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Comment: Re:Personal responsibility (Score 1) 346

by Metrol (#45371095) Attached to: "War Room" Notes Describe IT Chaos At Healthcare.gov

And if you can't pay, and declare bankruptcy? Who pays then? You pretending this isn't a problem [cnbc.com]?

And are you pretending the ACA did anything to actually reduce costs are help resolve the problem you're talking about? Did you read the entire article you linked?

With millions buried under medical bills, more insured under the Affordable Care Act will not completely solve that problem, LaMontagne said. While the ACA's reforms will indeed give more people coverage, NerdWallet's data shows that millions of people with year-round, full coverage are still overwhelmed by medical bills, she said.

So, 1-2 trillion dollars that are going to be spent per year, and the very same broken legs are still going to be paid out of pocket. I love this stuff!

You _can_ keep your policy if you like it

Hmmm, I don't seem to recall the disclaimer on the end of that sentence when the president said it. I don't remember ANY wiggle room here. I think the President said this better than I could. Not sure where you'd pick any of this apart.

Instead, President Obama should have said something like, "You can keep your plan... comma insert disclaimer here".

As for this up-sell notion... the policies that got dropped were dropped due to them not offering all the stuff required by the ACA to be offered. These were policies that had existed prior to the ACA implementation. The white house knew many of the policies out there would no longer be allowed to be offered. They knew it when the President was out giving speeches that you would not lose your plan under any circumstances... "period". He was either completely ignorant of the fact, or was out and out fabricating lies. There is no in between.

Comment: Re:you are full of it, stop (Score 1) 346

by Metrol (#45370851) Attached to: "War Room" Notes Describe IT Chaos At Healthcare.gov

Seeing as how my original comment has gone from -2 flamebait to +3 informative in less than an hour, I felt I should better explain this statement. First off, I wasn't fully accurate about the constitution stating the House has the exclusive power of the purse. It seems this is more historical precedence than stated fact. Please refer to the following FAQ that explains this better than I could.

Furthermore, because a program exists does not automatically assume that it will be fully funded. Even the military has to have approval for its funds every year, and it's not just a law but a constitutional requirement. The power to not fund a project is an important check on power that legislature has. It didn't just vanish because proponents of the ACA wanted to make this a talking point.

Not only is it perfectly legitimate to remove funding from a program, it would be dishonest for representatives of people who want to see a program abolished to not try to do this very thing. Representing constituents is what they are all supposed to be doing.

The funny part in all this is that initially the Republican proposal was to fund everything except the ACA. Then they backed down to delaying it for one year. Then they backed down to just forcing federal employees to make use of the exchanges instead of what they have today. Before this is all done, I'll bet there's going to be plenty of Democrats who wish they'd gone with that delay for a year deal.

I'd still love to see Harry Reid and all the folks that voted this on us to have to actually use it themselves. Apparently they're too good for that.

Comment: Re:Personal responsibility (Score 2, Insightful) 346

by Metrol (#45369855) Attached to: "War Room" Notes Describe IT Chaos At Healthcare.gov

So which is it? Should the government scrap you off the side of the road in case misfortune visits you. If so, should someone else pay, or should you? If you can't afford to pay, shouldn't you be forced to insurance yourself.

If the issue was actually insurance like we issue for cars, then the costs would be trivial. There are really good reasons why this stuff is so expensive. Unfortunately, as we're now finding out, if a company isn't providing everything from birth control to chronic disease care as a complete package then that policy is no longer valid per the ACA. This is why 3.5 million folks who had policies that worked for them no longer do.

And yes, if you break your leg on the side of the street then you should accept the burden of that debt as a part of your existing in our society. All the better for you if you were insured. Otherwise, the bill should be in the mail. Ummm, kinda of like any other part of society I might add. Your leg will still get fixed, but you still owe for a service that was provided to you at some cost.

