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Tuesday, November 12, 2013

The Morning News: Help the Philippines, Get Insurance, and Roll Your Eyes at Richard Cohen

Posted by on Tue, Nov 12, 2013 at 8:19 AM

Send Help: After Typhoon Haiyan, things are very, very bad in the Philippines. You should help if you can. Here's Charity Navigator's list of relief and recovery charities, with reports on how healthy, transparent, and smart with your donations those organizations are.

Corporate Welfare Queens Are Big Babies: Dominic Gates at the Seattle Times says Boeing's unions are unsure how to deal with a threat that the company will build their 777X planes elsewhere if the unions don't do what Boeing wants.

Three Stabbed Last Night: Police say a man stabbed three people in Pioneer Square last night.

The Internet's Idiot Du Jour: Richard Cohen at the Washington Post, who wrote a column suggesting that Americans with "conventional views" gag when they read about interracial marriage.

Bill Clinton Sure Does Like to Talk: In an interview about people who did not get to keep their shitty useless bargain-basement insurance plans under Obamacare, Clinton said "I personally believe, even if it takes changing the law, the president should honor the commitment the federal government made to those people and let them keep what they got."

In Other Insurance News: Insurers want to go around the government's struggling Obamacare site and appeal directly to buyers. Only 40,000 people have signed up for insurance through the site in the past six weeks.

Even John Roberts Thinks You're a Freak: The Supreme Court has passed on reinvestigating Oklahoma's extreme anti-abortion law.

The Market Always Knows What's Right: China's leaders are calling to unleash the market on their economy.

Sarah Palin: Still full of shit.

Senator's Son Dies in Plane Crash: Oklahoma Senator Jim Inhofe's 52 year-old son died over the weekend. He was piloting the small aircraft at the time of the accident.

#AskPM: Anti-gay, anti-woman Mars Hill Pastor Mark Driscoll is answering questions this morning on Twitter on the #AskPM hashtag. You should get in there and ask him something. I wrote some sample questions for you last night.

And Finally, Macklemore Plays the ACLU Card:

 

Comments (35) RSS

Oldest First Unregistered On Registered On Add a comment
1
Macklemore is hideous and has no flow.
Posted by treehugger on November 12, 2013 at 8:31 AM · Report this
2
Here's an organization that is first responding to the crisis in the Philippines: National Nurses Union. Donate and support RNs who will go to help. http://www.nationalnursesunited.org/blog…
Posted by Linda J on November 12, 2013 at 8:44 AM · Report this
Urgutha Forka 3
I sort of wish the people with those shit insurance plans who lost them and are being forced to take a plan that's both cheaper and better should be allowed to keep their garbage insurance plans. They can call it the "I cut off my nose to spite my face" law.
Posted by Urgutha Forka on November 12, 2013 at 8:45 AM · Report this
4
Any updates on Conlin/Sawant and Seatac vote counts?
Posted by ogbog on November 12, 2013 at 8:49 AM · Report this
5
@3 I actually think that should be proposed in the House, as long as there was a provision that in order to get these otherwise illegal plan, the company has to present a waiver letter, in both English and the applicants native tongue, listing all the qualifying plans available in similar price and coverage ranges and how to apply. This will probably be a sizable listing, as these listing should take into account the subsidies that the qualifying plans could use, that naturally would not be granted with the otherwise illegal plans.
Posted by House Republicans Would "Love" This on November 12, 2013 at 8:53 AM · Report this
Original Andrew 6
@3, The new plans most certainly are not cheaper and better. The monthly premiums are almost double as is the out of pocket limit. I also make just enough that I don't qualify for any tax benefits.
Posted by Original Andrew on November 12, 2013 at 8:56 AM · Report this
7
Christ I can't even watch this guy for 30 seconds any more. Literally stopped at 0:31.
Posted by The CHZA on November 12, 2013 at 8:56 AM · Report this
dnt trust me 8
Macklemore is awful. Popularity is extremely important to Paul Constant, so that's why his video is included. I would have featured one of the pretty cool videos by Yellow Dogs, serving as a memorial.

