The Widdershins

It’s a bold strategy, Cotton…

Posted on: March 24, 2017


Indeed, a bold move, let’s see if it pays off for them. So bold, the logic is nonexistent or exists in a parallel bizarro universe. Originally, I was going to post about a political science study, but it is too egg-headed and stuffy for a day like today.

Today we get to watch a bunch of Congressional one-eyed lemmings follow one another off the cliff because they’ve been told they can learn to fly on the way down.


These lemmings were tricked into trying to “midair Kitty Hawk” by King Don Dumb, the author of Schart of the Zeal.  That’s a book about living a goony-eyed life of believing your own sh!t so much you get all excited and poop yourself, but not before toot farting, thereby signaling your unbridled zeal.

Here’s the upside for King Don Dumb if it passes – 24 million lose their health insurance, premiums go up, deductibles go up, coverage goes down, but the really rich get millions in tax cuts.

Wreck-It-Ralph has let himself go…

Overnight, there was another ransom note from the freaky Freedom Caucus.  Not only does it cut essential benefits like maternity care, newborn care, pediatric care, mental health, drug treatment, rehabilitation, prescription drug coverage, preventative care, wellness care, chronic disease, laboratory services, hospitalization, and outpatient services, there’s more – even though that list looks like pretty much everything insurance is supposed to do.

To the things listed as essential services, add about eight other technical things that must have been written down during especially unctuous nocturnal emissions of insurance lobbyists.  They include eliminating the “single risk pool” allowing insurers to cull the cheap healthy from the expensive sick, reinstating lifetime and annual coverage limits, eliminating the requirement for no-cost preventative care like mammograms, and undoing the Medical Loss Ratio standards, which is a fancy term for forcing large insurers to pay out at least 85% of premiums on claims and rebating the rest.

And here’s what I can’t believe hasn’t been covered: This travesty – this atrocity increases the deficit. It’s only slightly cheaper than the ACA, but it still increases the deficit because of the tax cuts. These heartless, amoral, hell-bound morons are borrowing money to heap suffering on 24 million people. It’s like an arsonist taking a mortgage on a house before torching it.

For seven years we’ve heard that selling insurance across state lines is the magical elixir to reduce premiums. That tired story is just another hornless unicorn, but it is what “wonkinator” Paul Ryan has sworn will work. States already allow interstate insurance sales, but insurance companies don’t do it because it doesn’t make economic sense. As health care expert Austin Frakt, told the Los Angeles Times, “I never understood the appeal of this idea. It only makes sense if you don’t know what you’re talking about.”

Here in one chart is all you need to know. The chart depicts the percentage of income paid for premiums of a 60-year old making $20,000.00 a year. Under the ACA, she pays about 5% of her income no matter where she lives. Under this “Death Care” (© Fredster), in some parts of the country the same 60-year old pays 100% of her income for coverage. No one is going to do that. No one can do that.


The Council of Scary Lady Parts meets to cut mammograms, pregnancy, and pediatric care…

No idea how this will turn out in the morning, but I’m sure of these things: The legislative language is still being worked out, there is no CBO score so no one knows how much these changes will cost, and oh yeah, this Death Care is polling at 17%.

One other thing, even if it does pass, it is DOA in the Senate. King Don Dumb has tooted and schart his pants declaring, “Take it or leave it, I’m done with health care.” At about 11:00 p.m., he blamed the anime-eyed granny-starver for this fiasco. As if that is a surprise.

The bold strategy is whether or not they can hide the fact this “wealth care” is only about the rich and Republican swamp dwellers. Hell of a thing. If someone had only warned us.

The first procedural vote is scheduled for 8:00 a.m. EDT this morning.

What’s on your mind today?




166 Responses to "It’s a bold strategy, Cotton…"

9:10 A.M.

Recriminations have begun flying among Republicans even before the House votes Friday on a plan that aims to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act.

President Trump and House Republican leadership are adamant that the bill must pass. But that outcome was in deep doubt on Friday morning, as lawmakers on both flanks of the GOP expressed skepticism.

Trump will be seriously damaged if the legislation goes down to defeat.

When all else fails, threaten poor women’s health care.

Trump Gives Republicans Health Care Ultimatum

President Trump on Friday morning directly challenged the House Freedom Caucus to support his ObamaCare repeal plan, warning that they would be inadvertently supporting Planned Parenthood if they opposed his bill.

“The irony is that the Freedom Caucus, which is very pro-life and against Planned Parenthood, allows P.P. to continue if they stop this plan!” Trump tweeted.

I have CNN on in the library. Nunes doing another press. Mannafort volunteers to be interviewed? They need to move this to a Grand jury or something. Nunes is a big concern to me.

Nunes needs to shut his mouth. Doesn’t he have people advising him? All this blabbing is what’s going to put Roger Stone and Carter Page away. Their egos demand that everyone knows how important they are. Carter Page was doing interviews every 2 hours for about two weeks. Now he’s MIA. Maybe he finally realized all that talking is going to get him put away. Nunes is a fucking idiot.

Back to last thread comments on order of succession, yes Pelosi becoming President would be delicious revenge on Rethugs. But a lot of ducks have to line up for that to happen.

This bitch fight between Paul Ryan and Dump is hilarious. It’s so hard to take sides!

Devin Nunes continuing to hold press conferences is this:

(It’s a bold strategy, let’s see if it pays off.)

@3, contrask, I’ve missed you. Glad you are okay and healing — saw that from yesterday’s comments. Stay strong — only another month and you’ll be running marathons.

