miraweb's comment history

miraweb said...

Oooh! Oooh! I love talking point Bingo!

Lessee - Libya, F&F, IRS . . . BINGO!

October 25, 2013 at 2:09 p.m.
miraweb said...

Some of the early critics were right when they pointed out that the ACA was a government subsidy to preserve the insurance industry that health care relies on.

That is fundamentally correct.

If the subsidy goes away, then the insurance industry will be unable to pay for services needed by a growing elderly population. That is why of all the voices we hear about rolling back Obamacare, none of them are coming from the insurers.

If Obamacare doesn't work the insurance industry is looking at oblivion and we will likely go to Medicare for all.

I, personally, think single payer is cheaper and has better benefits then splitting the pie 40 (or 400 or 4000) ways and subsidizing insurers. The Republicans who want the ACA to go down are, whether they know it or not, advocating for a single-payer system.

October 25, 2013 at 2:04 p.m.
miraweb said...

The funny thing is that won't be what people will remember. They will be comparing the ACA against all the fights they had with their insurance companies over "pre-existing conditions" and always being one fall or one heart attack away from bankruptcy.

They will also be comparing being locked into a bad employer because of insurance vs having other options for their lives.

What we have now with the ACA is already better than where we were.

October 25, 2013 at 1:10 p.m.
miraweb said...

PT (Barnum?) - I don't have to "spin" at all.

My own state has had a running exchange for 6 years. Our state has 98.1% coverage and my plan is very affordable and has quite good benefits.

Gotta love that "RomneyCare".

October 25, 2013 at 12:53 p.m.
miraweb said...

Degage- best of luck getting your daughter's insurance sorted out. I did see that on the California exchange website home page there is a phone number (1.800.300.1506). I wonder what options your daughter would have had without the ACA.

October 25, 2013 at 12:49 p.m.
miraweb said...

I am impressed.

The House passed 290 bills that they knew didn't have a prayer of getting through the Senate?

OK - we knew 42 of them were "Repeal Obamacare." But 248 bills is still an impressive number.

You've got to admire a group of people so willing to waste our time and money just to make commercials for their own re-election campaigns.

Good thing the country doesn't have any real problems that need solving.

October 25, 2013 at 12:27 p.m.
miraweb said...

For people who have been locked out of the insurance market because of cherry-picking this is the first chance they have had in years to have insurance. It is very important that this gets working.

I've worked in IT and there is enough information out there now to see where the launch problems lie. About 50% of web projects over $10 million have serious problems at launch. They usually come from the same sources.

Non-technical managers believe technology is magic. They fail to understand that every change in the system they make is risky and can cascade through the whole system. The administration made 8 major changes to the specification - the last one made less than 30 days before the launch date. Technology is not magic.

Complex systems require professional level testing. The management team did not plan for testing time and did not understand testing methodologies. The testimony was correct: a system this complex needs several months of testing. To get several months of testing you have to start earlier and finish earlier than they did here. Government agencies are top-heavy with senior people that have little or no technology training. That is less of a risk if they have advisers who they will listen to.

The load was more than the system was designed for. That does reflect the strong interest in affordable health insurance. The system design would have come from HHS. Again, this looks like policy wonks trying to build computer systems. Would you let a policy wonk build an addition to your house?

Poor communication from the engineers to management. The hardest thing to manage on any complex project is getting the problems communicated up the chain. From the hearing it was pretty clear that the tech staff did not feel they had anyone they could speak to about serious concerns about the system. That is a huge risk for a project like this.

Political pressure. With the Republicans behaving like j%ck^sses there may have been less willingness to listen to any feedback that might have delayed the website launch.

Design flaw. The verification system relies on getting information from other systems such as Experian and government agencies. If any of those systems can't handle the load that feeds back into Healthcare.gov. This will be the hardest one to solve.

There was no technical integrator. HHS took on itself the tasks of integrating and testing the system "end-to-end". Normally, this is done by professionals.

The good news is that some people were able to sign up. Getting the first person through the system is much, much harder than all the rest. The administration has strong technology resources at its fingertips but they weren't involved in this project from day one.

The result: This launch failed for exactly the same reasons that Romney's "ORCA" app failed on his election day debacle.

Technology isn't magic.

October 25, 2013 at 11:27 a.m.
miraweb said...

The hard truth of the Great Recession is that it has only ended for well-educated workers between 30 and 45 years old. Many of the over 50s are seeing a permanent, early retirement and the under 30s have very little chance of landing a job with a decent salary, insurance, and retirement benefits.

The funny thing is the country is actually more wealthy than it has ever been. When you remove companies' obligations for those pesky pensions and then reduce wages it looks great on the bottom line - and you have many more people falling into poverty.

The old analogy of squeezing a balloon holds true. If businesses decide to squeeze out their profits from their wages and benefits they can only expect their taxes to rise to pay for the results.

Want fewer people on food stamps? Pay them enough to live on.

October 22, 2013 at 1:08 p.m.
miraweb said...

Funny how quickly some folks are to mock poverty. Even more sad when you look at the correlation between "pro business" states and the percentage of the population who need help putting food on the table.

Take a look:

http://www.ers.usda.gov/data-products/supplemental-nutrition-assistance-program-%28snap%29-data-system/go-to-the-map.aspx#.UmaqvLx4X-R

From the maps (use the "Display a different map" link) you can see that where people are older and where the recession hit the hardest, more people need food.

If you go through the maps to the 2010 "% of population participating in SNAP" you can see that the rise in the hungry is concentrated in the South, the Indian reservations, Detroit, Arizona, New Mexico, and Florida.

Mocking the hungry? Really?

October 22, 2013 at 12:52 p.m.
miraweb said...

Very strong reactions from the business interests of the Republican Party. They seem to have had quite enough of being dragged through the muck by members of their own party.


There are definitely some incumbent Republicans we’re not going to support again.

  • David French, lobbyist, National Retail Federation

I don’t know of anybody in the business community who takes the side of the Taliban minority.

  • Dirk Van Dongen, chief lobbyist for the National Association of Wholesaler Distributors

The need is now more than ever to elect people who understand the free market and not silliness.

  • Scott Reed, senior political strategist, U.S. Chamber of Commerce

The right is a multiplicity of various groups, some of which aren't even Republicans, but who think they can control the Republican Party.

  • Senator Orrin Hatch, R-UT

The stupid wing of the Republican Party.

  • Mike Murphy, Republican strategist

October 18, 2013 at 6:37 p.m.
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