Monthly Archives: December 2013

PPACA was not a GOP idea

In any discussion of PPACA, it is inevitable that the laws defenders will say ‘but, but, but, but…. It was  Republican idea!”

And the argument is supposed to turn on this point, a demonstration of conservative hypocrisy having been accomplished.  Or something.

The fact is Heritage and some right leaning economists toyed with a discussion of the individual mandate, this basically as an exercise in coming up with an alternative to HillaryCare in 1992-93.  Also, some GOP congressman introduced or co-sponsored bills at times since that glommed on to an individual mandate:

http://www.politifact.com/punditfact/statements/2013/nov/15/ellen-qualls/aca-gop-health-care-plan-1993/

http://www.forbes.com/sites/theapothecary/2011/10/20/how-a-conservative-think-tank-invented-the-individual-mandate/

http://healthblog.ncpa.org/obamacare%E2%80%99s-heritage/

Now let’s grant that the individual mandate has Republican origins, IE, was a concept fleshed out by Republicans.  This does not equal ObamaCare, does not make ObamaCare a Republican idea.  This is because any similarity ends when you implement guaranteed issue and jack up base premium rates, as PPACA does.    This is also why Obamacare is not a ‘freemarket solution’ that should ostensibly be palatable to Republicans if they weren’t ‘hateful obstructionists’, etc.

These are simple details, and you have to be willfully obtuse to not grasp them.

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No win game – April Todd-Malmov and MnSure

April Todd-Malmov was scapegoated.  I am opposed to MnSure in ideology, concept, and practice, but it’s hard to feel schadenfreude.  Rather, as an uninvested bystander I feel some ire at the injustice, seeing this person take the fall for what can’t be helped.  Anyway, note these truths:

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The reason MnSure doesn’t work is because the site opened for business before it was done.  Its launch was given a go live date that came from the legislative process rather than a software development process.  If it isn’t obvious…. you can’t do it that way.   In the practical world, you plan on building software along a schedule, and you take it live on the prod date if development goes mostly according to plan and you finish with a functional package.  Maybe there’s caveats in there for minor bugs that you launch with.

But you don’t do what MnSure did and the feds did, which is abide by an arbitrary launch date and take whatever code you (think) you have finished into production without testing.  If you do, it’s inevitable that you’ll launch a non-functional system.

But that’s what they did, because in the political world they had to abide by the political dates.  And I guess insofar as someone has to be made responsible for the absurdities of ACA at the local level, Todd-Malmov is as good as anyone else to fire, shame, and embarrass.  But MnSure’s failure to this point is not a reflection of her competence.  She was compelled to abide by a process that was doomed to have early failures and embarrassments.  Any person appointed to this position was going to fail, and thus any person in charge was doomed to be fired about this time, as the coverage date approached.

Put another way, she’s getting fired as if the original project plan with its launch date was actually realistic.  It wasn’t.  You’re not a failure if you fail to execute a project plan that was hopelessly naive.

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Then the thing is, if you have a software project that’s heading to the ground like a lead zeppelin you can’t have an expectation that the director / manager will tell people to get cracking and work twice as hard and get things fixed ship shape no time flat.  You can’t have an expectation that’s going to work, anyway.  The reality is, things get fixed as you are able to fix them.  I’m dubious that she was malfeasant in her attention to the portal difficulties.

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It’s not apparent at all that she’s underqualified or malfeasant.

Public stories indicate she’s got a MS in public health.  Young-ish, go getter type.

Her vacation around the Thanksgiving break was not an abuse of public trust.  I know there’s a matter of appearances, but I roll my eyes at that.

Stories this morning say that’s a $135k job she had.  That’s under market for the responsilibility.

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I read the MsSure release and it’s not apparent to me that Todd-Malmov has lost her employment with the state.  That would be apropos and a small grace, if true.

But if this gal hits the private sector she’ll end up with a VP job in analysis and tens of millions in earnings over the next 30 years.  So there’s that for her.

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Is it just me?  I have some feeling she’s being Amy Koch-ed, IE, slut shamed, in Todd-Malmov’s case for going on vacation to the tropics with a man.  Where she was PROBABLY HAVING SEX doncha know.

The prurient vibe here is bizarre.  In any case, I blame KSTP first for the report framed in the way it is, and the Democrats second, for being suckered into it.  I haven’t observed Minnesota Republicans dwelling much on this but I may be wrong.

And who do they bring in to save the day?  A pasty middle aged white guy.  The Democrats need really need to stop their war on women!

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I’m with the various national eggheads who have said this is ostensibly an easy portal to build.  That its screwed up here in Minnesota as well makes me infer a dependency to the screwed up subsidy calculation engine that exists at the federal level.  Again, not Todd-Malmov’s fault.

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This notion that the state exchanges are doing better than the fed exchange?  True, if you never actually assert an actual comparison.

Its crap.

Vacation is all I ever wanted

Ugh.  Rolling my eyes.

http://www.startribune.com/politics/statelocal/235680291.html

I think there’s an argument to be made that this woman should have known better than to take this vacation at this time.  Cuz of the way things look, keep up appearances, all that.  And I think there’s an observation to be made that she would have known this had she any private sector experience.  In the private sector the man always thinks he can usurp your vacation.  But maybe that’s not correct, I’m spitballing there.

But this woman is not malfeasant, dear conservative agitpropers.  Indeed, you end up running this bureau at the age of 36 or whatever she is because you’re a workaholic and smart as a whip.  She scheduled the vacation for two months after the exchange opened, during a holiday week.  That’s prudent.  Yeah, the exchange has problems, but they get fixed when they get fixed, and those fixes are not dependent on her presence.

If she gets fired – and it would be a shame if she does – all that’s going to happen is she’ll end up a VP at a place like UHG, where she’ll earn tens of millions of dollars over the next 30 years.

Crickets

Apparently, PR firms are using Obamacare as a lesson of what not to do.

http://www.politico.com/story/2013/12/obamacare-website-woes-public-relations-100840.html

Golly, it would be neat if the SRC guys weighed in on this.  They being PR guys who like to engage in edgy commentary on PR and communication issues.  How bout it guys?  Talk about topical, its all tee’d up for you.

For love of douche – Martin Bashir

The guy was overwhelmed by Palin derangement syndrome.  It’s happened quite a few times now in recent years, and so it would seem a fairly unremarkable incident among its type.

Bashir reached new heights though.  Note, the intent of his narrative was two fold:  1) to play something of a Godwin rule card, so that Palin could be called dumb for using the word ‘slavery’ injudiciously,  and 2)  publicly orate the imagery of someone crapping in Palin’s mouth.

Number two … ahem … was of course the primary motivation.  That’s what Bashir wanted most, for whatever reason.

Writing this out to set up the various contexts probably takes a couple hours.  If you are in Bashir’s position and better judgment doesn’t call to you during that time…. I dunno.

I do know these people keep telling us that right is more uncivil than the left.  My arse.

SNL knows douche

Fair to say I’ve been at times fixated on … douchebags and their douchery.  ‘Douchebag’ say being a certain kind of soldier in the culture war or continual battle of incivility that marks contemporary political discourse.  To me, ‘douchebag’ is the proper term for a lefty that shows habitual obnoxiousness, smugness, insincerity…maybe a couple other misanthropic traits.

But no doubt the term is slang and a bit elastic right?  Say just a handy word to throw down when you want to insult someone?

I dunno, I think I’m on the right track.

http://www.nationalreview.com/corner/365855/snl-knocks-incoherent-al-sharpton-alec-torres

In the SNL piece, Sharpton’s foil, the young, earnest, Huffpo guy, is given the name Peter….Douchet.

Right again.