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Now I just need George Clooney to compliment me on an article of clothing I’m wearing and I’m done.
don’t know how to do this in a tweet or post or whatever, you know…
honor someone who gave so much as a friend, musician, father, activist, and artist.
Approaching all with that crazy Yauch focus, drive, compassion and humor.
Happy Birthday my brother. We miss you.
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…about the health care law. Of course, a very dumb discussion occurred between some comics on Twitter, because we’re comics and it’s twitter. But I didn’t engage, because even I need to take the occasional hyperbolic flame war off, and also because I give a shit about social and economic justice. It’s important to me. So I don’t think the best way to convince people that my way is the best way is to be a dink about it, although I will now be a dink about how much better I am than my fellow liberals for having some patience (I’m just joking, they’re all great comics and I’m still trying to convince Ryan Stout to take me out on the road with him).
Adam’s post is here. I’m not going to address the student loan stuff, because I have no idea how it works. Let’s begin.
“Since I left my job at the end of 2006 I’ve been paying for my own health insurance. .
..Nobody was helping me. I didn’t need it. I didn’t ask for it. Maybe people who were born with a preexisting condition appreciate the help, but that’s not the majority and it’s not me. And while I feel sorry for people who are truly debilitated, all of those who were “uninsurable” could get medical care. Many of them could even get insurance. If they work for a business with benefits, they can’t be denied.
This is true. While a business can deny a new employee coverage for a pre-existing condition, it can only do so for 12 months (18 if you are a late enrollee in the program). But this is only because of, as you frame it, government interfering with our business. In 1996, the Republican house and senate passed HIPAA, which President Clinton signed into law. It made sure families would keep their coverage when they lost, or switched, jobs and is literally an example of the Government mandating what health insurance companies can do, something you’re arguing against.
They just can’t expect to get insurance if they choose to follow their artistic dreams. Which, are any of us “owed” that? I’ll ask my grandma who had to work as a migrant farm worker from the age of 9 until 16 to feed her brothers and sisters. “Grandma..?”
She laughed at me.”
But I’m also sure your Grandmother wasn’t super thrilled while she worked as migrant worker as a 9 to 16 year old. In fact, I bet she hated it. Saying “My Grandmother, who’s life was horrible, didn’t enjoy this benefit, so why should we?” is a baffling argument because it implies we should strive to live difficult, terrible lives. Most parents want better lives for their children, not ones that are just as crummy. And fewer and fewer companies offer health insurance BECAUSE it’s so expensive.
“I am lucky enough to be one of the majority of people who wasn’t born with a preexisting condition.”
This is going to be a key thing later.
”(Here Adam talks about how he’s paid for his own insurance, $65/month since 2006 to 2010. He’s a smoker, and makes this odd comment:While I was paying over $5 a day for cigarettes. It cost me less than half as much to keep myself alive as it did to kill myself. And the insurance company charged me accordingly, as a smoker. But you’re right. It’s the insurance companies who needed to be stopped. I’m an innocent victim of their capitalist ways. I don’t think the issue most people have with insurance companies are their treatment of smokers, but more that their drive to make a profit over everything leads to denial of needed care, poor care, and, in extreme cases, delaying care so that the customer will die before they have to pay for their treatment.)”
In those four years I went to the doctor twice. Once for a weird rash on my foot, once for a run-of-the-mill cold. Both ailments were gone before the medicine I was prescribed was out. After all the premiums and co-payments I had paid, I more than covered my insurance company’s costs of the two visits.”
I’d say, based on what you pay, you have what’s coined “disaster insurance”. Essentially, you have big co-pays on everything, but if you end up in the hospital, after a certain deductible the insurance company is now taking care of your expenses (though, as a Californian, you most likely have a lifetime cap).
In January of 2011, after the Affordable Care Act took effect, I received a letter stating that my insurance premium would rise to $86 a month because of increased medical costs. That’s a 32% rise in my premium. A 32% increase in cost is rarely referred to as “affordable.”
I think of a lot of people would consider an extra 21 dollars a month, 242 on the year, affordable.
Then two months later, after my 30th birthday put me in a new age bracket, my premium jumped to $91 a month. Now, I am 31, and my premium has risen again to $104 a month. I can’t possibly be in a new age bracket. I haven’t been to the doctor since the first increase in my premiums. I’m not making claims against my insurance. I’m costing them no money. What’s with all the added affordability?
Had the government kept their hands away from my insurance, my premium would have risen from $65 to $68 on my 30th birthday. And stayed that way until I was 35. But apparently now it goes up $13 a year. Which, in order to afford to pay, I may have to quit smoking. And if I do that, what’s the point of being insured?
There isn’t actually any evidence your premiums will go up $13 a year. Something happening once isn’t evidence of a pattern.
And, as I’m sure you know, the rate increase comes from all of the added clients with pre-existing conditions that Insurance providers are no-longer legally able to deny. So what your argument boils down to is “Having to pay an extra forty dollars a month so that everyone can have health insurance is unfair.” But in reality, it’s not unfair. the previous system? THAT was unfair, because only people who didn’t require a service could be provided with the service. By forcing the market to do business with everyone, rates had to be adjusted and you’re only now paying what you theoretically should have been paying before. It’s the same thing that happened when child labor was no longer being allowed, and minimum wages became mandated. It cost employers a lot more, and prices probably went up for certain products, because they were no longer able to take advantage of the people in society who were the most vulnerable.
It does boil down to a moral argument, where you could come back with “Well, I don’t care if people were being taken advantage of.” To which anyone could respond to you with “Well, I don’t give a shit that you have to pay more than you did when insurers had their cock in the ass of someone who was born with a heart defect.”
There’s also a non-moral argument to all this as well, which is this: Doesn’t society collectively benefit when everyone doesn’t have to worry about health insurance? When people don’t have to worry about losing health insurance, or in the case of welfare, having no money, it leaves them freer to take more risks, which is what helps keep an economy cutting edge. The same goes for school: if the best schools lead to the best jobs, and the best schools can only be afforded by the super rich, how many people with fantastic ideas are slipping through the cracks because, fuck them, they’re poor? How does that help anyone except the elite upper class? If you asked people what they thought best described the American economy right now, it sure as shit wouldn’t be “Innovative.”
And finally, the idea that this health care law is “Liberal” is fucking ridiculous. It is not. It is a federal mandate that I must give my money to massive corporations that I trust less than, ironically, even the federal government. It does almost nothing to drive down costs, it only helps more people become insured. Insurers have no reason to lower costs, because there’s no transparency in the industry, and even if it were transparent, we still wouldn’t know what the fuck we were looking at. The problem people have with for profit-insurance is that the “profit” part comes first. Their commitment is to the share holders, not the customer, especially now that everyone in the country must be their customer. If the federal government had ACTUALLY wanted to interfere and keep the market competitive, they would have created a public non-profit insurance provider, that would keep prices down or steal all the clients of the for-profits. And if they for-profits went out of business? Boo-hoo. They never gave a shit about us, why should we fucking care about them?
Altogether, there are 40 comedians for Just For Laughs Montreal’s 2012 class of the New Faces of Comedy. Divided up into New Faces, New Faces: Characters, and New Faces: Unrepped, we watched all three groups put their best comedic foot forward. For your ease, we’ll give you a quick rundown of highlights of the funniest stuff we saw of what very well might be, as the festival suggests, the future of comedy.
This flawless woman and her fabulous son.
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