Today I had a very long and very boring phone conference with a major regulatory
agency entity that oversees a significant contract for my company. We were talking about a data element that has been used in the insurance industry for a significant portion of my life. The discussion was how we used that element for basic system usage and what the major regulatory agency wants us to do with that very well-defined, structured and validated data element. They want the changes in play for last week.
To make a very long and dry story short, if I did to another person what the major regulatory entity wants us to do to that data element, I would rightfully be brought up on charges. My company is pushing back on the requirement because it does not make any sense to change a well defined data element with known properties into a Rorschach blob without any data validation or guidance.
After a forty five minute discussion as to why the major regulatory agency may want to rethink their approach, the representative on the phone (who clearly was not ready for the technical side of the push-back) started saying that we needed to accomdate this change ASAP because of Obamacare.
That was a load of shit as an isomorph of this request was made when Obama was still a Senator considering a run and that request had that same justification and the same technical pushback. After several long and extraordinarily life sucking teleconferences and one road trip to explain to the regulators exactly why this was a dumb idea, they agreed it was a dumb idea. I have at least two or three more phone calls in my future. I am hoping for the trip again as the accomodations are nice in XYZ-ville as the end result will be the same.
Right now, don’t trust anyone who says that policy changes are in healthcare are due to Obamacare unless they can point out the either the immediately relevant sections of the law or can spin out a fairly coherent story that is consistent with both known policy implications and internal incentives. Our wonderful state regulator tried to railroad a dumb idea through on the power of “1/1/14 changes everything so jump” and plenty of other changes that would have occurred in the counter-factual of a non-Obamacare world are happening in an Obamacare world and are being blamed on Obamacare.
“insurance rates are going up because of Obamacare!”
“We are having to let people go because of Obamacare!”
Someone on my Taekwondo class injured himself trying to break boards that were extraordinarily hard and narrow (much more so than we were used to). Clearly this is because of Obamacare.
I picked the wrong day to stop sniffing glue. Because of Obamacare.
@nastybrutishntall: It is always the wrong day to stop sniffing glue you fool!
@nastybrutishntall: Hah, I picked the wrong day to stop sniffing Obamacare. Oh, wait…
This just proves that government regulators are bad and killing jobs independent of whether Obamacare is the root cause of their stupidity.
But seriously, this is the government that people want to see less of and the reason why those of us that want better government get frustrated. I know anecdotes are not data, but they are psychologically more powerful than data. At least you were able to talk sense to them.
So wait, the agency in question Oversees or is located Overseas?
Our back-porch stairs are falling apart. How many more back-porch stairs are going to be wrecked by Obamacare before this nation wakes up??!
In the 1950s, it would have because of the atomic bomb.
I know that you’re not gong to get into more specifics about what it was they wanted you to change…so I’m going to come up with my own change.
“We will assume that cancer makes people glow in the dark, so diagnosis costs will go down! It will also lower utility costs.”
Vandy beat the Dawgs behind Obamacare!
mike with a mic
At least Obamacare gave us this hilarious exchange.
Snarki, child of Loki
@dmbeaster: In the 1960’s it would have been because of The Beatles/Hippies.
This is just people latching onto a convenient excuse for what they wanted anyway. Just be glad that the the consequences are so inconsequential, relatively speaking.
OMFG! Arab terrorists attacked the WTC! Invade Iraq!!
Also, well-placed Family Circus reference.
@eric: Who said this was a government regulator
All of them, twice over.
Richard – Here are two examples of stuff being blamed on Obamacare. Is either one true?
1. I work for the city, and we have been told that part timers cannot accumulate more than 999 hours per year or they must be offered benefits.
2. My friends who are doing substitute teaching cannot work more than three days per week for the same reason.
@Richard Mayhew: ahhhh, I just take that word to mean govt. i feel much better. thanks
Does Ida Know have anything to do with this, too?
@mike with a mic: Caught that one. Apparently Chuck Todd also asked if they’d made sure that everything was plugged in.
