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June 01, 2017


we have converted to a "top-two" primary system.

IMHO, this will prove to be a big mistake in the long run. We've already seen races in which many candidates pursued the one party's nomination, splitting the vote so that both the top vote-getters were from the other party.

Parties will need to come up with a mechanism to weed their field of candidates to one or two to prevent this.

I actually think that the ranked choice vote approach that Maine's voters wanted to try is a better way to go. For some reason, the politicians and the parties don't like it. But it seems like it would be better for the parties than "top-two."

Supporters of ranked choice in Maine aren't giving up. From today's paper.

How well does the "jungle primary" method work in other places, like France?

I haven't tried looking systematically, but do wonder if we're seeing some sort of political divergence between the West and the rest of the country driven by the initiative process. Vote by mail, independent redistricting, marijuana liberalization are all things that are spreading fairly rapidly in the West.

I find responses to vote by mail the most amusing. In states that have adopted it, polls taken after a couple of years on the question "Should we retain it?" get yes answers at rates from 75% and up, depending on the group; I can't think of another policy that gets that sort of broad approval rating. OTOH, my East Coast friends tend to "There must be enormous fraud going on, you're just too dumb to find it."

OTOH, my East Coast friends tend to "There must be enormous fraud going on, you're just too dumb to find it."

That's because they've been voting in Colorado from New Jersey for years.

Theoretically, vote by mail has all sorts of problems--since it's not guaranteed private, you could have all sorts of vote-buying and intimidation. I haven't heard reports of this happening in practice, but I wonder what would happen if vote by mail were adopted in a state with weaker democratic traditions (say, Mississippi).

East Coast states have started adopting it--Massachusetts just did. We'll see how it turns out.

There HAVE been massive fraud schemes with mail-in votes, but the only one I've heard much about is with the Cuban (RW, duh) votes in an election for the mayor of Miami.

Wouldn't mail-in vote fraud automatically trigger Federal mail fraud crimes? While most vote shenanigans are matters of state law.

There HAVE been massive fraud schemes with mail-in votes, but the only one I've heard much about is with the Cuban (RW, duh) votes in an election for the mayor of Miami.

The large fraud cases I've seen -- all with limited absentee mail-in, not all-voter mail-in -- have been wholesale rather than retail fraud, involving elected officials. Retail mail-in fraud is hard. Steal the ballots, forge the voter's signature, hope that the call-in complaints about missing ballots don't trigger a competent investigation, etc.

I have a friend in the electronic voting machine business, responsible for a group that does maintenance on old machines. She says she has more confidence in the mail-in paper ballot system than she does in the system based on electronic machines being pushed well past their design life.

As a computer engineer with 35 years of experience, I wish to convince you that computers are an inappropriate technology with which to record ballots. No one should vote on a computer terminal or screen, ever. Audit trail or not. New or old.

Use paper ballots.

Back to the point of the OP: California's excellent Secretary of State came to the same conclusion some time ago, and California votes on paper.

Back to the point of the OP: California's excellent Secretary of State came to the same conclusion some time ago, and California votes on paper.

California's Secretary of State also favors vote-by-mail.

What I worry about with vote-by-mail isn't fraud, but social coercion. "Everybody bring your ballots to church on Sunday, let's all vote together!"

Or, to the union hall. That would be better?

Well we've got a couple states doing all vote by mail, and a bunch of others where it's pretty widely used. So, how much of that kind of "social voting" have we seen?

Granted that, while seeing it already would demonstrate a problem, not seeing it doesn't prove it couldn't become one. But it would still be interesting to know what we have seen so far.

Well out here in anti-social rural western WA we vote by mail and no one thinks twice about it. I'm pretty sure that voting in person would result in a huge decline in votes.

I dont know how voting by mail could be turned into a social event. I just put a stamp on my ballot and drop it in the mailbox.

Everybody bring your ballots to church on Sunday, let's all vote together! and Or, to the union hall.

