I screen, you screen…

Jun. 27th, 2017 08:54 am
[syndicated profile] crooked_timber_feed

Posted by Maria

I can’t be the only person who gets horrible eye-strain and frequent migraines from looking at computer screens for many hours a day. But my job, in the physical sense, is basically reading screens and typing stuff into computers. Like so many of us.

Then there’s the generalised version of the ‘spending too much time reading crap on Twitter’ problem, which is a total time-sink and makes me aggravated and unhappy.

These are two distinct but also connected issues. Stuff I’ve considered/tried includes:

Turning off the router at night and only turning it on again in the morning a couple of hours into actual work. Other household members can find this annoying. (Understatement)

Looking for a word-processing only machine – but they’re all extremely old and have tiny screens.

Reviving an old laptop and making it a non-connected machine. Helps with the Twitter problem, but not with the migraines.

Writing by hand and inputting later. Good for shorter stuff, extremely tedious in longer doses.

Keeping the lightness setting on my laptop squintingly low. Helps with the headaches, not the Twitter.

Using an unconnected machine for long-form. I always crack.

Freedom or other such programmes. I always crack.

Feeling that as kindles and such can be read without eye-strain, there must be some sort of work-devices that also can? But being unable to find one.

And so forth.

I mean, the overall problem is that we have little monkey (ok, ape) brains and love novelty and distraction and tiny yet sustained doses of social feedback, and also live in a wider techno-capitalist superstructure that wants to get and keep us addicted, etc. etc. And also that an inability to think long-ish and against the grain kinds of thoughts is, well, convenient to the maintenance of that type of economic set-up. I get that!

But I will take 100% responsibility for being so distractable if I can find a way to work without getting a fucking migraine at least every ten days that wipes out my ability to produce work for at least two days, each time. And is also no bloody fun.

So, this is clearly a bleg, but I figure many CT people struggle with this sort of thing, and any experiences/suggestions you have may find a grateful reception from many others.

Also, my back is completely banjaxed from it, but there’s yoga for that.

[syndicated profile] juancole_feed

Posted by contributors

By Reese Erlich | (The Progressive) | – –

Syrian President Bashar al Assad claims to have won the war and that he is merely mopping up remaining rebel groups.

With its escalation of the undeclared war in Syria, the Trump Administration risks a direct military confrontation with Russia.

On June 20, the United States shot down an Iranian drone flying near allied rebels in southeastern Syria. On June 17, a U.S. fighter jet downed a Syrian Air Force bomber, asserting that the Syrians threatened the ground positions of Syrian Kurdish allies.

Russian officials immediately warned that Russian radar would target U.S. war planes flying in western Syria. Russia said it would shut down the Russian-U.S. hotline aimed at avoiding accidental military conflict over the skies of Syria.

The Russian Foreign Ministry issued a statement that warned U.S. planes would be in danger “if they take action that poses a threat to Russian aircraft.” The United States has now attacked the Syrian military and its allies seven times, including one “accidental” attack near Deir ez-Zor last September that killed sixty-two Syrian soldiers.

The air war escalation is “extremely dangerous,” Juan Cole, a professor of history at the University of Michigan and an expert on the Middle East, told The Progressive. “Any time you have two great-power air forces operating in the same area with different war aims, the danger of conflict is extreme. The Trump Administration seems to be sleepwalking into a global confrontation.”

Competing military forces are scrambling to take over territory abandoned by the Islamic State as it is driven out of Raqqa and other cities. The government of Bashar al Assad now controls much of western Syria and is moving to reclaim some former Islamic State areas in the east. Syrian Kurds control a strip in the north. Various other rebels dominate in northwestern and southern parts of the country.

Areas under competing military forces. The Carter Center has created an excellent interactive map showing the evolution of the conflict since 2015.

The latest U.S. military attacks—along with those of Russia, Turkey and Iran—bring Syria closer to de facto partition, Cole said.

