Wednesday Morning Open Thread

More from me on the SCOTUS and ACA.

Update: (TL): Here's the transcript from today's oral argument. You can also listen via these links.

Here are Monday's transcript and audio and Tuesday's transcript and audio.

Open Thread.

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    New potential cancer treatment (5.00 / 1) (#2)
    by Edger on Wed Mar 28, 2012 at 11:37:58 AM EST
    nearly ready for human clinical trials?

    Cancer cells produce higher levels of a protein called CD47 than do all other cells. CD47 is a marker that blocks the immune system from destroying cells, and cancer cells take advantage of this to survive and grow by avoiding immune reactions.

    Now a researcher - biologist Irving Weissman of the Stanford University School of Medicine - has apparently produced and been testing an antibody based drug that can...

    ...shrink or cure human breast, ovary, colon, bladder, brain, liver, and prostate tumors that have been transplanted into mice, researchers have found. The treatment, an antibody that blocks [the CD47] "do not eat" signal normally displayed on tumor cells, coaxes the immune system to destroy the cancer cells.
    To determine whether blocking CD47 was beneficial, the scientists exposed tumor cells to macrophages, a type of immune cell, and anti-CD47 molecules in petri dishes. Without the drug, the macrophages ignored the cancerous cells. But when the [anti-]CD47 was present, the macrophages engulfed and destroyed cancer cells from all tumor types.
    Weissman's team has received a $20 million grant from the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine to move the findings from mouse studies to human safety tests. "We have enough data already," says Weissman, "that I can say I'm confident that this will move to phase I human trials."

    Story at ScienceMag.org  : One Drug to Shrink All Tumors March 26, 2012

    I wonder (none / 0) (#34)
    by TeresaInSnow2 on Wed Mar 28, 2012 at 12:40:45 PM EST
    how the drug will behave on normal cells....

    CD47 is a marker of self.  It is ubiquitous.  It helps prevent autoimmunity.  

    To me, this doesn't really seem promising, except in extreme cases where the patient will die anyway.


    Although the article does not state it directly (none / 0) (#80)
    by Edger on Wed Mar 28, 2012 at 01:42:37 PM EST
    It seems to be saying that that - unlike current form of chemotherapy - the drug being tested here targets only tumor cells, not 'normal' cells.

    The treatment, an antibody that blocks a "do not eat" signal normally displayed on tumor cells, coaxes the immune system to destroy the cancer cells.

    If it was blocking CD47 production of all cells, it would be an immune system destroyer, and would kill the patient, I think. But that does not appear to be the case... since the mice were cured of cancer, and - as a bonus - lived to tell their story.

    the team transplanted human tumors into the feet of mice, where tumors can be easily monitored. When they treated the rodents with anti-CD47, the tumors shrank and did not spread to the rest of the body. In mice given human bladder cancer tumors, for example, 10 of 10 untreated mice had cancer that spread to their lymph nodes. Only one of 10 mice treated with anti-CD47 had a lymph node with signs of cancer. Moreover, the implanted tumor often got smaller after treatment -- colon cancers transplanted into the mice shrank to less than one-third of their original size, on average. And in five mice with breast cancer tumors, anti-CD47 eliminated all signs of the cancer cells, and the animals remained cancer-free 4 months after the treatment stopped.

    CD47 (none / 0) (#88)
    by TeresaInSnow2 on Wed Mar 28, 2012 at 02:03:57 PM EST
    is ubiquitous.  Thus, the drug would also target normal cells.

    The scientists implanted tumor cells into the mouse feet.  They did not say anywhere in the article the status of the mice health other than the cancer status after the treatment ended.

    The mice could be footless for all we know.  Scientists love to forget negative details in these research articles.  Grant funding does not come from publishing downsides.  People's livelihoods are based on grant funding.


    This article (none / 0) (#90)
    by TeresaInSnow2 on Wed Mar 28, 2012 at 02:08:44 PM EST
    talks about my caveat as well as some others:



    Not quite (none / 0) (#93)
    by Edger on Wed Mar 28, 2012 at 02:14:40 PM EST
    the animals remained cancer-free 4 months after the treatment stopped

    I take it from that, that the status of the mice health after the treatment ended, was "alive", as well as cancer free.

    I won't argue the point further with you. If you are - or you are not - a biologist and researcher, and want to dispute the research, I suggest you contact the people who did this research.


    While at the basic research level, (none / 0) (#65)
    by KeysDan on Wed Mar 28, 2012 at 01:21:08 PM EST
    the studies bring an innovative approach to mechanisms of effective drug treatment for tumors.  At a more applied level, new studies have indicated that remission of Type 2 diabetes may be achieved by stomach-reducing surgery to reduce obesity.  A study published in the N.E. Journal of Medicine and another presented at an American College of Cardiology show that the surgery (gastric by-pass, or gastric bands, which apparently is not as effective) achieves normal blood sugar levels than with medication alone. In fact, it may be possible, in some cases, to reduce or eliminate medications.

    These, and other break-throughs in health care underscore the short-comings of some health economists and planners, namely,  that progress in health care does not necessarily bring the economies of progress seen in other areas (e.g, bringing down the cost of electronics).  Health care is, and will continue to be, expensive. Economies can be achieved around the periphery, and by curbing fraud, but the centrality of health care costs will remain and grow. Costs may be assumed by the government or shifted to individuals, the costs will remain and will need to be paid for.   And, as one health problem is overcome, people will live longer, but will encounter new needs along their way.


    I Rad That... (none / 0) (#111)
    by ScottW714 on Wed Mar 28, 2012 at 02:35:59 PM EST
    ...they said the Diabetes, type 2, starts reversing hours after the surgery.

    That is crazy.

    On the money front, I disagree with some of it. Arthroscopic surgery is good example, that certainly has reduced costs.  MRI's versus Xray, more expensive upfront, but on the back end clearly cheaper.  Vaccinations/immunizations, flu shots, all certainly cheaper advancements.  People living longer well that one would need someone with a great deal more time and knowledge, but if they are healthier, certainly curing someone of cancer is cheaper than fighting cancer for a couple years.

    Certainly corporate profits and salaries have skyrocketed in that field.  I think it's absurd that the hospital I use occasionally has famous sculptures and paintings in the lobby, marble from top to bottom, and and all the other aesthetic non-sense.  Give me a white room of professionals and save the bling for the fat cats that can't get well without it.

    I think they should cap benefits when you start approaching expected life time, and especially when you exceed it.  I know it sounds cruel, but a million dollar heart transplant at 71 is expecting too much IMO.  That million just blew the costs per person out of the water.

    Just because we can do it, doesn't mean we can afford to.  That same surgery on someone with a couple decades left, sure.  But until we have that conversation, we will never get costs under control IMO.


    You make fair points (none / 0) (#135)
    by KeysDan on Wed Mar 28, 2012 at 04:23:35 PM EST
    about administration costs and profits as well as with procedures such as arthroscopic surgery and even, MRIs.  But, as you note, in the long run it may be advantageous but there is the up-front expense (e.g, gastric by-pass costs about $25,000, but we may reduce insulin costs over a life-time and costs associated with diabetic complications)  Moreover, the usage may be available to more patients than in the past, increasing costs in macro-consdideration. And, as still new treatments and procedures become available and used broadly, costs will increase, at least up front.

    Costs of knee replacements or hip replacements are not significantly reduced with volume. And, the sharpening of the procedure and techniques makes it more available and accessible.

    My central point is that health care, in respect to costs, does not necessarily lend itself to economies, in the same sense that the beautiful music expected of a string quartet will likely always require four musicians....we could economize with three, but a quartet does not lend itself to three.

    As for age-related rationing or other selective determinations in withholding care,  we could, indeed, save money, perhaps with a reverse sliding scale.  As costs go up, we could reduce the age cap, or gender or some subjective criteria to be administered by a godly panel.   But, I see this as a problem.