I'd have to go read the statute in detail, but I believe the organizers are committing one or more felonies (with significant jail time), and the participants a misdemeanor.

Colorado, Oregon and Washington send a ballot to every registered voter (Colorado also has vote centers for those who prefer in-person voting and to support registration all the way through election day). Arizona, California and Montana have permanent no-excuse mail ballot lists; IIRC, >65% of all votes cast in California's general elections are cast by mail, >75% in Arizona and Montana, and those percentages are increasing.

Here's a region -- the contiguous West -- where a majority of the states have at least no-excuse permanent vote-by-mail lists. A very large majority of voters in the region vote by mail. All of the states with permanent lists actively look for fraud and find only tiny amounts. California has the largest problem (dozens of instances in a state of 40M), mostly because they have been very slow at implementing a state-wide voter registration roll. Now that VoteCal is in place, the cases of a person voting in two counties will be eliminated.

It works in the West. Maybe it won't work in other parts of the country. I'd be really disappointed if that were the case.

Well at least we can see that vote by mail isn't a partisan issue. That's a relatively diverse (except for geography, of course) group of states.

"Or, to the union hall. That would be better?"

Is that still a thing?

Now, if you were REALLY trying to irk people, you'd have said "go to the local graveyard, and look for fresh graves to fill in votes for".

Here we have some more on just how liberal California isn't. This past Thursday, a bill to curb both global warming and air pollution came up in the Assembly. Where, be it noted, the Democrats have over a 2/3 majority. It failed . . . by 8 votes (out of 80, i.e. 10%).

A bill did pass the state Senate to provide universal health care in the state.

Asked to predict the bill’s chances in the Assembly, Assemblyman Adam Gray, a moderate Democrat from Merced, responded, “I would think zero.”
There really are a significant number of business-friendly moderates (“Mod Dems”) in our legislature. But read the whole article.

The bill that passed the Senate was estimated to cost 400 billion a year. That would more than triple California 180 billion dollar current budget.

So from what I understand it is unlikely to pass the Assembly as is but it was passed in the Senate so it would beat a deadline to be passed to the other chamber.

I'm not sure the problem is business leaning interests.

"problem"? I'd say rather that the solution to avoiding problems from excessive liberal enthusiasm (the health care bill was the child of the "Bernie" wing of the party) is business-leading interests.

Oh I meant the challenge (problem) with that particular bill seemed how unrealistic the bill is as written. A common problem with health care bills it seems.

Health care is too expensive. Nobody wants to be on the hook for it, so it gets passed around like a hot potato.

It's an issue that's been sorted out elsewhere, but those solutions are politically non-feasible here. Because we're special.

Whoever finally figures out how to square this particular circle should get a national medal of honor.

Bon chance!

It's an issue that's been sorted out elsewhere, ...

Well, sort of sorted out elsewhere. I keep hearing rumblings, with intermittent claps of thunder, from Canada, England and elsewhere over the gulf between the aspirational goals and the stark realities of health care.

I keep wondering when/if the Republicans in Congress will stumble upon the fact that there really is a health care solution available to them. Not a perfect one, to be sure, but one that has a reasonable chance of of saving most (or at least a lot more) of their political asses.

Their problem is
1) they have convinced their base to hate Obamacare
2) unfortunately, their base actually likes most of the actual features of Obamacare. And a big chunk of that base has become to depend on it.
As a result, they have to do something, but they can't just repeal and walk away . . . whatever the Freedom Caucus might want.

On the other hand, they can't do much else unless they are willing to do it without the Freedom Caucus. Which would mean working with the Democrats. That may seem impossible at first glance, but actually might not be.

Even the Democrats are aware that Obamacare needs some tweaks. So suppose the Republicans proposed something like this:
1) repeal the ACA.
2) pass something essentially identical, except for those needed tweaks. (And, of course, call it the AHCA rather than the ACA!)

That lets them say, with complete accuracy, that they have repealed Obamacare. And gets rid of what their base really hates about it -- which has always been the first 5 letters. AND, because the replacement essentially does all the same things, it won't get them trashed at the polls for taking away all the stuff their voters like.

