“A Big Safety Net’: ACA Filled Need, Fended Off Dismantling in 2020”

That’s the headline of this NBC News story on how the Affordable Care Act is still reliably helping to provide coverage—especially for low-income Americans—during the pandemic while simultaneously thwarting attacks by a White House administration that finds nothing more satisfying than watching people die:

A little more than 10 years after the law known as Obamacare was passed, the landmark health care legislation has survived numerous attacks under the Trump administration and appears to be deeply embedded in the nation’s health care system. The effect it has had during this difficult year—whether in politics, policy or at the kitchen table—is hard to dispute.

Continued…

The part of the law that allows states to accept federal funding to expand Medicaid has been especially helpful: 

“In a lot of states, it didn’t matter how poor you were or how much income you lost, you still might not have qualified for Medicaid before the ACA existed,” said Cynthia Cox, the vice president of the Kaiser Family Foundation and director of its ACA program. “So the Medicaid program has been a big safety net during the pandemic and its economic turmoil and everything that’s occurred as a result.”

 And now that We The People have had a decade to try the ACA on for size, we’re liking it more and more:

The law has also hit its peak popularity this year since its passage in 2010 with 55 percent of Americans saying they view the ACA favorably, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation.

Experts credit the growing favorability to Trump’s threat of removing it without a clear plan to replace it.

President-elect Biden says he’s committed to strengthening and expanding the “BFD” he helped craft during the Obama administration, and he’ll have several ways of doing it even without a Democratic Senate majority. In the meantime, enrollment on the federal exchange is now open until December 15th.  As Cynthia Cox says in the article…

“Four out of 10 uninsured people are eligible for free coverage, either Medicaid or a zero-premium bronze plan,” she said, referring to a plan offered through the ACA.

The marketplace is open.

“So there’s a very good chance that people who are uninsured now could actually be getting covered for free. But they would need to act quickly.”

Here endeth your reminder. Sincerely, Dr. Billeh, NRAD.*

Healthcare.Gov link

And now, our feature presentation…

Cheers and Jeers for Wednesday, December 2, 2020

Note: Time for Part LCIVVXXX of our CLLLIVIIVXIXX-part series entitled Here’s How to Follow Me on Twitter:

To follow me on twitter, click here.  

Join us in 2033 for the thrilling next part!

By the Numbers:

Georgia voting starts in 12 days!!!

Days ’til early voting starts in the Georgia runoff Senate elections: 12

Date on which Arizona and Wisconsin certified their election results for Joe Biden: 11/30/20

President Trump’s approval rating in the latest Gallup poll: 42{1b1a587643a9e9b1244ae3f96d242e13c62224c25ebdf73114e48122c41a7985}

President-elect Biden’s approval rating: 55{1b1a587643a9e9b1244ae3f96d242e13c62224c25ebdf73114e48122c41a7985}

Americans polled by Monmouth University who believe the federal government will do a better and worse job, respectively, under President-elect Biden: 48{1b1a587643a9e9b1244ae3f96d242e13c62224c25ebdf73114e48122c41a7985}, 27{1b1a587643a9e9b1244ae3f96d242e13c62224c25ebdf73114e48122c41a7985}

Percent polled by Monmouth who approve of how Trump is handling the transition: 31{1b1a587643a9e9b1244ae3f96d242e13c62224c25ebdf73114e48122c41a7985}

Online sales from Black Friday: $9 billion

Mid-week Rapture Index: 183 (including 4 false prophets and 1 not-very-merry Merry Christmas message). Soul Protection Factor 25 lotion is recommended if you’ll be walking amongst the heathen today.

Puppy Pic of the Day: Inside a doggy snow globe?

