Category Archives: Economics

AHCAWUUUUUUT?! Part 3

The Senate version of the AHCA has some stupid-ass name I refuse to engage. I will, however, engage with any so-and-so who dares come at me with any argument about anything good about this bill. No one likes it. Except the people that pay GOPpers to destroy our civil society.  Continue reading

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AHCAWUUUUUT: ACA AHCA Showdown

The National Academy for State Health Policy created this helpful chart comparing the ACA and the March 2017 version of the GOP’s repeal/replace bill. This 18-page chart will scratch your wonk itch when you’re like “What about delivery system reform?!” and “Whither CHIP?”

The Kaiser Family Foundation created a more user-friendly interface for much of the same info plus bonus options to compare ACA, AHCA and other repeal/replace proposals.

Wonk away!

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ACHAWUUUUUT: Block Granting Medicaid

Yes, the list of preconditions that states may adopt to limit health care coverage astonish in their cruelty. That’s covered (and fact checked), as is the reverse Robin Hood jujitsu that should not surprise us from an Administration whose only principle is endless expansion of profit. Covered less is the AHCA’s devastating impact on the Medicaid system. So here are a few pretty good analyses of how block-granting Medicaid might work. Research!
Indeed, AHCA curbs spending, which sounds great to small government folks. But it does so by simply not paying for health care for people who need it most–low income people with disabilities and chronic conditions. People with health problems and an inability to pay for care on their own. Gutting Medicaid will blow up emergency room costs as well as indirect costs in the criminal justice system, special education, welfare, and other places that people with no health care end up.
AHCA’s Medicaid provisions will set up a tiered society in which health care is a privilege reserved for those who can pay for it. Health care austerity will cost our society in ways comparable to climate change: pervasive, universal, tune-outable for the less vulnerable and willfully ignorant, and devastating for the rest of us.

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AHCAWUUUUUUUT

My phone alerted me to today’s AHCA garbage while I was listening to one of my favorite Sappy von Feelingston podcasts, Strangers. Intrepid podcaster and Danish immigrant Lea Thau has launched an intellectual suicide mission: to interview, up close with the dandruff and drool, Trump voters. The series attempts to bridge the emotional and moral partisan divide by putting Lea–a Scandinavian/Angeleno liberal–into these Voldetrump homes. Thau is trying to heal us. To understand what the cluck happened to our country. And, a tinch, to assuage some understandable but frustrating guilt about her insular, coastal, creative class liberalism.

Two broad problems with Thau’s project:

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It’s science! fact!

Science! found that supporting low-income couples with pro-family policies like subsidized child care, paid family leave, and flex time would strengthen the hallowed institution. Whereas marriage counseling does not. 

Thanks, Science! For proving common sense!

I’ll never tire of research verifying liberal truisms. 

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Eat the Cookie

The best New Yorker article I read in months wasn’t about homeless teens or schizophrenia (actually that one was dope. Immunization genes (!!!) disproportionately influence the development of schizophrenia (!?!??) through neural structures that act as pruning shears such that certain regions of the brains of schizophrenic people are over-sheared like when my dad pruned the peach tree so aggressively it stopped bearing fruit).

It was most decidedly not the recent Gay Talese spew about a dude who bought and modified a motel in my town to spy on unwitting guests and catalog their proclivities that I cannot believe the friggin New Yorker friggin published. The sexism alone. The wholely undigested this-is-what-Talese-thinks-about-what-this-dude-thinks-about-himself, the very worst impulses of the New Journalism as if decades of feminism, gay rights, and sophisticated, elucidating long form nonfiction hadn’t happened, undigested like when the pet’s vomit looks like the pet’s food fresh out the bag plus some glistening. As if we don’t know better than to be seduced by two layers of un-self-conscious narcissistic privilege into our becoming voyeurs through an actually paid-for book excerpt whose disguise as journalism is as flimsy as the voyeur subject’s delusions of ethical social scientific research. I won’t even dignify it with a link.

Ahem.

Back at the ranch, Louis Menand reflects on ways our popular self-help books reflect the labor needs of our dominant economies.

Ford and Taylor maximized the efficiency of bodies laboring in factories.  How to Win Friends and Influence People Taylorized the the salesman in the grey flannel suit, disciplining his personality to a mid-century service economy.

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