When the data scare folks

Earlier this week I found this nifty tool for comparing the healthcare plan proposed by the Republicans (Trumpcare) to the current plan in place (Obamacare). Let’s call the plans what they are, since the Republicans considered attaching the former President’s name to the health care plan he championed, which provided affordable insurance to over 20Million more Americans, as a negative way to tag the plan and policies.

I also shared the Kaiser Family Foundation’s tool in a FaceBook group that was put together to support the hospital in my rural county. All I did was compare the differences in costs for a 60 year-old making $40,000 per year. I used the names Affordable Care Act and Affordable Health Care for America, not Obamacare and Trumpcare, respectively. I didn’t even mention either President or member of Congress by name.

Yesterday a local man took issue with posting the tool and providing the difference in coverage costs as criticism of the plan and the hospital. I responded today:

I am sharing the data. The tool allows people to use it themselves if they choose to do that. Both plans impact the access to care, and affordability of that care for local residents. Both plans also directly impact our hospital.

If we want to keep our hospital open and viable, it will take a combination of many funding streams- that’s not a criticism of the hospital. Hospital admins and leaders have been frank about the diverse source of funds and payer load that is required to keep the hospital open. I have not named any elected officials, nor criticized anyone, OR provided any information that can’t be verified. If sharing information in a polite and civil forum “stirs people up,” that is something that people who are “stirred up” must resolve for themselves. I’m not afraid to do some of the work of being an informed citizen, and share what I learn if others want to use those resources. The proposed legislation is being fast-tracked, so there isn’t a lot of time to “wait for all the data to be processed.”

I’m smart enough to look at the numbers myself and work through the differences- I don’t have to wait for someone to explain it to me.

Have a good day and weekend.

What’s so scary about a an easy-to-use data tool with information that is readily available and verifiable? What’s to get “stirred up for no reason” about looking at information yourself? And perhaps worse, why does anyone think that we ought to, “wait for all the data to be processed.’? Even though this in a complex problem, it isn’t rocket science.

Why are Trump supporters so unhappy about comparing Trumpcare data to Obamacare data?

The mansplaining and “don’t you worry missy, wait until someone can explain it all to you” is another problem. If you look at the provisions for women’s health care in the Trumpcare plan, and the lack of respect for women and our ability to make information decisions about our health and bodies, well, no wonder this man thought I needed to just sit down and be quiet.

Clearly I didn’t take his words to heart.

One way the Republican health plan will impact my rural county

Last night I used this nifty tool released by the Kaiser Family Foundation to calculate how the proposed health care bill released by the Republicans Tuesday night will impact Washington County.

In Washington County, if you are 60 years old and making $40,000 a year (per capita income is under $38,000 in my county), the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) health insurance tax credit in 2020 will be $7,800. The House plan would provide a credit of just $4,000 in 2020. That means the cost of buying health insurance for a 60-year-old making $40,000 per year will GO UP by $3,800 if the Republican plan is adopted.

Washington County health data comparing ACA and proposed plan from Republicans

Under the current plan, insurance companies are capped at charging three times the amount charged for coverage for younger people. Under the Republican plan the cap increases to five times the cost of rates charged to younger people.

There are also considerable cuts to Medicaid and Medicare.

All of these proposed changes will impose serious financial and health threats to people in my county who may not be able to afford insurance any longer, and these expenses will be added to the other cuts to funding in the proposed legislation. These factors, plus others in the proposed plan, do not bode well for our hospital or facilities in other rural communities.

Last May Washington County voters took on a bond to support our hospital, knowing that the bond could not solve all of the financial problems for our struggling facility. We still have work to do if we want to keep our hospital open.

Nine points on Trump’s “press” conference

There were LOTS of things said during Trump’s “press conference” today that either conflict or contradict what he has said or Tweeted in the past, or were simply outrageous. A few of the highlights:

1. Trump made all kinds of claims about removing himself from any business conflicts, or rather his attorney did in an eye-glaze-over statement. He also said he could manage to run the government and his companies too.

