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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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   801. Bitter Mouse Posted: April 10, 2014 at 11:09 PM (#4684233)
I don't understand how:


Easy. All Democrats are evil. They must be opposed in all things. Even though ACA started life as a GOP alternative to (the superior) single payer, still now that it is in place and helping millions (over 7.5 million enrolled, but I am sure NONE of them will pay their premiums) it must be resisted by any and all means. And if that means making stuff up about corporations having religious beliefs, well there you go.

The GOP is, after all, the party of principle (or something).
   802. The Yankee Clapper Posted: April 10, 2014 at 11:16 PM (#4684234)
Despite ObamaCare's disastrous rollout, many suggested that as time went on the public would embrace Obama's signature legislation. The Pew Poll Found The Opposite Is True, ObamaCare Support Has Declined. It now 37% Approve - 50% Disapprove. That's down from the 41% Approval found in 3 earlier Pew Polls from October - February.
   803. Monty Posted: April 10, 2014 at 11:19 PM (#4684235)
The Pew Poll Found The Opposite Is True, ObamaCare Support Has Declined. It now 37% Approve - 50% Disapprove.


Your link returns a 404 error. Here's the article.
   804. Bitter Mouse Posted: April 10, 2014 at 11:24 PM (#4684237)
Despite ObamaCare's disastrous rollout


7.5 million enrolled in the exchange. Millions more in Medicaid and the adult child provision. Some disaster. Just terrible.

And day to day polling doesn't matter as much, since it is not up for election. Democrats are up for election, and they (many anyway) are campaigning on a "Fix it" platform, while the GOP is all about "repeal."

Guess which is more popular?

And oh yeah, ACA is not going anywhere any time soon, and even if it causes some Team Blue losses it is totally worth it to add to the safety net long term (and of course saving some lives, helping others, that's nice too).
   805. The Yankee Clapper Posted: April 11, 2014 at 12:00 AM (#4684245)
Democrats are up for election, and they (many anyway) are campaigning on a "Fix it" platform, while the GOP is all about "repeal."

There's no reason, or evidence, to believe that strategy will work. Why did Democrats vote for a proposal that was flawed from the beginning? Rushing a 1,000+ page bill through under procedures that precluded amendments? Where is this "Fix It" legislation, since the Administration hasn't endorsed any such legislation, and the Democratic Senate hasn't held any hearings on Fix It legislation. Senate Democratic Leader Harry Reid has even indicated he won't allow a vote on healthcare legislation. Where is this "Fix It" legislation?. This is just a slogan founded on wishful thinking. There is no such legislation, and another empty "promise" won't win any votes, IMHO.
   806. Joe Kehoskie Posted: April 11, 2014 at 12:01 AM (#4684246)
Re: Religious Liberty:

I don't understand how:
1. Corporations can have religious beliefs.

"Corporations are people, my friend."

2. An employer should be allowed to be the sole decider of how you spend one part of your compensation (health care), but not another part of your compensation (wages).

This will probably seem much snarkier than I intend it, but employers also solely get to decide not to include ponies as part of their compensation package. Aside from the liberal politics, why is birth control so sacred?

3. The difference between contraception and other forms of religious expression.

In what way is contraception, let alone employer-provided contraception, a "form of religious expression"?
   807. The Yankee Clapper Posted: April 11, 2014 at 12:43 AM (#4684250)
The Pew Poll Found The Opposite Is True, ObamaCare Support Has Declined. It now 37% Approve - 50% Disapprove.
Your link returns a 404 error. Here's the article.

Oops, although I was actually trying to link to the detailed poll information rather than the article. Maybe this works.

EDIT: That didn't work either, but you can get there from the the Real Clear Politics ObamaCare Polling Page.
   808. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: April 11, 2014 at 05:24 AM (#4684266)
you've made my point.
the employee's religion doesn't prohibit the use of birth control so this case is about the employer's attempt to impose their own religious beliefs on their employees.
No, you don't understand. Nothing is being imposed on the employees. The employers are not forcing the employees to think, believe, or do or not do anything.

If the company I own has a cafeteria for the employees, and the cafeteria doesn't serve ham, that isn't "imposing" kashrut on the employees. It's just not providing them with ham. The employees are free to eat ham; I'm just not providing it.
   809. greenback calls it soccer Posted: April 11, 2014 at 05:39 AM (#4684267)
An employer-owned cafeteria is a poor analogy for employer-provided health insurance. Cost-wise it's much harder to skip one versus the other.
   810. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: April 11, 2014 at 05:49 AM (#4684268)
2. An employer should be allowed to be the sole decider of how you spend one part of your compensation (health care), but not another part of your compensation (wages).
The employer is not "deciding how you spend one part of your compensation." "Health care" is not the employee's compensation. An insurance policy is. That insurance policy only covers certain things. You can only use the policy for the things that are covered. Not because the employer is telling you that, but because that's inherent in an insurance policy, just like if your employer gives you a bus ticket, you can't use it to get on an airplane.

3. The difference between contraception and other forms of religious expression. Should a Jehovah's Witness employer be able to ban diabetic employees from testing their glucose levels? Why not? Edit: Should a Muslim employer be able to insist on female employees wearing a veil?
Setting aside your misunderstanding of Jehovah's Witnessism, the employers here are not "banning" employees from doing anything, or "insisting" that employees do anything. All they're doing is saying that they themselves don't want to be forced to be a party to what the employees are doing. The employees are free to use contraception, and the employer isn't arguing otherwise. And to reiterate what I said above: from a libertarian perspective the employer ought to have the right to fire the employee¹ for any reason at all. But the Hobby Lobby cases aren't based on libertarian arguments; they're based on the RFRA. There's no reductio ad absurdum for the RFRA; each exemption has to be individually evaluated. Does an employee testing his glucose levels (which doesn't actually violate any tenet of JW, but pretending it did) burden the employer's religious practices? Is there a compelling government interest in the employee testing his glucose levels? Is there a less restrictive means of satisfying that interest?