Very interesting conversation on twitter between John Aravosis and some guy named Sean Masterson. Aravosis tweeted about the National Enquirer story (big for Trump) saying that Trump Caught (!) Russian Spy in the White House: Michael Flynn. Aravosis thought it was interesting that Trump media was so brazenly turning on Flynn all of a sudden. Sean Masterson responded that it’s because Flynn is talking and that’s what Nunes alerted White House about. Interesting theory…

@4, D, he is an idiot of the first order. I saw someone throw out he has a Russian distributor of his family’s vineyard. Given that he was on the transition, chances are he was caught up in the inadvertent surveillance. Given that the FBI seems to be investigating crime as much as counter-intelligence, little Mr. Nunes ought get himself a lawyer.

@7, interesting theory. I can’t help but wonder why Flynn suddenly came out and registered as a foreign agent. That smelled of trying to put the spilled milk back into the cow.

Things are not well between Adam Schiff and Devin Nunes.

Now they are saying AHCA may pass House. I think it’s death to GOP either way. Hope so anyway

It sounds like Schiff is scorching the Earth in his press conference. (I’m just following the tweets.)

The “not draining” and overfilling of the swamp continues apace.


@12, Schiff left a mark. He came close to calling Nunes engaged in obstruction. Looks like someone is packing the dishes and a custody battle for the dog next.

@11, the Chairman of the Appropriations Committee just came out as a solid “no way” — bad sign. Moderates, or non-rabid conservodroids, know they are dead men walking if this passes.

If this doesn’t make you poop your pants… I don’t know what will.

Heritage Action is actively calling members and saying, “I’ve seen your short hairs, I’ve got them in these here pliers, what are you going to do?”

Heritage is the banker for most of these conservodroids. It is not going to be pretty. There will be so much blood, it will look like the Cherry Blossum Festival at its peak bloom.

@16, I hope she keeps saying that. That is what will change the tide.

And expect to see intelligence leaks this weekend. The Intelligence Community will react to Nunes’ threat and decision to call off the public meetings. There will be new leaks.

An excellent thread on healthcare.

@20, the dirty little secret is that Nunes is dumb as a post. Schiff rolled him and now the WH has said, “Fix this,” and Nunes has no idea what he’s doing. Nunes always looks like he’s trying to figure out who just farted — absolutely lost.

@21> I’ve been wondering if he’s really dumb or really smart… I was reading some article yesterday that summarized his very rapid rise to power. And it really had everything to do with helping Trump and nothing else. Maybe he really is this dumb… and he’s on tape saying god knows what. And maybe he realized he’s on tape. But this just screams desperation.

What a week!! Great posts and comments here at TW. I am missing you all very much. My job is getting more and more crazy, so my apologies for not being around much.

I bet Drumpf will say, fine, you don’t have the votes. Not my problem, I tried and I succeeded. I never fail and I always win. My victory is that I will kill Obamacare. That was always my intention. I never said anything else and if you think I did, you’re wrong and SAD!!!

Will it work? Not at all. He’s a complete failure politically, and under criminal investigation FOR TREASON. This isn’t Watergate, because Nixon never colluded with China (“DGINA”) to steal the keys to the three branches of government and the Treasury. Treason is what will be proven when the investigation is concluded. That’s my fearless prediction.

Trump doesn’t have the inclination for this. His behavior patterns are antithetical to this type of hard hand to hand combat. Folks like Dolt 45 are quick hit snipers. Easy, low-hanging fruit suddenly become the hardest things in the world in their fantasies. These people always win because they never do anything that difficult. They have extraordinary talent in picking fights with wounded enemies.

What transactional people never understand, they have a genetic inability to understand it, sometimes you are selling stuff people won’t buy. No matter how you polish it, hype it, and buff it, people still ain’t gonna buy it.

Prolix, thanks for your opinion back in the last thread. (sigh) I didn’t think it was likely, or we’d have heard of it from others before this.

contrask, glad to hear from you. 2 more weeks before walking! I had minor foot surgery years ago and it was frustrating enough. Hope all continues well in healing.


A man is being deported on Friday. His wife voted for Trump because she thinks criminals should be deported. She didn’t think the rules would apply to her husband.

@24> Erasing phones – is that legal?? These are government employees, right? Are they allowed to wipe their phones when they know there’s an investigation???

@27, Luna, I had remembered that case and thinking at the time how really unique it was. There’s not often you catch a candidate stuffing ballot boxes, admits to stuffing the ballot boxes, and says, “Stuff more.” I thought at the time his campaign slogan could have been, “Honestly, I stuffed ballot boxes!”

@32, legal? Hahahahaha Not something this administration is worried about much. Though they are not supposed to be wiping their phones period.

OK, this is juvenile humor, but is Trump sending a message to America with his left hand here?

“We weren’t sure if Russia was doing this to undermine Americans’ faith in our political process or if it was trying to make Trump the next president. But we wanted to raise the alarm.

We did not succeed. Reporters were focused on the many daily distractions, the horse race, the stories they were doing based on the stolen DNC emails and the many other Trump scandals that were easier to explain. Voters didn’t seem worried. Earlier that week, our campaign manager, Robby Mook, was mocked for telling CNN that the leak of stolen emails before our convention was an indication that Russia was trying to help Trump.”

@32, you can bet preservation notices (letters from prosecutors telling people save your papers and stuff) might start flying. The conspiracy angle looks more and more legit.

The law gets really fact specific in these cases, but these people could get hit with an obstruction charge. Trouble is, you can’t delete stuff from the phone. A forensic computer specialist can bring it right back with just a little rub and tug. I’ve been involved in cases where we reconstructed entire laptops that way.

