Weekly Open Thread (2014-03-31)

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Here is your open thread for the week of March 31st, 2014. You may post random links and off-topic discussions here. Also, if you have an idea or a topic you’d like to see covered in an article, please make it known.

Note: The comment limit in open threads is 25 comments per person.

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NOTICE: If you have comments to make about politics or economics that do not somehow directly relate to Seattle-area real estate, they may be posted in the current Politics & Economics Open Thread.  If you post such comments here, they will be moved there.


About 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.

123 comments:

  1. 1

    Early Year 2014 National Existing Home Sales Data In

    http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/03/20/us-usa-economy-housing-idUSBREA2J15W20140320

    Its down [as bad as 2012’s data now] , I imagine the 9% YOY price increase caused this.

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  2. 2
    pfft says:

    New Analysis: 9.5 Million Uninsured People Covered Under Obamacare
    http://talkingpointsmemo.com/livewire/rand-study-obamacare-uninsured

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  3. 3

    RE: pfft @ 2

    I Read Aprroximately 70% of the Uninsured Go On Medicaid [its Called Apple Insurance in this State]

    In my book, if practically no Providers take Medicaid [Medicare too] without private insurance backup they do accept…..what good is it alone?

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  4. 4

    By pfft @ 2:

    New Analysis: 9.5 Million Uninsured People Covered Under Obamacare
    http://talkingpointsmemo.com/livewire/rand-study-obamacare-uninsured

    Actually if you look at that it’s 2 million. The medicare is just signing up for a government benefit (Medicare) and not private insurance, and the 3 million under 26 could have probably been covered on their own, absent maybe a pre-existing condition.

    2 million is almost 1% of the population. I’m underwhelmed.

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  5. 5

    “Median condo prices in San Francisco are now above $830,000, about 8.2 percent higher than the peak reached right before the economic crash in early 2008.”

    http://www.sfgate.com/realestate/article/S-F-condo-market-passes-precrash-peak-5361934.php

    Wow, the median income there must be astronomical! ;-)

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  6. 6
    pfft says:

    By Kary L. Krismer @ 4:

    By pfft @ 2:
    New Analysis: 9.5 Million Uninsured People Covered Under Obamacare
    http://talkingpointsmemo.com/livewire/rand-study-obamacare-uninsured

    Actually if you look at that it’s 2 million. The medicare is just signing up for a government benefit (Medicare) and not private insurance, and the 3 million under 26 could have probably been covered on their own, absent maybe a pre-existing condition.

    2 million is almost 1% of the population. I’m underwhelmed.

    Obamacare expanded medicare. Some states opted out and people aren’t covered. Remember the Supreme Court said that the states could be made to expand medicare?

    Almost 8 million more people would be covered if states expanding medicare. Estimates say 7,000 to 17,000 needless deaths will occur because states won’t expand medicare.

    http://www.dailykos.com/story/2014/03/30/1287923/-GOP-s-Obamacare-spite-means-death-toll-for-red-states

    You guys might as well say that zero people got covered by Obamacare because that’s really what you want the number to be.

    “The medicare is just signing up for a government benefit (Medicare) and not private insurance”

    wrong.

    “and the 3 million under 26 could have probably been covered on their own, absent maybe a pre-existing condition.”

    you are making a leap there.

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  7. 7
    Blurtman says:

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 4 – But isn’t it Obamacare that enables these folks to now access Medicare? If so, you are off base, once again.

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  8. 8

    RE: Blurtman @ 6 – Yes it’s part of Obamacare, but please explain why it’s necessary to screw up the healthcare of 80 percent of the population to give limited government healthcare to less than 2 percent of the population? Only pfft would think that makes any sense.

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  9. 9
    Blurtman says:

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 7 – Somebody has to pay, and it ain’t the poor, the irresponsible, or those who have the bad luck of having bad genes. My objection to unregulated immigration from poor countries is that ultimately, it robs communities of the ability to regulate their resources, and ultimately becomes a tax on those who can pay.

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  10. 10
    Blurtman says:

    In Marin real estate market, sellers explore For Sale By Owner option

    CAROLYN ROSKOWSKI is attempting to sell her Sausalito duplex herself, hoping to take advantage of Marin’s hot real estate market and save the approximately $90,000 in commissions she would normally pay to agents on the $1.52 million property.

    And Roskowski is not alone. With many Marin homes selling for more than the asking price and buyers competing for properties in bidding wars, the For Sale By Owner approach is increasingly tempting. While hard numbers are not available, such sales accounted for 9 percent of home sales in 2012 countrywide, the National Association of Realtors estimates.

    http://www.marinij.com/marinnews/ci_25443920/marin-real-estate-market-sellers-explore-sale-by

    Why shouldn’t the buyer pay his/her agent?

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  11. 11
    Blurtman says:

    Yellen Strikes Again.

    Yellen’s Real-Life Examples of Unemployed Omit Criminal Records

    http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2014-04-01/yellen-s-real-life-examples-of-unemployed-omit-criminal-records.html

    Told you. She is bad news.

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  12. 12
    wreckingbull says:

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 7 – Perhaps someone here can answer a very simple question. If a family cannot afford a plan unless they get heavy government subsidies, how are they going to handle the thousands of dollars of deductibles and out-of-pocket each year? There is no logic here. This could have the effect of actually plunging more people into bankruptcy since they now have a false sense of security.

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  13. 13

    RE: wreckingbull @ 12

    Good Question Wrecking Bull

    The answer is from my volunteer bioengineering research work for the healthcare dilemma, the last snapshot in time I heard was our hospitals are like 30% full….you know, the huge new ones they recently raised our property tax to build [in vain]. A lion’s share of Americans [insured/uninsured] can’t afford the costs even with insurance. We really don’t have dental insurance in America too [unless you pay more than just cash for treatments]….people aren’t seeing the dentists much lately either.

    The good news is the dentists are getting more competitive, i.e., the old $5-10K inplants are dropping down to like $2K at cheaper dental offices. It pays to shop around and not keep the same dentist today. Doctors too.

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  14. 14

    By Blurtman @ 9:

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 7 – Somebody has to pay, and it ain’t the poor, the irresponsible, or those who have the bad luck of having bad genes. My objection to unregulated immigration from poor countries is that ultimately, it robs communities of the ability to regulate their resources, and ultimately becomes a tax on those who can pay.

    I think you’re missing my point. Obamacare has different components. Some of them are interdependent and some of them are not. Two that are interdependent are excluding preexisting condition exceptions and the mandatory coverage mandate. One could not exist without the other.

    The expansion of Medicaid (I incorrectly typed Medicare on my tablet last night) has nothing at all to do with the insurance issue, other than the fact that they were trying to provide an alternative to insurance for people who couldn’t afford insurance. But one is not connected to the other. They could have passed this Medicaid expansion without messing in any way with insurance. The screwing up of the insurance system was not a prerequisite to expand Medicaid and the screwing up of the insurance system did not help pay for the expansion of Medicaid.

    Medicaid is a government benefit, with a few downsides which might make some who qualify reluctant to sign up, but I’ve never said it’s a bad program. But to point to more people signing up for what is basically a form of welfare as being a sign that Obamacare is succeeding would be like pointing to more people signing up for unemployment as a sign that Obama’s economic policies are succeeding. It’s absurd, but that is what pfft did. For the most part people are going to sign up if they can, so it’s just a sign that the program exists. And in the case of the expansion of Medicaid that could have happened without the rest of Obamacare.

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  15. 15

    By wreckingbull @ 12:

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 7 – Perhaps someone here can answer a very simple question. If a family cannot afford a plan unless they get heavy government subsidies, how are they going to handle the thousands of dollars of deductibles and out-of-pocket each year? There is no logic here. This could have the effect of actually plunging more people into bankruptcy since they now have a false sense of security.

    That’s actually starting to get some press. That there are high deductibles is in one way a good thing, because it mitigates the inflation concern I had somewhat. But Obamacare is nothing if not a bunch of mis-matches. I’ve mentioned before how having high deductible plans cover physicals is incredibly stupid from an insurance theory standpoint. If people can afford to pay a high deductible they don’t need help paying for a physical. But your point is the opposite of that. If they can’t afford the insurance, how can they afford a high deductible? The answer is they can’t! High deductible plans are for those who can afford high deductibles!

    But it probably isn’t as bad as it seems. They will still get the “having insurance” discount from their provider, which can be very significant depending on the procedure. And owing $5,000 is a lot more tolerable than owing $50,000. That very well could be the difference between filing bankruptcy and not filing bankruptcy.

    The question I have is the long term impact. How many people will continue to pay anything for the insurance when they understand what a deductible is? I’m now paying about $5,000 a year and the benefits paid will most likely be limited to that for seeing the doctor once.

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  16. 16
    Erik says:

    RE: wreckingbull @ 12
    Exactly. My free insurance ran out today. I have no insurance right now. I am not signing up for Obamacare. I will take the $500 fine or whatever it is. I never go to the doctor anyway. I buy expensive supplements and gym memberships instead. I haven’t needed to see a doctor in about 6 years. If I need one, I will pay out of pocket.

    Time for me to take my flax seed oil, probiotics, and drink my yerba mate.

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  17. 17
    pfft says:

    By Kary L. Krismer @ 8:

    RE: Blurtman @ 6 – Yes it’s part of Obamacare, but please explain why it’s necessary to screw up the healthcare of 80 percent of the population to give limited government healthcare to less than 2 percent of the population? Only pfft would think that makes any sense.

    newsflash, the 80% benefit just as much as the 2%. Everyone benefits. Many of the 80% only have affordable healthcare because of the employmer mandate passed by the government.

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  18. 18
    pfft says:

    By Blurtman @ 11:

    Yellen Strikes Again.

    Yellen’s Real-Life Examples of Unemployed Omit Criminal Records

    http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2014-04-01/yellen-s-real-life-examples-of-unemployed-omit-criminal-records.html

    Told you. She is bad news.

    no she isn’t. her speech was great. someone said no other Fed Chair has given a speech like that. She is for the unemployed. the worker. this is good.

    EVERYONE deserves a job. the one lady was working so a record wouldn’t matter. In a good economy even people with records would get jobs.

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  19. 19
    pfft says:

    By wreckingbull @ 12:

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 7 – Perhaps someone here can answer a very simple question. If a family cannot afford a plan unless they get heavy government subsidies, how are they going to handle the thousands of dollars of deductibles and out-of-pocket each year? There is no logic here. This could have the effect of actually plunging more people into bankruptcy since they now have a false sense of security.

    that is a very good question and one I have been wondering myself. why have a deductible at all? I guess they have protection for bills that get way out of control.

