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Conservatives are a funny bunch.

On the one hand, they insist that they "shouldn't have to pay for other people's health care," and so, they oppose a public option, let alone, national health insurance, operated by the state.

But on the other hand, they ignore the rather obvious truth that private health insurance, as with public insurance is a pooled risk system, in which some subsidize the care of others. So, for instance, whereas in a public system the taxpayers shoulder the burden of paying the cost of care for the sick, in a private system, the same subsidy is provided to the sick by the healthy, who are policy holders. After all, it's not as if when we pay our insurance company, they take our money and place it in some private account marked with our name, and then, if we get sick, we get to draw down only on that money we paid in. No. We will draw down on monies paid in by lots of people (especially if we require some kind of catastrophic coverage payout with major costs).

So, whether private or public, we end up "paying for other people." Indeed, the logical goal of someone paying into private insurance is to a) stay healthy, which means, b) they will be paying in more than they take out, and c) they will, in effect, be paying for other people who aren't as lucky to be healthy at a given moment.

Yet, the conservatives who decry paying for others in a public system, have no problem paying for others, thru monthly premiums, in a private system. Which raises the obvious question: WHY?

Well, for some, perhaps it's just stupidity.

For others, perhaps it's the effect of propaganda, which has led them to associate anything "public" with inefficient and bad, and anything private with virtuous. Okay.

But for others, I think it is hard to escape the conclusion that they don't mind subsidizing others via private insurance, because they assume (rightly or wrongly) that those "others" are likely to be like themselves: presumably productive, hard working, contributors to society, who are merely experiencing a tough time, medically, and thus "deserve" care, while they assume that those covered in a public plan would likely be unlike themselves: more likely poor (and therefore, of course, to blame for their own poverty), more likely of color, more likely to be non-English speaking, etc. and thus less deserving of care.

As with any other thing provided "publicly," too often we associate public health care with the racial and class "other." Think, for instance, public housing, public transportation, even public education (increasingly) and what is the image that comes to mind of the folks availing themselves of these things? To ask the question is to answer it.

So when conservatives insist their opposition to public health care is only about a philosophical/ideological debate about self-sufficiency/having to pay for other people, etc., they are, frankly lying. It is about their desire to only subsidize the people they want to subsidize. The people who lives have real value to them. And to hell with the rest.

Originally posted to tim wise on Wed Oct 07, 2009 at 04:57 PM PDT.

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Comment Preferences

    •  Right. They Don't Say 'Any' One Else, They Say (5+ / 0-)

      "SOME" one else.

      We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

      by Gooserock on Wed Oct 07, 2009 at 05:13:49 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  I read that comment all the time, far more than (9+ / 0-)

      any other, on any site that mentions public option.  And you're correct in what they mean when they say it.  They see it as being asked to pay for the healthcare for a bunch of welfare recipients and illegal aliens.  They have insurance, they see no benefit for themselves.  It's a typical Republican reaction, "I've got mine, to hell with the rest of ya".  

      •  Actually, that is a (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        they see no benefit for themselves.  It's a typical Republican reaction

        typical human reaction. People usually look at what benefits them compared to what costs them. It is normal behavior.

        You may not agree with me but one day you will die. All I need to do is win the hearts and minds of your children and I win.

        by Void Indigo on Wed Oct 07, 2009 at 05:38:59 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  In a broad sense (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          I agree with you, but given that we have emotions and the ability to think rationally, we tend to be able to work on both of those levels simultaneously.  

          We are able to understand through our rational self that by being communally strong, we are afforded a greater opportunity individually.  

          Sometimes, we're even like ants.  I realize that we aren't the same social structure, but we will frequently give to others or a cause to the point of pain or death, because it benefits the whole.

          "The most dangerous thing about marijuana is being arrested for it."

          by otto on Wed Oct 07, 2009 at 05:54:48 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  That is the problem, (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            humans do not make a habit of thinking rationally. We tend to think and react emotionally which can cause manipulation by people in power.

