bdog 29

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  1. But even if you get together with a collection of fellow novelists, you still will be paying a prohibitively high amount. I just pulled up my own paystub as an example. I'm a healthy guy in his mid 20s with no dependents who works for a pretty large healthcare system in the state. I'm pretty sure we have a couple thousand employees across all our campuses so my employer has pretty good bargaining power against the insurance companies. My employer pays $328 bi-weekly for our lowest tier HSA plan and they take $15.50 out of my pay for that. This comes out to a total of $343.50 per paycheck, nearly $700 a month. And I remind you that this is an HSA plan with no dependents. I doubt it gets much lower than that. This is probably better than what I'd be able to get if I went directly to Blue Cross and told them I'm willing to make a deal but it's still a ridiculously high number. If these novelists were to get together to bargain with the insurance companies, they probably wouldn't be able to do much better. You'd be ponying up that amount of money to them to allow them to pay your insurance, in addition to whatever else you have to pay them for. That's why I said the Rand Paul idea was terrible. It just takes the onus from employers to the average Joe.
  2. Oh ok, gotcha. But it's not like those costs are increasing while revenue stays stagnant. Insurance companies made off like bandits with the ACA. I held some UnitedHealthcare stock around the time that the Supreme Court ruled for it and their stock took off. Insurance is a volume driven business so forcing to carry it while keeping the same margin per patient was a net benefit for insurance companies. In theory they could have lowered their prices to keep the same profit level but there's no way any profit maximizing business would do that.
  3. I hope you're not using the second sentence I highlighted as proof of the first. Every healthcare policy expert knows that this is just wrong. The ACA is most definitely not responsible for rising costs in healthcare. Just like his graph showed, the rate of growth has either stayed the same or decreased. Healthcare costs were rising long before the ACA and while the ACA helped to slow down the growth, it will keep rising. Rising healthcare costs are probably the biggest issue with the American healthcare system. Any new idea or plan that doesn't address this is a non-starter. People seem to think that bargaining will somehow alleviate this @Optimus_Cr1m35 showed with his example about car insurance, that just isn't the case with insurance. Healthcare is a highly inelastic "good" which is also a necessity so you'll providers have us by the balls when it comes to negotiating prices. You aren't going to put a dollar value on your life or your loved ones' lives so they can charge whatever they want and you'll just have to pray that you can get it eventually. As long as there's a profit motive in healthcare, we won't be able to provide it at reasonable costs.
  4. That sounds good on the surface but I think that in practice, it's just a continuation of our current system and does nothing to address the actual issues we're facing. For one it's really just taking employer-based healthcare and attaching it to a pseudo-union. Considering that employers pay a huge chunk or our insurance premiums, that'll just mean that these unions will (presumably) have to charge huge fees to cover most of their members and leave a small bit of it for the members to pay individually. Really no different than what we have now, just taking the onus from the employer to these pseudo-unions. And you mentioned bargaining earlier but I think you're overstating how much bargaining power consumers have. Considering how much employers have to pay for insurance I'd think it's pretty obvious that they'd bargain for less if they could. Fact of the matter is you can't force insurers to take a loss to insure people. So if your writers guild refuses to budge on a price the insurance company isn't willing to do business at, those writers just won't be insured. Look at the ACA coverage here in GA. If bargaining were worth a ****, we'd have more than we do. All in all, I think Paul's idea is terrible and the only people it helps out are the businesses who won't have to pony up for insurance anymore.
  5. "Those are good, salt-of-the-Earth Christian white people. Whatever they think is the status quo and you shouldn't dare criticize it." Republicans started playing identity politics long before they started accusing Democrats of it. It's just that they play identity politics to white people so we just act like it's ok.
  6. I wouldn't even really call them Christian either. They're White American Evangelicals. The fact that they've been able to co-op themselves as "real" Christians is a joke.