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  20. 20

    By pfft @ 17:

    By Kary L. Krismer @ 8:
    RE: Blurtman @ 6 – Yes it’s part of Obamacare, but please explain why it’s necessary to screw up the healthcare of 80 percent of the population to give limited government healthcare to less than 2 percent of the population? Only pfft would think that makes any sense.

    newsflash, the 80% benefit just as much as the 2%. Everyone benefits. Many of the 80% only have affordable healthcare because of the employmer mandate passed by the government.

    You really don’t remember squat do you? Even though you probably have quoted these statistics, more than 80% of the population had coverage prior to Obamacare.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Health_insurance_coverage_in_the_United_States#Estimates_of_the_number_uninsured

    Or do you just like to make things up? Either way it’s pathetic.

    And in any case, that totally ignores my argument that the less than 2% getting Medicaid was totally independent of screwing up the health insurance system for the rest of us.

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  21. 21
    Erik says:

    RE: wreckingbull @ 12
    I refuse to pay the same price for health insurance as the morons that buy processed foods cause they are cheaper. You saved twenty bucks going to the grocery outlet. Now pay more for health insurance.

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  22. 22

    By pfft @ 19:

    By wreckingbull @ 12:
    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 7 – Perhaps someone here can answer a very simple question. If a family cannot afford a plan unless they get heavy government subsidies, how are they going to handle the thousands of dollars of deductibles and out-of-pocket each year? There is no logic here. This could have the effect of actually plunging more people into bankruptcy since they now have a false sense of security.

    that is a very good question and one I have been wondering myself. why have a deductible at all? I guess they have protection for bills that get way out of control.

    You really don’t understand squat about insurance. The deductibles are for the small bills. The lifetime caps were about the bills that totally got out of control. Obamacare made the later go away.

    The reason for the high deductibles is because without them the policies would be 2 times more expensive. Even going from $5,000 to $1,000 the price jumps from $219 to $322 for 30 year olds and from $452 to $662 for 55 year olds (Regence). Employers are getting killed paying premiums for the typical employer coverage.

    Edit: BTW there’s a post stuck in moderation because of a link, but more than 80% of the population had insurance prior to Obamacare, so no benefit to the expanded Medicaid (and in any case you failed to address my point that Medicaid could have been expanded without the changes to insurance.).

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  23. 23
    pfft says:

    By Erik @ 21:

    RE: wreckingbull @ 12
    I refuse to pay the same price for health insurance as the morons that buy processed foods cause they are cheaper. You saved twenty bucks going to the grocery outlet. Now pay more for health insurance.

    oh so you’re perfect? got it?

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  24. 24
    pfft says:

    By Kary L. Krismer @ 22:

    By pfft @ 19:
    By wreckingbull @ 12:
    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 7 – Perhaps someone here can answer a very simple question. If a family cannot afford a plan unless they get heavy government subsidies, how are they going to handle the thousands of dollars of deductibles and out-of-pocket each year? There is no logic here. This could have the effect of actually plunging more people into bankruptcy since they now have a false sense of security.

    that is a very good question and one I have been wondering myself. why have a deductible at all? I guess they have protection for bills that get way out of control.

    You really don’t understand squat about insurance.

    I think you misread what I said.

    what exactly did you mean by the latter went away? my point was people might have traded higher deductibles for the safety of never having out of control medical bills. sort of like owning a stock but buying puts or calls to protect yourself.

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  25. 25
    Erik says:

    RE: pfft @ 23
    Not even close. I am unemployed. I probably have less money than 80% of people on here. I am very healthy because I work at it. I am good at some things and bad at others. It makes me angry I gotta pay the same price for health insurance as people that don’t take care of themselves.

    Wreckingbull was previously making fun of me for spending money on nutrition. In the next breath, he complains about the cost of health care. If he paid for supplements and healthy foods, he may not be so worried about the deductables.

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  26. 26

    By pfft @ 24:

    I think you misread what I said.

    what exactly did you mean by the latter went away? my point was people might have traded higher deductibles for the safety of never having out of control medical bills. sort of like owning a stock but buying puts or calls to protect yourself.

    Okay, accepting that interpretation of what you said, you still don’t understand insurance. You don’t insure for things that are likely to occur that you can easily handle yourself. That’s because it would be rather expensive relative to the expected payout.

    What you can handle yourself depends on your financial situation, but as to the other half, how likely it is to occur is also related to the amount. You are much more likely to have a $1,000 medical bill than a $20,000 medical bill (ignoring pregnancy). So covering those small losses is much more expensive relative to the amount covered. The same is true for auto-coverage. The chance of $1,000 of damage is much higher than the chance of $40,000 of damage to a car.

    That’s the reason for “co-insurance” provisions in homeowner policies. If you have a house that costs $400,000 to rebuild and you only had $200,000 worth of insurance, a complete loss the likely result will be the insurance company paying only $100,000 on a $200,000 policy. That’s because the rates are based on the risk of a complete loss and the house being fully covered. It’s of course cheaper to insure for only half the value, but absent the co-insurance clause the insurance company would be more likely to pay out the full policy amount than what the risk of the full loss of the house would be.

    Connecting back up to Obamacare, the idea of having high deductibles for people who get the premium subsidy is somewhat absurd, because they are less likely to be able to afford the deductible. But that’s what they had to do because with the lower deductibles the policies would have been even more expensive (with all of the coverages required).

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  27. 27
    Dirty Renter in Banjo Country says:

    “The healthier funding environment for consumer finance firms reflects investors’ interest in increasing exposure to subprime lending,” Fitch analysts said earlier this year. The rating agency said improvements in credit fundamentals and investors yen for higher yielding loans were driving the demand but warned that the sector was vulnerable to volatility should the economy weaken.
    April 1, 2014

    I would be hesitant to underwrite subprime paper…because in this new world, the ‘investors’ and ‘borrowers’ are now the …..victims.

    Carry on.

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  28. 28

    RE: Erik @ 16

    You Sound Like Me Erik

    The big pharms hate us folks using cheaper home remedies and vitamins….it works BTW, and doesn’t kill you off like prescription drugs do.

    The latest false gossip from the Mega-Pharms is Vitamin E causes prostrate cancer….hades they used the artificial Vitamin E in their study [I don’t even think they sell it] and throw out the study’s patients with good life styles….cooked the books IOWs.

    I do the flax oil everyday….the fish oils can contain mercury. There’s likely mercury in the flu shots too….

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  29. 29
    Erik says:

    RE: softwarengineer @ 28
    Flax oil is a must. My new thing is to fix leaky gut syndrome. That is why I am taking the probiotics. Prescriptions are terrible for us. You are smart to recognize this. Pharmaceuticals are the biggest scam ever.

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  30. 30
    Blake says:

    RE: softwarengineer @ 28
    I’m gettng off my statins and starting to try red yeast extract pills… it has the same chemicals as the statins and the Chinese have been using it for centuries, but a US pharma corp patented it so it cannot be marketed here as medicine. My doc at Group Health is in full agreement and said the red yeast seems to work well. (and I work in heart disease research…)

    And just saw this today:
    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/health/10717431/Why-Ive-ditched-statins-for-good.html
    -snip- The only major changes I’d made to my lifestyle since coming off statins were eliminating sugar (including alcohol and starchy foods such as bread) and eating more animal fat. Many experts now believe that sugar is emerging as a true villain in the heart-disease story; while after decades of demonisation, saturated fat has been acquitted of causing heart disease by a recent “meta” analysis of 70 studies by Cambridge University.
    Typically, I was eating red meat three or four times a week and enjoying butter, full-fat milk and plenty of eggs. You would have thought that after three months on a diet so high in saturated fat, my cholesterol would have shot back up to pre-statin levels — but no, it came down and has stayed down seven months on. Not only that, but my levels of LDL (so-called bad cholesterol) were also lower than when I’d been on statins, and my ratio of HDL (so-called good cholesterol) to LDL was under four for the first time, an excellent sign, according to medical wisdom.

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  31. 31

    By Blake @ 30:

    <Many experts now believe that sugar is emerging as a true villain in the heart-disease story; while after decades of demonisation, saturated fat has been acquitted of causing heart disease by a recent “meta” analysis of 70 studies by Cambridge University. .

    So the doctors gave Miles Monroe good information! Good to know.

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  32. 32
    Erik says:

    RE: Blake @ 30
    I was low carb from 2000 til 2013. My naturopathic doctor had me test for dairy allergy since I had ear infections when I was a kid. Now I do low carb paleo. I feel even better than I thought I ever could. I don’t really eat gluten since I eat low carb, so I cut all gluten out. You should test for your intolerances and check. Chances are you are intolerant to something and don’t know it. I don’t know anyone without intolerances. I consider problems with sugar and carbohydrates an intolerance as well.

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  33. 33
    Erik says:

    RE: Erik @ 32
    My girlfriend is a naturopathic med student. It helps to know someone like that in your corner. It wasn’t by chance I am dating a naturopathic doctor candidate.

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  34. 34
    pfft says:

    Suck it!

    Obamacare Sign-Ups: 7,041,000
    http://talkingpointsmemo.com/livewire/obamacare-7-million-almost-exactly

    Yes I like my hope and change! This is a turning point in the 2014 election cycle.

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  35. 35
    pfft says:

    By Erik @ 25:

    RE: pfft @ 23
    Not even close. I am unemployed. I probably have less money than 80% of people on here. I am very healthy because I work at it. I am good at some things and bad at others. It makes me angry I gotta pay the same price for health insurance as people that don’t take care of themselves.

    Wreckingbull was previously making fun of me for spending money on nutrition. In the next breath, he complains about the cost of health care. If he paid for supplements and healthy foods, he may not be so worried about the deductables.

    why are you criticizing people when you aren’t perfect then? any diet or exercise program you have I can pick apart or find someone who thinks your diet or lifestyle is not good. just think about that when you get on your high horse criticizing people for eating processed foods.

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  36. 36
    pfft says:

    By Erik @ 32:

    RE: Blake @ 30
    I was low carb from 2000 til 2013. My naturopathic doctor had me test for dairy allergy since I had ear infections when I was a kid. Now I do low carb paleo. I feel even better than I thought I ever could. I don’t really eat gluten since I eat low carb, so I cut all gluten out. You should test for your intolerances and check. Chances are you are intolerant to something and don’t know it. I don’t know anyone without intolerances. I consider problems with sugar and carbohydrates an intolerance as well.

    you realize that a new study just came out saying that paleo diets have too much protein? see you can criticize any diet. the best diets are supposedly paleo and the mediterranean diet although a new study puts doubts on the paleo diet.

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  37. 37
    pfft says:

    By Erik @ 33:

    RE: Erik @ 32
    My girlfriend is a naturopathic med student. It helps to know someone like that in your corner. It wasn’t by chance I am dating a naturopathic doctor candidate.

    that’s funny. how did you find her?

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  38. 38
    Blurtman says:

    RE: pfft @ 18 – Even in an up economy, felons have a hard time getting a job. How hard could it have been to drag onto the stage unemployed non-felons, who likely represent the typical long term unemployed American, for the bloviated true story media event? Yellen is an absolute idiot, and this is but one example.

