T-word

June 18, 2009

I love this title from NPR on the cost of Obama-care:

T-Word Looms Large In Health Care Cost Debate The T-word they are talking about is trillion.

Despite reassurances by President Obama and Democratic leaders that all new spending would be fully offset by other spending cuts or tax increases, Republicans immediately jumped on the T-word.

Now saying trillion is akin to swearing. Like N-word or B-word.

And it’s soap in the mouth for the head of the (nonpartisan) CBO :

According to our preliminary assessment, enacting the proposal would result in a net increase in federal budget deficits of about $1.0 trillion over the 2010-2019 period. When fully implemented, about 39 million individuals would obtain coverage through the new insurance exchanges. At the same time, the number of people who had coverage through an employer would decline by about 15 million (or roughly 10 percent), and coverage from other sources would fall by about 8 million, so the net decrease in the number of people uninsured would be about 16 million or 17 million

The full report here.

WTF? One t-word dollars (over ten years) and we will reduce the number of uninsured by only 17 m-word people? It works both ways right? F-word that.

Why not give one trillion dollars to the uninsured so they can buy their own insurance. The number of uninsured people in the US is roughly 48 million. If you split up the cost of this part of the Obama plan, an uninsured family of four would get over $8,000 a year to pay for insurance. If you take out the uninsured that already would be covered by Medicaid but haven’t applied, that number falls to 31 million. That means a family of four would get almost $13,000 a year. If you want to be harsh and subtract out illegal immigrants without health insurance, the amount rises to $17,000 a year. That should be enough to buy you some decent insurance.

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Shell game

May 12, 2009

My last post dealt with basic understanding of government proposals. I’m not surprised that more people don’t understand what is going on when I read stories like this: Report: Medicare fund eight years from insolvency

The opening line (emphasis mine):

Spurring new demands to overhaul the nation’s healthcare system, Medicare trustees announced Tuesday that the program’s biggest fund for serving the elderly would run out of money in just eight years.

Run out of money? Who are you kidding?

Someone needs to tell the LA Times that there isn’t a stash of money in the Medicare Trust Fund that will “run out” anytime soon (same goes for the Social Security Trust Fund). Both “trust funds” consist entirely of government bonds ie debt.

Here is the difference between now and when the trust fund “runs out of money”:

Now: Tax payments to Medicare by current taxpayers don’t cover cash payments to retirees. The balance due is paid by the general fund or borrowing.

After the trust fund is depleted: Tax payments to Medicare by current taxpayers don’t cover cash payments to retirees. The balance due is paid by the general fund or borrowing.

The trust funds are political fiction.

Eat it

November 21, 2008

turkey

Fact: In order to cook and eat a turkey, you have to kill it first. Shocking, I know. So what’s the problem with Sarah Palin standing in front of someone butchering turkeys. Here’s the vid:

Yeah, it is not the best backdrop for an interview but it reinforces the point that people are too far removed from their food. That’s why I love MSNBC’s “Breaking News” running commentary at the bottom of the screen.

GOV. SARAH PALIN PARDONS TURKEY IN WASILLA

MSNBC is all about the facts, bitches!

TURKEYS DIE AS GOVERNOR PALIN TAKES QUESTIONS FROM MEDIA

Let’s hope one of them was Keith Olbermann

GOV. SARAH PALIN KEEPS TALKING WHILE TURKEYS GET SLAUGHTERED BEHIND HER

What? You want her to have a moment of silence?

TURKEY KILLING FOWLS PALIN NEWS CONFERENCE

Ugh. News puns suck.

GOV. PALIN APPARENTLY OBLIVIOUS TO TURKEY CARNAGE OVER HER SHOULDER

Like Jamie said.

GOV. PALIN NOT REALIZING THE INCONGRUITY OF HER WORDS VERSUS HER BACKDROP

This I don’t get. Where’s the incongruity? She wants to eat a turkey.