Month: August 2016 (page 1 of 2)

Update On “My ACA Experience”

Ben Garrison Obamacare

The prior article, “My ACA Experience”, for context

I recently received several letters from my insurance company in regards to my policy.  They informed me that I can keep my coverage through the end of next year.  One letter said that I would need to contact them to keep my policy.  Another said the following, in this exact formatting: “We are required to provide you with the enclosed communication prepared by the Department of Health & Human Services.  It suggests you contact us to keep your current plan, but that is not necessary.”  And in yet another letter, I was informed of my “mastectomy benefits”.

In a state of confusion, I called the insurance company and asked what was going on.  A representative seemed even more confused than I was, asked me information about the letters, and was unsuccessful in attempts to locate copies of what they sent to me.  After promising to take action within the company internally so that this situation doesn’t happen again, I was (finally) assured that I wouldn’t need to take any action to keep my policy beyond continuing to pay my premiums.  She made it clear to me that this confusion would not happen again, and that any further updates to my policy would be very clearly communicated.

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Kids For Cash


A reader of my recent article on private prisons recommended that I watch the documentary “Kids For Cash” on Netflix.  One of the examples I cited was of the Pennsylvania judges, Mark Ciavarella and Michael Conahan, who were both implicated in accepting money in exchange for keeping Robert Mericle’s private prisons fully stocked with juvenile offenders.  The reader made the recommendation after reading this specific paragraph below:

So you should not be surprised at all to find out that private prisons are one of the leading lobbyists for continuing and expanding the war on drugs. They are not the only ones profiting from this – judges, police officers, lawyers… they and plenty of others all have huge incentives to keep locking people up, no matter the “offense”. A Pennsylvania judge was caught and sentenced to 28 years for taking bribes from for-profit juvenile detention centers to keep them full, even on petty offenses. This is only one example of someone who was actually caught and sentenced, and I find it hard to believe that more authority figures aren’t doing this exact same thing and getting away with it. As they say… “There is never one cockroach”.

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My ACA Experience


Sometime in 2011 I realized that it was a better deal for me to deal directly with a health insurance company and purchase my own plan.  As a thirty-something healthy male, I don’t use my health insurance often.  My employer’s plan was expensive, and had coverage I didn’t really need.  I ended up saving a couple hundred bucks a month.  The best part about the insurance plan?  It was ACA compliant, so it wasn’t susceptible to cancellation when the insurance exchanges rolled out in 2014.

I spoke with many friends and acquaintances, mostly young males, who had their plans axed that year.  The policies were very similar to mine in every aspect; coverage, deductible, and premium, and their new plans were sometimes over triple the price.  President Obama, ignorant of how his own insurance reform worked, initially blamed “bad apple” insurers for cancellations.  As owners of cancelled policies became more vocal about not just their cancellations, but the higher rates of new plans, Obama was forced to apologize for lying to Americans about being able to keep their health plans.  So after the rollout, I constantly wondered to myself… given my comparably low premiums, why hasn’t MY Plan been cancelled yet?  Only recently did I realize the truth.

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Good Riddance, “Private” Prisons


The Justice Department plans to end its use of private prisons after officials concluded the facilities are both less safe and less effective at providing correctional services than those run by the government.

“They simply do not provide the same level of correctional services, programs, and resources; they do not save substantially on costs; and as noted in a recent report by the Department’s Office of Inspector General, they do not maintain the same level of safety and security,” Yates wrote.

The Justice Department’s inspector general last week released a critical report concluding that privately operated facilities incurred more safety and security incidents than those run by the federal Bureau of Prisons. The private facilities, for example, had higher rates of assaults — both by inmates on other inmates and by inmates on staff — and had eight times as many contraband cellphones confiscated each year on average, according to the report. Yates said there are 13 privately run facilities under the Bureau of Prisons purview.

Source: Justice Department says it will end the use of private prisons  |  The Washington Post

Why, you ask, is a free market advocate in favor of ending private prisons?  Simple: because these facilities aren’t  “private” at all.

