Monday, 25 November 2013

07:52 – Winter has definitely arrived in Winston-Salem. The overnight low was 23F (-5C) and our high today is to be around 41F (5C). We got the gas logs in the den cleaned out yesterday and lit the pilot light. Running unvented on low, they put out considerable heat. On high, they put out as much heat as the furnace. We tend to get ice storms rather than snow around here, and ice storms tend to cause power failures. With the gas logs, we can at least stay warm.

I’m building subassemblies for chemistry kits today.


12:02 – Of the many social-engineering features of Obamacare, here’s the one that offends me the most: ObamaCare slams smokers with sky-high premium costs, could backfire

Under Obamacare, you pay the standard premium if you’ve had eight heart attacks. You pay the standard premium if you are an alcoholic with terminal liver failure. Even if you’re still drinking a bottle of hard liquor a day. You pay the standard premium if you’re a heroin addict with AIDS and multiple organ failure, even if you’re still shooting heroin. But don’t dare use any tobacco products at all, or you’ll be assessed a 50% premium increase, and subsidies, even if you’re otherwise eligible, cannot be applied to that 50% increase. FTA:

“In a worst-case scenario, an older couple who smokes could be “literally impoverished” by ObamaCare premiums, said the report. That couple could pay an $11,352 health care premium, or one-half their annual income of $23,000. By comparison, a non-smoking person over 59 years old would pay 90 percent less, or just $952 after federal subsidies.”

What particularly annoys me is that I smoke a pipe, but they’ll lump me in with cigarette smokers. As any honest actuary will tell you, pipe smokers have fewer health problems than non-smokers, and pipe smokers live longer than non-smokers. That’s why, before political correctness and the demonizing of tobacco, insurance companies did not charge pipe smokers higher premiums for health or life insurance than they charged non-smokers. For that matter, they rated people who smoked 10 cigarettes a day or less as non-smokers, because there is absolutely zero evidence that people who smoke half a pack a day or less are any less healthy than non-smokers. That’s reality. But that son of a bitch in the Oval Office wants me to pay 50% more for health insurance. Not that we’d even be eligible for any subsidies, of course. Bastard.

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25 Responses to Monday, 25 November 2013

  1. Miles_Teg says:

    Ping Dave B!

    Where can I get “light leather” in WoW? None of my toons are leather workers, so would I have to go to the Auction House, or do any NPCs sell it?

  2. Dave B. says:

    Where can I get “light leather” in WoW? None of my toons are leather workers, so would I have to go to the Auction House, or do any NPCs sell it?

    You can buy it in the auction house. Also asking in trade chat might work. If I didn’t have a leatherworker, I would ask in guild chat first. Finally, if you’re on Saurfang, send Hemet an in game mail asking for some light leather.

  3. Lynn McGuire says:

    Of the many social-engineering features of Obamacare, here’s the one that offends me the most:

    Don’t worry, there are more social engineering features in it for the rest of us. We are going to get it and get it good.

    I am becoming more and more a fan of single payer each day. At least that is hard to social engineer. You just pay your Medicare tax and move on.

  4. Dave B. says:

    I am becoming more and more a fan of single payer each day. At least that is hard to social engineer. You just pay your Medicare tax and move on.

    Single payer would be Medicaid for all, not Medicare for all. Not that Medicare is all that good. My dad went to the eye doctor over a decade ago, and the doctor told him you have cataracts, but they’re not bad enough for Medicare to pay to remove them yet. My dad replied that he didn’t have Medicare and promptly had his cataracts removed. My mother in law has numerous medical issues and has remarked that now she’s on Medicare that her doctor’s office staff is noticeably less helpful. It is my understanding Medicaid is worse.

  5. Lynn McGuire says:

    My dad went to the eye doctor over a decade ago, and the doctor told him you have cataracts, but they’re not bad enough for Medicare to pay to remove them yet. My dad replied that he didn’t have Medicare and promptly had his cataracts removed.

