Posted by: The Tim

Tim Ellis is the founder of Seattle Bubble. His background in engineering and computer / internet technology, a fondness of data-based analysis of problems, and an addiction to spreadsheets all influence his perspective on the Seattle-area real estate market.

72 responses to “Weekly Open Thread (2014-03-03)”

  1. Kary L. Krismer

    I think I’ve just discovered the cause of half the press reports on real estate over the past 9 years. ;-)

    http://www.thealmagest.com/fake-computer-generated-studies-found-renowned-scientific-journals/10710

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  2. wreckingbull

    I know we have RE agents and small business owners on this blog, who likely buy their own health insurance. I am retiring in May, and still have decades before Medicare (if it even exists then) Any tips for finding a good catastrophic plan? Use the state exchange or private broker? Probably would have been best to put it off another year until the Obamacare fiasco settles a bit, but the die has been cast and I am doing this. Mr. Money Mustache made me do it, so I blame him.

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  3. Kary L. Krismer

    RE: wreckingbull @ 2 – Obamacare pretty much wiped out your options–at least any of the good ones. You now have to buy a policy which covers acupuncture yoga sessions to treat feelings of uneasiness, which means you’ll be paying 2x what you should be paying, for higher deductibles.

    This link will show you all the options in your particular county. Make sure you pay attention to doctor, if choice of doctor is important to you.

    http://www.insurance.wa.gov/your-insurance/health-insurance/individuals-families/health-plans-rates/index.html

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  4. Kary L. Krismer

    OMG, I don’t know how the NWMLS has gotten by all these years without a form that pertains to guns. /sarc

    http://www.chicagotribune.com/classified/realestate/chi-illinois-gun-law-real-estate-20140303,0,6609878.story

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  5. redmondjp

    Hey Tim,

    I hear that The Porch is getting bigger:

    http://blogs.seattletimes.com/brierdudley/2014/03/03/16501/

    It’s a bit funny, as my wife was mentioning expanding ours with a front deck just yesterday . . . I’ll add it to the list!

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  6. Blurtman

    Comedy hour in the morally bankrupt USA. It is high time that a laugh track be standard procedure for any utterances by the corrupt and clueless.

    John Kerry lecturing on Ukraine: “You don’t invade a country on trumped up pretexts.”. (With a straight face, no less.). Cue the laugh track and American Exceptionalism banner.

    And a recent former American president must limit his international travel for fear of being arrested for war crimes.

    So sad it is funny.

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  7. pfft

    By Blurtman @ 6:

    Comedy hour in the morally bankrupt USA. It is high time that a laugh track be standard procedure for any utterances by the corrupt and clueless.

    John Kerry lecturing on Ukraine: “You don’t invade a country on trumped up pretexts.”. (With a straight face, no less.). Cue the laugh track and American Exceptionalism banner.

    And a recent former American president must limit his international travel for fear of being arrested for war crimes.

    So sad it is funny.

    yes but you know that Bush isn’t president anymore, most of the American people believe it was a mistake and we were all lied to?

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  8. Blurtman

    RE: pfft @ 7 – Same country then as now. You don’t get a pass as a country by blaming the other guy. Oops, our bad. Excuse us as we leave your country to suicide bombs, civil war and continual strife. Remember, if we broke it, we were supposed to fix it. And besides, plenty of Democrats, including Hillary, voted for the war. And its not just Iraq. Grenada, Panama, the USA is the most war-like country on the face of the planet. We export toxic securities around the world, coddle financial crime, engage in war crimes, and have the gaul to lecture a country that hasn’t even engaged in the often lauded women and children killing shock and awe overwhelming use of force.

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  9. ChrisM

    RE: Blurtman @ 6 – Interesting – it appears AdBlock somehow prevents upvotes. Sorry!!!

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  10. Kary L. Krismer

    RE: Blurtman @ 6 – Ukraine isn’t even an issue. Obama assured us all during the debates with Romney that Russia wasn’t a problem anymore. And we all know that now that the election is past, that Obama has a lot more flexibility. I’m surprised the press is even covering the situation in the Ukraine.

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  11. softwarengineer

    RE: Blurtman @ 8

    Blurtman

    I remember when my draft lotterry number was “353” out of 365 during the Viet Nam War we lost….I painted it on the ceiling of my basement apartment back then….I went to college instead of the DMZ…

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  12. redmondjp

    Here’s an update (Tim – you might consider a full post on this one as a followup to the original entry below) on the Riverwalk condos in Redmond (here’s the original blog entry from this site: http://seattlebubble.com/blog/2010/04/30/shifty-llc-shoddly-construction-82-owners-up-a-creek/)

    I drove by this morning and the buildings are tented so they are recladding and reroofing the units. I found this City of Redmond webpage which, at the bottom, contains two links to documents which detail the improvements being made (‘Staff Memo’ and ‘Materials’ which includes project plans and material descriptions). This should be mandatory reading for anybody considering buying a condo IMO.

    http://www.redmond.gov/cms/one.aspx?portalId=169&pageId=91967

    Also on my morning downtown drive I noted another mixed-use building under construction on 164th Ave NE. The ground floor and support walls are concrete (the commercial portion), but everything above (the residential portion) appears to be made from wood. Lots of OSB sheeting and OSB structural floor beams were seen, getting soaked in the rain, with zero attempts being made to cover anything. In my opinion, when the building is “dried-in” (roof on, and enough of the openings covered such that they can heat the inside and dry the wood out), not all of the moisture gets out. Especially when it’s in closed-in wall spaces and between floors. This often leads to mold, as anybody who has left untreated wood outside around here already knows.

    So I’m still not convinced that the multifamily housing being built today is in any way better (as far as eventual moisture-intrusion and mold issues) than what we’ve seen over the past 30-40 years. But what do I know? I grew up in a semi-arid desert!

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  13. Kary L. Krismer

    From Main Article Comments By Erik @ 20:

    2960 homes for sale in king county today. I think we are at a new all time low. Told ya so.

    Not sure where you’re getting your data, but it’s wrong.

    On the topic of stats, it looks like the volume for February will be pretty close to last February, if not above, and the median pretty close to this January.

    Estimates and other references to data based on NWMLS sources, but not guaranteed by the NWMLS.