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  39. 39
    Blurtman says:

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 14 – Sure, the increased Medicaid enrollment is part of Obamacare, but not the entirety. But just the same, others are paying into what is described to be an unsustainable program. And in order to accommodate the previously uninsurable into insurance programs, apparently others must pay, too.

    But it is objectionable to have to pay for folks who refuse to take better care of themselves. For example, just observe the two-tons at the local Red Robin’s to see folks eating themselves into perpetual morbid obesity. And lifting one’s hand to one’s mouth is a voluntary action, after all. If folks want to destroy their health, why should more sensible people be compelled to pay for their bad decisions? Why should citizens be compelled to pay for the healthcare of non-citizens?

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  40. 40
    pfft says:

    By Blurtman @ 38:

    RE: pfft @ 18 – Even in an up economy, felons have a hard time getting a job. How hard could it have been to drag onto the stage unemployed non-felons, who likely represent the typical long term unemployed American, for the bloviated true story media event? Yellen is an absolute idiot, and this is but one example.

    one person didn’t have a record. one person who did have a record had a job even with a record. they should have done a better job checking but people with records deserve jobs too. especially probably.

    is your position that it’s ok for people with records not having jobs? do we have to adjust the employment-population ratio?

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  41. 41
    pfft says:

    By Blurtman @ 39:

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 14 – Sure, the increased Medicaid enrollment is part of Obamacare, but not the entirety.

    I don’t really understand kary. he’s mad that a large healthcare bill included medicaid expansion? why would you pass them separately? how many long a period between the two bills did you want? a day? a week? months? a year? seems silly and random.

    medicaid expansion will probably help control costs and people will also be healthier when they eventually get private insurance or when they get old enough for medicare.

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  42. 42
    Erik says:

    RE: pfft @ 37
    Juanita pub bro.

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  43. 43
    Erik says:

    RE: pfft @ 35
    I am specifically criticizing wreckingbull about his outlook on health because he said I would have had enough money to rent out my condo if I didn’t waste money on junk like probiotics. I wasn’t being mean spirited. I was making a point that not taking care of your health costs money. It was on one of Tim’s posts.

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  44. 44

    By Blurtman @ 39:

    But it is objectionable to have to pay for folks who refuse to take better care of themselves. For example, just observe the two-tons at the local Red Robin’s to see folks eating themselves into perpetual morbid obesity. And lifting one’s hand to one’s mouth is a voluntary action, after all. If folks want to destroy their health, why should more sensible people be compelled to pay for their bad decisions? Why should citizens be compelled to pay for the healthcare of non-citizens?

    I suspect that’s a bit tongue in cheek, but in any case, I don’t find that to be all that objectionable in the scheme of things when it comes to healthcare. And in any case there are easy solutions to that. You could for example have insurance rates based on age, height and weight, but then the politicians would complain that the insurance companies are taking unfair advantage by actually including risk factors in insurance rates (which btw raises the issue of why the insurance companies still ask about your violent love since they can no longer price for that risk).

    Or, if the politicians do quash that, the state attorneys general can group together and sue the food producers for causing increased medical expenses for the people of their respective states. The moneys recovered could be used for an advertising campaign that teaches people the more you eat the fatter you become, but that campaign would die out within a few years as the state legislatures quickly find other uses for the money.

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  45. 45

    By pfft @ 41:

    really understand kary. he's mad that a large healthcare bill included medicaid expansion? why would you pass them separately? how many long a period between the two bills did you want? a day? a week? months? a year? seems silly and random.

    Huh? It’s simple. It has little or nothing to do with the insurance issues I’ve been addressing which are at the heart of the problems of the Obamacare program, and which will completely destroy our healthcare system. It’s apples and oranges. If they’d attached a bill that regulated and monitored fracking chemicals to the Obamacare bill I wouldn’t have objected to that because it’s part of Obamacare.

    Stated differently, I recall the Obamacare bill being over 1000 pages long. Not every sentence in the bill was complete nonsense. And it’s pretty easy to distinguish between the federal government taking over the health care insurance system from the states and the federal government slightly expanding an existing welfare program.

    Again stated differently, the Republican idea of completely repealing every part of Obamacare makes as little sense as passing it in the first place.

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  46. 46
    Blurtman says:

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 44 – Having restaurants list the caloric content of their dishes would help. There is no reason a slop house that offers standardized menus like Dead Robbin cannot do this. Knowledge is power.

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  47. 47
    Blurtman says:

    Bistro shrimp pasta from The Cheesecake Factory. This dish of crispy battered shrimp, fresh mushrooms and arugula is tossed with spaghettini in a basil-garlic-lemon cream sauce. It weighs in at 3,120 calories, 89 grams of saturated fat and 1,090 milligrams of sodium, according to CSPI, equal to three lasagna classico entrees and a tiramisu from Olive Garden.

    Cheesecake Factory’s crispy chicken costoletta was not too far behind. According to the menu, it’s a chicken breast lightly breaded and sautéed to a crispy golden brown. It is served with a lemon sauce, mashed potatoes and fresh asparagus. According to CSPI, it also has 2,610 calories, more than a 12-piece bucket of original recipe Kentucky Fried Chicken, and 4½ days’ worth of saturated fat.

    http://www.cnn.com/2013/01/16/health/xtreme-eating/

    Red Robin Bacon Cheeseburger (not including fries)
    C-
    Grade
    1,002
    Calories
    Nutrition Facts
    Serving Size 1 serving (228 g)
    Per Serving % Daily Value*
    Calories 1002
    Calories from Fat 594
    Total Fat 66g 102%
    Sodium 1757mg 73%
    Carbohydrates 51g 17%
    Dietary Fiber 2g 8%
    Sugars 9g
    Protein 49g

    Read more: Calories in Red Robin – Red Robin Bacon Cheeseburger | Nutrition and Health Facts http://caloriecount.about.com/calories-red-robin-bacon-cheeseburger-i295272#ixzz2xjiwHhAw

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  48. 48

    RE: Erik @ 32
    I don’t think you’ve cut out ALL gluten. You only drinking gluten free beer? I’ve had it, maybe not enough times, but what I’ve had was pretty awful.
    Give me a local IPA or pale ale any day of the week.

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  49. 49
    Erik says:

    RE: Ira Sacharoff @ 48
    You are right!!! Those cheap beers you make fun of me for drinking are really low in gluten since they are watered down. Bud light is less than 5ppm or something, which is so low someone with a gluten intolerance will not be affected. A couple bud lights and a couple shots and i’m good.

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  50. 50
    Erik says:

    RE: Ira Sacharoff @ 48
    I am out of posts on the other thread, but you asked what is wrong with greenwood. Nothing is wrong with greenwood. Mike was telling me that greenwood is to seattle as juanita is to kirkland. Juanita is great, but it is a cheaper area than downtown kirkland or carillon pt. Greenwood is a cheaper area of seattle. I did not make that comment, Mike did. Attack him.

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  51. 51

    On the topic of natural disasters, you can currently see the effect of the 8.2M Chile earthquake on water levels in Hawaii. Pretty small, but still interesting.

    http://tidesandcurrents.noaa.gov/waterlevels.html?id=1617760

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  52. 52

    RE: Erik @ 50
    Mike wrote:Greenwood is to Seattle as Juanita is to Kirkland, but the first three words you wrote in response were ” No way, man.”
    So I thought you were disagreeing with that. I think it’s pretty accurate. A less expensive but still pretty nice area. If you are agreeing with someone, the best way to communicate that is not to say ” No way, man.”

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  53. 53

    By Erik @ 49:

    RE: Ira Sacharoff @ 48
    You are right!!! Those cheap beers you make fun of me for drinking are really low in gluten since they are watered down. Bud light is less than 5ppm or something, which is so low someone with a gluten intolerance will not be affected. A couple bud lights and a couple shots and i’m good.

    Gluten free whiskey?
    Bud Light? I won’t pay for it, but if someone else is buying, I’ll drink it. But don’t you think Bud Light might be a little more processed, with a few more additives? I know they use rice syrup in addition to barley malt because it’s cheaper. But what else is in your beer?

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  54. 54
    pfft says:

    By Kary L. Krismer @ 45:

    By pfft @ 41:
    really understand kary. he's mad that a large healthcare bill included medicaid expansion? why would you pass them separately? how many long a period between the two bills did you want? a day? a week? months? a year? seems silly and random.

    Huh? It’s simple. It has little or nothing to do with the insurance issues I’ve been addressing which are at the heart of the problems of the Obamacare program, and which will completely destroy our healthcare system. It’s apples and oranges. If they’d attached a bill that regulated and monitored fracking chemicals to the Obamacare bill I wouldn’t have objected to that because it’s part of Obamacare.

    Stated differently, I recall the Obamacare bill being over 1000 pages long. Not every sentence in the bill was complete nonsense. And it’s pretty easy to distinguish between the federal government taking over the health care insurance system from the states and the federal government slightly expanding an existing welfare program.

    Again stated differently, the Republican idea of completely repealing every part of Obamacare makes as little sense as passing it in the first place.

    over 16 million people have healthcare now. that’s bad?

    “Huh? It’s simple. It has little or nothing to do with the insurance issues I’ve been addressing which are at the heart of the problems of the Obamacare program, and which will completely destroy our healthcare system.”

    you are wrong kary. just admit it. the disaster you said would happen hasn’t happened and it won’t.

    here is the deal kary. obama wanted to pass a bill to cover the uninsured. he did a comprehensive plan that includes mandates, mandates with subsidies and a expanded medicaid program. big deal.

    Massachusetts and about 5 countries have insurance mandates and they haven’t been a disaster. this program won’t either.

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  55. 55

    RE: pfft @ 54 – Quit trolling, troll. Those issues have all been addressed.

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  56. 56
    Erik says:

    RE: Ira Sacharoff @ 52
    I thought he was making fun of Juanita. In kirkland, we do get made fun of by downtown kirkland hipsters.

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  57. 57
    Erik says:

    RE: Ira Sacharoff @ 52
    I thought he was making fun of Juanita. In kirkland, we do get made fun of by downtown kirkland hipsters.

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  58. 58
    Erik says:

    RE: Ira Sacharoff @ 53
    We were talking about gluten and you shifted to the amount of processing involved. Bud light has less gluten than you high falutin beer, that I do know. I really don’t want to be limited to shots of vodka. Maybe I could do vodka tonic?

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  59. 59
    pfft says:

    By Blurtman @ 46:

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 44 – Having restaurants list the caloric content of their dishes would help. There is no reason a slop house that offers standardized menus like Dead Robbin cannot do this. Knowledge is power.

    we need more walking and biking infrastructure. even in walking centric new york if you cross the street you still take your life in your hands.

