Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Killing People For The Sake of Convenience

The GOP has a huge incentive to repeal Obamacare no matter how many people get hurt, and how much of a humanitarian crisis results. Geezers are the only thing standing in the way of the GOP's true goal:
Congressional budget rules exempt certain tax and spending bills from filibusters, but only if they don’t incur long-term deficits.
... As George W. Bush–era Republicans learned, if you use the budget rules to pass a large deficit-financed tax cut, the tax cut will eventually expire.

Repealing Obamacare offers Republicans a way out of that trap, because it pairs eliminating (or indefinitely delaying) all of the ACA’s progressive tax increases with gutting the financial assistance the law provides to help millions of people afford care. ...This filibuster-proof tax cut, in other words, would be permanent.

...If Republicans wanted to cut taxes on the rich, they could cut taxes on the rich....These millions of uninsured serve only to make the giant GOP tax cut for the rich permanent, as opposed to merely 10 years long.

Be Sure To Count The Cost Savings From All The Dead

The CBO certainly has a dark side, but numbers are numbers. Social Security outlays will drop $3 billion next year because 17,000 people will die next year, who otherwise wouldn't, because of Trumpcare implementation:
Approximately 17,000 people could die in 2018 who otherwise would have lived if a House Republican health proposal endorsed by the Trump administration becomes law. By 2026, the number of people killed by Trumpcare could grow to approximately 29,000 in that year alone.


Low-income older people are about to be screwed to the wall by Trumpcare. Daily Kos notes "In Nebraska’s Chase County, a 62-year-old currently earning about $18,000 a year could pay nearly $20,000 annually to get health-insurance coverage under the House GOP plan—compared with about $760 a year that person would owe toward premiums under the ACA." Younger people would fare better. Still, guess who votes:
There are lots of losers under the Republican plan to replace Obamacare, but perhaps nobody would suffer as badly as older Americans who live just above or around the poverty line. According to the new estimates from the Congressional Budget Office, that group could see its insurance premiums rise by 750 percent within a decade under the House GOP's American Health Care Act, compared with what they'd pay under current law for more comprehensive coverage.

Yes, 750 percent. That's not a typo. That devastating increase is spelled out in the table below, in which the CBO models how premiums might change for Americans of different ages and incomes under the legislation Republicans have proposed. With Obamacare, a 64-year-old earning $26,500 per year in 2026—175 percent of the poverty line—would have to pay $1,700 for insurance, after tax credits. That plan would cover 87 percent of their medical costs, on average. Under the AHCA, or Trumpcare, that same person would owe a full $14,600 after tax credits for a plan that only covers 65 percent of their medical costs.

2017's Oak Leaves

Intriguing Wrinkle on the 2014 Michael Brown Shooting

I've always been mystified by the explanations of Michael Brown's conduct, but this better explains why he was doing what he was doing, especially if the morning clerks weren't the same as the nighttime clerks. Then the shooting becomes something like the Titanic: a series of small mistakes and miscommunications that end up in a tragedy:
A previously unreleased video sheds new light on the final hours of Michael Brown, the 18-year-old shot and killed by police in Ferguson, Missouri, in August 2014. The surveillance video is unrelated to the police stop that resulted in Officer Darren Wilson shooting and killing Brown. The newly released footage from a security camera at Ferguson Market and Liquor does, however, add insight to a video released shortly after Brown’s death that appeared to show Brown physically manhandling workers at the convenience store and stealing cigarillos shortly before his fatal altercation with Wilson later that day.

...The footage shows Brown going to the store around 1 a.m. on Aug. 9, 2014, the day he was shot, and appears to add context to Brown’s relationship with the store clerks and his interactions with them 12 hours later.

From the New York Times:
Jason Pollock, a documentary filmmaker who acquired the new tape, says the footage challenges the police narrative that Mr. Brown committed a strong-armed robbery when he returned to the store around noon that day. Instead, Mr. Pollock believes that the new video shows Mr. Brown giving a small bag of marijuana to store employees and receiving cigarillos in return as part of a negotiated deal. Mr. Pollock said Mr. Brown left the cigarillos behind the counter for safekeeping … But Jay Kanzler, a lawyer for the convenience store and its employees, strongly disputes that version of events, and said the new footage is unrelated to Mr. Brown’s later visit to the store.

Eureka! Some Progress on a Thread of Thought I Started Back at NM Tech

Place names are important. For 42 years I've suffered, wondering what they called this one place. Tonight, I learn it's called LA 575. That's a start....

Just Skate

Talking To A Raven

An xkcd Moment

Monday, March 13, 2017