¹ Unlike the government, that's all employers can do to employees; they can't "ban" or "insist on" anything.
   811. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: April 11, 2014 at 05:49 AM (#4684269)
Because the entire thing is horsesh!t.
Well, that's a compelling argument... to a person who doesn't understand any of the issues or the relevant law.
   812. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: April 11, 2014 at 05:50 AM (#4684270)
Even though ACA started life as a GOP alternative to (the superior) single payer,
No, it didn't. Please stop. This isn't even remotely close to being true.
   813. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: April 11, 2014 at 05:52 AM (#4684271)
7.5 million enrolled in the exchange.
Most of whom already had health insurance...
Millions more in Medicaid
Yay, welfare!
   814. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: April 11, 2014 at 05:54 AM (#4684272)
An employer-owned cafeteria is a poor analogy for employer-provided health insurance. Cost-wise it's much harder to skip one versus the other.
If we're talking about how important the benefit is, that might be relevant. But what does it have to do with the issue of whether the employer is imposing his religion on the employee?
   815. Lassus Posted: April 11, 2014 at 07:24 AM (#4684280)
I don't remember, David, was there some kind of specific definition of the size of government you think you'd be able to both physically and ethically survive with?
   816. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: April 11, 2014 at 07:48 AM (#4684288)
RAND Corporation: Survey Estimates Net Gain of 9.3 Million American Adults with Health Insurance Through Mid-March

Gallup: In U.S., Uninsured Rate Lowest Since 2008

Urban Institute: Number of Uninsured Adults Through Early March Falls by 5.4 Million since 2013

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

Millions more in Medicaid


Yay, welfare!

There's the true face of the anti-Obamacare crowd. At least this one doesn't hide his sentiments with a lot of pious rhetoric.
   817. Bitter Mouse Posted: April 11, 2014 at 07:52 AM (#4684290)
Even though ACA started life as a GOP alternative to (the superior) single payer,
No, it didn't. Please stop. This isn't even remotely close to being true.


Let's check.

The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act consists of a combination of measures to control healthcare costs, and an expansion of coverage through public and private insurance: broader Medicaid eligibility and Medicare coverage, and subsidized, regulated private insurance. An individual mandate coupled with subsidies for private insurance as a means for universal healthcare was considered the best way to win the support of the Senate because it had been included in prior bipartisan reform proposals. The concept goes back to at least 1989, when the conservative Heritage Foundation proposed an individual mandate as an alternative to single-payer health care.[48] It was championed for a time by conservative economists and Republican senators as a market-based approach to healthcare reform on the basis of individual responsibility and avoidance of free rider problems. Specifically, because the 1986 Emergency Medical Treatment and Active Labor Act (EMTALA) requires any hospital participating in Medicare (which nearly all do) to provide emergency care to anyone who needs it, the government often indirectly bore the cost of those without the ability to pay.[49][50][51]


So I guess in your world where I said "Even though ACA started life as a GOP alternative to (the superior) single payer" and Wikipedia (and the sources they cite) said "The concept goes back to at least 1989, when the conservative Heritage Foundation proposed an individual mandate as an alternative to single-payer health care" I said something that "isn't even remotely close to being true". You realize Heritage and the GOP, while not exactly the same, that one is basically a think tank for the other, right?

Yes, your ideas and grasp of the subject is amazing. Care to cite something that shows I am wrong, or are you just going to concede on this one?
   818. Bitter Mouse Posted: April 11, 2014 at 07:58 AM (#4684292)
Yay, welfare!


Millions more people with health insurance on Medicaid and through the exchange. See that was the point of the law, so yes I celebrate it. The fact that you don't value the goal as I do, does not automatically invalidate it.

I much prefer the safety net is all its permutations to, as the saying goes, people miserable and dieing. And so while you have what you think are fine principles about government, I and many others have principles about the welfare of people and am glad the government is following on its obligation to promote the general welfare.
   819. PASTE Thinks This Trout Kid Might Be OK (Zeth) Posted: April 11, 2014 at 08:17 AM (#4684295)
It surprises me that an unelaborated raw percentage of insured persons strikes so many people as something to celebrate on its own merits. It strikes me as meaningless information.
   820. Bitter Mouse Posted: April 11, 2014 at 08:24 AM (#4684296)
It surprises me that an unelaborated raw percentage of insured persons strikes so many people as something to celebrate on its own merits. It strikes me as meaningless information.


Why? It is not the end all (any more than ERA or wins are the end all of pitcher stats), but it is indicative of a goal being met. The goal was to give more people access to affordable health care, and the primary mechanism for access to such in the US is through health insurance.

So the total number of insured (or decline in the number of uninsured) seems like a pretty good proxy, especially combined with the knowledge that because of the new standards all insurance has to meet certain minimums, we are not just seeing a bunch of "empty" policies artificially making the numbers look better than they are.
   821. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: April 11, 2014 at 08:58 AM (#4684307)
Liberal "tolerance" strikes again.

.(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)
   822. Lassus Posted: April 11, 2014 at 09:01 AM (#4684309)
You conservatives are all in such a froth you can't even manage to link anything properly.
   823. Bitter Mouse Posted: April 11, 2014 at 09:03 AM (#4684312)
Liberal "tolerance" strikes again.


Yeah I also hate it when liberals act like conservatives. I really wish they wouldn't. But they are human and everyone slips up and falls from grace occasionally.

Though you realize that when they say it is a "Liberal Arts" college that they don't mean it is a college for Art that is politically liberal, right?

Note: The link uses "mail to", but you can make it work if you really care.
   824. Ron J2 Posted: April 11, 2014 at 09:11 AM (#4684318)
#804 it was a disastrous rollout. And ultimately cost Sebelius her job (as most of us expected).

It's also not in dispute that "ACA" and "Obamamacare" are deeply unpopular. The legislative content is generally pretty popular but that's a separate issue.
   825. DJS and the Infinite Sadness Posted: April 11, 2014 at 09:13 AM (#4684320)
The problem being that actual independents who actually vote are basically statistical noise. As I'm pretty sure you're aware, the vast majority of people who self-identify as independent are actually partisan voters. The remainder as a group are low turnout, low information voters. You can't win attempting to appeal to independents.

I am aware in the general, but me the specific dude sitting at a computer is a pretty independent voter. My presidential votes were Clinton, Browne, Nader, nobody, and Romney (and there's no large political changes in there). Last 3 I've voted for in Senate are Josh Mandel, Rob Portman, and Ben Cardin. I'm a member of both the ACLU and the NRA.