            You may not agree with me but one day you will die. All I need to do is win the hearts and minds of your children and I win.

            by Void Indigo on Wed Oct 07, 2009 at 05:59:01 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

    •  I agree completely. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      I have always believed that opposition to universal health care has racial undertones in yhe US.

      I get "suaviter in modo", Mr President. May we now have some "fortiter in re"?

      by tapu dali on Wed Oct 07, 2009 at 05:28:09 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I don't want to pay for someone else's (9+ / 0-)

    visit from the police department when they get shot by robbers. They probably deserved it.

  •  I've heard this so many times... (5+ / 0-)

    from GOP wingnuts who are clueless about how insurance works! I don't want to pay for THEIR health care either, but I understand that's part of the deal.

  •  It's even simpler than that (6+ / 0-)

    Only people who haven't stopped to think about the possibility that they may lose their insurance can say such things.  Idiots.

  •  huh (8+ / 0-)

    "I don't want to pay for someone else's health care" really means...

    Yah okay, so who's goign to pay for YOURS?  Most of us are one heart attack or one moderate medical crisit from bankrupcy.  If it happens to you, who's going to pay for it?

    It's all well and good YOU don't want to pay for other people's healthcare, but chances are taxpayers are going to be paying for YOURS at some point.

    So suck it up!  It's part of living in a civil society. If you don't want to be a part of it move to Somalia which doesn't have ANY government right now.  See how well you do there.

    You are entitled to express your opinion. But you are NOT entitled to agreement.

    by DawnG on Wed Oct 07, 2009 at 05:04:57 PM PDT

    •  Somebody had to... (5+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      marina, Heiuan, Statusquomustgo, marykk, jobobo

      might as well be me.

      The lesson of that history is that you must not despair, that if you are right, and you persist, things will change. -Howard Zinn

      by blueyedace2 on Wed Oct 07, 2009 at 05:08:55 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  It's Not "ANY" -one Else's Care, it's "SOME" -one (0+ / 0-)

      else's care.

      The someones who are irresponsible about their health for example and are excluded or charged more by private insurance, so that customers aren't paying for those particular SOME-ones.

      We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

      by Gooserock on Wed Oct 07, 2009 at 05:12:37 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  well actually... (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        SlackwareGrrl, MnplsLiberal

        they are...even if "irresponsible people" are charged more, the fact is, even they won't pay in enough in premiums to pay for the care they'll need if they become sick. Take smoking, for instance. No question: smokers get charged more. But if a smoker gets lung cancer, and if the insurance company doesn't cheap out and deny coverage at the last minute, they will pay out far more than the amount paid in by the given smoker...meaning, in effect, we all DO subsidize others, including those whose own actions bring on some of their health problems...yet the right never seems to mind that so much, the way they do with public insurance

    •  Does Civil Society Imply Reasonable Spending? (0+ / 0-)

      Yeah, yeah, if I complain about how much the federal government does spend or plans to spend, I get reminded that it's part of living in a civil society.  OK, I get it.  My tax dollars go to pay for services I don't use, don't want to use, or cannot use.  That's fine.

      Where is the corresponding obligation to spend my tax dollars wisely?

      Am I being uncivil to object to new bureaucracy when we already know how rampant Medicaid/Medicare fraud is?  I believe that decentralizing this sort of spending makes fraud more difficult, but others believe that even with fraud losses, the economies of scale result in lower overall costs.

      Fine with me, we can politely disagree.

      But when my objection to writing blank checks is evidence that I'm an other-hater, who exactly needs to be reminded what is part of living in a civil society?

      •  but... (4+ / 0-)

        there is more fraud and waste in the private system; more overhead in the private wanna see abuse? Add profit motives to any system and you will see plenty...I believe in cost containment, but am begging (actually daring you) to provide evidence that the private sector does a good job with that (not for their shareholders, who make money when they deny care, and about whom, I don't give a crap), but the public...there is no such evidence

        •  Not so. (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Void Indigo

          A lot of that overhead in the private system is aimed at weeding out fraud.  Policing fraud is one thing that medicaid does a pretty shitty job at, and it's also one of the reasons its overhead is lower.  

