Here's the part of the airline/blind guy/dog story that didn't make the headlines. Normally, I'm very careful with Examiner stories, but this time they get it right:
Blind man and guide dog booted from plane, outraged passengers leave too
When the other passengers on the plane realized that the blind man and his dog were being forced to leave, they decided to show their support by departing the aircraft as well; the entire flight was then cancelled.
More like this, please. Much, much more. Read below the fold...
The reason is this: Our economy is like a sponge. A dry sponge. If we create a lot more jobs through government spending (for example repairing roads, railroads, etc.) the sponge gets wet. It expands. Once we have full employment, with an economy humming, then we risk an overflow of water (money) since the sponge is saturated and can hold no more. Water spilling out onto the counter is our inflation. It’s important to note that we are a long, long way from spilling water onto the counter.
I like that. Read below the fold...
Three guys from San Francisco build an ObamaCare Marketplace in three days in between lattés. It was easy! An irresistible narrative, but it was easy to do becauseHealth Sherpa doesn't solve any of the hard problems: Read below the fold...
ObamaCare Clusterfuck: No, Obama, you're not "stupid." You're pissy, arrogant, and an Emperor with no clothes
“[OBAMA:] I'm accused of a lot of things, but I don't think I'm stupid enough to go around saying, ‘this is going to be like shopping on Amazon or Travelocity,’ a week before the website opens, if I thought that it wasn't going to work.
You're the fucking Preznit!!!!! You're supposed to know!!!!!! (and see here for "pissy, arrogant, and an Emperor with no clothes"). Read below the fold...
ObamaCare Clusterfuck: Obama extends old broken system a year because new broken system is still broken
The president's plan does not require the insurance companies to take back the Americans they kicked off, but does give them the option of taking the customers back if they want. The government will inform state insurance commissioners that they have permission to allow insurers to offer the out-of-date private plans for an additional year. It's up to them whether to allow them to continue or not.
Well, great. Read below the fold...
So HHS published an "Issue Brief," HEALTH INSURANCE MARKETPLACE: NOVEMBER ENROLLMENT REPORT. (Sorry for the ALL CAPS, but that seems to be HHS house style.) This was my call on Monday, 2013-11-11:
It's actually OK that the numbers are low in absolute terms; the MA enrollment for RomneyCare was initially low, and built to the final deadline. There are two metrics that matter: First, the order of magnitude of the enrollees compared to projections. 494,620 vs 49,462 is just barely passing; 494,620 vs. 4,946 would be very bad or, in Washington parlance, a "concern"; and even I don't think there will be 494 enrollees. Second, the actuarial soundness of the pool; if the entire pool has a pre-existing condition, the insurance companies can't profit. Unfortunately, the website debacle selects for the already ill, since only they have the incentive to sit through the days and the hours it takes to sign up. So I would expect the administration PR effort to: (1) roll out the heart-tugging YouTubes; (2) conceal the actuarial soundness, to avoid any hint that ObamaCare is already entering a death spiral; and (3) Focus on Medicaid signups, which are, after all, a success. And (4) claim next month will be better.....
But before we break that down, let's take a minute to see how the White House gamed the numbers. Basically, the headlines with numbers (not just "low") fall into two categories: ~106,000 and ~27,000. Why is that? Read below the fold...
All of the female Democratic senators signed a secret letter to Hillary Rodham Clinton early this year encouraging her to run for president in 2016 – a letter that includes the signature of Sen. Elizabeth Warren and other senators who are mentioned as potential candidates, two high-ranking Democratic Senate aides told ABC News.
The letter, organized at the urging of Sen. Barbara Boxer, D-Calif., was meant to be a private show of support from a group of 16 high-profile former colleagues and fans who are now senators, urging Clinton to do what much of the Democratic Party assumes she will, the aides said.
The existence of the letter was not revealed publicly until this week, when Sen. Kay Hagan, D-N.C., mentioned it at an event in New York City on Monday. That was an apparent slip-up that prompted a round of apologetic e-mails from her Senate office to other offices on Capitol Hill, according to the aides.