It's not a challenge to get me to vote for a Democrat. The idea that the Republicans are awful on NSA stuff too is unconvincing - when I vote for a Republican, it's in spite of this, while for a Democrat, that's actually the *purpose* for voting for a Democrat. I'm not going to buy a lawnmower that doesn't cut grass just because the refrigerator doesn't cut grass either - the cutting grass is a primary feature for me to buy a lawnmower whereas I buy a fridge for other reasons.

And the record of the current Dems on free speech is absolutely horrifying, which is the absolute biggest hurdle for me voting for a Democrat right now. The Glenn Greenwalds in the Dem party are now few and far between, which takes away one of my primary reasons for voting Democrat.
   826. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: April 11, 2014 at 09:15 AM (#4684321)
   827. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: April 11, 2014 at 09:18 AM (#4684323)
Yeah I also hate it when liberals act like conservatives. I really wish they wouldn't. But they are human and everyone slips up and falls from grace occasionally.

I welcome your examples of conservative protests preventing opposing viewpoints from being heard at colleges and universities. You know, the places that are supposed to encourage free inquiry and debate.
   828. zonk Posted: April 11, 2014 at 09:30 AM (#4684329)
And the record of the current Dems on free speech is absolutely horrifying


Can you explain this?

   829. Slivers of Maranville descends into chaos (SdeB) Posted: April 11, 2014 at 09:38 AM (#4684333)

I welcome your examples of conservative protests preventing opposing viewpoints from being heard at colleges and universities.


All those links I posted a month ago still work.

And Brandeis is the University that tried a couple of years ago to sell off its art collection to make a quick profit. Its leadership doesn't seem to be particularly liberal.
   830. Ron J2 Posted: April 11, 2014 at 09:40 AM (#4684335)
#828 Pretty clear to me that the tipping point for Szym was the effort to restrict corporate politcal contributions. At least that's when he got really vocal -- other issues may have been simmering.
   831. You Know Nothing JT Snow (YR) Posted: April 11, 2014 at 09:44 AM (#4684337)
I welcome your examples of conservative protests preventing opposing viewpoints from being heard at colleges and universities.


From the article you linked to:

"She is a compelling public figure and advocate for women's rights, and we respect and appreciate her work to protect and defend the rights of women and girls throughout the world," said the university's statement. "That said, we cannot overlook certain of her past statements that are inconsistent with Brandeis University's core values."

Even though the university withdrawing the honorary degree, "Ali is welcome to join us on campus in the future to engage in a dialogue about these important issues," the statement said.


Way to shut down the discussion hippies! Nobody is entitled to honorary degrees you know.

Brandeis is a Jewish-founded university, that's why the Papists are looking for an excuse to sneer.
   832. Bitter Mouse Posted: April 11, 2014 at 09:46 AM (#4684338)
#804 it was a disastrous rollout. And ultimately cost Sebelius her job (as most of us expected).

It's also not in dispute that "ACA" and "Obamamacare" are deeply unpopular. The legislative content is generally pretty popular but that's a separate issue.


Before the roll out the administration wanted 7 million enrollees the first year. Now that it is mostly rolled out they got 7.5 million.Is a pitcher judged on the score at the end of the first inning? Now we have seen the whole first game (so to speak), obsessing over the first inning is more than a little silly.

And the popularity of the components is critical, more so I would argue than the popularity of the label. Because it is law today, and to repeal it you have to repeal all those really popular parts of the law. I mean if the GOP wants to "repeal" ACA while leaving in everything popular and everything needed to make the popular bits work, well there is not much left to repeal.
   833. Rants Mulliniks Posted: April 11, 2014 at 09:48 AM (#4684343)
What I don't get is how anyone can focus on a lack of insurance coverage being the problem when it costs $55k for an appendectomy, close to $20k for a normal childbirth, and up to $800 for a ####### bag of saline solution for an IV that costs the hospital a dollar or less.
   834. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: April 11, 2014 at 09:49 AM (#4684344)
Sen. Angus King (I-ME) who had been caucusing with the Dems, say he may caucus with the GOP in 2015. Because....perks.
   835. You Know Nothing JT Snow (YR) Posted: April 11, 2014 at 09:51 AM (#4684346)
What I don't get is how anyone can focus on a lack of insurance coverage being the problem when it costs $55k for an appendectomy, close to $20k for a normal childbirth, and up to $800 for a ####### bag of saline solution for an IV that costs the hospital a dollar or less.


So you hate capitalism and think doctors should work for free. Your un-American opinions have been noted.
   836. Shredder Posted: April 11, 2014 at 09:59 AM (#4684353)
Conservative "tolerance" strikes again.
It's also not in dispute that "ACA" and "Obamamacare" are deeply unpopular. The legislative content is generally pretty popular but that's a separate issue.
People hate the ACA, but they love what's in it. How exactly are those separate issues?
   837. Bitter Mouse Posted: April 11, 2014 at 10:00 AM (#4684357)
What I don't get is how anyone can focus on a lack of insurance coverage being the problem when it costs $55k for an appendectomy, close to $20k for a normal childbirth, and up to $800 for a ####### bag of saline solution for an IV that costs the hospital a dollar or less.


ACA is not the end. Health care was really really broken. A huge mess, with special interests everywhere and everyone acknowledging it was broken, but no one able to do anything about it. The way to navigate it was take the first step, and that required getting some players in the industry on the side of change. That is always hard, but ACA managed to divide the opposition to change (at least a bit), make progress on one front, and lay the groundwork for future change.

ACA is pretty modest (by what many including me want to see) and there are still many very real problems in the sector. And with all that, presenting a partial solution complete with bribes (umm ... incentives) to various players it still only survived passage into the law of the land by the barest of margins.

Change is hard. I get that it is not a perfect solution, but would anything more ambitious survived this far?
   838. Ron J2 Posted: April 11, 2014 at 10:03 AM (#4684359)
#835 Well he is a Canadian. ...

