I love this cat. That is all.
I love this cat. That is all.
Happy birthday to the internet, born right here at UCLA! ??? https://t.co/oF0kQ7hYc5
— UCLA (@UCLA) October 29, 2021
Well, maybe not everything…
This week at Central Library 26 children from 11 different countries received certificates of citizenship.
— L.A. Public Library (@LAPublicLibrary) October 29, 2021
Today, we authorized the emergency use of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine for the prevention of #COVID19 to include children 5 through 11 years of age. https://t.co/Tz0S9s4eyz pic.twitter.com/dc18AWIHKQ
— U.S. FDA (@US_FDA) October 29, 2021
Sharing something good is your entry into this Open Thread.
We had to visit the vet after Scout got into a raccoon rumble.
This was hanging in the exam room. She was besotted.
I thought I would check-in. I’ve been fairly offline all summer and fall. The household has been in a bit of grief mode since Bixby. We also lost Gabe (you can read about that here) and Mabel and Maddie (their story here). Sorry for the links, but I cannot write about the losses again.
But, as is the way of the world of rescue, there is always someone who needs a home, and right after we lost Gabe (like days) Sully came into our lives. He was the only cat at PetSmart (from the county Humane Society) about an hour from my house. All alone in a huge cat area, in a bottom cage, hidden away. He came across my newsfeed shortly after he was relinquished by his owners and I knew he needed to come live here (his story is here), so I drove 2 hours to get him (that’s an hour with a wailing cat in the backseat). A heart does mend.
It didn’t take him long at all to make himself at home.
Everyone else is doing well.
Here’s Zander doing his best
Agnes Gladys* Kravitz, making sure the neighbors behave themselves (and by neighbors, I mean the bird feeder that hangs outside my office window).
This is where Emma hangs out when I put her beloved water fountain into the dishwasher…and complains loudly…as only an 18-year-old Calico can.
Speaking of complaining…every.single.morning.
She was cold, so I wrapped her in her baby blanket.
That catches you up on all the critters. Yes, it was a sad summer, but I’m coping, the critters are coping. I spent the summer looking to foster/adopt various Great Danes – and one Saint Dane – yes that’s a real thing. I fell in love with a 7 yr old boy who, unfortunately, after some time with his foster, was determined to best be an only dog. BUT, we are expecting a new addition at Thanksgiving. So hold onto your hats and I’ll have some fun for you running up to the December holidays. Again, the heart does mend.
On the political front – I decided that it was time to really be involved locally – the school board has some real loons running and we are in line for a new Mayor and Council members-at-large. I went to a few meet-and-greets, made some donations, and put up yard signs in my very non-political neighborhood, so hopefully, everyone’s good feelings about me will translate to the candidates I support.
I think that’s it. I’ll probably stay offline for a bit longer. I’m finishing the first rewrite of one novel, completing the rough draft of a second and finally, finally, putting together the notes for TJ Wilde’s third book in the series (I just got back from LA with all kinds of ideas, notes and locales).
This is an open thread. I will probably stop by and read a few comments…but I have ton of work to do, so it will be later-ish.
I’d say behave yourselves, but who are we kidding? ?
*doh! thanks JuJu
New kind of scammer email just dropped. pic.twitter.com/XqU6QAuJKH
— Kirstin Munro (@kmunroutrgv) October 28, 2021
I understand why the conversation has been about what’s not in the bill, but what’s in the bill is like three productive congresses worth of stuff. Seriously. https://t.co/eKHoBoUu7e
— Brian Schatz (@brianschatz) October 29, 2021
In a country as large and diverse as ours, progress can often feel frustrating and slow, with small victories accompanied by frequent setbacks. But once in a while, it’s still possible to take a giant leap forward. That’s what the Build Back Better framework represents. pic.twitter.com/ouKhRRz6qP
— Barack Obama (@BarackObama) October 28, 2021
The White House's new framework is out:
*$555 billion on climate
*CTC extended a year
*Corporate and global min tax
*Child care funding
*Expanded ACA subsidies, including Medicaid in red states
Tons of new reporting/analysis here:https://t.co/nWuVzWZGh9
— Greg Sargent (@ThePlumLineGS) October 28, 2021
Indeed. For all their messiness and internal division, at least most elected Democrats are TRYING to change people's lives for the better. Republicans are doing literally nothing but shoring up Trump's ego, preventing people from voting, promoting COVID spread and banning books. https://t.co/NzNTYTAXD5
— Joy-Ann (Pro-Democracy) Reid ?? (@JoyAnnReid) October 28, 2021
If this deal goes thru, Dems will have passed nearly $5T in domestic programs (ARP, BIF, BBB) in the ten months since their surprise victories in Georgia. And all with a tenuous 50 seat majority. Pretty wild.