2. The President-elect almost stomped his feet while trying to make CNN reporter Jim Acosta quit asking a question, finally resorting to “You’re fake news.”

3. Despite statements from Congressional Republicans that they aren’t prepared to repeal and replace ACA in the near future, Trump said all that would be happening soon.

4. He wants a report on hacking within 90 days from US intelligence agencies. Didn’t he get a report last Friday?

5. Trump asserted that, he “will be the greatest job producer that God ever created.” That’s a pretty bold statement. Will Trump singularly receive confirmation that he has hit that mark? Will it be Tweeted so everyone can see it? And what happens if things aren’t going well and God decides we need a course correction?

6. Only the media wants to see his tax returns. Um, no, lots of Americans want to see them.

7. Of his Cabinet choices, Trump said, “generally they are smart.” I sure wish he would identify the ones he thinks aren’t so smart.

8. Trump says the wall on the Mexican border will be built, and he isn’t willing to wait on the funding from Mexico. He wants American taxpayer dollars sunk into it now.

9. After a rambling event that included shouting at a reporter, Trump was asked what will happen if his sons don’t do well with running the family businesses. He gestured towards the stacks of papers that are supposed to demonstrate some type of disconnection between the President-elect and his businesses, and then, pointing to his sons, said, “You’re fired.”

Except Trump also said he won’t know what is happening with his family companies because his sons aren’t going to discuss them with him. How can Trump fire anyone if he is in the dark?

 

 

Trump has no idea how our government works

Today Trump said he would call a special session of Congress to roll back Obamacare if he and a Republican controlled Congress are elected.

He can’t do that until he is sworn in. And duh, guess who else will already be in town and ready to work?

We can’t afford to have a President who doesn’t have a clue on the mechanics of our government. And shame on voters who don’t know better either.

Trump’s word salad with a side of crazy

Yesterday Donald Trump served up a word salad about the rate increases rolling out for 2017 coverage under Obamacare. It raised the question among reporters and pundits about whether Trump even understands the most basic premise of Obamacare.

Trump told Fox News, as Tweeted yesterday by Sopan Deb at CBS, “Well, I don’t use much Obamacare because it is so bad for the people….”

What Trump fails to understand (about this and pretty much anything else in a real world), is that he ISN’T using Obamacare, nor are any of his companies, because coverage through the Affordable Care Act isn’t offered to companies. Instead, individuals buy the coverage themselves.

Trump doesn’t know “he” isn’t using Obamacare at all. He doesn’t understand the very basics of how the plan works or who can use it.

Instead, as reported by Huffington Post, David Feder, General Manager at the resort Trump owns in Miami where the Republican nominee trotted out this absurdity, approximately 95 percent of the employees there are covered by insurance offered by Trump’s company. It isn’t a skimpy plan either,  according to a review of a policy shared with an analyst.

So Trump thinks he’s paying for Obamacare, but he doesn’t use it much, “because it is so bad for the people and they can’t afford it.” He is spending more money on coverage, but not using it. And yet the “people” interviewed are “happy with their health coverage.”

Trump served up a word salad with a side of crazy yesterday.

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How we have failed since September 11, 2001

Tonight President Obama will address the nation about ISIS and any actions that we may take in response to the horrific murders of Americans and innocent civilians at the hands of terrorists.

Tomorrow there will be an observance in my community, and many others, to honor the thousands of lives lost to hate and terrorism, and to support the families and friends who knew someone they loved would never return home again.

