Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Going to Health in a Handbasket

obama, obama jokes, political, humor, cartoon, conservative, hope n' change, hope and change, stilton jarlsberg, obamacare, insurance, hell, liar

There's no real commentary here today, owing to the fact that we're still up to our eyeballs trying to find a replacement health insurance policy for the one which was "discontinued" without warning because of the Affordable Care Act.

Currently, the leading contender - and the only one which will let us "keep your doctors" (in the words of president lying scumweasel) - will cost us $425 a week. Which is, just doing the math quickly in our heads, $425 a week more than we earn doing Hope n' Change.

Or we could save a few bucks and pay only the trifling sum of $300 a week...and not have access to any of our current doctors or, quite feasibly, any other medical provider who speaks English or has a practice devoted exclusively to bipeds.

In reviewing our future treatment options in case of actual illness, we're now considering exciting new innovations like "meeting doctors in back alleys and paying cash" and "hopefully quick and painless suicide," which we'd call unintended consequences of Obamacare if it weren't for the fact that they're totally intended.

Sorry not to have anything more newsworthy, but we've genuinely got to find SOME policy soon and the clock is ticking. At least, that creepy Muslim kid said that it's a clock...

 BUT ON A RELATED NOTE (and to fill a little space...)

Just in case laughter is the best medicine (or, quite likely, the only medicine we'll all be able to afford in the near future), we'd like to remind you to read our non-political M-W-F webcomic: Johnny Optimism.

Set in a children's hospital, Johnny Optimism tells the heartwarming story of a boy and his dog. Well, a boy and his dog and lots of incurable illnesses and a wide variety of human oddities and raging sociopaths. But through it all, Johnny always keeps a smile on his face (and hopefully yours) by remembering that no matter how bad things seem today, they could always get worse.

Because they do get worse, time after time.

Yes, the government has an insurance billing code for that.


Anonymous said...

Simply put, "I'm from the government and I am here to help you." Right. Great yob.
This cannot last much longer.

George in Houtx said...

ah! but it can last see, humans are surprisingly resilient AND amazingly forgetful for the most part. I fear for this country if Obama decides to run for a third term or if Hildebeast gets elected AT ALL.
as for the doctor situation, I lived for a while in a small town and you would be surprised how much business the veterinarian had. he might not be good for brain surgery or open heart, but he was good for most injuries.

Geoff King said...

I have not had health insurance for decades and still manage to live. I have spent years studying natural herbal remedies and always have the hospital emergency room to fall back on.
As doctors tend to only treat symptoms as opposed to actually attempting to cure their patients, which would put them out of a job, I find the homeopathic approach best suits me.

Stilton Jarlsberg said...

@Anonymous- Unfortunately, what "can not last much longer" will be our existing healthcare system.

@George in Houtx- I predict in the near future veterinarians may be doing a thriving black market business in human health. The giveaway will be the people in the waiting room holding stuffed animals.

@Geoff King- I don't think I've ever met my deductible while pouring hundreds of thousands of dollars into health insurance over the years. Still, I'm personally unwilling to go without insurance just in case my wife or myself gets something horrible. I'm largely skeptical about homeopathy - but do concede there are some decent and well-tested herbal remedies out there that deserve respect.

TrickyRicky said...

I am on the verge of involuntary unemployment, I work in oil and gas you see, and I am 5 years from medicare. Our state insurance co-op just went belly-up, according to plan of course. I dread this whole pay a pile of money for crap coverage even more than I dread choosing between Alpo and Kal Kan for nourishment in my waning years. Forward.

Stuart Brogden said...

For those who believe in God, the law has provided some legal alternatives to "normal" health insurance. Here is a good review of these options:

My wife and I are members of

Stilton Jarlsberg said...

@TrickyRicky- Of the 23 co-ops funded (generously!) with our tax dollars, after just one year 11 have collapsed, 11 are on life support, and only 1 actually made a profit. That's a damned dismal record. And don't forget that the Obamacare "long term coverage" collapsed and was quietly withdrawn before it even got to market. There is no component of the ACA that can, or was intended to, work.

As far as your menu goes, I recommend Alpo "Gravy Cravers" (your choice of beef or chicken) over noodles. If you can't afford noodles, then ask the feds to send you a phonebook-sized copy of the ACA, run it through a paper shredder, then top with Alpo.

