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Comment: Re:Aggression in practice, right? (Score 1) 140

by ScentCone (#47973089) Attached to: US Strikes ISIL Targets In Syria

Can someone convince me that in the absence of a specific invitation by the legitimate Syrian government, which is the case this time, this [US] action cannot be defined as aggression?

IS/ISIS/ISIL is the aggressor, slaughtering thousands of people for being insufficiently Islamic, etc.

Hitting their command/control and training operations, from which tens of thousands of them are directed and supplied, is DEFENSIVE, not aggressive. That they happen to be running their little shop of horrors out of towns they've captured in Syria simply means that that's where some of the defensive action has to take place.

Like this is any mystery to anybody, right? Right?

Comment: Re:Please describe exactly (Score 1) 383

Nah. You just talked about subsidies. You said: "They're not going to help here, because our situation is exactly what the law calls for. If you're making more than $60k, you don't GET subsidies, you have to GIVE subsidies to other people (like you)."

Exactly. If you don't qualify for subsidies, then there IS NO CHEAPER MAGIC SOLUTION than those that the regulated insurance companies in the state advertise. They don't have the option of having secret cheaper-than-the-exchange plans. So if you call a hotline and complain that your new insurance plan is too expensive, their ONLY OPTION is to try to find a way to qualify you for a plan that somebody else is forced to help you buy. Otherwise, the price is what the price is.

Especially the one that pointed out that it was those very same insurers that you implicitly praise that raised their rates to where they are now.

For which they had no choice. They are required by law to suddenly provide a range of coverage that was not previously built into their pricing. If you were suddenly told that you had to provide a bunch of new services or else, would you just eat the loss, or raise your prices in order to maintain your business? Insurance companies work on smaller margins than companies in many, many other industries. Remove that margin, and they are out of business. Now, that may be what the ACA backers secretly want, but in the meantime, you raise your prices to deal with the fact that your government has just substantially raised your costs.

They *knew* that they had just a few years before those rates became government controlled

They've always been government controlled. Every state in the union has an insurance regulating body to which those companies must turn for approval in order to change rates. And each of those scenarios plays out in something of a vacuum, because laws prevent insurance companies from providing services across state lines. The government has been entirely in control of this stuff for decades (as if you didn't know that!).

In civilized parts of the world, that would be considered collusion and price fixing.

No, it's known as state regulation. The companies who have a very innovative way to deliver the same (government approved) class of services with less overhead MAY be able to offer a lower price if they can survive doing so. But there's generally very, very little latitude in the cost/price recipe before the insurer is on intolerably thin ice.

Comment: Re:Please describe exactly (Score 1) 383

Your state's governor was one of the ones that worked to sabotage the implementation of the ACA.

No, my state's governor is a major liberal Democrat, and was a serious cheerleader for ACA. He promised that our state would be a shining example of the law's implementation, and swore that he would use our local tax dollars to make a better web-facing exchange experience than the federal site could ever be. Then he made his deputy governor more or less a full-time ACA guy. He then spent over $200 million to completely botch the whole thing, and it had to be scrapped.

You've identified changes the law needs, but nothing like that has even been discussed since the only ACA votes that Congress will try are about repealing the whole thing.

No, these issues were discussed loudly and often BEFORE the law was completed. The Republicans pointed out these and many more baked-in flaws, but were of course ignored. The president keeps saying this is now all a matter of "settled law," and has said he will not accept changes to it. Same thing that Pelosi and Reid say, obviously.

Yet you're still unable to find any blame that should be directed at the Republicans.

Right. Because their input was refused, they were not allowed in the writing of the law, and they DID NOT VOTE FOR IT. This resulting mess was created and rammed through entirely by the Democrats. It's theirs and their mess. They are why I'm out thousands of dollars more this year than last for inferior results.

Comment: Re:What has changed? (Score 1) 221

by ScentCone (#47958609) Attached to: Secret Service Critics Pounce After White House Breach

There was a time that a citizen could walk right up to the white house. What has changed with our society that our president needs to live in a castle with a moat and defense force?

A lot more people willing and often eager to die for the [insert crazy, often religion-based or partisan cause here] movement.

Regardless, you're making it sound like this is a recent development. This has been the case going back well over a hundred years.

Comment: Re:Please describe exactly (Score 1) 383

He said "[T]he people on the hotline are very helpful. I would call them up and ask about private insurance plans are in your area.

And I pointed out that nobody on the hotline is going to be able to point out an insurance plan that doesn't exist. The state regulators don't allow for magic hidden policies that are cheaper than what's been priced for the exchanges. In other words, it was a BS, fantasy suggestion.