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  14. Blurtman

    RE: softwarengineer @ 11 – Hey, hey, LBJ, how many kids did you kill today?

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  15. Pegasus

    My guess is that if someone takes the time first before drawing their gun and blasting away indiscriminately as usual here that one might find that Redfin “borrowed” many of the parts that make up their website from someone else long before this new imposter arrived on the deviant real estate scene. Sacrebleu!

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  16. Dr Rick

    By Kary L. Krismer @ 1:

    I think I’ve just discovered the cause of half the press reports on real estate over the past 9 years. ;-)

    http://www.thealmagest.com/fake-computer-generated-studies-found-renowned-scientific-journals/10710

    Kary, The same could be true of medical literature. As a physician and Chem/Physics major the quality of medical literature, and ability to analyze it, is very sad at times.

    Fel Temp Reparatio

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  17. Dr Rick

    RE: wreckingbull @ 2

    Really good question. Start with the State Exchange but really look at their different offerings. As the ACA adherence increases as time goes by, I think the state exchanges will be more and more attractive. I could be wrong, but really look closely at them.

    Fel Temp Reparatio

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  18. Dr Rick

    By pfft @ 7:

    By Blurtman @ 6:
    Comedy hour in the morally bankrupt USA. It is high time that a laugh track be standard procedure for any utterances by the corrupt and clueless.

    John Kerry lecturing on Ukraine: “You don’t invade a country on trumped up pretexts.”. (With a straight face, no less.). Cue the laugh track and American Exceptionalism banner.

    And a recent former American president must limit his international travel for fear of being arrested for war crimes.

    So sad it is funny.

    yes but you know that Bush isn’t president anymore, most of the American people believe it was a mistake and we were all lied to?

    pfft,
    I’m pretty sure you supported that non war at the time.

    Fel Temp Reparatio

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  19. softwarengineer

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 1

    Yes Kary

    R & D in America is almost dead and PhDs aren’t publishing research at all like the heydays….IMO, the high costs of housing is a central player draining creativity…..it puts too much effort and time on acheiving/maintaining household incomes to pay the mortgage, student loans and leaves our educated communities [even MIT and their tuition cost is HORRIFYING] weary and worse yet, underfunded…

    Why do you think I volunteer Bioengineering research to the healthcare community; hades, they’re never gonna pay for it [even though it can drastically butcher ax the healthcare worker costs with engineering ingenuity reducing labor].

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  20. Kary L. Krismer

    By Dr Rick @ 17:

    RE: wreckingbull @ 2

    Really good question. Start with the State Exchange but really look at their different offerings. As the ACA adherence increases as time goes by, I think the state exchanges will be more and more attractive. I could be wrong, but really look closely at them.

    Fel Temp Reparatio

    What’s your theory on that change over time? My theory was the opposite since the exchange people will more likely be less healthy people.

    I would note though that both of our theories would depend on company X (say Regence) maintaining separate pools for exchange and non-exchange, and I’m not sure they do.

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  21. softwarengineer

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 20

    ACA MSM Allegations

    Always omits important insurance information like compared to normal cost “Cadillac Plans” [old fashion health insurance like Group Health and Blue Cross]:

    1. Copayments
    2. Doctor and clinic exclusions
    3. Treatment exclusions
    4. Treatment limits
    5. Referral requirements
    6. Out-of-state or out-of-country requirements
    7. The elusive bait and switch tactic [eliminating coverages as they go along]
    8. No spousal coverages on family plans.

    etc, etc…..

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  22. pfft

    By Blurtman @ 8:

    RE: pfft @ 7 have the gaul to lecture a country that hasn’t even engaged in the often lauded women and children killing shock and awe overwhelming use of force.

    uuhhhhh…

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  23. pfft

    By Kary L. Krismer @ 3:

    RE: wreckingbull @ 2 – Obamacare pretty much wiped out your options–at least any of the good ones. You now have to buy a policy which covers acupuncture yoga sessions to treat feelings of uneasiness, which means you’ll be paying 2x what you should be paying, for higher deductibles.

    This link will show you all the options in your particular county. Make sure you pay attention to doctor, if choice of doctor is important to you.

    http://www.insurance.wa.gov/your-insurance/health-insurance/individuals-families/health-plans-rates/index.html

    aren’t catasphrophic plans mostly junk insurance?

    “You now have to buy a policy which covers acupuncture yoga sessions to treat feelings of uneasiness, which means you’ll be paying 2x what you should be paying, for higher deductibles.”

    did an adult really write this? why not point out some of the good too?

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  24. pfft

    By Kary L. Krismer @ 10:

    RE: Blurtman @ 6 – Ukraine isn’t even an issue. Obama assured us all during the debates with Romney that Russia wasn’t a problem anymore.

    nope. proceed though.

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  25. pfft

    By Dr Rick @ 18:

    By pfft @ 7:
    By Blurtman @ 6:
    Comedy hour in the morally bankrupt USA. It is high time that a laugh track be standard procedure for any utterances by the corrupt and clueless.

    John Kerry lecturing on Ukraine: “You don’t invade a country on trumped up pretexts.”. (With a straight face, no less.). Cue the laugh track and American Exceptionalism banner.

    And a recent former American president must limit his international travel for fear of being arrested for war crimes.

    So sad it is funny.

    yes but you know that Bush isn’t president anymore, most of the American people believe it was a mistake and we were all lied to?

    pfft,
    I’m pretty sure you supported that non war at the time.

    Fel Temp Reparatio

    Oh god no! why would you think that?

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  26. Kary L. Krismer

    By pfft @ 23:

    >aren’t catasphrophic plans mostly junk insurance?

    No. But the doctors who helped write Obamacare would like you to think that because they make more money the more insurance there is. Doctors love insurance. That’s why it now costs something over $20,000 just to deliver a baby.

    “You now have to buy a policy which covers acupuncture yoga sessions to treat feelings of uneasiness, which means you’ll be paying 2x what you should be paying, for higher deductibles.”

    did an adult really write this? why not point out some of the good too?

    Eliminating choice is not good. The HSA plans they offered before were more than adequate, but now those plans are gone.

    It will be very interesting to see the net change in the number of insured. I suspect that we’ll see a lot of people drop coverage because they can no longer afford it, offsetting those who get Obamacare for a subsidized rate because either they don’t make much money or they lie on their income tax returns.

