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Politically Correct Fundamentalists

This is a presentation by Dr. Mary Anne Franks, legal expert on cyber civil rights at a recent Skepticon conference. For those of you not familiar with Skepticon, it’s a conference for free thinkers and skeptics, and some of their presentations are more topical than others with respect to politics.

In this presentation, Franks lays out how current political discourse works. If you’re new to how the news is shaped, this might be disturbing and revealing. But she’s just telling it like it is.


Now, I don’t want to be the kind of person who says the left does it too but we do. It’s one of the reasons why we got so turned off by the 2008 elections. We are still living with the fallout of that election. And here’s how it typically plays out.

Take one middle class person who has a contract position and no benefits who is required to buy health insurance from the exchange only to find that the options are very expensive, he doesn’t get a subsidy, the deductible makes this policy almost worthless and a monthly drain on his wallet and substantially impacts his quality of life with little discernible benefit. The ACA was set up specifically to be painful, thanks to Republican demands that people have “skin in the game”. It’s also pretty clear that Obama did not ask for the world up front but came to the table and opened by giving the right almost everything it wanted. STARTED that way. We saw it. Don’t try to sugar coat this Paul Krugman. Fixing this is going to be very, very difficult and many people will spend much of their income on a limited ACA policy in the meantime to their detriments.

Here’s how the left deals with this. And when I say left, I mean my own side. I hate to keep saying that but I am closer to Bernie Sanders on this than Hillary Clinton at this point in time. In my humble opinion, we should scrap the whole thing except for the provisions for people with pre-existing conditions, children up to age 26 and mental illness and start over. We might still end up with private insurance but the way the ACA is currently structured, this is not working for anyone.

But here’s the way these conversations usually go. Let’s listen in:

Average Obamacare policy holder: “I don’t like Obamacare. It’s too expensive, too limited and I could go broke before I see any benefit from it.”

Average Lefty: “You’re a racist Tea Party person”

Well, that went well.

When Fox News loving Trump supporters complain about political correctness, there might be a soupçon of legitimacy about the complaint.

There’s more of course. At some point in time, we need to talk about women.

15 Responses

  1. And to hear old friends describing Bernie’s agenda as ponies and unicorns is disconcerting to me. He’s discussing things that have been in the Democratic Platform for many years.

    (I am not involved or committed in any way to any candidate this year)

    A platform is a list of goals for both a presidential candidate and all the candidates who come along down the ticket.

    What does that mean? It means, with a platform that actually addresses real life daily issues, the Democrats could entice a string of Congressional candidates across the country.

    But the gabfest is giving up on that before we start. Already, Pelosi is being encouraged to continue as Minority Leader. What’s with that? Couldn’t they pretend to be planning on taking back the house?

  2. RD, agree with you on the Dem Party Partisan stupid binary “thinking” on ACA. I have experienced this in real life. It is as stupid of GW Bush43’s stupid binary ~2003 take of “you are either with us (e.g. the Bush43 neocons in power & the MIC), or you are with Da Terists”.

    BTW, the site nakedcapitalism is an excellent source for learning about the ACA, & ACA criticism from a left of DLC Democrats/0bama perspective. Props to Yves Smith & Lamber Strether, they clued me in to narrow networks; the fact that your ACA Individual Mandate tax would be garnished, with higher-than-inflation-interest for up to 10 years if you EVER have a refund; etc. NC points out the bad points of the ACA. NC points out that there are some loser cohorts in the ACA, not only winners like the pre-existing conditions cohort, etc

  3. Unlike some leftists, I don’t think everything is a racist conspiracy. Apparently, I’m not the only one. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/robert-reich/who-lost-the-white-workin_b_9027484.html

  4. Okay. We scrap the ACA which means we go back to the system we had before. It’s unlikely that preexisting conditions will be covered or if they are the policies will be too expensive. You have to have a mandate to have any kind of reasonable preexisting coverage prices. So basically the insurance companies will get away with not covering anything like they did before. Even the things that are good about the ACA will go away like coverage for people under 26. Bernie is not going to get single payer passed simply because it failed in Vermont. I think a better argument could be made if it had succeeded there but it failed. Also Bernie doesn’t include women’s health coverage in his plan. He won’t say we need to get rid of the Hyde Amendment so abortion will not be covered under his plan. As we saw with the Hobby Lobby case companies can probably refuse to pay into single payer based on religious beliefs.

    • The scrapping as I understand it is in the text of the Expanded Medicare bill. We lose nothing.

      • Actually if you take away the ACA that’s pretty much it. The house will certainly go along with eliminating it but there will be no replacement passed unless Bernie is going to do a Republican bill.

  5. We could solve a lot of this simply by mandating that insurance companies become nonprofits again. Simple and easy.

  6. Excellent post. Before 08 I thought we were the smart ones…but we jack boot with the best. It’s about who the ego identifies with…nothing more highfalutin or brain celled centered than that

  7. All I know is that my healthcare for myself, and my mentally ill 20 yr old son is $777 per month. My IRA is being drained, and apparently I’m unemployable at 52. I am so screwed.

    • Shouldn’t your son be on Medicaid? I’d check if I were you.
      I know the unemployment problem. I went thru that. I finally got a job by going thru the backdoor. Forget the talent acquisition specialists. Find a charitable career placement service, ask them to help you find a temp job and then network like crazy when you get in there.
      It sucks. I know.

    • I’m sorry. Too many people like you still left behind from the collapse. We are still struggling to come back. 8 years later and we’re still not there.

  8. Some are starting to waken. In comments sections I see comparisons between Obama and Eisenhower. I correct them with Obama is closer to Reagan.
    I like Bernie but he would be skunked by the print and broadcast news media worse than Al Gore. Hillary gets the hold your nose and vote.

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