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  60. 60
    pfft says:

    By Kary L. Krismer @ 55:

    RE: pfft @ 54 – Quit trolling, troll. Those issues have all been addressed.

    obamacare isn’t going to be a disaster and hasn’t been a disaster. you were wrong kary.

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  61. 61
    pfft says:

    By Kary L. Krismer @ 51:

    On the topic of natural disasters, you can currently see the effect of the 8.2M Chile earthquake on water levels in Hawaii. Pretty small, but still interesting.

    http://tidesandcurrents.noaa.gov/waterlevels.html?id=1617760

    cool. thanks for the link.

    I like the snow cover maps.

    http://www.intellicast.com/Travel/Weather/Snow/Cover.aspx

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  62. 62
    Erik says:

    RE: Ira Sacharoff @ 52
    Communication is not my best skill. I am more of a buy low sell high kinda guy. I like to learn how to buy real estate for cheap in areas that will quickly improve and sell that real estate for a premium price. You see, the words mean nothing. Those do not make money for me.

    What I am learning is the best areas to buy, so that when i am gainfully employed, I can buy something for cheap, fix it up after work, and sell it for a $128k profit again. I was paid probably $500/hr after taxes on that last place if you convert it into $/hr. I wanna do it again.

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  63. 63

    RE: Erik @ 62
    Good luck. You did spectacularly great with your Juanita place. When you’re buying places to fix up and flip, there’s a ton of stress involved.
    You can do a certain amount of successful timing, but sheeyut happens. Timing is hard. I was a year or so early when the market crashed in ’07. And a little late seeing the bottom 4 or 5 years later. Buying low and selling high is great if you can do it. But ultimately, in real estate, you may at some point enjoy the income stream from being a landlord. If you pay little enough for the property, you can farm out all the management and repairs, and still make a positive cash flow, with all kinds of tax benefits. You want to hit the home run. And you hit a long one in your second at bat. It’s just that home run hitters usually strike out a lot too.

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  64. 64
    Blake says:

    RE: pfft @ 36
    pfft: “you realize that a new study just came out saying that paleo diets have too much protein? see you can criticize any diet. the best diets are supposedly paleo and the mediterranean diet although a new study puts doubts on the paleo diet.”

    Link please… ?
    My girlfriend has been paleo for a while and I am getting closer, so I try to follow this quite closely for both personal and professional reasons The most recent studies I’ve seen challenge the long held concern over fats in our diets
    March 18, 2014: http://annals.org/article.aspx?articleid=1846638
    … and almost all recent studies show that carbohydrates are the true culprits. I have not seen any that find protein to be a risk factor…?

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  65. 65
    Blake says:

    By pfft @ 60:

    By Kary L. Krismer @ 55:
    RE: pfft @ 54 – Quit trolling, troll. Those issues have all been addressed.

    obamacare isn’t going to be a disaster and hasn’t been a disaster. you were wrong kary.

    Wow… a few months into the rollout and pfft already declares VICTORY!
    Q: How many of the new signups are young and healthy? Is the program sustainable?
    Q: How many have made their first months payments after signing up? And how many will continue to make their payments, especially if rates go up substantially next year?
    Q: How happy will they be if and when they get sick and start getting hit with out of pocket costs? How good is this insurance?

    To partisans like pfft this does NOT matter… They created a program, forced people to sign up, and whether it is a sustainable program that provides halfway decent insurance… they couldn’t care less! Like Obama, he checks off the box “done” and moves onto bigger and better things!

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  66. 66
    Blake says:

    http://fdlaction.firedoglake.com/2014/04/02/grading-obamacare-on-a-curve/
    -snip-
    When the law is only graded against Obama’s own promises and set goals it repeatedly comes up looking bad. It is not going to reduce families premiums by $2,500. Not everyone can keep their insurance and/or their doctor. Medical bankruptcy is not going away because of high deductible policies on the exchange. Some are still not going to get affordable care. It probably won’t stop double digit premium increases. There will still be millions of uninsured

    On the other hand, whenever the law is compared against the dystopic predictions of the GOP it can’t help but look good. There are no death panels, no total collapse, no IRS raids or creepy Uncle Sam mascots performing prostate exams. If Republicans could just stay quiet and let the law be judged against Obama’s own claims the shortcomings would keep becoming evident, but often Republicans end up buying into their own fantasies.

    From the broadest perspective, the Affordable Care Act looks like a C- law that haphazardly duct tapes over a few holes in our jury rigged healthcare system, but will not even get use close to a sensible health care system. Disappointingly it will fail to live up to many of the Democrats’ promises, but it will never turn into one of the Republican’s bizarre nightmare scenarios. Whether Democrats or the media claim it is a “success” will depand on what curve they are using to grade it that day.

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  67. 67

    RE: Blake @ 64
    I’m inclined to agree with you, but there are studies ongoing and completed that suggest that the longest lifespan may be had by those eating low protein/high carbs.
    http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/273533.php
    An additional study is looking at excess protein and prostate cancer.
    A lot of folks claim that vegetarianism is the healthiest lifestyle. I try to eat lots of vegetables, but I’m not a vegetarian, and mostly avoid grains and sugar. I’m not convinced that saturated animal fat is harmless, but I’m reasonably certain that processed foods are worse.

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  68. 68

    By Blake @ 65:

    By pfft @ 60:
    By Kary L. Krismer @ 55:
    RE: pfft @ 54 – Quit trolling, troll. Those issues have all been addressed.

    obamacare isn’t going to be a disaster and hasn’t been a disaster. you were wrong kary.

    Wow… a few months into the rollout and pfft already declares VICTORY!

    Months? Days! What he’s talking about is my prediction that more insurance will result in inflation. Mandatory insurance has only been in place for 2 days! That’s one of the things that’s been addressed before. (As has been how one state having mandatory insurance isn’t likely to cause a great deal of inflation, especially when that state already had some of the highest costs in the country.)

    And in any case, it’s not even clear yet whether we have more insured. That’s been addressed, but apparently pfft believed Obama yesterday, even though Obama also said you could keep your policy and you could keep your doctor. Even NBC noted that the numbers are not really in yet.

    And when I was making those predictions I didn’t realize that most people would be forced to buy policies with $5,000 deductibles. As I’ve mentioned many times that would mitigate much of the inflationary impact.

    Finally, what’s wrong with death panels? FYI, it wasn’t the Republicans that proposed them. ;-)

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  69. 69

    Kary said” And when I was making those predictions I didn’t realize that most people would be forced to buy policies with $5,000 deductibles.”…

    See what happens when you make predictions?

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  70. 70
    Erik says:

    RE: Ira Sacharoff @ 63
    Repeating this will be the tough part. Ardell had a great idea to buy in south park at the trustee sale. If I can get employment in that area, that is the route i will take. Being a landlord is the fallback plan.

    Glad you are staying away from carbs and grains. Your high priced beer contains maltose. Maltose has the highest glycemic index of all the sugars. The reason to stay away from sugar is to keep your blood sugar down. That is why I don’t drink high priced beer in the first place. Michelob Ultra has 2.4 carbs, miller lite has 3.2 carbs, bud light is like 5. Your fancy beer is like 18 per beer. See, we can both throw darts. :) I have been doing paleo myself for the last year or so. I was doing low carb for the previous 14 years. You eat vegetables and are satisfied. I am guessing you are NOT a type O blood type like myself. Us type O’s need meat to stay satisfied. You are A, B, or AB. Am I correct?

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  71. 71
    One Eyed Man says:

    RE: Ira Sacharoff @ 69

    How come some good pro-market person isn’t saying that Kary’s high deductible plan is a great thing because it means consumers will have to do the quality and cost research necessary to have a competitive health services market place? I sure hope Kary has enough money set aside to finish Med School so he can tell me who the good low cost docs are. But if he doesn’t have the time for that he’ll still want quality at low cost so when picking a doc he should probably shop for foreign medical grads on Ganges List. Some of those guys are practically religious about that low protein diet. I hear they’ve been against eating beef for centuries.

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  72. 72
    Blake says:

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 68

    Why are we still arguing this Kary? Obama and pfft have declared victory! They got 7.1 million to muddle through the web site and click the right boxes… now they are off to do bigger and better things. No one thought they could get it done, but it is done!
    Health Care Reform: Check!
    NOW STOP COMPLAINING!!

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  73. 73
    Blake says:

    By Ira Sacharoff @ 67:

    RE: Blake @ 64
    I’m inclined to agree with you, but there are studies ongoing and completed that suggest that the longest lifespan may be had by those eating low protein/high carbs.
    http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/273533.php
    An additional study is looking at excess protein and prostate cancer.
    A lot of folks claim that vegetarianism is the healthiest lifestyle. I try to eat lots of vegetables, but I’m not a vegetarian, and mostly avoid grains and sugar. I’m not convinced that saturated animal fat is harmless, but I’m reasonably certain that processed foods are worse.

    Thanks Ira…. that Longo paper is a significant study, but I’d discount the second as it is based on mice. It makes sense that we should start eating more protein when we get older and our body is not as efficient at getting nutrients.

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  74. 74

    By One Eyed Man @ 71:

    RE: Ira Sacharoff @ 69

    How come some good pro-market person isn’t saying that Kary’s high deductible plan is a great thing because it means consumers will have to do the quality and cost research necessary to have a competitive health services market place? I sure hope Kary has enough money set aside to finish Med School so he can tell me who the good low cost docs are..

    I’ve actually been a big proponent of getting consumers involved in the process of determining cost. That so many people have “traditional” plans where you pay $20 to see the doctor, no matter what they do, has lead to a lot of unnecessary fees. One I’ve mentioned in the past a few times is the facility charge. If you go to the Mason Clinic downtown and the doctor gives you a shot during the visit, you will pay for: (1) The doctor giving you the shot; (2) The injected substance; and (3) Being in the room! No shot and the room is free. That third charge is typically about $100. If you go to one of their remote clinics you only pay for 1 and 2. People with traditional insurance don’t care, because they don’t pay for it, so the clinic gets away with it.

    Or another example: Drug costs. People with traditional insurance typically pay $10-20 per prescription, but the insurance company may limit them to a 30 or 60 day supply. If you get a year filled at once, the total cost can be a tiny fraction of what it would cost to have the prescription filled 6-12 times a year. Or the other one I bring up is drugs with an OTC option. I was prescribed Prilosec by my doctor, and the prescription would have cost over $200 to fill. People with traditional insurance don’t care, but after hearing that and the pharmacist letting me know Prilosec OTC is the same thing, I was able to get the same medicine for under $25.

    The problem with the Obamacare policies though is that they are basically high deductible for everyone, except very low income people. To be able to get by with a high deductible policy you need to have significant income and/or savings. That’s a small percentage of the population. In addition, because the policies are designed to give doctors and drug companies as much money as possible (because the expert advisers to Congress were doctors and drug companies), the policies are very expensive. That makes being able to pay the deductible amount even more problematic. So basically the Obamacare policies are high deductible for the wrong reason.

