HomeLatest ThreadsGreatest ThreadsForums & GroupsMy SubscriptionsMy Posts
DU Home » Latest Threads » progree » Journal
Page: 1 2 3 Next »

progree

Profile Information

Gender: Male
Member since: Sat Jan 1, 2005, 03:45 AM
Number of posts: 1,830

Journal Archives

U.S. House fails to pass Republican bill diluting Dodd-Frank reforms

Source: Reuters

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Republicans in the U.S. House of Representatives failed on Wednesday to round up enough votes for a bill scaling back various financial reforms, a surprising defeat in an area conservatives hoped to prioritize this year.

... Before the vote on Wednesday, Democrats slammed the bill as a Republican effort to chip away at the 2010 Dodd-Frank financial law, including one provision that would have given banks extra time to comply with part of the Volcker rule.

... The most controversial aspect of the proposal was the section related to the Volcker rule, which bans banks from making risky trades with their own money and prohibits certain investments in financial products.

The bill gave banks more time to exit positions in collateralized loan obligations, or CLOs, which are essentially bundles of business loans. Banks had complained that they would have to quickly abandon those investments.

Read more: http://news.yahoo.com/u-house-fails-approve-bill-diluting-dodd-frank-204253008--sector.html



On Edit (thanks Sunseeker in #3) "The GOP used a procedure called a "suspension" that requires a 2/3 vote. So their majority was not enough. "

http://talkingpointsmemo.com/livewire/house-republicans-jobs-regulation-reform-bill-fails-suspension

(The above doesn't explain why the GOP chose to do the above, sigh. One question leads to another. Maybe Boner can't count.)

Anyway, great news, although probably Dodd-Frank, as watered down as it already is, will be insufficient to prevent another derivatives meltdown.

More on Edit:
PoliticAverse in #5 has the rollcall link (35 Democrats voted for and 1 Republican voted against)
See: http://clerk.house.gov/evs/2015/roll009.xml

DCBob in #7 explains why the Repubs might have gone this route --

NYPD work slowdown will be dealt with ‘very forcefully,’ Bratton says

Source: Yahoo News

Commissioner investigating dramatic drops in arrests to determine whether the dip is a deliberate jab at NYC mayor

Any New York City police officers refusing to make arrests or issue traffic violations to express their dissatisfaction with Mayor Bill de Blasio will face forceful consequences, the department’s top cop said Monday.

New York Police Commissioner Bill Bratton said at a press conference that while he is not convinced the NYPD's rank-and-file is engaging in an organized work slowdown, he is actively investigating a dramatic drop in arrests in recent weeks and will deal swiftly with any intentional slacking off.

“We’re watching that very closely,” Bratton said Monday of the dip in summonses and arrests. He’s ordering a “comprehensive review of what has been happening,” drilling down to the precinct and squad car level to determine who is working and who may be dropping the ball.

The number of summonses in the city is down 90 percent for the week ending Sunday, according to the Daily News, while arrests are down 56 percent compared to the year before.

Read more: http://news.yahoo.com/nypd-work-slowdown-will-be-dealt-with--very-forcefully---bratton-says-230926632.html



and then there is some bilge about how this doesn't necessarily mean there is a work slowdown going on.

Black people shouldn't interrupt white people's dinner, according to some ( http://www.democraticunderground.com/1014980489 ), but I guess a 50-90% work slowdown is an OK form of protest.

‘Black brunch’ protesters interrupt diners in NYC, Oakland (#BlackBrunch #BlackLivesMatter)

Source: Yahoo News

In a twist on sit-in-style protests, civil rights activists entered several restaurants in New York City and Oakland, Calif., on Sunday in what organizers billed as “Black Brunch.”

About three dozen people participated in demonstrations in New York, where they momentarily “disrupted” meals at popular midtown eateries, including Lallisse, Maialino and Pershing Square — places protesters identified as predominantly “white spaces.”

At each stop, demonstrators read the names of African-Americans killed by police.

“Every 28 hours, a black person in America is killed by the police,” the protesters said. “These are our brothers and sisters. Today and every day, we honor their lives.”

Read more: http://news.yahoo.com/black-brunch-protests-nyc-berkeley-oakland-190212742.html



Lots of tweets and pictures in the article -- definitely worth the click and scroll through. Here's one:

Are ACA-compliant plans sold outside the exchanges eligible for subsidies eventually?