Comment: Re:Please describe exactly (Score 1) 383

Who says I have meager skills or don't make a good living? I said that I make more than the amount under which the subsides kick in, and so I am in the group that has had their rates jacked up hugely in order to collect the money that is being given to the people who get the subsidies. Many many more millions of people would also be in that boat right now, but Obama unilaterally chose to break the law and push back the date at which the ACA's changes would also impact the rates paid by people who are on employer-provided insurance. He's waiting until after the upcoming election, to help struggling Democrats trying to retain legislative seats. As soon as that's past, and the illegally delayed employer program changes kick in, you'll find (at least) tens of millions more people describing exactly the scenario I have.

It's simple math: if they want to give billions of dollars of new federally mandated entitlements to one group, they have to take it from somebody else. It's the people like me who DO make a good living that are being handed that bill. Rather in contrast to Obama's promises that no such thing would happen, remember? Remember the assurance that rates would go down, and that having health insurance would be about like paying for a mobile phone account every month? Yeah. If your mobile phone costs you several hundred dollars a month, and never mind the huge new deductibles.

Comment: Re:Please describe exactly (Score 1) 383

I can't resist but to feed the troll. This guy claims to pay '$12,000/year in deductibles'

You really have no idea how individual states handle this, do you? Please go educate yourself. States that chose to set up their own markets and which regulate their own rates have nothing to do with what you're saying. All they have is the ACA forcing certain new features into the plans sold in that state, and the states set new rules in order to pay for those new federally mandated features. In this state, the ACA-mandated Bronze plan leaves you with a $6,000 deductible per person. Married? $12k.

Sorry to take the fun out of it for you.

Comment: Re:Not surprising (Score 1) 383

So, just to be clear, you have nothing of substance to say, because if you were to address the actual topic at hand, you'd have to actually answer the question:

Was the administration to incompetent that it thought the ACA web site was secure and functional before it launched, or were they simply willing to lie about it, since they knew it wasn't? It's one of those two. You just can't bring yourself around to admitting it because you're exactly the partisan whiner that you're accusing someone else of being. Typical response, though, from Obama's apologists on this: pretend everything was fine, and that the people who point out the incompetence of the administration's project (we don't even have to get into the law itself) are lying. Here's the problem with that tactic: millions of people know the web site didn't work and all sorts of third party security reviews show that it was and still is a security nightmare.

Nice attempt to change the subject, though. Probably worked really well on fellow twelve year olds.

Comment: Re:Please describe exactly (Score 1) 383

If you are having trouble with your current premiums, the people on the hotline are very helpful.

They're not going to help here, because our situation is exactly what the law calls for. If you're making more than $60k, you don't GET subsidies, you have to GIVE subsidies to other people (like you). The premiums and high deductibles I mentioned are set up exactly as the ACA calls for. No hotline worker is going to wave their hands and make insurance regulators in a state lower the rates to the point where the insurance companies are forced to lose money on selling an account without a subsidy taken from someone else to pay for it. And they're not going to give subsidies to someone who makes lower-middle-income money (which in our area is anyone under $75k, since things like tiny 1100 square foot townhouses in bad neighborhoods cost $300,000+.

So unless we deliberately earn less money so we can get subsidies (which still is a net loss in overall cash), we are walking financial organ donors for ... you. And there's nothing to complain to a hotline about, because that's exactly what Pelosi and Reid and Obama wanted. They said as much, they wrote the law that way, and they got one party (and only one) to ram it through congress.

Let's work toward fixing the ACA's problems for EVERYONE (you and me included) instead of just propagating negativity.

Who are you proposing to tax, instead of me, to fix it? And we haven't even SEEN the results on employer programs yet, because Obama broke the law and chose to put off actually enforcing that part of the law (he chose to ignore the law's statutory date requirements). When all of THOSE rates and deductibles go through the roof, you'll hear a lot of negativity from more than just people like me - you'll hear it from tens of millions of people whose insurance will suddenly no longer be viable, according to the ACA.

The fixes for this (cross-state shopping, tort reform, etc) were utterly rejected by the Democrats because their constituents (say, the trial lawyers) didn't want to give up their gravy train.

Comment: Re:Please describe exactly (Score 4, Insightful) 383

Please read the original plan and then follow the idiotic path of compromises that Republicans forced onto it rendering it into the watered down ridiculous mess that it is.