    The doctor that I saw speaking about the (none / 0) (#149)
    by Militarytracy on Wed Mar 28, 2012 at 05:10:11 PM EST
    Bypass cure brought up that hours after surgery blood sugar began dropping, that something else is involved there other than new eating habits that needs study.

    In a disease such as Type 2 diabetes, (none / 0) (#155)
    by KeysDan on Wed Mar 28, 2012 at 05:38:28 PM EST
    the word "cure" is probably not accurate.  Remission  is better, and would be, in itself, a break-through.  Never-the-less, the procedure is just being reported after promising studies and, as you note, much more needs to be learned.  Probably, the starting point will be with patients who are morbidly obese (100 percent over ideal weight).

    My discussion related to advances in health care and costs, but a complete discussion would relate to the quality of care and life.  In the instance of diabetes Type 2, the quality of life would extend beyond drug/insulin treatment to reducing or eliminating common complications  such as those that affect the eye, feet, kidney,  and cardio-vascular system.   Another, older example of advances, but not necessarily in cost-savings, is cataract surgery.  In the not too olden days, it was a major operation, with the patient bed-ridden and immobilized, sometimes with sand bags.  Of course, today the blade-less surgery (laser) revolutionized treatment, but not necessarily the costs.


    I was digging for extra info if you had it (none / 0) (#159)
    by Militarytracy on Wed Mar 28, 2012 at 07:14:13 PM EST
    It runs in my family as we age.  Now that testing and understanding is so much better we now know it is a mixture of type 1 and 2 as we stop making insulin as well.  You knew so much about hearts :)  

    Terrific information KeysDan... (none / 0) (#163)
    by fishcamp on Wed Mar 28, 2012 at 08:37:48 PM EST
    Thank you.  Having just had the new semi instant cataract surgery you speak of I now am back to 20/20 vision but it cost we the people $9k per eye.  Friday I go in for Gallbladder surgery...soon I will be completely rebuilt,  however the costs are extremely high.  Many hospitals here in S Florida are barely breaking even.  Where does the money go?

    try to imagine the emotional factors at work (none / 0) (#156)
    by Dadler on Wed Mar 28, 2012 at 05:47:44 PM EST
    in a surgery that profound, life & death.  IMO, the brain triggers a sort of hyper-survival response in the body, whose systems it controls entirely on the subconscious/involuntary level.

    I think there's something more to it (none / 0) (#160)
    by Militarytracy on Wed Mar 28, 2012 at 07:52:58 PM EST
    As I know two women who have had it done.  I did not know them prior, only afterward and they were both leading very active lives.  Both claim that they avoid sugar and simple carbs now naturally, one says that if she does eat Christmas baked items now trying to fit in with the moment it will make her physically ill for awhile.

    Breitbart blogger says Trayvon ... (5.00 / 2) (#4)
    by Yman on Wed Mar 28, 2012 at 11:42:18 AM EST
    ... Martin picture was "altered somehow" and "lightened" to make him look innocent.

    Nevermind that his own link shows that the darker, original photo was from a low-resolution sign at a protest.  More importantly, Dan Riehl thinks that lightening a photo makes you appear more innocent?


    the ideal is a scandanavian (5.00 / 3) (#5)
    by jondee on Wed Mar 28, 2012 at 11:56:59 AM EST
    albino caucasion. Just like Jesus was.

    Must have been (5.00 / 2) (#9)
    by jbindc on Wed Mar 28, 2012 at 12:10:11 PM EST
    Done by the Clinton people doncha know....

    No doubt (none / 0) (#12)
    by Yman on Wed Mar 28, 2012 at 12:15:12 PM EST
    Gotta admit ... that "darkened" Youtube video did come to mind.

    I find this argument interesting (5.00 / 1) (#157)
    by Rupe on Wed Mar 28, 2012 at 05:48:03 PM EST
    That it is somehow journalistic malpractice to "lighten" a picture.  If we live in a society where we need to lighten a picture of somebody to arouse sympathy (which we do) that is a problem in and of itself.  The implication that if the picture remained in the darker version (which was not the original anyway) the subject would be less sympathetic is so overtly racist as to defy belief.  It is rather incredible that following the 90s where people at least seemed to use dog whistles and generally keep things more PC, the fringe is willing to be overtly and unapologetically racist.

    Rep. Bobby Rush thrown off ... (5.00 / 1) (#19)
    by Yman on Wed Mar 28, 2012 at 12:25:59 PM EST
    ... the House floor for wearing a hoodie.

    Yes (5.00 / 1) (#20)
    by Ga6thDem on Wed Mar 28, 2012 at 12:26:21 PM EST
    I checked and they are pretty high and no prescription drug coverage. Of course, that is better than nothing. I'm not knocking it for the people that can afford it.

    No, you are wrong there is prescription drug (none / 0) (#27)
    by MKS on Wed Mar 28, 2012 at 12:32:14 PM EST
    coverage--in California, and it is very good coverage.

    You (5.00 / 1) (#30)
    by Ga6thDem on Wed Mar 28, 2012 at 12:35:27 PM EST
    don't see that when looking at the explanation of benefits on the website. CA must be doing something that the feds and other states are not.

    Perhaps CA could just go ahead with a preexisting conditions law of their own?


    You know (5.00 / 2) (#41)
    by sj on Wed Mar 28, 2012 at 12:46:44 PM EST
    that the GA in Ga6thDem stands for Georgia, right?  Geography isn't my strong point, but I'm pretty sure Georgia isn't in California.

    That is an exception - not PCIP (none / 0) (#63)
    by Edger on Wed Mar 28, 2012 at 01:18:52 PM EST
    The Pre-Existing Condition Insurance Plan in California is not run by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Click here to learn more about coverage in California.

    The page for California does say coverage for prescription drugs, but gives no numbers upon which a declaration of "very good coverage" could be made, although it does state there is a $500 deductible for your "very good coverage".


    Actaully (5.00 / 1) (#70)
    by Ga6thDem on Wed Mar 28, 2012 at 01:28:32 PM EST
    a $500 drug deductible is a good benefit for someone with preexisting conditions. I had that $ amount deductible for my son who has a preexisting and I met it in the first month of the year and then just had to pay the copays for the rest of the year.

    Co-pays of $15 (none / 0) (#69)
    by MKS on Wed Mar 28, 2012 at 01:26:33 PM EST
    But do you not understand that this is coverage for uninsurable people with pre-existing conditions?

    Thank you for your good wishes....I will pass them along?


    No kidding? (none / 0) (#74)
    by Edger on Wed Mar 28, 2012 at 01:31:29 PM EST
    That would be why it's called "Pre-Existing Condition Insurance Plan"?

    Hunh. Who would have thought...


    Nike Sues Reebok (5.00 / 0) (#24)
    by CoralGables on Wed Mar 28, 2012 at 12:29:27 PM EST
    Over Reebok made Tim Tebow Jets jerseys. They apparently don't care about Reebok made Peyton Manning Denver jerseys.

    Lead investigator in Trayvon Martin case ... (5.00 / 0) (#37)
    by Yman on Wed Mar 28, 2012 at 12:44:01 PM EST
    ... recommended charging him with manslaughter on the night of the killing.  He filed an affidavit on the night of the shooting in which he said that he was unconvinced of Zimmerman's version of events.

    Love to see that affidavit ...

    I just checked (5.00 / 2) (#38)
    by nycstray on Wed Mar 28, 2012 at 12:45:24 PM EST
    for me, PICP would be $405 and MRMIP would be $639 or $1028 if I qualified for one of the programs.

    It depends on where you live (none / 0) (#43)
    by MKS on Wed Mar 28, 2012 at 12:49:06 PM EST
    It goes by county in California.

    And, by comparison, if you were to get the same coverage with an employer, and assuming you were healthy, you would pay far, far more.....

    MRMIP is for those who do not qualify under the PCIP program....