My understanding has long been that one has to buy their plan on the appropriate government exchange (healthcare.gov for most states, or the state exchange for states that set up their own state exchange) in order to qualify for the premium subsidy and the out-of-pocket costs subsidy.

(By way of background, I'm in Minnesota, which has a state ACA health insurance exchange called MNSURE at MNSURE.org (don't ask me why its not MNSURE.gov) )

Now I'm being led to believe by a HealthPartners salesperson that all ACA-compliant plans, whether or not they are available on the appropriate exchange, is eligible for the subsidy.

He says (if I understood correctly):


(a) That those who buy their plan on the government exchange get immediate relief -- their monthly premiums are reduced by the subsidy. (I know that to be a fact because early last year I bought such a plan on MNSURE, and my monthly premiums are reduced by the subsidy)

(b) That those who buy an ACA compliant plan outside of the exchange also are eligible for the subsidy, but must wait until they file their tax return in order to get the subsidy (e.g. as a result of filing 2015 taxes in say March 2016, I will get whatever subsidy I'm entitled to for 2015 in the form of a refund (or reduction in taxes owed)). This statement I doubt.

(c) All HealthPartners individual plans -- not just the ones available on the government exchange (in my case, Minnesota, the MNSure state exchange) -- are ACA compliant. That agrees with a HealthPartners brochure that says:
"Key plans meet all of the requirements of the Affordable Care Act. In fact, all HealthPartners individual plans meet the standards so you don’t have to worry!"


So my Truth-o-meter says (a) and (c) are true, but (b) is very questionable -- nothing I've seen on HealthPartners literature (or anywhere else) says anything other than that only plans bought through the government exchange are eligible for tax credits and subsidies. Also he said he hasn't seen the 2015 tax forms yet (sounds like he's giving himself some wiggle-room).

(I'd call HealthPartners again, demanding something in writing or to be shown something on their web page that states this, but they aren't open until Monday for questions like these, which is also the deadline for changing plans that will take effect January 1).

I would like to look at HealthPartner plans other than those on MNSURE, but am afraid what I'm being told (that I'll get my subsidy after filing taxes) isn't true...

Does anyone have some perspective on this issue? Not just in Minnesota but in general -- are ACA compliant plans not sold on the appropriate government exchange eligible for the subsidies after filing taxes?

If not, why not?

Thanks for any info.

Are ACA-compliant plans sold outside the exchanges eligible for subsidies eventually?

My understanding has long been that one has to buy their plan on the appropriate government exchange (healthcare.gov for most states, or the state exchange for states that set up their own state exchange) in order to qualify for the premium subsidy and the out-of-pocket costs subsidy.

(By way of background, I'm in Minnesota, which has a state ACA health insurance exchange called MNSURE at MNSURE.org (don't ask me why its not MNSURE.gov) )

Now I'm being led to believe by a HealthPartners salesperson that all ACA-compliant plans, whether or not they are available on the appropriate exchange, is eligible for the subsidy.

He says (if I understood correctly):


(a) That those who buy their plan on the government exchange get immediate relief -- their monthly premiums are reduced by the subsidy. (I know that to be a fact because early last year I bought such a plan on MNSURE, and my monthly premiums are reduced by the subsidy)

(b) That those who buy an ACA compliant plan outside of the exchange also are eligible for the subsidy, but must wait until they file their tax return in order to get the subsidy (e.g. as a result of filing 2015 taxes in say March 2016, I will get whatever subsidy I'm entitled to for 2015 in the form of a refund (or reduction in taxes owed)). This statement I doubt.

(c) All HealthPartners individual plans -- not just the ones available on the government exchange (in my case, Minnesota, the MNSure state exchange) -- are ACA compliant. That agrees with a HealthPartners brochure that says:
"Key plans meet all of the requirements of the Affordable Care Act. In fact, all HealthPartners individual plans meet the standards so you don’t have to worry!"


So my Truth-o-meter says (a) and (c) are true, but (b) is very questionable -- nothing I've seen on HealthPartners literature (or anywhere else) says anything other than that only plans bought through the government exchange are eligible for tax credits and subsidies. Also he said he hasn't seen the 2015 tax forms yet (sounds like he's giving himself some wiggle-room).