    Nope, single payer would be Medicare for all. My mother has had both lenses replaced due to cataracts under Medicare and my father has has one. He can have the other done when he is ready but he is fighting bone cancer at the moment and has bigger problems. So, Medicare treats them just fine.

    All we need to do is expand the current Medicare program to the entire population. Then, will come the problem that Medicare only pays 40% of the costs for health care. I’m guessing that we will burn that bridge when we get to it.

    Medicaid is for things like destitute little old ladies and men living in nursing homes. At least here in The Great State of Texas, that is 40% of the Medicaid expenses. The other 60% is health care for people with less than $3,000 dollars in assets (we are cheap here in Texas).

    And yes, I have also heard that Medicaid pays less than Medicare. I am hearing that Medicare pays $22 for a doctor visit and that Medicaid pays $18.

  6. Lynn McGuire says:

    Forgot to mention, 42 F here in the Land of Sugar. And raining. Miserable!

  7. Matthew Farr says:

    Overcast and about 65 in Orlando this morning, with a 5 knot breeze. Perfect flying weather!

  8. MrAtoz says:

    “I am becoming more and more a fan of single payer each day. At least that is hard to social engineer. You just pay your Medicare tax and move on.”

    I don’t think the libturds will allow “rich” people like Mr. Lynn to pay the same as everyone else. You’ll have a higher rate. Much higher you rich bastard. Redistribute Mr. Lynn’s dirty oil software money. Ha! That’s what you get for living the American Dream. Oh, wait, that died under Obummer. Everyone shall be poor and wear unisex jumpsuits.

  9. Dave B. says:

    Nope, single payer would be Medicare for all. My mother has had both lenses replaced due to cataracts under Medicare and my father has has one. He can have the other done when he is ready but he is fighting bone cancer at the moment and has bigger problems. So, Medicare treats them just fine.

    Pray that their primary care physician doesn’t decide to retire, because they may have a hard time finding another one. My mom’s current primary care provider is a nurse practitioner. That’s fine because my mom doesn’t have a lot of complex health problems. Her biggest health problem is dementia, and there is not a whole lot that can be done for that. I have other friends and family who have complicated medical problems. One friend went to one of the nurse practitioners that has a clinic in a pharmacy for a minor problem only to be told that she needed to go see a doctor given her medical history. Someone else I know needs an internal medicine doctor rather than a family practitioner because of complicated health problems. We finally have a new doctor here in Smallville. Who is of course family practice not internal medicine.

  10. Ray Thompson says:

    I am hearing that Medicare pays $22 for a doctor visit and that Medicaid pays $18.

    Went through all of that with my aunt. I got so many documents with charges, instructions, etc. in the mail that I finally gave up reconciling them. Mail from the providers, mail from her insurance company, mail from medicare, mail from medicaid. I could never figure out who was paying who or what. If a provider complained to me about not getting by actually calling, I would just tell them she is on Medicaid so deal with the state.

    Even had one company that threatened to sue me and report me to the credit agencies for what was not paid because I had the same address as my aunt and I was therefor responsible. I told them to go ahead and sue as I had recorded the conversation and the courts really frowned upon extortion. Never heard back.

    One ambulance company billed Medicare. What Medicare did not pay they billed her private insurance. What her private insurance did not pay they billed Medicaid. Medicaid paid exactly $0.01 on a $240.00 balance. Cost significantly more than that to send out the paper work (to me), send the check to the provider and the staffer’s time to enter all the information. I bet the ambulance company was really happy to process the check.

  11. Ray Thompson says:

    I don’t think the libturds will allow “rich” people like Mr. Lynn to pay the same as everyone else. You’ll have a higher rate.

    Such rules not applying to congress critters and other selected groups high up in the government.

  12. Lynn McGuire says:

    Everyone shall be poor and wear unisex jumpsuits.