@Manfred- I've got a good friend who is very happy with just such a cooperative. I think it's a great alternative for some folks.

boligat said...


I would love to see your take on the DoE ruling concerning the "boy that identifies as a girl" getting to use all the girls' facilities in the locker room "without restrictions". (This was in Illinois) Maybe Lefty Lucy could weigh in on this.

Deadbeat patriot said...

Using acupuncture to treat hemophilia?

OMG - that is bad, doc. Snort, giggle.

John the Econ said...

$425 a week? All I can say is that I marvel at the effectiveness of ObamaCare, which, as I've said so many times here before, was designed to do exactly what it is doing; destroy affordable private health care for middle class Americans. Soon you will likely be sharing the plight of our nation's veterans, who already are largely forced to get their care by "meeting doctors in back alleys and paying cash" and "hopefully quick and painless suicide,". Congratulations Progressives! You did it! You did it!

In addition to that, it's also doing well at something else the Progressives wish done: Destroying what is left of the middle class, and making it totally dependent upon, and ultimately slaves to the Federal government just like the poor now are. Get that "middle class"? Socialism has never enriched the masses; it's only spread the misery about to everyone outside of the ruling class. $425-a-week out of every middle class person's pocket will work well with that agenda. We are well on our way to an era where it will make little difference to your standard of living whether you make $50,000-a-year or $12,000. If you're "poor", they'll subsidize and credit-ize you with benefits that those who make middle-class wages will have to pay for.

Oh, and since "global warming" is one of my favorite topics and we've got the COP21 "spoils conference" coming up, I'll tie that in as well: One of the main tenets of the "watermelons" is that Americans, specifically "middle class" Americans consume too much of the world's resources. So it's a key part of the international Progressive agenda to make you consume less, and what better way to do that than to divert $425-a-week from your discretionary income to something that you hopefully never consume? This goes a long way to preventing middle class Americans from spending that $425-a-week on the planet-destroying things they'd rather spend that money on, like SUVs, bass boats, guns, or meat.

Now excuse me while I go listen to Janet Yellen testify before Congress to explain continuing near-zero interest rates that are also robbing from and destroying the middle class for the benefit of the elites and Wall Street. It will also have the pleasant side effect of preparing me for a mid-morning nap.

Bruce Bleu said...

It's the afFRAUDable HELLthcare act... it's not SUPPOSED to work. It's so everyone will demand that the gubmint take over so everything will work and be FAIR!
Like Ronald Reagan said, "the scariest words in the English language are, 'I'm from the government, and I'm here to help'"!

John the Econ said...

@boligat, I'll chime in on that:

It's another example of how the "gender feminism" movement that pretended to represent all women never recovered from the Bill Clinton era. After the supposedly leading alphabets vigorously defended the most transparently misogynist President in history, how could anyone take the movement seriously anymore? So all that was left was the subsidized professional lunatic fringe in academia to carry the torch, so here we are.

So today, we now have the Federal government demanding that sexually confused teenage boys be allowed to share the showers with heterosexual teenage girls. WTF? Even the most dystopian science fiction could not conceive of this sort of insanity a mere 15 years ago. It's another massive leap that's mostly transpired during the Obama era.

What gets me is that the holy grail of 21st-century political correctness dictates that women should not in any way be "offended" or made to feel "uncomfortable" by anyone with an XY chromosome. (Unless it's Bill or Hillary Clinton or Joe Biden, anyway) Just telling an off-color joke in the presence of a woman can get your exiled to "sensitivity training" if not just outright fired. But this Federal edict actually says that a whole schoolfull of girls are to be made to feel "uncomfortable" for the sake of a single sexually confused boy who wishes to identify as a female.

Get that women? On the totem pole of Progressive values, you're still near the bottom. Remember that the next time some Progressive goes on about the conservative "war on women" meme.

But why should be surprised in an age where an aging ex-athlete is hailed as a "hero" for superficially converting himself into a 30-something-old woman?

@Stilton, Lucy must have something to say about that!

Linda Lee said...

I don't know how you keep your sense of humor, but it sure does help break the tension for me. I enjoy all the comments too.