  7. I'm not running for anything nor am I a Democrat so why do I care. I just calls it as I sees it.
  8. He wasn't talking to them he was talking to an audience in San Francisco who probably didn't understand their motivations. And it wasn't a compliment. It was the truth. Poor rural white people have been beat down so bad for so long that they only vote based on moral issues and the 2nd amendment. It is what it is.
  9. Exactly. The media and politicians on both sides of the spectrum have coddled poor rural white people for entirely too long. They are the definition of "real" America. They're the demographic politicians have to connect with. They're the real salt of the Earth Christians. And when they vote for politicians who explicitly state that they're going to get rid of policies that'll help them and enact ones that will hurt, we have to bend over backwards to figure out the mental gymnastics it takes for these people to support them. All while not even acknowledging that the r- word might play some type of role. Black people have had it far worse than rural white people in this country for far longer but you don't see them flocking to Louis Farrakhan and the Nation of Islam in droves.
  10. Um yes, very much so. It put things into context for a lot of people who may just look at poor white people who vote (in their opinion) against their best interests. Obama wasn't just talking to them. He was talking to people who might overlook why those people act the way they do. More context. The quote was said at an Obama fundraiser in San Francisco.
  11. So it went from the Obama White House to Charlotte passing an ordinance? Can you give me some citations or something on this? Because as far as I know, your second sentence is exactly what happened.
  12. I can find condescension in a lot of things if I take them out of context. Why not address the context and what he was trying to say.
  13. Yes, the bathroom bill and most of those religious liberty bills are, were, and will continue to be completely inconsequential. At this point Republican politicians throw up those types of things as easy lay ups to appeal to their base since they're giving them nothing else. Tell me, before NC introduced that bathroom bill, how many instances of transgendered people assaulting people in public restrooms had you heard of. Transgendered people have existed for some time now so I assume they've been using bathrooms for some time now. They were self-selecting as necessary and going about their business. Introducing an entire bill to say they couldn't use certain bathrooms made something no one had even thought about into an issue. I've never in my life heard of Obama introducing rules that let boys shower with girls. If you can bring evidence of this I'll look into it but right now it sounds to me like NC created a bill for a problem that wasn't there which led to all of the **** that happened afterwards (like the Springsteen boycott).
  14. I think it's extremely ironic that even in the two quotes you mentioned you happened to support my case. Let's look at the full context of both Sounds to me there that Obama is saying these people have been **** on for some time now from both parties and don't have much else so it's not really surprising that they vote based on religion and the 2nd amendment. The full context of Clinton's quote is a bit longer so I don't want to post it but she essentially said that half of Trump's supporters do so because they like his economic policies and what he's about and the other half (the basket of deplorables) support him because of xenophobia, racism, etc. You can find issue with her claiming half of his supporters are like that but it's pretty obvious at this point that a sizable portion of his support comes from people who think he will advance White Nationalist policies. Places like Stormfront and the Daily Caller don't even hide this yet people want to act like Clinton made this stuff up. Yet still nonetheless people like Bernie Sanders and Joe Biden continue to say the Democratic establishment needs to reach out more to rural white people. I'm going to address the rest of your post in another post because I want this to stand alone.
  15. This paragraph is really interesting to me because I think it's largely an issue of perception vs. reality. I understand that rural, poor white feel marginalized but this notion that the upper crust urban elites are calling them bigots and not speaking to their economic plight is false IMO (if you have concrete examples of elected officials speaking like this, I'll gladly take this back). Hillary Clinton sucked when it came to messaging but a huge part of her campaign dealt with economic blight in rural areas and the opium epidemic. If you read her policy ideas from the campaign, she had a lot of real, sensible solutions for the things that ail rural America. Mainstream media and a lot of the Democratic establishment break their backs to be sympathetic to these people. There were a million thinkpieces about the poor Trump supporter and "flyover land" before and after the election. To me this idea that the urban elite are looking down on God-fearing, rural white people comes primarily from right-wing media sources. Think about who pushed the "War on Christmas" narrative and makes huge deals of minuscule, largely inconsequential issues like the bathroom bill. It whips people up into an us vs. them frenzy and gets them ratings.