(I'd call HealthPartners again, demanding something in writing or to be shown something on their web page that states this, but they aren't open until Monday for questions like these, which is also the deadline for changing plans that will take effect January 1).

I would like to look at HealthPartner plans other than those on MNSURE, but am afraid what I'm being told (that I'll get my subsidy after filing taxes) isn't true...

Does anyone have some perspective on this issue? Not just in Minnesota but in general -- are ACA compliant plans not sold on the appropriate government exchange eligible for the subsidies after filing taxes?

If not, why not?

Thanks for any info.

Creating "sit down jobs at community centers for self-entitled minorities" (FB: not hate speech)

Not hate speech or symbols, according to the Facebook Help Team.

Background: there was (and is) a Facebook posting about adding more bus shelters and improving some of the ones we have, in Minneapolis:

Grant will fuel hundreds of bus shelter improvements
https://www.facebook.com/gary.l.cunningham/posts/10202002148970200

Buddy Ken writes: The whole system is nothing but an eye sore that has polluted my town, and ruined generational family businesses. Enjoy your new ghetto. I'm sure all the issues a ghetto is known to present will justify plenty of upcoming Democrat tax dollars for all sorts of social programs, and perpetuate plenty of sit down jobs at community centers for self entitled minorities in the near future.


(All emphasis in the above and throughout this posting is mine).

Anyway, I reported the comment. A couple days later I got this back:

Status: This comment wasn't removed

Activity: You reported Buddy Ken's comment for containing hate speech or symbols.

Facebook Help Team response:
Thank you for taking the time to report something that you feel may violate our Community Standards. Reports like yours are an important part of making Facebook a safe and welcoming environment. We reviewed the comment you reported for containing hate speech or symbols and found it doesn't violate our Community Standards.


I guess one has to get into lynching threats and burning crosses in order to go over the line on Facebook. Or maybe that still wouldn't be enough

Robin Williams 1951 - 2014. Legend

"Obama's tendency to spend spend spend." YES. $64 B *LESS* in FY 2013 than in FY 2009

I know you were being sarcastic, but anyway I thought I should post this because it is a widely held misimpression...

Note: all figures in this section are actual, not budgeted. I only point out that Bush signed the FY 2009 budget.

v-last Bush budget was FY 2009 (all figures are actuals, not budgeted)

2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 Fiscal Year

2,983 3,518 3,457 3,603 3,538 3,454 Total Outlays, $Billions

(450) (1,413) (1,294) (1,300) (1,089) (680) Surplus (deficit), $Billions

(3.1) (9.8) (8.8) (8.4) (6.8) (4.1) Surplus (deficit), % of GDP


Source:
. . . http://www.cbo.gov/publication/43698 which links to the complete document at
. . . http://www.cbo.gov/sites/default/files/cbofiles/attachments/44716-%20MBR_FY2013_0.pdf

So FY 2013 federal spending was 64 B$ (1.8%) LESS THAN FY 2009 (the last Bush budgeted year).

Since the nominal (current dollar) GDP increased by 17.58% between FY 2009 (a recession low point) and FY 2013 (see next paragraph), while federal spending dropped 1.8%, that means federal spending as a percentage of GDP dropped substantially during those 4 years -- from 24.46% of GDP to 20.42% of GDP (calculations below). Something to keep in mind when some rightie rants and raves about the socialist Obama spending us into the poor house.

In Current Dollars: GDP FY 2009 (2009 Q3) = $14,384.4 billion . GDP FY 2013 (2013 Q3) = $16,912.9 billion -- an increase of 17.58% over FY 2009.
Source of GDP figures: http://www.bea.gov/national/xls/gdplev.xls
where FY 2009 = Q4 2008 through Q3 2009. And FY 2013 = Q4 2012 through Q3 2013.

FY 2009: Spending / GDP = 3518/14384 = 24.46% . FY 2013: Spending / GDP = 3454/16913 = 20.42%

The Fiscal Year 2009 budget (Oct. 1, 2008 - Sept 30, 2009) was signed into law by G.W. Bush, and the CBO on January 7, 2009 (13 days before Bush left office) projected a $1.2 trillion deficit for FY 2009. So all but about $200 billion of FY 2009 spending and deficits was "baked in" before Bush left office.