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  27. pfft

    Junk health insurance
    Stingy plans may be worse than none at all
    http://www.consumerreports.org/cro/magazine/2012/03/junk-health-insurance/index.htm

    wrong again Kary.

    “Doctors love insurance. That’s why it now costs something over $20,000 just to deliver a baby.”

    source please.

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  28. pfft

    By pfft @ 22:

    By Blurtman @ 8:
    RE: pfft @ 7 have the gaul to lecture a country that hasn’t even engaged in the often lauded women and children killing shock and awe overwhelming use of force.

    uuhhhhh…

    what I meant by this was think about this post and maybe use the google machine?

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  29. Kary L. Krismer

    By pfft @ 27:

    Junk health insurance
    Stingy plans may be worse than none at all
    http://www.consumerreports.org/cro/magazine/2012/03/junk-health-insurance/index.htm

    wrong again Kary.

    “Doctors love insurance. That’s why it now costs something over $20,000 just to deliver a baby.”

    source please.

    Learn to read. That CR article does not cover the HSA policies I specifically mentioned.

    As to the cost of delivering a baby, I understated it. Average $32,000, more for Caesarean. Up 300% in 10 years. Do you think that would have happened but for insurance?

    http://www.nbcnews.com/nightly-news/price-giving-birth-rises-even-higher-n44561

    Info 35 seconds in.

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  30. Kary L. Krismer

    pfft, since you seem to be back, you had some questions last week about Obama and drones. Here was my answer:

    By Kary L. Krismer @ 42:

    RE: pfft @ 41 – I realize that your memory sucks and that you never really did hang out in the political thread, but more details have been provided in the past. I switched to making the comments in the open threads because only Blurtman and I seem to be reading the political thread.

    But if you want more meat I’d suggest reading posts 121, 171 and 254 of the political thread. I didn’t review page 1 of that thread, but page 2 has a lot of discussion of drones in general, with Losh taking the position that Obama can blow up whatever he wants because Obama is the greatest President of all time and forever, Blurtman not seeming to want any of it, and me in the middle but firmly opposed to being able to deliberately kill American citizens regardless of whether or not they are on US Soil.

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  31. pfft

    By Kary L. Krismer @ 29:

    By pfft @ 27:
    Junk health insurance
    Stingy plans may be worse than none at all
    http://www.consumerreports.org/cro/magazine/2012/03/junk-health-insurance/index.htm

    wrong again Kary.

    “Doctors love insurance. That’s why it now costs something over $20,000 just to deliver a baby.”

    source please.

    Learn to read. That CR article does not cover the HSA policies I specifically mentioned.

    As to the cost of delivering a baby, I understated it. Average $32,000, more for Caesarean. Up 300% in 10 years. Do you think that would have happened but for insurance?

    http://www.nbcnews.com/nightly-news/price-giving-birth-rises-even-higher-n44561

    Info 35 seconds in.

    source please!

    you keep shifting the goalposts. you provided no sources and then you magically swithced the conversation to the higher c-section. my head is spinning.

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  32. pfft

    And Kary it doesn’t seem like it matters about HSA specific policies.

    Before health reform, companies could sell plans that didn’t cover all types of medical care.

    http://www.consumerreports.org/cro/2012/09/understanding-health-insurance/index.htm

    junk subprime insurance indeed.

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  33. Blurtman

    RE: pfft @ 28 – Not sure what you mean. I have posted a link numerous times to a Lancet publication from Johns Hopkins epidemiologists estimating that 100,000 mostly women and children were vaporized in the aerial bombardment during the initial stages of the invasion of Iraq. Shock and awe. And as we all know, the man responsible for this murder laughed about it. And so the Secretary of State of such a country has no credibility lecturing Russia about its activities in the Ukraine. Think about it – a recent past US president has to be concerned about traveling outside of the USA for fear of being apprehended as a war criminal. And so he whiles away his time creating insipid art, and flinging his feces around his cell.

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  34. Kary L. KRISMER

    RE: Blurtman @ 33 – pfft never accepts any proof. Today’s posts are proof of that. He asks for a source and then rejects it because it gives more proof than what he asked
    for. And if it doesn’t fit the propaganda that he’s fallen for hook line and sinker, he claims some other source says something it doesn’t.

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  35. pfft

    By Blurtman @ 33:

    RE: pfft @ 28 – Not sure what you mean. I have posted a link numerous times to a Lancet publication from Johns Hopkins epidemiologists estimating that 100,000 mostly women and children were vaporized in the aerial bombardment during the initial stages of the invasion of Iraq. Shock and awe. And as we all know, the man responsible for this murder laughed about it. And so the Secretary of State of such a country has no credibility lecturing Russia about its activities in the Ukraine. Think about it – a recent past US president has to be concerned about traveling outside of the USA for fear of being apprehended as a war criminal. And so he whiles away his time creating insipid art, and flinging his feces around his cell.

    I guess you haven’t been paying attention to Russian current events…

    “And so the Secretary of State of such a country has no credibility lecturing Russia about its activities in the Ukraine”

    The President wasn’t in Congress at the time and actually gave a speech urging Congress not to vote for the war.

    http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=99591469

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  36. pfft

    By Kary L. KRISMER @ 34:

    RE: Blurtman @ 33 – pfft never accepts any proof. Today’s posts are proof of that. He asks for a source and then rejects it because it gives more proof than what he asked
    for. And if it doesn’t fit the propaganda that he’s fallen for hook line and sinker, he claims some other source says something it doesn’t.

    propaganda? ha ha! good one kary.

    what exactly is you beef here?

    “Obamacare pretty much wiped out your options–at least any of the good ones.”

    here is the thing. junk policies are no longer offered. the only thing I can see beyond that is that if you want an HSA account you can’t use HSA money until after the deductible is exhausted. cat plans are garbage.

    I posted the wrong link last time

    Why can’t I add to my HSA with my new health insurance plan?
    http://www.consumerreports.org/cro/news/2013/11/health-spending-accounts-and-the-new-health-care-law/index.htm

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  37. pfft

    “I have posted a link numerous times to a Lancet publication from Johns Hopkins epidemiologists estimating that 100,000 mostly women and children were vaporized in the aerial bombardment during the initial stages of the invasion of Iraq.”

