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232 Responses

  1. Well it is sunny and 74 degrees here.
    In the Black Hills, where I lived for three years, they have three feet of snow on the ground.

    In honor of not having to wade through that snow (perk of living in the South) here are some Black Hills snow photos:

  2. Nonnie says:

    Beautiful photos, Derek! I’m glad I’m not there. I love to look at snow and ice, but from a distance. It’s grey and overcast here in England, but the temperatures are mild. Can’t complain.

    Tomorrow is our JOY Place service! Prayers appreciated.

  3. Rick Kincaid says:

    Overcast and 62 with a chance of thunderstorms here in Fort Worth. Nice to finally have some cooler weather.

  4. Nonnie,
    Yep, I am glad not to see snow today. My wife is happy about that too.
    Probably be awhile before I see any snow here. 🙂
    Supposed to end up at 86 degrees today here, but thunderstorms tonight as a cold front move through and then only a high of 70 tomorrow.

  5. Scott says:

    I think one of the things I fear most about dying and ultimately appearing before the Bema Seat of Christ, is that the same measure of judgment I used against others in this life, will be applied to me in the next.

  6. Scott says:

    Anyone else ever think about that? I mean I’ve assailed others in judgment for failing in standards that I don’t even keep myself when I’m truthful about it.

    Lord have mercy on me…

  7. Jim says:

    Sunny and 85 here right now. Feels like Fall in Central FL.

  8. Nonnie says:

    “Lord have mercy on me a sinner.” Amen, Jim.
    I was just discussing this on FB with some friends. We are discussing the parable of the Prodigal. I wrote: “the older I get the more I realise how very gracious and loving the Lord is. I think that is why when we look at older men’s ministries, we will see a “softening” in their preaching.(have you ever compared the old Billy Graham sermons to more recent ones? Wow!) Not to imply they water down God’s holy word, but rather they have lived long enough and sinned enough to have experienced the marvellous grace and forgiveness of God. I think it is very sad that many who read this parable completely overlook the lesson of the older brother. They only see the sin of the prodigal. They miss that point of the story in that the Father understands and loves ALL of his broken children, and is inviting them to celebrate His love.”

  9. Nonnie says:

    I meant “Amen, Scott.”

  10. Jim says:

    Nonnie-that was Scott 🙂

    I spent a few years throwing rocks at men who were doing exactly what I would have done in their position, as power corrupts corruptible men, of which I am one. While I’ve appealed for both sides to drop their rocks in my former battle, I need to speak softly on this topic.

  11. Jim says:

    beat me to it….

  12. Scott says:

    Nonnie, I know there’s a balance somewhere, however, the older I get, the more I realize mine is way out of whack.

    I read somewhere that a false balance is an abomination to the Lord.

  13. Bob says:

    “we will see a “softening” in their preaching.”

    Some of that is what is known today as “low T.” And while many may laugh a lot of our mellowing as older men (I’m rapidly approaching 60) is because we have not only experienced more but our first reactions aren’t based on our hormones kicking in first.

    What I have noticed in the parable of the prodigal is everyone wants to be the bad son who comes back to the father. But what about the father? Maybe there’s more to the story than many grasp and maybe we should grow up and be the father sometimes.

  14. Scott says:

    Using my truck driving experience for example. We have certain laws regarding the overall weight we can carry (truck & trailer) down the road. There are official State weigh station scales drivers must go over in strategically located places in each state, I’m sure you’ve seen them.

    The shippers love to load the trailers with as much product as they can because they are paying by distance and not by weight.

    There have been many times that truck drivers have weighed on a shipper’s scale and the numbers showed they met the legal weight requirements, However, when they got down the road and scaled on the State’s “certified scales” they are pulled in for being overweight, put out of service and have their driver’s license held until the problem is rectified.

    I think there’s a message in that somewhere 😉

  15. sarahkwolfe says:

    Morning all…been a great morning here of hanging out and listening to Iain Provan’s class on 1 Kings. Somehow lectures are better with a Scottish accent! Made s’more pancakes and generally hung out in pjs all morning. Thankful for these things.

    Nonnie…praying for your Joy Place.

    Thinking of speaking with grace…timely words.

    We’re facing some major trials with some good friends…prayers appreciated, although I can’t really give more details. Devastation of brokenness. Prayers for wisdom and God’s grace to kiddos would be greatly coveted. This discussion of a softening of the message, without watering down…whew. Hits home. Praying for wisdom in my words.

  16. Nonnie says:

    Praying, Sarah. God knows.

  17. erunner says:

    I’ve posted music for the week and in recognition to the passing of Pastor Chuck I’ve posted what I consider to be 15 classic songs from the “Jesus Movement” period of time. For some of you you’ll recognize these songs but if you’re not familiar you owe it to yourself (in my not so humble opinion) to drop by and have a listen. God bless!

  18. Ixtlan says:

    Well, since we are talking about weather:

    I woke up to a sunny 26 degrees outside. Probably get to a high of around 68.

  19. sarahkwolfe says:

    Thanks, Nonnie…there’s great comfort in that, isn’t there?!

