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  1. #181
    Sugar Hiccup OrangeAppled's Avatar
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    It's too expensive. I see what they want someone like me to pay and it's

    I guess if I live off top ramen and have no social life I can afford it. I pay dirt cheap rent in a less expensive city in SoCal (because I live in some old building with college students), have basic internet, no TV, no appliances other than a stove, have no hobbies that cost money, have a very low car payment, few material possessions, etc, but I can afford THIS? Imagine if I was a more typical 30 yr old and actually desired "stuff" and had a more active social life. Dying looks like the better option than paying for health insurance. I say insurance and not health care, because it seems to only cover keeping you alive, not less urgent treatment or much preventative care. And no dental?! Why is the mouth not part of the body's health?

    I don't understand how they call this "affordable". I have never gotten insurance through an employer, because I am always a contractor. Maybe 4 years ago I paid X/month for insurance and I made more money then. This obamacare would have me pay X+20% (after their subsidized blah blah blah) and it has much higher co-pays, higher deductibles, etc. Nothing is more affordable about it, and there's little incentive for me to do it.

    I can easily see most people in my situation just paying the penalty. And if enough of us young, single, healthy people do that, then that probably will create a problem....

    This article sums up my impression:
    http://articles.latimes.com/2013/oct...nsive-20131029
    Often a star was waiting for you to notice it. A wave rolled toward you out of the distant past, or as you walked under an open window, a violin yielded itself to your hearing. All this was mission. But could you accomplish it? (Rilke)

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  2. #182
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    In other news, the House passed a two year budget outline in a bipartisan vote 332-94 today.

  3. #183
    Sweet Ocean Cloud SD45T-2's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by OrangeAppled View Post
    I don't understand how they call this "affordable".
    You must not be very familiar with politicians.
    1w2-6w5-3w2 so/sp

    "I took one those personality tests. It came back negative." - Dan Mintz

  4. #184
    Senior Member lowtech redneck's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DiscoBiscuit View Post
    In other news, the House passed a two year budget outline in a bipartisan vote 332-94 today.
    In other news, I'm voting against my congressman in the upcoming primary (and probably refraining from voting for him in the general election).....its worthless to vote Republican if they can't be trusted to uphold their most important promises, especially if such promises are made toward voters they feel free to demonstrate contempt towards (Boehner may have said it, but Tom Price has chosen to go along with it).

    I used to be willing to tolerate just about anything so long as the right Supreme Court Justices were selected....then came John Roberts, and after his betrayal of fundamental Constitutional principles when it mattered the most, I have nothing to lose by refusing to grant Republicans any leeway as far as accountability is concerned.

  5. #185
    ^He pronks, too! Magic Poriferan's Avatar
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    The highlight of his career.

    Go to sleep, iguana.


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  6. #186
    Senior Member lowtech redneck's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Magic Poriferan View Post
    The highlight of his career.

    Laugh it up.....I HAVE noticed that you've stopped referencing those generic ballots, lately.

    I have to admit, I was surprised by the sheer ineptitude of the launch.....I expected serious problems, but nothing on this scale. I think my educational bias (and Asbergers) got the better of me; I have a much less pessimistic view of 'third-world experiences' (in general) than the author of that quote. I figured the true backlash wouldn't begin until people discovered (too late) that they cannot, in fact, keep their preferred insurance or doctors.

  7. #187
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    Quote Originally Posted by lowtech redneck View Post
    Laugh it up.....I HAVE noticed that you've stopped referencing those generic ballots, lately.

    I have to admit, I was surprised by the sheer ineptitude of the launch.....I expected serious problems, but nothing on this scale. I think my educational bias (and Asbergers) got the better of me; I have a much less pessimistic view of 'third-world experiences' (in general) than the author of that quote. I figured the true backlash wouldn't begin until people discovered (too late) that they cannot, in fact, keep their preferred insurance or doctors.
    The ACA is just a slice of it. Here is a devastating piece from the National Journal regarding the administration's tendency to push back regulations until after elections in an effort to hype the benefits of Obama's agenda while delaying the downsides until the public has voted.

    Politics Trumped Policy, Truth for Obama's Reelect

    Story documents how the White House slow-walked regulations despite denials.