    And BTW (5.00 / 2) (#48)
    by TeresaInSnow2 on Wed Mar 28, 2012 at 12:54:34 PM EST
    The federal plan has a $2000 deductible and a $500 RX deductible.  

    Most employer paid plans have far better coverage for the money.


    I can read, so I checked the correct county (5.00 / 1) (#52)
    by nycstray on Wed Mar 28, 2012 at 12:59:07 PM EST
    Mine was on pg2. The rates on pg1 were higher :)

    Not sure what the private market would charge me in reality, but scanning their rates doesn't give me hope of affordable coverage anymore than PICP or MRMIP do. I really don't know about employer rates, but I really doubt they would be that much higher. That's one of the reasons to have a staff job . . . . you learn how much your insurance really would have been when they lay you off and you see your COBRA rate :D


    You can talk about affordable (none / 0) (#62)
    by MKS on Wed Mar 28, 2012 at 01:17:37 PM EST
    coverage all you like.

    The issue is any coverage at all for those with pre-existing conditions....something most here are not taking into account.

    I have priced private coverage and it is very, very high.....for healthy people.....

    And employer based plans are very high too.....and going up......I have priced that recently too.


    AFAIK, I don't have a PIC (none / 0) (#72)
    by nycstray on Wed Mar 28, 2012 at 01:29:07 PM EST
    I checked out of curiosity and also for my sister who does. She def cannot afford the rates, so that would put her in the 'no coverage available' category. Except, she is 'lucky' and lives in SF. She's really kinda stuck, she can't move anywhere more affordable (out of SF) because she would lose access to Healthy SF coverage.

    Last time I priced coverage (about a year ago) it wasn't that much more than PICP for me (that was just off of the websites, didn't get into the nitty gritty with any Ins Cos).

    One of the reasons I talk about affordable, is, it's kinda key. You can't say people have access to coverage, healthy or PICP, if they can't afford it. The coverage doesn't mean squat if you can't use it. Access/availability to it means it's affordable, imo.


    Your friend (5.00 / 1) (#44)
    by TeresaInSnow2 on Wed Mar 28, 2012 at 12:52:12 PM EST
    is apparently very young.  Otherwise, no insurance costs less than $300/month unless it's junk.

    My JUNK insurance in Washington State costs over $400/month.  It is a $2500 deductible plan and no, it's not in the pre-existing condition system.

    Check the tables (none / 0) (#47)
    by MKS on Wed Mar 28, 2012 at 12:54:21 PM EST
    and it goes county by county.

    Note (5.00 / 2) (#51)
    by TeresaInSnow2 on Wed Mar 28, 2012 at 12:58:22 PM EST
    that a person of about 40 will pay ~$800/month for insurance under YOUR plan.  This is a plan with a $1500 deductible.  How is that affordable for most people?

    I have no idea what you are looking at (none / 0) (#59)
    by MKS on Wed Mar 28, 2012 at 01:10:10 PM EST
    We have someone is well above 40 and pays less than $400.

    And, Anthem Blue Cross here is worse--when provided by employers.....for healthy people.....

    Sure, if you cherry-pick, you of course can cone with a worse case scenario....

    So, if you are looing for a way to critize, you will find it.

    But it does help people at rates much lower than you have talked about.


    Yes, that's EXACTLY what we want (5.00 / 2) (#77)
    by Yman on Wed Mar 28, 2012 at 01:34:09 PM EST
    So, she is from Georgia, does that mean you want a member of my family to lose her coverage?

    Cleary, some of you do.

    And we hate America, apple pie, children and puppies, ...

    .... but most of all the puppies ...

    Megamillions jackpot... (5.00 / 2) (#95)
    by kdog on Wed Mar 28, 2012 at 02:16:17 PM EST
    is at half a billion dollars...I never play the suckers bet on my own but I'm gonna have to throw 20 on this one.

    Our little office pool hit 3 out of 6 and the megaball two drawings ago for a 150 dolla win...so we still got 75 to parlay on the next drawing.

    If we win, the Talkleft Convention is so on kids!  ;)

    all expenses paid? ;) (5.00 / 1) (#96)
    by jbindc on Wed Mar 28, 2012 at 02:20:09 PM EST
    But of course... (5.00 / 2) (#100)
    by kdog on Wed Mar 28, 2012 at 02:28:12 PM EST
    I would strive to be the largest jackpot winner ever to end up busto.  Money is for spending.

    First order of business after the convention is to bankroll all your elections to win a seat in Congress in your respective home districts...then we start doing f8ckin' damage!

    Well maybe not you jb, absent some more re-education...j/k;)


    lol. I am in FL remember (5.00 / 2) (#119)
    by ruffian on Wed Mar 28, 2012 at 03:11:32 PM EST
    Still don't know what district I am even in. They are still taking that to court.

    But I would ether be running against Daniel Webster or a Tea Partier, so count me in!!!


    I'm in Texas and just praying that I don't end up (none / 0) (#122)
    by Angel on Wed Mar 28, 2012 at 03:16:09 PM EST
    being 'represented' by a tea party or a republican.  This area of the state has long been represented by a Democrat and they're carving and slicing and dicing every which way to get rid of him.  It really is unconscionable.  

    can you imagine the primaries though? (none / 0) (#104)
    by CST on Wed Mar 28, 2012 at 02:32:25 PM EST
    If I'm remembering/guessing people's regions correctly, we could have some interesting matchups.

    Anne-SJ for the balitmore region (Zorba maybe too?)

    Gathdem (ruining your screenname sorry) vs MilitaryTracy for GA (if MT is even in GA)

    I think dk and I are in the same district.

    That's not even accounting for all you nyers.

    And we thought Obama vs. Hillary was contentious.


    LOL! (none / 0) (#136)
    by sj on Wed Mar 28, 2012 at 04:31:55 PM EST
    But think of the debates!  We'd be using words like "moreover" instead of "my opponent would like you to think"

    you might use (5.00 / 1) (#139)
    by CST on Wed Mar 28, 2012 at 04:41:56 PM EST
    "moreover", unfortunately I would probably slip up with an "irregardless".

    You're in luck CST (none / 0) (#142)
    by dk on Wed Mar 28, 2012 at 04:45:36 PM EST
    I just moved out of your district into Barney Frank's district.  So it's all yours!

    I thought about throwing my hat in the ring for Barney's seat since he's retiring, but let's face it, it's already been bought and paid for by that cute young Kennedy boy.  :-)


    I thought about running against Lynch (none / 0) (#148)
    by CST on Wed Mar 28, 2012 at 05:09:09 PM EST
    who am I kidding, no I didn't.

    I just had to double check that I'm still actually in his district and not Capuano's, I think I am, I don't think his map shifted east any, but it's really hard to tell based on the ones I've seen.

    PK is not hard on the eyes I will give you that.


    In all seriousness (5.00 / 1) (#154)
    by dk on Wed Mar 28, 2012 at 05:20:57 PM EST
    I have mixed feelings about PK.  For all I know, he's great on the issues.  But, the reality is probably that he'll sail through unchallenged because of his name and financial backing.  Give me a good old fashioned knock down drag out primary any day of the week.

    Dude, that hurts (sniff) (none / 0) (#124)
    by jbindc on Wed Mar 28, 2012 at 03:24:23 PM EST
    How boring it would be to be surrounded by people who agree with you all of the time.  Someone needs to be with all you party animals to make sure no one gets hurt.  :)

    Besides - maybe YOU can get a little re-education too.  <grin>


    Plenty of room for ideological differences... (none / 0) (#128)
    by kdog on Wed Mar 28, 2012 at 03:42:37 PM EST
    with one exception, I will insist on a basic respect for and defense of inalienable human rights, which means no drug warriors allowed, lord knows DC has enough of those already.

    Bend on that and you're in like Flynn old pal.