My doctor's office has prices listed for those who don't have a valid Ontario health card. Not cheap, but nothing close to the costs I've heard quoted for similar stuff in the American system.
   839. Ron J2 Posted: April 11, 2014 at 10:07 AM (#4684363)
obsessing over the first inning is more than a little silly.


No it's not. Like it or not, the rollout helped set the narrative and is a critical reason that "Obamacare" continues to poll badly.

Now personally I'm deeply impressed by the recovery from the terrible rollout. I've seen plenty of IT projects that started badly and went downhill from there. Again, separate issue.
   840. Bitter Mouse Posted: April 11, 2014 at 10:08 AM (#4684366)
I welcome your examples of conservative protests preventing opposing viewpoints from being heard at colleges and universities. You know, the places that are supposed to encourage free inquiry and debate.


Why are you limiting it to colleges and universities? Tolerance should be everywhere. I think liberals should embody (as much as is possible) tolerance. I don't like it when liberals act intolerant like conservatives do. It disappoints me. My side should be better than that.

Of course I am not sure why inviting someone to speak but not granting them an honorary degree is intolerant, but yeah it is a bad idea to offer an honor and then pull it back because of something. I do see their point though, I am not an expert but it sounds like she is advocating the repression and/or end of a religion something like a billion people follow. And since they are honoring her for her beliefs and actions, it doesn't seem to crazy to withdraw the honor as they learn more about her full beliefs and actions. Embarrassing though, do your diligence people.

While I agree with (what I know of) many of her beliefs regarding women I don't advocate the destruction of any religion (despite being an atheist). So I admit to being ambivalent towards her beliefs in total, but of course I support her ability to espouse those beliefs.
   841. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: April 11, 2014 at 10:08 AM (#4684367)
Liberal "tolerance" strikes again.

http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/apr/09/brandeis-withdraws-honorary-degree-ayaan-hirsi-ali-college

Does that one work?


It works, and I agree that withdrawing the honorary degree from Ayaan Hirsi Ali was a completely cowardly act on Brandeis's part, regardless of her view that we're "at war with Islam". Whatever opinions she has on Islam were formed through her horrific life experiences, not from a book, and she wasn't being honored for her views on religion, but on her longstanding and courageous work defending women's rights.
   842. Ron J2 Posted: April 11, 2014 at 10:10 AM (#4684369)
People hate the ACA, but they love what's in it. How exactly are those separate issues?


Jonathan Bernstein's been pretty good on this issue. What it boils down to is that a large number of people who hate the ACA have no idea what it encompasses.
   843. Bitter Mouse Posted: April 11, 2014 at 10:13 AM (#4684371)
What it boils down to is that a large number of people who hate the ACA have no idea what it encompasses.


People usually hate the abstract things like "government aid" and when you talk about specific programs and benefits then they change their tune. Of course many people think you can balance the budget by cutting a few "unnecessary" programs like foreign aid and wasteful science studies. Many people are idiots. Oh well.
   844. Rants Mulliniks Posted: April 11, 2014 at 10:14 AM (#4684373)
So you hate capitalism and think doctors should work for free. Your un-American opinions have been noted.


No, I love capitalism, but there's nothing in the tenets of capitalism that state whole sectors of economies should be given monopoly status. How long do you think I'd last if I set up a business selling bags of saline for $20 (a 2000% mark up - guaranteed to be profitable) across the street from a big hospital?
   845. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: April 11, 2014 at 10:16 AM (#4684375)
As a long-time lurker and occasional poster, I get the impression that neither DMN nor Joe K are religious conservatives. So why so much vitriol against the ACA mandate on birth control?


The conversation started with Snapper, who is a religious conservative, and was then taken up by DMN, who holds many religious conservative positions on women and sexuality, but whose primary faith is right wing libertarianism. When he took up the debate in Snapper's stead, I noted his difference of positioning in my responses.
   846. PASTE Thinks This Trout Kid Might Be OK (Zeth) Posted: April 11, 2014 at 10:19 AM (#4684377)
No, I love capitalism, but there's nothing in the tenets of capitalism that state whole sectors of economies should be given monopoly status. How long do you think I'd last if I set up a business selling bags of saline for $20 (a 2000% mark up - guaranteed to be profitable) across the street from a big hospital?


I wish I could be allowed, under government protection, to have people come into my restaurant and eat the meal and drink the wine, and then tell them how much it costs.
   847. You Know Nothing JT Snow (YR) Posted: April 11, 2014 at 10:19 AM (#4684378)
How long do you think I'd last if I set up a business selling bags of saline for $20 (a 2000% mark up - guaranteed to be profitable) across the street from a big hospital?


I don't think they'll be sending goons after you. If you brought your own case of Normosol to a hospital I assume they would use it, you can bring your own medicines from home rather than go through their pharmacy.
   848. Rants Mulliniks Posted: April 11, 2014 at 10:21 AM (#4684379)
#846 - sorry, not following.

   849. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: April 11, 2014 at 10:21 AM (#4684381)
I'm opposed to abortion except in cases of rape, incest, and when the life of the mother is at risk


"Baby killing is murder, unless the baby was made by rape, incest or risks the mother's life; then baby-killing is just peachy keen. Because that baby is responsible for her father's crime of rape, naturally."

This is #### thinking. If you believe abortion is infanticide, you oppose it universally. You maybe get an exception for risk of mother's life, but rape and incest are crimes committed by someone other than that baby you're planning on murdering. If the fetus is a child with a soul and rights and all of that claptrap about zygotic rights we hear from the conservative right, then man up and stop trying to, well, split the baby.

If abortion is NOT murder, if zygotes and fetuses aren't fully formed humans with endowed "natural rights," then stop pretending they are and support a woman's right to control her own body.
   850. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: April 11, 2014 at 10:24 AM (#4684383)
The ACA forces some employers to pay for something they believe is immoral


And I have to pay to fund drones. Life's a #####.
   851. Bitter Mouse Posted: April 11, 2014 at 10:24 AM (#4684384)
I wish I could be allowed, under government protection, to have people come into my restaurant and eat the meal and drink the wine, and then tell them how much it costs.


Health care (and affiliated insurance markets) are extremely regulated. There are really good reasons for that (unless you drink libertarian kool aid I guess), but as with most regulatory schemes there are some dumb parts and huge inefficiencies where the stakeholders are busy capturing various unwelcome rents and such.

