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Thursday, April 03, 2014

OTP April 2014: BurstNET Sued for Not Making Equipment Lease Payments

Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: April 03, 2014 at 01:59 PM | 4718 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: 7 million aca signees and counting, i-95 south, nc, politics

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   1. Bitter Mouse Posted: April 03, 2014 at 02:22 PM (#4678553)
So anything happen recently? Other than billionaires whining that is.
   2. Yeaarrgghhhh Posted: April 03, 2014 at 02:23 PM (#4678554)
Their service is...not good.
   3. The Ghost's Tryin' to Reason with Hurricane Season Posted: April 03, 2014 at 02:24 PM (#4678555)
If that company doesn't get acquired, then I think they'll close down before too much longer.
   4. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: April 03, 2014 at 02:25 PM (#4678558)
The free market solves everything! (By shoving it in the back of a van and driving it south to NC, apparently.)
   5. Dag Nabbit is part of the zombie horde Posted: April 03, 2014 at 02:27 PM (#4678559)
Long forum thread about BurstNet's bursting.

For those wondering, BurstNet: shut down their main center, giving little/no advance warning to their customers. (The lucky ones got a week-plus notice, but many more got a day or two, or a few hours, or zero notice whatsoever).

They moved all their stuff from Pennsylvania to North Carolina w/ no advance warning ..... because they hadn't paid their rent in PA. They were fleeing one step ahead of having the facility they were renting padlocked up behind them.

Apparently, BurstNet has now been purchased by something called DigiPlus. There was no DigiPlus until a few weeks ago. It was started up apparently by BurstNet. And is apparently run by the same guys who run BurstNet. Can you say "shell company" everyone? Looks like the latest sleazy trick to avoid legal issues and old bills - by the same gang whose last sleazy trick was running from PA to NC.

Oh, and BurstNet is BTF's server host, which is why this matters.
   6. Johnny Sycophant-Laden Fora Posted: April 03, 2014 at 02:29 PM (#4678561)
If that company doesn't get acquired


Apparently they were, or to be more precise a venture/vulture investor has forced out the prior owner/operator and has taken over the day to day management...
   7. The Yankee Clapper Posted: April 03, 2014 at 02:38 PM (#4678576)
Looks like the latest sleazy trick to avoid legal issues and old bills - by the same gang whose last sleazy trick was running from PA

Not likely to work, IMHO. And they will be spending a lot more on lawyers, who will insist on being paid up front if they know what they are doing. BTTF better get a new server host before the next chapter unfolds.
   8. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: April 03, 2014 at 02:39 PM (#4678579)
New hosts are in the offing.
   9. JE (Jason) Posted: April 03, 2014 at 02:42 PM (#4678585)
MLB predictions anyone?
   10. Tim Wallach was my Hero Posted: April 03, 2014 at 02:42 PM (#4678586)
I'm so glad to see BBTF up again. I would have loved to chat about the two fantastic games I saw in Montreal last weekend (well, to be honest, they were not fantastic, but it was amazing to see baseball in Montreal again) and to discuss about opening day, but hey, BBTF is up and again and I guess it's what matters most.
   11. JE (Jason) Posted: April 03, 2014 at 02:43 PM (#4678588)
Double post.
   12. The Ghost's Tryin' to Reason with Hurricane Season Posted: April 03, 2014 at 02:44 PM (#4678592)
Yes, Jim said on Facebook that he is going to be taking this elsewhere.

Some obligations can be dodged by this sort of purchase. At the least, it can become harder for creditors to get paid or to seize collateral. I'm no lawyer, though.
   13. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: April 03, 2014 at 02:48 PM (#4678598)
MLB predictions anyone?

Dustin Pedroia will hit about .480.
   14. Mike Emeigh Posted: April 03, 2014 at 02:51 PM (#4678603)
Apparently they were, or to be more precise a venture/vulture investor has forced out the prior owner/operator and has taken over the day to day management...


That actually happened back in February, when JW Ray took over as CEO of BurstNET. Ray is now the CEO of DigiPLUS, and he's also the Managing Director of Backlog Capital. The rest of the executive team that is "helping with the transition" is also from Backlog Capital.

Ray's from NC; his family runs a winery in Surry County.

-- MWE
   15. A big pile of nonsense (gef the talking mongoose) Posted: April 03, 2014 at 02:51 PM (#4678604)
The Yankees, not the Rangers, will go 0-162.
   16. Johnny Sycophant-Laden Fora Posted: April 03, 2014 at 02:53 PM (#4678606)
At the least, it can become harder for creditors to get paid or to seize collateral.


That's what this looks like- not only was their space in PA rented, but they apparently lease most (if not all) of their equipment- they were planning on moving to a cheaper location for months- but then moved up the timing and did it seemingly on the spur of the moment because they were worried about the equipment getting repo'd-

all moving does is slow down the leasing companies unless they get paid they're still going to be be going after the collateral-
so unless Jim replaces them another outage like this is likely in the offing in another month or two.

Burstnet/Digi whatever is pretty much a corporate zombie at this point, the only real question is whether they try to pull off another midnight over in a couple months or file for Chapter 11 (I'm guessing they do not want bankruptcy court oversight/ a bankruptcy trustee poking through their stuff, so filing would be an absolute last resort, a adversarial filing by their creditors is not out of the realm of possibility though)
   17. Never Give an Inge (Dave) Posted: April 03, 2014 at 02:55 PM (#4678607)

Yeah, my advice to Jim would be to back up everything as soon as possible.
   18. Canker Soriano Posted: April 03, 2014 at 05:30 PM (#4678772)
Dustin Pedroia will hit about .480.

Emilio Bonifacio is going to hit about .800.
   19. JE (Jason) Posted: April 03, 2014 at 06:07 PM (#4678813)
I confess that a tiny part of me wanted BBTF to remain offline until I got my tax info to the accountant on Monday.
   20. smileyy Posted: April 03, 2014 at 06:41 PM (#4678831)
aws.amazon.com, just saying
   21. McCoy Posted: April 03, 2014 at 06:55 PM (#4678842)
Espn.com, just saying.
   22. zenbitz Posted: April 04, 2014 at 07:23 PM (#4679638)
Amazon or Google cloud even.
   23. Mike Emeigh Posted: April 04, 2014 at 07:41 PM (#4679646)
I confess that a tiny part of me wanted BBTF to remain offline until I got my tax info to the accountant on Monday.