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  75. 75

    RE: Erik @ 70 – You are not correct, and I am a Type O. Which is one of the reasons I’m not a vegetarian. I feel better when I’ve eaten meat, but I’m not sure how much stock I put in the blood type diet. Still, at an all you can eat buffet featuring pork ribs, I can eat a ton. There’s a lot of things to worry about. I do think quantity matters, so it’s better if I stay away from those kind of places. My blood sugar is fine, maybe cause I limit my carbs . I dont eat rice, I rarely eat bread,and now you wanna take away my beer?

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  76. 76
    Erik says:

    RE: ira Sacharoff @ 75
    Ha ha ha. You are doing great. Keep on keeping on.

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  77. 77
    pfft says:

    By Blake @ 65:

    By pfft @ 60:
    By Kary L. Krismer @ 55:
    RE: pfft @ 54 – Quit trolling, troll. Those issues have all been addressed.

    obamacare isn’t going to be a disaster and hasn’t been a disaster. you were wrong kary.

    Wow… a few months into the rollout and pfft already declares VICTORY!
    Q: How many of the new signups are young and healthy? Is the program sustainable?
    Q: How many have made their first months payments after signing up? And how many will continue to make their payments, especially if rates go up substantially next year?
    Q: How happy will they be if and when they get sick and start getting hit with out of pocket costs? How good is this insurance?

    To partisans like pfft this does NOT matter… They created a program, forced people to sign up, and whether it is a sustainable program that provides halfway decent insurance… they couldn’t care less! Like Obama, he checks off the box “done” and moves onto bigger and better things!

    my we are moving the goal posts! that shows Obamacare is working. Just a few months ago doubters didn’t think people would sign up. Obamacare more than met it’s goals.

    “Wow… a few months into the rollout and pfft already declares VICTORY!”

    republicans have been calling it unworkable for years…

    “Q: How many of the new signups are young and healthy?”

    Obamacare doesn’t need healthy young people to sign up, it needs healthy people of all ages to sign up. it might need older healthy people to sign up moreso than younger.

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/dean-baker/obamacare-and-those-invin_b_4551749.html

    “Q: How many have made their first months payments after signing up? And how many will continue to make their payments, especially if rates go up substantially next year?”

    about 80-90% of people have made their first payment.

    http://www.cnn.com/2014/04/01/politics/obamacare-signups-target/

    “How happy will they be if and when they get sick and start getting hit with out of pocket costs? How good is this insurance?”

    yeah because that never happens now. I agree that deductibles and etc should be lower or done away with.

    “To partisans like pfft this does NOT matter… They created a program, forced people to sign up, and whether it is a sustainable program that provides halfway decent insurance… they couldn’t care less!”

    of course I care. I want the program to succeed and provide people with healthcare for decades to come. or at least until we good single payer. how do you know I don’t have Obamacare?

    “Like Obama, he checks off the box “done” and moves onto bigger and better things!”

    no, obama said yesterday that there will still be issues.

    “They created a program, forced people to sign up,”

    The democrats didnt dream this up. insurance mandates were created by a conservative think tank and was presented by Republicans as an alternative to Hillarycare. The Obama administration used the same people Romney used to bring his insurance mandate system of health insurance to Mass. Up to 5 countries have some sort of insurance mandate system and this one will work like those do.

    Grab a napkin homie, you just got served.

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  78. 78
    pfft says:

    By Kary L. Krismer @ 68:

    By Blake @ 65:
    By pfft @ 60:
    By Kary L. Krismer @ 55:
    RE: pfft @ 54 – Quit trolling, troll. Those issues have all been addressed.

    obamacare isn’t going to be a disaster and hasn’t been a disaster. you were wrong kary.

    Wow… a few months into the rollout and pfft already declares VICTORY!

    And when I was making those predictions I didn’t realize that most people would be forced to buy policies with $5,000 deductibles. As I’ve mentioned many times that would mitigate much of the inflationary impact. ;-)

    oh god. talk about a backtrack. kary can’t admit he was wrong. months ago you were saying obamacare was causing premiums to rise, now the program has only been around for 2 days…

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  79. 79
    pfft says:

    By ira Sacharoff @ 75:

    RE: Erik @ 70 – You are not correct, and I am a Type O. Which is one of the reasons I’m not a vegetarian. I feel better when I’ve eaten meat, but I’m not sure how much stock I put in the blood type diet. Still, at an all you can eat buffet featuring pork ribs, I can eat a ton. There’s a lot of things to worry about. I do think quantity matters, so it’s better if I stay away from those kind of places. My blood sugar is fine, maybe cause I limit my carbs . I dont eat rice, I rarely eat bread,and now you wanna take away my beer?

    in researching many types of diets I’ve come to believe that a significant part of some people embracing a diet is part the psychological act of denying yourself something.

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  80. 80
    ChrisM says:

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 74 – OK, I’ve been holding back (I currently work in the insurance business), but this comment “I’ve actually been a big proponent of getting consumers involved in the process of determining cost.” hits it out of the park. HSAs were marketed as a way to get the consumer interested in reducing medical costs, since they now had skin in the game (preserving their HSA accounts).

    HOWEVER, try and find the price of a procedure or drug. Can’t be done. The response you’ll get from the provider is “ask your insurance company.” The response from the insurance company is “ask the dr.” Since both have signed NDAs (if the provider is in the PPO network) this is a non-starter, that for some crazy reason, no one wants to acknowledge.

    I’m channeling Denninger here, but providers, pharmacies and hospitals should be required to have a public rate sheet. There’s no reason in the world the price should be a mystery, and this is illegal in virtually every other business category. In today’s world it is very difficult to compare prices.

    The ACA is a disaster. Until we see numbers about who has actually *paid* for the coverage we don’t know squat. What will happen is a large number of people who supposedly are signed up will default.

    Anyone under 30 who is otherwise healthy & not planning to get pregnant is an idiot for signing up for this garbage. The law requires less than a 3 times split across age brackets (that is, a 70 year old’s costs cannot be triple a 26 year old’s). I’m floored that the young (defined as under 30) are not in the streets revolting over this garbage. They are getting utterly screwed.

    Karl Denninger had a very simple plan for reforming health care, but since it attacked the power structure it of course is impossible. Very basic stuff like enforcing monopoly laws against hospitals and pharmacies.

    Why in the world can we not purchase drugs from our NAFTA partners???

    Also, while Kary has pointed out the absurd deductible in the Bronze plan, everyone appears to be missing the coinsurance: ~ 60%. To quote http://www.forbes.com/sites/investopedia/2013/10/01/how-to-choose-between-bronze-silver-gold-and-platinum-health-insurance-plans/

    “Coinsurance kicks in after you’ve met your deductible. For example, assume you’ve already met your $2,000 deductible and your plan’s coinsurance is 15%. If you have a hospital charge of $1,000, your share of the costs would be $150 (15% of $1,000). If your coinsurance was 30%, your share would be $300.”

    Let’s assume you have a catastrophic situation (where you’re relieved the $1MM lifetime max doesn’t apply). How are you planning on that coinsurance bill?

    I’m familiar with Australian & European health care. Honestly, if we really want reform, we should scrap ACA and adopt a European model. Every other first world nation’s health care system is infinitely better than ours.

    The only rational objection I anticipate is rx development, and my response is: fine, the entire world can absorb the cost instead of just US consumers.

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  81. 81
    ChrisM says:

    RE: ChrisM @ 80 – My current comment is awaiting moderation (note: if you go over the URL limit but remove the links via editing, it remains in moderation. Bummer) but I should also note that physicians are getting royally screwed as well (ICD-10 being the prime example). If you know anyone who is in school w/ a plan to become a doctor, *please* walk them through a rudimentary CBA. IMO doctors have their lives run by GDA insurance adjusters.

    Wow, I think I just won an acronym award…

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  82. 82
    ChrisM says:

    RE: ChrisM @ 81 – Lastly, don’t forget the deductible expires at the end of the year. If you have a catastrophic situation in December, well too bad so sad.

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  83. 83
    ChrisM says:

    Shocking news: investor-owned institutional SFR-rental outfits are shoddy; current example is they’re passing maintenance on to the tenants:

    http://inthesetimes.com/article/16424/game_of_homes

    “When Hernandez began renting from Invitation Homes, he was also perplexed by a section of his lease that says he must rent the property “as is.” He isn’t the only one. In These Times obtained a copy of Invitation Homes’ lease and presented it to Mark Swartz, legal director at the tenants’ rights organization Lawyers’ Committee for Better Housing, and Kelli Dudley, director of the nonprofit Resistance Legal Clinic. Both housing attorneys told In These Times that several sections of the lease violate Chicago’s Residential Landlord Tenant Ordinance (RLTO), a longstanding document that establishes the baseline of tenants’ rights and governs most residential agreements in the city.”

    While the overall tone of the post appears to be a thinly-disguised hit piece, there are some interesting details in there. Were I a Blackstone (or similar) investor, I’d be nervous…

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  84. 84
    ChrisM says:

    I’m a posting fiend today!

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/where-we-live/wp/2014/04/01/how-to-protect-your-personal-data-in-a-real-estate-transaction/

    Bleah, a bunch of idiotic crap. Does anyone have any useful advice?

    PS – did you know virus/worms/etc can attack your network & video cards?

    PPS – also, if we’re talking about healthful diets, I cannot recommend this book highly enough: Eating on the Wild Side by Jo Robinson:
    http://www.amazon.com/Eating-Wild-Side-Missing-Optimum/dp/0316227943

    Her advice on garlic is amazing (let them oxidize for 10 minutes after grating before they get used).

    We had our garden potatoes lab-tested, and as expected, they were significantly more nutritious.

    We’re on a paleo diet. I eat a ton of high fat foods (we raise our own pigs & other meat) and have lost 10+ pounds since adopting the high fat diet. IMO fat in the diet has nothing to do with obesity. OTOH, the brain appears to need fat. I wonder if we’ll eventually find a correlation to low-fat diets & Alzheimer’s?

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  85. 85
    Erik says:

    RE: ChrisM @ 82
    Anyone that is fat should pay more. Anyone that uses drugs should pay more. Anyone that uses tobacco should pay more. These people are boosting the cost of health care and it bothers me. A fit stud like Ira pays the same price as some tub of lard stuffing their face with doughnuts. Not fair!!!

    No offense to fat people of course. “Some of my best friends are fat.” The bottom line is that these people are at high risk for heart disease, type II diabetes, sleep apnea, and the list goes on. Why do I have to pay the same price as them? These people should have health insurance, but they should be required to pay more since they are a higher risk.

    Most health problems people bring upon themselves. Sure, there are genetic defects that people cannot overcome, but this country would save billions if there was recourse for those who don’t stay fit.

