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Comment Re:headline is misleading (Score 1) 361 361

No, you're not understanding what happened. The new law made lots of insurance policies no longer allowed.

I understand that. Recall that I described the example of bad scam policies, and how I thought getting rid of those would be a good thing, even if the people who purchased them might think they want them.

For example: if you're a married couple 80 years old, you still have to carry, by law, insurance that includes full maternity care.

I understand this too. I too as a younger person may not want insurance that covers hip replacements until I think I might need them. The good news is that the cost of insuring an 80 year old for maternity care is probably pretty cheap, just like insuring an 18 year old for a hip replacement is probably really cheap (since neither is very likely). What's nice about this arrangement is that a lot of confusion in terms of what is covered and what isn;t is simplified for not much more cost, and in rare cases when people get pregnant (when they thought they couldn't) or in the odd cases where a college kid actually needs a hip replacement is still covered.

So a lot of existing insurance simply evaporated.

I suppose you could choose to look at it this way if you want. The other way you could look at it is that your existing plan might have become more comprehensive and more expensive, if they happened not to be deemed comprehensive enough.

I don;t doubt there are some examples where it doesn't work well. I also know for sure that there are examples of people who basically had very cheap scam insurance that are angry that they are now forced to pay more for something rather than less for nothing. But I am constantly hearing about people getting what they think is affordable insurance only to find it covers nothing they need, and they are completely screwed. But given the nature of insurance, those people may not ever know how precarious their position was especially if they were forced to switch to a more comprehensive insurance before they ever tried to use their old one for something big.

They then had to go find a way to buy new insurance - usually at much higher prices, often from a different carrier ... which wouldn't do business with the doctor you used to use.

So you are describing a scenario where your existing doctor no longer accepts insurance? I'm not sure why you can't get the insurance your preferred doctor accepts.

This isn't a matter of the doctors retiring.

I realize this is not an all encompassing example. I merely mentioned it as an example of someone "not being able to keep their doctor", but not necessarily due to "Obama's lies".

This is about the law forcing people to buy very expensive new health insurance from a new provider that - because of all of the heavy new requirements of what and who they must now cover - greatly reduce the number of doctors they'll work with.

The law doesn't force people to buy very expensive insurance nor does is force people to get a new provider. The law forces people to buy insurance that meets minimum government requirements (i.e. it removes the option to buy insurance that doesn't meet these guidelines).

Imagine this example:

The government passes a law saying all automobiles must have seatbelts. Obama comes out and says "Don't worry, you can still buy the same cars, they will just have seatbelts in them". One company decides it would rather close up shop than take orders from Obama and sell cars with seatbelts. Was Obama lying when he said you can buy the same cars? What if you wanted to specifically buy a car with no seatbelt, and not pay the extra cost of a car with a seatbelt?

This is how I basically look at it. Obama is saying "Don't worry there is still going to be Ford trucks with seatbelts, and toyota camrys with seatbelts, etc". Unfortunately if you really wanted to buy a car with no seatbelt, or if you really wanted to spend $200 less and risk driving without a seatbelt you are out of luck (and that was no doubt intentional). Was he lying? I guess technically. But why focus on that when there is a car company lying to cover up how many people die in accidents that seatbelts could prevent. To me the motivation for why someone is "lying" really matters.

And so people lost access to their familiar doctors, despite Obama's promise that no such thing would happen - remember, he said nobody would have to leave their plans (a lie).

Is it lying when a parent tells their child "this shot is going to be for your own good, and it will only hurt for a second", even though the parent knows that 0.1% kids have an allergic reaction to the shot and it will actually hurt a lot and be a bad thing?

If someone asked "What if someone likes their plan but it doesn;t meet the requirements, can they keep it?" I don't know, but I suspect Obama would have said "No, but you probably wouldn't want to.

And here is the thing. We can't even have nuanced conversations anymore in politics. Everything needs to be in 20 second sound bytes for the news to cover it. And if you don;t speak in 20 second sound bytes, the news will convert your speech into those snippets as they see fit.

So I see what Obama said as basically true, even if it wasn't technically true for every single person. And I think on the whole it probably has done a lot of good for society. I'm sorry if you were one of the people who got a raw deal.

As a person who can't stand 99% of politicians, democrats included, I just don't get the animosity directed toward Obama. One of the few politicians who seem like they legitimately care about helping people, and don't seem to be in it for their own benefit, and there are more people than ever saying he's a liar, and arrogant, and seem to just hate the guy.