    The Obama White House put politics before governing in 2012, lied about it, and still won't own up to it. That's the bottom line of a Washington Post story that shows how far President Obama has devolved since promising five years ago to change Washington.

    Juliet Eilperin opens her story with a bang.

    The White House systematically delayed enacting a series of rules on the environment, worker safety, and health care to prevent them from becoming points of contention before the 2012 election, according to documents and interviews with current and former administration officials.

    Some agency officials were instructed to hold off submitting proposals to the White House for up to a year to ensure that they would not be issued before voters went to the polls, the current and former officials said.
    Then she describes the impact:

    The delays meant that rules were postponed or never issued. The stalled regulations included crucial elements of the Affordable Care Act, what bodies of water deserve federal protection, pollution controls for industrial boilers and limits on dangerous silica exposure in the workplace.
    Eilperin's story quickly reminds readers that the Obama White House is no better than past administrations about shading the truth. It's called "spinning" in Washington, but to voters it's just another reason to doubt the credibility of their government and its leaders. After being caught several times this year misleading the public, Obama's ratings on trustworthiness, once a key to his popularity, are declining.

    The Obama administration has repeatedly said that any delays until after the election were coincidental and that such decisions were made without regard to politics. But seven current and former administration officials told The Washington Post that the motives behind many of the delays were clearly political, as Obama's top aides focused on avoiding controversy before his reelection.
    Obama's apologists will say that every president plays politics with policy in elections years. Two problems with that. First, Obama promised to be better than the status quo. Second, he's worse.

    The number and scope of delays under Obama went well beyond those of his predecessors, who helped shape rules but did not have the same formalized controls, said current and former officials who spoke on the condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the topic.
    And yet, even as Eilperin scatters the house of cards, Team Obama keeps spinning.

    Administration officials noted that they issued a number of controversial rules during Obama's first term, including limits on mercury emissions for power plants and Medicaid eligibility criteria under the Affordable Care Act.

    "OMB works as expeditiously as possible to review rules, but when it comes to complex rules with significant potential impact, we take the time needed to get them right," Cain said.
    Eilperin calls them out.

    But Ronald White, who directs regulatory policy at the advocacy group Center for Effective Government, said the "overt manipulation of the regulatory review process by a small White House office" raises questions about how the government writes regulations. He said the amount of time it took the White House to review proposed rules was "particularly egregious over the past two years."

    Previous White House operations have weighed in on major rules before they were officially submitted for review. But Jeffrey Holmstead, who headed the EPA's Office of Air and Radiation in the George W. Bush administration, said the effort was not as extensive as the Obama administration's approach.
    When you have Ron Fournier of The National Journal writing that.... (neither a friend of conservatism) you know you're in trouble.

  8. #188
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    From Ron Fournier at The National Journal:

    'This Is the End of the Presidency'

    Tracking the same horrible second-term path as Bush, can Obama learn from the past?

    Claiming a mandate he never had, the newly reelected president foisted a bold agenda upon Congress and the public, then watched it collapse within months—a victim of scandal, cynical opponents, and his own hubris. One despairing adviser declared, "This is the end of the presidency."

    That was George W. Bush in 2005. Or was it Barack Obama this past year? Reading Peter Baker's extraordinary account of the Bush-Cheney era, Days of Fire, I found a striking number of parallels between Bush's fifth year in office and the atrocious first 12 months of President Obama's second term.

    My takeaway: Obama needs to shatter the cycle of dysfunction (his and history's) or risk leaving office like Bush, unpopular and relatively unaccomplished.

    Here are nine analogues between Bush's 2005 and Obama's 2013, starting with …

    1. Assuming victory came with spoils. Bush wasted no time plotting an expansive vision for his second term, ordering speechwriters to produce an Inaugural Address that made "ending tyranny in our world" official U.S. policy. His domestic agenda included changes to Social Security, immigration, the tax code, and court-clogging litigation rules. Obama unleashed an aggressively liberal agenda in his second Inaugural Address, promising to combat climate change, loosen immigration restrictions, curb gun violence, and expand human and civil rights.