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  86. 86
    ChrisM says:

    RE: Erik @ 85 – I’m breaking my rule about responding to your typically idiotic posts, but you (for once) raise a good point.

    https://www.healthcare.gov/how-does-the-health-care-law-protect-me/

    elaborates at length about exclusions of pre-existing conditions. So you have to ask our world-class Senators* why this was allowed.

    Pre-ACA plans were allowed to take weight & height into consideration, but this is no longer allowed.

    * – and that was sarcasm – our Senators are idiots

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  87. 87
    Erik says:

    RE: ChrisM @ 86
    Ouch!

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  88. 88

    RE: Erik @ 85
    I may be a fit stud, but I’m also a fat stud. According to the charts, I’m 35 pounds overweight. I don’t take in a ton of calories, I hike, I garden,I go to the gym, I eat healthy foods. I wouldn’t trust those who’d make the decisions on who pays more for health insurance premiums. I’m paying more now cause I’m an old fart and not poor enough to get a subsidy. So the monthly premium for my wife and me more than doubled as a result of the “Affordable Care ” act. But if they decided to add other things to determine the premium, they’d charge more for things like total cholesterol. Half the people who die of heart disease have normal cholesterol. I can see charging a higher premium for smokers, or for people whose typical breakfast consists of Twinkies, potato chips, and Pepsi.

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  89. 89
    One Eyed Man says:

    RE: ChrisM @ 84

    “I wonder if we’ll eventually find a correlation to low-fat diets & Alzheimer’s? ”

    I assume you’re familiar with the history on the correlation between low lipids and Alzheimer’s and you probably saw the news stories on this recent study.

    http://articles.philly.com/2014-03-12/news/48122651_1_study-alzheimer-jason-karlawish

    Of course this result was predicted by science fiction back in the 1970’s.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1yCeFmn_e2c

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  90. 90

    RE: Ira Sacharoff @ 88

    Yes Ira

    Try this diet [you don’t have to decrease calories either] eliminate about 80% of your:

    1. Sugar [Nutrasweet too, its even worse]
    2. White flour [its in everything, cookies, cakes, etc]
    3. White rice
    4. Pasta

    All of the above are basically non-nutritive [like eating saw dust] so your body won’t miss ‘em at all. They all are carbs and equally by calorie count dangerous to consume. I lost 15-20 lbs of stomache fat on this diet alone…..replace the beer with whiskey too, I swear the hops turns us into fat pigs too.

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  91. 91
    Blake says:

    By ChrisM @ 84:

    PPS – also, if we’re talking about healthful diets, I cannot recommend this book highly enough: Eating on the Wild Side by Jo Robinson:
    http://www.amazon.com/Eating-Wild-Side-Missing-Optimum/dp/0316227943

    Her advice on garlic is amazing (let them oxidize for 10 minutes after grating before they get used).

    We had our garden potatoes lab-tested, and as expected, they were significantly more nutritious.

    We’re on a paleo diet. I eat a ton of high fat foods (we raise our own pigs & other meat) and have lost 10+ pounds since adopting the high fat diet. IMO fat in the diet has nothing to do with obesity. OTOH, the brain appears to need fat. I wonder if we’ll eventually find a correlation to low-fat diets & Alzheimer’s?

    Great info Chris! I’ll order that book! I’d read a review last year when it came out but didn’t order it yet. I have 3 1/2 acres and grow a lot of food. Plus I have local meat and a CSA farm 500 yards down the road. Can’t say enough about fresh food! I also love to cook and the most delicious things are often very fatty. So I am really pleased that the science is telling us to go ahead and keep eating fats!! Yum….

    Garlic, ginger, turmeric, dark chocolate… nature’s medicine!

    btw: Mohan, the chef and owner of Everest Kitchen (Lake City Way and 145th), was a trained doctor back in his home country, but cannot practice here. He says his food is medicine and if you go in and tell him what your symptoms are he will cook up a medicinal meal for you!

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  92. 92

    By softwarengineer @ 90:

    RE: Ira Sacharoff @ 88

    Yes Ira

    Try this diet [you don’t have to decrease calories either] eliminate about 80% of your:

    1. Sugar [Nutrasweet too, its even worse]
    2. White flour [its in everything, cookies, cakes, etc]
    3. White rice
    4. Pasta

    All of the above are basically non-nutritive [like eating saw dust] so your body won’t miss ‘em at all. They all are carbs and equally by calorie count dangerous to consume. I lost 15-20 lbs of stomache fat on this diet alone…..replace the beer with whiskey too, I swear the hops turns us into fat pigs too.

    No. At least with eating sawdust you’re getting some fiber.

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  93. 93

    RE: Blake @ 30

    Good for You Blake

    I’d eliminate the white rice and pasta too [many italian resaurants serve pasta free dishes BTW….have you noticed after a big bowl of spaghetti, it really doesn’t satisfy you?], the pasta free dishes usually come with more meat and cheese too….they have vegetable cutters that turn zuchinni into a vegetable pasta alternative.

    When I eat Mexican or Asian, my plate of uneaten white rice and noodles [unless I can get the plate without ‘em] always starts a conversation with the waitresses. I beg them for “brown rice”…..the noodles may be “hopeless” unless they have whole wheat varieties I don’t know about [the zuchinni strips work though]….pretty much “exes” off Pho from my diet….LOL

    As for red meat [juicy steak is my favorite], milk and eggs….I’m like my Grandpa [who lived on primarily these foods, was over-weight, breathed car fumes in a garage all day] and still lived to be 93 :-)

    Don’t eat Sodium Nitrite or Nitrate preservatives….it definitely hardens your arteries, It prevents bacteria but gives you heart disease doing it.:

    1. bacon
    2. All lunch meats
    3. sausage
    4. hotdogs
    5. ham
    6. most pizza meats

    [yes, you can enjoy a burger and fries, potato chips too….I eat ‘em and still lost weight….and not just 4 oz a week, try 20-40 oz a week….LOL]

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  94. 94
    Blake says:

    RE: pfft @ 77
    Pfft:”My we are moving the goal posts! that shows Obamacare is working. Just a few months ago doubters didn’t think people would sign up. Obamacare more than met it’s goals.”

    My post at #66 clearly shows that it is the Obamabots who keep movng the goalposts. If you judge this by what Obama himself promised it is a failure (see #66). If you judge it against what the brain-dead Tea Partiers said would happen then yes it is not a failure. What yardstick do you prefer…?

    pfft: “Obamacare doesn’t need healthy young people to sign up, it needs healthy people of all ages to sign up. it might need older healthy people to sign up moreso than younger.”

    Ummm… yes it does! Even if a sizeable chunk of the older demographic is healthy, they are aging and their healthcare costs will double and triple soon! It is clear from 0-cares’ own architects that they must have young people sign up for mlong term sustainability.

    pfft: “about 80-90% of people have made their first payment.”

    Oh, so 10-20% dropout rates the first month might be acceptable!? Some actuary should run those numbers and factor in that the ones missing their payments and dropping out may be younger and healthier (and more rational!) And what about the second and third months… and next year!?

    Blake: “They created a program, forced people to sign up,”

    pfft: “The democrats didnt dream this up. insurance mandates were created by a conservative think tank and was presented by Republicans as an alternative to Hillarycare. The Obama administration used the same people Romney used to bring his insurance mandate system of health insurance to Mass.”

    … your point being… what? “Don’t blame us for forcing people to buy crappy private insurance… it was first dreamed up by rightwing think tanks and we stole it! It’s their fault!!” ??? ;-)

    pfft: “Grab a napkin homie, you just got served.”

    Thank you… I am so humbled! ;-)

    Btw: Here’s a debunking of the liberal revisionism claiming that it was the Republicans that killed the public option in the summer of ’09….
    http://fdlaction.firedoglake.com/2013/11/12/public-option-revisionist-history/
    “Democrats removed the public option from the bill because Democrats really didn’t want to have a public option. President Obama made a deal with insurance industry groups to kill the public option and that is one of the few health care promises he kept.”
    Blake sez: Obama has kept almost all of his promises to Big Pharma, the Telecoms, Wall Street…

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  95. 95

    RE: softwarengineer @ 93

    Also Blake:

    Eliminating most bread is good, with a caveat, unless its “whole grain”….check the ingredients carefully, they sneak white flour into it anyway [like Subway]…we need whole grains to fight off diabetes.

    If you’re doing juices [bad, high in sugar carbs], try 8 oz of prune juice….its good for any age and yes, I’m sure it prevents colon cancers. Ask your doctor.

    Coffee in MASSES [not just a cup or two] prevents prostrate cancer….so guzzle it down too :-)

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  96. 96
    Blake says:

    RE: softwarengineer @ 93
    I no longer eat any white rice or white potatoes. I used to love baking fresh bread and still occassionally indulge, but when I do I notice an energy drain as my body tries to digest those glutens! I’ve been switching from beer to red wine. I’ve been brewing my own ginger mead for 20 years and prefer that to most anything. It it takes two months for the primary and secondary fermentation and then at least a year for bottle conditioning, but it is worth the wait! I have only about 35 botttles left so need to get started on some new batches for ’15/’16 soon! I have found that using fresh blackberries (6#) is best, so with 6# of honey, 8 oz of ginger and some yeast, I can make 25 bottles for under $30! I need to scale up my operation… (and get my beehives started!)
    Here’s the recipe for anyone interested… best stuff EVER!
    http://www.recipesource.com/side-dishes/beverages/alcohol/00/rec0047.html
    (You gotta use champagne yeast…. otherwise the yeast dies when the alcohol content gets above 6 or 7%, fermentation stops and it ends up too sweet. My batches are very dry and about 11% alc)

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  97. 97

    RE: Ira Sacharoff @ 92

    LOL Ira

    I was eating that Fiberall Cereal, then noticed about a couple of years ago it stopped tasting like “dog food” and was sweeter. They suddenly snuck Nutrasweet into it [the light yogarts too]…I was horrified and switched to Raisin Bran [half the fiber without the poison]. BTW Nutrasweet:

    1. causes diabetes anyway
    2. tooth decay anyway
    3. brain tumors
    4. increased appetite
    etc, etc……

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  98. 98

    RE: Blake @ 96

    Glutens?

