Tuesday, March 7, 2017

On Monday, I read the transcripts from the Sunday morning talk shows.  One comment that struck a tone with me that I read was from Laura Ingraham.  Now honestly, albeit an intelligent person, I rarely agree with her observations but this time I did. She gave an apt description of Obamacare as a “libertine mess of a piece of legislation.” I wanted to name this essay exactly this, however fearing copyright challenges, I came up with my own title of a similar nature

Regardless if you call it the Affordable Care Act or Obamacare, the fact is that for the vast majority of Americans, in particular the ones that lost coverage and now have higher premiums and deductibles, the foul side effects and unplanned imports have not been received well. Admittedly, no new government program is going to be completely perfect and however laudable a desire as it is to provide health insurance to millions that do not have any coverage, the reality is that health benefit mandates and willy-nilly rating rules significantly increase health insurance costs, and as a result are passed on to consumers.

I don’t mind saying it, but I predicted all of this years ago. It began with, from the very start, when President Obama kept on saying that American families would experience an annual reduction of $2,500 in their health costs if his law was passed. This would be mathematically impossible unless some extreme assumptions could be made and they were. The biggest being one of structure given that the ACA doesn’t even address the cost of health coverage. It is easy to make sweeping statements when the direct object of a statement (cost of health insurance coverage) isn’t even spoken about in the legislation. Another and more problematic aspect of the law is that Obamacare can only work the manner stated if cats participate in the“individual mandate.” If you don’t then fear the tax and be fined either greater of 2.5 percent of your household’s taxable income or $695 per uninsured adult and $347.50 per uninsured child in your family. This flat fee rate will increase each year with inflation. The assumption here was that if employer and employee insurance costs were greatly reduced, then that would have a direct, outcome on citizens in the form of the aforementioned $2500 per year for the average family. Maybe this is why then President Obama stated that his law would “not burden people who make $250,000 a year or less,” or why he said that the ACA would not add “a dime” to the federal deficit

Economics side, another problem for many, myself included is that Obamacare abrogates individual and personal freedom not only by limiting choices but by allowing the government to make you to participate by buying insurance for not obeying the law. Almost every main decision in the health care sector of the American economy under the ACA is in the hands openly or ultimately, by federal officials – unelected federal officials.

But if you participate, you give up most of the liberty us as individuals connect with choice and medical freedom. Just take the Obamacare's Independent Advisory Board (IPAB) for example. This allows for the ACA to create a 15-member panel of experts that determining the type of care that Medicare pays for on behalf of the individual and consequently rations Medicare through price controls for that individual – whatever they decide you are stuck with. Why, because under Title I, federal officials define the content of health insurance coverage, including but not limited to obligatory medical actions, treatment and preventive health care services.  Then there is the large long-term care program called the Community Living Assistance Services and Supports (CLASS) Act. As early as five years ago we knew many of the components of the legislation were not practical or affordable. The Obama Administration’s from the start knew that the CLASS act was not financially feasible, but wanted it and so kept the program anyway.

In summary, the ACA has increased costs for individuals,families, and businesses and unlike proponents of the bill claimed, instead the American people have come to hate the bill more and more. Not only is it worsening America's debt problem, federal spending on healthcare is also increasing which some believe will result in trillion-dollar deficits in seven years' time. The Congressional Budget Office has indicated that U.S. Federal debt could be as high as $30 trillion by 2030, as a consequence of Obamacare. Don’t even include the absence of insurance options under Obamacare or the failing co-ops. Large insurance providers like Blue Cross Blue Shield, United Healthcare and Aetna are all leaving the exchanges and several states have only one insurer providing insurance through Obamacare. Less competition in the exchanges only means higher premiums and deductibles cost and less consumer choice (this is the law of supply and demand).

But such should have been expected, I mean congress had not even read the bill or given the chance to read the bill before being forced to vote on it. But folk still stick up for Obama care.  But to me, a woman over 70 should not be forced to purchase prostate cancer or maternity coverage if she doesn’t have a prostate gland and can’t have a baby.  But folk like this cat seem to don’t get this. How would you feel if you paid the same price for auto insurance as a person with 3 DUI’s? The ACA is truly a hodgepodge, mishmash jumble of confusion - a  Farrago for lack of a better word.

Thursday, March 2, 2017

For some reason that I have failed to comprehend, people are actually up in arms over the manner in which President Trump is addressing and defining mainstream media outlets – namely CNN, the Washington Post, New York Times and MSNBC among others. I have heard it pronounced as an attack on democracy or that his actions characterize an effrontery to a free press. It is the latter notion that sets me aback for the press in America isn’t reflective of free, rather it is corporatist for lack of an even more accurate description.