Oh, BTW, the CBO projects a $459 B deficit for FY 2014, according to an AP 5/13/14 story, a 32% drop from the FY 2013 deficit.

Any advice on health insurers?

Yes, I'm searching for health insurance at this late date. DERP.

It might be too late to avoid the penalty already, but that's another post (my penalty would be a lot more than $95; the 1% of income part applies).

The 5 insurers for my zip code ( 1st suburb west of Minneapolis ) are (with some of the plan names to help with identifying purposes):

PreferredOne (plans named with "Select", "Choice", "Afford" )...

Group Health (most plans have "HealthPartners" in their name)

Blue Cross Blue Shield

Medica (some of their plans have "North Memorial" or "HealthEast" in their name)

UCare - its an HMO, so I'm not interested. https://www.healthsherpa.com/learn/types-of-insurance

Even after selecting some screening criteria (e.g. maximum acceptable deductible level), I'm still looking at 37 plans, so I'm hoping to eliminate some insurers.

Thanks for any advice.

I'm having a miserable time of it so far, understanding even the basics so I can at at least do some intelligent screening, rather than having to read a lot of the plan details to even know if a plan is of further interest or not -- http://www.democraticunderground.com/114211792

I know that it's a lot better than before (sigh) -- http://www.democraticunderground.com/?com=view_post&forum=1014&pid=758167

Health insurance fundamentals - deductibles, copays - Help! this makes no sense

Confusing -- I thought the patient paid EVERYTHING up to the deductible, and the insurance co. paid NOTHING. But John Waski says this:

A Procrastinator’s Guide to Picking an Obamacare Plan, John Waski, FiscalTimes, 3/19/14
http://finance.yahoo.com/news/procrastinator-guide-picking-obamacare-plan-093000761.html

{Speaking of Bronze Plans} : For $662 a month, one Blue Cross/Blue Shield plan (in Illinois), offered a preferred provider organization. If providers were in the network — it was more expensive if they weren't — Blue Cross would fully cover all expenses after a yearly family deductible of $12,700 was met. Under that amount, 60 percent of expenses were paid for in this bronze plan. { The last sentence is a big Huh? }

There was a catch, though: After a deductible was met, there would be a 20-percent co-insurance fee for doctor's visits. So let's say that our doctor charged $100 per visit. Before the deductible, the insurer would pay $60 and we'd be on the hook for $40. After the deductible, we'd still have to pay $20 a visit. { The bold sentence is a big HUH? }

All of the policies I surveyed on the bronze level had some sort of "gotcha" that involved additional out-of-pocket costs. Some policies charged 40 percent co-insurance for specialists; others for generic prescription drugs. And the co-payment varied. One higher-premium policy charged a flat $100 for specialists and a 40 percent co-payment for generic drugs.

...

Here's an example: In a normal year, our family pays about $2,500 in out-of-pocket costs — mostly for doctor's visits and tests. A bronze-level policy would cover $1,500 of that { 1500/2500=60% }, all of which would fall under the $12,700 maximum for most of these policies.

To avoid the potentially costly co-payments on physicians, we'd have to spend $1,000 a month { 12,000 / yr } in premiums in a policy that would suit our present needs — about $300 more a year than we're paying now { $300/month = 3600/yr doesn't add up either, did he mean $400/month = $4800/year? }. But the difference between our present premium ($7,200) and the higher HealthCare.gov policy is $4,800 { 12,000 - 7,2000 = 4,800, at last something checks }, so we wouldn't save any money.


Everything in { braces } is mine.

My understanding of deductibles, coinsurance, and copays is the level of https://www.healthsherpa.com/learn/how-insurance-works
but it is apparently missing an important piece of it like the insurance co paying some costs before the deductible????

In the article above, maybe he used the word "deductible" when he meant "out of pocket maximum", but some of it still doesn't make sense.

I know there are some ACA services that are free, regardless of what ones deductibles and out of pocket maximums and any of that other stuff, like preventive screenings, contraception, and I think one annual wellness visit (or is the last one just Medicare), but in the above I'm talking about the other "non-free" stuff.

Is the author out to sea? Or me? I'm trying to get a policy before the March 31 deadline (yeah, I know I have to pay the first month's premium by then too...) and thought I understood things until reading the above article, and now I'm wondering if I understand a damn thing. Thanks for any comments.
Go to Page: 1 2 3 Next »