My personal favorite from my medical brethren back East is “aack, insurance companies are restricting their networks and it’s all due to Obamacare!” That kind of hardball has been going on in California for years. And it pushes healthcare systems to get more efficient and make a case for their value and quality, so it isn’t always a terrible thing.
i was an adventurer like you, and then Obamacare came!
The result of the last half-decade of my hanging out on political blogs is that I no longer trust anyone who says anything about anything at all.
Does Obamacare cover for the damages caused by facepalms and headdesks while reading the NYT op-ed pg? The latest offending entry.
My favorite response, when dealing with situations like that, is to say…
“Sure, we can do that. However, we highly recommend against this proposed solution, as we believe that it will cause unknown, and unintended consequences. In addition, we cannot guarantee that the solution you have requested, will yield the results that you desire…so the memorandum of understanding, or statement of work will need to reflect our position. Just to insure that there is no confusion at a later date.
If you would like for us, instead, to design a solution that will meet your stated goals, to present for your approval…that we can guarantee, we are more than willing to do so.”
Not sure how well that would fly in your situation, but we’ve had a lot of success in getting people to back off, when they have to sign off on stupidity that they requested, and the fact that we are stating upfront, that we think it’s stupid.
We have no problem taking your money to implement someone’s proposed stupidity. But it would be unethical for us not to point out the rank stupidity in the request…and possibly criminal for someone to think that the stupidity was actually our idea.
@Richard Mayhew: @eric: It amazes me how often a given nonspecific regulatory body is assumed to be federal (and public).
I spent some time working on Superfund investigation and cleanup. The two bodies we worked with were EPA and the state department of toxic substances. One site in particular had a fairly odd problem: naturally-occurring toxins at the site fell smack in the middle of the acceptable risk range. Federal was fine with that: the risk was lower than worst case, and though higher than best-case there was a demonstrable reason for it. State, on the other hand, insisted that remediation to best case was the only acceptable result. It took four years of studies, three additional surveying firms, and four or five additional rounds of samples and chemistry to convince them that the only way to remediate to their satisfaction was to evacuate the entire nearby metro area and nuke the site out of existence.
Federalists (not necessarily Teahadists, but definitely the old-school Decentralizers) rail against Washington – but very often they forget that their own states, which they consider parallel in sovereignty to Washington, enact and enforce far more onerous obligations on their citizens than their federal equivalents ever could. And they forget even faster that the private bodies overseeing industry and even subdivisions (HOA, anyone?) are even more restrictive, and even less open to debate.
Best of luck delivering Reason to Bureaucracy. May your experience be less exhaustive/exhausting, and more immediately fruitful, than mine.
@Josie: Nope and nope
My dating life has sucked recently, ‘cuz of Obamacare.
@EriktheRed: Worthy use of “isomorph,” too!
@boatboy_srq: I want to be in your next presentation where tactical nuclear weapons are a viable course of action!
I don’t care what people’s views are, this is damned funny.
Shades of WordPerfect in 1995.
“I can’t expand my business b/c of Obamacare!”
for values of “business = one dude cutting grass”
@Richard Mayhew: It was that or excavate halfway to Australia. Nukes were cheaper, even with the evacuations and temporary housing.
Not really. But we nearly said that to Dept of Toxic Substances since they didn’t understand any of the science involved (“Whaddamean granite is radioactive!?!?… [beat]… Uh, does that mean I have to take out my new countertops?”).
@Botsplainer: “installing a software bundle contained on 35 floppy disks”
Sound much more like SoftLandingSystems Linux.
So this is clearly an error: “Just fire up MS-DOS, enter ‘A:\>dir *.exe”
@Comrade Jake: I give you #ChuckToddWebsiteAdvice.
It is all kinds of awesome.
I have to say, that is a sector of the environmental remediation industry with which I am unfamiliar.
@CA Doc: Blue Cross is playing extreme hardball with one group of hospitals in Mississippi – but I have not heard Obamacare blamed for it even once.
My prediction: Blue Cross will win.
@Ash Can: Oh my god, you too? Will a return to free market principles denying people health care coverage when they had pimples as a teenager really result in someone fixing my back porch? Because I’d be totally down with that.