When we assert the concept of press freedoms or freedom of the press, it implies that there is no interference from any ever-powerful or omnipresent political or established state, or other organizational entity.  We do not have this with the mainstream media in America anymore. What is called and referred to as a “free press” is in reality just a vehicle by which the public is fed the agenda of government and corporations under the cloak of unrevealed activities of elites in newsrooms primarily located in New York and Washington, DC. Modestly put, the mainstream media isn’t a free press but rather a speaking board by which state and corporate bodies are able to repeat without investigation, the narratives designed to encourage spreading specific political information to program thought and behavior.

Moreover, the people that own and run these East and West coast news outlets are billionaires, like Rupert Murdoch,  Michael Bloomberg and Amazon founder Jeff Bezos, who own all or significant proportions of media platforms the likes of the Washington Post, the Wall Street Journal and the New York Times. This is factual at the local level as well for Warren Buffett, the CEO of Berkshire Hathaway owns more than 60 daily newspapers across the nation. Taking this a step farther, it is estimated that 90% of what we watch, listen to and read is owned by 6 companies. Yes it is true, News Corp, Disney, Viacom, Time Warner, CBS and Comcast own 90% of the TV stations, radio stations, movies, magazines and newspapers that every American rely on for news, entertainment and information many require to be so-called ‘woke.’

Such a consolidation of news media companies cannot be considered the stalwart of a free press, instead it is an ‘owned press’ in which freedom means motives of operation imbued in the content they select to provide or hide thanks mostly to Congress and the FCC, and which was accelerated in 1996 when then President Clinton signed the Telecommunications Act, which led to rapid consolidation of the radio industry. Just think about it, in 1983, 50 companies owned 90% of American media.

Now I know the contrarian who watches six or more hours of TV a day, well above the time we spend reading and asking questions will disagree.  But history and the official record suggest otherwise. In 1975, the United States Senate Select Committee to Study Governmental Operations with Respect to Intelligence Activities found that the CIA submitted stories to the American press. In fact, in the 1950s, the CIA put in place Operation Mockingbird which was a program designed to, and effectively used US journalists at establishments like the New York Times and CBS to feed them official state propaganda stories to send out to their American consumers.

Journalists were even paid by the CIA to promote such stories or on the low end, just given the information and put it out as real news, when in fact it was made-up and fabricated propaganda - ‘fake news’. The truth of the matter is that the US government via the CIA, has for years influenced US news media to advocate specific political storylines. Although Operation Mockingbird was supposedly ended in the 1970s, the objective and free thinking individuals could imagine that the Smith-Mundt Modernization Act of 2012 still serves the mission and purpose of the federal government by allowing for the American public to be a target audience for U.S. government-funded narrative inculcation campaigns. And don’t sleep, it was way harder to carry out such activities after 1953 when Allen W. Dulles became director of the CIA because there were more individual players in terms of wire services and newspapers then.  

I’m not sure but I think it was Malcolm X who called this shit ‘tricknology’. These folk are effectively and actively trying to influence the narratives that mindless self-absorbed narcissist ignorantly consume in an effort to create your reality for YOU. And I know it is effective because YOU believe it.  Wouldn’t surprise me none if such cats watch the Oscars and see a movie about the White Helmets win yet yo dumb azz can’t comprehend you been sold a storyline to completely hide the fact that the White Helmets are a component of Al-Qaeda. It is called TV programming and not TV reasoning – they just  “programming” into your mind every single day for hours upon hours what they want you to think and accept without research and query to believe what they want you to believe and sway on how you see the world. 

It is you, your bich azz that allow these immovable establishments to fix the agenda for what they want you to care about – Russians, Jeff Sessions and Russians, General Flynn and Russians, Russians interfered in out elections. But as I said, yet you don’t even realize the information released in Podesta and DNC hacks (if the Russians released it or not) was accurate and factual but never ask if I should consider if I should have this information to make a electoral decision, or tow the MSM line that I should not use this to inform myself, although factual just because of what I watch on TV say you shouldn’t? But keep on with the Bay of Pigs, Gulf of Tonkin, Mandela a terrorist, FBI didn’t spy on MLK, there was not Tuskegee Experiment, we have to do Iran-Contra and the ubiquitous Iraq has weapons of mass destruction (when you knew Iraq never attacked us).

Six corporations’ folk, 90%, send everything through your television, everything you watch. You can trust them folk, I won’t.  So wake up folk, can’t be woke and sleep walking, they are not the free press, they got a pimp.
Torrance T. Stephens. Powered by Blogger.

I am Author, Writer and Infectious Disease Scientist. Originally from Memphis, Tennessee.

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Torrance T. Stephens on Google Scholar
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