The Republicans forced no such thing. Not a single one of them voted for it. The Democrats were the only people who wanted, and who rammed through, the law they put together.

democrats didn't help things either since they were so desperate to get SOMETHING through that they were willing to do just about anything without really thinking through the consequences of their actions

What are you talking about? Everything that's happened was predicted in plain language for everyone involved before they "deemed" it passed in a 100% partisan maneuver. Larger deficits? Playing out exactly as predicted. Huge jump in premiums and deductibles for those that don't get entitlement subsidies? Playing out exactly as predicted. That's what the Democrats WANTED: get insurance for more people by taking more money from one group and giving to another. It's a transfer tax that reduces benefits for those that actually pay in order to give SOME benefits to those that don't, or who pay only part of the way.

Comment: Re:Please describe exactly (Score 1) 383

Right. So when any of the normal annual changes take place (the way they handle certain experimental drugs or therapies, the way they handle certain hospital scenarios, etc), the insurer can no longer provide the plan - the ACA shuts it down because it doesn't provide post-menopausal women maternity care, etc.

Comment: Re:Please describe exactly (Score 2) 383

repeatedly by publicizing Obamacare horror stories that completely fall apart when verified

But this isn't a horror story. This is just the ACA, doing exactly what it's designed to do. Obviously it's not doing what Obama repeatedly promised it would do, but that was all lies in advance of them ramming the law through. There's nothing shocking (from the point of view of the law) about our situation, it's exactly what was intended - use the higher rates as a new tax to fund a huge entitlement expansion for people who make less money. Self employed middle class people are the beasts of burden in this scenario.

P.S. You say "Were forced to go to a new plan," if you didn't go through the exchange, your insurance company may be the one shafting you.

There is no exchange. Our state spend hundreds of millions of dollars, but couldn't get it to work, have decided to scrap the entire thing, and buy a copy of the exchange that another state built. Regardless, by law in our state, you don't get anything by going through the exchange except discounts when you qualify for subsidies. The subsidies aren't meant for people who make >$60k, so the exchange (if they ever get it working) won't apply. Insurers offering ANY plan in the state have to do so at the exchange rates. Essentially, the numbers I mentioned ARE the exchange rates. That's the cheapest plan you can buy. If we choose a lower deductible (say, $5,000 instead of $12,000) our monthly rate would have jumped from our earlier
The only "shafting" that's going on is by way of the ACA itself and the requirements it places on new policies. And since we work hard to make more than $60k (in an area where that's essentially poverty-level income, given the local cost of living), we get none of the candy they're taking from other people. We're the ones they're taking the candy from. New outlets didn't need special cases like us, because we're not a special case. There's a whole state full of people like us, unless you're in the huge group who have opted to pay the no-insurance-tax/fine and save the money.

Comment: Re:Please describe exactly (Score 4, Insightful) 383

Obama correctly outlawed them. He did them a favor.

What? Obama's new wonder-plan is what TOOK AWAY our low deductible plan and forced us, for more money, to buy one that will cost us thousands more each year in premiums, and ten thousand more a year in deductibles. The people you're defending - Obama, Pelosi, Reid - forced us to buy a high deductible plan with fewer benefits, minus the doctor we'd used for years, and more. Obama didn't "outlaw" bad, expensive coverage, he just forced us into that exact situation. Thanks for shilling for him, though - it's nice to see that BS so transparently on display for all to see.

Comment: Re:Please describe exactly (Score 4, Informative) 383

please describe _exactly_ what you find so objectionable about the Affordable Care Act

I used to have affordable insurance for my wife and I. The ACA killed it. Were forced to go to a new plan that:

1) Has much higher monthly premiums (we went from roughly $230/month to about $500/month)

2) Has a hugely higher deductible (we went from $2,500 a year to about $12,000 a year). This means that we are much, much farther out of pocket every year, especially if we actually need medical care beyond one or two simple visits annually.

3) We are past any risk of pregnancy. None the less, we are being forced to pay for elaborate maternity care that we cannot possibly use.

4) The new plan forced us to give up the doctor we've been using for 15 years unless we want to pay cash for that in a way that doesn't help with our deductible.

5) The two best local hospitals are no longer available to us unless we want to pay retail for their use, and get no benefit against our deductible.

Prior to this "affordable" new act, we had no need to change insurance, doctors, hospitals or anything else for well over 10 years.

Because of how the math is working out, we're told to expect that next year's premiums will go up by another 45-55%. Thanks, Mr. Obamacare Cheerleader, if you're one of the people who helped to empower the people who snuck this 100% partisan monstrosity through congress on Pelosi's "deeming" technique. Thanks a lot.

If I have seen farther than others, it is because I was standing on the shoulders of giants. -- Isaac Newton