          We are building a team that is continuously being built. - Sarah Palin

          by burrow owl on Wed Oct 07, 2009 at 05:40:06 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  really? (4+ / 0-)

            Like HCA/Columbia? Ok, keep telling yourself that...they spend money covering up fraud, not weeding it out...profit motives in health care encourage, by definition, either overcharging relative to risk, or denying care to the sick...either of which are "waste" even if not technically fraudulent. This is the problem with market logic: it views any profit maximizing behavior as rational, irrespective of consequence...

          •  even if you are correct (0+ / 0-)

            doesn't that just make it a wash in the end?  medicare doesn't devote financial resources to weeding out fraud, so they have lower overhead, but higher payouts because of fraudulent claims.  

            private insurance companies do devote resources to invistigating fraud, but they have to pay those investigators and lawyers that requires.  plus they need to have little somthing so the head banana can lead the lifestyle to which he or she has become accustomed.  so the cost evens out in the end.

            Listen very carefully. I shall say this only once.

            by st minutia on Wed Oct 07, 2009 at 05:55:32 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  Overhead in private insurance... (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Alexandra Lynch, MnplsLiberal

   not to weed out fraud, it's to get out of paying legitimate claims.

            One word:  Recission.

            Corporate beancounters without the slightest medical experience are deciding what is and is not "medically neccessary".  

            That is the fraud.   And it is rampant in the private insurance industry.

            You are entitled to express your opinion. But you are NOT entitled to agreement.

            by DawnG on Wed Oct 07, 2009 at 07:03:36 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

      •  The problem with the united states... (3+ / 0-)

        ...right now is people aren't willing to pay for all the garbage that is going on, and they're not even being asked to.

        Wars are waged like they were free and the costs hidden from the public.  Money is dished out to private corporations for the sake of stabilizing the economy while citizens are left out in the cold.

        You want to object to new bureaucracy, but do you object to some of the existing ones?  Do you object to TARP? Do you object to the wars in Afghanastan and Iraq?  

        Give me a program that actually helps people and actually serves the public interests.

        It's our money, it should work for US.  I am quite happy with the idea of a government run health insurance program.  At least the money we pay to it isn't going towards the excesses of our current system.  At least as long as there's no "trust fund" to pillage.

        You are entitled to express your opinion. But you are NOT entitled to agreement.

        by DawnG on Wed Oct 07, 2009 at 07:01:20 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  The old advertisement says it all: (4+ / 0-)

    "Pay me now, or pay me later."

    I would rather pay for someone else's health care than pay for their funeral.

    Some people make you want to change species

    by ulookarmless on Wed Oct 07, 2009 at 05:07:35 PM PDT

  •  Absolutely, Because They Know Private Biz Bars (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    blueyedace2, Statusquomustgo

    or increase charges for some kinds of behavior.

    In a public plan their money goes into the pool with the Irresponsible That-ones.

    We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

    by Gooserock on Wed Oct 07, 2009 at 05:10:21 PM PDT

  •  Like the Senator not wanting to pay for maternity (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    TrueBlueMajority, st minutia

    care because he didn't need it.  Yet, these are the anti-abortion types who want to force women to have unwanted children. They just don't want them to have pre-natal care or pediatric care or any other care except emergency care (if they even want that) after they are born.

  •  there you go again, using facts! (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    TrueBlueMajority, SlackwareGrrl

    like, so totally not relevant to the issues.  Gosh!

  •  Different frame for "paying for someone else" (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    TrueBlueMajority, st minutia

    Isn't it buying into pooled risk?

    The larger the pool, the less the risk?

    Economies of scale..........

    Like the insurance one buys for ones car, house, etc.

    Media Reform Action Link

    by LNK on Wed Oct 07, 2009 at 05:19:06 PM PDT

  •  "I don't want to pay for firefighters (4+ / 0-)

    to put out the fire next door."