I just had to do this:

Trump Kiddie Car

@35, excellent catch, I would have never caught that.

@37, plus it looks worse if you’ve tried to delete it!

Federal employees are supposed to follow proper procedures with all documents/communications, whether paper or electronic. Depending on category, after X amount of time, they’re archived or kept for X amount of time, and deleted or destroyed under only specific circumstances. But there are instructions which allow the employee to use their own judgement in many cases. In reality, the average federal employee’s email storage allotment would max out in anywhere a few weeks to a few months before you land in email “jail,” and can’t receive or send. So you have to delete on a regular basis. I assume the higher-ups have the luxury of lots of storage.

@38, LOL! I saw a tweet somewhere about never again will the Dems have to put up with pics of Dukakis in a tank now that we have Trump in a truck!

If there was any doubt about the ethics and scruples of the Mercer family, I’ll just help you along with this:

The same billionaire that funded Trump’s campaign bankrolled Milo Yiannopoulos’college speaking tour

OMG that pic of Trump in the kid car wins the internet!

The Mercers are scarier than Kochs…

Very good thread on why having a pretty face isn’t enough to be Speaker of the House:


So over the last 12 hours Paul Manafort, Carter Page and Roger Stone volunteered to testify before House Committee.

TrumpCare/RyanCare bill withdrawn.

Just as Prolix said.

Big question on healthcare now: Dump said if TrumpCare doesn’t pass, he’d leave ACA and let it fail, then blame Democrats. So what are we talking about?

@51, Didn’t they mean to say that he’s just coming out in the open about it?

And for some more Trump pretzel logic:

CNBC deleted that Tweet about Dump and his organization…unclear why.

@52> Yes Vanity Fair reported (at least, possibly more) that Dump planned to blame Democrats. It’s not news.

Maggie corrects her tweet:

@52, of course. It’s NEVER his fault. Though I’m surprised it’s not Ryan’s fault. Guess Trump still has plans to use him.

@53, bet that Trump thinks of the ACA that way. And Ryan and his goons.

TrumpCare, down in flames after those aholes have been planning this for 7 years.

For now, the Dumpster wants to move on with his other agenda items.

At least for now, the Dems and voters have won!!!!!!

@56, the Death Care fails, Trump says, “Let’s move on.”

Ryan says, “Do you still love me?”

Trump says, “Yes if you cut my and my friends’ taxes.”

Ryan says, “Have I got a tax plan for you! It’s called a Destination Tax which is sorta like a VAT tax, but not really, but you don’t need to worry about that. So what if it raises costs for everyone. So what if inflation soars. So what if it starts trade wars. People won’t notice and I can cut your taxes.”

Trumps says, “Sounds like a plan. When do the big trucks come back?”

And scene.

Alex Jones apologizes for PizzaGate. He reads a statement. It sounds like a forced apology because, no doubt, of a potential lawsuit.

Nancy Pelos shade (this is from yesterday, by the way):

Great idea!


Catching up on the comments now. I was following the play-by-play on the death-care bill.

@40: Luna said: the average federal employee’s email storage allotment would max out in anywhere a few weeks to a few months before you land in email “jail,” and can’t receive or send. So you have to delete on a regular basis

The employee may “delete” emails from their individual email accounts on the Outlook server for the agency but those emails have already been incrementally backed up from the email server. The IT staff will perform both incremental and full backups of the entire mail server on a periodic, scheduled basis. Those backups of the entire server are kept for a required period of time. That is, unless they’ve been directed to have an “accident” with either the server or the backup files.

@50: DYB said: Dump said if TrumpCare doesn’t pass, he’d leave ACA and let it fail, then blame Democrats. So what are we talking about?

That’s the interesting question. I’m guessing everything stays the way it is right now and maybe into next year. The Repubs won’t have the stomach or b*alls to try something like this anytime soon.

Off topic and this was from a few days ago but apparently Milo got some dirt rubbed in his face to continue his humiliation. Good. (Yeah, I know…it’s the Post)


Methinks Mr. Wilson reads TW:


@65> When Dump and Co. say they’ll let ACA fail – what do they mean by that? Can they do something to “make it fail?” Or do they just assume it will somehow implode on its own? I’m just trying to understand if they can harm it in some way. Or if they just leave it alone, it’d be fine.

@64, of course. Really really hard to truly delete anything electronic. I didn’t choose the best example when trying to make the point that Fed employees can do innocuous deleting.

Sigh. Sometimes memories surface — some of the arguments I would get into with Berniebots about anything being deleted by Hillary or her staff when SoS. I recall one guy who after telling me that it wasn’t “really” true that Colin Powell had private email, protested: “I’m a progressive, but if she deleted even one email!…” I said scornfully, “I’m a liberal,” and the coward walked away from me. I hope he’s been shivering in his skivvies about losing healthcare.

Dump repeats a billion times that he didn’t get a single Democrat vote. I realize it’s what he’s driving, Democrats’ fault, but it makes Democrats look stronger, no?

@72, Trump fails to understand you can’t always BS your way. There are a lot of Rs in the House up for re-election next year.

@69: I suppose DYB that the Repubs could try to take away the subsidies that are available for people who have ACA plans (like me – I get a subsidy on my premiums)

The Repubs keep saying implode on its own, rising premiums, etc. The thing is, if your income stays fairly stable from year to year and your premiums rise by, say, 30%, the subsidy will rise also so there is very little impact on the individual. (Do I have that right Prolix?)