You're running late. I expected all of my clients to have theirs to me already. I have about 10 in the queue to finish, going to be lucky to make it by the 15th.

-- MWE
   24. valuearbitrageur Posted: April 05, 2014 at 02:29 AM (#4679794)
The free market solves everything! (By shoving it in the back of a van and driving it south to NC, apparently.)


I shudder to imagine how long the site would have been down and how expensive it would have been run as a government agency or a governmental licensed monopoly like a cable company.

The best part of free enterprise is choice. You can choose the cheapest available provider and hope it doesn't go out of business or be run by scumbags, or you can pay up for a financially stable company with a high level of service, it all depends upon what's important to you.

I have no idea of the revenues here; sio I'm don't kniw whether they made the wrong choice. If BBTF is truly a labor of love there is nothing wrong with trading a little uptime for substantially lower costs.
   25. JE (Jason) Posted: April 05, 2014 at 10:14 AM (#4679851)
You're running late. I expected all of my clients to have theirs to me already. I have about 10 in the queue to finish, going to be lucky to make it by the 15th.

Well aware of my track record, Mike, the accountant expects me to hand him the info hours before Passover begins a week from tomorrow evening. He'll be shocked when I drop by on Monday morning.
   26. tshipman Posted: April 05, 2014 at 01:20 PM (#4679915)
I shudder to imagine how long the site would have been down and how expensive it would have been run as a government agency or a governmental licensed monopoly like a cable company.


Two points: First, your snark is now out of date because PPACA is on its way to a clean victory. No comments about this from the usual suspects, but remember December when TYC and someone else (snapper?) were commenting that there would be more people who lose insurance from O-Care than gain it? Not even close.

Second point: Is there a good model for utilities? Because I haven't seen one. You have the licensed monopoly model (cable companies), which sucks. You have full deregulation (like Texas electric companies), which sucks. You have the government operated utility (various), which sucks. Is there a model of utility company which does not suck balls? If so, I'd be interested in hearing about it.
   27. Swedish Chef Posted: April 05, 2014 at 01:25 PM (#4679922)
Second point: Is there a good model for utilities?

A data center isn't an utility, there's no lock-in of customers at all.
   28. tshipman Posted: April 05, 2014 at 01:40 PM (#4679930)
A data center isn't an utility, there's no lock-in of customers at all.


I should have been more clear: I have no interest in whatever it was that KT was trying to say, and have been interested to hear a discussion on utilities for a few weeks.
   29.     Hey Gurl Posted: April 05, 2014 at 01:54 PM (#4679937)
I have no idea of the revenues here; sio I'm don't kniw whether they made the wrong choice. If BBTF is truly a labor of love there is nothing wrong with trading a little uptime for substantially lower costs.


Jim swore off BurstNet after their last shenanigans in August, and rightfully so. Frankly, I would be shocked if a more reliable service wouldn't be cheaper in today's day and age. Jim has access to numerous resources here at BBTF who have frequently offered to volunteer their time, advice, and more, and he refused to accept help or do anything to get us off BurstNet. I loved this place; I would have taken a day off my day job to help find a new host and move the site. But it's easier to just leave the site on a crappy host so you can point the finger at them when something bad happens.
   30. OCF Posted: April 05, 2014 at 02:03 PM (#4679940)
We're having a local election. A week or two ago, I was reading a press account of a debate among several candidates for mayor. It seemed from the story that one candidate in particular had an all-purpose answer to all possible questions: "It should be run like a business." (He's the Republican candidate, although it's a non-partisan election, and he's a former pro athlete, NFL variety.) My reaction at the time: You do realize that businesses fail all the time, right? And they discontinue product lines, close stores, leave neighborhoods. How is that a model for municipal government?
   31. bobm Posted: April 05, 2014 at 02:23 PM (#4679947)
there would be more people who lose insurance from O-Care than gain it? Not even close. 

We know how many policies were cancelled. How many "enrollees" have actually paid one premium to put their policies in force? How many of those new paid policyholders never had insurance before?
   32. OCF Posted: April 05, 2014 at 02:28 PM (#4679949)
Isn't it painfully obvious by now that saying "but have they paid their premiums?" is a loser's game?
   33. Joe Kehoskie Posted: April 05, 2014 at 02:32 PM (#4679951)
Two points: First, your snark is now out of date because PPACA is on its way to a clean victory. No comments about this from the usual suspects, but remember December when TYC and someone else (snapper?) were commenting that there would be more people who lose insurance from O-Care than gain it? Not even close.

Not even Baghdad Bob could have said such silliness with a straight face.

The initial Obamacare enrollment numbers are still off by something like 50 percent, the initial CBO cost projection was off by $1,100,000,000,000 (and counting), something like 25 percent of the alleged enrollees have yet to actually pay their premiums, some of the most potentially adverse aspects of the law have been punted 1-2 years into the future, and the law remains highly unpopular in poll after poll after poll, to the point that Dem candidates go out of their way not to mention it. That's your idea of a "clean victory"?
   34. The Yankee Clapper Posted: April 05, 2014 at 02:56 PM (#4679963)
. . . PPACA is on its way to a clean victory.

Declaring something a success doesn't make it a success. 15-20% of the folks the White House counts as signing up for ObamaCare, haven't paid the premium, and may never do so, and only about 850,000 uninsured signed up. Perhaps folks missed the news about two Democratic states scrapping their ObamaCare exchanges? Oregon wasn't able to sign up anyone online, despite spending hundreds of millions, and Maryland is scrapping its glitch-ridden exchange, also after huge expenditures, and will try to use Connecticut's model next open season. Counting folks who reluctantly sign up for ObamaCare (on pain of tax penalties) as a "success" is wishful thinking. The test is whether folks like ObamaCare better than what they had. After all, the President promised that everyone could keep their coverage if they liked it, and save an average of $2500 per family. How many will actually get that deal?
   35. Monty Predicts a Padres-Mariners WS in 2016 Posted: April 05, 2014 at 03:13 PM (#4679973)
only about 850,000 uninsured signed up.


