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  1. #171
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    Not Obamacare, but it still puts a big fat smile on my face.

    From NYT:

    Official Quits in Backlash Over Colorado Gun Vote

    DENVER — A populist backlash against Colorado’s new gun-control laws claimed its third political casualty on Wednesday as a Democratic state senator resigned her seat rather than face a recall vote that could have cost her party control of the chamber.

    For Democrats in this swing state, the resignation of the senator, Evie Hudak, was a sign of the growing political cost of their votes last winter to expand background checks and limit the size of ammunition magazines — measures once hailed as breakthrough victories in the effort to respond to mass shootings.

    Polls show that voters embrace aspects of the new laws. But the measures have infuriated gun advocates and Republicans, and have become political liabilities in a state where the gun debate is shaped by traditions of hunting and sport-shooting, as well as by the shadows of mass shootings at Columbine High School and the Century 16 movie theater in Aurora.

    In September, two prominent gun-control supporters were ousted in recall elections, reducing the Democrats’ edge in the State Senate to one seat. Ms. Hudak, who represents the suburbs northwest of Denver, would have been the third to face a recall vote, and she and state Democrats acknowledged that neither she nor the party’s 18-17 majority was likely to survive it.

    “By resigning, I am protecting these important new laws for the good of Colorado,” she wrote in her resignation letter, referring to the slate of gun restrictions, including one she sponsored that seeks to keep guns away from domestic-violence offenders.

    Ms. Hudak’s decision averts another potentially humiliating recall vote and allows a panel of county Democrats to choose her temporary successor, ensuring that Republicans cannot immediately take control of the Senate and force vulnerable Democrats into uncomfortable votes to repeal the gun laws or new regulations on rural electricity providers.

    But Floyd Ciruli, a political analyst in Denver, said Ms. Hudak’s resignation amounted to a surrender before the fight began and was another sign of trouble for state Democrats. It comes weeks after voters overwhelmingly rejected a $1 billion tax increase to reform Colorado’s schools, a measure championed by Gov. John W. Hickenlooper and other prominent Democrats.

    “When you add all that in together and stir in the collapse of the national brand, the congressional Democrats, the president and the Affordable Care Act, it’s close to panic,” Mr. Ciruli said.

    In recent weeks, as the recall efforts against Ms. Hudak gained momentum, she discussed her options with supporters and Democratic leaders, according to Morgan Carroll, the incoming Senate president. It quickly became clear that resignation was the least bad choice.

    “She really, really struggled with it,” Ms. Carroll said. “She felt this was a necessary sacrifice to protect these things that were so important to her.”

    Such tactical surrenders are not uncommon, said Joshua Spivak, a senior fellow at the Hugh L. Carey Institute for Government Reform at Wagner College in New York who tracks recall elections. There were at least 168 recall elections nationwide last year, he said, and in 26 cases, officials resigned before the vote.

    Democrats, gun-control supporters and gay-advocacy groups offered thanks to Ms. Hudak on Wednesday, while her opponents expressed a mix of elation and outrage that she had left office before a vote could take place. A pro-recall Facebook page stamped the word “Coward” on her photograph.

    “We all know that this is about control and power and the gun-grabbing, citizen-ignoring Democrats elected to the Colorado State Legislature,” some opponents wrote on the “Recall Hudak Too” website.

    In Ms. Hudak’s district, her critics said they were thrilled. For weeks, they have been gathering signatures to force a recall vote, putting up “Recall Hudak” lawn signs and writing blog posts outlining the case against her. Gordon Allison, who helped gather signatures, said that weeks of knocking on doors and chatting with neighbors had paid off.

    “This is just a politician who needs to be gone,” he said.

    But others felt shortchanged and said they were angry that Ms. Hudak’s successor was likely to share many of her views.

    “She walks away, the Democrats get to appoint another Democrat,” said Dave Palm, who has helped circulate petitions and run the pro-recall website. “They saw the writing on the wall.”

    Ms. Hudak, 62, a former teacher and member of Colorado’s Board of Education, faced an uphill fight against a passionate opposition in a low-turnout election. She was re-elected in 2012 by 584 votes. Her opponents failed to gather enough valid signatures to force a recall vote in their first effort this spring, but they believed they were within reach this time.

    Colorado is one of 19 states that allow recalls of state officials, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Voters can oust officials for any reason if they collect enough signatures and win a special election.

    Until this year, no state lawmaker here had been removed in a recall vote. That changed in September, when John Morse, the State Senate president, and Senator Angela Giron lost their seats in an election that was funded heavily by the National Rifle Association and by gun-control advocates like New York’s mayor, Michael R. Bloomberg.

    On Wednesday, Ms. Hudak’s supporters gathered at a library to offer words of support and thanks. Her opponents attended, too, offering more criticism. Ms. Hudak did not attend.

