Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Obamacare 6th Anniversary Open Thread

For those of you who may not remember, today was the 6th anniversary of the Affordable Care Act a/k/a Obamacare. So how's it going so far?

1. Did you get to keep your doctor and/or insurance that you liked?
2. Did your premiums and/or healthcare costs go down $2500 as promised?
3. How are those deductibles holding up (...and up and up)?
4. Has your healthcare coverage improved and is it "affordable" as promised?

No need to answer. Those were just rhetorical questions.

Here's a pie chart that spells it out pretty clearly:

-UConn Poll

Look, someone must be doing better, right? Be honest. Let us know.

Otherwise, please feel free to talk about Cuba, Brussels, or Trump.

On a related note: Oral arguments were held today before the Supreme Court for The Little Sister of Poor Home for the Aged, Priests for Life, Southern Nazarene University, Geneva College, Roman Catholic Archbishop of Washington, and East Texas Baptist University v. Burwell.

The issue is:
"[W}hether the HHS contraceptive-coverage mandate and its “accommodation” violate the Religious Freedom Restoration Act by forcing religious nonprofits to act in violation of their sincerely held religious beliefs, when the government has not proven that this compulsion is the least restrictive means of advancing any compelling interest."
With the untimely death of Justice Antonin Scalia, there is no guessing what the 8 remaining Justices will decide. My understanding is that if they cannot come to a decision, the lower court orders will stand thereby tossing religious conscience and conscientious objection into the dustbin of history.


Anthony said...

The Brussels terror attacks hasn't improved my opinion of our politicians. Obama is basically do what Bush did except he is being more mealy mouthed about it. Republicans are calling Obama out for being insufficiently tough and then naming silly, meaningless things they would do. Democrats then go into hysterics over said silly, meaningless things.

Ted Cruz proposing increasing patrolling through Muslim neighborhoods in the US indicates either he is a cynic or an idiot since even if terrorists are dim enough to plot in public they are probably bright enough not to do it when a stranger can overhear them but liberal reaction to it was even more ridiculous (it is not terrorists that is the threat it is Cruz!).

The biggest political beneficiary is probably Trump. People want reassurance and tough talk (even impractical tough talk) reassures. I just don't see the expulsion of all Muslims from the US thing happening. If it does I think Secretary of Homeland Defense Coulter will make sure Nikki Haley and Ted Cruz also get kicked out of the country.

No matter what anyone does, like most wars on broad concepts (drugs and communism spring to mind) the war on terror will be fought over the course of decades and no matter how effective the policies, it won't be a bloodless war.

On a related note, Obama's habit of being publicly (and no doubt privately) indifferent to terror attacks that don't allow him to argue for one of his pet causes (i.e. gun control) is going to hurt Democrats really badly if ISIS manages to pull off something big in the US.

Anthony said...

I held off on commenting on Brussels for a bit because I like to try to let the blood dry before engaging in political analysis. Clearly that position puts me at odds with many public figures.

However, when I try to think of times when an American politician quickly capitalized on a terror attack and saw a lasting benefit, I draw a blank. Perhaps I am missing something?

Anthony said...

Moving on to lighter news, the Alabama governor thing is hilarious. 'I told the aide I pay hundreds of thousands of dollars a year that I loved feeling her breasts and she told me to lock the door, but I swear, we never did anything sexual!'. Firing a guy who knows where all your bodies are buried clearly isn't a smart move.

Anthony said...

Also on the lighter side of the news, Trump is going after Cruz's wife. Hillary's hope.

Donald Trump has shared an unflattering photo of Sen. Ted Cruz's wife — the latest wrinkle in an ongoing feud between the two Republican presidential primary candidates.

The photo was part of a tweet that the GOP frontrunner shared on Wednesday night. The tweet read, "A picture is worth a thousand words," and featured a photo of Ted Cruz's wife, Heidi, next to a picture of Trump's wife, Melania.
A caption on the photo reads, "No need to 'spill the beans.' The images are worth a thousand words."

Sen. Cruz of Texas responded, saying "Donald, real men don't attack women. Your wife is lovely, and Heidi is the love of my life."

Anthony said...

Also on the lighter side of the news, a university offered counseling to students traumatized by Trump 2016 graffiti.

A group of students at Emory University led a campus-wide protest after someone wrote ‘Donald Trump 2016’ in chalk across campus, leading the university to provide “emergency counseling” sessions in response.

According to student paper The Emory Wheel, the triggered students protested outside the administration building chanting, “You are not listening! Come speak to us, we are in pain!”

Kit said...