    I think you are wrong on that. I remember a report like that and I am pretty sure that it was over a period of years not in the initial stages.

    Just googled it. It wasn’t during the shock and awe period. it was over a year. If I remember correctly it wasn’t just from violence but from indirect deaths due to stuff like lack of electricity, clean water and etc.

    http://www.thelancet.com/journals/lancet/article/PIIS0140-6736(06)69491-9/abstract

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  38. Dr Rick

    By Kary L. Krismer @ 20:

    By Dr Rick @ 17:
    RE: wreckingbull @ 2

    Really good question. Start with the State Exchange but really look at their different offerings. As the ACA adherence increases as time goes by, I think the state exchanges will be more and more attractive. I could be wrong, but really look closely at them.

    Fel Temp Reparatio

    What’s your theory on that change over time? My theory was the opposite since the exchange people will more likely be less healthy people.

    I would note though that both of our theories would depend on company X (say Regence) maintaining separate pools for exchange and non-exchange, and I’m not sure they do.

    It’s all hazy but the exchange pools are among the groups most directly linked to providing an ACA compliant product (with caveats). And yes, there are separate exchange and non exchange offerings by the same companies.
    The private companies, such as Regence, are allowed to grandfather their non ACA compliant offerings, but as they add new ones they must be ACA complaint. So, I see most plans trending towards the ACA standards over time. The state ones will initially be the most affordable, or at least offer more affordable, Bronze, plans.
    Having written this, I am not even close to being certain about a lot of this, and I am in the field. The original ACA has been interpreted and re regulated by executive orders and lots of requirements (eg employers mandates) have been delayed or changed.
    The overwhelming trend is towards expanded coverage with risk shifted to the health care providers and to the individual (non employment based) individual. So far, the insurance companies have done OK. The health care providers are increasingly asked to provide care for a population at a fixed payment regardless of the cost to provide that care, and many individuals (not all) have had sticker shock at the new premiums.
    Personally, I see this process as inevitable to provide care to more people with some attempt to contain costs. There are many, many problems with the new ACA structure, but for it to fail would be very high on the chaos risk scale.
    Sorry to take up this much bandwidth for those whose eyes glass over at all of this. Welcome to the new era of healthcare.
    Fel Temp Reparatio

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  39. Blurtman

    RE: pfft @ 38 – So there are two relevant Lancet Johns Hopkins articles measuring mortality in Iraq. The first to which I alluded to is by Burnham et al Volume 364 November 20 2004. Page 1857: “An excess of mortality of 100,00 deaths or more have happened since the 2003 invasion of Iraq. Violence accounted or most of the deaths, and airstrikes from coalition forces accounted for most violent deaths. Most individuals reportedly killed by coalition forces were women and children.” http://download.thelancet.com/pdfs/journals/lancet/PIIS0140673604174412.pdf?id=aaa_CCrsdhJD7aVcQ7vsu

    The reference you cite is from Lancet, Roberts et al Volume 368, October 21, 2006. It is a follow-up to the first publication, and continues the analysis during the ongoing war. Page 1421:”The number of people dying in Iraq has continued to escalate. The proportion of deaths ascribed to coalition forces has diminished in 2006, although the actual numbers have increased every year.”

    With regards to Obama’s voting record, he did not vote on the resolution to authorize the Iraq war as he was not a US Senator at the time. Kerry and Biden voted yes.

    And he appointed a known torturer and assassin, Stanley McChrystal, as his commander in Afghanistan. Among McChrystal’s many talents was a despicable cover up of the assassination of American hero Pat Tillman.

    Sorry, but Obama sucks. Hillary sucks. And America has fallen far from grace, and is in no position to lecture anyone.

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  40. Kary L. Krismer

    By pfft @ 37:

    here is the thing. junk policies are no longer offered. the only thing I can see beyond that is that if you want an HSA account you can’t use HSA money until after the deductible is exhausted. cat plans are garbage.

    I posted the wrong link last time

    Why can’t I add to my HSA with my new health insurance plan?
    http://www.consumerreports.org/cro/news/2013/11/health-spending-accounts-and-the-new-health-care-law/index.htm

    Now you’re just making things up and proving you don’t know what you’re talking about.

    Of course you can use the HSA money before the deductible is used up. You can even use it for things which are not covered (e.g. vision care if you don’t have vision coverage.) The link you just posted showed why the policy mentioned wasn’t HSA qualified. The HSA plans from 2-7 years ago were good plans, and HSA plans still exist, but they are not much more expensive because the politicians got suckered by the doctors and/or are idiots and don’t realize that fewer people will buy more expensive plans.

    Your ignorance of health care is huge. I prove you to that the cost of delivering a baby is over the $22,000 I quoted, and then point out the Caesarean cost even more so that that type of a procedure is not a factor in the stats, and you claim I’m “moving the goal posts.” You have no understanding of why that cost rose 300% in the past 10 years, even though I’ve probably explained it to you 1000 times. It’s insurance. Without insurance you wouldn’t see such high charges for what is basically an event the human body was designed to do.

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  41. Kary L. Krismer

    RE: Dr Rick @ 39 – Thank you for the explanation.

    FYI the grandfathered policies are largely non-existent because Obamacare required changes before 2014 to polities and the policies can only be grandfathered if there were not changes to them prior to the changes that Obamacare required. If you dig back deep enough there’s a post I did early on where my Regence 2,500 deductible policy went away because of changes required by Obamacare and I had to get a $3,500 deductible policy. That’s when my right to a grandfathered policy disappeared, and that was probably at least two years ago. So the only way a plan could be grandfathered is if it somehow complied in advance with all of the changes Obamacare required early on, and that would likely be mere happenstance.

    The situation is a bit different for businesses, where some renewed their 2013 policies early, and can get them still in 2014 (and maybe now 2015). But that also is somewhat of an illusion because Washington’s Insurance Commissioner won’t allow it.

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  42. pfft

    By Blurtman @ 40:

    RE: pfft @ 38With regards to Obama’s voting record, he did not vote on the resolution to authorize the Iraq war as he was not a US Senator at the time.

    Oh no you don’t! Don’t try to say but others did in his admin. First of all we were all lied too. Second of all Obama ran and won on an anti-Iraw war platform. He gave a speech against the war. John Kerry and Joe Biden don’t have a foreign policy. Obama does. No matter who is speaking they are speaking for Obama and nobody else!