They'd have to do it without the Freedom Caucus, of course. But the inclusion of the changes that the Democrats agree are needed might (might!) get them enough votes to pass it. As an added plus, they could spin it to independent voters as a (contrasting) example of bipartisanship in action.

Are there drawbacks? Sure. Would it be easy? Not at all -- especially since they might have a major fight on their hands getting Ryan to agree to bring it to a vote at all. But consider the alternatives. All of which are, as far as I can see, seriously worse.

We often do "social voting" at our house in our vote-by-mail state but it's the opposite of coercive. We sit around the table each with our individual ballots, the voters' pamphlet, and our Internet-connected devices and pool what we know about candidates and issues. We ask questions and look things up. When that's done for a given race or measure, we each mark our own ballot and move on to the next thing. Or sometimes one or more of us doesn't mark a choice for something because we want to pursue further research later. I'm a significantly better informed voter than I was before my state adopted vote by mail.

"I'm a significantly better informed voter than I was before my state adopted vote by mail."

SEE?1?? That's the death knell for the GOP, innit?

Non partisan issue? HA!

I keep hearing rumblings, with intermittent claps of thunder, from Canada, England and elsewhere over the gulf between the aspirational goals and the stark realities of health care.

no doubt.

imagine what you'd hear if they paid twice as much and got less for it.

1) repeal the ACA.
2) pass something essentially identical, except for those needed tweaks. (And, of course, call it the AHCA rather than the ACA!)

works for me.

There will be glitches.

Before you argue for universal health care in America, look at the disaster in England

I think that wj has the solution. However, that solution is dependent upon Republicans in Congress making a de facto acknowledgment to themselves that they have been sleazy lying partisan hacks.

Also that solution is based on the assumption that Repubicans in COngress have some clue about what is in the ACA and what the alternative suggestions are. However it has become apparent that most of them don;t know anything about either. They simply do what either Ryan or the Freedom Caucus tells then to so without knowing anything about the legislation under discussion.

So they are hoist on their own petard and it would take profound changes in character to find a way down.

They may not know beans about the ACA or about health care in general. (After all, they have platinum, government-paid health care for themselves.) But getting re-elected? That they do know something about. Enough to know by now that they're between a rock and a hard place.

Chances are, few of them are capable of figuring out how to get away. But if someone** points out an escape route? The vast majority of them would jump at the chance. The real ideologues won't, but even in today's Congressional GOP, they are few enough to work past.

** The someone doesn't even have to be another member. A bright Congressional staffer might be able to show them the way.

Any bill passed only with the help of Democrats will be tainted and lead to repercussions for GOPsters voting for it.

There will be glitches

good point.

it's a good thing our way of doing things is glitch-free.

What "disaster in England". The "ever-ballooning costs" of healthcare in the UK, most of it spent on the NHS, stand at about 9% of GDP, compared with about 18% in the USA. And it covers everyone.

The article charlesWT linked to is about funding of help at home for Alzheimer's patients. Which is not healthcare. How does that get paid for in the USA?

"How does that get paid for in the USA?"

Well, a variety of ways depending on the situation, but from personal experience, my Alzheimer's ridden mother, because she had the resources, paid several hundreds of thousands of dollars over a five to six-year period for in-home care.

Several of our best caregivers and their little kids either were on Medicaid (no employer-provided health insurance) and/or SNAP themselves because the hourly wages, (miniscule pay raises occasionally; certainly not enough to pace the cost of living they received from the caregiver company) were not adequate (we supplemented their pay with sizable annual bonuses, which by the way was a violation of their and our employment contracts with the caregiver company*), OR were retired but picking up extra money by caring for our mother so they could afford to keep one of THEIR dementia-stricken parents in THEIR homes rather than consigning the latter to a Medicaid-paid nursing facility, thus providing taxpayer and Budget Director Mulvaney a "charitable" contribution, as he puts it, the dumb cock, because he didn't have to pay for that care, not to mention the deep personal loss he would have incurred if he had been forced to cut the millions of extra taxpayer dollars paid to cosset the hamfisted ignorant fuck** at Mar-a-Lago in layers of professional security so no one sneaks a car bomb into his sculpted solid gold shitter and blows his fat, thieving republican ass all the way to what's left of the Greenland glaciers.

