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Progressive Politics in Minnesota, the Nation, and the World

Junk Insurance

Category: Donald Trump
Posted: 07/15/17 19:58

by Dave Mindeman

One positive thing that came from the ACA is that insurance policies were required to meet minimum standards. For all the talk about the so-called "catastrophic" plans being the answer to the individual market, they really did not cover much. They came very close to being "junk insurance".

And if the Senate passes the current bill, we will be headed back there once more.

The new version of the bill released on Thursday incorporates an idea from Senator Ted Cruz of Texas that would permit insurers to market all types of plans as long as they offer ones that comply with Affordable Care Act standards. The measure would also allow companies to take into account people's health status in determining whether to insure them and at what price.

State insurance regulators say the proposal harks back to the days when insurance companies, even household names like Aetna and Blue Cross, sold policies so skimpy they could hardly be called coverage at all. Derided as "junk insurance," the plans had very low premiums but often came with five-figure deductibles. Many failed to pay for medical care that is now deemed essential.


From my pharmacist days, I can recount many times when people would bring in their MCHA (Minnesota Comprehensive Health Association)card, which is where people with pre-existing conditions usually got dumped, and had to tell them that their prescriptions weren't covered and would only receive a small discount. These discounts are actually available to anybody through any nationally marketed RX discount card.

Most would walk away disappointed and with a much thinner wallet.

This Senate bill would open that up again - and although Minnesota Republicans will be happy with the talking point that these people "have insurance", they really don't have much of anything. We are back to talking coverage limits, coverage caps, pre-certifications, and no preventative care.

We have ignored these comprehensive benefits of Obamacare and yes, some of the premiums are higher because of this, but the better outcomes are what we are supposed to want to achieve, isn't it?

People who are sick or become sick, need to be protected from the high cost of care. In Minnesota that care is excellent, but the technology and expertise are not cheap. But worse than that would be to be told that none of these things are covered by your insurance - and that your odds of avoiding bankruptcy have just collapsed.

Practically speaking, we need to keep the ACA and fix the 3-5% of the market that needs fixing.

But this Senate bill is one big horror story.
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About That Collection of Voter Information....

Category: Donald Trump
Posted: 07/15/17 02:51

by Dave Mindeman

When Trumps trumped up commission on voter integrity asked for voter information from the states, the vast majority of them refused. I think Arkansas and New Jersey are the only ones so far.

One of the troubling aspects of the announcement was a statement about making all of the information public, apparently as some kind of nod to transparency. They quickly retracted that, but still wanted to "house" the information at the White House.

Well, that led to public comment and the public weighed in heavily against it. Not knowing what they would do with the data being the most common complaint.

Now the White House, in their infinite wisdom, decided to make those comments public - again, probably in the interest of transparency.

Unfortunately, they did exactly what everyone feared....

Unfortunately for these voters and others who wrote in, the Trump administration did not redact any of their personal information from the emails before releasing them to the public. In some cases, the emails contain not only names, but email addresses, home addresses, phone numbers and places of employment of people worried about such information being made available to the public.

Wow.

This administration is so incompetent that no one should trust them with anything.

But they do have the nuclear codes.
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Hillary Clinton Is The Legitimate 2016 President

Category: Donald Trump
Posted: 07/12/17 00:04

by Dave Mindeman

Hillary Clinton won the 2016 election.

I realize that that is somewhat inconsequential at this point, but I do not make that statement lightly. In 2000, I believed that George W. Bush was appointed by the Supreme Court - the Florida election system was so incompetent, there was no way that vote could be an actual count.

But once it was declared, I accepted it. I didn't like it, but I accepted it. This blog came about soon after that election. This year was also very disappointing. But we have an electoral college system and despite winning the popular vote, the electoral college seemed to favor Trump.

The recriminations within the Democratic Party came swiftly and everybody blamed somebody for the outcome.

But as these past 6 months have unfolded, I am becoming convinced that this election of Donald Trump was an illegitimate outcome. This election was interfered with...and at first I did not think it was enough to change the outcome, but now I do. I am convinced that Hillary should be our President.

Here is how I arrived at this. First, Hillary's popular vote margin was 2.9 million votes. That is a lot...for any election. It could still be close but to actual lose the electoral college by that large a margin almost seems impossible. And to lose key states, all by the same 1% margin begs incredulity. But I learned to accept that outcome as it stood then.

But then the Russian hacking became more than just a sidebar. Putin hated Hillary Clinton and did not want her elected - and as an added bonus, Trump was more than a willing dupe. That is becoming more and more evident as the new revelations become public.

Then evidence surfaced that 19 to 30 states had their voter roles hacked into. That is a sobering thought. Republicans are never afraid of purging voters - especially minority ones. And to have an outside hacker messing around in there is very troubling. In addition, if they can get into the voter database, you have to wonder what else they can access.

But yesterday's revelation about the Donald Trump Jr meeting with a Russian lawyer talking about dirt on Clinton was the final straw. That is clear evidence of the campaign's cooperation with Russian meddling. And if this initial meeting (pre-Wikileaks) peaked their interest, you know that there was more cooperation in the offing. Trump's appeal to Russia to disclose Clinton's e-mails takes on new meaning. Trump Jr's indignant defense of any insinuation about Russian cooperation just a month after he had the meeting....and to also have the audacity to accuse the Clinton camp of lying "all the time" and "doing anything to win"...is particularly galling in light of what we know now.

You add the regular Breitbart yellow journalism and the fake news sites that popped up overnight -- well, it just becomes a lot of things for any campaign to overcome.

Despite working against all of that, Hillary Clinton got 2.9 million more votes than the Trump/Russia coalition.

We have an illegitimate President right now. The first one in the history of our democracy. Trump did not win - he is there because a foreign adversarial power wanted him there.

Question now is....what are we going to do about it?
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