• Intrade has HCR at 87% as I type this.

    Just this past Wednesday it was under 40%!!!

    I don't think it is some magic coincidence we are seeing all these switchers to "yes," though.

  • Rubio continues to have better name recognition than Meek, I believe, but on the other hand he has substantially higher unfavorables.  Even if Rubio tries to run to the center in the general election, this high-profile primary may have the effect of cementing his reputation as too far to the right, for those Florida residents who believe there is such a thing as too far to the right.

  • Skeptics believe the excise tax will never kick in at all, because it is so unpopular it will just be scrapped sometime between now and the start date of 2018.

    Personally I don't get why they don't just phase it in, as an experiment to see if there is really an impact on wages.

  • I think a lot of people on both sides don't really understand the market forces that cause employers to offer insurance under the current system.

  • They aren't?  The insurance companies are practically all-in at this point, from what I can see.

  • The notion that the costs of the excise tax will be principally borne by the middle class is one of the biggest puke-inducing lies of this entire debate.  But this exemplifies one of my biggest problems with modern progressivism: everyone wants a comfortable middle-class safety net, but if any portion of the burden falls on anyone outside the top 1% of earners then everybody screams bloody murder.  The excise tax is not even a direct revenue measure; it is a cost-control measure that happens to be projected to raise money at the end of the day.

    It's worth thinking about the economic theory by which the excise tax is projected to raise money.  It raises money by putting more taxable income in the pockets of those who currently receive "Cadillac" health care benefits in lieu of wages.  Yes, some of these people fall within the category of middle class, but the reality is that there is only a "middle-class tax increase" in the sense that someone making $60,000 last year might make $65,000 this year, and thus have a higher tax bill.  I call this a win-win for the taxpayer and the revenue coffers.

    Of course, there are those who doubt the theory that wages will go up at all as a result of the elimination of the tax incentive for offering "Cadillac" plans, but if wages don't go up then there sure as heck isn't a tax increase.

    I wish liberals could figure out a way to argue against something without sounding like conservatives.  The people at FDL are not doing God's work on this issue.

  • If a company would drop coverage because the penalty is "only" $750 per employee, you have to explain why they haven't already dropped coverage, considering the penalty is $0 under current law.

  • comment on a post Liberal Opinion Columnist Says "Deem Is Dumb" over 4 years ago

    Anyone who is worried about the procedural crap, one way or the other, has lost their perspective on what is really at stake here.

  • You're right, though, that that change is an artifact of the community rating and guaranteed issue provisions, not a direct result of the ban on rescissions.

    I had the same question as you, to tell the truth, and I think I'm pretty darn knowledgeable about insurance.  So just the other day, I put the question to one of the senior partners of my firm, someone who has practiced law in the insurance coverage area for over 20 years:  How does the proposed bill change the status quo with respect to rescissions?

    This is what he said.  The bill permits rescission in two circumstances: (1) fraud or (2) intentional misstatement of material fact.  In some states, this is already exactly what the law provides, so there would be no change.  In other states, though, rescission is allowed for any misstatement of material fact, intentional or not.  So limiting rescission to cases of INTENTIONAL misstatements would indeed be a limit on rescissions that doesn't exist in some states.  As far as he knows, that's the only change.  If there's a state that goes even farther in terms of allowing rescission - like, you can even rescind for misstatements of IMMATERIAL fact - I'd be pretty surprised, for sure.

    By the way, the line between fraud and intentional misstatement of material fact is pretty thin.  And I assume everyone is willing to let insurance companies rescind policies if there's actual fraud in the application - right?

  • I still believe it is going to be very, very hard for any Democrat to cast the deciding vote against health care reform.

    Paradoxically, it is almost easier to commit to a NO position earlier, because then at least you're not the one.

  • Kucinich had a 95% rating from the NRLC, right up until he decided to run for President and had a miraculous conversion.  There's the most progressive member of Congress.  There's your deeply principled representative.  We won't even talk about all the times he promised the people of his district that he wouldn't run for President a second time if they sent him back to Congress - and then he filed his Presidential papers the day after he assured himself of reelection by winning the Democratic primary.  Now that's what you call chutzpah.

    It would be one thing if health care was the cause of Kucinich's life and he just couldn't bring himself to accept a second-best outcome.  But as Nate Silver discussed just a few days ago, Kucinich has voted against EVERY major bill in this Congress.  He voted against the first health care bill.  He voted against the hate crime bill.  He voted against the budget.  He voted against cap and trade.  He voted against financial regulation.  Nothing is good enough for him.

    I think it is patently obvious that this is all just holier-than-thou posturing.  The bottom line is that it accomplishes absolutely nothing for progressive causes.  Even if you think he really is the sincerest progressive on the planet, isn't that kind of a problem?

  • Hey, I have been on board for a long long time now.

    It amazes me that the entire Republican caucus and the entire insurance industry can be against the bill with all their heart, and some people still think the bill will be a huge boon for the Republican Party and a huge giveaway to the insurance industry.  They are all just pretending, apparently.

  • Well, I don't think the President has been inviting all those Blue Dogs to the White House the last couple weeks just to have a beer.

    I honestly have no idea what accounts for Kucinich's switch.  Maybe the President twisted his arm, or maybe the Speaker offered him a lifetime supply of Keebler cookies, or who knows what.  I admit I am curious.

  • comment on a post What will it take to close the gun show loophole? over 4 years ago

    The text of the proposed "Gun Show Loophole Closing Act" can be viewed here.

  • I don't know whom I would hold up as the paragon of principle, but it sure wouldn't be the guy who had a 95% rating from National Right-to-Life right up until the moment he decided to run for President.

    It takes courage to be an effective liberal legislator, and lord knows we have too few of those, but it really doesn't take much courage or principle to be a flat-out concern troll.  Anyone can sit there and say over and over, "I'm not voting for anything until it's perfect."

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