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red dog 1

Profile Information

Gender: Male
Hometown: San Francisco, Ca.
Home country: U.S.A.
Member since: Tue Sep 14, 2010, 03:05 PM
Number of posts: 5,542

About Me

San Francisco State University grad (Psychology).

Journal Archives

The Real Reason Why Obamacare Premiums Have Gone Up So Much

From March 23, 2017 (Yesterday)
"How Republicans Quietly Sabotaged Obamacare Long Before Trump"


Let's step back to 2015 for the entire story, which is bizarre and fascinating.

When the ACA was rolled out, telling insurance companies that they had to insure anybody who signed up regardless of previous conditions or sickness, everybody realized that the insurance companies would probably lose money in the first decade or so, until previously uninsured but sick people got into the system, got better, and things evened out.

To get the insurance companies to go along with this risk of losing money, the ACA promised to make them whole for any loses in the first decade..At the end of each fiscal year, the insurance companies merely had to document their loses and the government would reimburse them out of ACA funds provided for by the law.

The possibility of their losing money was referred to as the "risk corridor," and the ACA explicitly filled those risk corridors with a guarantee of making the insurance companies, at the very least, whole.

Then something happened. .As the New York Times noted on Dec. 9, 2015,
"A little-noticed health care provision slipped into a giant spending law last year has tangled up the Obama administration, sent tremors through health insurance markets and rattled confidence in the durability of President Obama's signature health law."

Marco Rubio and a number of other Republicans had succeeded in gutting the risk corridors.
The result was in that just in 2015, end-of-fiscal-year corridor payments to insurance companies that were supposed to total around $2.9 billion were only reimbursed, according to Rubio himself in the Times, to the tune of around $400 million.
Rubio bragged that he'd "saved taxpayers $2.5 billion."

And indeed he had. But the insurance companies were thrown into a crisis. And with Republicans in Congress absolutely refusing to refund the risk corridors, that crisis would get worse as time went on, at least over a few years.

So the insurance companies did the only thing they could..In (mostly red) states with lower incomes and thus poorer health, they simply pulled out of the marketplace altogether.
This has left some states with only a single insurer left.
In other states, they jacked up their prices to make up their loses.

As Robert Pear in the New York Times noted, Rubio's "plan limiting how much the government can spend to protect insurance companies against financial losses has shown the effectiveness of quiet legislative sabotage."


Jane Mayer on Robert Mercer & the Dark Money Behind Trump and Bannon

Democracy Now
March 23, 2017

Today we look at Robert Mercer, the man who is said to have out-Koched the Koch brothers in the 2016 election.
The secretive billionaire hedge-fund tycoon, along with his daughter Rebekah, is credited by many with playing an instrumental role in Donald Trump's election.

"The Mercers laid the groundwork for the Trump revolution," Trump's chief strategist Stephen Bannon said.
"Irrefutably, when you look at donors during the past four years, they have had the single biggest impact of anybody, including the Kochs."

Before Bannon and Kellyanne Conway joined the Trump campaign, both worked closely with the Mercers.
The Mercers bankrolled Bannon's Breitbart News, as well as some of Bannon's film projects.
Conway ran a super PAC created by the Mercers to initially back the candidacy of Ted Cruz.

While the Mercers have helped reshape the American political landscape, their work has all been done from the shadows.
To talk more about the Mercers, we speak with Jane Mayer, staff writer at The New Yorker.
Her latest piece is headlined "The Reclusive Hedge-Fund Tycoon Behind the Trump Presidency: How Robert Mercer Exploited America's Populist Insurgency"

She is also author of "Dark Money:The Hidden History of the Billionaires Behind the Rise of the Radical Right," which just came out in paperback.

Read transcript of interview:

"The Reclusive Hedge-Fund Tycoon Behind The Trump Presidency"

What's your favorite Donald Trump joke?

Q - How does Donald Trump plan on deporting 12 million illegal immigrants?

A - Juan by Juan.

What's your favorite "What's the difference" joke?

Q - What's the difference between a guitar and a fish?
A - You can't tuna fish.

Q - What's the difference between a cat and a frog?
A - A cat has nine lives but a frog croaks every night.