Colby Muenster said...

Maddening.... I'm betting that 90% of the useless asswipes who voted this turd into office don't even have health insurance and see no need for it. So us old fogey baby boomers are now jammed as we start to face the inevitable declining health of folks of our vintage. I am blessed enough to work at a company who still pays the lion's share (75%) of my insurance, but I see no way they can continue this practice and pay livable wages. We actually have a 2016 benefits meeting this afternoon, and I fully expect the excrement to contact the rotating blades this year.

Mrs. Muenster and I sort of practice what Geoff is doing. We have the cheapest, high deductible plan we can get to cover the "big ones," and use home remedies whenever possible. I'll vouch that a few shots of the wife's home-made Elderberry concoction will chase away a cold better and faster than going to an MD and paying them $300 to prescribe 30 dollar nose spray.

My idiot, 35ish son and I were having a discussion last night about President Resident. The idiot son thinks O'Liar is the greatest thing since the invention of doobies and blunts. I commented that my health insurance had gone from about $40 a week to well over $200 (my 25%), and my coverage was crap, and my deductible was 4,000 smackers. He cheerily said his coverage was great and it didn't cost him a dime! I have never come so close to murdering my own offspring. I practically screamed at him, "Who the f**k do you think is paying for your damn insurance so you can get it "FREE?!! ME, THAT"S WHO!"

Done ranting now.... Sorry.

@John the Econ,
Thanks to your great post, I have now decided to identify as a teenage girl.

NVRick said...

What are the odds of any male getting into the same bathroom as Cankles, Debbie "Washmachine" Schultz, Babs Boxer, or Nancy "botox" Pelosi? (Not that any normal male would want to.)

Stilton Jarlsberg said...

@boligat- Yeah, that story definitely caught my attention. I'm not entirely unsympathetic to true transgender folks (but let me add that I think those cases are very rare, and what we more frequently hear about is actually mental illness) but there has to be a limit to how far everyone else has to go to accommodate this infinitesimally small minority.

I'd also recommend that school authorities take the young man who thinks he's a girl aside and let him know that if he gets a boner in the girls shower that he's going to jail.

@Deadbeat patriot- It seemed like a good idea at the time...

@John the Econ- As is frequently the case, you've nailed a great point: the insurance fiasco I'm currently going through isn't so much about the government's desire to take away my healthcare, but to take away my independence. I have assets that I can use to pay my doctors, and I've never gone a day in the past 40+ years without medical insurance which I've self-paid for (while paying double into Medicare and Social Security for the privilege of being self-employed). It is that independence and sense of personal responsibility that the government hates - and that Obamacare is structured to eradicate. The money I've earned over a lifetime of work and saving won't make a difference if the government controls the services I can and can't pay for.

And you're right about what health insurance does to my "discretionary income." It is the single largest expense I have every year.

@Bruce Bleu- I'm not against the concept of "fairness." I just always assumed that it was fair to try to improve your lot in life by working and being responsible.

@John the Econ- You've created a lovely logical conundrum: does the sensitivity of a boy who thinks he's a girl outweigh the sensitivities of multiple girls who are girls? If so, it's clearly an abuse of penis privilege. So to speak.

@Linda McWilliams- My sense of humor is a little off-kilter and I tend to laugh at things which puzzle, annoy, or dumbfound me. Granted, it's kind of a creepy, semi-hysterical laugh. But the act of venting my frustrations in a humorous way on Hope n' Change helps my mood, as does the ever-enjoyable dialogue we all share here in the comments section.

@Colby Muenster- I'd love to have a catastrophic policy and simply pay cash for all of my actual medical needs. But of course, that wouldn't translate into as much money going into the system to pay for those who want (and vote for) "free" healthcare.

And you raise an interesting point when you say you've decided to identify as a teenaged girl. If people can "identify" to be a gender or race which they clearly aren't, why not identify with a different age group? Can a 12 year old who identifies as 21 buy a bottle of whiskey? Can a 9 year old who believes herself to be an adult still be the victim of statutory rape? Can a 35 year old (not necessarily your son) identify as 65 and immediately start collecting Social Security payments? And if not, why not?!

