maxomai: dog (dog)

  • Oregonians have until April 30th to buy health insurance through Cover Oregon — mostly because Cover Oregon is such an incredible clusterfuck. To apply, download the form from here, fill it out, and mail it in. They'll ask you for a lot of financial details (gag). Yes, it's a project. But if you're eligible for fat subsidies or Medicare, it's probably worth it. Of course, if you already have insurance, you can skip this altogether.

  • Speaking of which, Cover Oregon is going to replace their site — and Portland company Metal Toad want to do that work, and keep it open source, for the low low price of $10 million. I admire their gusto, but if you ask me, the price tag will be more like $50 million once Metal Toad gets all the requirements.

  • ACA signups are heading to 7 million enrollees, matching the original CBO projections before people realized the website was a complete mess. In theory, this is bad news for Republican excuse-making. In practice, the Republicans have won the debate, at least for the next election cycle. Their base is convinced that Obamacare is simply a huge bribe to poor voters (whom they hate), unemployed voters (whom they hate), and disabled voters (whom they hate), to vote Democratic (which they hate). The swing voters are convinced that Obamacare can't work. Finally, Democrats mostly support Obamacare, but Democratic candidates simply don't feel like defending the law, probably because they're listening to mealy-mouthed triangulating idiots like this person. You know it's bad when the ultimate triangulator, Bill Clinton, tells you to 'nad up. Again, this goes to the Democratic and Republican campaign strategies of old: Democrats appease the base and crank the swing voter (the Obama campaigns being exceptions), while Republicans appease the swing voter and crank the base. Guess what wins?

maxomai: dog (dog)
One of Obamacare's biggest cheerleaders is pissed off, because Healthcare.gov is a complete clusterfuck this morning.

Dear government developers, at all levels: this is why you talk to your private sector colleagues. There are ways to load test your applications with artificial data, and with live data through beta testing. You're just too lazy to find them before the shit hits the fan, because you mistake your tenure for an excuse to be lazy as opposed to an opportunity to take risks. Hopefully this morning is a counterexample.
maxomai: dog (Default)
Yesterday, after the Supreme Court's decision on the Affordable Care Act, the President delivered a speech in which he outlined the basics of what the ACA will mean.



Frankly, I'm bewildered why the Democrats didn't deliver this speech - with this succinct, simple explanation of the health care law - back in 2010. You know, before the Koch Brothers put out enough FUD to make it look like the worst human rights travesty since The Killing Fields.

By the way, if you think this matter is settled, it isn't.
maxomai: dog (Default)
Yesterday, after the Supreme Court's decision on the Affordable Care Act, the President delivered a speech in which he outlined the basics of what the ACA will mean.



Frankly, I'm bewildered why the Democrats didn't deliver this speech - with this succinct, simple explanation of the health care law - back in 2010. You know, before the Koch Brothers put out enough FUD to make it look like the worst human rights travesty since The Killing Fields.

By the way, if you think this matter is settled, it isn't.
maxomai: dog (Default)
SCOTUS upheld most of the health care law in a 5-4 decision, with Roberts joining Kegan, Sotomayor, Breyer and Ginsberg in the majority. Read more here.

Probably the only outcome I would have expected less is for Scalia to have voted to uphold the law as well.

EDIT Conservatives are now talking about moving to Canada to get away from Obamacare. I can't make this stuff up, folks.
maxomai: dog (Default)
SCOTUS upheld most of the health care law in a 5-4 decision, with Roberts joining Kegan, Sotomayor, Breyer and Ginsberg in the majority. Read more here.

Probably the only outcome I would have expected less is for Scalia to have voted to uphold the law as well.

EDIT Conservatives are now talking about moving to Canada to get away from Obamacare. I can't make this stuff up, folks.
maxomai: dog (Default)
Today, the Supreme Court is expected to rule on the Affordable Care Act aka Obamacare. Crowds are already gathering at the US Supreme Court this morning. Every pundit in Washington is anticipating the ruling. Pundits and prognosticators are reading the tea leaves to predict what will happen, picking apart each turn of phrase to find some hint or clue as to how this or that Justice will rule. The anticipation makes a kid before Christmas look apathetic by comparison.

