Firstly, our friend, Steve Green, is pointing out some of what I was mentioning below and then goes a few thoughts deeper on the subject in The Week the Wheels Came Off Obamacare.
The pols and pundits can argue and fingerpoint until they’re blue in the — finger? — but Obamacare’s numbers paint a bleak picture of broken promises and outright lies. After a full month, nearly 40,000 people have successfully signed up for health insurance at HealthCare.gov, out of an administration goal of over seven million by the end of March. At that rate, the administration will have met its goal sometime in the autumn — of 2028.
Mind you, the goal of Obamacare was to provide coverage for some 47,000,000 uninsured Americans. So take those 15 years and multiply them by about seven. You’re gonna need a bigger calculator.
Ignored in those dreary statistics is the fact that people are being dumped out of their current coverage and onto the nonfunctional exchanges faster than the exchanges can handle them. An estimated 1,500,000 have lost their coverage, up against those newly insured 40,000. The best guess is that seven or eight million more face the same fate.
And that’s just the first few paragraphs.
This little article dives into the numbers in Kentucky– and it’s dismal.
These notes serve to reinforce my belief that when the numbers start turning positive, the “newly covered” are going to be nothing of the sort. Folks stripped of coverage by government mandate will be the first, largest influx of Obamacare enrollees.
Firstly, from one of our longtime blogging friends, Trench Reynolds, here is a link to his entire healthcare category. His thoughts largely meet my own, but he has a more professional view of the subject.
Secondly, a blog post from Roger Fraley, a friend here in Colorado who we don’t get to see nearly as often as we’d like.
More thoughts later.
Sometime, when the “glitches” with the Affordable Care Act websites are fixed and the system is chugging along dysfunctionally, someone is going to start sharing the number of folks who have signed up for “cheap, affordable” healthcare. Those numbers will tell us that thousands upon thousands of people are signing up and we will be lead to believe that those people were the kinds of folks who used to be shut out of the system because they couldn’t afford care or because they had pre-existing conditions. There will be some truth to those assertions.
And there will be a huge lie, too.
See, with literally hundreds of thousands of people losing their insurance coverage because of the ACA, a huge number of the first wave of folks signing up will very likely be those who had, until recently, been covered. That is, they had already been in the system, they had already had coverage, and they had already entered into a voluntary contractual relationship with insurance companies, paid their money, and had their needs met. Perversely, that voluntary relationship was destroyed by the ACA, which then compels an involuntary relationship with another insurance company. Even better, with the new rules, some of those folks will likely be getting government subsidies on their insurance costs.
Read this from a Kaiser Health News story:
Health plans are sending hundreds of thousands of cancellation letters to people who buy their own coverage, frustrating some consumers who want to keep what they have and forcing others to buy more costly policies.
The main reason insurers offer is that the policies fall short of what the Affordable Care Act requires starting Jan. 1. Most are ending policies sold after the law passed in March 2010. At least a few are cancelling plans sold to people with pre-existing medical conditions.
Now, let’s say it again: the government will be paying people to break their voluntary contractual relationships in order to compel them into doing what they were already doing. And those folks will then be held up as examples of how well the system is working. And we will be told that this is more efficient and effective.Read the original.
I would have imagined that Calexico would have done better with “I’m Alright” (the theme to Caddyshack) but this cover of Kenny Loggins’ “Danger Zone” has proven me wrong. Loads of fun.
According to my wife, this one has a little tiny bite to it, which is where I found the name for this drink. Of course, it’s entirely possible that someone else has made a similar drink and that it has another name– I did a cursory search, found nothing, and ran with the ball.
Chalk the little nibbles up to the generous dose of ginger flavor and the spicy bitters. More importantly, though, it’s a sweet, cool breeze on a hot summer day.
1 oz of Domaine De Canton
1/3 oz of Ciroc Vodka
2/3 oz of Seven Tiki Spiced Rum
Tspn of Grenadine Syrup
Tspn of Fee Brothers West Indies Falernum
5 drops of Angostura Bitters
2-1/2 – 3 oz of grapefruit juice
Pour all the ingredients into a shaker, fill the shaker with ice. Shake vigorously and strain into a large martini glass. Garnish with whatever citrus fruits you happen to have around the house. If you find it too sweet, dial back the falernum and grenadine to taste.