@Ben Cisco: Oh, yes, bookmarked for my IT guy. I mean Mr. Aimai.
Does your husband / Misbehave / Grunt and grumble / Rant and rave / Shoot the brute some / Obamacare
Train approaching / Whistle squealing / Stop / Avoid that run-down feeling / Obamacare
Hardly a driver / Is now alive / Who passed / On hills / At 75 / Obamacare
@boatboy_srq: Just as a point of order, Brazil nuts are radioactive. Also.Too.
@Botsplainer: Visual C++ 1.0 took 34 floppies. Obamacare 2.0 is huge!!
The Republican legislature (thankfully we took back the legislature in 2012) passed a horrible insurance deregulation scheme in 2011 which caused insurance rates to go up dramatically in Maine. Of course when the rates went up–they blamed ObamaCare even though it hadn’t yet taken effect.
Here is an article about the law they passed.
The author’s problems with regulators is a problem that should not occur if we started demanding a little competence. I’m all for big government, but it had better be sort of competent, no?
That’s why I hope the President is as serious about fixing the “glitches” as he says. We’ve got just over five months before the personal mandate kicks in. I’m worried that not enough of the young healthy ones are going to sign up by then. I’d also feel better if there was a little more transparency in regard to the progress that’s being made. If only the NSA could keep a secret as well as the Administration has kept secret the number of Americans who have actually signed up for exchange policies.
At some point, the press’ “Obamacare Rollout Disaster” story starts to impact the 2014 election.
HaHa. I’m a tech ignoramus and even I LOL’ed.
@Snarki, child of Loki:
Wouldn’t it more likely have been the Stones? In any event, Kristofferson should definitely update his classic.
LOL. Did you play with that at all? (if it really happened and wasn’t just a hypothetical).
e.g. “well ventilated kitchen”, and “regular radon testing”.
@PopeRatzo: Word Salad.
There’s a shiny little Victorian subtext to all that. The horrors and corruptions of urban life. The dangerous zombies, coming to violate pure and chaste women, who make up its working hordes. The wholesome rural lifestyle they left behind, where everyone knows their place and where the dumb brutes might have blossomed into something beautiful instead of being corrupted by modernity.
3% installed……Please insert next disk and press ENTER
My cat just barfed on the living room floor because Obamacare.
Obamacare has become the boogeyman
I am reminded somehow of the 1 star Amazon reviews for Tuscan Whole Milk, 1 Gallon, 128 fl oz
@aimai: Even then, we’d still have to worry about the Lily Ledbetter Act causing infestations of slugs in our hostas. Oh, the humanity.
@Trollhattan: Heh. Awesome.
@PopeRatzo: I’m sure that Obama has every intention of being cavalier about his signature accomplishment and will therefore refuse to make the situation better, because, really, if you had to name a politician who gives nary two shits about technology or marketing or politics, the list would have to start with Barack Hussein Obama.
@Bill Arnold: Be sure to go for same-day shipping on that item.
@rikyrah: Maybe those people are keeping their computers under the bed? Also, rikyrah, didn’t you post a link to the world’s most serious, mournful looking baby? I didn’t bookmark it and now I can’t find it and that baby and the commentary was priceless. Will you shoot a link over to me at my email or my blog? Or put the link here?
@Chris: She is a poster child for how many privileged, mostly upper caste Indians think. Everything from corruption to violence against women is to be blamed on the other, mostly the poor and the voiceless.
Given the astounding vagueness of your tale, no one can legitimately say anything pro or con. Without some kind of verifiable facts, your story simply belongs to the category of ufology or dowsing.
You never specify which regulatory entity you dealt with. You never specify which rule the entity wanted to change. You never specify how that alleged rule supposedly connected with the ACA.
How can anyone say anything about a post this nebulous?
“I once did something that had unforeseen consequences and caused difficulties. This proves that the ACA should not be implemented.”
“Oh, no, you’re wrong! I once did had an accident and it turned out great, and this proves that the ACA should be fast-tracked.”
Both those stories are as vague as yours, and connect to the ACA just as unclearly. Really, if you want to debate something as complex as the ACA, you need to produce verifiable provable objectively testable facts and then show clearly and in detail exactly how they relate to the ACA.