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Innocent People, Not Career Criminals, Should be the Poster Boys for Police Reform

Written for and originally posted at Single Dude Travel


You have a problem with the police being militarized to the teeth, and doing whatever they want, up to and including killing innocents, with no consequences?

Get in line.

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60 Minutes… of Gun Propaganda

Written for and originally posted at Single Dude Travel


CBS, in their 60 Minutes program, recently released another piece of propaganda, a follow-on to one from late last year, advocating for US civilians to be marketed and sold “smart guns”. If you watch the segment, you’ll see that they spend all of approximately 7 seconds mentioning how little of a difference smart guns would make. They did grant a minuscule amount of deference to the New Jersey legislation that has held up smart gun development, as well as the hypocrisy of the proposed replacement, even though they made almost no mention of the stupid demands of both the old and new Weinberg bills. The whole piece was focused upon forcing the NRA and gun manufacturers to fund smart gun technology, despite dearth of demand for such guns among US consumers.

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99.9% of gun owners aren’t radical either!

Written for and originally posted at Single Dude Travel


President Obama told CNN’s Fareed Zakaria that 99.9 percent of Muslims reject radical Islam. He made the comments in response to a question about the White House avoiding using the phrase “Islamic terrorists.”“You know, I think that the way to understand this is there is an element growing out of Muslim communities in certain parts of the world that have perverted the religion, have embraced a nihilistic, violent, almost medieval interpretation of Islam, and they’re doing damage in a lot of countries around the world,” said Obama.

“But it is absolutely true that I reject a notion that somehow that creates a religious war because the overwhelming majority of Muslims reject that interpretation of Islam. They don’t even recognize it as being Islam, and I think that for us to be successful in fighting this scourge, it’s very important for us to align ourselves with the 99.9 percent of Muslims who are looking for the same thing we’re looking for–order, peace, prosperity.”

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Idiot who threatened Trump arrested with stolen guns

Written for and originally posted at Single Dude Travel


Remember this guy? This is the guy who threatened to “go to war” with Donald Trump because he was “trying to take food stamps from his mamma.”

I could go to war with whoever the fuck I want to, but I really want to go to war with Donald Trump because Donald Trump trying to take food stamps from my mamma and that’s all the fuck she’s got. As long as the motherfucking government let us keep food stamps… we gonna be good, but the first time this nigga pass a law talking about he taking Louisiana purchase, shit going to get ugly. I swear to god on every motherfucking chain I got, bitchez gonna go down.

You gotta understand them (inaudible) love Fruit Loops. They love that shit so if you take that shit nigga it’s coming with the madness and a nigga ain’t gonna play about that. Y’all take Donald Trump and let him know it’s up over here. We gonna declare war.

And I ain’t worried about ISIS because they just called me, they want me to fuck with them now… Ya, we got them drums bitch and grenades but I’m scared to throw them.

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Carbon Taxes: Regressive, And Useless


I’m going to say it: I believe in climate change. There have been many times throughout our planet’s history that the planet has both been largely covered with glacial ice as well as completely absent of it. 55 million years ago there were palm trees growing in Greenland, and there was no ice on the planet at all up until approximately 35 million years ago. Today’s world, on average, is cooler than the planet’s historical average. I’m going to state something else I feel is obvious; I believe humans have an impact on the planet’s environment and climate. Currently numbering at over 7 billion and counting, human beings are by far the most dominant organism on the planet, and there’s not even a close second.

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Bernie Sanders, Proud Gay Rights Activist and Basher of Homophobic Legislators, Introduced at Campaign Rally to Song Slandering Gay Men

It’s May, and despite the fact that Sanders appears to have lost far too much ground to Hillary Clinton to make a serious run for the Oval Office in November, the Vermont senator is still campaigning. He was in Lancaster on, California on May 25th speaking at another rally packed with thousands of his avid fans. Sanders did not disappoint, and he strolled up to the podium with quite interesting entrance music blasting over the PA. What was the song? Try DMX‘s “Where The Hood At.”

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