http://www.seattlepi.com/news/article/Sl…

Posted by dnt trust me on November 12, 2013 at 9:01 AM · Report this
smade 9
@6 Sorry, dude. You're just going to have to take one for the team this time. Let us know if you're going under, bro, and we'll step up for you, too.
Posted by smade on November 12, 2013 at 9:01 AM · Report this
Original Andrew 10
@9, I support Medicare for all and would gladly pay higher taxes to ensure full coverage for everyone. I despise paying even more money to the psychopathic and sadistic private health insurance industry that is largely responsible for out of control costs in the first place.
Posted by Original Andrew on November 12, 2013 at 9:12 AM · Report this
Urgutha Forka 11
@6,
And the plan is the same? Same coverage just double the price?
Posted by Urgutha Forka on November 12, 2013 at 9:14 AM · Report this
12
@6 is right. I'm in the same boat. And Paul, FYI, not all of the cancelled plans were shitty useless plans. I had one. I've worked in a clinic verifying insurance benefits, so I know what my plan entailed & it was not junk.
Posted by Escapee from S. Idaho on November 12, 2013 at 9:19 AM · Report this
raindrop 13
It's jaw dropping to see liberals poo poo the folks who are dropped of their health care plans or can't afford them anymore.
Posted by raindrop on November 12, 2013 at 9:25 AM · Report this
14
@13 - it's easy to 'poo poo' when 99 times out of 100 the 'Obamacare Horror Stories' are the result of willful misunderstanding, idiocy, or outright lying. If this person is that 1 of 100 (and there are some), I feel for ya. I doubt it though. Those who bullshit about how screwed they're getting by the ACA are always getting screwed by a curiously round number (double, or three times as much) never mention specifics, and always omit the details of what they had and what they now have to settle for.

Hey @10 - put up or shut up. Because right now you sound like the 10,000th person with an easily debunked story.
Posted by johnjjeeves on November 12, 2013 at 9:43 AM · Report this
Dr_Awesome 15
@Raindrop- for the hundredth time, the ACA is a conservative idea, hatched by a conservative think tank, intended to ensure that the insurance industry stays in business. You know, all pro-business and shit.
The real solution is single payer. And you and your ilk have a shit fit every time that's proposed.
So cram it, you conservative shit. You have nothing to contribute. Nothing.
Posted by Dr_Awesome on November 12, 2013 at 9:49 AM · Report this
raindrop 16
@14: It's a small percentage, but millions given the size of our country - enough to make the president sit through a painful interview with Chuck Todd and apologize for his misstatements. Nevertheless, we'll see in six months or so after all the dust settles what premiums and deductibles are given this very strange govt/private hybrid "risk free" insurance model.
Posted by raindrop on November 12, 2013 at 9:53 AM · Report this
raindrop 17
@15: My oh my, so early on this pretty fall day and I've already set you off. But it's your own fault really, because if you managed your blood pressure just long enough to read what I wrote you would have realized that I wasn't referring to the ACA and its origins, only to the current news on the ramifications on its implementation and the some of the reactions by whom I characterize generally as liberals.
Goodness!
Posted by raindrop on November 12, 2013 at 10:01 AM · Report this
Supreme Ruler Of The Universe 18

They smile in your face.
All the time they wanna take your place.

The Backstabbers!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OwZciH3hx…

Posted by Supreme Ruler Of The Universe http://www.you-read-it-here-first.com on November 12, 2013 at 10:48 AM · Report this
19
So @14 and @11 want details. (I think the reason people don't give all the details of their policies is because it's fucking boring. But hey, here you go.)

My old policy was $166/month, $2000 deductible, $6000 total out-of-pocket.

New policy that I would automatically be switched to if I did nothing: $233/month, $4000 deductible, $6350 total out-of-pocket.

New plan I chose because I don't want that high of a deductible: $310/month, $1500 deductible, $6350 total out-of pocket.

Old plan had fairly low co-pays; first $200 of lab work per year was covered without cost; first 4 visits a year didn't go to deductible, just had to do a co-pay. New plan has higher co-pays and none of the rest.

(I do not get a subsidy -- I'm just a bit over the limit. I looked at all insurers. In terms of total dollars spent, it made more sense to upgrade to a Silver plan rather than sticking with a Bronze.)

The one big change that will make this worth it is that now I will have prescription coverage. So even if Congress passes a law to let people keep their old plans, I'll stick with this one because I'm not an idiot.

When you say "But, but, but ... better benefits!", that's all well and good except you are forgetting that people like me also are paying WAY more for the actual care received. We, the individual subscribers, don't get negotiated rates for procedures the way people on employer plans do. We don't get write-offs. So a procedure that costs me $1500 will cost you a $50 co-pay. We are the ones the hospitals gouge to make their money. So, in addition to getting screwed on health care costs in general, now we're also paying much higher premiums.