“The United States is trying to establish a sphere of influence in Syria. The Russians are asserting [their own] sphere of influence,” he said.

The air war began in 2014 when the Obama Administration bombed Syria, claiming it was only targeting the Islamic State. The U.S. government justified the attack because of the murder of thousands of Yazidis and other minorities fleeing an Islamic State assault in Iraq. The administration argued that a 2001 act of Congress authorizing the fight against Al Qaeda in Afghanistan somehow applied to fighting the Islamic State in Syria, although the Islamic State didn’t exist in 2001.

The U.S. later allied with the Syrian Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG) and the mainly Arab Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), seeking to use the fighting capabilities of these militias to defeat the Islamic State and establish U.S.-controlled territory.

While that alliance has helped defeat the Islamic State militarily, the United States never figured out who would rule Raqqa and other majority-Arab areas once the Islamic State fled.

Nevertheless, within weeks of taking power, the Trump Administration doubled the number of U.S. troops fighting in Syria to about 1,000. It shipped artillery and other sophisticated arms to northern Syria, and operated small bases in southeast Syria.

In 2014 the Islamic State attacked Yazidis and other minorities living in Iraq. The Obama Administration used the attack as an excuse to bomb Syria.

From 2014 to the present, U.S. air attacks have killed over 4,000 civilians in Syria and Iraq, according to Airwars, a non-profit group that tabulates open source information.

The Pentagon has not revealed the overall cost of the Syrian War. But the Tomahawk missile strike against a Syrian air field, by itself, cost an estimated $60 million.

Trump’s actions in Syria run counter to his campaign promises, said Daniel McAdams, executive director of the libertarian-leaning Ron Paul Institute for Peace and Prosperity in Washington, D.C.

“On the campaign trail, he talked about getting along with Russia and not engaging in regime change,” McAdams told The Progressive. “I was hoping he would be better.”

McAdams noted that Trump “doesn’t have a philosophy, a sense of what the U.S. role should be in the world. He has a lot of bravado, and that’s an opening for advisors to say ‘don’t be a wimp.’”

Neither the United Nations nor Congress has approved the new war against the Assad government. The Trump administration claims it’s fighting in self defense.

“That’s laughable,” said McAdams. “The U.S. is occupying Syrian territory. You can’t break into someone’s house, and when they try to get you out, shoot them and say it was self defense.”

Nevertheless, the United States has stationed troops in several parts of Syria with no indication how long they will remain. And the Russians now have 49-year leases on two large military bases in northwestern Syria.

Turkey sent its troops into northern Syria with the excuse that the leading Kurdish group is a terrorist organization. Turkey has also established a military base in Syria near the Turkey-Syria border.

Unless foreign powers withdraw, Syria is in danger of being permanently partitioned along lines dictated by outside powers.

The continued presence of U.S. and other foreign troops make reaching a political settlement all the more difficult. At the moment, none of the political players seem interested in peace talks.

Assad and his allies think the Syrian government has won the war and merely needs time to mop up the remaining “terrorist” opposition. The IS, while severely weakened, will likely continue terrorist attacks on civilians. Rebel groups backed by the U.S., Saudi Arabia and Israel show no signs of giving up anytime soon.

Cole said the warring factions could make progress by agreeing to a ceasefire, writing a new constitution, and holding free and fair elections.

“That could resolve things peacefully,” he said. But at the moment no side is willing to make the necessary compromises. He predicts fighting will continue for at least the next five years.

Reese Erlich writes about Syria for The Progressive and is author of

Inside Syria: the Backstory of Their Civil War and What the World Can Expect, foreword by Noam Chomsky, and recently updated
[click] in a paperback edition. Visit his home page www.reeseerlich.com; follow him on Twitter @ReeseErlich or Facebook (Reese Erlich Foreign Correspondent).

Reprinted from The Progressive with author’s permission.