I'm not being altogether facetious here; what the courts and our culture are saying these days is that the identity you choose becomes real in a legal sense, transcending what's on a birth certificate. With that precedent being set, why should the date of birth on that birth certificate be any more immutable than the gender?

Joseph ET said...

Our employer supported insurance plan is changing too. Our past choices were “Self only” or “Self plus family” now we also get “Self plus one”. It’s about time as our nest has been empty for 20 years. They said we could save about 6% with the new Self plus one plan. I just spent a couple of hours comparing the available Blue plan and the Aetna plans. Both plans are going up again. With Blue we save $10.00 a month with the self plus one, with Aetna the self plus one cost $45 month more than the self plus family plan. Annual deductibles and co-pays are still sky high.
How can the insurance industry lose any money?
How can anyone afford to get a major illness?
The problem is the government mandate. There’s really little if any competition for consumers.

boligat said...

@Stilton "I'd also recommend that school authorities take the young man who thinks he's a girl aside and let him know that if he gets a boner in the girls shower that he's going to jail."

He'll just claim he's a lesbian.

yes, its me said...

president lying scumweasel. I like that! It's a lot nicer than me calling him the c*cksucking, sh*t for brains, muzzie f*ckstick.

John the Econ said...

The beauty of post-modernism is that many (but not all) of us get to re-define reality any way we see fit. So Bruce gets to be Caitlyn, Rachel Dolezal gets to be black, and some kid in Illinois gets to be a girl in the girls locker room. And it's all deemed as though those of us who question any of it are the real problem.

Like @Stilton, I don't have a beef with people encountering gender confusion. What I do have a problem with is these people forcing their confusion upon other people.

I wonder if this has come up yet at Sidwell Friends.

On a totally unrelated topic: Today for reasons not yet known, at University of California Merced an individual went on a rampage with a knife, stabbing 4 people before finally being shot by police.

The only reason I bring this up is that this happened over 10 hours ago, and yet the media has not revealed anything about the identity of the assailant, which given the way these things seem to go in recent years usually means that he was not a white male or a legal citizen.

School Chancellor Dorothy Leland said "It’s concerning that we do seem to have a culture of violence in the United States and it sometimes catches with our young people." Yes, I agree. Thanks for not trying to blame it on the knife, like you would have had it been a gun he used.

boligat said...


"I'm not being altogether facetious here; what the courts and our culture are saying these days is that the identity you choose becomes real in a legal sense, transcending what's on a birth certificate. With that precedent being set, why should the date of birth on that birth certificate be any more immutable than the gender?"

You have just given Jared Fogle an out.

Sandra Gray said...

For about 2 years now, my husband and I have been on that fantastic, money-saving health plan known as "Self Pay". Not only do we save on Medical Insurance Premiums - there's not any - we also get to go to the Dr. of our choice! If we know a procedure is coming up, like a visit to the Dentist, or a trip to the Eye Doctor or Lung Doctor, we simply go to the Dr's office a month or so in advance, find out the anticipated cost of our procedure, then pay 1/3 to 1/2 in advance. When we go for the actual appointment, we pay the remainder of the bill. We are happy cuz we don't have to pay $1500 per month in addition to the Dr visit, AND The Dr gets ALL THEIR $$ right then - - they don't have to wait months for their insurance payment, PLUS they get the reasonable amount and not the "Write-Off" amount. Win-Win!!

JustaJeepGuy said...

Once again, all those booger-eatin' morons who voted for Barack Hussein so they could get "free" health insurance need to learn the hard way that health insurance ISN'T health CARE. What good is insurance if you can't get to see a doctor? Although those who were/are stupid enough to vote for Barack "Santa Claus" Hussein are undoubtedly too stupid to learn how stupid they really are. Unfortunately, it's the rest of us who have to suffer.

Stilton Jarlsberg said...

@Joseph ET- You nail it when you point out that, thanks to the government, there really isn't much competition in the market working in favor of consumers. When you look at the 11 co-ops which have already failed, the alleged goal was to provide more competition to the existing insurers to help drive prices down. Only the prices the co-ops charged were unsustainable. So thanks to the government's idea of "competition," many consumers bought insurance from a provider that failed, while others bought from traditional providers who were forced to lower their prices below profitability - forcing huge increases this year. The goal of "competition" shouldn't be to give consumers more bad choices - especially underwritten with over $2 billion in taxpayer "loans" which will likely never be paid back.