    I will defend those rights (none / 0) (#152)
    by jbindc on Wed Mar 28, 2012 at 05:18:53 PM EST
    That are truly "inalienable".  To every thing else that you try to argue are "inalienable", I will try to turn a blind eye.

    Until it stops being funny 'cuz someone puts an eye out.  :)


    this is key (none / 0) (#101)
    by CST on Wed Mar 28, 2012 at 02:28:21 PM EST
    especially depending on where the convention is.

    I could probably cover a $30 rt bus ticket to NY.  But LA doesn't have a chinatown bus from Boston.  Also I hear some of the people on here live outside the northeast megalopolis.  Which is just silly, but there it is :)


    I was thinking... (none / 0) (#109)
    by kdog on Wed Mar 28, 2012 at 02:35:29 PM EST
    lease a private jet and fly around the country pickin' everybody up, and we can't observed over in Kazakhstan and Dalton in China.

    Come to think of it the convention itself might end up being held in Gitmo, but at least we'll have lawyers.


    Err... (none / 0) (#110)
    by kdog on Wed Mar 28, 2012 at 02:35:57 PM EST
    s/b can't forget observed and Dalton.

    kdog (5.00 / 0) (#103)
    by CoralGables on Wed Mar 28, 2012 at 02:31:10 PM EST
    what are the odds of hitting that pool? I've seen it estimated at 176 million to 1.

    As it is random rather than skill, and since the odds of hitting are a lower number than the dollar payout after taxes, it would no longer technically be a sucker bet. It would actually be a smart play.

    Go for it my man.


    Still a gamble... (none / 0) (#115)
    by kdog on Wed Mar 28, 2012 at 02:48:20 PM EST
    if one had 176,000,000 to wager, you better pray you're the only winner.  More than one winner sold, you're f8cked.  And don't forget Uncle Sam wants his end, and he has much more than a half a billion dollars worth of weapons.

    True (none / 0) (#117)
    by CoralGables on Wed Mar 28, 2012 at 03:05:47 PM EST
    and the cash payout wouldn't be 500 million but still after taxes would exceed 176 million, so drop a buck and smile knowing it's one of the few gambles when the potential payout exceeds your chances of winning.

    I'll bet you 20 bucks (none / 0) (#97)
    by Edger on Wed Mar 28, 2012 at 02:20:09 PM EST
    That after the draw I'll be 20 bucks ahead of you. Sorry, I mean 40 bucks. ;-)

    If I wanted to waste 40... (5.00 / 2) (#102)
    by kdog on Wed Mar 28, 2012 at 02:29:02 PM EST
    I'd buy 40 bucks worth of tickets;)

    And your bet with Edgar (5.00 / 1) (#107)
    by CoralGables on Wed Mar 28, 2012 at 02:33:28 PM EST
    would be a dumb play. 176 million to 1 in his favor for you to win twenty. Making the megamiillions bet it's 176 million to 1 for you to win 500 million.

    It's EdgEr, Corel. ;-) (5.00 / 1) (#108)
    by Edger on Wed Mar 28, 2012 at 02:34:57 PM EST
    well played sir (5.00 / 1) (#112)
    by CoralGables on Wed Mar 28, 2012 at 02:39:22 PM EST
    Thenk yew. (none / 0) (#113)
    by Edger on Wed Mar 28, 2012 at 02:40:44 PM EST

    Well, ummm, hmmmm. (none / 0) (#106)
    by Edger on Wed Mar 28, 2012 at 02:33:20 PM EST
    I know!  I can sell you 40 bucks worth of really good number picks! ;-)

    Winning the big lotto is such a nice daydream (none / 0) (#121)
    by ruffian on Wed Mar 28, 2012 at 03:13:00 PM EST
    kdog winning the big lotto is an even better one!!!

    To paraphrase Dave Chapelle.... (none / 0) (#123)
    by kdog on Wed Mar 28, 2012 at 03:23:22 PM EST
    "Y'all never shoulda gave this cracker money!"

    Of course, I'll make the godfather offer to the Boss and E Street to perform at the convention, hopefully they can squeeze us in.


    You're a Gambler... (none / 0) (#141)
    by ScottW714 on Wed Mar 28, 2012 at 04:43:28 PM EST
    ...play the lotto when the payout exceeds the odds.

    The odds are 1:175,711,536 for the jackpot (wiki), if it paid $175M after taxes, then your dollar is worth more or less a dollar.  But if it pays $400M ($575-taxes), it means your dollar has the purchasing power of around $2.25.  

    IOW to get the same odds on the same payout it should cost you $2.25, but because of past losers, it only costs a buck.

    And because the house always get theirs, normally a $1 ticket buys you about $.60 worth of odds.


    I am puzzled why the Pope (5.00 / 4) (#138)
    by Peter G on Wed Mar 28, 2012 at 04:37:26 PM EST
    would chose Cuba as a place to voice his criticism of Rick Santorum, Antonin Scalia, and the U.S. Conference of Bishops?  In his homily at Mass, Benedict "denounc[ed] 'fanaticism' that tries to impose its truth on others." Have you no sense of irony, Papa?

    What can't I proofread (none / 0) (#161)
    by Peter G on Wed Mar 28, 2012 at 08:07:48 PM EST
    before I post?  That is, "choose," not "chose."  And the first sentence is declarative, not interrogative. And I wish to credit my wife (whose TL moniker I am not at liberty to reveal) for calling this exquisite quotation to my attention, with a loud guffaw.

    I can't help it, Peter; I am laughing because (5.00 / 2) (#164)
    by Anne on Wed Mar 28, 2012 at 08:51:55 PM EST
    I know you are reading your comment and can't believe you typed "What can't I proofread" instead of "why can't I proofread."

    And I'm pretty sure your wife is laughing again, too.

    But you know We love you, proofreading errors and all... :-)


    Exactly (5.00 / 1) (#165)
    by Peter G on Wed Mar 28, 2012 at 08:58:11 PM EST
    oh, man ...

    LOL (5.00 / 1) (#171)
    by sj on Wed Mar 28, 2012 at 10:03:58 PM EST
    All that and we still managed to get your drift :)

    MKS, don't you agree that your (5.00 / 2) (#158)
    by Anne on Wed Mar 28, 2012 at 05:54:54 PM EST
    relative IS lucky that she can afford to take advantage of California's plan?

    I can't imagine that you don't, but I have to think that if the "she's lucky she can afford coverage" comment had been prefaced with something along the lines of, "I'm so sorry that your family member could have the rug pulled out from under her just when she thought she had some breathing room. Let's hope that doesn't happen and that she can continue to afford to participate in the program - a lot of people were never able to get in because in some states, the cost was still out of reach" it may not have struck you the way it did.

    My point about bringing up single-payer was simply to acknowledge the opportunities lost and the very real possibility that, rather than ACA being the first, incremental step in that direction, it will be a dagger in the heart of real reform; while it has helped some people, it has been a bigger boon for providers, and the reason that is so has a lot to do with having kept single payer out of the conversation from Day One - and that was Obama's decision.

    I don't have any control over what anyone else says, and while I find myself in agreement with many here, I don't think of myself as having "cohorts," and - believe it or not - I do try not to add to what can sometimes go over into "piling on."

    And while I can have a sharp and cutting tone from time to time - you may find that an understatement, lol - it was clear to me that the ad hominem insults you were dishing out were not helping you make your points - they were becoming the point, and people were reacting accordingly.

    As much as I - and others - don't think the ACA was a good piece of legislation or a good plan, I don't think any of us who feel that way are so doctrinaire and cold-hearted that we would want anyone who finally has coverage to lose it; however we feel about Obama, I don't think it eliminates the basic compassion that all of us have for most of our fellow countrymen (I say "most" because I don't have any compassion for the 1% who whine about taxes while essentially robbing the people blind).

    I wish only the best for your relative.

    the comment you are replyig to (none / 0) (#176)
    by Jeralyn on Wed Mar 28, 2012 at 10:57:56 PM EST
    has been deleted, as have a few others by MKS for personal attacks and insults.