I don't know if you fall into this category or not (I won;t presume to know), but a lot of people just don't want Obamacare to succeed because they don't like Obama. There were numerous cases of people claiming their insurance had gone up, but it turned out they didn't even really try to get better plans by going on the health care exchanges. They just gave up and decided Obamacare was broken and made a big stink. I remember one case where a reporter did some investigations into a particular case and found the person could actually get a better plan for less money on one of the exchanges and the person said they didn;t trust the exchanges if they were run by Obama or something to that effect.

I didn't vote for Obama. I didn't like the ACA enough to support it, but I feel like the vitriol against Obama and Obamacare is just ridiculous, especially considering all the things going on in Washington that are far more worthy to hate.

Comment Re:Not Totalitarian (Score 1) 62 62

You're confusing "totalitarian" with "authoritarian". Authoritarianism is the lack of limits on state power. Totalitarianism is when the state actually uses that lack of limits to institute a pervasive, total control of the populace in all aspects of their lives. Remember that the word was actually used in its proper meaning in a positive sense by the very people that we recognize as the first conscious totalitarians today: Italian fascists. Mussolini defined it as "everything within the state, nothing outside the state, nothing against the state".

Comment Mishandling handles (Score 1) 102 102

I once contracted with a shop that had a process that generated garbled output data rows. It appeared to be extra stuff that didn't affect (over-write) the intended rows. The shop had added an extra processing step to filter out the garbage rows and eventually just worked around the glitch.

They had asked me to try to track it down, among other projects, because they were newbie programmers. I couldn't figure it out either because it never appeared in my intermediate trace statements. I put a trace (print) statement before every "write" in the program. None of the prints showed the garbage, yet garbage ended up in the output file. Head-scratcher galore. I was supposed to be "the expert", and thus feeling a bit deflated.

On I think the last day of my contract, I was running a test copy of the code with some changes to perform speed tests. I went to try a certain speed tweak, and I suddenly spotted the error: the file handle variable was re-used for another non-handle purpose, something like this:

fhandle = openFileForWrite(fileName);
writeToFile(fhandle, someData);
fhandle = countX + countY - 7;

The actual handle name was something like "qhand". But a regular variable, "quantity on hand" ended up "qhand" also, the same name as the file handle.

When it dawned on me what happened, I started screaming like a wildman and the others popped out of their cubicles to see what was going down. They took my coffee away :-)

As far as the link on goofy video game bugs, I remember somebody discovered that if you don't put a game cartridge in all the way, certain characters dance and spin randomly and rapidly in the sky.

It created an Internet meme, and spoofs started appearing all over, typically using stop-motion with live actors. I forgot the nickname of the meme, but I found it hilarious. It took my mind off the handle bug.

Comment When the government is too lazy or incompetent (Score 2) 126 126

When the government is too lazy or incompetent to find the person who killed your father, they can just give you permission to find the killer and bring whatever justice seems fair. I don't see how anything bad that can come of this, nor its cyberspace analogue.

Comment Re:For the last goddamn time (Score 1) 361 361

I don't think anyone really knows how fast it is being made, or what the total amount really is...

I know I certainly don't, which is why I wanted a citation.

I am not really on any extreme side of this debate, I just thought I saw a claim that contradicted my worldview (which happens frequently), and wanted a citation to determine for myself if it was credible.

As it turns out I think the statement was simply very misleading, even if *maybe* technically true.

I'm pretty open to differing points of view. I don't think there is much to be gained by attaching an ideology that you are bound to defend at all costs. When when I do decide to drink the kool-aid of an ideology, I am very careful about what it is (e.g. scientific method, rules of logic, etc)

Comment Re:headline is misleading (Score 1) 361 361

He said that because people were worried that the doctor the currently had would suddenly be unavailable to them when the law kicked in. This is exactly what happened, to a lot of people.

I don't doubt this is the case. I suspect there are some doctors that retired simply to spite obamacare. My point is that I understood Obama's statement to mean "This law won't prevent you from keeping your doctor, should your doctor still want to be your doctor". I don't expect Obama to guarantee that everyone's doctor will still want to be their doctor.

It happened to our family. The insurance policy with which we were perfectly happy evaporated because the law considered it unacceptable (the new law requires that we buy insurance that covers, among other things, maternity care ... which is super handy now that we're in our 50's).

