Thursday, August 29, 2013

Last Call For The Principled Opposition

Republicans keep trying to break Obamacare on purpose, putting their own constituents at risk because they dislike President Obama.  The media is beginning to notice, too.  The Washington Post:

Several Republican-led states at the forefront of the campaign to undermine President Obama’s health-care law have come up with new ways to try to thwart it, refusing to enforce consumer protections, for example, and restricting federally funded workers hired to help people enroll in coverage.

And in at least one state, Missouri, local officials have been barred from doing anything to help put the law into place.

The actions have drawn less attention than congressional efforts to cut off funding for the law, or earlier state decisions to refuse to set up online insurance marketplaces or reject an expansion of Medicaid, which sharply limited the law’s reach.

But the moves could impede Obama’s most significant domestic accomplishment, which, despite having withstood a Supreme Court challenge and a presidential election, still faces doubts about its viability. And they could affect implementation at a crucial time, just as some of the major provisions of the law, also known as Obamacare, are set to go into effect.

Now understand these are real people behind these numbers, millions of them, as McClatchy points out in the 21 states where Republicans are actively trying to shut down Obamacare.  They're calling it the "coverage gap"

With limited access to preventative care, many in the coverage gap with manageable chronic illnesses could end up seeking primary care services in hospital emergency rooms, where medical aid is costly and fleeting.

“If they fail to get an insurance card and don’t have ongoing adequate coverage, that’s how they’re going to continue to get care, in the most expensive, least efficient, least helpful way that they can,” said Ellen Kugler, executive director of the National Association of Urban Hospitals.

Gerald Friedman, a health care economist at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, summarized the options for those caught in the coverage gap.

“There’s no way they can afford individual coverage at that income level, so they’ll do what they do now, which is they go to the free care pools in the hospitals, they go to public health clinics, they borrow from friends, they go to free clinics,” Friedman said, “and they just get sicker and sicker.”

These are real consequences, and real people who will be hurt here, not some nebulous collection of stats and charts.  It's going to do real damage to people, not to mention hospitals, providers, emergency rooms, families, you name it.

Republicans are willing to cause serious damage to the health of millions just because they hate Obama.  That's everything you need to know about the GOP in 2013.

Read more here:

Dayton Stands Up To Stand Your Ground

Dayton proves once again that while Ohio's GOP may have the reins now, those in opposition still get to make their voices heard.

City Commissioners have unanimously voted for a resolution opposing House Bill 203, which would expand Ohio law from the Castle Doctrine to the Stand Your Ground law. Ever since Ohio Legislators introduce house Bill 203 to bring the stand Your Ground Law to Ohio, City Leaders began speaking out against it.

"We have to take a stance when you look at the work we've put him in the city in an effort to try and reduce gun violence this kind of flies in the face of it," said City Commissioner Joey Williams.

"You're working as hard as you can Commissioner Williams as we all are here on commission to reduce gun violence why give people a legal way to kill," said Commissioner Matt Joseph.

Of all the citizens who spoke out at today's public hearing no one showed support of the Stand Your Ground proposal.

"All of the block parties that we have engaged in the last five years, all of the town-hall forums denouncing gun violence this proposed HB 203 would do nothing more than further separate alienate and increase the violence and not bring about peace," said Rev. Jerome McCorry of the Adam Project.

Wednesday's unanimous vote by the city commission fulfilled one purpose. It sent a message to the state that the city of Dayton will not stand for the stand your ground law.

"This is a dangerous law," said Bishop Richard Cox of the S.C.L.C. "It's a law that will affect every African-American male in this city and I'm glad you're sending a message to Gov. Kasich and the legislators."

A pretty strong coalition is building against SYG laws in Ohio, and it's a coalition that has beaten back the GOP before.  If there's one thing Gov. Kasich hates, it's bad press, and SYG is nothing but a nightmare for him.  Ohio voters will remember come 2014, and Kasich knows it.

Upper Class Twit Of The Year Awards

A new study shows some pretty interesting links between wealth, entitlement, and narcissism:  the more wealthy and educated you are, the more you think of yourself rather than others.

The fact that rich people often think they're better than poor people is one of those unspoken truths of society. We all know it happens, even if no one likes to admit it.

Luckily, we've got the research to prove it. In a series of studies, University of California at Berkley Psychologist Paul K. Piff tested the links between social class, entitlement, and narcissism.

"Americans may be more narcissistic now than ever, but narcissism is not evenly distributed across social strata," Piff wrote.

Piff and his team completed a number of studies, and every time found a significant link between wealth and narcissism.  The one shining spot:

Piff wanted to see whether simply reminding people of egalitarian values could change their levels of narcissism. He asked one group of people to list three benefits of regarding others as equals. He asked another group to list three activities they did during an average day. Afterward, both groups took a questionnaire meant to show their sense of entitlement.

Findings: People who thought about egalitarian things showed much lower entitlement than those in the control condition.

Injecting a bit of a reminder about the rest of us into the lives of those who think daily about themselves all the time seems like a good idea to me.  On the other hand, does self-absorption to the point of narcissism create wealth the way wealth creates narcissism?

That would be an interesting study.  When all you care about is getting ahead for your own benefit, do you actually benefit?


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