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I know, I know.  I'll have people rolling their eyes at yet another diary.  Especially one that talks about the site's ongoing (but I must say, increasingly less) glitches.  

Now, let me take you on the journey I've had for the past two weeks.  

I was so excited to finally be able to maybe find some health insurance, having had none for over a year.  In that year, I was diagnosed with severe ulcerative colitis (pancolitis) which had me in the hospital around Christmas time last year.  The medication that I have to take for this illness (the one most doctors prescribe anyway) is about $800 for a month supply without insurance.  I've not been able to pay that with my $12,000 a year pay.  So I've gone on the medication they prescribed pre-1980, which has more side effects, but only costs about $30.  And still my doctor visits are about $200 a visit.  As you can see, I definitely need insurance.

I know I wouldn't get it until January, but I thought if I were to get signed up as soon as possible, I'd feel better about things.  I could ask my doctor to postpone my check-up on this illness until January so I wouldn't have to ask my mom if she could pay.  (She paid the 3,000 bucks for my emergency colonoscopy last year, and I don't like asking her to pay for all my stuff.)  

But there were problems.  In the first week, I couldn't even get my log in done.  I'd finish it, it'd say it was accepted, and then wouldn't allow me to log on.  That was fine for me.  I stayed off for about a week.  Then, last week, I was able to log on.  I could get up to the end of the application.  I sign and submit it and...  It says "Please Wait" and then nothing happens.  I get an email saying I got the subsidy.  But that's it.  I can't see the marketplace.  In fact, every time I sign in it tells me my application is still in process.  And it makes me start from the beginning of the application again, despite most of the answers being filled in each time I go through it again.  I must have done this 20 times by now, with the same results each time.  I telephoned and I did live chat.  Neither could help me.  

Now I'm willing to wait, but it does bother me.  I live in a pretty conservative area of Virginia, and everyone knows I was excited about this rollout, so of course they pick on me about it.  I don't lie to these people when they ask me if I've been able to get it to work.  I say it's getting better, but no, I haven't gotten it to work completely.  And then they go off on the usual Obama stuff.  It's quite disheartening.  How can I defend a site that I myself haven't gotten to work right?  Even the ACA as a whole, people won't accept facts!  I've been told that it gives illegals free healthcare, which I shoot down and say isn't true.  I even point them to politifact and the likes when they tell me that.  They so okay, and then the next week they say the same darn thing!  How do you get through to people who won't take facts as facts?  

It's just way too much for me.  Even my more liberal friends have started bashing the ACA, saying their prices are going to go up.  Of course, they live in red states that didn't expand medicaid or do their own exchanges.  My state, Virginia, didn't do either one either.  I already looked, and get $217 a month in subsidies.  Looks like I'll only be paying about $20 a month out-of-pocket for my premiums, which is good for me!  

I really don't understand the hatred towards the law as a whole.  I can understand dislike of the website, as I can't get it to work right either, sadly.  Anyone else have the same problem with the sign & save step that I am having?


Mon Dec 31, 2012 at 09:25 PM PST

Bev Perdue pardoned the Wilmington 10

by madmojo

For those who don't know much about North Carolina's racial history, the state had it's share of problems with whites learning to live with blacks as equals.  Well, back in 1971, in the coastal city of Wilmington, integration was still being fought and there were riots and store-front arsons on the night of MLK Jr's assassination before that in 1968.  After that, schools were integrated (from what I've heard) in the middle of a school year with no preparation and little warning.  Neither race was happy, and the KKK started marching in the streets.

On February 6, 1971, a store was firebombed, and firefighters were allegedly shot at by snipers from Gregory Congregational Church.  Now it just so happens that the church was being used to preach non-violent protest to the black high-schoolers who were just forcibly integrated into a white school.  (They weren't allowed to try out for sports teams, were split from friends, etc.)  The National Guard was brought in to bring out those in the church.  It ended up being the reverend (who was 24 at the time), 8 black high schoolers, and a 35 year old white woman.  They were convicted in a controversial trial with bogus witnesses and all sentenced anywhere between 15 (for the white woman) and 34 years (the reverend).  The convictions were overturned a few years later, but the guilty verdicts remained.

Continue past the jump for the new development.

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Sat Oct 27, 2012 at 07:08 PM PDT

November 7th, be ready for it.

by madmojo

No, I'm not talking of the angry conservatives ransacking the black part of town or anything like that.  No, I'm speaking of the Republican spin of the election, which of course most of the tv news media will eat up!  Follow me below the crumbled treble clefs.

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Sat Oct 13, 2012 at 12:16 PM PDT

My advice for the town hall debate

by madmojo

Hello friends!

We’ve all seen the polls.  We’ve gone from an almost sure win, to about a 60% chance of a win in the presidential election.  There’s been a lot of sadness and doubt going on here.  I should know.  I’m one of the ones dealing with those feelings lately.  I think some people have been giving good advice on how to deal with those feelings.  Phone bank, canvas, talk to your friends and neighbors.  Make sure they vote!  