"Only"?
   36. Joe Kehoskie Posted: April 05, 2014 at 03:17 PM (#4679975)

850,000 out of ~30,000,000 isn't very impressive — which, of course, shouldn't need to be pointed out on a stats site.
   37. theboyqueen Posted: April 05, 2014 at 03:17 PM (#4679976)
The test is whether folks like ObamaCare better than what they had.


Considering they had nothing before I suspect this will be a pretty easy test.
   38. theboyqueen Posted: April 05, 2014 at 03:19 PM (#4679977)
Joe, what is your plan for insuring those remaining ~29,150,000 people?
   39. Monty Predicts a Padres-Mariners WS in 2016 Posted: April 05, 2014 at 03:20 PM (#4679978)
850,000 out of ~30,000,000 isn't very impressive — which, of course, shouldn't need to be pointed out on a stats site.


It's better than zero, which is what the Republicans proposed.
   40. greenback calls it soccer Posted: April 05, 2014 at 03:20 PM (#4679979)
only about 850,000 uninsured signed up.

Somebody please tell me there's a better source for this than the Daily Mail.
   41. The Yankee Clapper Posted: April 05, 2014 at 03:26 PM (#4679983)
The test is whether folks like ObamaCare better than what they had.

Considering they had nothing before I suspect this will be a pretty easy test.

Not true for most people. According to Gallup, around 70% of Americans were happy with the coverage they had, and so far ObamaCare is well short of that mark. But even if you focus solely on the uninsured, many seem to prefer remaining uninsured to ObamaCare. Those who were touting that "everyone wins" ObamaCare chart back in the fall were peddling snake oil.
   42. The Yankee Clapper Posted: April 05, 2014 at 03:29 PM (#4679984)
only about 850,000 uninsured signed up.

Somebody please tell me there's a better source for this than the Daily Mail.

It's a Rand study that was widely cited when it came out (while BBTF was down).
   43. tshipman Posted: April 05, 2014 at 03:33 PM (#4679985)
only about 850,000 uninsured signed up.


Yeah, there's just no way this is accurate. Here's a pretty decent summary:

The real figure probably won't be known for weeks, even months. But researchers at the Urban Institute's Health Policy Center have weighed in with their own estimate. They're figuring that the ACA has reduced the number of uninsured Americans by 5.4 million from the first quarter of 2013 through early March this year.


It's a pretty good sign of the panic in the right that you're resorting to obviously nonsense claims.

Edit: After reading through some summaries, it seems fairly clear what's going on. The RAND Corp thing is looking at only people on the exchanges, not Medicaid expansion. It's treating people who signed up in the last month as identical to those who signed up in the first few months, and it's using the lowest possible estimate for the rate of payment.
   44. GregD Posted: April 05, 2014 at 03:33 PM (#4679986)
The Daily Mail! Well played, my friend. Good satire is hard to find these days.

Responsible analysts--those wild communists at Rand, for example--estimate that the number of previous uninsured under the Obamacare numbers is somewhere around 2 million, though nobody knows for sure. The state numbers are still rolling in; the previously uninsured in Kentucky's care are 75%. New York is 60%. The number is likely to end up between 2 and 3 million previously uninsured once we have all the data.


Given that 3-4 million adults have lost their insurance each year going back, people who previously--but otherwise no longer--would have insurance need to be counted to, as they would have been uninsured in a pre-Obamacare world. Nobody has that data yet, and that may never be able to be known.

The Urban Institute's survey of insurance rates suggests 5.4 million fewer people are uninsured now than in the first quarter of 2013; those survey results don't include the spring surge in March so are probably higher now. That also doesn't factor in the people who gained insurance under Obamacare provisions before 2013.

The data are unclear, and any fair-minded person will admit that--unsurprisingly!--we don't know everything right now.

But any fair-minded person can also say that most of the stuff that Clapper posted is pure bullshit
   45. Joe Kehoskie Posted: April 05, 2014 at 03:36 PM (#4679987)
Joe, what is your plan for insuring those remaining ~29,150,000 people?

Why would I need one? We were told the Obamacare mandate would solve that problem.

Per the 2009 estimates, at least half of the ~30,000,000 uninsured people* could have afforded insurance but chose not to buy it. As the putrid Obamacare enrollment numbers are showing, they're still not buying it, despite the mandate. Rightly or wrongly, young, healthy people tend to believe it's foolish to pay thousands of dollars per year for insurance they probably won't need.


(* The ~30 million number doesn't count the illegal-immigrant uninsured, who are, or are supposed to be, ineligible for Obamacare.)
   46. bobm Posted: April 05, 2014 at 03:38 PM (#4679988)
[40] From http://www.cnbc.com/id/101512883

But McKinsey, a leading management consulting firm, polled about 2,100 exchange-eligible Americans in February, and found only 27 percent of people who had picked a plan were previously uninsured. Only 53 percent of them had paid their first premium, compared with 86 percent of the previously insured. With 5 million total enrollments, that would be about 715,500 previously uninsured Americans who had chosen and paid for new insurance.


850K policies in force of previously uninsured @ 6 million total enrolled; and 1 million @ 7 million, assuming that late signups were similar in uninsured status and likelihood to pay


   47. Joe Kehoskie Posted: April 05, 2014 at 03:40 PM (#4679991)
Yeah, there's just no way this is accurate. Here's a pretty decent summary:

The real figure probably won't be known for weeks, even months. But researchers at the Urban Institute's Health Policy Center have weighed in with their own estimate. They're figuring that the ACA has reduced the number of uninsured Americans by 5.4 million from the first quarter of 2013 through early March this year.


It's a pretty good sign of the panic in the right that you're resorting to obviously nonsense claims.

LOL. This should have been incredibly easy to track. The fact it wasn't tracked — or, at least, not publicly disclosed* — shows how lousy Obamacare is doing vis-a-vis insuring the uninsured.

(* Given that the Obama administration leaks like a sieve, it seems highly unlikely that they're withholding excellent numbers that would bolster their Obamacare claims.)

Edit: After reading through some summaries, it seems fairly clear what's going on. The RAND Corp thing is looking at only people on the exchanges, not Medicaid expansion. It's treating people who signed up in the last month as identical to those who signed up in the first few months, and it's using the lowest possible estimate for the rate of payment.

