Monthly Archives: September 2013

teaparty-gap

October First

As we creep ever closer to the day that 48,600,000 uninsured Americans have been waiting so long for… October first. The day the national insurance exchanges will open. The day that Teapuglicans have fought so tirelessly to prevent. It is time we were reminded of just how ruthlessly stupid our state leaders are. Perhaps, that isn’t fair. Maybe they are not stupid, just uninformed. Or perhaps, they are betting we are.

Arkansas, DC, Kentucky, Maryland and West Virginia are expanding Medicaid to cover all of their citizens under 65 who make 133% of the poverty line or below. This graph shows the amount of Federal dollars going into each state, less the state's share to expand Medicaid, plus the premium subsidies for those up to 400% of the poverty line, the Federal part of cost sharing and the amount each state is expected to save on indigent care (all figures are estimates, of course).

Arkansas, DC, Kentucky, Maryland and West Virginia are expanding Medicaid to cover all of their citizens under 65 who make 133% of the poverty line or below. This graph shows the amount of Federal dollars going into each state, less the state’s share to expand Medicaid, plus the premium subsidies for those up to 400% of the poverty line, the Federal part of cost sharing and the amount each state is expected to save on indigent care (all figures are estimates, of course).

To those in Arkansas, DC, Kentucky, Maryland and West Virginia who are expanding Medicaid so health insurance is within reach of every one of your citizens, congratulations. Your state government works. You will benefit not only with healthier neighbors, but because of Obamacare, your states will receive an estimated total 45 billion dollars over the next five years in new and repurposed Federal dollars and state savings. That is going to create a lot of good jobs we desperately need.

The Center for American Progress suggests a multiplier of 3.8 jobs per $100,000 in Federal spending per year (not just salaries, but assumes that local salaries will be spent at local stores creating more jobs). Using that formula on on our Medicaid expansion states, that worked out to 342,836 new jobs. Even if you discount the multiplier, that is a lot of jobs.

Could have been Obamacare impact -not states

This is a “what if” of sorts showing the amount each Southern state not currently planning to expand Medicaid would get if they did, while including the premium subsides, cost sharing and indigent care savings that they will get no matter what.

For the rest of us in the South – those living in Alabama, Georgia, Florida, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas and Virginia that are not expanding Medicaid, at least not so far, the cost in lost federal dollars will be over $200 billion (not to the wing nuts keeping score: yes, we subtracted the amount it would cost states to expand Medicaid to include more than just pregnant teenagers – click here for those tables).

$200 billion would have created 1,572,956 jobs that will never be. Jobs with good incomes that would have been spent on houses, cars, and stuff. that drives the economy – both the private and public sector. Income that would have been taxed that could have paid for schools, first responders and bridges. What fools we are to elect the people who made sure we wouldn’t have these jobs – Alabama: 76,228, Florida: 319,626, Georgia: 149,515, Louisiana: 87,818, Mississippi: 54,781, Missouri: 94,597, NC: 165,315, Oklahoma: 40,158, SC: 69,563, Tennessee: 112,518, Texas: 335,206, and Virginia: 67,632 – all jobs that will never be. Makes you want to puke, doesn’t it?

Projected Obamacare Impact

Estimated economic impact of Obamacare in the Southern states not planning to expand Medicaid.

Obamacare what will be jobs

Estimated jobs created by Obamacare in the Southern states not planning to expand Medicaid.

That’s the hateful part of what our leaders have done. Now for the rest of the story: no matter what Robert Bentley, Nathan Deal, Bobby Jindal, Phil Bryant, Pat McCrory, Mary Fallin, Nikki Haley, Bill Haslam, Rick Perry, Bob McDonnell (Rick Scott and Jay Nixon support expanding Medicaid, but their legislatures have, so far, failed to fund it – click here for a table showing the status of potential expansion by state) do, there are plenty of good things that will happen anyway. Topping any industrial job expansion since World War II, the Affordable Care Act (ACT), aka: Obamacare, even without expanding Medicaid, will create an estimated 810,836 jobs in these Southern states – good paying jobs. Jobs that make people happy.

If you are on Medicare, or if you or your spouse are employed and have employer-provided insurance, nothing will change for you on October first. The insurance exchanges are for small businesses, the self-employed and people who currently do not have insurance because they cannot afford it or are prevented from having health insurance because of a preexisting condition. If you are employed and work full-time or part-time, but your employer does not provide insurance, expect your employer to let you know your options.

If you are self-employed and paying way more than someone who works for a conglomerate does, you are going to love it (full disclosure: I’m self-employed, used the calculator at the Kaiser Family Foundation and Obamacare will save my family about $18,000 a year – without one cent of Federal premium subsidy – simply because I’m no longer discriminated against for not working for a conglomerate or my age).

If you have a preexisting condition, you are going to love it; if you work part time, or not at all, you are going to love it; and if you are within 400% of the poverty line as most are who live in the South, you are going to love it – even if you are young and healthy (contrary to the doom and gloomers, there are affordable policies with higher deductibles for healthy young people).