CHEERS to the new kid in the upper chamber. The Senate gets a new member today, and to our relief it’s a Democrat replacing a Republican. Added bonus: Captain Mark Kelly of Arizona is our first astronaut-American since John Glenn left a couple decades ago. And his installment is crucial to our chance of taking back Senate control in time for Joe Biden’s inauguration:

[W]hether Democrats are successful in wrestling the majority from the GOP will not be determined until early January with the results of two runoff elections in Georgia, where incumbent Republican Senators David Perdue and Kelly Loeffler are vying to hold their seats.

Hello, Democratic senator #48. 

[O]nce Kelly is sworn in as a U.S. senator [today], Democrats will hold 48 seats to Republicans’ 52. His victory also gives Democrats both of Arizona’s Senate seats for the first time in nearly 70 years. […]

A former astronaut, Kelly flew four space shuttle missions between 2001 and 2011. He also served as a pilot in the U.S. Navy and is married to former Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords.

And now, if you’ll bear with me, I’m contractually obligated to write the following: With Kelly’s swearing in we’ll be over the moon because we appreciate the gravity of the moment, but we’re not worried that he’ll think he’s above us because he’ll do lots of ordinary stuff like listen to the latest nep-tunes, play Moon-opoly with his kids (while still giving them their space), and even pack his own launch box, although extending his pinky while drinking his daily cup of gravi-tea is a little elitist, but on the whole he’ll be very down-to-earth, and if any of this offends you I sincerely Apollo-gize.

JEERS to locking and loading for the holidays. Attention 911 dispatchers and paramedics: looks like business is gonna be booming this year with a lot of blam-blams under the Christmas tree. Says here that the FBI was swamped with background check requests on Black Friday at near-record levels again:

While the 186,645 checks represented a slight drop from 2019, this year’s number still marked the fourth-largest one day total on record.

But they outlawed lawn darts.

Background checks, required for purchases at federally licensed firearm dealers, are not a measure of actual gun sales, but the National Instant Criminal Background Check System is a way to gauge market demand. The number of firearms sold Friday is likely higher because multiple firearms can be included in one transaction by a single buyer.

Black Friday traditionally has been one of the busiest for FBI analysts, but this has already been a shattering year in which the FBI has posted 32.1 million checks so far as the deadly virus has fueled public fear and President Donald Trump has repeatedly warned that Biden’s election would threaten gun rights.

As a public service, C&J offers our usual helpful tip for Santa when he goes about his business in 22 days: swap out the fur suit for Kevlar.

Nixon, clearly under the spell of hippienosis, signs his EPA order.

CHEERS to America’s cleaning service. 50 years ago this week, the Environmental Protection Agency was born during the reign of that shameless Marxist commie Richard “Hitler/Mao/Stalin” Nixon. Under his orders, government “life panels” were created to ration environmental care by putting competent bureaucrats between you and your polluter under the guise of collectively “protecting human health and the environment.” It was just one more way the Republicans tried to take power away from the individual and use it to advance their radical socialist agenda. Today, thoroughly embarrassed by their un-American blunder, Republicans have been doing their best to shrink the EPA and erase any connection between themselves and promotion of America’s general welfare. Because, as their current bumper sticker slogan says: “Clean Air Promotes Lazy Lungs.”

BRIEF SANITY BREAK

Pygmy monkey is fascinated by insects. pic.twitter.com/4KA2hSKf6k

— Animal Life (@animalIife) November 30, 2020

END BRIEF SANITY BREAK

CHEERS to the lexicon of our lives. Linguistics experts like to say that sticks and stones may break our bones, but words can never hurt us. This is true with the one exception of words that are forged out of razor-sharp steel letters designed to be dipped in curare and hurled like throwing stars. Now that we’ve cleared up that technicality, here’s Merriam Webster’s #1 word of 2020, which throws the spotlight on a little world crisis the world has been dealing with this year:

Based upon a statistical analysis of words that are looked up in extremely high numbers in our online dictionary while also showing a significant year-over-year increase in traffic, Merriam-Webster’s Word of the Year for 2020 is pandemic.