    My son is moderately autistic and I learned a lot about diet caregiving him:

    1. Milk is good for you [I think lactose sensitive is mostly BS to rationalize not drinking milk]
    2. Swallow a little flouride [simple basic toothpaste] every day, its better than brushing or flossing [he’s had zero cavities and he’s 23] and all dentists tell me its perfectly safe too
    3. Gluten free is a moot point, its does nothing to improve autism for him….see your doctor on this one
    4. Mercury laden flu shots are useless [all this recent push for vaccines for everything?], so are most repetitive urine/blood testing….even the prostrate testing [they’re even questioning colonostrophies and mamo checks…useless]….
    5. Cancer cure prevention….generally useless

    It makes you wonder if they’re trying to kill us all off….LOL

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  99. 99

    RE: Blake @ 96

    Like I Said

    My weight loss getting off “white carb crud” did not cut down on my fries and chips or baked potatos [albeit the pesticides are high in potatos, hades pesticides are in everything, its hopeless]…read a bag of chips ingredients, at least it has food value, unlike white crud. I love burgers, but eat ‘em with whole grain buns [when I cook]….that’s why I said 80% less white crud….hades, we have to have a cookie, birthday cake [even homemade bread, try the whole wheat flour next time though] and a juicy burger [with bun] out once in a while :-)

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  100. 100
    pfft says:

    By Blake @ 94:

    RE: pfft @ 77
    Pfft:”My we are moving the goal posts! that shows Obamacare is working. Just a few months ago doubters didn’t think people would sign up. Obamacare more than met it’s goals.”

    My post at #66 clearly shows that it is the Obamabots who keep movng the goalposts. If you judge this by what Obama himself promised it is a failure (see #66). If you judge it against what the brain-dead Tea Partiers said would happen then yes it is not a failure. What yardstick do you prefer…?

    pfft: “Obamacare doesn’t need healthy young people to sign up, it needs healthy people of all ages to sign up. it might need older healthy people to sign up moreso than younger.”

    Ummm… yes it does! Even if a sizeable chunk of the older demographic is healthy, they are aging and their healthcare costs will double and triple soon! It is clear from 0-cares’ own architects that they must have young people sign up for mlong term sustainability.

    pfft: “about 80-90% of people have made their first payment.”

    Oh, so 10-20% dropout rates the first month might be acceptable!? Some actuary should run those numbers and factor in that the ones missing their payments and dropping out may be younger and healthier (and more rational!) And what about the second and third months… and next year!?

    Blake: “They created a program, forced people to sign up,”

    pfft: “The democrats didnt dream this up. insurance mandates were created by a conservative think tank and was presented by Republicans as an alternative to Hillarycare. The Obama administration used the same people Romney used to bring his insurance mandate system of health insurance to Mass.”

    … your point being… what? “Don’t blame us for forcing people to buy crappy private insurance… it was first dreamed up by rightwing think tanks and we stole it! It’s their fault!!” ??? ;-)

    pfft: “Grab a napkin homie, you just got served.”

    Thank you… I am so humbled! ;-)

    Btw: Here’s a debunking of the liberal revisionism claiming that it was the Republicans that killed the public option in the summer of ’09….
    http://fdlaction.firedoglake.com/2013/11/12/public-option-revisionist-history/
    “Democrats removed the public option from the bill because Democrats really didn’t want to have a public option. President Obama made a deal with insurance industry groups to kill the public option and that is one of the few health care promises he kept.”
    Blake sez: Obama has kept almost all of his promises to Big Pharma, the Telecoms, Wall Street…

    you make all kinds of assumptions and pronouncement with no links! how about some links first.

    “Ummm… yes it does! Even if a sizeable chunk of the older demographic is healthy, they are aging and their healthcare costs will double and triple soon!”

    link.

    “And what about the second and third months… and next year!?”

    No insurance mandate program like obamacare has failed. Mass and up to 5 other advanced countries have mandates. the program isn’t that complicated essential. you must buy private insurance and if you can’t afford it the government will help you.

    ” your point being… what?”

    that you don’t know a lot about the program.

    “Don’t blame us for forcing people to buy crappy private insurance”

    How is it crappy? obamacare implemented many reforms specifically so that it would be less crappy.

    “Btw: Here’s a debunking of the liberal revisionism claiming that it was the Republicans that killed the public option in the summer of ’09….”

    literally nobody has mentioned that in ages. you set up a straw man and knocked it down. I don’t think it was Obama anyways, I think a lot of Democratic Senators got rid of the public option. many liberals were mad. Republicans probably hated it even more but that is besides the point.

    Obamacare is not perfect, single-payer is better but it’s a lot better than any Republican plan or anything else that is out there.

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  101. 101
    pfft says:

    By Ira Sacharoff @ 88:

    RE: Erik @ 85
    I may be a fit stud, but I’m also a fat stud. According to the charts, I’m 35 pounds overweight. I don’t take in a ton of calories, I hike, I garden,I go to the gym, I eat healthy foods. I wouldn’t trust those who’d make the decisions on who pays more for health insurance premiums. I’m paying more now cause I’m an old fart and not poor enough to get a subsidy. So the monthly premium for my wife and me more than doubled as a result of the “Affordable Care ” act. But if they decided to add other things to determine the premium, they’d charge more for things like total cholesterol. Half the people who die of heart disease have normal cholesterol. I can see charging a higher premium for smokers, or for people whose typical breakfast consists of Twinkies, potato chips, and Pepsi.

    forget the charts. get a scale that gives you bmi, body fat and muscle % readings. body fat % don’t lie!

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  102. 102
    Ron says:

    RE: Erik @ 85

    “Anyone that is fat should pay more”

    quote of the day! thank you. I needed a quick laugh.

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  103. 103
    Erik says:

    RE: Ron @ 102
    My pleasure. I was laughing to myself as I typed it.

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  104. 104

    Here’s an article explaining why the corporate income tax should be repealed, and replaced with higher taxes on the owners of the stock (similar to what I proposed a week or two ago).

    http://taxvox.taxpolicycenter.org/2014/04/04/two-ways-to-fix-the-corporate-income-tax-internationalize-it-or-kill-it/

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  105. 105

    This is interesting. This isn’t the IRS going after Redfin, but from what’s described I can see that happening.

    http://www.inman.com/2014/02/12/redfin-accused-of-misclassifying-employees-as-independent-contractors/?utm_source=20140403&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=newsflash

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  106. 106

    And in yet more breaking news, it turns out not all the houses in Seattle are affordable!

    http://www.king5.com/news/cities/seattle/homes-unaffordable-in-Seattle-253891111.html

    Seriously, is there any place in the country with a halfway decent economy where at least some of the houses are not unaffordable? I’m surprised that they only think it’s 1/3rd.

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  107. 107
    Blake says:

    By Kary L. Krismer @ 104:

    Here’s an article explaining why the corporate income tax should be repealed, and replaced with higher taxes on the owners of the stock (similar to what I proposed a week or two ago).

    http://taxvox.taxpolicycenter.org/2014/04/04/two-ways-to-fix-the-corporate-income-tax-internationalize-it-or-kill-it/

    Oooo… another tax “reform” proposal from the American Enterprise Institute and Pete Peterson… I wonder WHO that might benefit? They are known for their altruism and always put the public ahead of THEIR private interests… Hmmmm

    It may take another, larger crash, but their “straw man” ideas about internationalizing the tax system so the corporations don’t have anywhere to hide their profits may have more legs in the future. I also think that a small world-wide tax – of 0.01% or so – on fanancial transactions (“Tobin tax”) is what will be needed to reign in the rampant speculation and hot money that destabilizes markets around the world. The people around the world will increasingly realize that the corporations and oligarchs have total contempt for the nation state’s rules and laws and will continue to destabilize the system. But it is obvious from our Supreme Court rulings that our government will incresasingly be under the control of these people – Pete Peterson et al. – and they will continue to enrich themselves and shift taxes onto the weak and powerless… Hey, it’s only greed and self interest! That’s what they do! (And don’t for a minute pretend that they are motivated by anything beyond $$$$!)

    btw: The Tobin “financial transaction tax” has a large and growing number of supporters across the political spectrum: http://www.cepr.net/documents/ftt-support.pdf

    One is David Stockman (former Reagan Budget official – for you young ‘uns…)
    This is a great piece he wrote this week:
    http://davidstockmanscontracorner.com/2014/04/01/bubbleberg-news-lp-why-we-are-plagued-with-drivel-mascarading-as-financial-reporting/
    -snip- “One of the evils of massive over-financialization is that it enables Wall Street to scalp vast “rents” from the Main Street economy. These zero sum extractions not only bloat the paper wealth of the 1% but also fund a parasitic bubble finance infrastructure that would largely not exist in a world of free market finance and honest money.

    Needless to say, the parabolic rise in financial sector profits from about 1.25% of GDP prior to Camp David to 4.25% of GDP today—call it a round $500 billion per year—is only the tip of the ice-berg. What lies beneath, according to the Commerce Department numbers crunchers, is “value-added” of some $3.75 trillion in the FIRE sector (finance, insurance and real estate), which generates the aforementioned accounting profits and consists primarily of compensation.

    Here the uplift is even more dramatic. The FIRE sector’s 800 basis point gain from 14% of GDP in 1970 to 22% at present rounds to about $1.4 trillion. That’s the bloat from financialization—which is to say, the infrastructure of bubble finance.”

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  108. 108

    RE: Blake @ 107 – Well you apparently prefer the current system where corporations produce less, employ fewer people and when they do things they do so in places which are less likely to be the United States. And even worse, the current system has the United States basically subsidizing the corporate income tax of virtually every other country.

    Who does that benefit?

    I do find it somewhat ironic that corporations are treated with such a broad brush. Simultaneously they apparently take advantage of all their employees while at the same time paying them so much that it causes housing prices to rise. If your analysis begins and ends at _________ is evil, then chances are you are wrong, and that is true when you’re talking about corporations. Some are good and some are bad, but virtually all of them will try to find ways of minimizing their tax hit.

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  109. 109
    pfft says:

    LOL.

    Ryan wants to take health care away from millions of people and replace it with … uh … something
    http://www.dailykos.com/story/2014/04/04/1289681/-Ryan-wants-to-take-health-care-away-from-millions-of-people-and-replace-it-with-uh-something

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  110. 110
    pfft says:

    By Kary L. Krismer @ 4:

    Here’s an article explaining why the corporate income tax should be repealed, and replaced with higher taxes on the owners of the stock (similar to what I proposed a week or two ago).

    http://taxvox.taxpolicycenter.org/2014/04/04/two-ways-to-fix-the-corporate-income-tax-internationalize-it-or-kill-it/

    I laughed and stopped reading when I read “In a paper funded by the Peter G. Peterson Foundation.” that dude has been trying to cut SS for YEARS. He’s a former CEO of…Lehman Brothers and the Blackstone group. Whatever plan he has to tax owners of stock his lawyers and accountants will probably figure a way out from.