    Rupert Murdoch attacks his enemies ... (5.00 / 1) (#185)
    by Yman on Thu Mar 29, 2012 at 10:52:53 AM EST
    What a delusional (5.00 / 2) (#186)
    by Edger on Thu Mar 29, 2012 at 11:16:46 AM EST
    old far left DFH Murdoch is, eh? ;-)

    Boy, (5.00 / 1) (#189)
    by sj on Fri Mar 30, 2012 at 10:36:14 AM EST
    that Karma's a b!tch, isn't it?

    Sometimes (2.00 / 1) (#91)
    by christinep on Wed Mar 28, 2012 at 02:09:06 PM EST
    MKS, there are those who get so focused on or driven by the perfect goal/approach that the step-by-step improvements are never ok (and can actually be resented.). Such individuals may regard forms of compromise as wrong because it forestalls the inevitable march to the good approach. Whether the good & best approach is around-the-corner is more a matter of secular "faith" than actuality, tho.

    I feel what you are expressing, MKS, in many ways.  There are estimates of many thousands getting the life-saving actions that ACA gives.  As the Supremes wander deeply into the province of the legislature and it's "political thicket" we may be seeing only the mid-stages of the judicial tact ushered in with Bush v Gore...until the backlash (or a change in the SCt majority) it could be awhile.  Meanwhile, as you say, real people suffer real hurt.

    Wow, that just cracked me up. (5.00 / 1) (#134)
    by sj on Wed Mar 28, 2012 at 04:21:40 PM EST
    I'm sorry, I can just see you, sighing deeply, waving your hanky and rolling your eyes while making sure that the laudenaum is nearby... using words like "odious" and "dreadful"...

    I've been reading too much Jane Austen and Taylor Caldwell.  So the "you" of my imagination was definitely wearing pearls.  Definitely.


    Sometimes there are those (5.00 / 2) (#150)
    by dk on Wed Mar 28, 2012 at 05:15:30 PM EST
    who are so full of themselves that they prefer to condescend with nothing more than opinion, passive aggressive invective and unfounded assertions than engage the merits of an issue...

    Dr. Molly--preditably nice to hear from you! (none / 0) (#172)
    by christinep on Wed Mar 28, 2012 at 10:05:59 PM EST
    I agree (5.00 / 1) (#173)
    by sj on Wed Mar 28, 2012 at 10:32:12 PM EST
    I always like it when she's around.

    Scanning (none / 0) (#1)
    by Ga6thDem on Wed Mar 28, 2012 at 11:36:42 AM EST
    BTD's argument I see that striking down the mandate would also make vouchers unconstitutional. Oh, these conservatives think they are too clever by half don't they? Baa waa waa.

    You'd think they would have (none / 0) (#3)
    by Edger on Wed Mar 28, 2012 at 11:39:08 AM EST
    run out of feet to shoot themselves in by now, eh?

    The news from SCOTUS (none / 0) (#6)
    by MKS on Wed Mar 28, 2012 at 11:59:08 AM EST
    is troubling.

    I just had a close family member get coverage in spite of a pre-exisitng condition under the ACA PCIP program  in California.

    The PCIP program is very new.  Apparently, the PCIP program applies nationwide.  

    It looks like she will lose her coverage now.  

    She's (5.00 / 3) (#7)
    by Ga6thDem on Wed Mar 28, 2012 at 12:03:11 PM EST
    lucky she could afford coverage.

    can we stop with the (5.00 / 1) (#8)
    by CST on Wed Mar 28, 2012 at 12:09:00 PM EST
    tit for tats?

    People are not expendible, not the people who are helped by this and not the people who are not.

    She's also lucky it was available.  Eliminating it's availibility will not make it affordable for anyone else.

    If there are problems we need to work on fixing them, not spend our time beating down or minimizing what's currently being fixed.


    I'm not (5.00 / 1) (#11)
    by Ga6thDem on Wed Mar 28, 2012 at 12:14:05 PM EST
    doing a tit for tat so much as stating that you are lucky if you can afford the premium.

    I'm not against eliminating the preexisting conditions part of it because it does help some people. This is the 20% part of the bill that is actually good. This is one of the reasons I thought Obama should have passed this one by itself. I doubt there would be any chance that it would be challenged in the supreme court.


    Hear Hear CST... (5.00 / 1) (#57)
    by kdog on Wed Mar 28, 2012 at 01:08:02 PM EST
    we can be happy for MKS's loved one and the others being helped by ACA, and sad for all those it forgets and/or screws...at the same time.  

    If all or part is found unconstitutional we can lament the harm it will cause those who were being or would be helped, while rejoicing that the government can't force you to be ripped off by an insurance company junk plan, and maybe just maybe seize the opportunity for a more comprehensive and effective health care reform....like a single-payer medicaid available to all kinda thing, or something no one has thought of yet.


    yea (5.00 / 0) (#60)
    by CST on Wed Mar 28, 2012 at 01:14:57 PM EST
    although I will fully admit this conversation is easier for me because I have no skin in the game.

    Mass Health isn't going anywhere anytime soon, so the ACA barely affects me and mine.

    That being said I think it's helpfull for these contentious back-and-forths to remember that at the end of the day we are all on the same side and want the same things.  Which is healthcare that people can both access and afford.


    Indeed... (5.00 / 0) (#83)
    by kdog on Wed Mar 28, 2012 at 01:50:59 PM EST
    this one isn't "personal" for me either, unless you wanna count health insurance costs being all that stands between my moms and retirement.  And ACA isn't helpin' that problem, if you can even call it a problem.  Always a heartbeat away from being a very personal big problem though...knock on wood.

    We could all tread more kindly and compassionately when an issue up for debate is deeply personal to a member of this here community...and on the flip, not take somebody's elses differing opinion on a matter so hard.

    All easier said than done, being emotional creatures and all.  


    Don't really think (5.00 / 2) (#14)
    by sj on Wed Mar 28, 2012 at 12:20:16 PM EST
    it was necessary to say this, but it's not troll-worthy.  

    Heh, when somone you care (1.00 / 4) (#16)
    by MKS on Wed Mar 28, 2012 at 12:22:49 PM EST
    about is hanging on by this.....

    And out come the antis to cheer the loss of coverage....


    Someone I care about ... (5.00 / 2) (#17)
    by Yman on Wed Mar 28, 2012 at 12:25:11 PM EST
    ... is hanging on by virtue of the public option  Obama promised.

    Oh, ... wait ...


    I got turned down for a Pre existing (5.00 / 1) (#23)
    by jbindc on Wed Mar 28, 2012 at 12:29:18 PM EST
    3 months ago.

    You were turned (none / 0) (#35)
    by MKS on Wed Mar 28, 2012 at 12:41:20 PM EST
    because you had a pre-exisiting condition, or for the coverage?

    I was turned down for coverage (5.00 / 1) (#85)
    by jbindc on Wed Mar 28, 2012 at 01:51:55 PM EST
    From several plans because I take a BP medication and my BMI is too high.  I eventually got a decent plan, but obly one that will not cover anything related to my pre-existing condition for 10 months. Of course, they also won't cover things Weight Watchers ir a gym membership, which would be much cheaper for them in the end.

    This is a mistake that keeps getting thrown around by Obama supporters - "You can't be turned down for a pre-existing condition."

    Yes, you still can.


    Trust me, I know, I am an Obama supporter (none / 0) (#89)
    by MKS on Wed Mar 28, 2012 at 02:04:10 PM EST
    and we have had someone turned dowon for a Pre-existing condition.....

    The idea is to have a pool of high risk insurance subsidized by the federal government for people with pre-exising conditions.  

    The PCIP plan provides coverage, I think at zero charge or co-pays and not subject to the deductible, for a lot of preventive care.  The one I remember off the top of my head is colonoscopies are without charge.