They will also cite the lack of choice in health plans in some areas. In Bama we originally had Blue Cross, UHC and Humana offering plans. United Healthcare, UHC, created a separate and very limited network for people who took their plan, different from anything they offered to businesses. The number of doctors who chose to join another network was not large. Humana offered very low reimbursement rates and so I did not know of a single doctor I was familiar with who decided to participate in their plan. Blue Cross, otoh, had one network state-wide. You had a Blue Cross card you had coverage in their network.

I suppose we’ll just have to wait and see what the hell they try next.

@73: And they aren’t all members of the Freedom Caucus; some are “moderate”.

@72 – Uh, he didn’t get a lot of Rethuglican votes. That’s why he lost. The Democrats had absolutely no reason to help the Rethugs take health care away from tens of millions of people, especially since the Rethugs wouldn’t vote to grant it to tens of millions of people.

Good luck with that spin, Drumpf! People are awake now.

Just a little happy dance from me to you, O Trumperer. 😀 (Sorry for the PG, I’m still working!)

@69, unfortunately, yes, there are a world of things they can do to make ACA fail. In the law, there is a great deal of discretion placed in the Secretary of HHS under the assumption people are moral. We know that tax-cheating, insider-trading, publicly corrupted Tom Price is an amoral arsehole. He will use his rule-making and discretion to do uncalculable harm to the ACA. He was one of the freaky Freedom Caucus before he slithered out from under the rock and went to HHS.

@74, yes, that’s right. The subsidy will rise. Now, Price, as I said above, can monkey around the edges and affect that to some degree, but the way it is designed, the subsidy will rise.

On the other point, Aetna pulled out of markets for spite on the Humana deal. If it looks like the ACA will stay in place, the insurance companies will come back. The tertiary effect of this is immense — the insurance companies will exert pressure on Price not to hurt the ACA on reimbursements. That will be a good thing in the long run.

As long as for-profit companies, and 3rd parties (and 4th and 5th parties) are involved in healthcare there are going to be problems. At least the Rs now know that most of their voters want the ACA, and will make big noise about taking it away.

@67: Okay I had to look up Papa Roach and his song. Youtube and lyrics below. Sounds like a temper tantrum to me.

Here’s an example of stuff Price could do, but Saint Elizabeth and one of my personal policy heroes, Patty Murray, said, “Nuh uh you don’t.”


Ivanka and Jared get ready for a State Dinner.

Prolix, love the post, and this: “anime-eyed granny starver!” LOL! Love all the comments also! Can you believe what an insane week this was?!?

@74> Yes they could try to bleed the subsidies… I don’t get them, so I just buy insurance directly from an insurance company. My premium and deductible went up this year. And yes, I know that the exchange plans are very different from the regular plans. And many doctors will not take the exchange plans. I think insurance companies were trying to bleed the exchange by offering inferior payments to doctors.

@76> Absolutely! Rethugs have 44 seat majority, so they were at least 45 Republican votes short! His comments only make Democrats look strong and unified to Democrats. It won’t change the minds of any of Dump supporters because they hate Dems anyway.

@81, I love my Senator Patty Murray!

Note to self: Send Sen. Murray a thank-you card.

@87: LOL, that’s about right.

Patty Murray rocks!

@87, awww…what adorable dogs! Those old white cretins in the “Freedom” caucus can’t touch them! Seriously, that is a great tweet and amazing pic.

Joy’s got a point:

@87> There’s also a lot more diversity at the dog table than there was at the French Fries Caucus, I mean Freedom Caucus.

From the Bloomberg article in the tweet:

Democrats were to blame for the bill’s failure because they didn’t support the legislation, Trump said afterward. The bill was written and introduced with no Democratic input.

“I think the real losers are Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer,” Trump said, referring to the Democratic leaders of the House and Senate. “Because now they own it, they 100 percent own it.”

Bull effing shit! No Donald, you own the failure of your half-assed bill. This is yours and Ryan’s disaster.

@83, thanks Annie. Remember how many times over the 8 years of Obama where we heard business demands “stability” — how many times since the orange toilet ring took over? Yeah, his people wanted him to blow Washington up, they didn’t realize it was going to get all over them.

I put this on the last thread, but I guess you didn’t see it because it was so late, but how is Laker’s play coming along? Has it already had its debut?

@86, if Patty Murray was Secretary of Treasury, she would have the deficit and tax code ironed out in about 6 months, if that long. She is amazing on all things policy.

@92, I agree with Joy also!

Re: the House elections in ’18…aren’t all of the seats up for re-election?

@82, that is perfect, I truly was laughing out loud.


Prolix, no, its not til late April thru early May. Rehearsals are going well though, according to Mr. Laker, & he was the first one off-book.

@41, socalannie tweeted that earlier. Sorry, I have been watching too much Twitter today and stuff is flying so fast I can’t remember it all.

@80, I couldn’t listen all the way thru that. Interesting choice of uh, music for a Republican to have.

@92: I don’t understand how the Dems can take credit for something they could not vote down; the Repubs had the numbers, but not the votes to pass the bill, or did I misunderstand? If the dccc is going to pitch anything it should be pitching ACA improvement, as Fredster posted at @99. They need to make health insurance more affordable for the middle class, they don’t get subsidies, pay high premiums and are left with high deductibles (one of my friends said her deductible was $7500!).

Prof. Krugman makes the point we have known around here for years about the granny-starver. His ultimate paragraph indicts the media for Hillary’s loss.

So how did Mr. Ryan reach a position where his actions may reshape the lives of so many of his fellow citizens, in most cases very much for the worse? The answer lies in the impenetrable gullibility of his base. No, not his constituents: the news media, who made him what he is.


There’s an important lesson here, and it’s not just about health care or Mr. Ryan; it’s about the destructive effects of false symmetry in reporting at a time of vast asymmetry in reality.