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  111. 111
    pfft says:

    By Blake @ 7:

    By Kary L. Krismer @ 104:
    Here’s an article explaining why the corporate income tax should be repealed, and replaced with higher taxes on the owners of the stock (similar to what I proposed a week or two ago).

    http://taxvox.taxpolicycenter.org/2014/04/04/two-ways-to-fix-the-corporate-income-tax-internationalize-it-or-kill-it/

    Oooo… another tax “reform” proposal from the American Enterprise Institute and Pete Peterson… I wonder WHO that might benefit? They are known for their altruism and always put the public ahead of THEIR private interests… Hmmmm

    It may take another, larger crash, but their “straw man” ideas about internationalizing the tax system so the corporations don’t have anywhere to hide their profits may have more legs in the future. I also think that a small world-wide tax – of 0.01% or so – on fanancial transactions (“Tobin tax”) is what will be needed to reign in the rampant speculation and hot money that destabilizes markets around the world. The people around the world will increasingly realize that the corporations and oligarchs have total contempt for the nation state’s rules and laws and will continue to destabilize the system. But it is obvious from our Supreme Court rulings that our government will incresasingly be under the control of these people – Pete Peterson et al. – and they will continue to enrich themselves and shift taxes onto the weak and powerless… Hey, it’s only greed and self interest! That’s what they do! (And don’t for a minute pretend that they are motivated by anything beyond $$$$!)

    btw: The Tobin “financial transaction tax” has a large and growing number of supporters across the political spectrum: http://www.cepr.net/documents/ftt-support.pdf

    One is David Stockman (former Reagan Budget official – for you young ‘uns…)
    This is a great piece he wrote this week:
    http://davidstockmanscontracorner.com/2014/04/01/bubbleberg-news-lp-why-we-are-plagued-with-drivel-mascarading-as-financial-reporting/
    -snip- “One of the evils of massive over-financialization is that it enables Wall Street to scalp vast “rents” from the Main Street economy. These zero sum extractions not only bloat the paper wealth of the 1% but also fund a parasitic bubble finance infrastructure that would largely not exist in a world of free market finance and honest money.

    Needless to say, the parabolic rise in financial sector profits from about 1.25% of GDP prior to Camp David to 4.25% of GDP today—call it a round $500 billion per year—is only the tip of the ice-berg. What lies beneath, according to the Commerce Department numbers crunchers, is “value-added” of some $3.75 trillion in the FIRE sector (finance, insurance and real estate), which generates the aforementioned accounting profits and consists primarily of compensation.

    Here the uplift is even more dramatic. The FIRE sector’s 800 basis point gain from 14% of GDP in 1970 to 22% at present rounds to about $1.4 trillion. That’s the bloat from financialization—which is to say, the infrastructure of bubble finance.”

    we desperately need a FTT. We could use the money for infrastructure, free college tuition, green energy and to police wall street. All those investments will both tax wall street and cut down on inequality.

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  112. 112
    Blake says:

    By Kary L. Krismer @ 108:

    RE: Blake @ 107 – Well you apparently prefer the current system where corporations produce less, employ fewer people and when they do things they do so in places which are less likely to be the United States. And even worse, the current system has the United States basically subsidizing the corporate income tax of virtually every other country.

    So you are assuming all that is true because of our onerous corp tax rates? You know, for 30 years their lobbiests and paid Reps have been modifying our corp codes so that corps pay less and LESS and get all sorts of write-offs and accelerated depreciations for doing things they probably would do anyways (like oil depletion!) So it is absurd for you to imply that the fact that corporations are not sharing their profits with their workers and expanding plants and investments is because of these horrible corporate tax codes that they largely wrote!?!? Where have you been the last 30 years?

    Kary: “If your analysis begins and ends at _________ is evil, then chances are you are wrong, and that is true when you’re talking about corporations. Some are good and some are bad, but virtually all of them will try to find ways of minimizing their tax hit. ”

    I never used the word “evil”… you did. I just pointed out that corporations will constantly pursue profits and $$$$ . If you think that is evil then maybe you are onto something! (I think the Bible, Thucydides and a few other sources from the last 3,000 years of history may back you up on this…) These corporations act to influence public opinion and policy thru their groups like AEI and leaders like Pete Peterson and so their recommendations for “reform” should be taken with a pillar of salt! And what makes you think that ANY “reform” that THIS Congress would pass would benefit anyone except the rich and powerful!? But perhaps they may be incompetent and propose reforms that force them to pay a larger share of the tax burden… Ha hah hah hah!!! OMG s’funny!!

    Love of power, operating through greed and through personal ambition, was the cause of all these evils. -Thucydides

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  113. 113

    RE: Blake @ 112 – I’m not suggesting that they are not sharing their profits because of the tax code. What I am saying is that they are moving work out of the country because of the tax code. What I am saying is they are engaged in fewer projects because of the tax code. What they pay their workers would vary by company, as it does now. But without a corporate income tax there would be a lot more economic activity in this country, even if the government made up 100% of that revenue from shareholders.

    BTW, the reason Congress might not be willing to go this route, beyond the political fact that they’ve vilified corporations for years, is that they like having this control. If they want something to occur (e.g. low income housing), they can make that happen by providing tax breaks. IMHO it would be better if everything had that same level of economic activity, not just the areas picked by Congress.

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  114. 114
    wreckingbull says:

    I get my nutrients from this thing they call ‘healthy food’. You all should try it!

    http://annals.org/article.aspx?articleid=1789253

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  115. 115
    whatsmyname says:

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 113
    No one is forced to use a corporation to create economic activity. Like the old joke about divorce, corporations are expensive because they are worth it.

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  116. 116
    Blurtman says:

    RE: Blake @ 107 – Vast rents paid to a crime ridden industry with a guaranteed unlimited USG backstop.

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  117. 117
    ChrisM says:

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 113 – About 10 years ago I listened to a books-on-tape history of Coca-Cola (I think it was http://www.amazon.com/For-God-Country-Coca-Cola-Definitive/dp/0465029175) which was fascinating because at one point they were the equivalent of the 90’s era Microsoft – an innovative company absolutely drowning in money that they refused to return to the shareholders. This was in the 19th century.

    IIRC, the government forced them to declare dividends so that it could be taxed. The govt. needed money and Coke was a tempting target with all their cash.

    At the time I thought the author didn’t understand the full ramifications – essentially it was govt. confiscation of a targeted company. I remember thinking that set a precedent, so the govt. could do the same to today’s Microsoft.

    It is an interesting thought experiment. Were I benevolent dictator I’d probably eliminate corporate taxes, but at the same time I’d eliminate taxes on dividends and eliminate the H1B program (replacing with a simpler visa program that allows talented foreigners in with the expectation they assimilate and apply for citizenship). I’ve long thought if companies were incentivized to return profits via dividends it would fix a ton of problems. You can’t fake a dividend cash payout (at least not for 2 successive quarters)… I would also seek jail time for board members if it is determined that corporations have committed a crime.

    Farm subsidies go away, military switches to defensive mode, the country turns xenophobic, we switch to a French 20 hour work week, it would become a paradise!!!

    WHO’S WITH ME? CHRISM FOR DICTATOR FOR LIFE!!!!!

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  118. 118
    ChrisM says:

    RE: Blake @ 96 – “Here’s the recipe for anyone interested… best stuff EVER!”

    Thanks! I’m firing up my first batch of dandelion wine. This is a decent recipe:
    http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f79/dandelion-wine-21095/

    I’ll have to try ginger mead – I did mead about 10 years ago, and am planning on building a beehive this year (we hosted 16 hives last year). YUM.

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  119. 119
    ChrisM says:

    RE: wreckingbull @ 114 – “I get my nutrients from this thing they call ‘healthy food’.”

    The tough part is finding healthy food in the first place. http://www.amazon.com/Storeys-Guide-Raising-Pigs-Edition/dp/1603424733 states that corn protein in the 20’s was *significantly* higher than today. (This is for animal feed, but I find it is relevant for people as well. The sugar vs. protein content in corn is absolutely astonishing when comparing 30 years ago vs. today.)

    My point is there is clear evidence that today’s produce does not have the same nutritional components as produce from 30+ years ago. Additional evidence at http://www.amazon.com/Eating-Wild-Side-Missing-Optimum/dp/0316227943/

    I’m lucky enough to be able to grow my own meat & produce. But the ordinary consumer (especially earning less than the median income) has a tough time of purchasing good food.

    I’ll be blunt – people on the bottom third of the economic scale have little choice but to succumb to an unhealthy diet. Per pound, broccoli is probably more expensive than ground beef. It should not be this way, especially when one understands the required inputs..

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  120. 120
    wreckingbull says:

    RE: ChrisM @ 119 – Unless we are talking about inner city, high-poverty, neighborhoods, this whole accusation that we are forced to eat unhealthy meals is complete bunk.

    If you want to argue that people don’t make time to cook anymore due to work-life balance problems, fine. That is reasonable.

    Take a look around you in line at the grocery store or Costco, or even your local co-op!! Note what people are buying. Expensive, pre-processed foods. Don’t like supermarket produce? Farmer’s markets offer a reasonably-price alternative. I think you would be amazed at how low ones budget can be if they cook from scratch.

    Ironically, the most expensive items on my budget are my home-sourced chicken and duck eggs. When I amortize out the cost of their coops, those are some expensive eggs. I raise them for fun, not profit. Nothing is more hilarious than watching three Pekins explore your yard.

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  121. 121

    By ChrisM @ 117:

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 113 – About 10 years ago I listened to a books-on-tape history of Coca-Cola. … This was in the 19th century.

    IIRC, the government forced them to declare dividends so that it could be taxed. The govt. needed money and Coke was a tempting target with all their cash.

    At the time I thought the author didn’t understand the full ramifications – essentially it was govt. confiscation of a targeted company. I remember thinking that set a precedent, so the govt. could do the same to today’s Microsoft.

    I don’t know that my proposal would be concerned by that, because I would get rid of the capital gains rate, so when the stock was sold there would be a tax. Note though I’m not caring about timing of the tax coming due. If you tax activity at the corporate level you have a taxable event earlier than if you tax a dividend and probably much earlier than if you tax a sale of the stock. I don’t worry about that because the extra activity (e.g. employee expense) of the corporation should counter the delay of any revenue.

    By whatsmyname @ 115:

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 113
    No one is forced to use a corporation to create economic activity. Like the old joke about divorce, corporations are expensive because they are worth it.

    Corporations, like partnerships, allow the pooling of resources to allow larger tasks to be performed. Corporations also limit risk of the investors in that they are not typically personally liable for the acts of the corporation, beyond their investment in it.

    The Republicans like to spout off about how important small businesses are, and they probably are fairly important. But small businesses exist in virtually every country. I would guess that more people probably owe generating six figure incomes to corporations than small business (particularly if you include health care benefits as income).

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  122. 122
    Erik says:

    RE: wreckingbull @ 114
    Food is a better source for sure. I just take the probiotic and that is it. No vitamins.

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  123. 123
    redmondjp says:

    RE: wreckingbull @ 120 – You missed his point completely – even if one does eat ‘healthy,’ the nutritional value of the food is not what it once was, say a half-century or longer ago (before Big Agra took over).

    We live in an age when the toxic- and pharmaceutical-laden sewage sludge from Seattle is trucked to Eastern WA and spread onto food-crop fields and called fertilizer. If it’s true that you are what you eat, we are full of ____!

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