That is one reason it is important to keep corporations as far away from the levers of regulatory power as possible, to minimize that stuff. ACA has some provisions to limit some of that nonsense (like the rule around insurance companies having to refund excess profits back to policyholders).
   852. Bitter Mouse Posted: April 11, 2014 at 10:28 AM (#4684386)
And I have to pay to fund drones. Life's a #####.


And no one is forcing companies to operate as business in the public sphere. If regulations are so abhorrent you can't operate your company in good conscience then don't. However if you are going to operate your company you are doing so in the public sphere and as such get to follow the rules like everyone else.
   853. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: April 11, 2014 at 10:29 AM (#4684388)
7.5 million enrolled in the exchange. Millions more in Medicaid and the adult child provision. Some disaster. Just terrible.


Making a fierce comeback to score 5 and win 10-9 in the ninth doesn't make your 8-run first any less disastrous.
   854. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: April 11, 2014 at 10:30 AM (#4684390)
"Corporations are people, my friend."


Repeating stupidity doesn't make it any less stupid. People are people. Corporations are institutionalized legal entities entered into for the express purpose of avoiding PERSONAL legal responsibility for the actions of that entity, by the PERSONS who joined the entity.

In what way is contraception, let alone employer-provided contraception, a "form of religious expression"?


I believe that humanity is a run-away virus destroying our only habitable planet. Thus, my deeply held (religious) belief is that everyone should be sterilized upon entering 7th grade. This is as legitimate a religious belief as the notion that a peasant Jewish girl was magically impregnated by a Sky Fairy circa 33 BCE.
   855. Ron J2 Posted: April 11, 2014 at 10:31 AM (#4684391)
#848 I think he's agreeing with your general point and expanding on it. Not only is health care stunningly expensive, but people generally have no idea the cost of a procedure until the bill comes in.

Worth noting though. These quoted prices are often what might be called the starting point for the negotiations. At least I've been told often enough that the hospital initially asked for X but settled for a fraction.
   856. Rants Mulliniks Posted: April 11, 2014 at 10:31 AM (#4684392)
Health care (and affiliated insurance markets) are extremely regulated.


That must be why hospitals can charge $800 for a bag of saline, those are some tough regulations. Give me a ####### break. Health care in the US would be 1/10th the price and probably a lot safer if it was completely unregulated.
   857. Rants Mulliniks Posted: April 11, 2014 at 10:32 AM (#4684394)
#855 - thanks, I get it now.
   858. Ron J2 Posted: April 11, 2014 at 10:33 AM (#4684395)
#843 and that's why the initial rollout matters deeply. Tough to change impressions when people are not going to pay attention to the specifics.
   859. BDC Posted: April 11, 2014 at 10:36 AM (#4684397)
If you believe abortion is infanticide, you oppose it universally. You maybe get an exception for risk of mother's life

Agreed. I'll say this for Richard Mourdock, his views may be extreme and (to me) brutal, but they are principled. If one makes the rape/incest exceptions, one is acknowledging that a woman's dignity and choices are part of the abortion equation. Well, if they are, why not actually listen to the woman about her sense of dignity and the choices she wants to make?

As for not paying for stuff I find immoral, I don't think that's how insurance works. My premiums already pay for bypass operations caused by men my age eating too much slave-grown chocolate and feedlot beef, or for reconstructive surgery when it's occasioned by frivolous recreation that devastates the environment; should I scream about that? You enter into an extremely complicated moral nexus when you pool risk with other people.
   860. You Know Nothing JT Snow (YR) Posted: April 11, 2014 at 10:52 AM (#4684409)
As for not paying for stuff I find immoral, I don't think that's how insurance works.


Well not for your worldly types. But religion wants special rights unavailable to you heathen slobs.
   861. Bitter Mouse Posted: April 11, 2014 at 10:54 AM (#4684410)
That must be why hospitals can charge $800 for a bag of saline, those are some tough regulations. Give me a ####### break. Health care in the US would be 1/10th the price and probably a lot safer if it was completely unregulated.


Are you disputing that it is regulated by quoting a price? That seems a bit odd. Especially since I agree that regulatory "capture" is happening. You seem to be arguing with some alternate version of me that is arguing on the side of ridiculous prices.
   862. tshipman Posted: April 11, 2014 at 10:54 AM (#4684411)
"Corporations are people, my friend."


But the individuals' right to religious expression has not been infringed. The people at Hobby Lobby are free to worship in any way they choose. The corporation cannot sit in church. It cannot pray. Crucially, it cannot believe.

It is possible for corporations to speak--after all, advertising is a cornerstone of the modern economy. It is not possible for corporations to worship.

This will probably seem much snarkier than I intend it, but employers also solely get to decide not to include ponies as part of their compensation package. Aside from the liberal politics, why is birth control so sacred?


It's not--not any more than blood transfusions or circumcisions or any number of other procedures that the admin decided made up a standard coverage package.

Skipping your third point because I think you misread me, but let me ask you and David together:
There's a much stronger prohibition against blood transfusions for Jehovah's Witnesses than there is against contraception in any Christian church. A JW employer must provide healthcare that includes blood transfusions. Is there a difference? Do you support a religious exemption for a JW employer, so that they do not have to supply blood transfusions? If not, what is different?
   863. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: April 11, 2014 at 10:55 AM (#4684412)
Well not for your worldly types. But religion wants special rights unavailable to you heathen slobs.


Precisely. David has at least his irrational love of Libertopia(*) to stand on. The "but my mythology trumps everything" contingent does not.

(*)David's love of Libertopia, of course, ends exactly at the point where it would burden him to have to pick up his own bill for, say, personal defense. "Law and order" good. Except if it doesn't benefit David.
   864. Bitter Mouse Posted: April 11, 2014 at 10:56 AM (#4684413)
Making a fierce comeback to score 5 and win 10-9 in the ninth doesn't make your 8-run first any less disastrous.