Absolutely no reason to count Medicaid enrollments as a "success," given that such people pay little or nothing for the coverage and will hurt rather than help the cost numbers and risk pools.
   48. Jarrod HypnerotomachiaPoliphili(Teddy F. Ballgame) Posted: April 05, 2014 at 03:40 PM (#4679992)
I was not insured and now I am. Therefore the ACA is a success.

Thanks, Obama!
   49. tshipman Posted: April 05, 2014 at 03:40 PM (#4679993)
Why are you guys ignoring Medicaid expansion? Just easier to pretend it doesn't exist?

Edit:
This should have been incredibly easy to track. The fact it wasn't tracked — or, at least, not publicly disclosed — shows how lousy Obamacare is doing vis-a-vis insuring the uninsured.


It's actually pretty hard to track. You like to rip Obamacare for not reporting the number of people who paid, but that requires the program to check back with hundreds of insurers to get the number of payments, etc. Tracking whether someone was or was not uninsured previously would add additional layers
   50. JE (Jason) Posted: April 05, 2014 at 03:44 PM (#4679995)
FWIW, here's Avik Roy in Forbes:
If you apply that math to the RAND figures, you get this: of the people who have paid their first month’s premium on the Obamacare exchanges, and are thereby enrolled in coverage, 76 percent were previously insured, and 24 percent were previously uninsured.

Two caveats. First, we know little about RAND’s survey methodology at this time; we’ll have to see the actual study to see the details of what they did. Second, we don’t know how many previously uninsured people signed up for off-exchange coverage, above and beyond the normal rate of churn that this market would traditionally see.

What’s important to remember is that this is not how Obamacare was supposed to work. The Congressional Budget Office, in its original estimates, predicted that the vast majority of the people eligible for subsidies on the exchanges would be previously uninsured individuals.

Instead, the vast majority are previously insured people, many of whom are getting a better deal on the exchanges because they either qualify for subsidies, or because they’re older individuals who benefit from the law’s steep rate hikes on the young.
   51. Joe Kehoskie Posted: April 05, 2014 at 03:49 PM (#4680000)
It's actually pretty hard to track. You like to rip Obamacare for not reporting the number of people who paid, but that requires the program to check back with hundreds of insurers to get the number of payments, etc. Tracking whether someone was or was not uninsured previously would add additional layers

Yeah, real hard to add an "Are you currently insured?" checkbox on the application page, with an "If so, name your carrier" box. Give us a break.
   52. tshipman Posted: April 05, 2014 at 03:51 PM (#4680001)
Again, these surveys are extrapolating results from February, and pretending that they were accurate for the whole enrollment period.

By focusing on people who have paid the first month's premium ASAP, you are inevitably going to find people who were previously enrolled.

We have better data at the state level, like at Kentucky, where 75% of the signups were previously uninsured.
   53. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: April 05, 2014 at 04:04 PM (#4680016)
Absolutely no reason to count Medicaid enrollments as a "success," given that such people pay little or nothing for the coverage and will hurt rather than help the cost numbers and risk pools.
"Under Obama, the welfare rolls were dramatically expanded." Yes, what a great "success."
   54. steagles Posted: April 05, 2014 at 04:11 PM (#4680021)
Jim swore off BurstNet after their last shenanigans in August, and rightfully so. Frankly, I would be shocked if a more reliable service wouldn't be cheaper in today's day and age. Jim has access to numerous resources here at BBTF who have frequently offered to volunteer their time, advice, and more, and he refused to accept help or do anything to get us off BurstNet. I loved this place; I would have taken a day off my day job to help find a new host and move the site. But it's easier to just leave the site on a crappy host so you can point the finger at them when something bad happens.
interesting statement in light of the other conversation in this thread.

We're having a local election. A week or two ago, I was reading a press account of a debate among several candidates for mayor. It seemed from the story that one candidate in particular had an all-purpose answer to all possible questions: "It should be run like a business." (He's the Republican candidate, although it's a non-partisan election, and he's a former pro athlete, NFL variety.) My reaction at the time: You do realize that businesses fail all the time, right? And they discontinue product lines, close stores, leave neighborhoods. How is that a model for municipal government?
additionally, if government were really run like a business taxes would go thru the roof because they'd have monopolies on essential services and as every businessman knows, once you've cornered the market, you raise the price.

government as business would be the worst fears of conservatives immediately realized.
   55. tshipman Posted: April 05, 2014 at 04:15 PM (#4680023)
"Under Obama, the welfare rolls were dramatically expanded." Yes, what a great "success."


Here's what The Yankee Clapper said:

Declaring something a success doesn't make it a success. 15-20% of the folks the White House counts as signing up for ObamaCare, haven't paid the premium, and may never do so, and only about 850,000 uninsured signed up.


It's just patently false. Medicaid expansion was part of Obamacare, as was expanding coverage for young people until 26.

Expanding medicaid is a huge success. It's not as big a success as Medicare for all would have been, but it's still a huge increase in the health (mental and physical) of those who received it. Now, maybe it doesn't run a thrill up your leg like cutting taxes, but it actually does more good for more people, which I consider to be a positive.

(also, nice to see you around again, David)
   56. Joe Kehoskie Posted: April 05, 2014 at 04:22 PM (#4680028)
It's just patently false. Medicaid expansion was part of Obamacare, as was expanding coverage for young people until 26.

Expanding medicaid is a huge success. It's not as big a success as Medicare for all would have been, but it's still a huge increase in the health (mental and physical) of those who received it. Now, maybe it doesn't run a thrill up your leg like cutting taxes, but it actually does more good for more people, which I consider to be a positive.

Obamacare wasn't remotely sold as a massive expansion of the welfare state. "Obamacare is a success because millions of people signed up for 'free' coverage" is absurd.
   57. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: April 05, 2014 at 04:28 PM (#4680030)
It's not as big a success as Medicare for all would have been, but it's still a huge increase in the health (mental and physical) of those who received it.
That's not what the Oregon study found.
   58. tshipman Posted: April 05, 2014 at 04:36 PM (#4680033)
That's not what the Oregon study found.


Incorrect. The Oregon survey found large increases in mental health, and the lag time was not sufficient to show statistically significant increases in physical health.

Obamacare wasn't remotely sold as a massive expansion of the welfare state. "Obamacare is a success because millions of people signed up for 'free' coverage" is absurd.