    Really?  Even when the embers start drifting onto YOUR roof?  

    Wake the hell up.  

    I can't understand why people are frightened of new ideas. I'm frightened of the old ones. (John Cage)

    by dotalbon on Wed Oct 07, 2009 at 05:20:00 PM PDT

  •  Who do the Republicans think pays... (5+ / 0-)

    when the uninsured show up at their local emergency room?

    Answer: We all do. At about 20 times the rate of that same person going to a local clinic when they are not already seriously sick.

    Conservatives are Complete Fricken Morans!

    "One man alone can be pretty dumb sometimes, but for real bona fide stupidity nothing beats teamwork." - Mark Twain

    by greendem on Wed Oct 07, 2009 at 05:22:11 PM PDT

    •  A tax isn't a tax (5+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      greendem, Heiuan, st minutia, eXtina, noe44

      if you don't know about it.  

      The GOP wants very much for voters to stay ignorant about who pays for what.  

      I can't understand why people are frightened of new ideas. I'm frightened of the old ones. (John Cage)

      by dotalbon on Wed Oct 07, 2009 at 05:29:54 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Some Taxpayers Already Know (0+ / 0-)

        Those of us who pay way, way more than any sort of fair share are very much aware that we pay for pretty much everything.

        We're very happy to pay for a "tax cut" for people who don't pay any taxes in the first place, I might add.

      •  That's this new, post Reagan Republicanism. (0+ / 0-)

        In the late '60s the Republican controlled Indiana legislature extended the sales tax to gasoline at the pump, but forbid including the sales tax on the dispenser meter. So when you went in to pay for your $2 (those were the days) pump purchase you owed the clerk $2.12 or something like that. It was a pain in the butt for everybody but that was what the legislature intended.
        They'd passed the tax because they'd had to, but wanted to remind the consumer every time about this "burdesome" tax. That was when Republicans still had principles.

        EMK: In lieu of flowers, a health care bill that would make him smile is requested.

        by DaNang65 on Wed Oct 07, 2009 at 05:56:57 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Mischaracterization (0+ / 0-)

    You're generalizing the difference so much as to make it seem asinine to prefer one over the other.

    Insurance, by definition, is a product in which I pay some amount that corresponds to the risk of some greater future outlay.  If 1% of the cars in my town get crushed by giant rocks every year, I should expect to pay a little bit more than 1% of the value of my car if I want to be insured against that calamity.  Ideally, the cost of my life insurance, health insurance, car insurance, etc. should be exactly the probability of incurring loss times the value of that loss.

    The so-called public option is basically subsidized health insurance for everyone, regardless of actual individual risk.  Many people will pay much less than what a fair premium would be, so the rest of us will have to make up the difference.

    Why are you assuming that anyone who doesn't think the government should be in the health insurance business has some sort of crypto-racist agenda?  My family members are about as non-other from me as possible, and I don't want to subsidize their health insurance either.  To infer some racial agenda from honest differences of opinion does a disservice to the very concept of open discussion.

    •  You are wrong... (5+ / 0-)

      Most people who pay in to private insurance will pay in more than they take out, and we know that. And make no mistake, the insurers know that, or else they wouldn't exist. That;s how they make profits. Either by overcharging relative to risk, or by denying care.

      If risk and cost directly equalled insurance premiums, no company would provide insurance because they would make no money, by definition.

      So, why is overpaying only seen as a problem when done publicly?

      That is what I am asking. Why do European nations not have a problem doing this--paying for others publicly? And do you really doubt that racial homogeneity has something to do with it? And that here, heterogeneity makes the difference in the opposite direction?

      And what kind of decent human being actually views health care as a commodity, no different than an iPod or car? So if you "earn" it, good for you, and if you don't, you die...too bad...

      People who believe in the latter system are evil, and should be called out as such...

      •  Mischaracterization Pt 2 (0+ / 0-)

        If risk and cost directly equalled insurance premiums, no company would provide insurance because they would make no money, by definition.