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  43. pfft

    By Kary L. Krismer @ 41:

    By pfft @ 37:
    here is the thing. junk policies are no longer offered. the only thing I can see beyond that is that if you want an HSA account you can’t use HSA money until after the deductible is exhausted. cat plans are garbage.

    I posted the wrong link last time

    Why can’t I add to my HSA with my new health insurance plan?
    http://www.consumerreports.org/cro/news/2013/11/health-spending-accounts-and-the-new-health-care-law/index.htm

    Now you’re just making things up and proving you don’t know what you’re talking about.

    Of course you can use the HSA money before the deductible is used up. You can even use it for things which are not covered (e.g. vision care if you don’t have vision coverage.) The link you just posted showed why the policy mentioned wasn’t HSA qualified. The HSA plans from 2-7 years ago were good plans, and HSA plans still exist, but they are not much more expensive because the politicians got suckered by the doctors and/or are idiots and don’t realize that fewer people will buy more expensive plans.

    Your ignorance of health care is huge. I prove you to that the cost of delivering a baby is over the $22,000 I quoted, and then point out the Caesarean cost even more so that that type of a procedure is not a factor in the stats, and you claim I’m “moving the goal posts.” You have no understanding of why that cost rose 300% in the past 10 years, even though I’ve probably explained it to you 1000 times. It’s insurance. Without insurance you wouldn’t see such high charges for what is basically an event the human body was designed to do.

    you are moving the goal posts. first it was average. now it’s over. now you are adding in c-sections suddenly. I’ll watch that video later but I saw it on the news the other night and it didn’t say anything about insurance being the culprit. please link an article saying insurance is the cause. Also don’t do your usual spiel about how it’s just simple economics.

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  44. Kary L. Krismer

    I said:

    By Kary L. Krismer @ 26:

    No. But the doctors who helped write Obamacare would like you to think that because they make more money the more insurance there is. Doctors love insurance. That’s why it now costs something over $20,000 just to deliver a baby.

    You asked for a source, so I said:

    By Kary L. Krismer @ 29:

    As to the cost of delivering a baby, I understated it. Average $32,000, more for Caesarean. Up 300% in 10 years. Do you think that would have happened but for insurance?

    http://www.nbcnews.com/nightly-news/price-giving-birth-rises-even-higher-n44561

    Info 35 seconds in.

    So my source indicates that it was in fact more than what I said. That works in my favor, in case that’s too difficult for you to understand. And the fact that it doesn’t include the more expensive type of child birth also works in my favor.

    I am not moving the goal posts I am proving my assertions. You’re just too dense to understand simple English. Do you happen to know your IQ? Is it over 80? I’d be shocked. This isn’t complex stuff. The Consumer Reports stuff is written to be understood at the high school level, but you still can’t even understand that.

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  45. Kary L. Krismer

    By pfft @ 43:

    By Blurtman @ 40:
    RE: pfft @ 38With regards to Obama’s voting record, he did not vote on the resolution to authorize the Iraq war as he was not a US Senator at the time.

    Oh no you don’t! Don’t try to say but others did in his admin. First of all we were all lied too!

    You really need to take a remedial course in English. Being wrong isn’t a lie. An example of a lie is Obama claiming that we could keep our existing insurance when he knew that wasn’t true.

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  46. pfft

    By Kary L. Krismer @ 46:

    By pfft @ 43:
    By Blurtman @ 40:
    RE: pfft @ 38With regards to Obama’s voting record, he did not vote on the resolution to authorize the Iraq war as he was not a US Senator at the time.

    Oh no you don’t! Don’t try to say but others did in his admin. First of all we were all lied too!

    You really need to take a remedial course in English. Being wrong isn’t a lie. An example of a lie is Obama claiming that we could keep our existing insurance when he knew that wasn’t true.

    not really following you. Many voted for the Iraq war because they believed what Bush said about the dangers of Saddam’s WMD program. All of those claims turned out to be false. They were wrong because they were lied to.

    “An example of a lie is Obama claiming that we could keep our existing insurance when he knew that wasn’t true.”

    True, he should have said most of you could keep your plans. Subprime insurance is as bad as subprime loans but you seem to love them. Republicans lie all the time about Obamacare but you don’t seem to care. The plans they put forward do the same things but often are worse.

    New GOP Plan Makes Everything They Hate About Obamacare Even Worse
    http://talkingpointsmemo.com/dc/gop-obamacare-alternative-disruption

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  47. Kary L. Krismer

    RE: pfft @ 47 – Who are you claiming lied? Bush, the Iraqi government? Clearly the Iraqi government tried to make it appear that they had WMD, but usually when a “lie” claim is asserted people usually mean Bush, Powell, Rumsfeld, etc.

    And get off the insurance policies being sub-prime because you fell for BS from politicians. The policies cancelled are not all sub-prime, and probably very few of them were. That claim only true if you equate sub-prime with not meeting the standards of Obamacare. They’re using a truism to justify continuing to lie to the American people. The HSA policies were fine. People were not complaining about them. Consumer Reports was not complaining about them. The covered you for virtually anything that isn’t nonsense (e.g. acupuncture), but they did have a lifetime limit, typically $3M.

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  48. Erik

    RE: The Tim @ 35
    Pretty funny that he called you a woman and then told you to grow up. He seems to be the one that needs to grow up here.

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  49. Blurtman

    RE: pfft @ 43 – No, no, no. Kerry voted for the war, and is now lecturing the Rooskies about a logarithmically less murderous incursion. No standing to be telling others what to do. Big fail.

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  50. Blurtman

    RE: pfft @ 47 – Anyone with half a brain cell knew that the rationale for invading Iraq was a bunch of hooey. And I am told that Kerry and Hillary each have two brain cells between them, so they knew the rationale was pure hokum.

    Face it, in order to counter the quite tangible perception that the Democrats were weak on defense, women and children in Iraq had to be slaughtered. Yes, Hillary chose to kill women and children so that she could strengthen her political career.