Now, I know what comes next.  “It won’t be enough if the president doesn’t do well enough on Tuesday.”  Well now, I believe that does have some truth to it.  However, I have great faith in my president.  He’s hunkering down doing debate prep as I write this.  He’s got Clinton and Springsteen set up to campaign for him in Ohio.  He’s going on the Daily Show on Thursday.  He’s got his amazing wife, Smilin’ Joe, and Joe’s wife Jill all out campaigning for him.  Yes, I’d still like him to knock it out of the park on Tuesday.  With that it mind, I’ve got a list of things he should do during the debate to firm up his base, win back independent voters, and showcase Romney’s turd of a record.

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I know how most of us feel about the Ryan pick.  We're enthused, we're more hopeful, feel like Romney just shot himself in the foot...  I did the other day, and still do to an extent.

I'm not usually a worry-wart.  Maybe it's because I've had to wait 5 days for a refill on my mood stabilizers, but I'm actually nervous now.  So I went to check some websites to see how people were commenting on the pick.  MSNBC's online stories of course have comments that say how horrible the pick was, and that Obama would rightly win easier with it.  FOX readers of course are jubilant saying Obama is finished now.  I had to find somewhere less polarized to get a good sample.

Everyone around where I live is conservative, so I can't ask them...  They just want Obama out.  I checked CNBC's story for it's user comments.  Surprisingly more people said they'd vote for Obama now.  Only 2 people were praising the choice.

So what have you all been hearing?  From friends, from moderates, from conservatives...  It's hard to see the full picture with all the echo chambers around.


Wed May 23, 2012 at 09:38 PM PDT

How are things shaping up in Colorado?

by madmojo

I know it's considered bad form to title a diary with a question, but I couldn't think of anywhere to ask without it being off-topic.  I want to discuss Colorado's chances for the 2012 election.  Not just president, but House of Rep seats, and general assembly.

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Thanks to the PPP twitter for pointing this out to me.  Civitas, a Republican polling firm, had found Romney leading Obama by 9 pts when they last polled him in NC in January.  Well, they polled the state again in February... And held the results of the poll until now for some reason.  Poll results
The result?  Obama up 2 points over Romney.   This should be good news for the Obama campaign, as they have yet to really push for the state yet!  Think of how the lead will grow after the convention in Charlotte!  With Obama up in NC and VA, it makes Florida less needed, as both states together have but one electoral vote less than Florida.  I think Ohio is leaning towards us this time as well.  Just thought I'd spread some good news.


Sat Mar 31, 2012 at 12:21 PM PDT

Fastfoward 7 Months...

by madmojo

I decided to give this dialogue a try.  It's been something I've wanted to do for a while.  Early November... It's the day after election day...  You turn on cable news.  Here's the conversation.

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Tue Mar 27, 2012 at 02:34 PM PDT

For some reason, I'm terrified today.

by madmojo

Today should have been good.  Had a reasonable seven hours of sleep last night. (Not the 8 1/2 I usually try to get, but better than some nights.)  I was fully awake during my route for work today, no bad presidential polls when I did my morning sweep of Daily Kos and RealClearPolitics.  I didn't forget my anti-depressant this morning, had a good lunch.  Enjoyed my daily listen to the Diane Rehm Show and Thomas Jefferson Hour on NPR...

Then I got home and find out it looks like the ACA will be struck down, Obama's only up by 5 pts in Wisconsin now, only up 1 nationally, Scott Walker is up in recall polls again, conservatives have taken over the narrative of the Trayvon Martin issue, Obama makes another open-mike oopsie, and Olympia Snowe goes out of her way to bash Obama.  I'm sure my day could have been worse, but since I've gotten home I've started to deflate in a way.  I'm going to say it hasn't been a great day for us liberals.  

The repeal of the ACA is not something I spent much time thinking about.  The only way it really ever concerned me was if it was overturned, I would no longer be able to stay on my anti-depressants or my mood stabilizers.  I am bi-polar, and so I need these meds and psychiatrist visits.  However, the only reason I'm able to have these is that the ACA mandated that the companies would have to provide for up to 5,000 dollars for mental health.  Before the law passed it was 500 dollars, which of course doesn't cover much.  I don't trust the Republicans to reinstate such a rule.  Since being on my medication, I've never had my sudden mood swings, and I've not been depressed for more than a day or so at a time.  I'm scared about losing the coverage I get.

On the polls, well, I'm getting concerned that Obama's polling advantage is shrinking so fast.  Romney is pretty much the official challenger now, so I expected it to shrink a bit, but down to Obama +1?  I'm also freaked out by how a lot of the site seemed to be of the mind that if the individual mandate is struck down, Obama will lose.  I simply don't see it having that big an effect on the election, but with so many people against my view on this, it does start to concern me.  I'm starting to see the possibility of a pure Republican government again like we had in 2004.  I remember the following two years, and they were not something I want to go through again.  The Scheivo case, large support for DOMA, upticks in support for conservative causes...  Those were dark days.

I guess I'm just asking for someone to PLEASE cheer me up!  Am I just paranoid, having an off day, or am I right to be this freaked out?

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