Related video added by Juan Cole:

TRT World: “Trump says US ‘will take additional action’ in Syria”

(no subject)

Jun. 26th, 2017 09:28 pm
cupcake_goth: (Default)
[personal profile] cupcake_goth
I have turned into some sort of ridiculous food hipster. Well, only a little bit? Maybe?

  • Because I am a lazy cook AND I am kinda-sorta following a ketogenic diet, I am perfectly willing to keep my freezer stocked with bags of pre-made cauliflower "rice". Tonight it meant I could make a faux mac 'n cheese. The cauliflower rice made a good binder/vehicle for ALL THE CHEESE (and bacon).

  • Speaking of cheese, I Have Opinions about what brand of the puffed cheese bites are the best. (They're ... baked puffs of cheese. That's it. Om nom nom.) For the record, Trader Joe's makes the best ones.

  • Did you know that there are organic, non-gmo pork rinds and pork cracklings? I bet you didn't. Not gonna lie tho', they're delicious. And fill that need salty crunchy snack NOW craving that I still get.

  • But you want really ridiculous food hipster? There's a store in PDX I may have mentioned before: The Meadow. They sell cocktail bitters, fancy chocolate, and fancy salt. That's it. I just mail-ordered cocoa nib and vanilla sea salts. (To be fair, it's one of my favorite stores in PDX, and I try to go there when I'm in town. But still. I just mail-ordered fancy salt.)

... and that's not even getting into how our household only buys coffee from a local artisan coffee roaster and uses a cult favorite coffee press every day.
[syndicated profile] juancole_feed

Posted by contributors

By John Church, Christopher Watson, Matt King, Xianyao Chen, and Xuebin Zhang | (The Conversation) | – –

Contributions to the rate of global sea-level rise increased by about half between 1993 and 2014, with much of the increase due to an increased contribution from Greenland’s ice, according to our new research.

Our study, published in Nature Climate Change, shows that the sum of contributions increased from 2.2mm per year to 3.3mm per year. This is consistent with, although a little larger than, the observed increase in the rate of rise estimated from satellite observations.

Globally, the rate of sea-level rise has been increasing since the 19th century. As a result, the rate during the 20th century was significantly greater than during previous millennia. The rate of rise over the past two decades has been larger still.

The rate is projected to increase still further during the 21st century unless human greenhouse emissions can be significantly curbed.

However, since 1993, when high-quality satellite data collection started, most previous studies have not reported an increase in the rate of rise, despite many results pointing towards growing contributions to sea level from the ice sheets of Greenland and Antarctica. Our research was partly aimed at explaining how these apparently contradictory results fit together.

Changes in the rate of rise

In 2015, we completed a careful comparison of satellite and coastal measurements of sea level. This revealed a small but significant bias in the first decade of the satellite record which, after its removal, resulted in a slightly lower estimate of sea-level rise at the start of the satellite record. Correcting for this bias partially resolved the apparent contradiction.

In our new research, we compared the satellite data from 1993 to 2014 with what we know has been contributing to sea level over the same period. These contributions come from ocean expansion due to ocean warming, the net loss of land-based ice from glaciers and ice sheets, and changes in the amount of water stored on land.

Previously, after around 2003, the agreement between the sum of the observed contributions and measured sea level was very good. Before that, however, the budget didn’t quite balance.

Using the satellite data corrected for the small biases identified in our earlier study, we found agreement with the sum of contributions over the entire time from 1993 to 2014. Both show an increase in the rate of sea-level rise over this period.

The total observed sea-level rise is the sum of contributions from thermal expansion of the oceans, fresh water input from glaciers and ice sheets, and changes in water storage on land.

After accounting for year-to-year fluctuations caused by phenomena such as El Niño, our corrected satellite record indicates an increase in the rate of rise, from 2.4mm per year in 1993 to 2.9mm per year in 2014. If we used different estimates for vertical land motion to estimate the biases in the satellite record, the rates were about 0.4mm per year larger, changing from 2.8mm per year to 3.2mm per year over the same period.