The first big spike in dictionary lookups for pandemic took place on February 3rd, the same day that the first COVID-19 patient in the U.S. was released from a Seattle hospital. That day, pandemic was looked up 1,621{1b1a587643a9e9b1244ae3f96d242e13c62224c25ebdf73114e48122c41a7985} more than it had been a year previous, but close inspection of the dictionary data shows that searches for the word had begun to tick up consistently starting on January 20th, the date of the first positive case in the U.S.

The Greek roots of this word tell a clear story: pan means “all” or “every,” and dēmos means “people”; its literal meaning is “of all the people.” [I]n general usage a pandemic is an epidemic that has escalated to affect a large area and population.

Other letter-based vittles on the shortlist include Quarantine, Asymptomatic, Kraken, and Malarkey. But the most enjoyable word on the list, with lookups increasing by 25,000{1b1a587643a9e9b1244ae3f96d242e13c62224c25ebdf73114e48122c41a7985} this year, is Schadenfreude (“enjoyment obtained from the troubles of others”) because it was almost exclusively at the expense of the impeached one-term president set to skulk back the private grifter sector in 49 days. We salute all the winners and, as always, hope they enjoy their lifetime supply of alphabet soup.

CHEERS to slaying Ann Coulter’s idol.  Sixty-six years ago today, the Senate voted 67-22 to condemn Joseph McCarthy for “conduct that tends to bring the Senate into dishonor and disrepute.” Three years later the bitter, broken man would be dead of cirrhosis of the liver.  The takeaway lesson for our modern age: everyone start sending Mitch McConnel liquor for Christmas.

Ten years ago in C&J: December 2, 2010

CHEERS to dropping a Nerf anvil on Daddy Warbucks’ head.  Seen the new CBS News poll on taxes yet?  The message to rich folk is unambiguous: pay up…

Just 26 percent of Americans say they support extending the cuts for all Americans, even those earning above the $250,000 level, which is the GOP proposal. …  [A]ccording to the Tax Policy Center, a married couple with no children making $415,000 per year could expect to pay about $7,000 per year more in taxes. Tax rates on Americans making more than $373,650 would see their top marginal tax rate increase from 35 percent to 39.6 percent.

Grief counselors: stay close to your phones.  You may be in for a tidal wave of sobbing Vanderbilts and Pettifoggers.

And just one more…

CHEERS to running another ring around the sun.  Happy Birthday (and many blessings on your camels, along with a giant slice of key lime pie) to Michael (aka “Common Sense Mainer” here), my sweetie of 27 years, who turns [Redacted by the proper authorities] today. Wow, [redacted] years. I won’t divulge exactly how spring-chickeny or ancient he is, but here are a few clues from the history archives…

> Kennedy was president and dealing with the Cuban missile crisis

Michael after his promotion to Lt. Colonel in the Boy Scouts

> Tuition to Harvard cost $1,250

> The first Beatles single was released

> Gas was 28 cents per gallon

> To Kill A Mockingbird and Lawrence of Arabia were released

> John Glenn orbited the earth

> The Berlin wall was fresh and new

> Johnny Carson began his reign as king of late night TV

> The Space Needle in Seattle, Washington was completed in time for the World’s Fair

> Marvel’s Spider-Man made his debut in the Amazing Fantasy #15 comic book

Before you get all mushy-gushy in the comments, bear this in mind: the little bastard still gets carded when he buys liquor.  That’s some good genes right there.  He shares his birthday today with Britney Spears (39), Harry Reid (81 and, as far as we know, still cancer-free), and Stone Phillips (66).  And if they’re true to form, I’ll get a call from the cops around 2am, and shortly thereafter I’ll give my sweetie his annual present: bail.

Have a happy humpday. Floor’s open…What are you cheering and jeering about today?

Today’s Shameless C&J Testimonial

European Space Agency is Sending A Giant Claw Into Cheers and Jeers To Clean Up Kiddie Pool Junk

CNET

*Not Really A Doctor

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