Really, I don't think it's that complicated to predict how the Court will rule. I expect SCOTUS to strike down the entire law, 5-4, with Roberts writing the majority opinion for Thomas, Scalia, Kennedy and Alito. Their reasoning will be that the mandate is unconstitutional, and that the lack of a severability clause means that if any part of the law is unconstitutional, the whole thing must be thrown out. Their actual motivations will be purely partisan. The four liberals on the court - Breyer, Kegan, Ginsberg and Sotomayor - will all vote to uphold the law, and IMO their actual motivations will be partisan as well. I don't need to point to one Justice's or another's state of mind to predict this, and frankly I think such efforts are foolish. We just need to look at how the Justices ruled on similar cases with huge implications for which party or interests will control the reigns of power.

After that, both Democrats and Republicans will spend years blaming each other for coming up with the idea of mandatory health insurance first.

In anticipation of such an argument, here's what I've been able to dig up: the Heritage Foundation, a conservative think tank, put forth the idea of mandatory catastrophic insurance in 1989. This was right after an election in which Mike Dukakis ran on, among other things, his Massachusetts health care plan, which later turned into a huge drain on state coffers. Mitt Romney embraced this idea of a mandate in the 1990s, implemented it in his own Massachusetts health plan, and defended it as recently as last year. This makes a lot of people on the right uncomfortable with him. As for the Democrats, Clinton embraced it during her run for President, and Obama opposed it on the grounds that it would force poor people to buy a product they can't afford. This was, in fact, one of the reasons why I supported Obama over Clinton. Nonetheless, the mandate ended up in the final bill, with subsidies for the poor in the form of tax breaks.

Howard Dean remarked, in 2010, that the mandate was not essential to the law, and that they could simply replace it with something like an annual 30-day sign-up period. First of all, I'm not sure that this works with exclusions for pre-existing conditions. Secondly, even if it could work, Congress is in no position to pass anything right now. Even if the leadership could come up with a compromise, Grover Norquist would crush anything that's remotely palatable to Democrats. Similar arguments by Progressives that an end to all or part of this health care law means a chance for a public option are even more delusional. Simply put, the Democrats would need another 60-vote majority in the Senate to do it, only this time without a Ben Nelson or Joe Lieberman to much things up. I don't see that happening in this post-Citizens United world.
maxomai: dog (Default)
Today, the Supreme Court is expected to rule on the Affordable Care Act aka Obamacare. Crowds are already gathering at the US Supreme Court this morning. Every pundit in Washington is anticipating the ruling. Pundits and prognosticators are reading the tea leaves to predict what will happen, picking apart each turn of phrase to find some hint or clue as to how this or that Justice will rule. The anticipation makes a kid before Christmas look apathetic by comparison.

Really, I don't think it's that complicated to predict how the Court will rule. I expect SCOTUS to strike down the entire law, 5-4, with Roberts writing the majority opinion for Thomas, Scalia, Kennedy and Alito. Their reasoning will be that the mandate is unconstitutional, and that the lack of a severability clause means that if any part of the law is unconstitutional, the whole thing must be thrown out. Their actual motivations will be purely partisan. The four liberals on the court - Breyer, Kegan, Ginsberg and Sotomayor - will all vote to uphold the law, and IMO their actual motivations will be partisan as well. I don't need to point to one Justice's or another's state of mind to predict this, and frankly I think such efforts are foolish. We just need to look at how the Justices ruled on similar cases with huge implications for which party or interests will control the reigns of power.

After that, both Democrats and Republicans will spend years blaming each other for coming up with the idea of mandatory health insurance first.