        That's why in my hypothetical example, I would pay slightly more than 1% of the value of my car to guard against the 1% chance that my car would be destroyed.  The insurance company gets a premium for taking on the risk.  If by happenstance, only 0.9% of the cars in my town get crushed this year, the insurance company makes a little bit more.  If 1.1% get crushed, they take a loss.  Because of this, most insurance companies buy reinsurance to minimize their risk.

        •  right... (5+ / 0-)

          which still allows a system to exist that places a price on human life, and says that profit for the few is more important than life for the many...anyone who views that as moral is sick, mentally, even if well, physically...

          this is the bigger issue: most of us will overpay relative to need: much more than a "little more than 1%." And surely we HOPE to pay far more than we take out, whether that actually happens of not. My whole point was that we object to publicly subsidizing others, but in the best case and hoped-for scenario, we HOPE to pay a lot in every month, and never need any major costs for health care. (i mean, am I wrong, that most of us hope to stay healthy for decades???) So we hope and expect to subsidize the sick, every year for possibly decades...and we do this without objection. Yet if proposed to do the same thing publicly, we get pissed...why?

      •  Why do European nations not have a problem?? (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Alexandra Lynch

        Because they have been through literal hell and learned from the experience. America has not.

        You don't see the Germans swagger quite so much any more do you?

        The people of Germany were dealt a deep deep lesson by the world. Most countries in Europe have been dealt similar lessons. Ask the French aristocracy what happens when you get too removed from political reality. Ask the bankers in the Netherlands how the view was from their lamp posts.

        No, the owners of America have not learned any lessons, but I think they will be taught one they won't soon forget. I don't believe that even full on universal healthcare can stop what is coming.

        We are in the final stages of Capitalism. It will not last, it cannot last and "Capitalism with a human face" cannot solve it's inherent contradictions. It cannot go on.

        That which cannot continue will stop.

        I think where I am not, therefore I am where I do not think.

        by MnplsLiberal on Wed Oct 07, 2009 at 07:20:01 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Great diary, Tim, should be on the rec list IMHO (5+ / 0-)

    when they say "Why should I pay for you" they are saying "FU and Drop Dead"

    Greed is EVIL

    The object of persecution is persecution. The object of torture is torture. The object of power is power. Now do you begin to understand me?' - 1984

    by MinistryOfTruth on Wed Oct 07, 2009 at 05:27:26 PM PDT

    •  Greed is.... (0+ / 0-)

      The point is, ladies and gentleman, that greed, for lack of a better word, is good. Greed is right, greed works. Greed clarifies, cuts through, and captures the essence of the evolutionary spirit. Greed, in all of its forms; greed for life, for money, for love, knowledge has marked the upward surge of mankind.

      Gordon Gekko, Wall Street

      You may not agree with me but one day you will die. All I need to do is win the hearts and minds of your children and I win.

      by Void Indigo on Wed Oct 07, 2009 at 05:45:02 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Do they want to shut down the CDC and FDA and (0+ / 0-)

    Food safety inspections and all those other things that are for public health and safety? No more money to stop epidemics or to develop treatments or vaccines? Are they going to pay someone to come up with vaccines just for them and their families?

    They are going to pay for other people's health care or they will pay for there being a lack of sufficient health care which ends up costing everyone more. That is the choice.

    As long as we are stuck with for- profit coverage, as a whole, everyone is going to be paying more through their premiums and through their taxes plus have greater public health probems and a sicker country as a whole.

    It is just a completely irrational statement to complain about paying for other people's health care.

  •  Also too I guess they don't mind that (0+ / 0-)

    their money is channeled through a private company because a private company deserves to make money and somehow they must feel they are paying for 'something' (premiums), whereas with a public option it would be taxes, paid to the government, and that's bad.

    But in reality, they're probably not even paying their premiums, they are probably covered under their jobs, so this will be a first time that they're 'paying' for insurance in some fashion.