Medicaid expansion and subsidies were absolutely a key part of how Obamacare was sold. I'm curious which world you're living in. The premise was that we make sure everyone has health care. We have mandates to make sure that people who can afford to purchase it do so, and we have subsidies so that everyone can afford to purchase it.
   59. Joe Kehoskie Posted: April 05, 2014 at 04:45 PM (#4680036)
I'm curious which world you're living in. The premise was that we make sure everyone has health care. We have mandates to make sure that people who can afford to purchase it do so, and we have subsidies so that everyone can afford to purchase it.

I'm living in the world in which ~29,000,000 out of the estimated ~30,000,000 pre-Obamacare uninsured people are still uninsured post-Obamacare, which also happens to be the same world in which the vaunted CBO whiffed on its Obamacare cost projection to the tune of $1,100,000,000,000 (and counting).

Also, the "premise" wasn't that "we make sure everyone has health care," it was that we "make sure everyone has health insurance." And by that standard, Obamacare is failing miserably.
   60. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: April 05, 2014 at 04:47 PM (#4680037)
TS: it's still a huge increase in the health... and physical... of those who received it.

Me: That's not what the Oregon study found.

TS: Incorrect.... the lag time was not sufficient to show statistically significant increases in physical health.
Uh, so which is it? Was it a "huge increase" in physical health, or was there no "statistically significant increase" in physical health?

As for "mental health," pshaw.

Medicaid expansion and subsidies were absolutely a key part of how Obamacare was sold.
Of course subsidies were; Medicaid expansion absolutely was not. Do you think that expanding Medicaid would be popular? That was hidden among the popular provisions.
   61. bobm Posted: April 05, 2014 at 04:52 PM (#4680039)
Let's hear from that notorious right wing organization NPR on Oregon:

http://www.npr.org/blogs/health/2014/01/02/259128081/medicaid-expansion-boosted-emergency-room-visits-in-oregon

Giving poor people health insurance, the belief was, would decrease their dependence on hospital emergency rooms by providing them access to more appropriate, lower-cost primary care.

But a study published in the journal Scienceon Thursday finds that's not the case. When you give people Medicaid, it seems they use both more primary care and more emergency room services.In other words, people are going to the emergency department for things that aren't emergencies. This is exactly what policymakers hoped to avoid by giving people health insurance – including the huge increase in Medicaid coverage coming as part of the Affordable Care Act. [...]

And the increase in ER use found in the study was significant – "about 40 percent," Finkelstein said.This would be a good place to point out this is not just any study. It is the third major paper from something called the Oregon Health Insurance Experiment, which Finkelstein heads along with Katherine Baicker from the Harvard School of Public Health. [...]

The first paper from the research team, published in 2011, was mostly positive. It found that people who got Medicaid coverage were more likely to use health services in general, less likely to suffer from depression, and less likely to suffer financial problems related to medical bills than those who remained uninsured.

The results in the second paper, published last spring, were more equivocal. Researchers found no measurable health benefits in the Medicaid group for several chronic conditions, including hypertension, high cholesterol and diabetes.
   62. tshipman Posted: April 05, 2014 at 04:53 PM (#4680040)
Uh, so which is it? Was it a "huge increase" in physical health, or was there no "statistically significant increase" in physical health?


It can be both. The first is something I believe to be true, the second is the result of a study.

I'm living in the world in which ~29,000,000 out of the estimated ~30,000,000 pre-Obamacare uninsured people are still uninsured post-Obamacare, which also happens to be the same world in which the vaunted CBO whiffed on its Obamacare cost projection to the tune of $1,100,000,000,000 (and counting).


I know there is something goofy with your cost claim, but I don't remember what it was. The things I remember were that the delays in implementation shifted cost, and that the lack of universal adoption of the medicaid expansion decreased cost.

Care to provide a source?
   63. GregD Posted: April 05, 2014 at 04:54 PM (#4680041)
I'm living in the world in which ~29,000,000 out of the estimated ~30,000,000 pre-Obamacare uninsured people are still uninsured post-Obamacare
You're living in a fantasy world then. No survey of the uninsured shows anything at all like what you're saying. The details are still in the making so certainty is not available in most things, but your number is certainly false. So certainly false that as to be absurd.

The best recent population survey I've seen--other and better ones will surely keep coming out over time--estimates 5.4 million fewer uninsured this year than one year ago.
   64. Slivers of Maranville descends into chaos (SdeB) Posted: April 05, 2014 at 04:59 PM (#4680042)

I'm living in the world in which ~29,000,000 out of the estimated ~30,000,000 pre-Obamacare uninsured people are still uninsured post-Obamacare,


It's closer to 5 million, not one million, but in either case that's over six months (4 months that the website was functioning properly). If the number of uninsured goes down at that rate, it's a clear win.
   65. Joe Kehoskie Posted: April 05, 2014 at 05:04 PM (#4680044)
I know there is something goofy with your cost claim, but I don't remember what it was. The things I remember were that the delays in implementation shifted cost, and that the lack of universal adoption of the medicaid expansion decreased cost.

Care to provide a source?

I've probably done so a dozen times.

***
You're living in a fantasy world then. No survey of the uninsured shows anything at all like what you're saying. The details are still in the making so certainty is not available in most things, but your number is certainly false. So certainly false that as to be absurd.

LOL. "I don't have the numbers, but I know yours are wrong." Real compelling.

When Obamacare was being pushed, we were told there were ~30,000,000 uninsured who weren't illegal immigrants. We were additionally promised, by Barack Obama himself, that Obamacare would provide more services to more people at less cost, with "the average family saving $2,500 per year." All you and Shipman and the other fanboys are doing is peddling revisionist propaganda.
   66. bobm Posted: April 05, 2014 at 05:06 PM (#4680045)
Medicaid expansion and subsidies were absolutely a key part of how Obamacare was sold. 

Actually...

THE WHITE HOUSE
Office of the Press Secretary
____________________________________________________
For Immediate Release                        
June 2, 2009
REMARKS BY THE PRESIDENT
BEFORE MEETING WITH SENATE DEMOCRATS TO DISCUSS HEALTH CARE [...]