If you don’t have insurance, by law, you have to get it next year. Beginning October first, the place to shop for it is HealthCare.gov – the health insurance marketplace.

One note of caution: there may be some computer glitches and other problems (including those caused by a temporary government shutdown) – October first is just the official opening of the health insurance exchanges and there will still be about 91 shopping days until the new year. You’ll have news people covering it just like they do hurricanes when the cable TV stars find a damaged filling station sign and a puddle to stand in. The fact of the matter is that the Obama administration expected that each state would want all the money that was going to come their way for building the state marketplaces and the systems. More millions that would have been good jobs in your state were rejected – go figure.

For those of you who are under 65, unemployed or working for minimum wage and living in the states that are not expanding Medicaid, there is still the emergency room. Just tell the person at the desk that your state leaders are so stupid they want you to be there.

Some of my favs

One of my hobbies is managing LikeTheDew.com. We have a few authors who supply images. Mostly we (Keith, KC, Ron & I) find and license images on the web. Sometimes I have an idea and can’t find the image and have to make it. That is what this gallery is – stuff I have made from other stuff. I can’t draw, so I build. There are thousands more over the past seven years, but I like these best. Oh yeah, the Dew is volunteer so any money we spend is our own and we always need it fast, cheap and great.

Anyone Notice? Issuing a Metaphor.

Hard as it is to believe, we almost went to war because our president “issued” a metaphor. And how exactly do you “issue” a metaphor anyway? Our president knew it wasn’t an actual red line since he said it and didn’t draw it, but had it been real, couldn’t we have just gotten an eraser out, or just started with a clean slate? Oops, a clean slate is a metaphor – not something real. Fortunately for us and especially fortunate for those in Syria who would have been blown to paradise for being inside the metaphorical red line… damn, there I go again. I’ll start over, but not “restart” because they don’t mean the same thing since, “restart” is now a metaphor used every four years related to Israel v. Palestine “Peace” talks and is no longer just a word. Fortunately for us all, I didn’t choose “do over” since that is Hillary’s metaphor for publicly pretending that it is okay to start over without anyone noticing, which is cheating, which she’d never do. Bill did, but I digress.

Fortunately for all of us this time, President Obama chose to follow the Constitution, which, of course, is not something Congress was likely to do – they have actually only done it five times. Why wouldn’t they do it you ask? Because everyone in our government pretends crap all the time. See, the House of Representatives is run like a asylum with the patients in charge and they have the power and probably the votes to pass articles of impeachment at any given moment, but I digress. The Constitution specifically gave congress the power to declare war, not the president, but… yeah, there’s a “but” …the Constitution doesn’t’ exactly say what war is, when war would need to be declared and whether the president could toss a few hundred missiles, which cost $20,000,000 or more a piece at another country. The reason they don’t is that during war time the President gets a heap of new powers to wage it and could likely get away with doing unthinkable things – torture, killing of Americans without a trial, wiretaps without a warrant, etc. Wait, you say, didn’t Shrub do that? Well, yeah. How’d he get away with it, you ask? Our current president decided that we-the-people needed healing rather than acrimony. That, and should he, the president, do some bad shit, he’d want to get away with it, too – so he told the justice department not to pursue. Yeah, I know, hard to believe this AG has closed his eyes to all kinds of bad.

Getting back to the slime in the Congress… way back in 1973 when the Democrats ruled in Congress, but not trust the guy in the White House for some odd reason, and mostly, remembering that their guys made shit up about our police action in Vietnam for a decade, passed the “War Powers Resolution” which allow presidents to wage actions and war-like-shit for 60 days, without first getting permission from Congress with the caveat that we all ended up agreeing the “action” – a metaphor for war – was important, we were in danger of the stock market going down and such such. Everyone knows that this should be unconstitutional. But every congressperson seems to like that they don’t have to vote for war until after the polling comes in and after they have had time to meet with any lobbyist wanting to buy a vote. Should the lobbyists threaten to cut off the their election funding, Congress could always point at the president and say, “he did it.”

But that is not why President Obama asked Congress. Nor was it his fear that he’d be impeached. Facts be known, which they won’t be, I really don’t think he wants to bomb Syria although John Kerry really really really wants a war-like-action hoping that people will think he was as tough as Hillary (never). President Obama sent it to Congress thinking they’d have to vote for this turd and Boner and Company would have to raise the budget limit in the meantime.

Oh, I forgot to mention that the Teapublicans are planning to shut down the government in a couple of weeks now that vacation season is over and no one will care if the parks close. Plus, it they haven’t voted to defund Obamacare yet this month. I guess John Kerry will be remembered for the man who opened his mouth and shut down the country. Best of luck, everyone.

One last thought: there are those who believe this was all a plot to give Pooter a moment as “peacemaker” – a metaphor for someone popular with celebrities.