    Bush and Obama made the same mistake. Both men convinced themselves that they were reelected because of their agendas, rather than because of negative campaign strategies that essentially disqualified their rivals—Democrat John Kerry and Republican Mitt Romney. In fact, many of the issues claimed as presidential mandates in 2005 and 2013 actually received relatively little attention from the candidates and from the media in 2004 and 2012. On the night of Obama's election, I wrote:

    Barack Obama won a second term but no mandate. Thanks in part to his own small-bore and brutish campaign, victory guarantees the president nothing more than the headache of building consensus in a gridlocked capital on behalf of a polarized public.

    If the president begins his second term under any delusion that voters rubber-stamped his agenda on Tuesday night, he is doomed to fail.

    Mandates are rarely won on election night. They are earned after Inauguration Day by leaders who spend their political capital wisely, taking advantage of events without overreaching.

    Obama's advisers mocked the column and others like it, a sign of …

    2. Institutional arrogance and overreach. Early in his second term, Bush brushed aside questions about Bernard Kerik's background and nominated the former New York police commissioner to head the Homeland Security Department. Baker concluded the move "demonstrated that a president at the peak of his power and influence thought he could dismiss such issues and the rest of Washington would go along." A short time later, Bush awarded Presidential Medals of Freedom to George Tenet, Jerry Bremer, and Tommy Franks, three architects of the Iraq War. "It was the act of a president fresh off reelection feeling empowered and a little defiant," Baker wrote.

    Shortly after his reelection, at the height of his powers, Obama faced a choice in the 2012 lame-duck session of Congress: Lead with humility and seek compromise with the GOP on a long-term budget deal, or rub Republican faces in defeat. Obama forced his rivals to accept higher taxes on the wealthy. It was his prerogative; he won the election. And he set the tone for a harsh and humiliating 2013. Meanwhile …

    3. First-term success haunted the second term. The increasingly unpopular Iraq war Was an issue in 2004, even after Saddam Hussein's capture, but Bush had managed to finesse it for reelection. Obama's white whale was the Affordable Care Act. In both cases, luck ran out after Election Day. The death toll rose in Iraq during Bush's fifth year. For Obama, the federal health insurance website didn't work, and millions of Americans lost their insurance policies despite his promises to the contrary.

    Both presidents deceived the public about their signature policies, and their credibility crumbled. Insularity hurt both teams. Vice President Dick Cheney famously said the Iraq insurgency was in its "last throes." Obama and his advisers characterized catastrophic flaws with the ACA website as "glitches." Making matters worse …

    4. Nobody took responsibility. Faced with failure, Bush and Obama reluctantly acknowledged the public's frustration. "Like most Americans," Bush said of Iraq in mid-2005, "I see the images of violence and bloodshed. Every picture is horrifying, and the suffering is real. Amid all this violence, I know Americans ask the question: Is the sacrifice worth it? It is worth it, and it is vital to the future security of our country."

    Eight years later, a chastened Obama addressed his broken promises on health care. "I completely get how upsetting this can be for a lot of Americans, particularly after assurances they heard from me," Obama said in November. "To those Americans, I hear you loud and clear."

    As I wrote last week, the presidents also shared an allergy to firing people. Their reluctance may have something to do with the fact that they …

    5. Dragged their feet in response to crises. In his chapter on Hurricane Katrina, Baker wrote, "Now deep in the fight year of a presidency already marked by one crisis after another, Bush was slow to recognize the scale of the disaster." By the time he did, it was too late. Steve Schmidt, the vice president's counselor, wrote in an email to a colleague, "This is the end of the presidency."

    Despite warnings that the health care website wasn't ready, the White House went ahead with the rollout and then minimized the extent of the problems, even internally, for weeks.

    In fairness, the presidents had to deal with ….

    6. An opposition party that took partisanship to new levels. Writing of Bush's ill-fated effort to overhaul the Social Security system, Baker said, "Democrats had seized on the issue to attack Bush, calculating it was a way of weakening a newly reelected president." The Obama White House and its apologists seem to forget the zero-sum game tactics of Bush-era Democrats when they criticize congressional Republicans (accurately) for making presidential destruction a singular goal. Like Bush, Obama also had an opposite problem …

    7. Pressure from the base. Bush got beat up by fellow Republicans over his choice of Harriet Miers to serve on the Supreme Court. Conservatives believed she was professionally and ideologically unsuited. "He was mad at his aides, aggravated that they had let this happen," Baker wrote of the Miers nomination, which was withdrawn. "But he realized he was the one who had put his friend in the situation and it was time to find a way out."