I want to just make mention of something that I've talked to many of you privately about.  I want to say this publicly.  As we move forward on health care reform, it is not sufficient for us simply to add more people to Medicare or Medicaid to increase the rolls, to increase coverage in the absence of cost controls and reform.  And let me repeat this principle:  If we don't get control over costs, then it is going to be very difficult for us to expand coverage.  These two things have to go hand in hand.  Another way of putting it is we can't simply put more people into a broken system that doesn't work. 

So we've got to reform the underlying system.  And this means promoting best practices, not just the most expensive practices.


http://www.whitehouse.gov/the_press_office/Remarks-by-the-President-before-meeting-with-Senate-Democrats-to-discuss-health-care
   67. Joe Kehoskie Posted: April 05, 2014 at 05:07 PM (#4680046)
It's closer to 5 million, not one million, but in either case that's over six months (4 months that the website was functioning properly). If the number of uninsured goes down at that rate, it's a clear win.

Why would it keep going down at that rate? Are there tens of millions of people who still haven't heard of Obamacare? If not, why would people who were (allegedly) desperate for health insurance not have moved heaven and earth to get enrolled during the six months before the March 31 deadline?
   68. tshipman Posted: April 05, 2014 at 05:08 PM (#4680047)
Actually...


Yes. In that quote O specifically talks about how expanding Medicaid ALONE would not be enough, but that by increasing the percentage of insured, it would reduce costs for everyone.

Expanding Medicaid was a key part of that process.

Edit:
Why would it keep going down at that rate? Are there tens of millions of people who still haven't heard of Obamacare? Why would people who were desperate for health insurance not have moved heaven and earth to get enrolled during the six months before the March 31 deadline?


Because political pressure will result in Republican governors being pushed to expand Medicaid in their state when it becomes quite clear that the world does not end.
   69. Joe Kehoskie Posted: April 05, 2014 at 05:10 PM (#4680048)
Yes. In that quote O specifically talks about how expanding Medicaid ALONE would not be enough, but that by increasing the percentage of insured, it would reduce costs for everyone.

Expanding Medicaid was a key part of that process.

Ha ha. The old "more services for more people at less cost" business. You can't possibly still believe that.

Because political pressure will result in Republican governors being pushed to expand Medicaid in their state when it becomes quite clear that the world does not end.

And now you're back to counting Medicaid enrollments as "success." LOL.

"We're going to provide 'free' healthcare to millions of people who consume a disproportionate amount of health services, and it's going to result in lower costs for everyone else. How? Oh, ... um, ... er, ... trust us!"
   70. tshipman Posted: April 05, 2014 at 05:15 PM (#4680050)
Ha ha. The old "more services for more people at less cost" business. You can't possibly still believe that.


Well, since health care cost growth is at its slowest rate in 50 years, yes, I do believe that.

From this summary article:

Expenditures on health care, including everything from hospital procedures to prescription medicines, rose less than 4 percent a year from 2009 through 2012, after growing by an average of more than 7 percent from 2000 through 2008 and by double digits in the previous decade.


So yes, I do believe that.
   71. Joe Kehoskie Posted: April 05, 2014 at 05:17 PM (#4680051)
Well, since health care cost growth is at its slowest rate in 50 years, yes, I do believe that.

LOL. You're killing me, Shipman. You're killing me.

As with cutting the rate of spending increases not being a "spending cut," merely slowing the rate of health cost increases doesn't count as "cutting" health costs. Obama specifically promised "$2,500 per family per year" in savings.
   72. bobm Posted: April 05, 2014 at 05:33 PM (#4680059)
[70]
Ha ha. The old "more services for more people at less cost" business. You can't possibly still believe that.

Well, since health care cost growth is at its slowest rate in 50 years, yes, I do believe that.

From this summary article:


Don't you read the articles you post?

The historic slowdown in the growth of health care spending since 2009 -- the lowest rate since the federal government began tracking the data in 1960 -- has sparked a debate about its causes. President Barack Obama partially credits elements of the Affordable Care Act, such as reduced fees for hospital services, for reduced inflation in national expenditures, but there's no consensus among experts. The actuaries at the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services are among those who believe the phenomenon is nothing more than a repeat of normal patterns that occur during and after economic recessions like the one that began in 2007.

"The trends that we've seen in the last few years are consistent with the historical relationship that we've seen between health spending and overall economic growth," said Aaron Catlin, the deputy director of the National Health Statistics Group within the actuary's office, during a press briefing Monday prior to the report's release.[emphasis added]
   73. tshipman Posted: April 05, 2014 at 05:35 PM (#4680060)
Don't you read the articles you post?


Yes. The actuaries are entitled to their opinion. Joe asked if I believed that adding more people to the risk pool would reduce costs. Empirically, it seems to have so far. Now, to be sure, it's not a perfect controlled experiment, so it will take more time to really know for sure, but so far, the signs look good.
   74. GregD Posted: April 05, 2014 at 05:37 PM (#4680062)
LOL. "I don't have the numbers, but I know yours are wrong." Real compelling.
What an absurd response to a post based on published survey results. I know expressing any uncertainty must be baffling to you, but I was avoiding a victory lap by acknowledging the potential that further results will differ.
   75. Joe Kehoskie Posted: April 05, 2014 at 05:44 PM (#4680063)
Yes. The actuaries are entitled to their opinion. Joe asked if I believed that adding more people to the risk pool would reduce costs. Empirically, it seems to have so far. Now, to be sure, it's not a perfect controlled experiment, so it will take more time to really know for sure, but so far, the signs look good.

As 'zenbitz' likes to remind us, "Correlation does not equal causation."

For someone who hates when I mock the CBO, you were awful quick to toss the work of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services out the window based on little more than your hunch/preference.

***
What an absurd response to a post based on published survey results. I know expressing any uncertainty must be baffling to you, but I was avoiding a victory lap by acknowledging the potential that further results will differ.

You cited a survey and Clapper, et al., cited a different source. "I like mine better!" isn't compelling.
   76. bobm Posted: April 05, 2014 at 06:01 PM (#4680068)
Interesting article on Warren Buffett

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/04/06/business/the-oracle-of-omaha-lately-looking-a-bit-ordinary.html

Mr. Buffett’s talents are widely known. But despite his celebrated past performance, his returns since the beginning of 2009 have been disappointing.