*we considered hiring one of the caregivers away from the company privately, but that too might have opened the caregiver to legal liability according to her employment contract. She eventually quit us and took a full time job in another field which paid 75 cents more an hour, but also provided a health insurance policy.

**this written after considerable moments .... none ... of personal introspection.

Now, my father-in-law, who passed away a number of years ago from Alzheimers, which he knew he was going to suffer from because his father and all three of his siblings croaked from it, had a different insurance plan in mind when he still had a mind, which he communicated to me several times over the preceding years. Countme, he said, when I feel I'm going downhill into looniness I'm going to dig a trench in the backyard and put a bullet in my head from one of my many guns and fall neatly into the trench and all you people will have to do is fill in the trench.

Straightfaced, I would say something along the lines of "well, placing aside for a moment the city code prohibiting the burial of human remains on your property, you do realize that once you start losing your short-term memory and suffering from other symptoms you will probably forget this well-thought-out plan, not to mention as well where the shovel is and where the guns and the bullets are, so other than executing the plan this afternoon, what's Plan B?" ***, as which point he would grab the top of his bald head with one meaty hand and crack up while regretting being a reformed alcoholic and not being able to share the drink I needed after THAT conversation.

*** Plan B, consisted of, among other miseries over an eight to ten year period, induction into an excellent VA hospital Alzheimers unit on the west slope of the Colorado Rockies and before that, waiting in terror for the point in his decline when the dozens of weapons and the thousands of rounds of ammo in his house could be removed without provoking a fucking shooting spree, as Americans like to refer to that other stupidity we like to encourage and deplore simultaneously, depending on who has the big political bucks, because after all we are exceptional, but also exceptionally full of shit.

Both my father-in-law and my mother pleaded to be put out of their misery by the Death Palin while the pleading facility was still intact (my mother's pleading facility remained fully vocal until the end), but we aren't allowed to do that, because then we would have to stop arguing over the fucking budget and argument keeps the mind sharp and engaged.

Happily, Congress has nixed for now Mulvaney's murderous budget cuts to the NIH, including cuts to dementia research, not to be confused with research into what makes conservatives so fucking stupid over climate change research, and postponing for a time, until the Fall when the demented one in the White House defaults on the effing debt ceiling, so we still have a few months to institute end-of-life counseling to Mulvaney and trump.


In closing, cough, I have a long term care policy, on which the premiums went up 65% as of last year, but I'm hearing from other baby boomers that THEIR parents who have been paying premiums to the private market for umpteen years and are in the throws of demented decline can't seem to become demented enough to trigger the fourteen moving targets of decline (number 11: if you are still competent enough to drink out of the toilet while shitting into your sippy cup, then we're sorry, but we're not covering you), and so keep those premiums coming and we'll see.

So, as for myself, I'm digging a trench now while the going is good and when the time comes, unless it slips my mind where the thing is located in the National Forest, I'll do the deed and deposit my carcass on top of Mulvaney's and we can call it an open pit mine and what's left of the EPA can ignore it.

Plan B for my father-in-law also included finally choking to death on his own saliva, God's brutal, but expensive way of avoiding Plan C, which would have had something to do with a pillow held over his face by one of his loved ones, which is how families sitting around the kitchen table balanced their fucking budgets before governments got in the way and republicans started arguing that governments should balance their budgets just like families sitting around the kitchen table planning to carpet bomb the neighbors.

Sarah Silverman has a funny bit, I think, regarding God's demand of Abraham that he slaughter Isaac, which remember, Abraham was all set, but suitably aggrieved, to do, before thundering "Gotcha!" at the last moment and permitting a replacement sacrifice in the form of a barbecued leg of lamb.