There were issues that could have been addressed by our government that could have actually helped. Treat chronic illness differently then broken legs for example. Today we toss them all into one big pile, driving up costs on all. Allowed the market place set up a market place, instead of what we now have as conclusive proof that the government is not competent to provide, by allowing interstate sales of policies. The government didn't need to come in and set all this up... it could have gotten the hell out of the way years ago. Definitive guidelines across varying specialities as to what constitutes a valid law suit or not, where huge sums of money get sucked into lawyers pockets.

Ahh, but instead we got this debacle that every right thinking Democrat will be behind 100% regardless of what "should" have happened.

Ya know, it wasn't even a specific policy point that really bothered me about all this. It was how this thing was passed. Nobody read the damn thing! A bill that important couldn't reach across the aisle for a single vote from the other party. This massive 2,000 page beast that should have been hashed out in committee, which is the normal process, was instead rammed through using parliamentary trickery. How could any reasonable human being expect this was going to go well regardless of your political affiliations?

Now we know the president either lied outright about what would happen to existing policies, or he was just another one in DC who didn't actually bother to read this bill. If this were a Republican it would be just as damning!

Comment: Re:Furloughed workers (Score 3, Insightful) 346

by Metrol (#45368305) Attached to: "War Room" Notes Describe IT Chaos At Healthcare.gov

The Government is not in charge of your healthcare any more than the SEC is in charge of your stock portfolio.

Oh really? So, the SEC will fine me for not being invested in a minimum government approved set of funds, that I may or may not need? Will the SEC shut down funds that are not diversified in the manner in which the government has determined must be put in place in order to further finance other investors that don't have as much to invest?

ACA created a regulated market for private insurance

All private insurance was already heavily regulated! All the ACA did was create thousands of new government jobs and rake in half a billion dollars in new lobbying by the insurance companies... that you had best be buying a product from or have the IRS forcibly take those funds from you. Hooray freedom!

If anything, ACA made it harder for insurance companies to deny coverage for certain types of care.

That could have been handled in a 10 page bill. If this had anything at all to do with actually taking care of people, a bill focused on chronic illness would have seen bipartisan support, and cost a wee bit less than the additional trillion a year this beast is putting on to our debt.

Comment: Re:Good to see the progress (Score 5, Informative) 99

by Metrol (#44566939) Attached to: KDE Software Compilation 4.11 Released

As someone who also moved to XFCE via Xubuntu a while back I've certainly got a few reasons...

I want to be the one who decides which mouse button does what, without having to alter source code and recompiling.
I want to be the one who decides where minimize and close buttons go on the task bar.
All things Email are tied into Evolution, which can't even manage to put deleted mail into an IMAP trash folder.
Nautilus... ack!
XFCE does most of the things that Gnome used to get right, while doing none of the crazy that Unity pushes.

In all fairness, I was never a long term user of Unity. Configurability was a huge enough issue for me that I couldn't give it the time. I was a regular user of KDE into the 4.x days. After seeing one too many "Plasma Desktop Crashed" errors I went looking for an alternative.

Comment: Not what he said (Score 2, Informative) 542

"When U.S. presidential candidate Mitt Romney said last year that he was not even going to try to reach 47% of the US electorate"

Got to wonder about an article that starts out this way. Grant you, I haven't gone back and reviewed the video in a while. Still, I'm pretty sure what he said was that about 47% of the population wouldn't be interested in him and a platform for a smaller government. I certainly don't recall anything even approaching the notion that he was going to ignore half the population. That is a LOT different than focusing your message on those you think would be most interested in your message.

Every campaign focuses their attention on those votes they're most likely to get. You didn't see Obama spending a lot of his campaign in states that weren't likely to go his way no matter what. Certainly he had his strategy sessions that had they been publicly released wouldn't be especially flattering either.