Huh? The goal of the game is not to limit first inning runs, but to win. If you win, even despite a terrible first inning, then you still have won. Don't be the guy who whines about that first quarter play call and how the offensive coordinator should be fired after your team wins the football game.
   865. Shredder Posted: April 11, 2014 at 10:58 AM (#4684415)
This is #### thinking. If you believe abortion is infanticide, you oppose it universally. You maybe get an exception for risk of mother's life, but rape and incest are crimes committed by someone other than that baby you're planning on murdering.
That's only one of the things that makes the anti-abortion crowd a bit queasy. Another is punishing the pregnant woman for having an abortion. They're pretty gung-ho about stringing up the hit-man, but they aren't too keen with punishing the person calling the hit.
Making a fierce comeback to score 5 and win 10-9 in the ninth doesn't make your 8-run first any less disastrous.
It doesn't? I'd be just fine with my team giving up 8 runs in the first 162 times per year if I knew that they were going to win every game 10-9. It's a bad analogy anyway. The point in baseball is to have more runs than the other team when the game is over, regardless of how you get there. The poor roll-out may have cost another million enrollees (or not, who knows?), regardless of the fact that they apparently hit their target. I'm disagreeing with the analogy more than the overall point.
   866. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: April 11, 2014 at 11:00 AM (#4684416)
Huh? The goal of the game is not to limit first inning runs, but to win.


Um...not exactly. In a sense, yes. But if the goal of the game is to 1)win and 2) win in such a fashion as to establish a public narrative about how you're obviously better than the other team(*), punting the first and having to scrape back over the course of time, after half of the nation has tuned out in the third, is a loss as well.

(*)that is to say, politics
   867. You Know Nothing JT Snow (YR) Posted: April 11, 2014 at 11:01 AM (#4684418)
Skipping your third point because I think you misread me, but let me ask you and David together:
There's a much stronger prohibition against blood transfusions for Jehovah's Witnesses than there is against contraception in any Christian church. A JW employer must provide healthcare that includes blood transfusions. Is there a difference? Do you support a religious exemption for a JW employer, so that they do not have to supply blood transfusions?


And further for Scientologists all all non-Scientology psychological treatments, Christian Scientists and all non-prayer healthcare, and who knows what other weird cults and their bizarre anti-scientific tomfoolery. We'll see a whole spate of newfound devotion with clear bottom-line benefits if this stupidity is approved for Hobby Lobby.
   868. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: April 11, 2014 at 11:06 AM (#4684421)
So I guess in your world where I said "Even though ACA started life as a GOP alternative to (the superior) single payer" and Wikipedia (and the sources they cite) said "The concept goes back to at least 1989, when the conservative Heritage Foundation proposed an individual mandate as an alternative to single-payer health care" I said something that "isn't even remotely close to being true". You realize Heritage and the GOP, while not exactly the same, that one is basically a think tank for the other, right?
The idea of an individual mandate did not originate with, but did in fact first enter the public consciousness through, Heritage. I am not arguing with that. But Obamacare != an individual mandate. The overall plan promoted by Heritage had virtually no overlap, other than an individual mandate, with Obamacare.

It didn't have an employer mandate (indeed, it was designed to limit employer-provided health insurance), community rating, guaranteed issue, a Medicaid expansion, the under-26 rule, or any of the other features of Obamacare you commies like. And, indeed, even the mandates themselves were very different; Heritage proposed that people be required to have catastrophic coverage, not ridiculously-inflated coverage of everything from contraception to hangnails. (Indeed, Heritage proposed eliminating all the existing state-mandated coverage requirements.)

You don't have to believe a libertarian like me. Here's it is from Scott Lemieux. And here. And here.
   869. Bitter Mouse Posted: April 11, 2014 at 11:07 AM (#4684423)
But if the goal of the game


The primary goal of the game was to get health coverage to more people. I guess there are short term political goals that feed narratives, and it would have been great to hit those to, but I'll take substantive victories over PR victories every single day.

Now if ACA had fallen apart (or if it goes into a death spiral, suddenly instantiates death panels or whatever) then yeah the roll out fumble becomes even worse, but the success of the whole thing does limit how bad that fumble was.
   870. tshipman Posted: April 11, 2014 at 11:09 AM (#4684424)
It didn't have an employer mandate (indeed, it was designed to limit employer-provided health insurance), community rating, guaranteed issue, a Medicaid expansion, the under-26 rule, or any of the other features of Obamacare you commies like.


First time I've seen someone object to the under-26 rule.

And further for Scientologists all all non-Scientology psychological treatments, Christian Scientists and all non-prayer healthcare, and who knows what other weird cults and their bizarre anti-scientific tomfoolery. We'll see a whole spate of newfound devotion with clear bottom-line benefits if this stupidity is approved for Hobby Lobby.


Yup. Hobby Lobby could always just give all their employees $$ in lieu of providing health care. The lawsuit is ridiculous for many, many reasons.
   871. A big pile of nonsense (gef the talking mongoose) Posted: April 11, 2014 at 11:09 AM (#4684425)
Huh? The goal of the game is not to limit first inning runs, but to win. If you win, even despite a terrible first inning, then you still have won.


C'mon, other 50 percent of the Rodent Caucus. The rollout was horrible, & the fact that the ship has been righted doesn't negate that.

If your pitcher throws a terrible first inning, very likely you took him out (& possibly even released or at least removed him from the rotation afterward, depending on various factors, of course), whether or not you came back to win.
   872. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: April 11, 2014 at 11:10 AM (#4684426)
To follow the line from Jehovah's Witnesses and Scientologists to the natural conclusion of this argument:

The basic line of argument here is "I'm sorry, I have a deeply held religious belief that contradicts some facet of this law; my deeply held religious belief trumps the public law, both for my own personal actions and any actions taken by a corporation I have joined."

Please apply this theory of religious exemption from public laws to the followers of Anton LaVey. If I am an Ubermensch, if I am the law and king of my own being and create my reality as I go, which is a fundamental precept of LeVeyan Satanism, how exactly is a law prohibiting me from doing anything - theft, rape, murder; anything - not a violation of my religious freedom?

NOTE: "but that religion isn't real" doesn't count as an adult response to the argument.
   873. Bitter Mouse Posted: April 11, 2014 at 11:11 AM (#4684427)
The idea of an individual mandate did not originate with, but did in fact first enter the public consciousness through, Heritage. I am not arguing with that. But Obamacare != an individual mandate. The overall plan promoted by Heritage had virtually no overlap, other than an individual mandate, with Obamacare.


