Dangerous Thoughtlessness: Why I’m Not So Excited About ACA’s Health Care Refund Checks

July 17, 2012

“This is how the world works. All energy flows according to the whims of the Great Magnet. What a fool I was to defy him.” ~Raoul Duke

Paul Abrams is excited about free money showing up in his mailbox. He told us all about it in this Huffington Post editorial:

I Pledge My Health Insurance Refund to President Obama’s Re-Election. Will You Join Me?

Some of his reasoning seems arbitrary to me. For example:

You see, under our new healthcare insurance system, the insurers have to spend at least 80 percent of the premiums they collect from us on actual healthcare. Before, they would just pocket it, and provide for executive bonuses, yachts, private jets, memberships to country clubs — all of which are wonderful, it is fine for them and others to enjoy them, but not with my healthcare dollars, thank you very much.

Why is it fine for them and others to enjoy these luxuries, but not with his healthcare dollars? What about his health care dollars so different in substance for his standard issue Federal Reserve notes that the government must dictate special rules as to how they may be allocated within businesses?  Read the rest of this entry »


Links for December 20, 2010: What Makes a Slant a Slant?

December 19, 2010
  • Vodpod videos no longer available.

    At the height of the health care reform debate last fall, Bill Sammon, Fox News’ controversial Washington managing editor, sent a memo directing his network’s journalists not to use the phrase “public option.”

    Instead, Sammon wrote, Fox’s reporters should use “government option” and similar phrases — wording that a top Republican pollster had recommended in order to turn public opinion against the Democrats’ reform efforts.

    “Caught slanting”, eh? Why is Media Matters so uncomfortable with the word “government”? It seems to describe the policy accurately. Then again, if you want to be consistent, you’ll have to use the phrase elsewhere, as in “government library” and “government swimming pool”, which is still accurate, really.

  • We’ve had a few cases rule in favor. This will be an interesting legal battle.

  • Stopping bailouts was not a poll option. The free market was not a poll option.

  • Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.


    Backlog O’Links for August 30, 2010: Old stuff that’s not even newsworthy anymore.

    July 25, 2010
    1. World Socialist Party (US) | Making Bread

      Daryl Larson, who farms 1,500 acres in Kansas sold nearly half of his wheat crop but will keep the rest in the silo in the expectation that the prices will at least climb further. Most analysts would concur with Mr Larson’s strategy of holding on to some grain for added profit. The [Socialist Party of Great Britain] only asks: why do some in this world face destitution and hunger, while others hoard food to obtain higher profits?

      Farm subsidies complicate the issue, but the simple answer is: Daryl Larson, the producer of the food, has the perfect right to do anything he pleases with it. He was under no obligation to make the food. Similarly, he is under no obligation to distribute the food. If Mr. Larson were forced to sell his grain at prices he did find agreeable, he probably not stay in the wheat business for very long.

      If we added farm subsidies into the mix, then, depending on why the subsidies were paid in the first place, there could be a basis upon which to demand that Mr. Larson make some concessions to taxpayers….

    2. AFL-CIO NOW BLOG | Public to Lawmakers: Tax the Rich1) Aren’t you glad that the public has no authority to confiscate and redistribute your private property?? 2)Never trust anyone who classifies tax cuts as ‘spending’. 3) This article quotes labor secretary Robert Reich who believes that the ‘fundamental cause’ of the financial crisis is wealth disparity. If not for wealth disparity, the argument goes, Americans would not have needed to borrow so much. I’ve never heard this one before…  Read the rest of this entry »

    Links for July 6, 2010: Kagan on Corporate Speech, an Easter Egg in the Health Care Bill, Knocking “Deficit Hawks”, others….