Then Silverman asks, well, what if Jesus appeared before you and asked if he could cum in your mouth, would you let him?

THAT'S gross even in the context of God's demands on us, but how much MORE gross than God's biblical demands, particularly in the further context of what goes on in some Catholic parishes, though methinks the Protestants protest too much.

See, if you hold that the Abraham/Isaac thing an an instructional story we tell ourselves about the human condition and its savage origins and not literal fact, then we can laugh and groan at Silverman's joke.

On the other hand, if God really did demand Isaac's burnt hide, than Silverman's question demands a thoughtful answer.

And the answer is not the alibi "God works in mysterious ways."

In both cases, we would prefer the grilled mutton, and who can blame us.

Count, your 10:30 is a classic. Thanks for making me laugh in the midst of all this stuff that otherwise isn't funny.

In closing, cough, I have a long term care policy, on which the premiums went up 65% as of last year

Count (no pun intended) your blessings. My premiums nearly tripled. (After, admittedly, being stable for enough years that I hadn't realized that the policy provided for increases.)

What JanieM said, Count.

And caveats for anecdata aside, the "glitches" in our system (health, not social care) did not stop a six-hour session in A&E two weeks ago, replete with tons of tests and scans, for me (all seems to be well, although I was given 3 things of ascending seriousness to follow up as revealed on the CT, which I have done) and then an emergency admission followed by a week-long stay in hospital for my 98-year old mother. And all with nary a mention of money, or insurance companies.

Everyone knows the NHS needs more money, and providing it is going to be a challenge, but still: read it and weep.

Healthcare, like all other resources important to people, is scarce. There will never be enough money.

Among my reading this week is "Rivals Until Death ... Alexander Hamilton and Aaron Burr" by Rick Beyer.

Everyone hated Hamilton at one time or another and he challenged most of them to duels, while Burr hated everyone else all the time.

After George Washington sent John Jay (everyone's second choice it seems in every instance for every task after the hated first choice was cast aside because Americans hated everyone's first choice) in 1795 to England to avoid yet another war by, in many Americans' opinions, caving to some of England's demands, Jay said he could travel across the country at night by the light of fires where he was being burned in effigy.

Graffiti near his New York home: "Damn John Jay. Damn everyone who won't damn John Jay. Damn everyone who won't put up lights in their windows and sit up all night damning John Jay."

When George Washington issued his farewell address upon leaving the Presidency, Republican editor William Duane called the father of the country's and non-liar, non-cutter-downer of cherry tree's (it was a hawthorne tree, he winked) remarks admonishing Americans to abhor political parties, cherish public credit, embrace neutrality, and above all to frown upon "every attempt to alienate any portion of our country from the rest, or to enfeeble the scared ties which now link together the various parts" the "loathings of a sick mind".

Tom Paine, piled on blogging-wise in an open letter" expressed the hope that Washington would drop dead, adding that "the world will be puzzled to decide whether you .. have abandoned good principles or whether you ever had any."

Thank goodness that era of good feelings ended and the internet was invented so we could lower the bar.

read it and weep.

The weirdest thing to me in the whole health care debate is the degree to which Americans who don't want OECD style plans try to convince all of the rest of us that those plans actually suck.

As in, suck more than what we have here.

I don't care if we do exactly what France does, or the UK does, or the Scandinavian countries do, or whoever else gets held up as an example. Pick and choose whatever fits best, or make up something altogether new.

Whatever works.

But don't try to tell me that being able to just go to the doctor when you need to, without having to worry about financial distress or bankruptcy, is not actually a good thing.

Because it is a good thing. And lots of us here don't have it.

CharlesWT, I was so hoping while I wrote my 10:30 that you would respond that if cities and municipalities across the land would only loosen the regulatory burdens of zoning laws that forbid the burying of human remains in backyards many of our problems with paying for healthcare could be avoided.