It seems that this small population of people who are getting the cancellation letters but don't qualify for a subsidy is made up mostly of the self-employed. Even though we know the protections of the ACA are necessary, it's still a blow for a lot of self-employed people to suddenly be paying so much more for premiums, with very little notice. And it certainly doesn't help to be mocked or dismissed. Our concerns are real and our budgetary constraints are real. (Remember that we are also paying higher federal tax and state B&O tax.) I'd have thought that progressive types such as Slog readers would have a little more compassion.

More...
Posted by Escapee from S. Idaho on November 12, 2013 at 11:23 AM · Report this
Dr_Awesome 20
@Raindrop, no, you and your ilk are needlessly critical of the ACA and the President, because you fucks are against progress and against fixing the system

I'm gonna point out the bigger picture, you fuck, and make you face it, because you and your bretherens' opposition is stupid.

Nixon first proposed a single-payer system in the seventies. I doubt you were even born then. But imagine that- a republican president proposing a national single-payer system.

Now imagine Romney, if he'd been elected, or McCain, proposing that. They'd be torn apart by the raving loonies of the far right.

So your grumbling, Raindrop, about the ACA and its website, in the larger context, is so much republican obstructionist horseshit and I'm calling you on it, you fuck.You don't like it, and that kinda makes me happy. Your side doesn't have shit to contribute.
Posted by Dr_Awesome on November 12, 2013 at 11:27 AM · Report this
Max Solomon 21
The stabbing was at "4th Ave. and Dilling Way". I just learned that "Dilling Way" is the little street N. of the Yelser overpass, basically in Courthouse Park.

So, I'm going to go out on a limb and say that a stabbing at 9:45 on a Monday night was probably homeless-on-homeless violence.

Thank God Ed Murray's going to come in and stop this street disorder post haste!
Posted by Max Solomon on November 12, 2013 at 11:39 AM · Report this
keshmeshi 22
@14,

I don't deny that there are a lot of bullshit horror stories out there, but upper middle class/rich people who buy their own plans are, in fact, taking it in the shorts. Since insurance companies can no longer keep premiums artificially low by dumping sick people from the risk pool, premiums are going up overall for people who buy their own plans, and wealthy people don't qualify for any subsidies.
Posted by keshmeshi on November 12, 2013 at 11:45 AM · Report this
raindrop 23
@20: You continue to be off-topic from my comments. So there's nothing I can say. You just see my name, and extrapolate the subject to fit your venting.
Posted by raindrop on November 12, 2013 at 11:47 AM · Report this
bobjoebob 24
it's amazing. i never noticed it before, but macklemore reminds me of cuba gooding jr. is it the stache?
Posted by bobjoebob on November 12, 2013 at 12:09 PM · Report this
rob! 25
@6 and @12, I owe you both an apology for being unduly skeptical (back in late September/early October) about your experiences with the private insurance market and the ACA exchanges. I do think, and hope, that over time you'll see things looking better from your point of view, and I appreciate that you recognize the benefits of the ACA for many, many people who have no other recourse right now. That said, if you're well off, you're well off; to be ineligible for any subsidy through an exchange-purchased plan as a single person, you're in the range of 4X the poverty level of income. For two 40-ish adults and two kids, your combined income would have to exceed around $94,000/yr. before the subsidy completely disappears.

I'm quite familiar with having to shop for my healthcare needs, and not getting the benefit of negotiated prices. I have a couple of chronic conditions that are easily controlled through inexpensive meds, not dangerous, not infectious, and not likely to worsen, yet my last quote for an individual policy was $1000/mo. and I had far too much money in the bank to qualify for Medicaid. At the time, insurers in my state were regularly taking premiums for years at a time and then cancelling policies RETROACTIVELY with almost complete impunity.I bought 6 or 12 months' worth of meds through Costco's online pharmacy for the volume discount (when you're uninsured you're not stuck with 30-day supplies; you can buy whatever quantity you can convince your doctor to prescribe) and saved about 75% over drugstore prices. I went to a chiropractor to X-ray my broken foot for $45 when the local hospital wanted $375 + radiologist's fees (I'm perfectly capable of seeing a broken bone on an X-ray and determining that it needed no further treatment but caution). I drove 600 miles roundtrip to get a rule-out test for $500 that my local hospital wanted $3000+ to do.