Note: don’t settle for Rose’s Grenadine. It adds sweetness without adding flavor– either buy a good grenadine syrup (like Monin or Sonoma, for example) or make your own from one of the recipes easily available online that has both the flavor and the color to finish off your drink properly.
I have a feeling that this one might serve as the basis for a few variations. It’s easy to make and tasty with enough alcohol to be effective.
…is that our “not quite good enough job growth” has been downgraded to “nowhere near replacement level job growth.”
Well. That sucks.
Read the original.
Between December of 2012 and February of 2013, 699,000 jobs were created; for an average of 233,000. Between March and May of 2013, however, the economy created only 466,000 jobs; for an average of 155,000 jobs.
There was no good to be found in today’s job report. It was a blunt reminder that our nation is continuing to drift through an economy unmoored by continued uncertainty and growing unemployment. The ragged appearance of a drop in unemployment is, of course, a lie; while the economy added some 88,000 jobs, the loss of nearly half a million workers who simply abandoned the idea of finding work.
They gave up hope.
In March, 496,000 people took themselves out of the labor force altogether, meaning they stopped searching for work.
When unemployed people quit looking for jobs it can lower the jobless rate. But for all the wrong reasons. Hiring was weak in March. The 88,000 jobs employers added aren’t even enough to keep up with population growth.
So that March drop in the unemployment rate to 7.6 percent likely has more to do with frustrated job seekers giving up than employers buying into the economic recovery.
It is important to note that this is not new. This is not something that simply happened this month or something as a reaction to recent political events: no, this is the continuation of the bleeding. The job participation rate (which you can also see at the linked article) has been falling with regularity for the last decade and most precipitously over the last five years or so.
No, our problems are deeper than any recent political failures and our current leadership has show precisely no capability of conceiving of a plan to solve those problems.Read the original.
The test of the greatness of a critic is in two things: firstly, do you feel as if you understand the art better for their insight, and, second, have they explained their love or hate of the thing in such a way that you have a good idea whether you’ll enjoy it. Roger Ebert wasn’t a critic that I always agreed with (his review of Kiss Kiss Bang Bang managed to point out all the bits that I loved about the movie while explaining how those things left him cold) but who gave me a greater understanding of the movies and of the artistry of the medium.
His political and social offerings weren’t particularly welcome from my corner, but I always believed that he had a right to voice those opinions and use his podium how he saw fit. He carved out his own space in every medium that he chose from television and newspapers to books and social media; most admirably, he did it honestly, bluntly, and on his own terms.
He critical eye will be missed.Read the obituary.
No matter what anyone hoped for, the ruling against ReDigi this week was unsurprising. Their approach to resale of digital files– in specific, your iTunes catalog– may appeal on an emotional level, but it never looked good on a legal level. That is, most people continue to confuse the “fair” in “fair use” for something that has nothing whatsoever to do with the reality of digital musical sales.
Here’s a bit of the ruling as reported by CNet:
“Courts have consistently held that the unauthorized duplication of digital music files over the Internet infringes a copyright owner’s exclusive right to reproduce,” Judge Sullivan wrote. “However, courts have not previously addressed whether the unauthorized transfer of a digital music file over the Internet — where only one file exists before and after the transfer — constitutes reproduction within the meaning of the Copyright Act. The court holds that it does.”
I would suggest that there is an easier way to look at this: when you purchase digital music, you haven’t bought actual ownership of the music. All you’ve done is license that music for your own personal use (indeed, at some point, I’m pretty sure that someone will have to test the heritability issue to find out if your spouse or children or pet, depending on how you’ve written your will, can actually assume ownership of those files after you’ve passed away– my guess is that a strict answer will be “no” but the pragmatics of policing the chain of custody will prove too difficult for enforcement). With a CD, a similar license is purchased but is tied to the actual ownership of the physical device carrying the music– and when you sell that physical device, you’re also selling your rights to “ownership” of the music therein.
The question of how courts view things like transfer of digital files and how copyright violations can occur when groups of people access the “same” file were answered largely when MP3.com lost early court battles to the big music companies. Their scheme was just as careful and thoughtful as ReDigi, but their arguments failed. Rational or not, the precedent already exists for this decision. Indeed, Apple admitted as much when it made its big contribution to the record companies in return for launching iTunes Match, a service with a tremendous similarity to the way MP3.com worked.Read the original.