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Tue Nov 12, 2013 at 05:11 PM PST

My Obamacare Shock

by fbiots

I work for a relatively large corporation. So when annual enrollment started for 2014 for employees, I looked at what changed in my health insurance coverage provided by my employer.

If I took Faux News and the right-wing media machine at face value, I should have expected any of the following:
- Massive increase in my contribution/rates, co-pays, or deductibles
- Worse coverage
- Increasingly restrictive choice of providers
- Hooded U.N. death-panelists jumping out of black helicopters over the Capitol.

Instead, I found no change (none, zero, zip) in my rates/contribution and only minor changes in coverage (mostly for the better.) In terms of the immediate impact of Obamacare on changing my family's coverage, it's been minimal to non-existent.

Long-term, however, the impact has already been very positive. In particular, I no longer have to worry that my son (in his early 20s) will never get covered due to a prior serious illness.

I do consider myself lucky to have reasonable health insurance through my employer. Millions are getting screwed by Republican governors and insurance companies, while many are falling for the lies from the right.

Still, I'd feel much better if we had a more universal system. If we read the Constitution's "provide for the common defense" literally, it includes providing for the defense of citizens' health. The equation should be simple: if you are a citizen (small c) of this country, the government should provide for the defense of health. Or: if you live here, you're covered. And everyone should contribute to their appropriate ability to make that possible.


Tue Oct 23, 2012 at 12:53 PM PDT

Gawker thinks Obama is being childish

by fbiots

Just saw this article and I thought it might invoke some discussion. Entitled "2008 Called. It Wants to Know What Happened to Barack Obama", the article from John Cook describes Obama's zingers in Monday's debate as coming off as "unserious and jocular":

It should by no means be coming from the president of the United States, let alone one who promised to put away childish things. It's a dumb "zinger," transparently crafted to appeal to the Mark Halperins and Politicos of the world. That's not to say that humor has no place in political rhetoric or that Obama betrays his promise every time he deigns to insult his opponent. But to graft a pre-planned VH1 Best Week Ever-level joke onto a nationally televised discussion about life and death and our role on the world stage is scarcely less pathetic than the desperate flailings of the McCain campaign that I smugly scoffed at four years ago.
I think John's missing the point. It's campaign reality (perhaps unfortunate) that zingers are often the only way to get a point across through the filters of the MSM. And, Obama's been backing them up with facts. "Enjoy" the read.

Thu Jul 12, 2012 at 09:15 AM PDT

HPV Vaccine showing positive results

by fbiots

This isn't a topic I've paid much attention to, but this article from the technology blog Ars Technica is the first I've seen that reports on a study which shows some initial positive results from the increased use of the HPV Vaccine.

Just 6 years later, HPV vaccine may already provide herd immunity

The study screened for the presence of HPV in two populations of sexually active teens and young women at two points: before the introduction of the vaccine in 2006, and four years after its introduction (in 2010). The populations were small (only about 400 at each time point), but still large enough to produce statistically significant results. A bigger problem was that the demographics of the two populations were quite different in terms of several factors associated with risk for HPV infection. The authors used an adjustment factor to control for this, but also provided the raw, unadjusted data.

Given that several clinical trials had shown that the vaccine is effective, it's no real surprise that the rate of infection with the four strains targeted by the vaccine (the ones most commonly associated with cervical cancer) went down significantly, dropping by about a third. (Many of the residual infections may result from not taking a complete course of the vaccine or having started it after the onset of sexual activity.) The big surprise is that the rate also dropped in those who hadn't been vaccinated, going from over 30 percent to under 20 percent. Adjusting for risk factors made the drop even more significant.

Having no real knowledge of the subject matter, I don't have much to add. However, I figured some folks in Kosland would be interested to learn about this study.

Keith Knight (keef) needs our help to get funding for his first graphic novel “I was a teenage Michael Jackson impersonator.” He needs to raise another $1,568 on Kickstarter in the next couple of days (or his project doesn’t get funded at all.)

I was happy to see Keef become a Kos Cartoonist with his series The K Chronicles. I’ve been reading his comics for several years now, including (Th)ink (latest below the whirling vortex of doom) and, my favorite, Life’s Little Victories.

So show some love to our cool new fellow Kossack and resident cartoonist and drop a few bucks to help fund his project – but you’ll need to do so by Friday morning (April 6th.)

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Sat Nov 04, 2006 at 09:26 PM PST

Tancredo agrees with the Terrorists

by fbiots

Normally I don't really pay much attention to the extreme right-wing WorldNutDaily, but I found their latest promotion of Tancredo interesting.

According to WND, they recently interviewed two terrorists (two low-level Palestinian militants who supposedly now represent all global terrorists) who said that "Americans should vote Democrat" because it will help embolden the resistance efforts in Iraq. Now WND just came out with an article quoting Tom Tancredo about this "terrorist support" for a Democratic congress.

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Join McJoan at 10am Mountain Time today in her LiveBlogging session with Bill Winter, Congressional candidate for Colorado District 6.

If you can't wait or if you can't join the LiveBlogging session, you may want to check out some of the videos of Bill Winter that are now online:

- Crashing The States Interview of Bill Winter
- A Compilation of Bill Winter Clips
- The complete CO-6 Televised 'debate' with Tom Tancredo

Also, if you haven't seen it already, check out Bill Winter's latest Kos Diary Entry.


The Denver Post newspaper, which endorsed Bill Ritter for Governor, has decided to endorse  Rep. Tom Tancredo, a racist, promise breakernuclear madman, and supporter of anti-American groups, instead of endorsing the best choice for CO-6 and America: Bill Winter. Why did they endorse Mad Tom?  You got me.

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