Is the whole the same as the sum of the parts?

Our results show that the largest contribution to sea-level rise – about 1mm per year – comes from the ocean expanding as it warms. This rate of increase stayed fairly constant over the time period.

The second-largest contribution was from mountain glaciers, and increased slightly from 0.6mm per year to 0.9mm per year from 1993 to 2014. Similarly, the contribution from the Antarctic ice sheet increased slightly, from 0.2mm per year to 0.3mm per year.

Strikingly, the largest increase came from the Greenland ice sheet, as a result of both increased surface melting and increased flow of ice into the ocean. Greenland’s contribution increased from about 0.1mm per year (about 5% of the total rise in 1993) to 0.85mm per year (about 25% in 2014).

Greenland’s contribution to sea-level rise is increasing due to both increased surface melting and flow of ice into the ocean.
NASA/John Sonntag, CC BY

The contribution from land water also increased, from 0.1mm per year to 0.25mm per year. The amount of water stored on land varies a lot from year to year, because of changes in rainfall and drought patterns, for instance. Despite this, rates of groundwater depletion grew whereas storage of water in reservoirs was relatively steady, with the net effect being an increase between 1993 and 2014.

So in terms of the overall picture, while the rate of ocean thermal expansion has remained steady since 1993, the contributions from glaciers and ice sheets have increased markedly, from about half of the total rise in 1993 to about 70% of the rise in 2014. This is primarily due to Greenland’s increasing contribution.

What is the future of sea level?

The satellite record of sea level still spans only a few decades, and ongoing observations will be needed to understand the longer-term significance of our results. Our results also highlight the importance of the continued international effort to better understand and correct for the small biases we identified in the satellite data in our earlier study.

Nevertheless, the satellite data are now consistent with the historical observations and also with projected increases in the rate of sea-level rise.

Ocean heat content fell following the 1991 volcanic eruption of Mount Pinatubo. The subsequent recovery (over about two decades) probably resulted in a rate of ocean thermal expansion larger than from greenhouse gases alone. Thus the underlying acceleration of thermal expansion from human-induced warming may emerge over the next decade or so. And there are potentially even larger future contributions from the ice sheets of Greenland and Antarctica.

The ConversationThe acceleration of sea level, now measured with greater accuracy, highlights the importance and urgency of cutting greenhouse gas emissions and formulating coastal adaptation plans. Given the increased contributions from ice sheets, and the implications for future sea-level rise, our coastal cities need to prepare for rising sea levels.

Sea-level rise will have significant impacts on coastal communities and environments.
Bruce Miller/CSIRO, CC BY

John Church, Chair professor, UNSW; Christopher Watson, Senior Lecturer, Surveying and Spatial Sciences, School of Land and Food, University of Tasmania; Matt King, Professor, Surveying & Spatial Sciences, School of Land and Food, University of Tasmania; Xianyao Chen, Professor, and Xuebin Zhang, Senior research scientist, CSIRO

This article was originally published on The Conversation. Read the original article.


Related video added by Juan Cole:

Yale Climate Connections: “Gauging Greenland’s Melt”

[syndicated profile] juancole_feed

Posted by Juan Cole

By Juan Cole | (Informed Comment) | – –

The Trump administration is making noise about striking Syria, on the grounds that Damascus is planning to use poison gas again.

Trump’s Neoconservative ambassador to the United Nations, Nikki Haley, tweeted:

The statement is said to be from “the White House” but is otherwise not characterized. Why does the White House think this? Why did Trump himself not tweet about it if it is coming from him?

The last time Syria stood accused of using poison gas on a rebel population, killing some 70 civilians, Trump fired 59 Tomahawk missiles at the air base from which the poison-bearing aircraft took off, on April 6. It was a largely symbolic action, having no real impact on the regime or even the operation of the Shu`ayrat air base.