1. Getting rid of insurance plans that don't offer enough protection is important (regardless of whether you agree with the specific rules defined in the ACA. My wife who works in the industry finds lots of people who think they are insured, only to find out they have been buying insurance that covers almost nothing they might actually want (i.e. they are scams) 2. Your insurance covers other people's maternity as well. You may not feel like that's fair, but they are covering your hip surgeries, etc.

The new plans from which could choose did not include the doctor we're happy with, and precluded the use of two of the nearest (and best) hospitals. Our premiums went from roughly $250 a month to over $500, and our deductible went from $2,500 to $12,000.

So nobody being treated at the 2 nearest and best hospitals is insured? Or are they just paying more?

Each of these things was predicted with great clarity by not only the people opposed to the law's passing, but also by the people who WROTE the law. But in front of cameras, Obama lied about each and every point of it, repeatedly, and deliberately.

It sounds like you've just decided Obama is a liar and everything he says can only confirm that belief.

I'm not even going to bother to dispute this. I highly doubt Obama has never lied in a speech to the country.

I will offer a counterexample. My mother's insurance costs actually went down from the ACA. I suspect that despite many differing claims of insurance rates going up or down, what really needs to be considered is that levels of coverage have also been going up and down for those same people, and that difference isn't always as obvious as the dollar amount coming out of your paycheck.

You know, and Obama knew, EXACTLY what "you can keep your doctor" meant when he said it - he was trying to tamp down the very vocal concerns that exactly what has happened would in fact happen.

From how I interpreted it, Obama didn't lie, especially relative the the level of lies I have come to expect from politicians. My company switched from bluecross to aetna after ACA passed. I had to switch my primary care doctor because of it. The fact that this happened *after* the ACA does not mean it was *because of* the ACA. It was my company that decided to switch insurance companies. Even if they did it because of the ACA for whatever reason, that switch is on them. They could have kept bluecross, but they decided to switch to aetna. And it's not the first time they switched. Even before the ACA, they switched from from a different one (can't even remember who) to bluecross.

He knew it was going to, but he lied about it anyway.

I think it's true that Obama never intended to ensure that companies would be forced to keep the same insurance policies for their workers. I didn't think this counted as a "not being able to keep your doctor because of the ACA", I counted it as "not being able to keep your doctor because your company changed providers"

What I don't understand is why you're trying to spin it for him. What do you gain by attempting to back up the deception?

I'm not trying to spin anything. I didn't even vote for the guy. I think he is one of the more honest politicians I have known especially for a president, but I don't really agree with his approach in general. I am not a democrat nor a republican. I am an independent.

I don't gain anything by advocating for anybody. I am just calling it as a see it.

I feel like I am generally unbiased when it comes to Obama and the ACA. I wasn't a supporter of either. I felt like Obama was an honest enough person, and the goal noble enough, but I just didn't think it was being done in a good enough way. That said, I think it's good that more people are insured, and that people can;t be denied insurance for pre-existing conditions.

Just because I am defending one particular aspect of the ACA (whether or not Obama lied about whether you can keep your doctor), doesn't mean I like the whole thing. I feel as if I am in a unique position to comment from a dispassionate perspective. I don't love the guy, nor do I hate him.

If anything it seems like you hate him. And if you do, I would suggest that maybe your judgement is clouded.

Comment Re:For the last goddamn time (Score 1) 361 361

HornWumpus said that "[Coal is replenishing] fast enough that there is no chance of it running out."

If we have so much that we will not run out any time soon, fine. But if that is the case, then the rate of replenishment doesn't matter at all.

I was under the impression that coal was being used at orders of magnitude faster than it is being replenished, and I thought this was being disputed in this thread, but maybe it actually isn't.

Am I correct in saying that a replenishment rate of zero is still fast enough to keep up with demand?

Comment Re:Talking points? (Score 1) 361 361

If we want to just kick over the table, there are numerous choices that aren't Donald Trump. We could just choose the president via random lottery and also give them $7 billion so they aren't in anyone's pocket. I think if we did that, we'd have a better outcome than a Trump presidency. At least with a random person there is a reasonably good chance that they will be a moral.

I'm all for not electing the same corrupt assholes we've been electing, but I'm not ready to flush the whole country down a classy gold plated toilet just yet.

I would trust the nations nuclear weapons with Kim Kardashian more than with Trump.

%DCL-MEM-BAD, bad memory VMS-F-PDGERS, pudding between the ears