Dan Kuechenmeister

Dan Kuechenmeister 5 days, 10 hours ago on Colorado's private health insurance enrollment stands at 124,000

Mark, My apologies as I am unaware of who you refer to when you use the term Tea Baggers. I am aware that the term tea bag has a slang reference to an act which shouldn't be described in this paper. Possibly you are trying to insult those with whom you disagree. I am aware of the Tea Party, which to the best of my knowledge has done little or no damage to people or property at any of their gatherings and are allowed free speech just as you are, unlike the Occupy Wall Street crowd which has no problem destroying property or assaulting police officers, or liberal academia which has no problem preventing conservative speakers from appearing or if they slip through the cracks allowing disrrupters to interrupt or cancel the speech. Now lest you think I am a member of the Tea Party, I am not. Nor am I a member of the Democrat, Republican or Libertarian parties either. I take the Groucho Marx approach to "clubs". 'I do not want to belong to any club that would have me as a member'.


Dan Kuechenmeister 5 days, 11 hours ago on Omar M. Campbell: Changing America

Neil, I am not aware of anybody on the left or the right who disputes the president's ability to spin a yarn nor the New York Times willingness to promote it. from healthcare-now.

"A study released today on the Health Affairs blog finds that between 29.8 million and 31.0 million people will remain uninsured after the implementation of the Affordable Care Act in 2016 and breaks down those figures by state.

The research team from Harvard Medical School and the City University of New York School of Public Health projects that the demographic composition of today’s uninsured population will change little under Obamacare.

The share of the uninsured who are U.S. citizens will rise slightly from 80 percent to 81 percent. White persons (of all ethnicities) will continue to constitute 74 percent of all uninsured Americans. About 59 percent of the uninsured will have incomes between 100 percent and 399 percent of poverty, while 27 percent will have incomes below poverty.

Study co-author Dr. Steffie Woolhandler, a professor at CUNY and visiting professor of medicine at Harvard, said: “Many people believe that Obamacare will cover everyone. But the reform is so deeply flawed that 30 million or more will still be uninsured after it’s fully implemented. Even if the Supreme Court hadn’t let states of the hook for Medicaid expansion, 26 million would have been uninsured."

So we have the ACA which reportedly will still leave 30 million with out insurance, has kicked many people off plans they liked, will prevent many from seeing doctors they liked, has raised costs to many people. Is this considered a success Neil? Heaven forbid what a failure would look like.


Dan Kuechenmeister 5 days, 13 hours ago on Omar M. Campbell: Changing America

Dan S. says he only deals in facts. Here are some facts from a recent piece by Gary Shilling.

"It’s interesting that Barron’s ran this headline after investor sentiment shifted dramatically. It’s as if an iron curtain came down between the last trading day of 2013 and January 2014. A headline in the Feb. 5, 2014 Wall Street Journal screamed, “Turnabout on Global Outlook Darkens Mood.” As stocks flattened and then fell, people started to realize that economic growth last year was weak, rising only 1.9% from 2012 as measured by real GDP. The fourth quarter annual rate was chopped from the 3.2% “advance estimate” by the Commerce Department to 2.4%, and one percentage point of the 2.4% was due to the jump in net exports as imports fell due to domestic shale oil and natural gas replacing imported energy. Nevertheless, exports remain vulnerable to ongoing weakness in American trading partners. Also in the third quarter of 2013, 1.7 percentage points of the 4.1% growth was due to inventories. Given the disappointing Christmas sales, these were probably undesired additions to stocks and will retard growth this year as they are liquidated. Even the stated GDP numbers show this to be the slowest recovery in post-World War II history. And real median income has atypically dropped in this recovery, largely due to the slashing of labor costs by American business. Pending home sales, which are contracts signed for future closings, peaked last May and had dropped considerably before cold weather set in this past winter while housing starts fell for a third straight month in February."

And then of course there is this "fact" from Huffington Post. "No wonder so few Americans seem to think their economy is in recovery: They keep getting poorer. Unless they are rich, in which case they keep getting richer.

Median household income fell for the fifth straight year in 2012, the Census Bureau reported on Tuesday, to $51,017. That was the lowest annual income, adjusted for inflation, since 1995.

The typical American family's income has fallen every year since 2007, the year the Great Recession began, for a cumulative decline of 8.3 percent. Median income is also down 9 percent from its record high of $56,080, set two recessions ago in 1999." Of course Dan S. will deny these "facts" with more spin.


Dan Kuechenmeister 5 days, 16 hours ago on Omar M. Campbell: Changing America

Rhys, You are spot on. "The Fed's policies have been an unqualified success for financiers and an abject failure for the bottom 99.5% who have to work for a living." http://www.oftwominds.com/blogmar14/Fed-failsA3-14.html

and more from Charles Hugh Smith "The Fed apologists claim that lowering interest rates to zero benefited American who saw their interest payments decline. Nice, but not necessarily true. Try asking a student paying 9% for his student loans how much his interest rate dropped due to Fed policy. Or ask someone paying 19.9% in credit card interest (gotta love that .1% that keeps it under 20%)--how much did your interest drop as a result of Fed policy?

Answer: zip, zero, nada. The Fed's zero interest rate policy (ZIRP)funneled profits to the banks, not to borrowers."


