1. "All these “technical” problems are a reflection of the fact that the ACA was a crazy-ass scheme to begin with, a pastiche of public subsidy and private provision with incomprehensibly complex formulas and standards with almost no bedrock political support outside the wonk community. I don’t know how you fix that. Medicare wrote its first benefit check something like a year after the law passed, in an age when computers were rare and very expensive. It was also politically and conceptually simple, by no coincidence."
    — Doug Henwood 

    (via azspot)


  2. "

    Since the Affordable Care Act was introduced in 2009, Republicans have dismissed President Barack Obama’s oft-repeated promise that anyone who liked their insurance plan would be able to keep it. But was anyone paying attention?

    For years, the media turned a blind eye to conservatives’ insistent warnings, often taking the president’s promise for granted. But this week, as health insurance cancellation letters started showing up in Americans’ mailboxes and the website rollout flopped, the GOP message finally broke into the mainstream.

    On Monday, NBC News reported that at least half of the approximately 14 million Americans with individual insurance are set to have their health plans shut down by insurers under Obamacare.


  3. Angels of the Wreck

    I came upon this scene near my parents’ home in Nashville as I was going for a walk in the middle of the night. Two people were stuck in the vehicle, and it took over an hour just to get the first one out. The second was no easier. I’ve never seen EMS and firefighters work so hard.


  4. "How does the Affordable Care Act affect you?"

    Dave Ramsey, financial advisor and voice behind one of the nation’s top ten most-listened-to radio programs, gives us the simple low down on the PPACA (Obamacare) and Social Security. 

    Real talk, so listen up.

    Note: According to a poll I took earlier today, I’m as liberal as they come. But common sense is common sense.


  5. "

    If I am right about the story that shapes the American self-understanding, I think we are in a position to better understand why after 11 September 2001 the self-proclaimed “most powerful nation in the world” runs on fear. It does so because the fear of death is necessary to insure a level of cooperation between people who otherwise share nothing in common. That is, they share nothing in common other than the presumption that death is to be avoided at all costs.

    That is why in America hospitals have become our cathedrals and physicians are our priests. Accordingly medical schools are much more serious about the moral formation of their students than divinity schools. They are so because Americans do not believe that an inadequately trained priest may damage their salvation, but they do believe an inadequately trained doctor can hurt them.

    The American desire to use medicine in an attempt to get out of life alive is but the domestic form of American foreign policy. 11 September 2001 gave America exactly what she so desperately needed after the end of the cold war, for it is unclear if America can live without a war. Otherwise, what would give us a moral compass? So we got a “war against terrorism,” which is a war without end.


  6. I’m pretty sure I’m going to be shown dramatic hospital videos on a regular basis for the rest of my nursing career. 

    (And yet I’ll ashamedly admit the corniness is still compelling.)


  7. "If among you, one of your brothers should become poor, in any of your towns within your land that the Lord your God is giving you, you shall not harden your heart or shut your hand against your poor brother, but you shall open your hand to him and lend him sufficient for his need, whatever it may be. Take care lest there be an unworthy thought in your heart and you say, the seventh year, the year of release is near, and your eye look grudgingly on your poor brother, and you give him nothing, and he cry to the Lord against you, and you be guilty of sin. You shall give to him freely, and your heart shall not be grudging when you give to him, because for this the Lord your God will bless you in all your work and in all that you undertake. For there will never cease to be poor in the land. Therefore, I command you, You shall open wide your hand to your brother, to the needy and to the poor, in your land."

    Deuteronomy 15: 7-11

    Show this to all your conservative Christian friends who gripe about health care and welfare, or who attempt character assassinations on the poor.


  8. I just wanted to share this beautiful little moment I experienced on Facebook today. 

    Stephen Cantrell is a doctor who attends the same church as my parents. For further clarification, you need to know that he did his own independent research and cured his own cancer. He now treats others who have cancer, with great results. Insurance companies have yet to cover his method, but it is in the slow process of gaining approval. 

    I was also reminded of this post.

    (I’m not bothering to blur out any names because I don’t think any of the parties involved will mind.)


  9. Not everybody has to be a policy intellectual, or even au courant in the “public affairs” covered by Time. You don’t have to read much (or, God forbid, write) about policy to be a good person and a good citizen.

    But citizenship does carry burdens. Like this:

    By the time Steven D. died at his home in Northern California the following November, he had lived for an additional 11 months. And Alice had collected bills totaling $902,452. The family’s first bill — for $348,000 — which arrived when Steven got home from the Seton Medical Center in Daly City, Calif., was full of all the usual chargemaster profit grabs: $18 each for 88 diabetes-test strips that Amazon sells in boxes of 50 for $27.85; $24 each for 19 niacin pills that are sold in drugstores for about a nickel apiece. There were also four boxes of sterile gauze pads for $77 each. None of that was considered part of what was provided in return for Seton’s facility charge for the intensive-care unit for two days at $13,225 a day, 12 days in the critical unit at $7,315 a day and one day in a standard room (all of which totaled $120,116 over 15 days). There was also $20,886 for CT scans and $24,251 for lab work.

    Does Alice have neighbors? Does she have friends? Where were they, what did they — and by that I mean we in some earnest and patronizing way — do about this?

    The burden of citizenship is to share in, and hold people to account for, the injustices experienced by our neighbors. Alice was fucking ripped off to the tune of any semblance of economic and financial security she might ever have had at the very moment that her husband was dying of cancer. This is beyond awful. This is mortal sin in any religion worth the name. This is pure evil.


  10. kileyrae:


    President Obama stopped shaking hands for a moment today so that he could embrace a sobbing woman whose uninsured sister recently died of colon cancer.

    And the Republican response.

    The Republican response is crap. 

    (via barackobama)


  11. "About 56 percent of Americans said they opposed the law in a Reuters/Ipsos poll released on Sunday. When asked about its individual provisions, however, most respondents said they strongly supported them […]
    Most respondents in the survey favored banning insurers from denying coverage to people with pre-existing conditions; letting children stay on their parents’ insurance plans until age 26; and making companies with more than 50 workers offer insurance to their employees. All are parts of the law."

    James Vicini and Jonathan Stempel, for Reuters.

    That’s an educated American public for you.


  12. "Apart from moral considerations, the denial of basic public benefits to undocumented immigrants and their children raises a number of practical questions: How does it benefit the United States to purposely limit the educational and life prospects of a whole category of students? Isn’t it more costly to provide health care in emergency rooms — where universal access is federally mandated — than to permit treatment in public programs? Isn’t public health broadly undermined by untreated disease, whatever the legal status of those who suffer from it?"
    — Michael Gerson (via azspot)

    (via azspot)