In four of the last five calendar years, he has underperformed his own benchmark, the S.&P. 500 with dividends, often by significant margins. (In 2011, his return of 4.6 percent beat the benchmark by 2.6 percentage points.) In addition, data provided by Morningstar shows that he underperformed the average stock mutual fund investor in four of the five years.)

By contrast, in the previous decades, he had underperformed the S.&P. only six times. Mr. Mehta said his calculations showed that given such a long period of outperformance, there is only a 3 percent chance that the recent stretch of underperformance was a matter of bad luck.
   77. bobm Posted: April 05, 2014 at 06:17 PM (#4680072)
Also in the Times:

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/04/06/world/asia/us-response-to-crimea-worries-japanese-leaders.html

When President Bill Clinton signed a 1994 agreement promising to “respect” the territorial integrity of Ukraine if it gave up its nuclear weapons, there was little thought then of how that obscure diplomatic pact — called the Budapest Memorandum — might affect the long-running defense partnership between the United States and Japan.

But now, as American officials have distanced themselves from the Budapest Memorandum in light of Russia’s takeover of Crimea, calling promises made in Budapest “nonbinding,” the United States is being forced at the same time to make reassurances in Asia. Japanese officials, a senior American military official said, “keep asking, ‘Are you going to do the same thing to us when something happens?’ ”

For Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel, who arrived in Tokyo on Saturday for two days of talks with Japan’s leaders, including Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, America’s longstanding promise to protect Japan against hostile nations (read: China and North Korea) has suddenly come under the microscope. The American response to the Russian takeover of Crimea, which President Obama has condemned while at the same time ruling out American military action, has caused deep concern among already skittish Japanese officials.






   78. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: April 05, 2014 at 06:40 PM (#4680081)
Why are you guys ignoring Medicaid expansion? Just easier to pretend it doesn't exist?

What the usual BTF Nodding-In-Agreement Network thinks about Medicaid expansion is irrelevant, but if you look at the neverending Republican effort on the state level to block it, you can see that they're certainly not ignoring it.

And yes, the more formerly uninsured people who enroll in Medicaid, the better, if they can't afford anything else. And if your tax dollars happen to be among those that are subsidizing those added enrollees, cry me a ####### river. I didn't like helping to subsidize the war in Iraq, but I didn't get to opt out of that when I wrote my check to the IRS.

As for the main part of Obamacare, just keep running your Koch-subsidized scare ads and see how far it gets you. The ACA is here to stay, and there ain't a damn thing that you're going to be able to do to repeal it, so you better just get used to it.

And enjoy the 2014 elections for as long as you can, because in 2016 you're going to be defending 23 Senate seats with some Tea Party-backed clown heading the ticket.
   79. The Yankee Clapper Posted: April 05, 2014 at 07:08 PM (#4680086)
The ACA is here to stay, and there ain't a damn thing that you're going to be able to do to repeal it, so you better just get used to it.

If the Democrats lose the Senate in 2014, and the Presidency in 2016, I'd be surprised if post-2016 Senate Democrats, whatever their numbers, mount an all-out defense of ObamaCare, especially if they are in the minority despite a favorable 2016 map.
   80. The Yankee Clapper Posted: April 05, 2014 at 07:44 PM (#4680099)
The Associated Press Poll has some ominous signs for Democrats - Election Indicators Suggest GOP Edge:
The latest Associated Press-GfK poll holds bad news for President Barack Obama, but as the November elections draw closer, there are ominous signs for congressional Democrats as well. . . . Preferences for control of Congress are tight, but Republicans have gained on Democrats since January. Thirty-six percent in last month's poll said they would rather see the Democrats in charge of Congress and 37 percent chose Republicans. Democrats held a narrow advantage on that question in January, when 39 percent favored the Democrats and 32 percent the Republicans.

The shift stems largely from a change among those most interested in politics. In the new poll, registered voters who are most strongly interested in politics favored the Republicans by 14 percentage points, 51 percent to 37 percent. In January, this group was about evenly split, with 42 percent preferring Democrats and 45 percent the Republicans.



   81. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: April 05, 2014 at 07:44 PM (#4680100)
Well, since health care cost growth is at its slowest rate in 50 years, yes, I do believe that.

From this summary article:

Expenditures on health care, including everything from hospital procedures to prescription medicines, rose less than 4 percent a year from 2009 through 2012, after growing by an average of more than 7 percent from 2000 through 2008 and by double digits in the previous decade.
Since Obamacare wasn't even passed until 2010, and its implementation wasn't exactly instantaneous, it's hard to figure out how it could have slowed growth starting in 2009. Perhaps a recession might have more to do with that statistic?
   82. GregD Posted: April 05, 2014 at 07:48 PM (#4680103)
Famed socialistRoss Douhat runs some negative assumptions to argue that...by the end of 2014, 8 million people will newly have health insurance
   83. Joe Kehoskie Posted: April 05, 2014 at 07:59 PM (#4680105)
The ACA is here to stay, and there ain't a damn thing that you're going to be able to do to repeal it, so you better just get used to it.

As if Furtado hasn't had enough problems this week, it appears Bitter Mouse has hacked into Andy's account and is posting from it.
   84. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: April 05, 2014 at 08:18 PM (#4680113)
The ACA is here to stay, and there ain't a damn thing that you're going to be able to do to repeal it, so you better just get used to it.

If the Democrats lose the Senate in 2014, and the Presidency in 2016, I'd be surprised if post-2016 Senate Democrats, whatever their numbers, mount an all-out defense of ObamaCare, especially if they are in the minority despite a favorable 2016 map.


Yes, I'm sure that President Paul or President Cruz will be able to fulfill every dream your jumbo sized pillow will hold.

-----------------------------------------------------

As if Furtado hasn't had enough problems this week, it appears Bitter Mouse has hacked into Andy's account and is posting from it.

Whatever problems Furtado has aren't going to amount to a hill of beans compared to the Republicans' problems in repealing Obamacare, YC's wet dreams notwithstanding.
   85. bobm Posted: April 05, 2014 at 08:37 PM (#4680117)
Perhaps a recession might have more to do with that statistic?

I wonder what the government's health care actuaries would say about that.
   86. tshipman Posted: April 05, 2014 at 08:41 PM (#4680118)
Since Obamacare wasn't even passed until 2010, and its implementation wasn't exactly instantaneous, it's hard to figure out how it could have slowed growth starting in 2009. Perhaps a recession might have more to do with that statistic?


