Sunday, July 26, 2015

Sunday Links -- July 26, 2015

You Can Keep Your Doctor; You Just Can't Afford Her

The StarTribune is reporting that more and more folks are covered by ObamaCare. The problem: they can't afford making an appointment: the deductibles and co-pays are out of reach.
The number of Minnesotans struggling to pay their medical bills is rising sharply, despite an increase in the number of residents who have health insurance.
In the past year, Minnesota’s main hospital and clinic groups filed nearly 9,000 lawsuits against people with large or long-standing medical debts — a sharp increase since 2005, according to a Star Tribune analysis of court records.
Once a leading cause of personal bankruptcy in the United States, medical debt was widely expected to decline as more Americans got health insurance following federal health reform. Instead, shifts in the insurance market are pushing more people toward high-deductible policies that can require them to pay as much as $7,500 before any insurance benefits kick in.
ObamaCare is simply very expensive catastrophic health insurance with a few preventive care mandates like birth control pills thrown in to hide the ugly truth.

This is the most startling statistic regarding ObamaCare coming out of Minnesota:
In Minnesota, the share of people with health insurance has climbed to 95 percent from 91 percent since 2013, as the federal Affordable Care Act has taken hold. 
At what cost to go from 91% to 95%?
But insurers such as Blue Cross and Blue Shield and Medica have competed hard to hold down premiums as more people shopped for coverage; one way to do that is to offer more products with high deductibles and other forms of “co-insurance.”
Private sector employer health coverage almost universally imposes deductibles in Minnesota; 95 percent of plans have them.
That’s up from 52.8 percent in 2002 and significantly higher than the national average.
All predicted on this blog many, many years ago.

Again, for the umpteenth time, the editors of mainstream newspapers who are apologists for ObamaCare are simply not paying attention.

By the way, I can't find the quote now, but I vividly remember an apologist for ObamaCare -- was it Harry Reid -- complaining that for all the cost and all the problems, ObamaCare added 3% of all Americans to those having health insurance. Seems to be confirmed in Minnesota. What were they thinking?


This is such a great article, from The New York Times: US markets are an oasis for buy-and-hold investors.

This is not an investment site. Do not make any investment decisions based on what you read here or think you may have read here.

One Of The Longest-Running Farces Of Our Modern World

From The (London) Telegraph:
Two events last week brought yet further twists to one of the longest-running farces of our modern world. One was the revelation by the European Space Agency that in 2013 and 2014, after years when the volume of Arctic ice had been diminishing, it increased again by as much as 33 per cent. The other was that Canadian scientists studying the effect of climate change on Arctic ice from an icebreaker had to suspend their research, when their vessel was called to the aid of other ships trapped in the thickest summer ice seen in Hudson Bay for 20 years. [Warmists blamed the thick ice on cold winds blowing over the Hudson Bay. LOL.]
For more than a decade now, the belief that, thanks to global warming, Arctic ice was vanishing has been for the warmists the ultimate poster-child for their cause (along with those “vanishing” polar bears). In 2007, with the aid of scientists such as Wieslaw Maslowski and Peter Wadhams, the BBC and others were telling us that the Arctic would be totally “ice free by 2013” (the Independent even cleared its front page to announce that the ice could all have disappeared within weeks). 
But, alas, it just isn’t happening. In recent years there has been more polar ice in the world than at any time since satellite records began in 1979. In the very year they had forecast that the Arctic would be “ice free”, its thickness increased by a third. Polar bear numbers are rising, not falling. Temperatures in Greenland have shown no increase for decades.
By the way it turns out, the polar bear numbers bounced back stronger than ever once hunting of these magnificent creatures was banned in key geographical locations around the world. It wasn't climate change that was killing off polar bears, it was bullets.

Notes to the Granddaughters

The above note came from The (London) Telegraph. It brought back wonderful / bittersweet memories. Not the story on global warming, but seeing the words, The (London) Telegraph. Especially coming on a Sunday. Years ago, the USAF sent me to a remote air base in northern England, Yorkshire, to be more precise, near the Scottish border.

I was sent there for extended periods of time over the course of several years. It came at a point in my life when I was tired of traveling; I was miserable in the beginning. But over time, it became my second home; I couldn't wait to go back. I asked my boss to waive the regulation that limited one's temporary duty time in any give year (181 days/year).

One of the highlights -- and there were so many highlights of being in northern England for months at a time -- was waking up Sunday morning, and running downhill as fast as I could to the local mom-and-pop grocery store, about the size of my current apartment, to buy some fresh eggs, fresh bacon, fresh bread, and the two Sunday papers: The (London) Times and The (London) Telegraph. I raced back up hill and cooked a great breakfast, and then spent the rest of the week reading the two newspapers.

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