toward dealing with the dysfunction of the American health-care system.” Even under the new law, Sanders added, insurance companies, drug companies and medical equipment suppliers will be able to rake off billions of dollars in profits rather than devoting those resources to providing health care.
Here's a handy chart: Read below the fold...
Christmas comes early! AFP:
Talks on forming a huge US-led Pacific free trade area will resume next month after the 12 prospective members Tuesday gave up on meeting Washington's year-end deadline for a deal.
Despite the failure to reach a deal, New Zealand Trade Minister Tim Groser said momentum was accelerating and this was more important than meeting deadlines.
"And as is always the case in life, the toughest political decisions will be taken at the end," he said.
Maybe. I don't see how you can ever spin missing a deadline as good news, especially as Obama already set a previous deadline, which they missed too. Read below the fold...
The Unusual Event was declared by operators at 8 a.m. after Unit 2 experienced a transformer explosion in an electrical switchyard. The interruption of electrical power to Unit 2 caused protective systems to shut down the reactor.
Operators will keep the Unit 2 reactor offline while the cause of the explosion is investigated and a determination is made on what repairs are necessary. Gregory said it has not yet been determined how long the unit will remain offline. Currently there is an investigation into the cause of the fire and extent of damage. Unit 1 remains operating at about 95 percent power.
No radiation releases have been reported. Gregory said there is no threat to public safety due to the incident.
Power is being supplied to Unit 2 by an emergency diesel generator and one source of offsite power and plant conditions are stable. There are normally two sources of offsite power.
And not for the first time: Read below the fold...
[STIRLING NEWBERRY:] The reality is that
4% health administration + 2% health misallocation + 3% military overinvestment + 3% over residential investment + 2% energy misallocation + 1% education inflation and administration + 2% financialization profits + 1% prison industrial complex over allocation + 2% manufacturing misallocation = 20% of GDP
Compared with this, all of the money we spend on the preferred targets of American austerity, that is domestic discretionary spending, is round off error, let alone the actual waste in domestic discretionary spending.
Let me pause right there, since that list -- though it sure would be nice to have links -- matches rather neatly with the 12-point (sigh) platform we've been tossing around (and I am cleaning my space rather than posting the remix, sigh (but if you could see what I see, you would understand)). So that's interesting! And now a logic chain: Read below the fold...
I've tried everything. It's a Corrente post that I wrote, after ObamaCare was passed in 2010, but before (say) January 2012, or at least when the election frenzy had really begun.
It's based, I'm almost certain, on a story from WaPo, and it's about a Republican proposal to set up a marketplace in something, possibly retirement accounts. Bemused reporters ask the sponsors, "Gee, doesn't that look just like ObamaCare, except for retirement?" (if indeed it was for retirement). And the Republicans stammer and hem and haw, and say something like "Gosh, we never thought of that!" Read below the fold...
Here she is on David Letterman:
House and Senate negotiators are closing in on a deal to "fast-track" the Trans-Pacific Partnership, according to congressional aides who spoke to The New York Times.
Approval of trade promotion authority for the TPP would effectively insulate the trade agreement from legislative obstacles in Congress, like filibusters and poison-pill amendments. Granting fast-track status to potential U.S. trade agreements has become standard practice in recent years.
On Capitol Hill, the negotiations have been led by Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus of Montana, a Democrat, and House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Dave Camp of Michigan, a Republican. Both men lead the powerful tax-writing committees in their respective chambers.
Opponents of the TPP have urged Congress to reject the fast-track plan, noting that the TPP has been negotiated almost entirely behind closed doors. There are also concerns that the TPP's tariff and export agreements could hurt the U.S. manufacturing sector.
As usual, paralysis is much better than bipartisanship! Read below the fold...
ObamaCare Clusterfuck: Covered California gives out "consumer" information to insurance agents, even if they didn't ask to be contacted
Good summary here. These bullet points caught my eye:
4. McDonald’s cost the American taxpayer an estimated $1.2 billion in public assistance per year.
In other words, taxpayer money is subsidizing this large corporation’s profits – at the expense of American workers.
