I’m a bit late to this but there is some good news from early in the week:
In April, Montana’s Republican legislatureapproved Medicaid expansion, but like other Republican-controlled states, it made some changes to put a conservative twist on the program.
The Obama administration needed to approve those changes, which include making beneficiaries pay premiums up to 2 percent of their income, and on Monday it signed off.
“This agreement will bring much needed access to healthcare coverage to more than 70,000 low-income Montanans,” Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia Mathews Burwell said in a statement.
Montana expanded Medicaid and the expansion is in place for January 1, 2016 coverage. Alaska went live with their expansion on September 1, 2015. So the hold-out states are Maine, the Confederacy and the Mountain West and the Plains.
Wisconsin is not an expansion state.
@Omnes Omnibus: perhaps a generous interpretation of the plains – but really they only run from the Dakotas south to Oklahoma at the farthest.
a hip hop artist from Idaho (fka Bella Q)
@Omnes Omnibus: Is it wrong that I read that as
or just an old eyes problem?
@a hip hop artist from Idaho (fka Bella Q): they’ve been an aggressive young ball club but the new GM made a number of questionable offseason moves that will hurt them for a long time.
John M. Burt
A little and a little and a little and a little….
This is good news. Although if KY is any guide, Medicaid expansion will cause the voters to freak out and replace their D governor for a tea party psycho.
The cynic thinks these more expensive opt out provisions will be used as an excuse to gut Medicaid expansions, when the Feds stop paying 100% because it comes in as too expensive.
Spinoza is my Co-pilot
Believe it or not Arizona (my benighted but so nice and warm adopted home) approved Medicaid expansion quite early. Normally-assholish governor Jan Brewer (of “finger-waving at Obama on the tarmac” fame) actually pushed it through the legislature, for which she (and the leg) were roundly pilloried by the more rabid elements around here (which are legion, obviously). Fairly amazing, all things considered. She’s been replaced by even-worse governor Steve Ducey, but like Obamacare most everywhere it’s unlikely that the expansion is rescinded. My wife has worked in the medical field (in hospitals) for nearly 40 years now, and they are definitely seeing positive effects from Obamacare, whatever nutjob rightwingers might believe.
I think Maine is a matter of time. LePage is term-limited in 2018, and maybe the center-left will get its act together.
In other words, most of America.
The thing that freaked me out about that interactive NYT map linked to a while back is that it appears that the health-insurance situation in most of the bad places is actually getting worse year on year, maybe because of rising premiums. In some cases, alarmingly rapidly worse, like the rate of uninsured increasing 10% per year.
And that’s not just in the states that rejected Medicaid expansion, it’s also in the poor rural areas that have been underserved in some of the expansion states. It may just be a side effect of exploding rural poverty in general.
There’s an interesting exception: it looked like the heavily African-American rural areas of SC and GA were bad-but-improving.
So we only have to survive until January 2019.
@CONGRATULATIONS!: 30 states have some form of Medicaid expansion, including New York and California, so I’d be surprised if the rejectors were most of them by population. I was going to say you were right going by land area, but Alaska alone probably negates that.
@CONGRATULATIONS!: Not population-wise.
And unfortunately for the Tehadis, land doesn’t vote.
Montana and Alaska combine for about 0.5% of the US population. Whoot!
@CONGRATULATIONS!: No, 204 electoral votes, or 40% of the states
Is it me or does the blog front page look even worse than yesterday? It takes forever to load too.
Do you think of the “Estimated total yearly costs” is a reasonable way to chose a plan? We’re a couple in our late 50’s that will just slip into the 250% CSR. It’s our first time on the exchange but thanks to you, Charles Gaba and Andrew Sprung we’re going for the Silver.
@schrodinger’s cat: Yes and yes. It is not you — or maybe it’s just you and me.
What National Geographic will look like under Rupert fucking Murdoch.
@CONGRATULATIONS!: Only if you consider 2/5 most.
Gin & Tonic
@Felonius Monk: Me three.
@Felonius Monk: It’s looking fine to me on my laptop using Firefox.
Not entirely OT. Karoli over at CrooksandLiars has an interesting take on the KY election:
Is the site complaint thread still alive somewhere? That should probably be pinned to the front page if so.
My complaint/query is how do you return to where you were in the comment thread after you follow a link up.
You used to go back a page and it would return you to your previous place in the thread. Now I have scroll all the way back down.
@Felonius Monk: I never in my wildest dream thought that Balloon Juice would be corporatized. The front page looks like a mish-mash of the old Balloon Juice website interspersed with huge logos of social media icons.
Really Balloon Juice, that sounds like some twee fashion blogger.
@gelfling545: I am using the latest Firefox and Windows 7 Professional edition.
@Geeno: Use the Tab key. I learned this last night after cursing under my breath for a few days. Question remains though, Why change it?
@schrodinger’s cat: Careful, the Blog Thought Police might be watching. Criticism seems to be frowned upon.
@gelfling545: Murdoch’s Nat geo is reminding me of Walter mitty, Ben stiller version.
Most of the largest land area states are onboard: Alaska (1st), California (3rd), Montana (4th), New Mexico (5th), Arizona (6th), Nevada (7th), Colorado (8th), Oregon (9th), Michigan (11th), Minnesota (12th).
Those 10 account for 45% of the total US land area.
@CONGRATULATIONS!: Perhaps by territory, but not by population, share of US economic output, or total income. There’s a reason that people from the Northeast and West Coast call it Flyover Country.
a hip hop artist from Idaho (fka Bella Q)
@Felonius Monk: Facial gestures win the understatement of the day. So far.
“Be careful or your face might freeze like that”
I’ve been reading the site on my Kindle, which now looks the same as it did before our glorious Balloon Juice revolution.