This false symmetry — downplaying the awfulness of some candidates, vastly exaggerating the flaws of their opponents — isn’t the only reason America is in the mess it’s in. But it’s an important part of the story. And now we’re all about to pay the price.

@100, tell Laker I said, “Didn’t need to tell me that, of course he was first to be off-book.”

I’m so anxious for him. I know he’s going to be fantastic.

Don’t forget: Louise Mensch coming up on Bill Maher.

This may be the first time Stump has ever been told NO – in his life. (well, except for a few thousand women, I’d guess)

@107 Luna – I hate that too. been berned enough.

@103 cats3 said: I don’t understand how the Dems can take credit for something they could not vote down; the Repubs had the numbers, but not the votes to pass the bill, or did I misunderstand?

Well, none of the Dems were going to vote for the thing.

You would be surprised at some of the folks who are eligible for subsidies, whether they are large or not. I have a friend whose husband is a chiropractor. He closed his own office after Hurricane Katrina and became a sort of floater for other chiropractics in the area. He and his wife also own rental properties. He repaired the bldg his office is in and he now rents it out. Also repaired the rentals and they are rented. They qualified for a subsidy for their insurance. I know they have a “silver” level plan but I also think they took an HSA plan. Is that the type of plan your friend has? If so the deductible will be high. I can say she is fairly pleased with their plan because of the preventive things that are covered by their plan. They previously had a non-compliant plan which did not offer those things.

@107 and 109: why is Bernie all over the tube? Perhaps because of this:

Sanders, though, is opting to try to change the party from without rather than within. Although the self-identified democratic socialist just secured a leadership post in the party, as its outreach director, he will continue to serve in the Senate as an independent. “The real action to transform America won’t take place on Capitol Hill,” Sanders said Thursday morning at a Christian Science Monitor breakfast, according to The Hill. “It will be in the grassroots America among millions struggling economically and young people.”

Someone needs to tell the DSCC and the DNC that no $$s until he is removed from any type of position in the party. Of course if he wants to change his affiliation then maybe it’s a different story.

cats3, if I added up all my co-pays, co-insurances, and deductibles before coverage kicked in at 100%, it would likely equal $6 or $7K. That’s the maximum out of pocket. And I have insurance through a very large organization, not through the ACA.

@111, Sanders thinks that because he hasn’t accomplished much on Capitol Hill, no one else does or can either. That’s news to the likes of Hillary Clinton and Patty Murray, to name just 2.

@112: And compare that amount to, oh say, the charges for, oh, say, a C.A.B.G.

@103 catscatscats> My deductible in NYC is $7500, and a nearly $500/month premium. Plus $50 copays for brand drugs, $15 general practitioner co-pay and $50 specialist co-pay.

I just had to go check: My max out-of-pocket is $6000 for in-network services. Copay for doc visit is $25 if I go to my*select* primary care physician. Otherwise it’s $45 copay. If I go to a specialist it’s $60. I have a $10 copay for generic tier-1 meds for 30 days I usually get most of mine through mail order since they are maintenance meds.

@114, or an invasive malignancy, or a moderate CVA, or any number of horrible things. And US drug prices are incredibly high compared to the rest of the world.

Under the ACA if one goes out of network, the max out-of-pocket shoots to $9,000.

Back when we had good HMO’s with hubby’s gov. policies, we paid nothing out of pocket. I had 2 cesarean deliveries for $0. We only paid $20 or so for office visits. Now, we have about $1000 to pay on my ankle. This is still on his gov. policy, which I know is better than many.

@118: Absolutely!

Also, I haven’t even looked at what my charges would be for brand drugs, I’m afraid to!

@120: I recall when I was still covered by my Dad’s health insurance while in college, had to go to the hospital for an in-patient overnight (actually 2 nights) surgery on my hand. I think the ins. covered all of it. Of course now it would be either an office surgery or at the most something done at an opt surgery center.

Time for a good-dog story!

Let there be no doubt: Peanut is a very good dog.

Peanut is a 1-year-old mutt who was taken in last year by the Delta Animal Shelter in Escanaba, Mich., which says it found the puppy with “two broken legs, a belly full of carpet, broken ribs.” After a few months of recuperation, she was adopted. And on Monday, the shelter shared a letter it had received from Peanut’s new owner, who told of a remarkable recent incident in which rescue dog became rescuer.

“Today, Peanut was responsible for saving the life of a 3-year-old little girl,” the woman wrote. “About 11 a.m. this morning, Peanut started going crazy at our house. She was running up and down the stairs, barking and yelping. She then went and got my husband, who was in the garage working on some projects, and alerted him that she wanted to go outside. … He let her outside, where she went barreling into the field behind our house at full speed. My husband followed her and to his surprise, he found a naked, shivering, 3-year-old girl curled up in a ball.”

It’s unclear from the letter whether Peanut heard or saw something strange through a window on that 32-degree morning or was just being rambunctious and then smelled or heard the child once she went outside. In any case, the girl was taken inside, where, Peanut’s owner wrote, she could summon just one word: doggy. An ambulance took her to a hospital, and she was found to be uninjured. Authorities located the girl’s parents at a nearby residence, which the Delta County Sheriff’s Office described as having “unsafe and unsanitary living conditions.” The girl and another young girl at the house are now in the custody of Child Protective Services, the office said on Facebook.

@120, What’s far better than government healthcare benefits are what companies like Microsoft offer. Funny how no-one complains about Microsoft driving up the cost of their products due to the premium health insurance their employees get.

socalannie, You must be very proud of your kid!
Uh, what’s “off-book”?