Q - What's the difference between a tornado and a redneck divorce?
A - Either way someone's going to lose a trailer.

Q - What's the difference between Donald Trump and Donald Duck?
A - One is a cartoon character with a hot temper and the other is a duck.

(List as many as you want to)

Tell Congress: Hands off Medicare and Medicaid!

Credo Action
March 23, 2017

The House of Representatives is expected to vote on Trumpcare today - and the vote is expected to be close.
Regardless of the outcome, the fight is far from over and we'll continue fighting to stop the Republican attack on Medicare i& Medicaid if and when it moves to the U.S. Senate.

The truth is, Congress must expand these programs to cover more people, not to cut to give millionaires and billionaires huge tax breaks,
Stopping this attack is a matter of life and death for millions of Americans.

Our petition to Congress reads:
"Reject any legislation that cuts, weakens or privatizes Medicare or Medicaid.
Tens of millions of Americans rely on these critical programs.
Congress must expand these programs to cover more people, not cut them to give millionaires and billionaires huge tax breaks."

Please Sign the Petition:

Do you have a favorite episode of The Honeymooners?

Mine is the episode where Ralph & Norton produce their own late night TV commercial.
("I'm da' chef of the future")

Despite every reason to stop Gorsuch, Are Dems letting him off the hook?

Common Dreams.org
Tuesday, March 21, 2017

As the reasons for blocking Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch continue to mount, there is growing concern that Democrats are simply going to let President Donald Trump's nominee "off the hook," as Senator Dianne Feinstein did during questioning Tuesday.

In one exchange during the second day of Gorsuch's Senate Judiciary Committee hearing, Feinstein, the top Democrat on the committee, asked the appellate judge if he agreed with the dissent or the majority opinion in the District of Columbia v. Heller decision.

After it was clear Gorsuch would not give a clear answer on the case, which upheld an individual's right to possess firearms, Feinstein quickly relented:
"Alright, I'll let you off the hook."

The brief exchange crystallized fear that Democrats on the panel were going to let the nominee "sail" by, as he did during the first day of testimony despite the growing call for lawmakers to do more to block his confirmation.

More + video:

Behind Neil Gorsuch's Rhetoric, His Record Suggests Aggressive Judge Wedded To Conservative Agenda

Democracy Now
March 21, 2017

Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch is heading back to Capital Hill today for a second day of confirmation hearings.

During Monday's hearing, Democratic senators repeatedly criticized Gorsuch's record, as well as their Republican counterparts for refusing to take up the nomination of President Obama's pick, Merrick Garland, to replace the late Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia.

Judge Neil Gorsuch has a long history of ruling against employees in cases involving federal race, sex, age, disability and political discrimination and retaliation claims.

For more, we speak with Ian Millhiser, Senior Fellow at the Center for American Progress Action Fund, and editor of ThinkProgress Justice.

His recent piece is headlined:
"The Judge Gorsuch who spoke in the Senate today is nothing like the man who wrote his opinions.

Read full transcript of interview or watch video:

Manchin Attends Massive Town Hall in Morgantown, W-VA, Capito Hides

Daily Kos
Sunday March 19, 2017

Our elected representatives have refused to meet with us, so we decided to hold our own health care town hall.

We invited Senators Joe Manchin and Shelley Moore Capito, and Rep. David McKinley.

Manchin accepted our offer, but the other two were too busy.

Executive summary of Manchin's comments;

- He is absolutely opposed to repeal of the ACA.
Pre-existing conditions, no lifetime cap on benefits, and keeping kids on parents' policies until 26 are all things he mentioned as being wonderful.

- The ACA has problems in the private sector market, but they are fixable.
The Republicans in Congress have no interest in working on them

- Manchin told Trump that he is being taken for a ride...The Congressional Republicans want to fulfill their promise to repeal the ACA, but they know that when they do, all hell will break loose....So they are planning to delay implementation until after the 2018 elections.


In your opinion, what's the best Chuck Berry song ever?

"All of Chuck's children are out there playing his licks..."
(From "Rock & Roll Never Forgets" by Bob Seger)

John Lennon said, "If you tried to give rock & roll another name, you might call it Chuck Berry.'"

Bob Dylan once called him "the Shakespeare of rock & roll"
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