Since September 11, 2001 we as a country have talked a lot about being kinder to one another and being a better country. Yet 13 years later this is what consumes us as a country:

  • fighting about allowing two consenting adults of the same-sex to legally marry each
  • failing to take care of the thousands of veterans who have defended our country, many of whom returned with horrible wounds from the Middle East since September 2001
  • allowing private corporations to decided which forms of legal birth control they will cover for employees through company based health insurance because some corporations should have the same privileges as churches
  • granting corporations the same rights as citizens so businesses can pour money into elections and our representatives’ pockets
  • making it harder for citizens to exercise their right to vote
  • subsidizing corporations with huge tax breaks while their employees working full-time never earn enough to break the poverty barrier
  • denying the hard facts of science because profits should come before cleaning up the mess we’ve made of the entire planet
  • deporting children
  • complaining about failing schools while slashing teacher pay and testing our children to death
  • sitting by silently while racism and sexism are displayed proudly
  • being sure we can take our assault rifles into the grocery store
  • we pay for and support violence on playing fields, in the movies we watch, video games we buy, music we listen to, and television shows we watch, but we react with horror when students are sprayed with bullets in their classrooms, women are drug from elevators by their hair, students are bullied, children and women are raped as well as being forced into prostitution
  • too many among us are convinced that their brand of faith should be followed above all others, and if necessary the rights of other citizens should be denied because they choose to worship differently, or not at all

We absolutely should remember and honor the victims of September 11th’s violence. I’m just not convinced we are a country that is a better reflection of the democratic values and freedoms which terrorists intended to destroy 13 years ago.

 

Gonna be tough to top that

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He’s back! President Obama has his feet back under him and the State of the Union address he just delivered made it clear that he and the Democrats are on their game.

The President isn’t going to wait around for the Republicans to hold who knows how many pointless votes on policies and programs they can’t overturn. Instead, he will work with Democrats and any willing Republicans, and he’ll use Executive Orders to move our country forward on minimum wage increases, equal pay for equal work, world-class education for our country’s children, peace in the Middle East, keeping our troops at home, making the voting booth easily accessible for legal voters, and immigration reform.

Obama said we are building a stronger economy using renewable energy fuel resources. The President also told climate deniers to get out of the way.

Come on Mr President, put a cherry on top of tonight’s speech and say No to Keystone XL now.

I listened to Rep Cathy McMorris Rodgers deliver one of four responses to be offered up by the Republicans tonight (Tea Party darlings Sen Rand Paul and Mike Lee are responding too while Rep Ileana Ros-Lehtinen R-Florida will deliver remarks much like McMorris Rodger’s but in Spanish).

McMorris Rodgers touched on some of the points Obama raised like access to health care, jobs, and education, but she didn’t do much more than share some personal examples about how important those things are to her and her family.

And really, did the Republicans and McMorris Rodgers think they need to pander to women by asking a woman who just had a baby two months ago to deliver their flimsy response?

Women and people of color will be wooed and courted by Republicans and Democrats from now until the November elections are over. The President and Democrats came to the front door tonight with a huge bouquet of long stem roses, jewelry, and heated seats on the 50 yard line of this Sunday’s Super Bowl. The Republicans can’t decide on a team captain.

We have seen a fool’s true character and the return of a hero

Ted Cruz finally managed to come clean on why he drove us to the brink of economic collapse, locked federal employees out of their offices (except the ones who had to work without pay), threatened our veterans’ benefits, and closed our national parks.

Campaign money.

Yep, a rookie United States Senator just put our country through Hell so he could raise some PAC money and collect names for campaigning.

In the midst of all this stupid selfish mess, a hero returned. John McCain not only urged his fellow Republicans to give up a fool’s errand to unwind Obamacare, he thanked the women of the Senate for doing the work that the men couldn’t do.

The Tea Baggers must really have their underwear in a twist today. In the end, it took a combination of their greatest nightmares to clean up the colossal mess they made: the Democrats in Congress, a bi-partisan group of women Senators, and a second term black President.

 

We will confuse you with big words

The Million Vet March folks aren’t happy about being hijacked by Sarah Palin, Ted Cruz, and the Confederate flag waving Tea Party wahoos during their march Sunday. Their Face Book page includes this:

Official Stance of the Million Vet March on the Memorials: 

The political agenda put forth by a local organizer in Washington DC yesterday was not in alignment with our message. We feel disheartened that some would seek to hijack the narrative for political gain. The core principle was and remains about all Americans honoring Veterans in a peaceful and apolitical manner. Our love for and our dedication to remains with Veterans, regardless of party affiliation or political leanings.