@101, No worries! My head is spinning with all the constant crazy news.

“Off-book” means the actor has his lines memorized.

@105, {{{Prolix}}}

@125, “…very proud of your kid.” True, I do try not to be overly tiresome about it! You guys are all so sweet and patient!

@103, Cats, good points.

@104, I love the Krug.

@110, Fredster I know I am dense, but I still don’t understand what the Dems are supposed to take credit for. No one expected them to vote for it. Were they responsible for the Repub nays?

My friend is self employed with her husband. She said she paid over $1000/mo. None of my friends are covered by the ACA and all of them complain about poor coverage and high costs. It got worse for them after the ACA took effect. I’m a retired federal civil servant on Medicare with a BC/BS PPO as my secondary so I have good coverage at a cost I can afford. Based on what others are paying and getting it sounds like we are long way from affordable healthcare.

I’m looking forward to seeing Louise Mensch. Hubs clicked around the various news channels this evening and it did look like they were all speaking of todays trumpcare debacle as a devastating loss for dump & granny-starver.

@123: Awwwww…..

@129: I don’t think any of the Dems are actually “taking credit” for this, but maybe they are celebrating that the ACA held for now and they will try to be ready for the next assault by the Repubs.

Here’s a dirty secret about healthcare issues. If you are on your own, i.e. not in a company or federal/state plan, you get the least and pay the most.

None of my friends are covered by the ACA and all of them complain about poor coverage and high costs. It got worse for them after the ACA took effect

Who provides their health insurance? Are they getting their insurance privately and off the exchange?

I’m guessing (as a former fed employee) that you probably went to medicare when eligible and kept your fed bcbs to act as the supplement? If I recall, you can keep your fed bcbs but it becomes secondary once you get medicare.

Perhaps Prolix can explain more about what your friends are experiencing with their health insurance. He’s pretty familiar with a lot of this.

Love the Peanut story! Dogs are wonderful.

We’ve had really good insurance through hubs work (LAUSD). We chose Kaiser in 07 when Laker had to have surgery on both legs, (because they had a surgeon that was one of the most highly rated in L.A.) It cost us $200. A trip to the ER (even a non-Kaiser ER) is $100, copays are $20, Rx are $10-15. It’s been great…but! Hubs has worked all these years for far less than he would have earned for a private company, literally made half the $ for many of those years. We knew with the dudes muscular dystrophy, they would be uninsurable on the open market, so hubs slaved away all these years for much less $, but great benefits (the insurance, lots of paid days off, pension). Now that we are less than a month away from hubs retirement, we’re glad we made the choice. Our medical insurance will now come from CALPERS, but still include dental & vision; and Laker is on the plan til 26. Also, because of his age and the number of points (or years or whatever) hubs has racked up in CALPERS, he can still go to work for a private company now and that is what he is going to do. We’re hoping to save as much $ as possible for our retirement the next few years. God knows what Dump will do to the economy. Many people in this country have lost their pensions over the years. Anyway, it all seems to balance out in the end (if you live long enough). I feel sorry for the younger gens. They are going to have to work more years and get less. Republicans have ruined it for the middle class. It kills me that these stupid people can’t see what they’re voting away.

Oh, I forgot to mention that we have been paying a lot every month into our pension fund at Calpers. Plus a lot of taxes, California has very high tax rates.

@129, also the insurance companies have always raised their rates and blamed whatever’s convenient. I recall double-digit increases in rates back even 25 yrs ago. Oddly enough, they are making enough profit to pay their CEOs many millions of $$/yr. So they’re not really doing anything different since the ACA took effect. There is far more attention on the issue, however, so the raises get more scrutiny.

Also, the Rethugs hamstrung part of the ACA. More info here:

Urgh, can a mod get me out of jail? I put in 2 tweet links in my comment and sprung the trap.

@134, I don’t mind paying taxes so much as long as reasonably good things are funded with them. Libraries, public health, infrastructure, schools, science, healthcare, instead of corporate welfare.

I just started following this guy (yeah, late to the party). Very, very odd that an R Congressman has this little net worth, and he’s basically got all of it in that Putin-friendly winery biz.

Whew, my brain needs a rest.
‘Nite all & sweet dreams of traitors led off to prison!

@137, oh I agree. I was just explaining that we did contribute to the pension, (as it should be) in addition to hubs work. The Calpers plan is working out for us, but it might be better for others, such as a single person w/o kids to go private.

“…sweet dreams of traitors led off to prison!” That is a nice dream!

I’m ready for bed, but I leave you with this weirdness if you haven’t seen it yet.

“Rep. Devin Nunes was traveling with a senior committee staffer in an Uber on Tuesday evening when he received a communication on his phone, three committee officials and a former national security official with ties to the committee told The Daily Beast. After the message, Nunes left the car abruptly, leaving his own staffer in the dark about his whereabouts.

By the next morning, Nunes hastily announced a press conference.


Rep. Adam Schiff, the top Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee, hinted at the unusual circumstances Friday during a press conference, criticizing the chairman for “what appears to be a dead of night excursion.” It appears Schiff was being literal.”

@142, and here’s where it all goes wrong. (my bold)

“If we’re assuming in good faith that the chairman of the intelligence committee made sure to conduct himself within the bounds of the law, then any classified material reviewed by him would have needed to be reviewed in a secure facility,” explained Bradley Moss, a lawyer specializing in national security clearances. “There are a very small number of them in the general area of the District of Columbia. And there are log entries to enter any SCIF [Sensitive Compartmented Information Facility]. Assuming that whoever gave it to him was authorized to have that information, he would have had to have visited a SCIF.”