The economy has been out of recession since 2010. Health care costs still have not picked up. Some part seems due to ACA.
   87. steagles Posted: April 05, 2014 at 08:43 PM (#4680120)
If the Democrats lose the Senate in 2014, and the Presidency in 2016, I'd be surprised if post-2016 Senate Democrats, whatever their numbers, mount an all-out defense of ObamaCare, especially if they are in the minority despite a favorable 2016 map.
if...if...if...if...
   88. JE (Jason) Posted: April 05, 2014 at 09:48 PM (#4680142)
The economy has been out of recession since 2010. Health care costs still have not picked up. Some part seems due to ACA.

I'm no health care expert but we're not talking only about costs, Shipman.

From CMS.gov:
Dating back to 1960, the NHEA measures annual U.S. expenditures for health care goods and services, public health activities, government administration, the net cost of health insurance, and investment related to health care [Emphasis mine.].

I would think we all want the private sector and even the government, in certain circumstances (e.g., cancer research), to invest in the health care sector.
   89. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: April 05, 2014 at 10:01 PM (#4680144)
I would think we all want the private sector and even the government, in certain circumstances (e.g., cancer research), to invest in the health care sector.

You might want to think twice before assuming your fellow Republicans would buy into that proposition. Hell, if today's GOP had been calling the shots in the 60's, the internet would still be in the coathanger stage.
   90.     Hey Gurl Posted: April 05, 2014 at 10:24 PM (#4680151)
You guys make me wish the site hadn't come back.
   91. JE (Jason) Posted: April 05, 2014 at 10:38 PM (#4680152)
You guys make me wish the site hadn't come back.

I'm glad to see I'm not the only one who's behind on his tax prep.
   92. JE (Jason) Posted: April 05, 2014 at 10:49 PM (#4680153)
You might want to think twice before assuming your fellow Republicans would buy into that proposition. Hell, if today's GOP had been calling the shots in the 60's, the internet would still be in the coathanger stage.

Who in the GOP opposes private sector investment into health care research and development, Andy? I don't even know any Republicans opposed to robust funding levels for cancer research programs.
   93. caprules Posted: April 06, 2014 at 12:34 AM (#4680177)
Winter Soldier was awesome fun.
   94. CraigK Posted: April 06, 2014 at 04:14 AM (#4680190)
Darnit, I wanted to hear less sniping and more "why Burstnet sucks" chat. :(
   95. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: April 06, 2014 at 07:36 AM (#4680202)
I would think we all want the private sector and even the government, in certain circumstances (e.g., cancer research), to invest in the health care sector.

You might want to think twice before assuming your fellow Republicans would buy into that proposition. Hell, if today's GOP had been calling the shots in the 60's, the internet would still be in the coathanger stage.

Who in the GOP opposes private sector investment into health care research and development, Andy? I don't even know any Republicans opposed to robust funding levels for cancer research programs.


I wasn't referring to the private sector part. I'm talking about the mentality that uses a few isolated cases like Solyndra as a sledgehammer against funding nearly every type of research. I'm talking about the mentality that refuses to recognize that the vast majority of pharmaceutical advances have sprung from research that was kickstarted by government funding. I'm talking about the mentality that mocks Al Gore for allegedly having claimed to have invented the internet, while themselves imagining that the internet was a product of a few geeks hanging out in their garage.
   96. JE (Jason) Posted: April 06, 2014 at 09:47 AM (#4680229)
I wasn't referring to the private sector part. I'm talking about the mentality that uses a few isolated cases like Solyndra as a sledgehammer against funding nearly every type of research. I'm talking about the mentality that refuses to recognize that the vast majority of pharmaceutical advances have sprung from research that was kickstarted by government funding. I'm talking about the mentality that mocks Al Gore for allegedly having claimed to have invented the internet, while themselves imagining that the internet was a product of a few geeks hanging out in their garage.

And I'm saying that no one I know -- not even those who identify with the Tea Party -- wants to cut federal funding for medical research, particularly efforts to find cures for the worst diseases.
   97. Fancy Pants Handles lap changes with class Posted: April 06, 2014 at 10:36 AM (#4680243)
And I'm saying that no one I know -- not even those who identify with the Tea Party -- wants to cut federal funding for medical research, particularly efforts to find cures for the worst diseases.

Well the libertarian wing of the GOP surely does.

As for the rest, the majority may not want to cut it per se, but they sure as hell don't want to pay for it. It's an inescapable consequence of wanting to cut taxes to the bone. The programs that will be most affected are always going to be the ones that can be cut/reduced without any immediate impact. Pretending that is not the case is wanting to have your cake, and wanting to eat it too.
   98. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: April 06, 2014 at 10:51 AM (#4680246)
And I'm saying that no one I know -- not even those who identify with the Tea Party -- wants to cut federal funding for medical research, particularly efforts to find cures for the worst diseases.

Well the libertarian wing of the GOP surely does.

As for the rest, the majority may not want to cut it per se, but they sure as hell don't want to pay for it. It's an inescapable consequence of wanting to cut taxes to the bone. The programs that will be most affected are always going to be the ones that can be cut/reduced without any immediate impact. Pretending that is not the case is wanting to have your cake, and wanting to eat it too.


Not to mention you've got the pharmaceutical companies who sponge off government research while spending twice as much money on marketing as they do on their independent R&D, and then scream bloody murder if the same government ever raises a peep about negotiating with them for lower prices on drugs that they never would have developed in the first place without the government's initial research.

When the Republicans digest and acknowledge the findings of Mariana Mazzucato's new book, I'll be more convinced of their devotion to R&D.
   99. JE (Jason) Posted: April 06, 2014 at 11:16 AM (#4680252)
Well the libertarian wing of the GOP surely does.

If you've got quotes from Rand Paul or Ted Cruz advocating cuts in federal monies for medical research, please feel free to share. I have yet to see them.
   100. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: April 06, 2014 at 11:56 AM (#4680268)
And I'm saying that no one I know -- not even those who identify with the Tea Party -- wants to cut federal funding for medical research, particularly efforts to find cures for the worst diseases.
Hello? Can anyone hear me? Is this thing on?
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