There goes the Republic.

Critch said...

The only way to curtail the terrorism is to strangle their money source, Saudi Arabia. Deal with ISIS quickly and brutally then go after what's left. Let any rich Muslim benefactor of terrorism understand that we will get them and imprison then, if they're lucky. Europe is going to have to go after the radical whenever and wherever they can. if that mean expelling thousands back to Syria because they can't keep their hands off of women and boys, then so be it. I'm amazed at how little backbone the Europeans have for dealing with this; most of what's been done has been halfhearted. Where's Charles Martel when you need him?

Anonymous said...

I know its a lot to ask but I'm wondering if Andrew will address the whole anti-lgbt bill controversies in NC and Georgia. Marvel/Disney and AMC are threatening to boycott Georgia. But Disney is absolutely ok with filming in UAE where gays are treated nicely right before they're stoned to death.
Also the Cruz/Trump wife thing. I find it amazing even after the dick jokes that the conversation between political frontrunners has gone down to whose wife is a bigger piece of doo-doo like some trailer park brawl.

BevfromNYC said...

This is a great op/ed piece that describes just how our reactions are getting stale in the aftermath of each new terrorist attack with the predictably infantile hashtagging and meme-ing:

A terrorist attack has happened in Europe. Let the standard response begin…

BevfromNYC said...

Anthony - A Cruz-happy PAC (not at Cruz' direction) published photos of a naked Melania Trump. These photos weren't Gawker-ed in any way. Melania was a model and these were published photos that she got paid to pose for. Trump got in a snit because these photos were used even though they were already all over the 'net. (Most likely because she should have been compensated according to her residual contract).

Trump then threatened Heidi Cruz with exposing her, but sadly Heidi has never posed nude for a men's magazine. Instead, she went to college and received an MBA from Harvard Business School, worked in the Bush Administration and then Goldman Sachs. Trump did find a grumpy-faced photo that he published in a snit on Twitter along with a photo of his young wife in a body hugging frock while screaming that wives are off-limits!

Just when you thought this couldn't get anymore ridiculous.

BevfromNYC said...

As for the kollege kids today - I fear that when they are confronted with the real world where no one gives a shit about their delicate feelings or their over-inflated GPA, they really will not be able to cope. But what is most disturbing is their demands for forced segregation by race and frightening willingness to flagrantly discriminate against those who might hold different opinions or insights.

Koshcat said...

The "my wife is better than yours" is not being handled well by Trump. If the Trumpinitas felt that his whole approach is based on a brilliant plan, this clearly shows there isn't one. An approach of I don't care to follow the normal rules would have been better for Trump to say after the nudes where shown, "God, isn't she beautiful! Thank you for reminding me. You may be hearing from her lawyers regarding copyright infringement." His reaction is more akin to a playground bully; a thin skin, whiney bitch.

Anthony said...

Once again on the lighter side of the news, Microsoft created an AI which learned from Twitter. Before they shut it down in horror a day later, it became a racist conspiracy theorist which advocated for genocide and loved only Trump.

Rough language at the link, but I confess I cannot stop laughing. Truly masterful trolling.

ScottDS said...

Gary Shandling has passed away at 66.

I know he was an acquired taste but I became a fan of The Larry Sanders Show toward the end of its run and it still holds up.

Anthony said...

Damn shame about Shandling. Wasn't a fan of his tv show (though I know people who swear by it) but he popped up in a lot of other stuff and always seemed like a nice guy having fun.

AndrewPrice said...

I agree with Anthony about Brussels. This is a bigger problem than our politician are capable of handling, but people still like to hear the tough talk.

An ISIS attack in the US would likely destroy Hillary Clinton.

AndrewPrice said...

RIP Gary Shandling. A lot of the people I "knew" growing up are dying lately and that definitely sucks.

AndrewPrice said...

Anthony, I LOVE that article. LOL!

AndrewPrice said...

Anon, The nomination became a circus and this is the inevitable result. Just wait for Jerry Springer to host a debate and someone to throw a chair. It's coming.

I'll see what I can do about the LGBT thing.

BevfromNYC said...

OMG! Anthony, that Microsoft bot is hysterical! I had no idea that Twitter was that bad! Talk about a big fail. Poor Bill Gates! Their stock is probably plummeting! But totally hysterical! Don't let it near Trump!

Koshcat said...

Anyone who has checked out 4chan would recognize that many of the recurrent posters where involved with the Tray debacle. Microsoft are idiots for not anticipating this but more important it shows the difference between having a filter, like normal human beings, and not, like Trump.

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