Democrats on the House Intelligence Committee have suggested that Nunes’ source was the White House, looking to distract from FBI Director James Comey’s revelation Monday that the bureau is investigating whether members of Trump’s campaign colluded with Russia.

Uh huh.

@141 I try – still haven’t dreamed he’s gone, and I frequently wake up thinking about something he’s destroying that infuriates me. Today I woke up thinking of his attack on science and education as a whole. And I’m still incredulous at our HISTORY teacher, who walked through my library 3 x yesterday & commented each time with something political. How can he teach American government while supporting and approving of a president that doesn’t know his own government, doesn’t care to learn how it works and even turns over policy matters to a man who actively want to destroy our government? And he tells me the Democrats are out of touch with middle class America?

I do wish this were a real drug sometimes

Some adult language. The overall policy considerations are there, but in comedic form.


74 | Fredster
March 24, 2017 at 7:12 pm
@69: I suppose DYB that the Repubs could try to take away the subsidies that are available for people who have ACA plans (like me – I get a subsidy on my premiums)

I could be wrong, but many have said that the way ObamaCare is ‘complicated’ because pieces of the bill can’t be taken away, like the subsidies – it isn’t like Jenga where it will stand for awhile as pieces are taken away, but it will screw up the works, leaving those that voted for it…to blame. The Rethugs would be happy to just repeal the bill altogether, but they know American’s would die and they would lose their cushy jobs in Congress, and THEIR golden healthcare along with it.

Shadow, the nibbling away has already started. Uppity pointed out that 45 already signed an EO to stop the penalties for not having insurance. Loss of mandate = loss of income, mainly from young people who don’t think they need insurance. Collapsing the ACA now looks like the more viable Repub plan and then as 45 said, blame it on the Dems. They have already prepped their supporters in the belief that the ACA is in a death spiral.

This is an important thread. It originates with CNN, but there is tertiary support from the National Enquirer, that seems to always telegraph Trump’s and Bannon’s next move, to throw Flynn under the bus as a Kremlin mole. In other words, nervous White House is blaming it all on Flynn and Flynn has flipped on Dolt 45.



if this @CNN analyst’s sources are correct, the #Russiagate scandal is blown wide open.

Can’t happen soon enough.

Agree totally. But we still need the independent commission. It’s very quiet this week-end, news wise.

It hurts to read these things now. Just damn hurts.

U.S. needs to stop Russian electoral interference, NSA’s top civilian leader says

The U.S. government has not figured out how to deter the Russians from meddling in democratic processes, and stopping their interference in elections, both here and in Europe, is a pressing problem, the top civilian leader of the National Security Agency said. …

Asked whether the NSA had any inkling that the Kremlin was going to orchestrate the release of hacked Democratic National Committee emails last July, he demurred. “I actually don’t want to talk about that.”

At the same time, he said, what Moscow did was “no strategic surprise.” Rather, “what may have been a tactical surprise was that they would do it the way they did.”

This is a couple of weeks old but:

“The former agent, Brian McCauley, signed a retainer agreement worth $28,000 with Flynn’s consulting firm, Flynn Intel Group, last fall. McCauley is perhaps best known for a controversy that broke in October 2016 — just two weeks after he signed the retainer agreement — that some say cost Clinton the election. At that time, he said a State Department official had asked him to ensure that one of Clinton’s emails not be deemed “classified” – a move that would spare her from liability for the email being on her private server. McCauley’s statements about the incident at the time were used as ammunition by Republicans to argue the State Department was protecting Clinton, though he later said he had initiated the “quid pro quo” agreement with the State Department official, not the State Department.”

147 | catscatscats
March 25, 2017 at 3:35 pm
Shadow, the nibbling away has already started. Uppity pointed out that 45 already signed an EO to stop the penalties for not having insurance. Loss of mandate = loss of income, mainly from young people who don’t think they need insurance. Collapsing the ACA now looks like the more viable Repub plan and then as 45 said, blame it on the Dems. They have already prepped their supporters in the belief that the ACA is in a death spiral.

Hey Cats, I’m outta the loop with Uppity’s posts, but I have a different way of seeing what is up. I think the Dems, along with all the people that marched, attended Townhalls and spoke out, wrote and called their reps to not pass the DumpCare bill should take some credit and feel proud the Rethugs, who have spent 7 years telling us they have a better plan, fell flat on their selfish faces.

Dems did pass the ACA which isn’t perfect by any means, but is the first real health plan for people that don’t have a great plan where they work, and don’t have to just rely on the emergency room appointments in public hospitals. Healthcare plans are all too expensive, even the good ones where many of us work, someone is paying those high costs, and often it is mainly the employer. This is how it is where I work, I could get a more exclusive plan than Kaiser, but I would have to pay a lot more for it a month. I am covered by Kaiser, my employer pays about $500 for me and I pay less than $50, and very low cost copays for meds. I also have good benefits but I also don’t make a lot of money to make up for it. I made that choice, to have lower pay but more security.

My son has very serious health problems and is covered by medicare/ObamaCare, so I am thrilled and thankful for everyone that helped defeat DumpCare.

Comparing the two plans is a joke, one provides peace of mind, to a greater degree than the one that provides nothing and takes away real healthcare.

Yes, Shadowfax, I agree the response in opposition to repealing the ACA was historic and inspired. I know millions, like your son, have benefitted from the ACA and I hope it stays that way. If all those those who voted for it and advocated for it want to take a victory lap, you are right, they deserve to. Unfortunately, we must all stay vigilant. The “death by a thousand cuts” Repub plan could destroy the ACA and prevent any much needed improvements to provide affordable health care to even more people.