Now, to be fair, just because Warren signed a letter encouraging Hillary to run doesn't mean she can't run herself. Read below the fold...
Obama's HAMP program, if you remember, was sold as helping homeowners to avoid foreclosure, but ended up "foaming the runway" for the big banks and leaving the homeowners worse off than before. From back in 2010:
HAMP leaves 95% of borrower in a worse negative equity position than before.
And quoting Credit Slips:
[T]he message to take away from HAMP is that the Obama administration just isn’t serious about helping homeowners. The plight of distressed homeowners is subsidiary to protecting the banks from having to take serious write-downs.
And not that I'm foily, but ObamaCare was sold as helping people without health insurance, was designed to "foam the runway" for the health insurance companies by forcing people to buy their defective product, and hard evidence is beginning to emerge that the plans are crappy.
And getting down to cases, there's the phone support. You remember that one of the many problem of healthcare.gov has been duplicate accounts? From today's putative WaPo blockbuster, all the way down at the end, here's how the Federal phone centers are handling that problem: Read below the fold...
ObamaCare Clusterfuck: Will the administration slip its self-imposed November 30 deadline for fixing healthcare.gov?
Troubled HealthCare.gov unlikely to work fully by end of November
Software problems with the federal online health insurance marketplace, especially in handling high volumes, are proving so stubborn that the system is unlikely to work fully by the end of the month as the White House has promised, according to an official with knowledge of the project.
The real horror show is still to come.
It took 50 years in Canada to develop our universal program, piece by intricate piece. The Democrats in Congress tried to do it in one 2,000-page statute that hardly any of them had read. What could go wrong?
But I want to focus on a different kind of challenge. To meet its budget targets, Obama’s Affordable Care Act requires a massive intergenerational transfer of wealth.
Well, that's how private insurance works -- a transfer of wealth from the well to the sick. And maybe if the no-longer-young weren't hooked up to immensely painful, soul murdering, and hugely expensive hence highly profitable rental extraction machines at the end of their lives, the "transfer" from the not-yet-old would be a good deal less, eh? That said, the administration from day one has adopted this framing, so presumably they had their reasons, among which might be:
- Long-term, easing the young to accept compliance with the first coerced marketplace, ObamaCare ("If we can sell them this, we can sell them anything!") and
- Short-term, setting the table for cutting Social Security, as a matter of "intergenerational equity." (How that nets out as a win for the rentier class, I leave to smarter financial heads than mine.)
But back to the (relative) Canadian sanity. Read below the fold...
The survey of 200 U.S.-based data security analysts reveals that 40 percent removed malware from a senior manager’s computer or mobile device after the frisky executive visited an X-rated website.
Though malware poses a security threat, it appears companies are not being held accountable for their executives’ naughty behavior. The survey indicates that 57 percent of data breaches are not disclosed to company’s clients, partners or other affected parties.
Of course, if you work in a cube, watching porn is a firing offense, and don't think you're not watched. Read below the fold...
The fight over how to define the new health law’s success is coming down to one question: Who counts as an Obamacare enrollee?
Health insurance plans only count subscribers as enrolled in a health plan once they’ve submited a payment. That is when the carrier sends out a member card and begins paying doctor bills.
When the Obama administration releases health law enrollment figures later this week, though, it will use a more expansive definition. It will count people who have purchased a plan as well as those who have a plan sitting in their online shopping cart but have not yet paid.
“In the data that will be released this week, ‘enrollment’ will measure people who have filled out an application and selected a qualified health plan in the marketplace,” said an administration official, who requested anonymity to frankly describe the methodology.
It's exactly as if Amazon counted books left in people's shopping carts as sales. I've got plenty of stuff in my Amazon (sorry!) shopping cart -- I leave it there so I can find it again, and I've heard people have plenty of problems doing that. Read below the fold...