    Opposition from liberals didn't stop Obama from proposing entitlement reform in public, but the protests had the intended effect in private. The president felt hemmed in by the Left during budget negotiations, according to White House officials involved in the talks.

    And, of course, there were the big distractions …

    8. Scandals. For Bush, it was the investigation of a leak the led to exposure of an undercover CIA agent. The inquiry divided the White House staff and cast a pall over the administration. For Obama, it was the IRS's review of political organizations, the Justice Department's seizure of Associated Press telephone records, and widespread surveillance by the National Security Agency. The controversies, along with the 2012 attack in Benghazi, Libya, were exacerbated by the way the White House handled them—with shifting explanations and, in some cases, outright distortions.

    All of this led to a miserable fifth year and …

    9. Failed agendas. "Of the four domestic goals he had set for 2005," Baker wrote of Bush, "three were dead." Only tort reform had been partially accomplished. Obama had a similar record, failing on guns, immigration, and the long-term budget. Through federal regulations, he made partial progress on climate change.

    Bush ended his fifth year in office giving a national address on Iraq in which he showed an unusual amount of contrition and accountability. Acknowledging the war had been "more difficult than we expected," Bush offered an olive branch to war opponents.

    "We will continue to listen to honest criticism and make every change that will help us complete the mission," Bush said. He was rewarded with an 8-point bump in his approval rating to 47 percent, Baker wrote, "suggesting the public was still willing to listen."

    That is the one ray of light for Obama. If after the events and mistakes of 2005 Americans were still willing to listen to Bush, there may still be hope for Obama. His presidency might recover.

    Of course, the next year brought a spate of worse news for Bush, primarily a grim and unrelenting escalation of war in Iraq—his white whale, the issue that eventually swallowed a presidency.

  9. #189
    Sweet Ocean Cloud SD45T-2's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DiscoBiscuit View Post
    The schadenfruede is strong......
    Last week on the Hugh Hewitt show Mark Steyn referred to the ongoing fiasco as a schadenfreude-a-rama.

    Speaking of which:

    Quote Originally Posted by New York Times
    Many in New York’s professional and cultural elite have long supported President Obama’s health care plan. But now, to their surprise, thousands of writers, opera singers, music teachers, photographers, doctors, lawyers and others are learning that their health insurance plans are being canceled and they may have to pay more to get comparable coverage, if they can find it.

    They are part of an unusual, informal health insurance system that has developed in New York, in which independent practitioners were able to get lower insurance rates through group plans, typically set up by their professional associations or chambers of commerce. That allowed them to avoid the sky-high rates in New York’s individual insurance market, historically among the most expensive in the country.

    But under the Affordable Care Act, they will be treated as individuals, responsible for their own insurance policies. For many of them, that is likely to mean they will no longer have access to a wide network of doctors and a range of plans tailored to their needs. And many of them are finding that if they want to keep their premiums from rising, they will have to accept higher deductible and co-pay costs or inferior coverage.
    http://www.nytimes.com/2013/12/14/ny...nals.html?_r=0
    1w2-6w5-3w2 so/sp

    "I took one those personality tests. It came back negative." - Dan Mintz

  10. #190
    Senior Member SensEye's Avatar
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    Many in New York’s professional and cultural elite have long supported President Obama’s health care plan. But now, to their surprise, thousands of writers, opera singers, music teachers, photographers, doctors, lawyers and others are learning that their health insurance plans are being canceled and they may have to pay more to get comparable coverage, if they can find it.
    Oh dear, the notion that New York's professional and cultural elite may have to pay more so (presumeably) millions of poor American's can pay less is certainly appalling. Although I get that these "cultural elite" like to play the leftie (i.e. concerned social minded enlightened citizen) as long as their ox is not the one getting gored. So it's nice to see their hipocrisy exposed along with the increase to their premiums. I guess they will have to vote Republican but still attend all the Democrat events next election.

    Also, per the "white whale" article upthread, I agree in general with what the article says from a political point of view. However, I couldn't help but be struck by the fact that Bush's white whale was a war, and Obama's is affordable healthcare. Hard to equate the "nobility" of the objectives, despite the similarities in possible political consequences.

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