P.S. I’m glad you are still posting. Widdershins is a great blog post and I was sorry to see you leave Uppity’s although I am sure you had your reasons. Hope you and your son are doing well these days.

Paul Krugman, among others, keeps pointing out that the ACA is not in a death spiral. Of course the Rethugs keep saying it is anyway. The ACA isn’t nearly affordable enough as it should be. I’ll look forward to seeing it improved one of these years.

I’ve just started reading Winter is Coming by Garry Kasparov (finally got a copy from the library). If you haven’t yet read it, start today or tomorrow, as soon as you can get a copy. It’s eloquent and alarming.

WTH is it with Joe Biden? Male ego, I guess. How many times did he drop out a primary because a lack of votes? I think it was three.

“I had planned on running for president and although it would have been a very difficult primary, I think I could have won,” he said. “I don’t know, maybe not. But I thought I could have won.”

“I had a lot of data and I was fairly confident that if I were the Democratic Party’s nominee, I had a better than even chance of being president,” Biden continued.

“But do I regret not being president? Yes,” Biden said. “I was the best qualified.”

Hey Cats,

Good to talk directly to you.

“Unfortunately, we must all stay vigilant. The “death by a thousand cuts” Repub plan could destroy the ACA and prevent any much needed improvements to provide affordable health care to even more people.”

I couldn’t agree more, people have to keep fighting and not just take a back seat to policies that hurt our people, our environment and rob us working tax payers, and leave us worse off than we are right now. Give away to the rich, making everyone else struggle even more.

I miss posting over there, mainly miss so many people that I had grown close to, but now, it’s not my choice…I am no longer able to post. I walked away because I was told to shut up, and that doesn’t sit well with me at all. I understand heated opinions, but we each draw our own line of where we feel comfortable. I miss and adore all of you and I am glad many post over here where great posters seem more accepting.

I haven’t been posting as often lately, mainly because each news day is filled with such important information, I am trying to keep up and also hold down a full time job and family.


NW Luna

Paul Krugman, among others, keeps pointing out that the ACA is not in a death spiral.

I have heard that too, on many news sites. I think it must be difficult for health providers to stick their necks out and make things better when they are worried that the ACA will be torn to sheds by the Dumpster. I also agree that it would be a great thing if the Dems and Rethugs could find common grounds like lowering costs on medications, incentives for more providers in states that are lacking, and encouraging stability instead of using our healthcare as a political football.

WTH is it with Joe Biden?

Poor ol’s Joe, he has the same disease as Bernie, Dump and anyone else that thinks they could have won against Hillary. She won the damn election with 2.88 million frickin’ votes!!!!

@157: (((Shadow)))

Cats, check out Charles Piece’s Saturday piece here:

“Obamacare is the law of the land for the foreseeable future.”

That statement should have come with a sword for Ryan to hand over to Nancy Pelosi who, let it be said, is one legislative badass. She somehow kept her caucus united. There wasn’t even a hint of blue-doggery from her caucus as it sat back and let the Republicans rip each other to shreds, let the president* get exposed as a rookie who should be sent back to A-ball, and let the conservative movement expose itself as graphically as it ever has as the soulless creature of the money power that it’s been for 40 years.

That, I believe, is the reason Dems were sort of congratulating themselves; no defectors.

And I’m calling it a night for blogging. I have taxes to work on. 😦

Oh and if anyone leaves their browser open all the time, be sure to hit refresh in the a.m. for the Sunday post.

@157: Shadow, you do know that mb and upps are “blog-wives” or blog sisters, having survived The Great Blog Wars of 2008, right?


I do know that Upps and MB have been around since 2008 and I have been on several blogs since 2007 too. I think some have changed their posting names when they move from blog to blog, so it’s sometimes difficult to keep track. I was at PUMApac for many years, then went to Hillaryis44 for more years, until they took a 180 to Dump, then to several older PUMA blogs including here. I think some of these people came from the original PartyUnityMyAss?? So many great blogs, sorry so many have gone away, but I am grateful for the history of all of us that stay together, one way or another.

Shadow at 11:30 pm

it would be a great thing if the Dems and Rethugs could find common grounds

I think that given how far right the Rethugs have gone, that’s not going to happen. The Rs would have to care about something other than making the rich richer and keeping straight white bigots in power.

OMG, the Great Blog Wars of 2008! And the nasty BlogRolls (aka Blog Purges). And then seeing the same shit happen in 2016, and also via the newest “social media” too. groan

I’m still partial to the now old-fashioned blog mode, lol! Depending on what’s happening IRL I may be commenting a lot or not at all for a while. I can’t when I’m at work. Shadow, I must have missed whatever happened at Upp’s place. Seems like there’s so much out there we need to fight — that should be what’s important. You might take a look at SkyDancing blog — that’s the other spot I spend a lot of time on, another Hillary supporters’ site — and join in there too. *Not trying to steal from here!* Rather encourage cross-over & exchange. The political situation is ominous now and it feels good to have contact with more people who believe government should ensure civil rights for all.

Along with clean air, water, good schools, public healthcare, living-wage jobs, and an end to corporate welfare. Such a dream… We can at least work for incremental change.

@162> Oh goddess, I remember the Blog Wars of 2008. Good times! We were so innocent then!

And Biden – seriously, Joe, take your medal and shut the fuck up. And take Bernie with you. Biden ran for President, like, 12 times and nobody ever gave a shit. I’m a little surprised by all the adoration he got as the VP. He’s articulate and clean enough, but… does nobody remember the million Biden gaffes? The man could say dumber things than Sarah Palin sometimes.

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