Let’s me pretend the last few days never happened.
@Satby: but I can’t edit typos.
@Satby: It looks the same on my phone but still screwed up on the laptop.
@Kelly: Good question… I think Healthcare.gov and a good number of the state exchange sites have scenario tools in window shopping where you can enter your expected healthcare usage and use that to figure out what is the best cost idea for your situation. If you know you’re looking at multiple surgeries and several high cost drugs next year, a Platinum plan might be a good idea, or if you think it is likely that you’ll be pretty healthy with just primary care visits and low level prescriptions a Silver with cost sharing assistance might work.
I would recommend that you talk to either a navigator or a broker for some extra assistance.
@Geeno: The complaint thread is always open, it’s Balloon Juice
@Geeno: Just note the comment number and you can find your place again easily. Oh, wait…
The Raven on the Hill
That uniquely American form of charity, where the poor are made to pay for it.
“Hey, Maw! Think we should pay the health care or the rent this month?”
@mdblanche: You can note the time of the comment, to get past the lack of comment numbers.
@mdblanche: The recent comments section indicated you had posted something so I decided to drop in and reply briefly.
Now, where was I?
The complete blank page displayed after you post a comment or hit refresh reminds me of everytime I used to go to the movies. All the commercials and pre-ambles and trailers would finish playing and there was a two or three second gap where the screen was blank, no music was playing and I could never remember what movie I was there to see. I would sit in the darkness and hope to myself, “Action movie? Action movie. Action movie!” I was usually right and that made me happy.
So…I guess that’s kindof a win?
@a hip hop artist from Idaho (fka Bella Q): Steepman throwin’ bows last night was epic good fun.
So is Bevin doing away with kynect for reasons other than not wanting to be a teahadist in a state with its own exchange? This is like all those repeal and replace republicans who want to get rid of the aca and replace with who knows what just to screw Obama’s legacy.
A little off topic, but related in the sense that it shows the rank immorality of what these red state are doing to their populations.
US non-Hispanic white mortality rates are rising at an alarming rate, mostly due to suicide, drug addictions of various kinds, alcoholism and chronic disease.
There have long been statistical hints that living standards of lower income people in the US have been declining at such a rate that their life-expectancy is falling, across many racial and ethnic groups. Now the evidence is becoming very clear. Not sure whether the link to the Deaton paper is free to public or not.
I’ve heard a couple of news reports about it, and today there is a link at LGM blog. It is authored by Campos, who does things with numbers and statistics that I do not like in general, but in this post, he is mainly quoting recent work by new Nobel (Memorial) prize winner economists Angus Deaton.
An invisible catastrophe
Edit: and will add that I am disappointed by the scant attention given to this year’s Nobel (Memorial) prize to Deaton, who has a long history of outstanding empirical and theoretical work on the economics of household consumption, and also very high quality and innovative statistical techniques. If there is any solid core to microeconomics as a true empirical science, people like Deaton are doing it.
Maybe his results fit too neatly into HRC and Sander’s campaigns for comfort (and while he doesn’t name name’s he makes the policy implications of his work a little too clear? I dunno, Seems like his prize went almost unnoticed.
@Hal: If they repealed it and replaced it with something exactly the same but called Shmobamacare, it’d be fine with me.
FWIW, I very rarely use the front page. I “open in new tab” each new post from whatever current post I’m reading. The little pop-out “wings” on the new site are a nice way to do that. (On the mobile version, you have to go to the top of the post to see the icon indicating a new post is up, of course.)
The other thing I was going to suggest was that going to www.balloon-juice.com/blog would get you to a cleaner page of the most recent posts, but that seems to have gone away. I can’t find a link for it on the current front page now. Oh, well. Work in progress.
Gin & Tonic
@jl: I don’t know, didn’t seem to me like the attention to his award was disproportionate to prior recipients. I certainly saw coverage of it, and what his work was about, and this latest paper is getting a lot of press, too.
@Gin & Tonic: OK, good to hear. I been very busy with various stuff, and maybe I missed it.
That is one of the priority hot-button issues being dealt with, we’ve been told.
This doesn’t work very well, at least for me. It either takes me back a little above my last position or a screen or two below.
What I have been doing is to make a mental note of some (hopefully unique) text snippet in the comment that I want to come back to and then, after I have gone up and read the stuff above, open a search field, put in the snippet and let it “find” my place again down below. It’s a bit of work—and stupid as all get-out—but it helps for going up and down in long threads. Hopefully it is only a short-term solution.
@a hip hop artist from Idaho (fka Bella Q):
I have a moue on right now.
(Why, yes, that was in the crossword puzzle this morning.)
Phone site has reverted to the previous version. (Or at least you have the ability to select it at the bottom of each post.) No such luck on big desktop version.
Sister Rail Gun of Warm Humanitarianism
@Felonius Monk: I’m currently getting a little more than 3.5s load time on the front page with ad blocker active.
Most of which appears to be waiting for a server response.
In the meantime, I have solved the redirect warning I have been getting since the new design went live by blocking the likebox.
@Steeplejack: This blog redesign is going the ICHC (I Can Has a Cheezburger) way.
The goal of the redesign seems to be making sharing the blog content on social networks, easier. If that displeases or even gets rid of the long time commenters, its deemed OK. Since the people who just read the posts without ever reading or leaving a comment >> than the people who bother to do either or both.
I think Balloon Juice has been Faceborged. (I am using Faceborg as a stand in for all the social media services). I hope I am wrong, but we will see.
Well, we’ll see. I’m not that pessimistic right now. As I said, I don’t go through the front page much, so I can probably avoid a lot of the Faceborg stuff.