    Picked up Glenn Beck’s “Agenda 21” book this weekend at the b&n and read it a little bit. The book was how that happened to the USA over three generations. One hopes that could never happen to the USA. You forgot the head scarves for the women though. And walking energy boards to charge batteries for the troops to use.
    http://www.amazon.com/Agenda-21-Glenn-Beck/dp/147671701X/

  13. Lynn McGuire says:

    Pray that their primary care physician doesn’t decide to retire, because they may have a hard time finding another one

    Yup. My doctor has a sign in his waiting room, “No Medicare Patients”. I figure that all of the primary care physicians will be merging together soon for protection. And that a lot of primary care will continue to be done in the hospital ER.

    BTW, my Dad is fighting bone cancer right now and getting the best of care at Methodist hospital down in the medical center.

    don’t think the libturds will allow “rich” people like Mr. Lynn to pay the same as everyone else. You’ll have a higher rate.

    I figure that the initial Medicare for All will be funded expanding the employee 1.45% medicare payroll tax and the employer 1.45% medicare payroll tax to 8% each. That is right at a trillion dollars per year. Hopefully that would be enough but you know it won’t be.

  14. Lynn McGuire says:

    BTW, from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Medicare_%28United_States%29:
    “In 2013, Medicare provided health insurance to over 50 million Americans, and between 15%-20% of them were not 65. Medicare is the primary payer for between 20% and 25% of all United States healthcare expenditures. On average, Medicare covers about half of health care costs for enrollees. Medicare enrollees must cover the rest of the cost.”

    The number of people on Medicare is due to rise to 79 million by 2030.
    http://assets.aarp.org/rgcenter/health/fs149_medicare.pdf

  15. MrAtoz says:

    My own Mom has been on Medicare for 23 years. She has a medical and drug supplemental plan. It’s covered two cataracts, two artificial knees, two cancer treatments (breast and rectal, yay two time survivor) and other health care costs (like 8 different drugs). The amount she and my Dad (RIP) paid in is a fraction of what just the cancer treatment this year (rectal) cost. Go Medicare! Her SS covers all her supplementals and gives her money left to goof off with. She lives with me now.

  16. ech says:

    And yes, I have also heard that Medicaid pays less than Medicare. I am hearing that Medicare pays $22 for a doctor visit and that Medicaid pays $18.

    There are some procedures where Medicare and Medicaid pay less than the cost. For example, my dad got paid less than the cost of film for doing a foot x-ray. If he sent the patient to an imaging facility, they got paid more – can’t have a doctor make a profit off doing office procedures! But, the patient would have had to go to the facility, then come back after the x-ray to my dad. And he would have to get a copy of the x-ray, since radiologists were not very good at reading foot x-rays in his experience. So he did them in-house so that the patient would be able to get his diagnosis in one trip.

    Also, Lynn, you linked to a Forbes blog on Sunday that cited physician pay as a big part of the “gap” in medical costs in the US. Well, his figures must be off, as physician pay is 7-9% of medical expenses in the US. So cutting pay in half would not substantially close the gap.

    The blogger was also puzzled by the fact that since per capita income in the US is higher, that drives up medical costs. It’s a well-known phenomena known as Baumol’s Cost Disease – if a job is not increasing productivity as fast as the rest of the economy, it tends to get more expensive over time. The frequent example is classical music – despite all our increases in productivity, it still takes 4 musicians to play a Beethoven string quartet. So, if you want to attract people to become musicians, you need to raise their pay faster than their productivity. Lots of areas of medicine are subject to it. An office visit still consumes 10-15 minutes of a face time with a doctor, some time with a nurse, etc. Some areas have had productivity improvements and costs have gone down – for example, cataract surgery is much cheaper than before, as it is lots faster. Endoscopic procedures allow some operations to be done quicker and with shorter hospital stays, reducing costs. Some drugs eliminate the need for surgery or other support, reducing costs.

    Ray – if your Aunt had Medicare and Medicaid, she can’t have private insurance, since Medicaid is for the indigent.

  17. SteveF says:

    despite all our increases in productivity, it still takes 4 musicians to play a Beethoven string quartet.

