Life and death and Obamacare

April 19th, 2014 by mgoodfriend

Joan McCarter writes in DailyKos:

This is what Republicans have to answer for. This is what Republicans want to repeal. MeetElizabeth Hand, a writer from Maine, who from January 1, 2001 until this February spent at least $60,000 in insurance premiums and medical costs for herself and two dependent children on a relatively cheap premium plan, with exceedingly high deductibles. She and her kids are on the whole pretty healthy, minus asthma and seasonal depression and for that they are among the lucky ones. But that was all that Hand took care of—the things already diagnosed. She relied on free clinics and health fairs for immunizations and basic screenings, and that was it.

Her health insurance premiums for herself and her one still dependent child went up to  $466.35 this year, with a $15,000 deductible. So in February, she called the 800 number for She found out she could get a plan with a $1,500 deductible for $51.56, and “started to cry.” But that’s not the remarkable part of the story, the life and death part. That started the next weekend when she saw an old friend at a party, and found out that the friend had had colon cancer. Hand is 57, and because her previous insurance wouldn’t pay for it, had never had a colonoscopy. She got the name of her friend’s doctor, and made her screening appointment.

A few Mondays ago, I finally had my colonoscopy.  No, the prep wasn’t fun, although the gallon of stuff I had to drink actually tasted pretty good (drinking it with a straw helps).  During the procedure, a large polyp was removed. Or so I was told: I don’t remember a thing. Afterward I went home and slept.  Late the following afternoon, the doctor called.”You were very, very lucky,” he said.  He sounded somber, and went on to explain that the kind of precancerous polyp he’d removed, and the place where he’d found it, were both indicative of a highly aggressive form of colon cancer. […]

“If you hadn’t had that colonoscopy when you did, and had that polyp removed, within a year you would have had cancer,” he said. “Maybe two years. Maybe three.”

He spoke to me for at least 20 minutes, explaining exactly what he’d done and the different kinds of polyps that could be found during screening. He also told me that while the recommended time between colonoscopies is usually five years, I would need to come back in six months. If that test looked clean, I could wait five years before the next one. I told him that one reason I’d made the appointment was because I finally had decent insurance under the Affordable Care Act. The other reason was Lorelei.

“I remember Lorelei,” the doctor said thoughtfully. “You call her and tell her ‘Thank you.’”

Hand will have to pay for part of that six-month follow-up colonoscopy, a small price to pay for avoiding aggressive colon cancer which she has avoided because the first procedure—the one where the polyp was found and removed—was covered entirely.

Repeal that, Republicans.

Fourth Circuit hands consumers a victory

April 16th, 2014 by mgoodfriend

Holding that injury to corporate reputation doesn’t justify sealing a court case, an appellate court today inCompany Doe v. Public Citizen handed a key victory to consumers. Read more here

New York exceeds Obamacare enrollment expectations by 60 percent, premiums halved

April 16th, 2014 by mgoodfriend

New York might very well be the most successful of all the states in implementing Obamacare. It had a bit of a head start, since it had already regulated insurers to prevent discrimination against people with existing medical problems. But the whole of New York’s remarkable success—more than 900,000 signed up in both private and government plans and premiums cut in half—came with more tough choices in regulating insurers.

Read more here

New CBO report on Obamacare giving Republicans heartburn

April 16th, 2014 by mgoodfriend

The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) and the staff of the Joint Committee on Taxation (JCT) released an updated CBO report on the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare). It is much better than expected. It makes the lies that are continuously spewed about Obamacare even more incredulous and morally reprehensible.

Read more here

April 6th, 2014: Charles “Brainwrap” Gaba, Alfred E. Mottur, and Lisa Graves

April 7th, 2014 by mgoodfriend

Charles “Brainwrap” Gaba, the ACA Signups Guru who changed the media’s tune on Obamacare, is in the ring to tell us how and why he decided to set the record straight with hard facts and real numbers. Plus, Communications Law expert Al Mottur joins us to weigh in on the future of Net Neutrality and other tidbits juicy enough to whet the appetite of even the nerdiest tech policy geeks! And Jab Room regular Lisa Graves returns to herald the merger between the Center for Media and Democracy and The Progressive Magazine. All this and more!

Ask your local newspaper why this graph is not on their front page

March 30th, 2014: Joe Cirincione and Dave Zirin

March 30th, 2014 by mgoodfriend

International relations expert Joe Cirincione is back in the ring to weigh in on the truth, the lies, and the just plain stupid talk about Russia! Plus, Zirin the Siren returns to the Jab Room to talk March Madness, unionizing of college athletes, and everything else worth mentioning on air (and off)! All this and more….

March 23rd, 2014: Thomas Frank and Bill Scher

March 23rd, 2014 by mgoodfriend

Thomas Frank is back from his foray into the world of paperless writing, and Bill Scher returns for another roundup of the week’s events.

March 9th, 2014: Julia Angwin and Peter Turchin

March 9th, 2014 by mgoodfriend

Award-winning investigative journalist Julia Angwin is back in the ring to weigh in on what she learned while trying to outrun our Dragnet Nation! Plus, evolutionary biologist Peter Turchin calls in from the edge of social collapse in a last-ditch effort to save us from ourselves. All this and more…

Collapsed infrastructure, diminished intelligence, addicted to Koch... This guy needs help!

March 2nd, 2014: Ben & Jerry’s Co-Founder Ben Cohen, American Antitrust Institute Director Diana Moss, Stanford Economics Professor Roger Noll

March 3rd, 2014 by mgoodfriend

Ben & Jerry’s co-founder Ben Cohen is in the ring to tell us how he’s been stamping out money in politics! Plus, Diana Moss, director of the American Antitrust Institute, weighs in on the Comcast / Time Warner merger, and Stanford economist and regulatory policy expert Roger Noll joins the fray to set us straight on the role of Government in business.

February 23rd, 2014: Congressman Dan Kildee (D-MI), Erik Brynjolfsson

February 23rd, 2014 by mgoodfriend

Congressman Kildee is in the ring to tell us how he plans to save Michigan’s fifth Congressional district from total ruin. Might there be something in that for the rest of us…? Plus, tech wizard Erik Brynjolfsson is in the Jab Room to explain why we should not destroy the robots before they destroy us!