Comment: Re:One company failed, scrap the whole thing! (Score 1) 644

I agree. In order to create that environment, we'll have to get rid of all our labor laws and environmental regs. Once the companies can pay us all nothing and dump their industrial waste in the nearby river to pollute everything and give us all health problems, we won't need subsidies. We'll finally be able to compete with Chinese companies. Hooray!

Of course you wouldn't get rid of all regulations, nor would I ever want to see that advocated. We do need to look at all the factors that have driven our ability to compete to other places. Doing so does not mean you need to bathe in toxic water.

Perhaps we shouldn't allow subsidies for ANY industry, as you say.... but that magical world died a long time ago. We subsidize EVERYTHING now.

The key question at the core of what we're talking about here is if by subsidizing we're actually using the money wisely. Was it really worth it to forcibly take money from one group of people, then borrow heavily against another, to invest into a company making campaign contributions to the folks in power? Did our nation's capbility to manufacturer products, or to produce clean energy, see any actual improvement by doing this?

We want solar manufacturing in the U.S. We can never outcompete Chinese manufacturers due to our labor and environmental regs(which are good and needed). We HAVE to subsidize, or we won't be building those here. We'll be paying the Chinese. They'll get the jobs, they'll get all the extra side benefits of industry. They'll get the contractoring jobs, They'll get a skilled work force, they'll be able to build better schools, they'll spend on roads to move products. They'll get a better country because they realize the benefit of spending public dollars on industry and infrastructure.

And that is a recipe for steady decline. By surrendering our ability to make things and sell them, we are giving up the engine that builds wealth. You can't subsidize forever. At some point an actual profit must be made on that investment.

Look, I'm not opposed to tax dollars going to pure research organizations. We have seen actual returns on those kinds of investments. What is wrong is our subsidizing for-profit entities that could never stay in business if not for all of us being forced to fund them. I say don't discriminate... don't subsidize any of them. Furthermore, flat rate the corporate tax and offer ZERO deductions.

The free market would boom in an environment like this. We define what that world looks like. Granted, it won't be government totally removed from the market, nor should it be. The relationship between the government and the market could be quite different though. Only if we collectively decide it should be.

Comment: Re:Problem? (Score 1) 644

Why don't people like you discover these "failings" when the Government is working on Evil stuff and not Green Energy? Why?

So, perhaps the solution that would satisfy "people like you" as well as "people like me" is to remove the hands from goverment from those things it has no business getting into in the first place? I would like to propose the following to address both sides of the political aisle:

1. Flat corporate tax on net income, without any deductions for anything allowed.
(This is where most of those nasty oil "subsidies" come into play.)
2. The federal government may not at any time invest tax payers money into a for profit company.
3. The federal government may invest in non-profit research organizations.
  3a. No executive in one of these is allowed to contribute financially to any campaign.

And most of all, reduce the amount of money the government recieves across the board. It's the only way to get them to stop spending on "Evil" stuff. We sure as heck couldn't get into multiple decade military involvements if the money isn't there. For the future, pay our debts and require every single year we have a balanced budget.

Sorry, we need to treat corruption and energy conservation as too separate things. You don't stop trying to do the right thing because someone can screw it up.

I guess this is the bridge too far for me. If you really do stop "trying" to do the right thing when those efforts just lead to corruption and no viable results. In any other place outside of government you sure would. As much as I wish you could, there is no separating corruption and spending on anything. Certainly not on issues involving energy.

Comment: Re:One company failed, scrap the whole thing! (Score 0) 644

I love how this seems to work. One company failed (Solyndra). And it was allowed to fail, not propped up endlessly (which I think is how this stuff should work). The poster was all for using government subsidy to jump start a newish industry. But now that ONE company failed, it magically gets extended to all of them, and it's government fraud, and we should stop everything.

You took that out of context. It was NOT just that Solyndra failed. My issue here is that nobody seriously thought they had a chance to come to market with a product. There were already Chinese companies holding patents on what they were doing, and were already producing products that were cheaper than Solyndra could have ever done.