@boligat- As the girls said to their new shower buddy, "you make an interesting point."

@yes, it's me- Say what you will about Barry, but he's really brought the asterisk back into mainstream use.

@John the Econ- The school tried to accommodate the he/she student in multiple ways, but it was never enough. It's like someone in a wheelchair not just demanding a ramp to get into a building (reasonable), but also demanding that all steps be removed so everyone has to use the ramp and the wheelchair user isn't singled out.

By the way, I'm actually sorry I wrote that in a public forum. Now the ACLU will probably file lawsuits against every property with stairs.

Regarding the knife attack on campus, I'm still not seeing any information about the culprit as of Thursday morning. I can understand not giving out a name if the goal is not to glorify some murderous anti-social moron. But why not share the same demographic information that would go into a police report? You can bet your butt that if the knife had a confederate flag carved into the handle, we'd have known everything about the perp by now.

@boligat- Exactly my point. According to the Left, is a pederast really a child abuser, or simply someone who likes sex with chronologically challenged individuals who self-identify as an adult?

@Sandra Gray- That's exactly what I'd LIKE to do. The only reason I have insurance is to protect my family in the event of a catastrophic illness which would exceed our resources (or deplete them so badly as to leave us in serious straits in the future). But the government doesn't want anyone to have catastrophic-only insurance anymore because it doesn't put enough money or control into their hands.

@JustaJeepGuy- As you say, health insurance doesn't equal health care. People who previously had no insurance went to emergency rooms...and got health care. But people who have health insurance when doctors are leaving their practices may only have a piece of paper.

Long before Obamacare was passed, I frequently shared my own experiences from the state of Hawaii (which you'd think Obama would be familiar with). They were ranked #1 in the nation for "access to healthcare" which was defined as meaning that nearly everyone was insured or govered by government programs. But reimbursement was so bad that doctors fled the islands in droves, leaving a situation which the head of Oahu's medical association likened to "third world medicine." All of those people with great "access to healthcare" couldn't actually see a doctor.

And that's where we're going now. In the near "single payer" future, I predict that the vast majority of "medicine" will consist of visiting a low level functionary who taps your symptoms into the overpriced goverment equivalent of WebMD and then sends you packing. Actual doctors, who will be rare, will either be from overseas or conscripted into service.

Rod said...

There's a bit of good news. A few of these raving progressive idiots got their butts kicked out of office on Tuesday; let's keep rolling.

John the Econ said...

Ah, found it, roughly 24-hours after the fact:

"The UC Merced student who wounded four people in a stabbing spree at the campus has been identified as Faisal Mohammad, a freshman student from Santa Clara."

As I've said here many times before, I agree with suppressing the name of these perpetrators to reduce the media exposure that many of these people seek. However, we can't escape the consistent inconsistency of how these cases are handled; A white kid with a gun kills people, and within an hour we usually have a name and the media has already assigned motive (usually guns and/or racism) and the solutions to the problem. (eliminate guns, and reprogram all white males) Someone named "Faisal Mohammad" runs amok with a knife randomly killing people, and it takes 24 hours to even get his name. In the meantime, the school chancellor, who no doubt knew his name and that he was a student at her university within an hour of the incident issues prattle about America's "culture of violence", as if guys with middle-eastern names running amok slashing random people with 10-inch knives is a phenomenon unique to America. (All that is missing from this scenario is the blaming of a YouTube video)

The multiculturalists who think that by suppressing the obvious that they are preventing a backlash against people with certain backgrounds only make the situation worse. In addition to not being able to trust people of certain backgrounds, we also cannot trust the authorities to tell us the truth.

I expect this story to disappear quickly before we find out anything else about the background and motives of young Faisal. Look, over there, a squirrel...

On the future of health care, you nailed it: "In the near "single payer" future, I predict that the vast majority of "medicine" will consist of visiting a low level functionary who taps your symptoms into the overpriced goverment equivalent of WebMD and then sends you packing. Actual doctors, who will be rare, will either be from overseas or conscripted into service."

Today, from the UK which has had "single payer" for decades:

NHS: UK now has one of the worst healthcare systems in the developed world, according to OECD report

"Hospitals so underequipped that people are dying needlessly because of a chronic lack of investment."