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  51. Kary L. Krismer

    RE: Blurtman @ 51 – At first I thought Hillary might have ruined her career with the comment comparing Putin to Hitler. As a general rule, raising the Hitler argument is a loser. A politician doing it is even worse, particularly one who wants to become President. But this time she’s not entirely off base. Beyond the land grab you have the world economies struggling to come out of a recession (or depression). You have the 1936 Summer Olympics vs. the 2014 Winter Olympics. During those Olympics you have race superiority versus gay rights. Seemingly all that’s missing is a 1930s German girl band that gave Hilter crap! I wonder if the von Trapp family is close enough? ;-)

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  52. pfft

    By Kary L. Krismer @ 45:

    I said:

    By Kary L. Krismer @ 26:

    No. But the doctors who helped write Obamacare would like you to think that because they make more money the more insurance there is. Doctors love insurance. That’s why it now costs something over $20,000 just to deliver a baby.

    You asked for a source, so I said:

    By Kary L. Krismer @ 29:

    As to the cost of delivering a baby, I understated it. Average $32,000, more for Caesarean. Up 300% in 10 years. Do you think that would have happened but for insurance?

    http://www.nbcnews.com/nightly-news/price-giving-birth-rises-even-higher-n44561

    Info 35 seconds in.

    So my source indicates that it was in fact more than what I said. That works in my favor, in case that’s too difficult for you to understand. And the fact that it doesn’t include the more expensive type of child birth also works in my favor.

    I am not moving the goal posts I am proving my assertions. You’re just too dense to understand simple English. Do you happen to know your IQ? Is it over 80? I’d be shocked. This isn’t complex stuff. The Consumer Reports stuff is written to be understood at the high school level, but you still can’t even understand that.

    “Doctors love insurance. That’s why it now costs something over $20,000 just to deliver a baby.”

    they don’t say that! also during the video: “there is no rhyme or reason for pricing.” it doesn’t say health insurance is the cause. health insurance wasn’t invented 10 years ago. more people have become uninsured over the last tens years away so that defeats your position.

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  53. pfft

    By Kary L. Krismer @ 48:

    RE: pfft @ 47 – Who are you claiming lied? Bush, the Iraqi government? Clearly the Iraqi government tried to make it appear that they had WMD, but usually when a “lie” claim is asserted people usually mean Bush, Powell, Rumsfeld, etc.

    And get off the insurance policies being sub-prime because you fell for BS from politicians. The policies cancelled are not all sub-prime, and probably very few of them were. That claim only true if you equate sub-prime with not meeting the standards of Obamacare. They’re using a truism to justify continuing to lie to the American people. The HSA policies were fine. People were not complaining about them. Consumer Reports was not complaining about them. The covered you for virtually anything that isn’t nonsense (e.g. acupuncture), but they did have a lifetime limit, typically $3M.

    just because people aren’t complaining about their policies doesn’t mean they are good. you know who like those policies? people who aren’t sick.

    go right ahead though and defend them. if you like your car with defective breaks you can keep your car with defective breaks. your car that easily rolls over, keep it says kary!

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  54. pfft

    By Blurtman @ 50:

    RE: pfft @ 43 – No, no, no. Kerry voted for the war, and is now lecturing the Rooskies about a logarithmically less murderous incursion. No standing to be telling others what to do. Big fail.

    Kerry doesn’t set US policy. He works for Obama. He implements Obama’s foreign policy vision not the other way around. Yes he voted for the war, he was lied too by the Bush admin. We don’t really know if he would have voted for the war w/o false intel. that doesn’t matter though he is no longer a Senator. He probably doesn’t even agree 100% with Obama but that is not his job. Like the Russians have never invaded a country before? For god’s sakes Putin was KGB.

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  55. pfft

    By Blurtman @ 51:

    RE: pfft @ 47 – Anyone with half a brain cell knew that the rationale for invading Iraq was a bunch of hooey. And I am told that Kerry and Hillary each have two brain cells between them, so they knew the rationale was pure hokum.

    Face it, in order to counter the quite tangible perception that the Democrats were weak on defense, women and children in Iraq had to be slaughtered. Yes, Hillary chose to kill women and children so that she could strengthen her political career.

    how do you know why they voted? John Kerry certainly didn’t, he was a genuine war hero. Didn’t Republicans vote the same way then? How did Obama get elected then?

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  56. Kary L. Krismer

    By pfft @ 53:

    “Doctors love insurance. That’s why it now costs something over $20,000 just to deliver a baby.”

    they don’t say that!

    No, I said that, as should have been obvious since it wasn’t in quotes and since I had not provided any source in that post. You didn’t expressly answer my question about whether your IQ is above 80, but thank you for providing the answer.

    also during the video: “there is no rhyme or reason for pricing.” it doesn’t say health insurance is the cause. health insurance wasn’t invented 10 years ago. more people have become uninsured over the last tens years away so that defeats your position.

    For the 1,000th time, people not in the market don’t affect the price of a product. It’s the people who have insurance that affect the price of services.

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  57. Kary L. Krismer

    By pfft @ 54:

    just because people aren’t complaining about their policies doesn’t mean they are good. you know who like those policies? people who aren’t sick.

    go right ahead though and defend them. if you like your car with defective breaks you can keep your car with defective breaks. your car that easily rolls over, keep it says kary!

    How about we go about this a different way. Prior to Obamacare you couldn’t buy a high deductible policy that cost anywhere near what the Obamacare policies cost. The reasons that the Obamacare policies are so expensive are:

    1. They mandate even more types of needless coverage than probably even the worst state (and by worst I mean the states that had the most expensive policies because they mandated the most types of coverage).
    2. They force men to subsidize coverage for women and younger people to subsidize coverage for older people, rather than actually having the policies be risk based, because that is so unfair! /sarc
    3. They force people who were responsible to pay for those who for one reason or another were not playing the insurance game before.
    4. They force people to be covered for annual exams and such (again because doctors think that is great, but it’s as absurd as getting dental insurance if you have any level of savings at all).

    And they are so expensive, even though a lot of them don’t cover many doctors (another of Obama’s lies).