    Sure, they may be better coverage out there, but no much at these prices for those with pre-existing coverage.


    It does (3.00 / 2) (#92)
    by Ga6thDem on Wed Mar 28, 2012 at 02:10:19 PM EST
    not pay for colonoscopies if they find a polyp. If they find a polyp it is coded under treatment and therefore subject to the deductible.

    I really (1.00 / 1) (#162)
    by Ga6thDem on Wed Mar 28, 2012 at 08:29:54 PM EST
    don't care about ratings but I just wanted to say that we had to pay for my husband's colonoscopy because of this glitch in the law. I spent many hours on the phone with the hospital until someone explained to me exactly why we had to pay for this. Obama is not telling you the truth when he says that the ACA will pay for a colonoscopy. It will pay ONLY if no polyps or other issue is found.

    Read this: (none / 0) (#180)
    by Ga6thDem on Thu Mar 29, 2012 at 06:42:02 AM EST
    What changes have been made in health care coverage related to colonoscopy?
    Under the Affordable Care Act, screening colonoscopies are now fully covered by
    Medicare and by many private insurers. Patients will still be responsible for co-insurance
    or some out-of-pocket costs if the colonoscopy is a diagnostic rather than screening
    procedure. Patients may also still be responsible for costs related to anesthesia.


    also this:

    Can a patient go in for a screening colonscopy but then have to pay for a
    diagnostic procedure?
    Yes. Even if the patient has no symptoms, the procedure will be classified as a diagnostic
    colonoscopy if a polyp is found. The good news is if that occurs, the procedure may
    have prevented  the patient from getting colon cancer

    So under the ACA you can schedule a screening but if polyps are found, the coding goes to diagnostic and you are responsible for the costs of the procdure. It cost me $1500. Also if you have a history of colon cancer, the colonoscopies are never going to paid for according to the link.


    I am scratching my head (none / 0) (#174)
    by sj on Wed Mar 28, 2012 at 10:34:17 PM EST
    looking for something objectionable in this comment:

    It does not pay for colonoscopies if they find a polyp. If they find a polyp it is coded under treatment and therefore subject to the deductible.

    It's wrong. (none / 0) (#177)
    by MileHi Hawkeye on Wed Mar 28, 2012 at 11:14:53 PM EST
    And someone who comes here and presents themselves as an expert in all things health care related as the poster did the other day should know that. Its not the first time they have pushed this inaccuracy either.  

    The colonoscopy is the screening procedure and it is coded and billed separately from the the therapeutic procedures (polypectomy/biopsy) that may result from the screening.  The later is what is subject to the deductible/co-insurance/co-pay.  They are considered surgical/lab charges, not screening ones.  No different than a mammography or other cancer screening based on age/risk factors covered under ACA or state law.  


    I don't see the difference (none / 0) (#179)
    by sj on Thu Mar 29, 2012 at 12:08:18 AM EST
    between this and her follow-up comment.  Can you clarify?  

    Or maybe I do.  Are you saying that the colonoscopy itself was still covered with the biopsy and treatment separate charges?  Or maybe I should say "should have been covered."  Because it sure sounds like her personal experience was having to pay for the colonoscopy itself in addition to treatment.  If I am reading both of you correctly it sounds to me like her doctor erred.  

    But I'm not sure if I am.


    We did (none / 0) (#182)
    by Ga6thDem on Thu Mar 29, 2012 at 06:44:39 AM EST
    have to pay for the colonoscopy. We had to pay hospital charges and anesthesia charges and lab charges totally $1500.00

    Yes. (none / 0) (#184)
    by MileHi Hawkeye on Thu Mar 29, 2012 at 08:36:29 AM EST
    Seperate charges for the "treatment".  As she admits, she was charged for the sedation (voluntary, btw) and incidentials related to the treatment, not the screening procedure itself.  

    Perhaps her doctor did err, but to present her ancidotal evidence as the way things work and that "Obama" isn't telling us something is just wrong.  

    Especially given the vast amount of money and time and hard work of countless individuals to overcome the stigma related to colon screening and trying to get people in to be screened, that kind of disinformation is hurtful.


    The problem (5.00 / 1) (#187)
    by Ga6thDem on Thu Mar 29, 2012 at 02:09:24 PM EST
    is Obama saying that they are paid for is not honest. I actually believed him and didn't worry about getting a bill after my husband had the procedure. Later on when I found out that the ACA does NOT cover colonoscopies in certain cases I was pretty ticked off as I'm sure others are too.

    You can't do a colonoscopy without a hospital or some sort of ambulatory care center or anesthesia. Well, I guess you might be able to do it without anesthesia but it would make it very unpleasant to say the least.


    Sedation is voluntary? (none / 0) (#188)
    by sj on Thu Mar 29, 2012 at 05:55:48 PM EST
    Not having it is exceedingly masochistic and I think one would have to specifically request that a colonoscopy be adminstered without anesthesia.  I know that my doctor never, ever asked if I wanted to have it with?  or without?

    Actually your first paragraph makes no sense to me.  I have had a colonscopy.  Here was the deal for me, MileHi.  

    1.  Clear out digestive system the days before and then do not eat or drink yadda yadda.

    2.  I must be accompanied by a friend or relative who would drive me home or the scan would not be administered.  The is because of the effects of the sedation and anesthesia.  My friend even got a special parking spot by the door so that my doped up self would be more easily transported.

    3.  I signed a consent form to the effect that, if polyps were discovered during the procedure, I gave my permission for treatment.  If I declined to give my permission at this time, the only way to remove them at a later date was to undergo the procedure once again and pick 'em up at that point.  I specifically asked this question.

    The screening happens live, in real time.  It isn't a "scan" that is then provided to the physician for her review at a later date.  

    Bowel cleansing/sedation/scope/recovery was all covered by my insurance company.  Not even a co-pay.  Well, I did have a small co-pay for the bowel prep.  If I didn't have insurance and wanted a colonoscopy anyway all of those things are part of the package and would have come at a fixed price.  Which was around $1K I think according to my year end statement.

    It sounds like you think that each item in Bowel cleansing/sedation/scope/recovery/polyp removal had an individual price.  If that's how it's treated/billed in Colorado these days, I'm glad I'm in Baltimore and that my physician is affiliated with Johns Hopkins.  Because that's just crazy.  You can't separate the polyp removal from the colonoscope.  With your medical history I concede your familiarity with the medical system.  However, I'm not going to disavow my own experience in favor of it.  And frankly Ga6thDem's description is completely consistent with my experience.  However, as no abnormalities were encountered in my scan I have no idea how it would have affected payment.

    I am assuming that you have had a colonoscopy and that you know for a fact how it's administered and billed.  In Colorado.  Did you take the voluntary sedation?  :)  Seriously, though I'm thinking you are the one who is "more wrong" here.  

    This is an old thread and I don't even know if you will read it.  Much less respond it it, but I hope you do, because like you, I think it's very important to encourage the screening.  Getting  the details right is important.


    You are (none / 0) (#181)
    by Ga6thDem on Thu Mar 29, 2012 at 06:43:11 AM EST
    wrong. See the link above.

    No (none / 0) (#183)
    by Ga6thDem on Thu Mar 29, 2012 at 06:47:47 AM EST
    I have never presented myself as an "expert" in all things health care related but I have stated that I have extensive experience in the insurance business which is the truth. Health care and health insurance are two different entities.

    What a cavalier (1.00 / 2) (#28)
    by MKS on Wed Mar 28, 2012 at 12:33:00 PM EST
    and idiotic response....

    Awwwwwweeee .... (1.00 / 1) (#31)
    by Yman on Wed Mar 28, 2012 at 12:35:51 PM EST
    ... that hurts, MKS.

    This is how MKS (5.00 / 2) (#36)
    by Edger on Wed Mar 28, 2012 at 12:41:57 PM EST
    generates support. Childish insults work, dagnabbit!