I wonder if the Tea Party standard-bearers raced home to their Faux News dictionaries  to look up the multi-syllabic words used by other protesters who were also out on Sunday.

photo from Huffington Post
photo from Huffington Post


Just when you think it can’t get any crazier

There was a Tea Party/Veterans march yesterday from the World War II Monument to the White House yesterday that, once again, gets at the truth of the opposition to “all things President Obama.”

Veterans were joined by Tea Party faithfuls worshipping two United States Senators, Ted Cruz and Mike Lee, who have never served in the military, and Alaska’s former governor, Sarah Palin, who quit when the political and legal scrutiny got tough.  Freedom Watch racist/Bible-thumping fact denier Larry Klayman didn’t miss the march either (Klayman continues to claim Obama is a Muslim and isn’t the President of “we the people”). They marched to demand a cherry-pick process to decide what is open and what isn’t (note that they weren’t marching from the Martin Luther King, Jr Memorial or National Museum of the American Indian).

Let me be clear here: I am not saying all veterans support Cruz, Palin, Lee, Klayman, or anyone else at the march yesterday. Some of the veterans were glad to have these Tea Partiers with them, but that doesn’t mean the few marching in DC yesterday represent the views of all veterans. I do think these Tea Party extremists latched onto a ready-made event to get some easy press coverage.

But the march gave some people an opportunity to literally fly their racist flags under the guise of supporting veterans.
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Photos from both national and social media, don’t include any people of color participating. That is both telling and damning about who the Tea Party and extremists will prey on as an easy way to get some media coverage.

And while this type of thing has been pointed out after other Tea Party and über 20131014-083642.jpgConservative rallies, you folks might want to run spell check on your signs before you set out with the burning torches. Show some R E S P E C T for your cause.

Terrorists in plain view

Filed under “funny but true.”

WE PETITION THE OBAMA ADMINISTRATION TO:

Designate the Republican party a terrorist organization
for repeatedly threatening the full faith & credit of the U.S.A.
Designate the Republican party a terrorist organization, since repeatedly
threatening to default on the full faith and credit of the United States
over and over again every time you don’t get what you want is essentially
economic terrorism.

Created: Sep 18, 2013
Issues: Budget and Taxes, Criminal Justice and Law Enforcement,Economy

SIGNATURES NEEDED BY OCTOBER 18, 2013 TO REACH GOAL OF 100,000

97,474

TOTAL SIGNATURES ON THIS PETITION

2,526

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Customers abandon Whole Foods in lockstep

Earlier this month Whole Foods CEO John Mackey spoke with National Public Radio (NPR) as a book Mackey co-authored, Conscious Capitalism, was released. For years Mackey has said he thinks the healthcare reform laws are a form of socialism, but he took it up a notch and told NPR he thinks, “it’s more like fascism.”

The next day on CBS This Morning the Whole Foods founder tried to dial back his rhetoric and “bad choice of words.” Customer’s weren’t buying it.

Mother Jones followed the NPR and CBS features with a January 18 email interview with Mackey. BAGHe seized the opportunity to set off Whole Foods customers with his comments on Climate Change, which included, “climate change is perfectly natural and not necessarily bad.”

Mackey is pretty egalitarian in his ability to alienate customers who know they are paying premium prices to shop at Whole Foods (also called “Whole Paycheck” by customers).

My friend Karen Bonnell sent this email to Whole Foods, which she is allowing me to reprint here:

Dear Whole Foods Market,

I am writing to tell you I must end our love affair. Your (CEO’s) recent comments that Obamacare is “like fascism” and now, saying that Climate change “is not necessarily bad” shows me beyond any shadow of doubt that you don’t have a clue about things most important to me. So, it is adios, and I and my pocketbook will shop elsewhere.

I bet the lines are shorter at Whole Foods these days. That’s the way conscious capitalist consumers behave.

Rural and Progressive

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