Sunday, July 21, 2013

Last Call For Repeal-O-Rama

To Orange Julius, it's always the summer of 2010.

Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) vowed Sunday to hold more House votes to thwart ObamaCare, a major priority for the GOP as the law is implemented.

"You're going to see a lot more," Boehner told CBS's "Face the Nation." "You're going to see bipartisan votes coming out of the House to derail this thing.

Boehner is absolutely sure that enough House Democrats are eventually going to jump on the repeal bandwagon to give him a veto-proof margin in the House, and that will lead to 67+ votes in the Senate, and that will force President Romney to repeal Romneycare.

I really don't have the heart to tell him it's not going to happen, but apparently not only does he think Democrats in Congress are morons, he thinks voters are morons too.

But he's going to stick with his plan, dammit.  Right until it blows up in his face.

They Still Can't Stop Lying About Obamacare, Yet Again

Republicans and conservative pundits will never stop lying to you about Obamacare, America.  And for once, it's not the usual suspect (Forbes hack Avik Roy) but the Indiana GOP doing the lying.  That's right, we've gone from pundits making up statistics to state insurance officials doing it, and Washington Post health care writer Sarah Kliff catches them red-handed:

The average health insurance plan in Indiana will increase by 72 to percent next year and hit $570 under the 2010 health-care law, the state announced Friday. What does that tell us?

It certainly doesn’t tell us insurance coverage in Indiana will be cheap; that much is obvious. But it doesn’t really tell us that Indiana’s premiums are outrageous – in fact, when you dig into the documents insurers’ filed, it turns out Indiana’s rates look a lot like the rest of the country.

The $570 figure that Indiana put out Friday doesn’t, in fact, tell us much at all. It’s pretty much just a great number to make the cost of health insurance sound expensive in Indiana and a horrible one to use in thinking about how much Hoosiers will pay for coverage come January.

Cherry-picked numbers to put the worst-possible spin on Obamacare?  Surely you're joking!  Why, Republicans would never do that!  You know, except for doing it constantly for the last three years.

Indiana’s $570 figure comes from squishing together all the filings –- every plan that is bronze, platinum or anywhere in between –- and coming up with one composite. We don’t know whether a bronze plan in Indiana will be incredibly expensive, which is certainly a possibility, or if some high-priced platinum offerings are pushing up the average.

In other words, let's say Indiana wouldn't tell you what community college tuition cost in the state for 2014.  What if instead, they gave you the average cost for every college, community, two-year, four-year, public, and private, then said OMG community college costs went up A ZILLION PERCENT?

That's exactly what Indiana did with health care premiums.  Just like Avik Roy, they refuse to compare apples to apples, but instead compare apples to the average price of all fruit!  The entire point of the number is to make it look bad, and to make Indianans want to repeal Obamacare.  And it all because the GOP has nothing better to do but lie to their constituents.  This isn't some hack pundit doing this, these are state officials.

By the way, checking to see what premiums actual insurance companies are charging for silver level plans, they come out to $300-$400 a month for individual plans.  That's a far cry from $570, yes?

But you'd never know if you ask state Republicans.  They're too busy lying to you because they think Hoosiers are stupid.

Keep Calm And Pay Nate Silver Fat Stacks Of Disney Cash prognosticator extraordinaire Nate Silver is headed for the intersection of sports analysis and political analysis:  he's leaving the NY Times and taking a long-term contract with Disney to work as ESPN and ABC.  Marc Tracy at TNR explains:

In maybe the juiciest free agent signing since LeBron James bolted for Miami three years ago, it looks like Nate Silver, the political forecaster behind the FiveThirtyEight blog, is departing the New York Times after serving out his initial, three-year contract, and going to ESPN. According to (who else?) the Times, Silver will, presumably among other things, appear frequently on Keith Olbermann’s forthcoming, New York-based late-night show on ESPN2, and also do some politics work for ESPN’s corporate sibling ABC News. He had reportedly been in negotiations with the Times to sign a new contract.

Silver, who a decade ago was working at Baseball Prospectus analyzing the sport with advanced statistics, started blogging about politics at Daily Kos and then his own blog during the 2008 primaries and election. He became popular for forecasting elections, most prominently the presidential election as it plays out in the electoral college (hence “FiveThirtyEight,” for the 538 electoral votes), by averaging polls and weighting them to adjust for the ways in which they had been inaccurate in the past—a method not dissimilar from the one he used to devise a well-regarded algorithm for forecasting the future performances of baseball players. He moved his franchise to the Times in the summer of 2010. Particularly last November, he became a lightning rod for this more empirical way of following elections, as contrasted with the “narrative”-heavy approach of many pundits. He did not reply to a request for comment Saturday.

Now all of this makes a huge amount of sense:  At ESPN, Nate can rattle off sports figures and stay focused between election cycles.  It's basically the perfect job for him and his team, and frankly I don't know why ESPN didn't pay him more to begin with.

Which leads me to conclude the X factor here that made Nate take the plunge is Olbermann, also back at ESPN.  The two of them together again (Nate got his political TV punditry start as a regular guest on 2007-2008 Countdown with Olbermann) are a formidable combo.

Olbermann's reportedly not allowed to talk politics on his show.  But...with Nate Silver as a regular guest, I would have to think that he might bring up politics for Keith.  Either way, it's a compelling reason to at least tape Olbermann's show once in a while.
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