It is not that ONE company failed. It is that the only apparent reason that our government provided a loan guarantee was that the folks in charge of that company were both big campaign contributors and bundlers to the political party able to offer those loans.

Answers to the points:

I highly doubt ANY governement subsidies are provided without fraud. This is no different. That being said, The Solyndra deal WAS hinky and someone should get in trouble.

Which is why we shouldn't allow this kind of use of our money... for ANY industry.

THAT being said, YES Solyndra was not in good financial order. We don't subsidize companies that DON'T need help. We subsidize industries that DO need help. That's kind of the point.

It wasn't there finances that were the problem. They had no product to bring to market!

Solyndra made solar panels, not energy.

I know, but I felt that was already generally understood.

The Chinese are subsidizing the ever loving crud out of their panel industry. It's impossible for anyone(including the germans) to compete with that. That's kind of why we SHOULD be subsidizing our own solar companies.

The Chinese have made it cheap for their manufacturers to come to market. Be that subsidizing, favorable tax incentives, currency tweaking, and all the rest. All the while we've made things more expensive for US companies to bring products to market.

Subsidizing has the nasty effect of allowing politicians to pick winners and losers. Oh yeah, both parties! Japan played that subsidizing game in the 80's, and it fell apart on them by the 90's. Provide an environment where it's cheaper and more efficient for US companies to manufacture products, you won't need to subsidize to compete.

Comment: Re:Problem? (Score 0) 644

Maybe, but what it really shows is that we are not spending enough. This technology is not cheap. A few million here and there is just a drop in the bucket. We as a planet (not nation) need to get off our collective asses and get serious about the future prospects of the human race. Of course a cheaper solution would be to limit population growth, but that argument is not going anywhere.

As I stated, once not all that long ago I would have agreed with that sentiment. Perhaps if that money were going to a non-profit pure research organization that was strictly prohibited from making campaign contributions I could get back there. So long as those tax dollars are going to what amounts to money laundering for politicians we should all demand that this money be stopped. Heck, even that might have been forgiveable had some of these companies had a measureable impact on our domestic supply of energy.

It should be plainly obvious to anyone even remotely concerned with this matter that government funding into private, for profit organizations is just begging for corruption and kick backs. I sincerely wish that weren't the case, but that's the world we live in unfortunately. If for nothing else, Solyndra has had value in making this apparent to even the otherwise naive to this notion... such as myself not that long ago.

Comment: Re:Problem? (Score 2, Insightful) 644

It seems that the "cool" thing to do here is slam Fox news for an awkward statement made on a morning show. From the looks of things, very few who have commented actually watched the video... go figure.

Personally, I was all for government subsidizing of the clean energy industry to get that ball rolling. That was until Solyndra. It wasn't that it failed mind you. It was the fact that $500,000,000 in loan guarantees from the government were coming back to the very same politicians who were providing those guarantees! How could anyone fairly evaluate companies to invest in based on those kinds of kick backs? Then to find out that this company was evaluated by the previous administration as to not being a good investment of MY tax dollars, only to then get funding when the next administration walks in the door.

I don't care if you're a democrat or republican, that's extremely poor handling of our money.

Back to the video, the REAL point that was being made was that billions of YOUR tax dollars have been flushed down failed companies who have far more talent in kicking back their government investments rather than actually producing energy. This would be an entirely different matter had we seen some kind of impact on our electrical grid for all the money that's been poured into it. Ya know... results!

Sadly, the federal government really could do some things to promote clean energy. They could do so without the billions vanishing into CEO parachutes. How about negotiating smarter energy policies between states? Making getting the energy to where it's needed cheaper for producers. How about giving preference to cleaner energy when available instead of to coal plants? There's a lot of regulatory screw ups that could be fixed. Of course, nobody gets campaign donations for that kind of governing.

As for direct investment into "Green" companies the government shouldn't be trusted on that ever again.

Now then, back to the oh so clever Fox News bashing already in progress...

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