    •  Government Collects with the Force of Law (0+ / 0-)

      The reason many people prefer to do business with private companies than the government is that a) there are usually different private companies from which to choose and b) private companies have an incentive to be efficient.  To the contrary, once you have establish that the government is going to stick it to the taxpayers even more there's really no choice anymore, and the government (and notably bureaucrats) have no incentive to be efficient.

      I'm not opposed to helping the less fortunate - I'd just like the opportunity to choose how and when.  I'm not to happy about having to be generous at the risk of going to jail if I don't pay up.

  •  People who complain that they get nothing from (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    soothsayer99, noe44

    paying taxes should take a hard look at the money this country spends on the military.

    In that case, I would say that charge is closer to being true than for any other service provided by government.

    Regardless of the jobs that are generated either directly in the military or through the countless contractors to the military, the benefits to citizens that come from maintaining such a huge military are a pittance compared to the opportunity and real costs.

    The money spent on all those aircraft, ships and tanks never really defended the freedoms of this country.  Instead, it was spent to keep manufacturing capacity far above what was really needed to satisfy the country's needs.  The military infrastructure, in order to justify its existence and budgets, was used to intervene inappropriately in the affairs of numerous countries under the guise of fighting communism/terrorism.  And yet, it was totally incapable of stopping an attack such as 9/11.

    I make these statements as a Vietnam era Naval officer who now sees the waste and corruption of the MIC and the increasingly insubordinate behavior of high-ranking military officials as a threat to the republic.

    •  The Military is one (0+ / 0-)

      of the main jobs of the Fed. One of the main reasons for the Fed to exist is to protect the citizens from enemies, both foreign and domestic.

      You may not agree with me but one day you will die. All I need to do is win the hearts and minds of your children and I win.

      by Void Indigo on Wed Oct 07, 2009 at 05:43:38 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  So under that standard (0+ / 0-)

    their employers should stop providing them with health insurance?

    Strange that we haven't seen lines of people outside the employee benefits departments waiting to have their policies rescinded, or picketing outside VA hospitals.

    I am a warrior for peace. And not a gentle man... Steve Mason, 1940-2005

    by Wayward Wind on Wed Oct 07, 2009 at 05:45:24 PM PDT

  •  It's what I've been using (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    blueness, soothsayer99

    In discussions with people who immediately say that they don't want their  dollars supporting someone else, I just ask them if they know that they are already doing that.  

    Not only are they supporting someone else, but someone else is supporting them.

    The best part is that if they get sick and they happen to end up costing more than their premiums, guess what?  They are a leech on the system and are bringing it all down with their welfare mentality and their begging for handouts from the other policy holders who are doing a better job of keeping their genetics from taking over their bodies.  

    "The most dangerous thing about marijuana is being arrested for it."

    by otto on Wed Oct 07, 2009 at 05:52:07 PM PDT

  •  Yes they are lying... "public" aka gov funded (0+ / 0-)

    is one of the racist codes..

    long history on that one..

  •  Logic, common sense, reason, etc. when lacking or (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    misdirected create the perfect argugment for the foolish.

    Whenever a person with insurance says, "I don't want to pay for those without insurance." simply ask them if their premiums are set aside in an account in their name.

    No, of course not. Point out they and all others involved in the insurance program help pay for others insurance costs. Any attempt to refute that simple argument is not only foolish but stupid.

    For those that state, "I don't want to pay for smokers." Fine if you are the perfect person without any bad habits of your own. Eating or should we say, overeating, drinking the wrong fluids, not getting the proper sleep, etc.

    If you find yourself a perfect person then you might enjoy some type of right to such opinions. Then again, who would want such a right? Who would discover pride in such opinons?

    Why not take a few minutes to examine your values, your logic?

    Who among us is so perfect?

    The statements of late reveal the lack of thought of the commenters, their arguments and rational are senseless at best.

    holocaust - any mass slaughter or reckless destruction of life. Tip to any that object to word usage:

    by 0hio on Wed Oct 07, 2009 at 07:49:14 PM PDT

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