(Source: National Employment Law Project)
5. McDonald’s made $1.5 billion in profits last quarter.
That’s up 5 percent from the previous year.
(Source: McDonald’s Corporation)
6. The 10 largest fast food companies cost taxpayers an estimated $3.9 billion in government health assistance and $1.04 billion in food assistance.
Republicans are demanding cuts to government health and food programs. With all the talk of deficit reduction, it’s surprising that no one has pointed out that a great way to lower expenditures would be by ending these backdoor subsidies for highly profitable corporations.
(Source: UC Berkeley Labor Center)
7. These 10 companies earned $7.4 billion in profits last year.
They also paid out $7.7 billion in dividends. Meanwhile …
(Source: National Employment Law Project)
So, basically, American taxpayer are on the hook for one quarter's worth of MacDonald's profits. MacDonald's and its shareholders should be eating that by paying a living wage, not us. Read below the fold...
Shadow Elite -- subtitle: "How the world's new power brokers undermine democracy, government, and the free market" -- comes highly recommended; you might summarize it as "The Theory of Bob Rubins"; who the Bob Rubins of this world are, how they get and keep their power, and what their social relationships are. (Wedel is a sociologist.) Wedel's two key concepts are "flex nets" and "flexians" (I like "flexian" because it sounds like a breed of alien reptiles that I, for one, welcome, except not). I think the strength of the book will come in the examples of actual flex nets, but since I'm not all the way through it, I'll just quote the introduction on the concepts. Page 15 and following.
Beyond old boys
Like interest groups and lobbies, flex nets serve a long-established function in the modern state--negotiating between official and private. But while flex nets incorporate aspects of these and other such groupings, they also differ from them in crucial ways--and those ways are precisely what make flex net less visible and more accountable.
Four key features define both flexians as individuals and those influencers who work together as a flex net. Flexians functioning on their own exhibit the modus operandi embodied in all four features discussed below, as does a flex net as a whole. Because members of a flex net benefit from the actions of the collective, pooling resources and dividing labor, not all members of the flex net must exhibit these features individually.
Before getting to the four features (below), a pause to note that Flex Nets/Flexians arguably subsume/supersede notions like corruption, "money in politics," "the revolving door," and so forth. (Nancy DiParle is, I think, the candidate for Flexianhood we might be most familiar with: Wellstone VP -> Baucus CoS -> White House -> Big Pharma, leaving a trail of ruin and destruction, if you're a citizen or a patient, that is. We'd need to know more about her network, though). Read below the fold...
ObamaCare Clusterfuck: 10% of ObamaCare Federal enrollments could contain coverage-preventing errors
An estimated 10 percent of all enrollments now being made on the federal Obamacare marketplace contain data errors that could delay people from actually getting health coverage, officials disclosed Friday.
And that error rate for enrollments submitted via HealthCare.gov and then sent to insurers before December was an estimated 25 percent, officials revealed.
The rate fell in the past week, officials said, because of repair efforts to HealthCare.gov's, particular the discovery and fix of one particular software problem that was causing an estimated 80 percent of data errors, officials said.*
But both past and present error rates are much higher than 1 percent, the rate which insurers considered to be unacceptable when doing business outside the Obamacare exchanges. And they are raising serious questions about whether significant numbers of people will actually be without insurance Jan. 1 despite believing they have enrolled.
So, you roll up to the hospital in your ambulance thinking you're covered, and what then? Don't worry, we'll straighten out the paperwork later? Why don't I think this will work? Read below the fold...
In the continuing saga of cleaning my kitchen so that it doesn't look like the kind of horror show you read about in the newspapers where people say "He pretty much kept to himself," or "He seemed nice enough, but never allowed anyone into the house," I've now not only exposed the wood floor, but swept it!
But victory is not yet mine; now the floor must be cleaned. Trust me on this, we're not talking Jimmy's black heelmarks here: It's ground-in dirt, mud from the winter, soil from the garden, but above all general filth and ash from hauling in the wood, and then burning it. Read below the fold...