Back when Obamacare was all shiny and new, I was in the habit of calling it ‘health care rationing.’ I did this because I knew that you can’t have ‘less people uninsured’ AND ‘lower prices’ AND ‘improved services’ – and I assumed that the government would choose the first two and let the third go away on the wind. I got out of the habit of using the term ‘health care rationing’ because before the Obamacare launch it became clear that the government wasn’t going to manage ‘lower prices,’ either – and after the launch it’s becoming increasingly clear that they’re not going to manage ‘less people uninsured,’ either. In short: the word ‘Obamacare’ itself is sufficient warning.
Oh dear God but the Democrats have not done right by this woman.
OLYMPIA, Nov. 17.—Jessica Sanford, the Federal Way woman who got a shout-out from President Obama last month with her fan letter for the Affordable Care Act, got a rather rude awakening last week. Turns out she doesn’t qualify for a tax credit after all.
At least that’s what the letter said that she got from the state. Now she says her dream of affordable health insurance has gone poof. She can’t afford it. She’ll have to go without. “I’m really terribly embarrassed,” she says. “It has completely turned around on me. I mean, completely.”
The short version is that the vaunted Washington state exchange – you know, the one that had Democratic governor Jay Inslee bragging today about how great it is – first messed up Ms. Sanford’s subsidy calculation. Then the exchange misled her about what would happen if she signed her kid up for the Medicaid expansion (she’d lose the tax credit from having a kid). So then the state exchange told Ms. Sanford that she doesn’t actually qualify for a subsidy at all… which means that she went from a gold plan to a silver plan and now is looking at a bronze plan that is so pathetic that it’ll make more sense for her to eat the tax, instead… and even then she’ll have another surprise when it turns out that she’ll owe about $350, not $95*. Oh, and the state of Washington is possibly enrolling people on Medicaid that they have no business enrolling in the first case. It’s hard to say, given how bad the customer service is.
Yay, Obamacare. (more…)
It’s more on the epic blowup between local DC Democrats and national ones, and Darrell Issa is more than happy to pick a side:
— Darrell Issa (@DarrellIssa) October 10, 2013
See, this is problem with liberal-libertarian “alliances:” God help the latter if the former disagree with them on something. Like, you know, pot legalization:
Colorado’s medical-marijuana dispensaries can sell the stuff just fine — and would-be vendors of the recreational variety hope to do the same once rules are put in place this year.
But there is little that those businesses can legally do with their cash other than put it in a safe or bury it. No bank, credit union or financial-services company can knowingly accept business accounts with any trace of a marijuana connection. If they do, it’s a federal crime.
Note the emphasis on “legal:” illegally there’s a bunch of stuff that businesses can do, starting with money laundering. I will avoid belaboring the point that it is somewhat surreal to ban a business operating legally under state law from essential and elementary business transactions, but I will make two points:
- If you are upset that the federal government is apparently capable and eager to interfere in a particular arena that should be strictly state business and arguably none of it its own, guess what: it does that everywhere else, too.
- The US Supreme Court case you should be cursing at this point is Wickard v. Filburn. In more ways than one. Still love that “The Commerce Clause lets us do anything we dang well please” strategy, o ye recreational marijuana users? – Because, again, it’s not just restricted to pot policy.
I keep getting sent this link, God knows why:
A United Nations-based drug agency urged the United States government on Tuesday to challenge the legalization of marijuana for recreational use in Colorado and Washington, saying the state laws violate international drug treaties.
The International Narcotics Control Board made its appeal in an annual drug report. It called on Washington, D.C., to act to “ensure full compliance with the international drug control treaties on its entire territory.”
I mean, I’m sure that I don’t know why people might suggest that this would have ever been a topic of more than academic (undergrad) interest to me, ya, you betcha. (more…)
Quick background: Seattle last year instituted a ban on plastic bags and mandated a charge for paper bags, on the grounds that doing so would force consumers to use recyclable bags. This is all ostensibly for improving the quality of life in Seattle:
“I think we’ve gotten to a place where it’s really going to work for the environment, businesses and the community in general,” Councilman Mike O’Brien said at the time.
So, how did it work? (more…)
Six underground radioactive waste tanks at the nation’s most contaminated nuclear site are leaking, Washington Gov. Jay Inslee said Friday.
The tanks, which already are long past their intended 20-year life span, hold millions of gallons (liters) of a highly radioactive stew left from decades of plutonium production for nuclear weapons.
In our 1989 report on the Department of Energy’s (DOE) management of the single-shell tanks at its Hanford Site in Washington, we reported that, based on estimates by DOE contractor staff, about 750,000 gallons of liquid waste had leaked from 66 single-shell tanks.1 Subsequently, in September 1990 the Washington State Department of Ecology learned that the volume of liquid waste that had leaked from one Hanford single-shell tank (designated as 241-A-105, commonly known as 105-A) was substantially higher than the volume reported to us and included in our report.
Yeah, this is pretty much how it goes.
— El SOOPer!! (@SooperMexican) February 7, 2013
God knows that I can’t claim to be above it all, either – as witnessed by the fact that this post is essentially a retweet with comments enabled. Don’t think about that too hard.
Democratic State Sens. Rodney Tom and Tim Sheldon announced they would create a majority power-sharing coalition with Senate Republicans, throwing control of the chamber into question.
While the new coalition pledged to start preparing for next month’s session, Democratic leaders who now hold a slim majority signaled they will fight the proposal.
One wonders how, given that the existing plan has been signed off on by the entire incoming GOP state Senate Caucus. The way the deal goes: Tom and Sheldon get to be in charge. The Republicans get to control crucial committees like Ways and Means, Commerce and Labor, Health Care* – and, here’s the fun one: they get to pick the majority floor leader. That’s the person who decides which bill goes to which committee, which is another way of saying “the person who can kill or save bills.” The Democrats get… to play with the parks and beaches, of which I understand Washington state has some very nice examples.
So, basically, nobody you care about is getting hammered on this one. (more…)
Pardon my use of the technical term ‘hovel’ to describe these things: ‘shack’ simply didn’t have the same connotation of ‘lived in by a beaten-down peasant’ attached to it.
Step into an alleyway in the Northeast Washington neighborhood known as Stronghold, and you will see a vegetable patch, a campfire, a view of the Capitol and a cluster of what neighbors call “those tiny people, building their tiny houses.”
The people aren’t really tiny, but their homes are — 150 to 200 square feet of living space, some with gabled roofs, others with bright cedar walls, compact bathrooms and cozy sleeping lofts that add up to living spaces that are smaller than the walk-in closets in a suburban McMansion.
Democrats on the bottom of the ticket in Washington state all the way to the very top are caught in a pickle. Stand against religious bigotry or give back some $60,000 in state campaign cash contributed by world-famous spiritual channeler JZ Knight after videos showing Knight preaching hatred of Catholics became public.
In a story that may become a national news story as soon as tomorrow morning, Knight is seen and heard on video to let loose a profanity-strewn rant against Catholics and has been a frequent and generous contributor to Democrats here in Washington and at the national level. Knight’s contributions to Democrat at all levels total more than $120,000 for the current election cycle.