Healthcare, like all other resources important to people, is scarce. There will never be enough money.

This begs a lot of questions.

I think a better framing is to say that resources are finite. That means we can't all have everything and a pony, but we might actually be able to have "enough" -- if only we lived in a culture that even recognized the concept.

"Damn John Jay. Damn everyone who won't damn John Jay. Damn everyone who won't put up lights in their windows and sit up all night damning John Jay."

This is magnificent. I thought my mother was a good hater when she said (I was 16 at the time) that she not only wanted to assassinate my first love (28 years older than me), but also his dog, however in all fairness she has nothing on the thoroughness and brio displayed here.

By the way, the title is "Rivals Unto Death", not whatever I mis-wrote.

How old was the dog?

Picking up from my 1:39: of course, we'd also have to live in a culture where there weren't masses of people who objected to certain other people having even a modest version of "enough."


By the way, Count, on the BBC last night as part of the Sgt Pepper celebrations was a very interesting hour-long documentary called "Sgt Pepper's Musical Revolution: With Howard Goodall". The write-up in the TV listings said "The composer explores why the Beatles' 50-year-old album is still revered as innovative, revolutionary and influential." Right up your street I'm guessing, if you can find it.

By the way, has anybody seen that Trump's latest tweet, about the London attack, says:

Do you notice we are not having a gun debate right now? That's because they used knives and a truck!

Does anybody have any idea WTF he is talking about? Anytime something like this happens, we thank our lucky stars these guys couldn't get their hands on semi-automatic weapons, or it would have been so much worse.

Also, for anyone not already sick to their stomach, Trump also said of London Mayor Sadiq Khan:

At least 7 dead and 48 wounded in terror attack and Mayor of London says there is "no reason to be alarmed!"

when what the Mayor said was, as reported by the BBC:

"Londoners will see an increased police presence today and over the course of the next few days. No reason to be alarmed."

I mean really, for fuck's sake.

(sorry to threadjack).

Until there's something like nanotechnology that fixes and tweaks everything all the way down to the DNA, healthcare will be rationed.

In a market-based healthcare, rationing will be done by what people are willing and able to pay for.

Insurance based, what premiums people are will and able to pay for. And what the insurance companies are willing to cover.

Government single payer, what politicians and bureaucrats find politically expedient to allocate.

Demand is open-ended, supply is limited.

The only recourse is to find ways to deliver healthcare as efficiently as possible. Money spent on healthcare is money not spent on other things people find important.


GftNC, you might appreciate that This American Life episode sapient posted, especially in light of Trump's tweets.

Really, is there any point in reading what Trump tweets or listening to anything he says?

Before the ":)" there was a [/stating the obvious], but got filtered. :|

Thanks ral; the last link sapient posted that I was v keen to listen to (I can't now remember what it was) proved unobtainable over here, so I was a bit late in trying this, but it seems OK so I will indeed give it a go.

I know one shouldn't pay attention to Trump, but sometimes I can't help it, it's like picking a scab. Mind you, on the news just now it made us smile to hear that Trump's people were mooting a visit to London to show solidarity - it's impossible to imagine anything that Teresa May would find more unhelpful to her campaign (election in 4 days - Thursday 8th).

Until there's something like nanotechnology that fixes and tweaks everything all the way down to the DNA, healthcare will be rationed.

And when that time arrives, the nanotechnology will be rationed.

Nobody is looking for everyone to have everything all the time. We all understand that resources are not infinite.

In other words, we're not idiotic children.

What People Like Me are looking for are for people to be able to go to the doctor when they need to go to the doctor, without facing extreme financial distress or ruin.

That is an achievable goal. It has been demonstrated to be an achievable goal, just not here.

I'm with wj, just pick the best parts of the ACA, make the crappy parts better, call it the AHCA, and move on. Call it TrumpCare if you like, or RyanCare, or CourtesyOfYourRepublicanFriendsCare.