Bull.

An individual mandate coupled with subsidies for private insurance as a means for universal healthcare was considered the best way to win the support of the Senate because it had been included in prior bipartisan reform proposals. The concept goes back to at least 1989, when the conservative Heritage Foundation proposed an individual mandate as an alternative to single-payer health care.[48] It was championed for a time by conservative economists and Republican senators as a market-based approach to healthcare reform on the basis of individual responsibility and avoidance of free rider problems.


Hey look ACA. And I said "ACA started life as a GOP alternative to (the superior) single payer" which it did. You said that was totally wrong. You are incorrect. It did start life as a Heritage and a GOP pushed alternative to single payer.

David, you are just flat wrong. Man up and admit it.

EDIT: Specifically I never said they were identical, just that is how it started, and it did.
   874. rr Posted: April 11, 2014 at 11:12 AM (#4684429)
Harry Enten of 538 on ACA support numbers:

link
   875. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: April 11, 2014 at 11:13 AM (#4684431)
#828 Pretty clear to me that the tipping point for Szym was the effort to restrict corporate political contributions. At least that's when he got really vocal -- other issues may have been simmering.
Not contributions, which have been illegal for a very long time. Spending.
   876. Rants Mulliniks Posted: April 11, 2014 at 11:13 AM (#4684432)
#861 - As far as I'm concerned, regulatory capture was exacerbated with the ACA, as it only mandates one have insurance without doing anything to change the monopoly enjoyed by the healthcare providers or address the gross abuses of the insurers. Don't get me wrong, I'm all for publicly-funded healthcare, and think any developed country should have it, but I think the private insurers and hospitals have to be shut out of the equation completely for it to work properly. This would be one of the areas where I'm not staunch libertarian.

   877. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: April 11, 2014 at 11:13 AM (#4684433)
Abortions for some, miniature American flags for others.
   878. Bitter Mouse Posted: April 11, 2014 at 11:16 AM (#4684435)
C'mon, other 50 percent of the Rodent Caucus. The rollout was horrible, & the fact that the ship has been righted doesn't negate that.


I have never suggested the roll out was not horrible. It was horrible. But obsessing on it is silly.

All conservatives want to talk about it the horrible rollout. I get why the losing team wants to focus on that terrible first inning, I lived through some Twins/Yankee playoff games where the Twins were winning. Guess what in the end those early leads did not end up mattering all that much.

Many government programs have had bad rollouts. I wish government was better at rolling out programs. Many businesses have had bad new product rollouts. Such is life.
   879. Yeaarrgghhhh Posted: April 11, 2014 at 11:16 AM (#4684436)
Not sure I understand the point of this discussion about the rollout. Sure, it sucked, but aside from the people on the right who want to use it as a talking point, what's the point of dwelling on it now?

edit: coke to Bitter mouse
   880. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: April 11, 2014 at 11:16 AM (#4684437)
#861 - As far as I'm concerned, regulatory capture was exacerbated with the ACA, as it only mandates one have insurance without doing anything to change the monopoly enjoyed by the healthcare providers or address the gross abuses of the insurers. Don't get me wrong, I'm all for publicly-funded healthcare, and think any developed country should have it, but I think the private insurers and hospitals have to be shut out of the equation completely for it to work properly. This would be one of the areas where I'm not staunch libertarian.


This is a good encapsulation of my position as well, and the best counter argument to the ACA. In attempting to fix the problem without addressing the fundamental error of the system, Democrats (working within their blindered DC consensus, K-street driven world view) have exacerbated the problem.

Insurance, much like national defense, is simply one of those vertical markets that the private sphere fails to address due to a blinding stew of perverse incentives.
   881. Greg K Posted: April 11, 2014 at 11:17 AM (#4684438)
If you let in 8 runs in the first inning but still win the game 10-9, I think you can feel ok about your team, but I'd think twice about starting that pitcher again.

I have zero clue how this element of the analogy ties to health care though.
   882. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: April 11, 2014 at 11:19 AM (#4684440)
Not sure I understand the point of this discussion about the rollout. Sure, it sucked, but aside from the people on the right who want to use it as a talking point, what's the point of dwelling on it now?


Why do we dwell on anything here. Because that's the conversation at hand. And sure, the right talked it to death because that's a good political conversation for them - far more traction than "Benghazi!" or "IRS scandal!!" to be certain. But Bitter Mouse's "shut up, we won the game when we hit 7 million enrolled" talking point is blindered and heads deep in the tribal sands itself. The ACA isn't a baseball game with a discrete ending after some arbitrary set of "innings." It's a political law in a political system, and the perception of that law and its rollout fundamentally implicate its effectiveness and the ability to further govern in the future. To pretend otherwise is stupid.
   883. A big pile of nonsense (gef the talking mongoose) Posted: April 11, 2014 at 11:20 AM (#4684441)
I have zero clue how this element of the analogy ties to health care though.


Health care's ERA is shot. Shot.

(Absent a scoring change, of course. If we charge the runs to errors by Sibelius' fielders ...)
   884. BDC Posted: April 11, 2014 at 11:20 AM (#4684442)
address the gross abuses of the insurers

There is the "80/20 rule," though. I guess one might see that as ineffectual or half-hearted? It's something, at any rate.
   885. Bitter Mouse Posted: April 11, 2014 at 11:20 AM (#4684443)
#861 - As far as I'm concerned, regulatory capture was exacerbated with the ACA


That would be the bribe to split apart the "against all change" forces arrayed against any change to the existing terrible system.

I think the private insurers and hospitals have to be shut out of the equation completely for it to work properly. This would be one of the areas where I'm not staunch libertarian.


And I prefer single payer. But it is not realistic to compare ACA to the ideal, but rather ACA to the previous status quo and where it was evolving. ACA is an improvement, but an incremental one, and the cost for the increase in people with accessible health care is some increase in regulatory capture.
   886. Yeaarrgghhhh Posted: April 11, 2014 at 11:23 AM (#4684445)
and the perception of that law and its rollout fundamentally implicate its effectiveness and the ability to further govern in the future. To pretend otherwise is stupid.