The odd thing about the breathless announcement late Monday was that earlier that day Secretary of State Rex Tillerson phoned his Russian opposite number, Sergei Lavrov to discuss tamping down the violence in Syria. They want to extend the current ceasefire in some areas, which did in fact lead to less violence in the “deconfliction zones.

As for the substance, it is true that the Syrian Arab Army sometimes uses chemical weapons on the battlefield. As I understand it, many units of the army have chem auxiliaries for those instances where they might be overrun by the enemy. The army at one point was down to 35,000 troops, from a peak of 300,000 before the civil war. It is evil and against international law, but some of their officers think the only way to level the playing field is to release some gas. The Syrian Conquest Front, formerly the Nusra Front, which held the territory where the early April incident took place, is not known (unlike ISIL) have a chem capacity. The Syrian government is.

But so far the chem use by the Syrian Army appears to be occasional and ad hoc and it isn’t the sort of thing the White House could have gained intelligence about beforehand.

It is almost as if there were a faction of hawks around Trump who wanted to derail any Tillerson-Lavrov cooperation and maintain a condition of undeclared war with Russia and Iran. We haven’t heard a lot from CIA director Mike Pompeo, unlike most others in the Trump cabinet. But if I had to guess who is behind Monday’s “statement” . . .


Related video added by Juan Cole:

Wochit News: “U.S.: Syria Planning Another Chemical Weapons Attack”

[syndicated profile] juancole_feed

Posted by contributors

TeleSur | – –

Jared Kushner was an adviser to the Trump campaign and an employee at his own real estate company when the firm received the loan.

A real estate company owned by senior adviser to U.S. President, Jared Kushner, received a $285-million loan from a German bank one month before the U.S. election.

According to the Washington Post, the bank has also lent millions of dollars to U.S. President Donald Trump in the past.

Kushner’s conflict is the senior White House official held positions as an adviser to the Trump campaign and as employee at his own real estate company when the firm received the loan from Deutsche Bank. He also, reportedly, made a personal guarantee on the loan which he failed to declare to the Office of Government Ethics on his financial disclosure form.

The White House informed the Post that Kushner “will recuse from any particular matter involving specific parties in which Deutsche Bank is a party.”

The Deutsche Bank has also been linked to the investigation into possible Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. election. Kushner is reportedly under scrutiny for meetings he took with several Russian officials.

House Intelligence Committee leaders have been pushing the bank to share information about Trump’s financial dealings with Russia. But, Deutsche Bank has denied the request, citing privacy laws.

Trump’s personal financial disclosure report showed that he owes $130 million to Deutsche Bank Trust Company Americas.

A legal representative of Kushner’s issued a release to the Post stating that Kushner was not required to disclose the loan. The statement explained that directive from the ethics office “clearly states that filers do not have to disclose, as a liability, a loan on which they have made a guarantee, unless they have a present obligation to repay the loan.”

However, a former ethics official told the Post that he would have personally recommended that Kushner declared the loan because of the amount and the implications of him being the guarantor.

Via TeleSur


Related video added by Juan Cole:

Wochit News: “Deutsche Bank: Privacy Laws Prevent Trump Disclosures”

Local news

Jun. 26th, 2017 10:34 pm
james_davis_nicoll: (Default)
[personal profile] james_davis_nicoll

Mosque approved despite pleas to think of the little turtles and an odd assertion that the mosque would produce more sewage than "normal " spiritual use.

The exgf's cats meet Fig

Jun. 26th, 2017 09:42 pm
james_davis_nicoll: (Default)
[personal profile] james_davis_nicoll
Ibid has a ... troubled history with Nigel so we're holding off on that.

No histrionics but somehow Rufus established himself as a cat Fig needs not to annoy, whereas Nigel is someone Fig will happily follow around.

Also, Fig made himself sick eating daisies, then tried to eat one again.

What kind of country is this?