Hell, let every state brand it as their own program and pretend the feds have nothing to do with it. Whatever floats everybody's boat.

Just do something that (a) remotely makes sense, and (b) improves the situation.

Alright, so my inner auto-correct demands "throes of" not "throws of" and "enfeeble the SACred ties" not the "scared ties, though the latter seems more suitable at the moment.

"Do you notice we are not having a gun debate right now? That's because they used knives and a truck!"

Yes, righto knumbknuts! We're not having a nuclear weapons debate at the moment nor a confab over the long term deleterious effects of high blood pressure on mortality rates either, but never mind, if trucks full of guys toting automatic weaponry had run over some people while blowing away scores of others fumbling about with their concealed popguns and who the former couldn't reach with their knives and trucks, then by God, ordering the cheese fries while at the Chili's in Waco while brandishing a legal multi-shot weapon will defeat ISIS and Hillary.

It's not WHAT is trump about, it's WHOSE veins he is mainlining his crackhead meth talk into via the twatting machine.

By the way, the other day Russell ended a comment with the words "Hilarity ensued", which my auto-correct eyes translated as "Hillary ensued", which fit too.

John Jay, to his credit, is fully on board with Frum and Drum.


Does anybody have any idea WTF he is talking about?

he sounds like the comment section of every right-wing blog out there. he's speaking the shorthand of people who have left actual reality behind and are forging a new reality based entirely on right-wing myths and shibboleths.

at least he's not a college kid, or there could be real consequences.

Since the OP is about California, how is it going to pay for the single-payer health care the senate just passed?

how is it going to pay for the single-payer health care the senate just passed?

That's exactly why moderate and conservative Democrats in the Assembly are saying that there's zero chance of it getting enacted.

When a thread stretches over days, I seem to forget when a question has already been addressed. :|

I had mentioned the "zero chance". But I don't think I had brought up the (lack of) funding issue. At least not explicitly. So don't beat yourself up too hard.

...how is it going to pay for the single-payer health care the senate just passed?

Assuming they're honest, the same way that Colorado's single-payer ballot initiative proposed paying for it. Medicaid waiver allowing the state to put all of their Medicaid money, state and federal, into the pot. ACA waiver allowing the state to put all of the ACA funding (operations and subsidies) into the pot. Waiver to allow all workers' compensation premiums to go into the pot. State taxes on business corresponding roughly to the amount businesses currently spend on health insurance premiums for their employees in the state. Moneys spent by state/local governments on employee health insurance.

Colorado's initiative had a longer list, but those are the big ones. Single-payer went into effect only if all of the funding streams were approved.

"When a thread stretches over days, I seem to forget when a question has already been addressed."

Sorry, that means you have a pre-existing condition, and TruRyNoCare will deny your Alzheimer's related claims.

No worries, you soon won't know about it anyway.

And here I was thinking that it indicated that we who post stuff had a chronic condition: Not getting enough new posts up to keep the threads from metastasizing. Sort of the inverse of Alzheimers....

Just listened to sapient's This American Life link about Russia, completely fascinating. I want to say, if only more people of diverse views were listening to such stuff, and trusting its nuanced, evidence-based analysis, but of course that's partly the point of the piece: we are moving towards (or are already in) a place where the dust continually thrown up by and the smoke and mirrors deployed by malign actors stop the populace being able to trust or believe any evidence-based reporting they may happen to come across. It's more than depressing.

I'm very short of sleep, so haven't read this yet, but for those still following, in yesterday's Observer there's no Carole Cadwalladr piece but there is this, which presumably is connected "Forget Far-Right Populism, Crypto-Anarchists are the New Masters: many are concerned about the internet's role in the rise of far right populism. But much more worrying is the digital tsunami poised to engulf us, as artificial intelligence, a rising tech elite and 'crypto-anarchists' radically restructure life as we know it."


When your commentariate is bright, polite, and subject to a certain amount of free association, some degree of threadjacking is inevitable. I, for one, am always a bit fascinated by the unexpected directions discussions go.

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