    So basically you now have a product that no one previously wanted that is much more expensive than what most people would typically want to pay (assuming you’re not lower income or lie on your taxes). Great legislation. /sarc

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  58. Blurtman

    3. They force people who were responsible to pay for those who for one reason or another were not playing the insurance game before. – When the uninsured finally seek medical help, the costs of medical care are transmitted to others to pay. Of course we can tell the sick who cannot pay that they are SOL. That already happens in some respects with regards with to very expensive care being denied to non-citizens. I suggest a continual culling of society with a removal of the non-competitive types. Hmmmm….let’s start another war.
    4. They force people to be covered for annual exams and such (again because doctors think that is great, but it’s as absurd as getting dental insurance if you have any level of savings at all). – If we have any hope at all to control medical costs, preventative care has to be part of the picture. Ultimately, reproduction must be tied to an analysis of the potential outcomes of the recombination of genes of the involved parties. If it appears that offspring will not benefit society, reproduction should be banned.

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  59. Kary L. Krismer

    RE: Blurtman @ 59 – As to the first point, the issue is the size of the pool. You can get away with pre-existing conditions for large pools, like employer based healthcare plans. We’ve done that for years, if not decades (although typically with a six month waiting period). The private policy pools are much smaller, so the impact on them is huge. My position on the past on this issue is that if the government wants this covered, they should spread the cost across a larger pool–all taxpayers. Don’t just hit a small group who was previously acting responsibly.

    As to the second point, you’re missing the point entirely. High deducible plans are for people who can afford to pay their own minor medical bills. And a high deductible HSA account is setup specifically for people to put money away to pay for such things. Having basic medical needs covered by a high deductible plan makes absolutely no sense from an insurance point of view, because you’re mixing apples and oranges, but Obamacare was written by people with zero understanding of insurance.

    Beyond that bizarre mix, however, there are things you should insure for and things you should not insure for. Specifically:

    1. Low cost-high probability. Don’t insure.
    2. High cost-low probability. Insure.

    An annual physical is clearly in the first grouping, at least for the group I mentioned (people with a decent level of savings). It’s absurd for that group to insure for such items, and even more absurd for the government to force those people to insure for such items. It shows a total ignorance of insurance that Obamacare has such provisions.

    Fortunately this second issue doesn’t impact me greatly because I’m now at an age where I need a prescription renewed every year, which means I need to see a doctor every year. So the extra cost to me is merely the processing cost of the insurance company. That’s probably something like $30 a year, so not a huge deal. If I didn’t need to see the doctor (or didn’t want to) the extra cost would probably be about $30 a month, or more. Edit: I take that back. I would be much better off having it not covered and being able to pay for it out of my HSA account. Those are non-taxed dollars. Yet another example of the Obamacare drafters not understanding basic concepts.

    Part of the reason Americans are so out of touch with insurance issues is they’re used to having someone else pay for their insurance. Dental insurance is a good example of that. If not provided by employers very few people would have dental insurance.

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  60. Blurtman

    “My position on the past on this issue is that if the government wants this covered, they should spread the cost across a larger pool–all taxpayers. Don’t just hit a small group who was previously acting responsibly.”

    Agitating for national health insurance, eh? That be the largest possible pool.

    “And a high deductible HSA account is setup specifically for people to put money away to pay for such things.” Policy intent versus actual use, or insurance arbitrage. Some folks might hedge their bets and get the high deductible policy to cover a serious health event, and not take care of the minor things at all until they result i a serious health event. Others will likely continue on as before, and raise the middle finger to the penalties.

    “1. Low cost-high probability. Don’t insure.
    2. High cost-low probability. Insure.”

    Sounds good theoretically….

    “Part of the reason Americans are so out of touch with (fill in the blank) is they’re used to having someone else pay for (fill in the blank.)

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  61. pfft

    By Kary L. Krismer @ 58:

    By pfft @ 54:
    just because people aren’t complaining about their policies doesn’t mean they are good. you know who like those policies? people who aren’t sick.

    go right ahead though and defend them. if you like your car with defective breaks you can keep your car with defective breaks. your car that easily rolls over, keep it says kary!

    How about we go about this a different way. Prior to Obamacare you couldn’t buy a high deductible policy that cost anywhere near what the Obamacare policies cost. The reasons that the Obamacare policies are so expensive are:

    1. They mandate even more types of needless coverage than probably even the worst state (and by worst I mean the states that had the most expensive policies because they mandated the most types of coverage).
    2. They force men to subsidize coverage for women and younger people to subsidize coverage for older people, rather than actually having the policies be risk based, because that is so unfair! /sarc
    3. They force people who were responsible to pay for those who for one reason or another were not playing the insurance game before.
    4. They force people to be covered for annual exams and such (again because doctors think that is great, but it’s as absurd as getting dental insurance if you have any level of savings at all).

    And they are so expensive, even though a lot of them don’t cover many doctors (another of Obama’s lies).

    So basically you now have a product that no one previously wanted that is much more expensive than what most people would typically want to pay (assuming you’re not lower income or lie on your taxes). Great legislation. /sarc

    short kary. if you like your subprime insurance you can keep your subprime insurance. if you like your junk insurance you can keep it. if you like your subprime insurance you can keep it.

    buying subprime insurance is not being responsible. it means you are an idiot. when you get sick you’ll have a pre-existing condition and won’t get insurance unless you are rich or your employer covers you. Your employer will only cover you because the government mandates they do so if your employer wants a tax credit.

    “They mandate even more types of needless coverage than probably even the worst state”

    good god.

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  62. pfft

    Kary says if you like your LSD tainted wal-mart food you can keep it!

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  63. pfft

    Let’s talk about how HSA’s are basically a joke. It’s pushed by pols who don’t understand that a lot of people don’t have enough money to have a separate savings account for healthcare spending. Implicit is that if you couldn’t pay your health bills it’s your fault as you can save tax free. you wouldn’t want to give those freeloaders free healthcare would you? they have new cell phones!

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  64. Kary L. Krismer

    By pfft @ 62:

    “They mandate even more types of needless coverage than probably even the worst state”

    good god.

    If you can’t understand that basic concept, I don’t know what to say.

    In many states, including Washington, for years politicians mandated more and more coverage. And then they became upset when insurance premiums rose over X%. The problem? The politicians didn’t understand that the changes they were requiring was making insurance more and more expensive. You suffer from the same problem.

    And for the 1001st time, just because you or a politician calls something subprime, that doesn’t make it so. As I explained, there was no product as expensive as Obmacare insurance before, because no one wanted it and no one would buy it! How hard is that to understand? There were some crap policies before, but that didn’t include anything sold by Regence, Blue Shield, etc.