Jun. 26th, 2017 05:00 pm
[syndicated profile] digby_feed
What kind of country is this?

by digby

Congressman Joe Kennedy tries to summon American pride. I'm not sure it works in the era of Trump, but it's a nice speech:

kshandra: Animated text being rearranged from "I think about you all the fucking time" to "I think about fucking you all the time" (One Track Mind)
[personal profile] kshandra
I'm not sure if this one makes me want to fall in love, or just fall in bed...

Question of the Day

Jun. 26th, 2017 06:00 pm
[syndicated profile] shakesville_feed

Posted by Melissa McEwan

[I've got a doctor's appointment this afternoon, so I have to wrap up a little early today. Nothing serious — just a regular check-up!]

Suggested by Shaker SisterShimmy: "If someone were to make a book you love into a movie, what would your dream cast be?"

Death by a thousand cuts

Jun. 26th, 2017 03:30 pm
[syndicated profile] digby_feed
Death by a thousand cuts

by digby

Health Insurance expert Andy Slavitt:

New estimates from the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) paint by numbers the impact of the Senate healthcare bill. It’s a bill not about repealing “ObamaCare,” but about capping federal health spending and cutting taxes for the richest Americans and corporations.

The scope of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) is broad. It expands Medicaid, prioritizes value-based care in Medicare and invests in public health. But Republicans’ criticisms have focused narrowly on the individual market — people purchasing health insurance on their own. Virtually every one of President Trump’s claims that “ObamaCare is dead” is about premiums, deductibles and choices among the ACA’s Health Insurance Marketplace plans.

But the Senate Republican plan does not repeal this part of ObamaCare. Republicans could fully repeal the ACA’s Marketplace financial assistance and have enough to fund every tax cut envisioned in their bill. CBO’s January 2017 baseline assumes $781 billion in Marketplace assistance from 2018 to 2026, compared to the Senate bill’s $701 billion in tax cuts over the same period.

While the Senate bill does not repeal ObamaCare, it does not improve it either. The Senate bill would maintain the ACA’s health insurance tax credits, but at reduced levels, leaving consumers to spend more to get less. Marketplace spending under the bill would be about 60 percent of what is projected with no change according to CBO.

It takes the misguided approach of linking premium tax credits to lower value and higher deductible plans while eliminating financial assistance that reduces cost sharing for consumers. The Senate Republican bill also zeroes out the individual mandate fee, which CBO and insurers suggest will increase premiums by about 20 percent next year. And it lowers the “failsafe” or overall cap on Marketplace financial assistance, potentially rationing Marketplace subsidies like it rations Medicaid.

What’s more, CBO makes clear that Republicans prioritize cutting $772 billion in federal Medicaid spending, an amount that is nearly the same as every dollar spent on Marketplace financial assistance. Medicaid savings include rolling back the ACA’s coverage expansion and capping on federal Medicaid spending for the first time in the program’s history. In fact, over half of the pages in the Senate bill are devoted to Medicaid changes unrelated to the ACA.

In short, the CBO estimates suggest that the Senate bill neither repeals nor repairs ObamaCare. But it does cap federal health spending in order to cut taxes for corporations and high-income individuals. As Senators prepare to vote on this bill, they should be clear-eyed on its consequences.

Obviously the vast majority are fine with it. There might be a few on either end of the spectrum who think it's too cruel or not cruel enough. But the mainstream of GOP elected aren't balking.


CBO: Senate Bill Is Hot Trash

Jun. 26th, 2017 04:30 pm
[syndicated profile] shakesville_feed

Posted by Melissa McEwan

As I mentioned earlier, the Congressional Budget Office announced it was anticipating releasing its assessment of the Senate "healthcare" bill this afternoon, and so it has. And I hope you're reclining comfortably on your fainting couches so you don't swoon with the shock of hearing that the CBO has concluded that the Senate bill is hot trash, just like the House version. I'm paraphrasing, but only slightly.