In anticipation of such an argument, here's what I've been able to dig up: the Heritage Foundation, a conservative think tank, put forth the idea of mandatory catastrophic insurance in 1989. This was right after an election in which Mike Dukakis ran on, among other things, his Massachusetts health care plan, which later turned into a huge drain on state coffers. Mitt Romney embraced this idea of a mandate in the 1990s, implemented it in his own Massachusetts health plan, and defended it as recently as last year. This makes a lot of people on the right uncomfortable with him. As for the Democrats, Clinton embraced it during her run for President, and Obama opposed it on the grounds that it would force poor people to buy a product they can't afford. This was, in fact, one of the reasons why I supported Obama over Clinton. Nonetheless, the mandate ended up in the final bill, with subsidies for the poor in the form of tax breaks.

Howard Dean remarked, in 2010, that the mandate was not essential to the law, and that they could simply replace it with something like an annual 30-day sign-up period. First of all, I'm not sure that this works with exclusions for pre-existing conditions. Secondly, even if it could work, Congress is in no position to pass anything right now. Even if the leadership could come up with a compromise, Grover Norquist would crush anything that's remotely palatable to Democrats. Similar arguments by Progressives that an end to all or part of this health care law means a chance for a public option are even more delusional. Simply put, the Democrats would need another 60-vote majority in the Senate to do it, only this time without a Ben Nelson or Joe Lieberman to much things up. I don't see that happening in this post-Citizens United world.
maxomai: dog (Default)


“Maybe we should all read this bill on the (House) floor on CSPAN?”


That would be epic.


By the way, the article to which Earl links can be found here on Forbes.com. It details how the Founding Fathers passed a bill mandating that sailors pay into a government-run health insurance program. Spread the word!








maxomai: dog (Default)


“Maybe we should all read this bill on the (House) floor on CSPAN?”


That would be epic.


By the way, the article to which Earl links can be found here on Forbes.com. It details how the Founding Fathers passed a bill mandating that sailors pay into a government-run health insurance program. Spread the word!








maxomai: dog (Default)

This poll released today by McClatchy-Marist (emphasis mine):


The post-election survey showed that 51 percent of registered voters want to keep the law or change it to do more, while 44 percent want to change it to do less or repeal it altogether.


Driving support for the law: Voters by margins of 2-1 or greater want to keep some of its best-known benefits, such as barring insurers from denying coverage for pre-existing conditions. One thing they don’t like: the mandate that everyone must buy insurance.


Democrats might be tempted to take comfort in these numbers. They shouldn’t. These poll numbers are not fixed. They depend on how the health care law affects their lives and how it is spun in the media.


The GOP are going to work very hard to take all the best parts of this health care law — such as barring exclusions based on pre-existing conditions — and make them look like stinking, rotting dog turds, so that by 2012, the majority will want curtailment or outright repeal. They have already started down this path. This is standard issue behavior for them; if you wish to dispute me on this, just consider what the right has been doing to President Obama’s personal biography for the past two years, and what they did to John Kerry.


If the Democrats and the President do not take steps to defend this law in the court of public opinion with vigor and aggression, the GOP will succeed in this goal. If the GOP succeeds in this fight, they win the White House and the Senate in 2012. If the Democrats win this fight, they keep the White House and the Senate and stand a good chance to win back the House. It’s that simple.








maxomai: dog (Default)

This poll released today by McClatchy-Marist (emphasis mine):


The post-election survey showed that 51 percent of registered voters want to keep the law or change it to do more, while 44 percent want to change it to do less or repeal it altogether.


Driving support for the law: Voters by margins of 2-1 or greater want to keep some of its best-known benefits, such as barring insurers from denying coverage for pre-existing conditions. One thing they don’t like: the mandate that everyone must buy insurance.


Democrats might be tempted to take comfort in these numbers. They shouldn’t. These poll numbers are not fixed. They depend on how the health care law affects their lives and how it is spun in the media.


The GOP are going to work very hard to take all the best parts of this health care law — such as barring exclusions based on pre-existing conditions — and make them look like stinking, rotting dog turds, so that by 2012, the majority will want curtailment or outright repeal. They have already started down this path. This is standard issue behavior for them; if you wish to dispute me on this, just consider what the right has been doing to President Obama’s personal biography for the past two years, and what they did to John Kerry.