— Igor Bobic (@igorbobic) October 28, 2021
There are 50 GOP Senators refusing to support the paid leave American families deserve. I blame them. https://t.co/Lz9IRRM5Ml
— Joyce Alene (@JoyceWhiteVance) October 28, 2021
The American Rescue Plan Act of March 2021 significantly altered the ACA subsidy schedule. It made the benchmark plans cheaper for anyone who previously had qualified for premium subsidies and then it expanded the subsidy eligibility range to anyone facing plans that were more expensive than 8.5% of income. These changes are in place for the 2021 and 2022 plan years. The current reconciliation drafts propose to extend these enriched subsidies for several more years. Additionally, the current reconciliation bill being drafted intends to offer ACA plans with enhanced benefits to individuals who are in the Medicaid Gap in states that have refused to expand Medicaid. These individuals would be deemed to have an income of 100% of the federal poverty level (FPL) and thus they would qualify for a choice between two zero premium silver plans.
HOWEVER there is a caveat on zero premium plans. The ACA subsidy system only pays for the portion of premium that is designated to be caused by claims for “Essential Health Benefits” (EHB). EHBs are a set of ten service categories that have to be covered and they vary between states. States usually look at a large group employer plan as a reference for what is typically covered in a state. There is variation between states as to what is covered as an EHB. If an insurer offers a plan that has 100% EHB only benefits, the subsidy applies to the entire premium and a consumer is able to see zero. However, if an insurer adds in a non-essential health benefit like voluntary abortion coverage (sometimes mandated by a state) or adult vision care or infertility treatments, the gross premium is a combination of the EHB component of premium and the non-EHB component of premium. A plan with 99.9999999% EHB can not be a zero premium plan as the individual must write a check/set up a direct debit/charge to a card to cover the few pennies of a non-EHB benefit.
This is increasingly common. I looked at the 2022 Healthcare.gov Landscape, and Benefit and Cost-sharing Public Use files to identify counties where both the cheapest silver plan and the second cheapest silver plan, EHB component only, are not 100% EHB plans. 320 out of 2,449 counties served by Healthcare.gov meet this definition of no zero availability in 2022 for CSR silver plans.
Why does this matter?
We know that zero premium plans increase early plan take-up because there is no need to set up a payment mechanism. Setting up a payment mechanism is a friction and a potential administrative burden. We know that nominal premiums lead to significant declines in Medicaid enrollment. We know that administrative burden falls most heavily on people who have the fewest resources to deal with hassles. We know that zero reduces burden.
So if the intent is to have low income individuals able to buy low friction health insurance plans, small premiums create a lot of grit that can break the chains of action that are needed for enrollment. This is a current challenge in the ACA markets, and it would be exacerbated if a federal work-around to Medicaid Expansion hold-out states was enacted.
Map below the fold:
If your not-yet-vaccinated-but-eligible family members want Thanksgiving with your not-quite-yet-vaccinate-eligible children, remind them they have *just over 1 week left* to get a J&J shot in time for it to generate antibodies!
Shots in arms by Nov 10th or no turkey on Nov 25! pic.twitter.com/bbAx11Jvv7
— Dr Ellie Murray, ScD (@EpiEllie) October 27, 2021