    I'm sure he has the numbers to prove it. ;-)


    There (5.00 / 2) (#22)
    by Ga6thDem on Wed Mar 28, 2012 at 12:29:16 PM EST
    was no "cheering" of her loss of coverage. There are a lot of people who cannot afford these premiums and therefore the ones that can afford it, well, good for them.

    No, she's not "lucky" (none / 0) (#10)
    by MKS on Wed Mar 28, 2012 at 12:10:19 PM EST
    And the premiums are very low--if you will check the website.

    Not so in Washington state (5.00 / 2) (#42)
    by TeresaInSnow2 on Wed Mar 28, 2012 at 12:48:52 PM EST
    The premiums can be anywhere from $203 (assumably for a young person) to $1805 PER MONTH.  Yes, this is the pre-existing condition insurance.

    I don't know many people who can afford that latter amount.

    You should not be downgrading people for facing reality.  As people have said, you should be thankful that your relatives don't have to face the real issue of affordability.  Most people do.


    Very low? (1.00 / 0) (#13)
    by Edger on Wed Mar 28, 2012 at 12:19:56 PM EST
    Premium Rates

    if you live in a state where the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services provides coverage, the premium for an age 50 year old enrollee may range between $214 and $559, depending on state of residence.

    You can get the rates for states where the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services does not provide coverage...

    ...if you will check the website.


    I have read the entire (1.00 / 5) (#18)
    by MKS on Wed Mar 28, 2012 at 12:25:11 PM EST
    website with a fine tooth comb.

    The rates are over $1,000 per month without this program--if you can get the coverage.

    You Nader antis are despicable in your cheering the loss of coverage....

    Do you want her to die to prove you Nader stupdity?    


    "Very low..." (5.00 / 1) (#21)
    by Edger on Wed Mar 28, 2012 at 12:28:57 PM EST
    "typically less than $300 per month..."

    You really have become a complete waste of time.


    A friend (5.00 / 1) (#25)
    by Ga6thDem on Wed Mar 28, 2012 at 12:31:07 PM EST
    of mine with COPD applied for the program and it was going to cost her $500 a month and so she couldn't participate.

    On top of having (5.00 / 1) (#26)
    by Edger on Wed Mar 28, 2012 at 12:31:24 PM EST
    a strange dislike for truth.

    I have seen nothing (1.00 / 4) (#29)
    by MKS on Wed Mar 28, 2012 at 12:34:44 PM EST
    to verify that you have a shred of humanity....

    Just more Nader rigidity.


    You've made a lot of (5.00 / 7) (#118)
    by Anne on Wed Mar 28, 2012 at 03:05:51 PM EST
    comments in this thread and at least a third - maybe even half of them - contain some sort of gratuitous insult or snide remark [What a cavalier and idiotic response....You are a jackass with zero sincerity....You Nader antis are despicable in your cheering the loss of coverage.... Do you want her to die to prove you Nader stupidity? - just to highlight a few]  that are indivudually and collectively irrelevant to the points others were trying to make; I'd venture to guess that's one reason people don't take too well to much of what you have to say.

    NO ONE has cheered that your relative could lose her insurance coverage.  No one.  People have only stated what is an essential truth about this whole thing: that having insurance is not the same as having care, and for a lot of people, the opportunity to be insured under one of these high-risk plans is lost when they realize they can't afford the premiums.  Yes, $300 a month seems like it should be affordable - but please realize there are a lot of people who can't make ends meet as it is; for those people, $300 might as well be $3,000.  And even though you know this as well as we do, you cannot seem to bring yourself to acknowledge it.

    Maryland has had the MD Health Insurance Plan for quite a number of years; my daughter obtained insurance from them when she was refused coverage with Carefirst.  The premiums are quite reasonable for someone her age, but the best part is that because this program existed long before the ACA, if ACA bites the dust, this program will not.

    That will not be the case with programs that didn't begin until the ACA, and no one here is happy that people who got coverage because of ACA may have to go back to being afraid to be sick.

    But what this whole thing really demonstrates is that we are still talking about insurance coverage, not actual health care, and we are still talking about the wide geographic disparities that exist, such that where people live can have a direct effect on whether they get the health care they need.  

    Most of all, I think what people bemoan is that while there are bits and pieces of the ACA that have helped people, the opportunities and benefits of digging in and designing an inclusive, nationwide, single-payer plan on the foundation of Medicare were lost - and in some respects, trashed right from the beginning, by the president.  And no, I do not believe the ACA was an incremental first step; I think it was largely a political ploy going under the label "historic achievement."

    No one hates your relative, and no one wants even more people to be able to have the access to affordable care more than the majority of people here do.  It really isn't our fault that this Act was a cooperative effort among Obama, Big Pharma, the insurance industry and Democrats in Congress who are in the pockets of same, and therefore never really working in the best interests of the people.


    Well said, Anne. (5.00 / 2) (#120)
    by Angel on Wed Mar 28, 2012 at 03:11:58 PM EST
    You're very polite (5.00 / 2) (#127)
    by waldenpond on Wed Mar 28, 2012 at 03:34:58 PM EST
    I cringe when I hear this kind of bull.  It has dawned on me why I am repelled from certain groups.  Reactionaries are why I was repelled by conservatism at an early age.  I felt pressured to attend church but was eventually repelled by the whole institution by fundies/reactionaries.  Now that the Democratic Party has morphed into the Republican Party and more and more of it's supporters morph into nothing but cheerleaders lashing out at everyone who is not in their club.... uh, yeah, ugh, this is why I am no longer a Dem.

    $300 (none / 0) (#126)
    by Ga6thDem on Wed Mar 28, 2012 at 03:32:09 PM EST
    is groceries for my family of four for two weeks. Right now we are paying $200 every two weeks for just so-so insurance.

    Enough already with the Nader b.s.! (5.00 / 3) (#105)
    by shoephone on Wed Mar 28, 2012 at 02:32:35 PM EST
    You are making a g*d d*mn fool of yourself. Either get a grip or go take a break.

    You bet, I blame Nader (2.33 / 3) (#133)
    by MKS on Wed Mar 28, 2012 at 04:17:47 PM EST
    and his supporters for this current mess.  Because of Nader we have Roberts and Alito on the Supreme Court.

    And, people here can't help themselves but rush off the cliff again with this urge to support a third party.  

    Yes, the Supreme Court matters, and yes Romney says he would appoint more Scalias....

    Right now, the chickens are coming home to roost for the Nader nonsense in 2000.


    I blame 50 mil + pinheads (none / 0) (#190)
    by jondee on Sat Apr 07, 2012 at 11:20:12 PM EST
    who thought someone like GWB was viable presidential material. If that's an overly harsh, 'alienating' assessment of one's fellow Americans, so be it.

    Also, Gore ran an uninspired, overly reticent campaign; almost as if he thought the Presidency was all but in the bag if only he wasn't seen as being too mean to Bush the way people said he was to Perot in 90; when our Democratic man-of-the-people was trumpeting NAFTA as some sort of magic bullet for the economy..  


    I've had PCIP coverage (5.00 / 1) (#94)
    by easilydistracted on Wed Mar 28, 2012 at 02:15:16 PM EST
    for about a year, in Texas. Prior to PCIP, neither me or my wife could get medical insurance on the open market because of some pre-existing conditions. We wanted to participate in the market -- no one wanted us.

    We went about 18 months with no medical coverage. PCIP came along and we immediately enrolled. Premiums will vary by state, as some have already noted here. Only individual plans are available so we have two plans. Each costs us $426.00 monthly for the premium. $2500.00 annual deductible for medical and $500.00 annual deductible prescriptions -- again -- that's for each of us.

    More importantly, I think, is PCIP enabled us to return to a system we had not participated in for over a year because of cost. And that was most beneficial in our case. A blood test as part of an annual physical (wellness program) available through PCIP coverage resulted in my wife learning of a medical issue which, had it not been discovered and treated then, could have resulted in much more serious consequences later.