    I can have Nadja Salerno-Sonnenberg play a performance from the peak of her career any time I like. About six hours of music cost me less than $100 more than ten years ago. If the noise, smell, and jostling of the crowd is an important part of your music watching experience, invite over your friends and crack open a keg or a couple bottles of wine when you put on the CD or DVD. You’ll get all the noise, jostling, and smell you could want, I’ll betcha.

    By the way, Hillary Clinton used that same “no productivity gains in music” argument quite a few years ago. I don’t know about you, but when I find that a worthless scumbucket says the same things as me, I question my assumptions and logic. Just sayin’.

  18. Dave B. says:

    BTW, from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Medicare_%28United_States%29:
    “In 2013, Medicare provided health insurance to over 50 million Americans, and between 15%-20% of them were not 65. Medicare is the primary payer for between 20% and 25% of all United States healthcare expenditures. On average, Medicare covers about half of health care costs for enrollees. Medicare enrollees must cover the rest of the cost.”

    The number of people on Medicare is due to rise to 79 million by 2030.

    For Medicare Part B (services from doctors) Medicare specifies a price and pays 80% of that price. It’s up to the patient or their secondary insurance to cover the other 20% of that price. Most commercial insurances pay doctors 25% more than Medicare pays.

    In 2030 I’ll be eligible for Medicare.

  19. Lynn McGuire says:

    Whoa, I thought I was the youngest person here. I will be eligible for Medicare in 2025, assuming that they do not raise the Medicare age, that my heart holds on, that I do not die of some other malady or accident, that the creek don’t rise and that Gabriel does not blow his horn.

    So, if 1/6th of the USA population is incurring 1/4 of the health care costs, that says to me that a single payer plan would cost 4X the current cost of Medicare. From
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Medicare_%28United_States%29#Costs_and_funding_challenges
    Medicare spent $523 billion in 2010. So, a single payer payer plan might cost $2,447 billion in 2014 using a 4% inflation factor.

    My 8% + 8% payroll tax might not cut it. Does anyone know what the payroll in the USA is? BTW, there are no limits on the current Medicare payroll tax of 1.45% + 1.45%.

  20. SteveF says:

    I’m about the same age as DaveB, but less optimistic than his “In 2030 I’ll be eligible for Medicare.” Sure, that’s what they currently say, but I imagine the wheels’ll come off before then and I’ll never actually collect any of that medifraud or socialist security I’ve been paying into for more than thirty years.

  21. OFD says:

    “Everyone shall be poor and wear unisex jumpsuits.”

    And have little tubes of grease taped to their waistbands above the little holes in the rears. No grease tubes, though, for malcontents and other reprobates such as are regularly found on this board.

  22. ech says:

    Baumol’s Cost Disease affects a lot of jobs, many of which are service jobs. Just because Hilary Clinton paid attention for at least part of one of her economics lectures doesn’t mean the idea is wrong.

    (Most of the (D) party was asleep when the second part of Keynesian stimulus was discussed. The first part is to deficit spend when the economy is slumping (or in a war), the second part is to go back to balanced budgets when the economy recovers.)

  23. Miles_Teg says:

    Dave B wrote:

    “You can buy it (light leather) in the auction house. Also asking in trade chat might work. If I didn’t have a leatherworker, I would ask in guild chat first. Finally, if you’re on Saurfang, send Hemet an in game mail asking for some light leather.”

    The toon involved is in Skywall, unfortunately. I have a leather worker on Saurfang…

    I looked in the Auction House under both “consumable” and “trade goods”, it doesn’t find “light leather”. Is capitilisation important?

    I don’t see much action in guild chat anywhere nowadays. They seem to be consolidating servers – not usually a good sign. I may just drop the Quest.

  24. Dave B. says:

    I looked in the Auction House under both “consumable” and “trade goods”, it doesn’t find “light leather”. Is capitilisation important?

    Capitalization should not matter. I’d just keep checking. I had similar problems on my leatherworking toon finding light hide in the AH.

  25. Miles_Teg says:

    Okay, thanks…

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