  2. #172
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    Today is the day kiddos.

    Today is the deadline the administration gave itself to have the website up and running.

  3. #173
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    Harry Reid filled the tree and proceeded with cloture votes 75 times in an effort to keep republicans from offering ANY amendments to legislation in the Senate.

    This is why we obstruct.

    When you are kept from being able to write or influence legislation in the senate, your only option is to stop the process.

  4. #174
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    From Bloomberg:

    Obamacare Payment System to Insurers Changed in Setback

    Parts of the Obamacare enrollment system used to pay insurers are being pushed back from January in the latest technology delay for the president’s U.S. health-care overhaul.

    The administration is setting up a temporary process to send companies the federal subsidies used to help millions of Americans buy coverage because the online system won’t be ready as planned, said Aaron Albright, a spokesman for the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services. Insurers will estimate what they are owed rather than have the government calculate the bill.

    The rollout of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act has been marred by missed deadlines for small businesses, broken promises to consumers and sticker shock over coverage prices. Healthcare.gov, the main portal for consumers to shop for insurance plans, has been error-prone since its Oct. 1 debut and an administration official said this month that 30 percent to 40 percent of the online marketplace hasn’t been finished. Obama administration officials have said the troubled website will work for the vast majority of users by today.

    “This temporary process, which is consistent with how payments have been made to issuers in the Medicare program, will ensure that issuers begin to get premium tax credits and cost-sharing subsidy payments on time, beginning in January,” Albright said yesterday in a telephone interview.
    ‘Trued Up’

    The change won’t affect enrollment for consumers, who have until Dec. 23 to choose a plan that takes effect Jan. 1, he said. The delay also won’t affect payments by insurers to health-care providers.

    The online exchanges are the core of the health-law’s goal to extend medical coverage to most of the nation’s 48 million uninsured. The federal website covers 36 states while 14 states and Washington, D.C., created their own exchanges. Americans without insurance through their employer or a government program are required to buy a health plan by March 31.

    The government’s original plans called for the federal system to automatically determine consumer subsidies and issue payments to insurers. Instead, the companies will submit estimates that will be “trued up” by the government at a later date, according to a CMS memo provided to Bloomberg News. The work-around for insurers will be in place until the automatic payment system is ready, though CMS has no specific date for the fix, Albright said.

    The estimated billings are expected to be close to the actual payments to insurers, according to the memo.

    Henry Chao, the deputy chief information officer for CMS, told a congressional committee Nov. 19 that 30 percent to 40 percent of the federal health exchange hadn’t been built, including back-end systems to transfer data to insurers and make payments to them.

  5. #175
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  6. #176
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    Quote Originally Posted by Magic Poriferan View Post
    Oh, hey, look at that! The USA's health care costs more per capita than anyone else's by far! But, you know, that doesn't change the fact that the math shows that can't be possible. There's no way universal single payer or government health care could cost less money.

    It's expensive, but what country has health care as good as the US? I wouldn't want to be 75 with a serious illness in the UK.

    Life expectancy has more to do with lifestyle than anything else.

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  7. #177
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    Quote Originally Posted by highlander View Post
    It's expensive, but what country has health care as good as the US? I wouldn't want to be 75 with a serious illness in the UK.

    Life expectancy has more to do with lifestyle than anything else.
    How about all of the first world?

    I mean, on what basis do you think the USA has the best health care? It's the most expensive, covers the fewest people, we have a low life expectancy, high infant mortality rate, etc... I want to see a reason to believe the USA has decent health care.
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  8. #178
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    Quote Originally Posted by Magic Poriferan View Post
    How about all of the first world?

    I mean, on what basis do you think the USA has the best health care? It's the most expensive, covers the fewest people, we have a low life expectancy, high infant mortality rate, etc... I want to see a reason to believe the USA has decent health care.
    We provide the best care, and the highest tech care.

    That care is just too expensive.

    It's the best, but many can't afford it.

    Unfortunately the ACA does nothing to control costs.

  9. #179
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    Quote Originally Posted by DiscoBiscuit View Post
    We provide the best care, and the highest tech care.

    That care is just too expensive.

    It's the best, but many can't afford it.
    Exactly.

    If I had a real medical issue and good insurance, there is no country in the world that I would rather be in.

    I would also want to be near a big city that had one or more of the best research hospitals.

    Case in point: 67 year old man diagnosed with stomach cancer. Goes to local specialist who says it is incurable and to "get his life in order". Later gets appointment with leading edge specialist at a top 10 US University Research Hospital. That doctor says, "I'm going to cure you." He did and that man is 92 now.

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  10. #180
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    it's giving employers an excuse not to hire me full time...that's the worst thing about it.

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