    It's all theater (none / 0) (#116)
    by waldenpond on Wed Mar 28, 2012 at 03:05:41 PM EST
    I can't believe that the 1%er Court are not going to give the 1%ers that own the insurance companies their welfare.  If anyone was interested, they could probably find familial relationships and direct financial benefit.  This is an ideal situation for a transfer of wealth upwards.

    Rates will keep going up and individuals will spend months trying to get procedures covered and fighting bills for items that are supposed to be covered.

    It's adorable how the govt keeps calling a 'promise' a 'product'.


    Thanks for explaining the ACA briefs BTD (none / 0) (#55)
    by ruffian on Wed Mar 28, 2012 at 01:04:28 PM EST
    this part of the brief seems to exactly describe the FL position:

    However attractive the offer of federal Medicaid funding may be, the decision whether to accept it always belongs to the States, and not the federal government. Petitioners' claim of coercion is nothing more than an argument that the citizens of their States would hold them politically responsible for either the reduction in benefits that would result from opting out of Medicaid or for the increased taxation needed to fund those benefits entirely at the state level.

    In addition, FL is arguing that they just can't trust the US government to pay their 90%. The government is broke, don't ya know!

    I am with you, weeping for my country.

    don't they already do this (5.00 / 0) (#58)
    by CST on Wed Mar 28, 2012 at 01:09:19 PM EST
    with federal highway funding as well?  They essentially mandate the drinking age in states even though states technically can make that whatever they want.  How is this different from that?  Or are they just choosing to ignore it?

    The medicaid (5.00 / 0) (#66)
    by Ga6thDem on Wed Mar 28, 2012 at 01:21:46 PM EST
    argument is the weakest one they have. Of course, this could lead to federalizing Medicaid which might not be a bad thing.

    I guess it all depends (none / 0) (#76)
    by CST on Wed Mar 28, 2012 at 01:33:49 PM EST
    where you are sitting.  Good thing for GA, probably not the best thing for MA.

    I think (5.00 / 1) (#79)
    by Ga6thDem on Wed Mar 28, 2012 at 01:40:39 PM EST
    the whole ACA thing depends on where you are sitting. Apparently CA ran with it and made a good program of it. States like GA are having the Feds administer the program so it's not that great. It's better than nothing down here because if you can afford it, you can at least get some coverage.

    Yup - in fact FL famously rejected (5.00 / 0) (#87)
    by ruffian on Wed Mar 28, 2012 at 01:55:24 PM EST
    federal high speed rail funds that would have required state participation as well. When they don't think the public will punish them, they reject the funds. To reject the Medicaid expansion, which would be popular here with the general public, but not the GOP, they want the court to provide cover.

    Highways are popular with everyone...they will probably take that money anytime. Maybe the feds should mandate that anyone driving on the highway buy health insurance.  


    For those of you who don't read Kerr (none / 0) (#64)
    by me only on Wed Mar 28, 2012 at 01:20:38 PM EST
    If the Court does end up striking down the mandate, this will be the second consecutive presidency in which the Supreme Court imposed significant limits on the primary agenda of the sitting President in ways that were unexpected based on precedents at the time the President acted. Last time around, it was President Bush and the War on Terror. The President relied on precedents like Johnson v. Eisentrager in setting up Gitmo. But when the Court was called on to review this key aspect of the President's strategy for the War on Terror, the Court maneuvered around Eisentrager and imposed new limits on the executive branch in cases like Rasul v. Bush and Boumediene v. Bush. The President's opponents heralded the Court's new decisions as the restoration of the rule of law and the application of profound constitutional principle. Meanwhile, the President's allies condemned the decisions as the products of unbridled judicial activism from a political court. If the mandate gets struck down, we'll get a replay with the politics reversed. Just substitute Obama for Bush, health care reform for the War on Terror, the individual mandate for Gitmo, and Wickard for Eisentrager.


    Great post (none / 0) (#81)
    by Slado on Wed Mar 28, 2012 at 01:44:32 PM EST
    I sit in my own hypocrisy and thank you for pointing it out.

    As I said yesterday the end doesn't justify the means.


    my favorite movie trailer (none / 0) (#67)
    by Dadler on Wed Mar 28, 2012 at 01:23:21 PM EST
    and another bit from the same film (none / 0) (#71)
    by Dadler on Wed Mar 28, 2012 at 01:28:34 PM EST
    found another (none / 0) (#73)
    by Dadler on Wed Mar 28, 2012 at 01:30:55 PM EST
    Thanks for the links (none / 0) (#82)
    by Slado on Wed Mar 28, 2012 at 01:46:44 PM EST
    Makes me miss the Station in in Nashville.

    one more then (5.00 / 1) (#84)
    by Dadler on Wed Mar 28, 2012 at 01:51:41 PM EST
    SITE VIOLINIST! (5.00 / 2) (#98)
    by Edger on Wed Mar 28, 2012 at 02:22:24 PM EST

    OCMS (5.00 / 1) (#99)
    by Slado on Wed Mar 28, 2012 at 02:25:46 PM EST
    Saw these guys at the Station Inn without knowing anything about them.

    Best live performance of music I've ever been to.

    Take Away these chains from me


    Love those cats (none / 0) (#114)
    by Dadler on Wed Mar 28, 2012 at 02:46:18 PM EST
    Matt Taibbi (none / 0) (#129)
    by Edger on Wed Mar 28, 2012 at 03:51:21 PM EST
    sinks his teeth into BOA's increasingly vulnerable throat...

    Last summer, for instance, the Bank - in order to satisfy creditors who were nervous about the enormous quantity of risky assets on its balance sheet - decided to move some $73 trillion (that's trillion, with a T) in exotic derivative bets from one end of the company into the federally-insured, depository side of the bank.

    This move, encouraged by the Obama administration, put the American taxpayer on the hook for an entire generation of irresponsible gambles made by another failed investment firm that should have gone out of business, but was instead acquired by Bank of America with $25 billion in taxpayer help - Merrill Lynch.

    When did we make it the job of the taxpayer to buy failed companies, and rescue companies from their own bad decisions?
    What will your defense be against a future lawsuit for a credit card debt or a foreclosure, when your bank walks into court with a pile of invented documents? Will you wish then that you'd fought harder for Bank of America to be punished now?
    We don't want Bank of America to fail. Our position is, it already is insolvent, and already has failed - and only our tax dollars, and our government's continued protection, is keeping that failure from becoming more common knowledge.

    I'm finding the Court (none / 0) (#132)
    by lilburro on Wed Mar 28, 2012 at 04:10:10 PM EST
    arguments really difficult to follow.  But SCOTUS had a more positive spin on things:

    The Supreme Court spent 91 minutes Wednesday operating on the assumption that it would strike down the key feature of the new health care law, but may have convinced itself in the end not to do that because of just how hard it would be to decide what to do after that.  A common reaction, across the bench, was that the Justices themselves did not want the onerous task of going through the remainder of the entire 2,700 pages of the law and deciding what to keep and what to throw out, and most seemed to think that should be left to Congress.  They could not come together, however, on just what task they would send across the street for the lawmakers to perform.  The net effect may well have shored up support for the individual insurance mandate itself.

    Unfortunately, the other, even more experienced (none / 0) (#151)
    by Peter G on Wed Mar 28, 2012 at 05:18:02 PM EST
    observer from SCOTUSBlog, saw it differently. Perhaps that just goes to show you can't predict outcomes reliably from oral argument.

    Thread cleaned of MKS (none / 0) (#178)
    by Jeralyn on Wed Mar 28, 2012 at 11:22:09 PM EST
    insults and s/he has been put in time out, temporarily banned. Multiple violations of comment rules, the comments were filled with personal attacks and insults and s/he was blogclogging.

    Hmm (none / 0) (#191)
    by Euro News Magazine on Wed Jun 20, 2012 at 04:23:24 AM EST