Those both sound about right. Basically, it’s supposed to prevent companies from making people work full-time without offering them benefits. Working more than three days a week and/or 999 hours a year would take people over the 30-hour threshhold.
@PopeRatzo: I’m, not going to defend the rollout of the web site. They obviously blew it but:
1. Microsoft has been developing windows since what 1990 and they just to pull the 8.1 service pack off the market because of bugs
2. DOD has been contracting to build airplanes since 1908 and each new super improved model gets more expensive, has more bugs, fails to meet design specs and delivers fewer copies than promised.
3. the black hole that was IRAQ in which billions simply disappeared.
SO the fact that the website did not arrive perfect is not surprising. Should there be an investigation – yes. Run by the GOOPERS – hell no.
here is an excellent diary about applying for Obamacare:
20 Oct 13
Options For Enrolling And Questions Regarding The ACA
NOTE:This is one person’s experience (who is on a November 6 deadline). It is not an independent analysis. Your experience may be different. Do not skip any steps if it will be disadvantageous for your health insurance enrollment process or if it will negatively affect the subsidy that you may qualify for (which will lead to lower premiums) and the health insurance plans that you may be eligible for. Follow the proper healthcare.gov instructions so that you will receive affordable, quality, and comprehensive health coverage.
A lot of TOD’ers have been questioning Healthcare.gov‘s functionality….I want to share my experience to date, and for the many asking there is a paper application available contrary to reports
Here’s the post…and the warning for others…
This post is simply hilarious..
Whose Wise Baby is This? (And Foolery From My Readers)
[ 59 ] October 16, 2013 | Luvvie
I’ve said this before but babies are cute by default because they’re so little and small things lean towards cute. And some babies are born cute AND looking like they’ve been here before. You’ve seen those mini humans. They just look like they hold a wisdom of the years and these are the kids you gotta give strong names to. Names like Rufus, Jebediah, Orelius or Bertha. You can’t name babies who’ve been here before stuff like Jessica, Zach or Timmy. Nope. They need to be called Wilbur or Clementine from jump!
I came across a picture of this baby a while ago and I immediately wanted to get off is lawn, because I was sure he was gonna chase me off it.
Am I showing my age if I immediately thought, OMG, it’s Fred Sanford as a baby!
BWA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA
GHayduke (formerly lojasmo)
That’s a hoot, considering the source.
“Free — free / a trip to Mars / for 900 / empty jars / Obamacare”
“If a trip to Mars / you earn / remember, friends / there’s no return / Obamacare”
Mike with a Mic
Personally I don’t see what the big fucking deal is. I work in IT. I’ve done it for the military, for the private sector, and for the non profit sector. I’ve seen every single one botch a deployment or have issues initially, it just happens. The bigger the project the more issues you’ll have to work out, that’s life.
Blizzard makes Starcraft, the official sport of Korea and most popular FPS game out there, they also make Diablo, the most popular action RPG out there, and they make World of Warcraft, the most popular MMO and online game out there. Guess what, Blizzard has massive cluster fucks as well on initial deployment. Microsoft and apple are forever fucking up product releases and pushing out updates that cause more problems than they fix.
Let’s not forget the Sony batteries that blew up HP, Dell, apple, and lenovo laptops. Those companies all ended up with bunk intel chipsets (fuck you sandbridge update and sata issues) and nvidia GPUs (9400m and 8600 can blow me) which took recalls and more to sort out.
This shit happens. It’s something that every gamer, IT professional, and technophile accepts and has personal horror stories about. Toss in middle managers trying to milk the system for more money and it’s a nightmare. The ACA issues aren’t cause for panic, it’s just the standard SNAFU.
@Josie: That 999 hours sounds like a pension issue. Where I work, if you work 1000+ hours in a year, you become eligible for a pension. The 999 hours is way below the ACA number of hours that makes an employee considered full-time. 999 hours averages just below 20 hours a week. ACA considers employees full-time if they work on average more than 30 hours a week.
Latest from conservative co-workers:
Quite the intellectual debate.