Dan Kuechenmeister 5 days, 17 hours ago on Omar M. Campbell: Changing America

So the Obama administration saved the banking industry. That's funny. (My opinion is why bother, they should have been left to fail. Then next time around they wouldn't be so stupid with other people's money. Lehman Bros. went under and the bits and pieces were bought by Barlays and Nomura and nobody misses them. But I digress.) Who really saved the banking industry. Why the middle class and less than middle class of course. How much interest are we accruing on our savings and money market accounts? Virtually nothing if that. All the while the banks go to the FED and get their money for virtually no interest and then buy US Treasuries or loan the money back to us knowing that once again if they make bad loans you know who will bail them out again. It's a great gig if you can get . Dan S. would you be better off if you had been getting 3% on any savings you have rather than basically zero the past 4+ years, so I guess when you did your taxes and added in the amount of interest you were paid in 2013 you thanked the Obama admin. because according to you they saved the banking industry.


Dan Kuechenmeister 6 days, 8 hours ago on Colorado's private health insurance enrollment stands at 124,000

Chris, So the survey I sighted is incorrect? http://www.forbes.com/sites/scottgottlieb/2014/04/07/health-plan-premiums-are-skyrocketing-according-to-new-survey-of-148-insurance-brokers-analysts-blame-obamacare/ And yes, as I hope we find a way for "affordable" health care for all I will admit that I am wrong if the ACA as it was originally passed works. Given that there have already been 30+ changes made to the bill by the Obama administration, don't hold your breath.


Dan Kuechenmeister 6 days, 17 hours ago on Colorado's private health insurance enrollment stands at 124,000

Interesting survey regards health insurance premium costs.

"For the individual insurance market (plans sold directly to consumers); among the ten states seeing some of the sharpest average increases are: Delaware at 100%, New Hampshire 90%, Indiana 54%, California 53%, Connecticut 45%, Michigan 36%, Florida 37%, Georgia 29%, Kentucky 29%, and Pennsylvania 28%."

"Health insurance premiums are showing the sharpest increases perhaps ever according to a survey of brokers who sell coverage in the individual and small group market. Morgan Stanley’s healthcare analysts conducted the proprietary survey of 148 brokers. The April survey shows the largest acceleration in small and individual group rates in any of the 12 prior quarterly periods when it has been conducted.

The average increases are in excess of 11% in the small group market and 12% in the individual market. Some state show increases 10 to 50 times that amount. The analysts conclude that the “increases are largely due to changes under the ACA.”

The analysts conducting the survey attribute the rate increases largely to a combination of four factors set in motion by Obamacare: Commercial underwriting restrictions, the age bands that don’t allow insurers to vary premiums between young and old beneficiaries based on the actual costs of providing the coverage, the new excise taxes being levied on insurance plans, and new benefit designs."



Dan Kuechenmeister 1 week, 1 day ago on Dr. Russ Fasolino: Expulsion is unethical

Ken aka Mr. Obvious, I think Jerry, Mark and Fred and all the other "knuckledraggers" you have to tolerate on this blog will be appreciative of your enlightenment, I know I did. "how many of the doctors, truck drivers, nurses, teachers, politicians, well, actually most anyone out there smoked a little dope "back in the day"." WOW, who knew there was drug use "back in the day". I don't recall any of them advocating for any use of drugs/alcohol including a "drunken stupor", so other then not liking their comments and I suspect their political leanings and wanting to throw something in their face I am not sure what point you were trying to make and what it has to do with the topic.


Dan Kuechenmeister 1 week, 5 days ago on Lynn Abbott: 1 dollar, 1 vote?

Dan S., Neil Are these the Koch Brothers you rant about. I assume that Steyer and Soros et all are as generous. From the article 'Evil' Koch Brothers Donate Billions Friday, 21 Mar 2014 12:47 PM

By Deroy Murdock

"The Kochs’ critics are free to disagree with the Kansas industrialists and their libertarian ideas. However, most who despise the Kochs would be shocked by what these “greedy capitalists” do with their profits, beyond campaign donations. For starters, the Kochs, support university programs and think tanks that try “to understand the nature of human freedom and how that freedom leads to prosperity.

CKF underwrites research and teaching at Brown, Mount Holyoke, Sarah Lawrence, University of Wisconsin at Madison, Vassar, and some 245 other colleges. This includes a speaker series, reading group, and essay contest at the University of Nevada Las Vegas in Harry Reid’s home state. Koch Industries (which offers same-sex spousal benefits to its legally married employees) also donated $814,000 to the Kansas State University Office of Diversity to assist “historically under-represented students.” The Kochs fund cures and treatments.

Among $506 million in such gifts, his major grants include:

$25 million to Houston’s M.D. Anderson Cancer Center to eliminate genitourinary malignancies.

$100 million for cancer research at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

$100 million for a new ambulatory care center at New York Presbyterian Hospital.

The Kochs back the arts.

Elizabeth B. Koch, Charles’ wife, launched the Koch Cultural Trust. It has furnished $1.8 million in grants to artists and musicians with ties to Kansas.

David Koch supports PBS’ documentary series "Nova." He also is a paleo-philanthropist, having given $15 million to the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History for a Hall of Human Origins and another $35 million to update its fossil and dinosaur displays in Washington, D.C. New York’s American Museum of Natural History will enjoy a new Dinosaur Wing, thanks to David’s $20 million gift.

David also donated $100 million in 2008 to modernize the former New York State Theater at Manhattan’s Lincoln Center, home to the New York City Ballet and the New York City Opera. The Kochs also steward the environment.

“Koch Industries, Inc. takes a leadership role in the promotion of biodiversity, wildlife habitat enhancement, land restoration and conservation education,” according to Wildlife Habitat Council president Robert Johnson. “Koch and its subsidiaries maintain Council-certified programs at 10 facilities throughout the United States,” including Montana’s 300,000-acre Matador Cattle Company Beaverhead Ranch.

Flint Hills Resources (a Koch company) helps Ducks Unlimited maintain 36,000 acres of waterfowl habitat on 116 Minnesota lakes. Thus, Ducks Unlimited gave the company its Emerald Teal Award."