The Progressives will achieve victory by declaring that finally, everyone has "access" to health care, which will mainly mean possessing a card and a "right". As for actually getting care, you'll be on your own. Good luck.

Stilton Jarlsberg said...

@Rod- Thank Heaven for small favors.

@John the Econ- You beat me to the post. Faisal Mohammed, grinning and swinging a big knife with murderous intent. I have no doubt this is why we haven't heard much about this incident, and why it will be hushed up quickly. And as far as the school official blaming America's "culture of violence?" I'd like to know what evidence she had that there was no other cultural influence on F. Mohammed (yeah, I know his name, I just like writing "F Mohammed"...)

Regarding healthcare, when NOBODY can get decent care, then everyone will be getting treated "fairly."

By the way, insurance expert C. Steven Tucker discovered that in Illinois, Blue Cross customers who earn too much to get a subsidy can get a PPO plan but it excludes the state's best teaching hospitals. Enter the same data online but knock down income a few bucks (into the subsidy range) and you're offered a PPO plan which does include the better hospitals. I guess this will make for good political grist about POOR people getting topnotch care, while those in the middle class and above can go screw themselves.

John the Econ said...

So it's another multiculturalism success story.

"He was having fun"

"He had a smile on his face, he was having fun," a construction worker who helped stop the attack told CBS 47."

Wow, the definition of "fun" sure has changed allot since we were in school, hasn't it?

And I'm adding Chancellor Dorothy Leland to my "useless tool of the left" file for her knee-jerk "blame America first" narrative. No doubt that walking onto the campus of UC Merced wearing a Tea Party t-shirt will get you flagged in your permanent record as belonging to a "hate group". Shrieking jihad and running down the hall stabbing people with knives? Not so likely. That would be "judgmental".

As for the byzantine nature of figuring out how ObamaCare affects one person versus another: As I've long said, the real Progressive war is against the middle class, even as they preach that they are all about saving the middle class.

Victor Davis Hanson nailed this yesterday:

"The problem with the Republican establishment is that it has not fully grasped that the Democratic party has become the party of the ultra-rich and the ultra-poor, a union based on assuaging the guilt of the former by subsidies to the latter. Those left in between are now increasingly Republican. One party likes big government; the other does not. Liberal voters are people who either can easily afford high taxes or expect not to pay them; conservatives in between must pay what they cannot afford."

John the Econ said...

Completely unrelated, but in the coming weeks we're going to be seeing a double-down on this kind of insanity in advance of the COP21 "climate spoils conference". This one almost literally caused my head to explode:

Gore Calls for Exxon Mobil Inquiry on Climate Change

"Former Vice President Al Gore said on Tuesday that there should be an investigation into Exxon Mobil over what he said was the oil company’s misleading the public about the risks of climate change."

Come on, if your head didn't explode over that one, you at least did feel your ears pop, right?

This, from a guy who's academy award-winning movie has since been completely discredited and yet is still required viewing in practically every school, who made $100-million selling his bogus cable channel to a bunch of oil sheiks, and who's personal carbon footprint is the size of a small country.

I call for an investigation into Al Gore, and how this born 1%-er parlayed his mediocre public service career into being a .1%-er.

Sam Giambronie said...

I'm a 58 year old male. I just landed a 25 hour/week job @$8.50/hr.
How does that idiot in the (former) White House expect me to afford his damn "healthcare?" I can hardly afford food at this point. Especially since the prices go up every week.

Joseph ET said...
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Joseph ET said...
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Joseph ET said...
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Joseph ET said...

@ Sam Giambronie
Yeah, you're dead on about the cost of groceries

John the Econ said...

Hey @Stilton, perhaps you should move to Colorado:

Colorado will vote on the plan long favored by liberals, bringing a big health care fight to the swing state.

"One of the most detailed plans to replace Obamacare this year comes not from a Republican critic, but from a group in swing-state Colorado that is proposing to scrap it for a single-payer model long sought by liberals."

It's happening. ObamaCare, designed to make citizens desperate enough to vote for anything is about to claim it's first state-wide victim. I expect more to follow shortly. Ready to cry "Uncle!" yet?