There's lots more to talk about over the next few months as we all get used to the new options. I'm looking for an opening to post a comment on an interesting wrinkle in the ACA I heard about the other day, where it will be more-or-less on-topic (or I may Slog-tip it and see if it gets picked up).
More...
Posted by rob! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QZBdUceCL5U on November 12, 2013 at 1:54 PM · Report this
26
@25 -- I would argue that someone who is single and living in a city as expensive in Seattle is well off but not "wealthy" by any means if they're making just above the subsidy cut-off (say, $46,000). Especially if that person is self-employed and paying about 10% more of their income in taxes than the average person, what with FICA and the B&O tax. And especially if you consider that being able to pay a monthly premium doesn't mean you will have the thousands of dollars it might take to get actual health care. People who buy their own insurance know that a simple 10-minute office visit can cost more than $100. That shit adds up.

I'm having an upper endoscopy in a couple of weeks. Any guesses on how much that's going to cost? I'm betting between $1000 and $1500. This is the kind of shit that people on really good employer-based plans don't even have to think about.
Posted by Escapee from S. Idaho on November 12, 2013 at 2:28 PM · Report this
Pope Peabrain 27
I love Macklemore. I never heard his music, but anybody who can reach young people with a progressive message deserves a lot of credit. All they hear on the bullshit corporate media is Sarah Palin and Chris Christie.
Posted by Pope Peabrain on November 12, 2013 at 2:39 PM · Report this
Pope Peabrain 28
And also, he's cute as hell.
Posted by Pope Peabrain on November 12, 2013 at 2:41 PM · Report this
fletc3her 29
@6 My "new plan" is almost exactly the same as my old plan and costs almost exactly the same. And I don't get any subsidies either. Maybe you should consider a different insurance company? Also, if you don't get any subsidies you don't really need to go through the exchange.
Posted by fletc3her on November 12, 2013 at 2:53 PM · Report this
fletc3her 30
@27 I love Macklemore as well, but this commercial, not so much.
Posted by fletc3her on November 12, 2013 at 2:54 PM · Report this
31
@29: I didn't go through the exchange. And I really don't want to switch companies, because I've been with Group Health for over 10 years and have built a really good relationship with my primary care doc, dermatologist, etc. (I also worked in a clinic where my job consisted of calling insurance companies all day long and I will NEVER sign up with Premera, and Regence was pretty shitty to work with as well.) If the prices had been significantly lower with other companies, I would have had to reluctantly consider changing, but since it was all expensive, I decided to stay with GHC.

I'm curious to know what coverage you got with which company, because I looked at every company providing individual coverage, and the pricing was quite expensive compared to what I have now. Maybe we're in different age brackets. The plan I chose from Group Health directly was identical to the one they had listed on the exchange, and this was the case for all of the other companies.
Posted by Escapee from S. Idaho on November 12, 2013 at 3:04 PM · Report this
rob! 32
@26, good points. I'm extremely rural, which isn't any better--we're lucky to have a local hospital at all, and recruiting doctors to the area is always a problem.

Being self-employed is hell on your G.I. tract. I'm avoiding a colonoscopy until I can nail down coverage, even though I have some worrisome symptoms. Same hospital charges $3000 for the colonoscopy alone. Doesn't include "facility charge," which they won't quote and wouldn't necessarily honor even if they did quote a price—they don't have to, so they probably wouldn't. Doesn't include anesthesiology fees. If they find/remove/assay polyps (or something worse), all bets are off.

On the bright side, for test prep I can buy 4 liters of NuLYTELY purgative from the Costco online pharmacy for $32 and change, and generic Dulcolax at KMart.

Good luck with your endoscopy.
Posted by rob! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QZBdUceCL5U on November 12, 2013 at 3:27 PM · Report this
rob! 33
Oh and @26, you should consider registering as a commenter on Slog. Lots of people have unregistered commenters hidden by default.

You don't need anything but a working e-mail address, which is not visible to others, and a handle--the one you're using now would work fine.
Posted by rob! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QZBdUceCL5U on November 12, 2013 at 3:31 PM · Report this
34

@rob!
Thanks. Yeah, isn't the billing ridiculous? No wonder people just give up and file bankruptcy.

I should register, I know. For some reason I expect to be harassed, because I don't sycophantically agree with everything Obama does. This is really the only issue that gets my dander up anyway.
Posted by Escapee from S. Idaho on November 12, 2013 at 4:00 PM · Report this
rob! 35
@EfSI, you may have noticed that plenty of left-of-center peeps here don't agree with everything (or even most things) Obama does. And registered or not, you can ignore harassers.
Posted by rob! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QZBdUceCL5U on November 12, 2013 at 4:08 PM · Report this

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