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  65. Kary L. Krismer

    By pfft @ 64:

    Let’s talk about how HSA’s are basically a joke. It’s pushed by pols who don’t understand that a lot of people don’t have enough money to have a separate savings account for healthcare spending. Implicit is that if you couldn’t pay your health bills it’s your fault as you can save tax free. you wouldn’t want to give those freeloaders free healthcare would you? they have new cell phones!

    Wow, the ignorance shown there is beyond measurement. HSAs are for people who are financially stable. They have the income and the assets to be able to handle a high deductible policy, and create a separate savings account. The legislation setting up HSAs encouraged them to take that option because there are a lot of benefits to society of high deductible policies for those who could take that option. No they aren’t for the person working at Walmart. No one claimed that they were. But they made a lot more sense for such people than a traditional policy as anyone who understands basic insurance concepts would know.

    In contrast, check out the Obamacare policies. They basically force high deductible policies on a lot more people, for the most part regardless of their financial standing. If you don’t like HSAs because people can’t afford to have savings to pay for the deductibles, you should hate Obamacare! But you’ve been brainwashed by your hero Obama, who has admitted to lying about Obamacare. But that doesn’t stop you from believing the other things he has said about Obamacare. Gullible much? What are you going to take on next? IRAs? They’re very similar to HSA accounts, so they too must be bad, right?

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  66. Kary L. Krismer

    By Blurtman @ 61:

    Agitating for national health insurance, eh? That be the largest possible pool.

    Isn’t that what Medicare and Medicaid basically are? And as a practical matter, wasn’t the government picking up a lot of the costs of the uninsured anyway? Obamacare is just a scheme to switch that spending from government and onto the backs of employers and private parties buying insurance.

    “And a high deductible HSA account is setup specifically for people to put money away to pay for such things.” Policy intent versus actual use, or insurance arbitrage. Some folks might hedge their bets and get the high deductible policy to cover a serious health event, and not take care of the minor things at all until they result i a serious health event.

    Just because an annual physical is covered that doesn’t mean the person will go to see the doctor. I agree preventative care is a good thing, and I agree that having it covered will get some people to go to the doctor every year. But that still doesn’t change the fact that for people who can afford to have HSA accounts, having a free annual physical is financially stupid. And as for the decision process of such people, taking the money from and HSA account or having the insurance company pay for it is practically the same thing at the dollar levels of the cost of a physical.

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  67. Macro Investor

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 66 – Hey, Krismer… you’re supposed to be a smart guy, right? How about stop feeding the d@mn troll.

    Thanks in advance from all of us.

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  68. Macro Investor

    By wreckingbull @ 2:

    I know we have RE agents and small business owners on this blog, who likely buy their own health insurance. I am retiring in May, and still have decades before Medicare (if it even exists then) Any tips for finding a good catastrophic plan? Use the state exchange or private broker? Probably would have been best to put it off another year until the Obamacare fiasco settles a bit, but the die has been cast and I am doing this. Mr. Money Mustache made me do it, so I blame him.

    Think outside the box and shop around. You won’t get anything decent at a reasonable cost from the gov exchange. Does that surprise you :)

    I know someone local who works for a Vermont-based company. The company provides a blue cross of VT plan that uses the same WA provider network, at around HALF THE COST. If you have expensive meds, figure out how to get them from Canada. Look out of state and be creative.

    Also, if you are retired, then your income may be very low or zero. You would qualify for large discounts from the exchanges. Savings don’t count in their math. They assume if you have no current income, then you are poor. Typical stupid gov thinking, but you should use every advantage you can find.

    Shop around for doctors while you are healthy. Most charge around $300 for an office visit. One near me charges $109. Is there a difference in quality? Doubtful. You largely influence your own quality of care by researching the issue and coming to the doctor prepared to discuss it rationally.

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  69. Blurtman

    “Isn’t that what Medicare and Medicaid basically are? And as a practical matter, wasn’t the government picking up a lot of the costs of the uninsured anyway? ”

    According to the hospital industry propaganda, the insured were paying for the uninsured via $100 aspirin, for example. So that’s what I don’t understand about Obamacare. The cost of your insurance was artificially high to cover the cost of the uninsured, but now that Obamacare has the uninsured covered, your insurance costs are not going down, but up. What? And as you know, Medicare and Medicaid are not for everyone. But if you argue that it should be, than it is essentially national health insurance for everyone.

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  70. Kary L. Krismer

    RE: Macro Investor @ 68 – Good idea. It’s hard though not to respond to stupidity.

    RE: Blurtman @ 70 – I would argue the $100 aspirin is the result of insurance, and would be there regardless of anyone else not paying. It’s like the shot situation I mentioned over a year ago. If you go to the main Mason Clinic downtown (their main doctor clinic, where your doctor would practice), and the doctor gives you a shot, they will charge you something like $95 for the room on top of the shot. It’s a “hospital charge” because the clinic is physically attached to the hospital. If you go to one of their local clinics, then you don’t get that charge. People who have traditional insurance don’t notice or care about such a charge.

    I think I’ve hit on the three main reasons that the insurance rates are going up, but there could be more: (1) More mandated types of coverage (the main reason some states used to be more expensive than others); (2) A pool of insured with more questionable health status; and (3) No lifetime caps. This third one is huge, because with insurance we now have some drugs which cost $175,000 a month! Without insurance the price would be much lower. Do the math on how many customers an insurance company has to have who pay $400 a month, to cover one patient who costs them $175,000 a month.

    What amazes me is pfft was pointing to articles almost a year ago where the officials were happy because the policy rates were coming in below what they expected! WTF were they expecting? And if they expected rates even this high, how did they expect to get a lot of paying customers signing up? Even the rates for young people are outrageous. It will be interesting to see the change in percent covered, and if possible, the number of people who went from covered to uncovered because they couldn’t afford the extra expense.

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  71. Blurtman

    For a healthy dose of schadenfreude, I offer this collection of litanies of student loan hell: http://projectonstudentdebt.org/voices_list.php?page=2&page=5

    Stories of folks who may be paying off student loans from the grave. Lots of bad planning, childlike reasoning, refusals to take responsibility, health issues, and sleazy school sales tactics. An interesting slice of what America really is.

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