Amy Goldstein and Kelsey Snell at the Washington Post: CBO: Senate GOP Healthcare Bill Would Leave 22 Million More People Uninsured by 2026.
Senate Republicans' bill to erase major parts of the Affordable Care Act would cause an estimated 22 million more Americans to be uninsured in the coming decade — just over a million fewer than similar legislation recently passed by the House, according to the Congressional Budget Office.

...According to the 49-page report, the immediate increase in the ranks of the uninsured would be slightly larger than under the House version, with an estimated 15 million fewer Americans likely to have coverage in 2018, compared to 14 million in the House bill.
Twenty-two million people would lose health insurance coverage, fifteen million of them by next year.

There is a lot more to the CBO report, of course, but do you even need to know more than that? It's scandalous.

I am despondent at the fact that there are people tasked with governing this country and representing the people's interests who can look at those figures and still justify supporting this legislation. It is an unfathomable cruelty that the United States continues to treat healthcare as a privilege, rather than a right.

Ivanka's tax cuts FTW!

Jun. 26th, 2017 02:00 pm
[syndicated profile] digby_feed
Ivanka's tax cuts FTW!

by digby

Here you go with the new CBO score:

The Senate bill to repeal the Affordable Care Act would increase the number of people without health insurance by 22 million by 2026, a figure that is only slightly lower than the 23 million more uninsured that the House version would create, the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office said Monday.

Next year, 15 million more people would be uninsured compared with current law, the budget office said.

The legislation would decrease federal deficits by a total of $321 billion over a decade, the budget office said.

The release of the budget office’s analysis comes as a number of reluctant Republican senators weigh whether to support the health bill, which the majority leader, Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, wants approved before a planned recess for the Fourth of July.

Mr. McConnell already faced a host of reservations from across the ideological spectrum in his conference. Five Republican senators have said they cannot support the version of the bill that was released last week, and Mr. McConnell can afford to lose only two.

Before the budget office released its report on Monday, the American Medical Association officially announced its opposition to the bill, and the National Governors Association urged the Senate to slow down.

Now, the budget office’s findings will give fodder to Democrats who were already assailing the bill as cruel. It could give pause to some Republican senators who have been mulling whether to support the bill — or it could give them an additional reason to come out against the bill altogether.

It is still unclear whether the new budget office projections will be judged against the House’s version, or against the Affordable Care Act’s coverage figures. Beyond the number of Americans without health insurance, the Senate bill’s $321 billion in deficit reduction is larger than the $119 billion total that the budget office found for the bill that passed the House.

Earlier Monday afternoon, Senate Republican leaders altered their health bill to penalize people who go without health insurance by requiring them to wait six months before their coverage would begin. Insurers would generally be required to impose the waiting period on people who lacked coverage for more than about two months in the prior year.

The waiting-period proposal is meant to address a conspicuous omission in the Senate’s bill: The measure would end the Affordable Care Act’s mandate that nearly all Americans have health insurance, but it also would require insurers to accept anyone who applies. The waiting period is supposed to prevent people from waiting until they get sick to purchase a health plan. Insurers need large numbers of healthy people to help pay for those who are sick.

Under one of the most unpopular provisions of the Affordable Care Act, the government can impose tax penalties on people who go without health coverage. Republicans have denounced this as government coercion.

The repeal bill passed by the House last month has a different kind of incentive. It would impose a 30 percent surcharge on premiums for people who have gone without insurance. But the Congressional Budget Office said this provision could backfire. As a result of the surcharge, it said, two million fewer people would enroll, and the people most likely to be deterred would be those who are healthy

They will, of course, say the CBO is lying. And it could be wrong. But that could mean this mutant atrocity of a "health care" bill will actually be worse. In fact, it probably will trigger a death spiral in the whole insurance sector.

But whatevs. They knew it was going to be bad when they did it. They don't care. They want tax cuts for Ivanka and that's all there is to it.

They have all become monsters.


June 2015

 123 456

Most Popular Tags

Style Credit

Expand Cut Tags

No cut tags