If the Democrats and the President do not take steps to defend this law in the court of public opinion with vigor and aggression, the GOP will succeed in this goal. If the GOP succeeds in this fight, they win the White House and the Senate in 2012. If the Democrats win this fight, they keep the White House and the Senate and stand a good chance to win back the House. It’s that simple.








maxomai: dog (Default)

When Michael Moore came out with Sicko, health insurance executives were scared to death that he would inspire a national grassroots movement for Canadian-style government-run health care — and so they moved, quickly, to discredit him. In the below videos, Michael Moore has a one-on-one chat with the man who was directly in charge of the work of discrediting him. What was originally going to be an exchange of views turned into a heartfelt discussion of the moral dimensions of smearing and being smeared. Definitely worth watching.


Part One:



Visit msnbc.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy


Part Two:



Visit msnbc.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy


And with that, I’m calling it a night.








maxomai: dog (Default)

When Michael Moore came out with Sicko, health insurance executives were scared to death that he would inspire a national grassroots movement for Canadian-style government-run health care — and so they moved, quickly, to discredit him. In the below videos, Michael Moore has a one-on-one chat with the man who was directly in charge of the work of discrediting him. What was originally going to be an exchange of views turned into a heartfelt discussion of the moral dimensions of smearing and being smeared. Definitely worth watching.


Part One:



Visit msnbc.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy


Part Two:



Visit msnbc.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy


And with that, I’m calling it a night.








maxomai: dog (Default)

After being frightened out of their wits by Michael Moore’s Sicko, the Health Care Industry started an astroturf group to discredit Moore — and then used the lessons learned there to manipulate both the Democrats and the Tea Party into giving them exactly what they wanted. Olbermann dives into the mire of muck in tonight’s clip.



Visit msnbc.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy


And with that, I’m going to wind things down here.








Originally published at maxomai.org

maxomai: dog (Default)

After being frightened out of their wits by Michael Moore’s Sicko, the Health Care Industry started an astroturf group to discredit Moore — and then used the lessons learned there to manipulate both the Democrats and the Tea Party into giving them exactly what they wanted. Olbermann dives into the mire of muck in tonight’s clip.



Visit msnbc.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy


And with that, I’m going to wind things down here.








Originally published at maxomai.org

maxomai: dog (Default)

Earlier today I wrote up the story of Republican Congressman-Elect Andy Harris, M. D., crusader against Obamacare, who threw a tantrum because he wouldn’t get his government-subsidized health insurance as soon as he’s sworn in. Tonight, Keith Olbermann had his own take on this incident. See for yourself.



And with that, I’m going to wind down my day.








Originally published at maxomai.org

maxomai: dog (Default)

Earlier today I wrote up the story of Republican Congressman-Elect Andy Harris, M. D., crusader against Obamacare, who threw a tantrum because he wouldn’t get his government-subsidized health insurance as soon as he’s sworn in. Tonight, Keith Olbermann had his own take on this incident. See for yourself.



And with that, I’m going to wind down my day.








Originally published at maxomai.org

maxomai: dog (Default)

Erick Erickson of RedState (and formerly of CNN) thinks the Republicans are stupid for not being serious about repealing health care reform.


Far be it from me to defend the likes of Eric Cantor and John Boehner, but I must disagree with Erickson. One look at the polling trends on “Obamacare” shows that it’s not stupid at all — if the GOP wants to win elections in November.









Originally published at maxomai.org

maxomai: dog (Default)

Erick Erickson of RedState (and formerly of CNN) thinks the Republicans are stupid for not being serious about repealing health care reform.


Far be it from me to defend the likes of Eric Cantor and John Boehner, but I must disagree with Erickson. One look at the polling trends on “Obamacare” shows that it’s not stupid at all — if the GOP wants to win elections in November.









Originally published at maxomai.org

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