But if you want to start talking about perception and how it implicates the law going forward, you can't fault Dems for wanting to focus on the actual success of the law. I guess you could call that tribalism, but it's also a perfectly sensible strategy for someone who likes the law and wants it to be effective.
   887. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: April 11, 2014 at 11:25 AM (#4684446)
But if you want to start talking about perception and how it implicates the law going forward, you can't fault Dems for wanting to focus on the actual success of the law.


I don't. But there's a difference between "hey, our offense was good enough to dig out of the hole our starter stuck us in in the first" and "there's no reason to think about the first, because we came out ahead." The ACA successfully signed up 7+ million people even given the #### start. Imagine what it could have done if someone had hired a competent web development team.
   888. Bitter Mouse Posted: April 11, 2014 at 11:25 AM (#4684447)
But Bitter Mouse's "shut up, we won the game when we hit 7 million enrolled" talking point is blindered and heads deep in the tribal sands itself.


And if I said "shut up" you would be more correct. What I said, what I have said for a while, is yes it was a terrible roll out, but the end result has been great. Acknowledging the problem and still being happy about the end result is hardly "head in tribal sands". It is not letting the initial stumble ruin the joy of a overall success.

One should enjoy winning, even when the starting pitcher craps the bed. Winning is fun.
   889. Yeaarrgghhhh Posted: April 11, 2014 at 11:31 AM (#4684448)
I don't. But there's a difference between "hey, our offense was good enough to dig out of the hole our starter stuck us in in the first" and "there's no reason to think about the first, because we came out ahead." The ACA successfully signed up 7+ million people even given the #### start. Imagine what it could have done if someone had hired a competent web development team.

Sure, and that's an important lesson learned for similar rollouts. But we can't travel back in time, so I'm not sure it adds anything to a discussion of the current state of Obamacare. They could have signed up more people if the rollout was better. Great! What do we do with that information?
   890. Shredder Posted: April 11, 2014 at 11:35 AM (#4684451)
I don't. But there's a difference between "hey, our offense was good enough to dig out of the hole our starter stuck us in in the first" and "there's no reason to think about the first, because we came out ahead." The ACA successfully signed up 7+ million people even given the #### start. Imagine what it could have done if someone had hired a competent web development team.
Right, this is why the baseball analogy doesn't work. The goal in the exercise in a baseball game is to have more runs when the final out is made. You don't get extra credit for winning by a lot. On the other hand, the administration's goal was to sign up as many people as possible. The goal was to "run up the score". The shitty roll-out made that difficult, so even though they reached their target, they may have done a lot better if not for the botched roll-out.

Your points about the botched roll-out are not incorrect. Your comparison of it to a bad first inning when your team still wins by a run is not an apt analogy.
   891. A big pile of nonsense (gef the talking mongoose) Posted: April 11, 2014 at 11:37 AM (#4684454)
One should enjoy winning, even when the starting pitcher craps the bed. Winning is fun.


I had Sibelius on my fantasy team, though. My pitching line for that week was all kinds of screwed up.
   892. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: April 11, 2014 at 11:37 AM (#4684455)
Sure, and that's an important lesson learned for similar rollouts. But we can't travel back in time, so I'm not sure it adds anything to a discussion of the current state of Obamacare military interventions. They could have signed up more people secured Iraq if the rollout was better. Great! What do we do with that information?
   893. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: April 11, 2014 at 11:39 AM (#4684458)
I had Sibelius on my fantasy team, though. My pitching line for that week was all kinds of screwed up.


You also lost a the 26th pick in the draft, which is worth, like, $40 million dollars or something.
   894. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: April 11, 2014 at 11:39 AM (#4684459)
Right, this is why the baseball analogy doesn't work. The goal in the exercise in a baseball game is to have more runs when the final out is made. You don't get extra credit for winning by a lot.


But Pythags!
   895. Bitter Mouse Posted: April 11, 2014 at 11:41 AM (#4684460)
Great! What do we do with that information?


Use it for the next massive roll out of a government program I guess.

It won't help with the next invasion though, because military invasions are not successful*, well hardly ever in the last 100+ years.

* Depending of course on your criteria for success. To change a regime or change behavior then yeah it can do that. To conquer a country and extract "value" from it, not so much.
   896. Ron J2 Posted: April 11, 2014 at 11:43 AM (#4684461)
#875 Correction duly noted. Thanks.
   897. Morty Causa Posted: April 11, 2014 at 11:44 AM (#4684464)
The ACA was a victim of its promotion, and of the self-serving distortion of that promotion by some. Anyone who is interested in American history and the government's bureaucracy knows messiness is par for the course. Just look at the programs starting with FDR to now. Consider the CCC (although as MacArthur and his army had a lot to do with that, so it was actually not too bad--fascism at its best). I bet Social Security was hell when it started. I know, I personally know, SSI was when It started. So were Medicare and Medicaid. So was implementing the Interstate Highway System. How's those border integrity/INS laws working out? How have they ever worked out?
   898. Ron J2 Posted: April 11, 2014 at 11:48 AM (#4684468)
#890 Not just to run up the score. The problem is that the initial problems were high enough profile that it drove the narrative. And now the ACA supporters are basically trying to change the minds of the low information segment. Very tough.
   899. Yeaarrgghhhh Posted: April 11, 2014 at 11:48 AM (#4684469)
Great, let's go with an even worse analogy.

   900. Bitter Mouse Posted: April 11, 2014 at 11:49 AM (#4684470)
I am actually not convinced there would have been much more enrollment without the ACA website stumble. Maybe, but I believe the Mass rollout showed a huge percent of the enrollments came right at the end, which is what happened here.

Sure the politics and optics would have been better, but a much larger help to enrollments would have been less GOP obstruction. The whole ridiculous "Navigator" thing in many red states, the refusal to expand Medicare, the incessant lies told about ACA, basically the GOP did everything it could to hamstring ACA and its enrollment.

Of course that is their right and everything, but I don't think it unreasonable to be happy the law overcame that and the botched website to hit the initial goal set for it. And you know the high fives among the GOP with worse enrollment numbers would have been deafening.
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