    July 4, 2010
    1. Elena Kagan: How hard will she fight corporate free speech? (Photo: Doc Searls)

      An attorney’s job is to be a zealous advocate for her client. I becomes a sort of theater of the absurd. It does not necessarily follow that she will retain this mentality on the bench. On the other hand, perhaps it is not so wise to turn someone who has built a career arguing on behalf of the government into a Supreme Court Justice. Habits are sometimes hard to break. Contrast with Ralph Nader’s 36 Questions for Elena Kagan, wherein the author’s first ten questions attempt to gauge Kagan’s support for free corporate speech, seemingly unawares of her very office’s zealous efforts to limit it.

    2. I wouldn’t be surprised if this were one of many Easter eggs hidden in this bill that the American people did not bargain for. That’s generally how sprawling legislation works, is it not?

    3. The FAA has granted the company an extra 110 pounds to the LSA limit of 1,320 pounds maximum takeoff weight. Terrafugia says this will allow the extra safety equipment and a still allow the airplane to compete with other LSA aircraft in terms of range and the amount of payload it can carry.

      Kudos to the FAA for getting out of the way of progress. Read the rest of this entry »


    Links for May 17, 2010: The Real Drug War, Fiscal Irresponsibility, Fun with Gold, others….

    May 16, 2010
    1. But despite all the anger the raid has inspired, the only thing unusual thing here is that the raid was captured on video, and that the video was subsequently released to the press. Everything else was routine. … Raids just like the one captured in the video happen 100-150 times every day in America.

      According to Montgomery, when the couple’s neighbors inquired about the raid, they were told that the SWAT team had merely conducted a drill, and no shots were fired. When neighbors learned from the family that this was a lie, they began writing to the department and the Daily Tribune to demand answers. When the couple discovered the police had videotaped the raid, they requested a copy of the video. Montgomery said in her email that the copy they were initially given had no audio, and the incriminating (to the police) portions of the video had been removed.

      On February 23, the Daily Tribune published its first story on the raid. The paper made its own request for the SWAT video, which the police department initially denied. On April 20, Jonathan Whitworth pleaded guilty to a single charge of possession of drug paraphernalia. He wasn’t even charged for the minor amount of marijuana in his home (marijuana for personal use has been decriminalized in Columbia). He was issued a $300 fine. On April 27, the Daily Tribune made a formal request for the video, which it received on April 30, with full audio and with no visuals removed.

      This is the war on drugs: Blatant terrorism, shameless deception, and desperate cover-ups. It happens in cities across the nation every day. I’m ready to end this madness whenever you are.   Read the rest of this entry »


    Links for May 10, 2010: Orwellian tax amnesty ad, National debt up a cool tril since last fall, Lynne Abraham pooh-poohs new Philly marijuana arrest policy, others….

    May 9, 2010
    1. Pennsylvania’s Department of Revenue has already shed the pretense that its residents do not live in an Orwellian State.  The voice should have gone on to say: “Ignorance of the law is no excuse, Tom. You know you have a civic duty to understand and abide by Pennsylvania’s Personal Income Tax Code. We’ve even put it online for you.”

    2. Former Philly DA Lynne Abraham: "Welcome to Philadelphia, Light Up a Joint."

      The national debt is pushing $13,000,000,000,000. Since the beginning of last November, the federal government spent has $1,000,000,000,000 more dollars that it did not have. I tell you, this health care bill had better take a huge-ass chunk off of the deficit, and fast.

    3. Hey, that’s great, Lynne. Just let us know when we can expect to receive your annual $3,000,000 donation to pay for the adjudication of these small-time dope smokers. Read the rest of this entry »


    Links for March 22, 2010: The Battle for the Souls of the 300-year-old Departed, others….

    March 21, 2010
    1. They're safe ... for now! (photo: Burke)

      Deseret News | Catholics told not to give LDS parish data

      From 2008. The Vatican validates Mormon baptism by proxy in the battle for the souls of the 300-year-old departed. Modern advancements in genealogical research are collateral damage.

    2. Mother Jones | Will Health Care Reform Kill the Tea Party? (Annotated)

      Another paean to government health care that makes no attempt to envision, let alone investigate, possible shortcomings.