  20. Nonnie says:

    Yes, Sarah. He knows, He hears our cries and He cares. Praying for your friends.

    Lord have mercy on us all.

  21. Dude says:

    Nice and warm about 70.The sky is black with rain clouds.Winter is right around the corner….let it snow…..let it snow as the old song goes.

  22. Jim says:


    Since the Time article I posted @ 22 gives blames the GOP for the slimdown, it seems kinda pointless to link to 4 salon articles that play the blame game.

    Your #28 (if true) only proves how out of control our govt is. A 90% shut down should have zero effect on the economy of a free nation.

  23. I went to my parents today and seeing some of the small churches. Sort of realized the top three denominations in the county I live in.
    1. Missionary Baptist
    2. CME
    3. Independent Fundamentalist Baptist.

    You can’t go two miles without seeing either of the first two, usually maybe a 50 to 100 member congregation.
    The IFB’s are there, but at a much lower frequencies.
    Also SBC churches, but those tend to be in towns only and there is about one per town.

    What is the denominational make up where everyone else lives?
    Sorry, political discussions get tiresome at times.

  24. Michael says:

    1. Calvary Chapel
    2. Former Calvary Chapel
    3. Wannabe Calvary Chapel

  25. Michael says:

    Then Baptist and Nazarene…

  26. In South Dakota, there were only three Baptist churches in Rapid City.
    The majority there seemed to be Lutheran.
    Seemed to be a lot of Catholics.
    And then a mix of everything else.

  27. Lutheran says:


    I thought this was a free country.

    I didn’t bitch about your selections.

    Why do you feel the need to bitch about mine?

  28. Jim says:

    Because it’s a free country? 🙂

  29. james says:

    Calvery in Talent Oregon? Lived there back in the early seventies. Nothing but a couple of tiny trailer parks. There was a nice AOG church in Ashland. Saw the Mama and Papas concert there back in 72.

  30. Michael says:

    I dont live in Talent, but there is one there.
    I was speaking of the whole area.

  31. James says:

    I live adjacent to the Sun City communities in Phoenix. Lots of churches over there. All mainline. All dieing. It is kinda sad I suppose. Here in Surprise Calvary and Radiant are booming. Interesting dynamic. And lots of those old folks are coming here. Don’t know why. Just like the mix of ages and cultures I suppose.

  32. Ricky Bobby says:

    This exchange made me laugh out loud 🙂 😆

    Lutheran says:
    October 5, 2013 at 3:49 pm

    I thought this was a free country.

    I didn’t bitch about your selections.

    Why do you feel the need to bitch about mine?

    Jim says:
    October 5, 2013 at 3:55 pm
    Because it’s a free country? 🙂

  33. Jim says:

    Within three miles of my house (condo) we have everything, as we are the county’s newest “town”, and it’s an affluent area. Mega Calvary (video church), mega SBC that doesn’t want anyone to know their affiliation. The pastors all dress like Driscoll did five years ago, which makes them the only people in the county who wear jeans and long sleeve shirts with the sleeves rolled up just right. PCA, two Lutheran, Acts 29 plant, and a ton of independents.

    It’s completely infested, but the plants just keep coming.

  34. Xenia says:

    In my small town (Seaside) there are eleven or twelve Baptist churches, last time I counted
    A large number of African American denominational churches
    A Korean church of some sort
    A large Roman Catholic Church
    An AoG, which has a thriving K-8 school
    One each of Lutheran, Episcopal and Methodist
    A Calvary Chapel start-up that meets at a school

    …. And one glorious jewel-like Russian Orthodox Church. 🙂

    I am sure there are a lot of little start ups that have escaped my notice as I am out of that loop these days. I only know about the start up CC because I know the people who started it and they have invited me, which was very kind of them but no thanks.

    No mega-churches. The largest church is a big African American Pentecostal church but it is not a mega church, just a big church for the area. I do not believe there is a mega church (by definition) in all of Monterey County or in the surrounding counties. There are a few who have adopted the mega church style, though.

    There is also a Buddhist gathering and an islamic something-or-other (not a mosque….yet.)

    Something for everyone!

  35. Reuben says:

    My beloved town has a rock and roll/psychedelic super Jesus church, 3 baptists, AOG, Methodist, 7th day, a Calvary Chapel that hates Calvinists (and people who let their kids read Harry Potter books), a Catholic church, and a spanish Catholic church. I can not go to any of them. I hear there is also an Episcopalian church that like 4 elderly people go to.

  36. Xenia says:

    ^^^ That’s a photo of our parish church, St. Seraphim’s, that someone (not me) posted on flickr.

  37. Xenia says:

    ^^^^ That’s the inside!

    (Taken by the pastor’s wife)

  38. How do you all know how many of each kind of church is in your town? Did you look in the Yellow Pages? I drive around and see this and that of a variety of churches in my area, but never clicked off how many of each.

  39. Mine is based on the majority of my 40+ yrs living in this county.
    A lot of the churches around here are not even listed in the yellow pages.
    I live in a rural county. I see them as I drive by them on my way from nowhere to nowhere.
    No megachurches here.
    Mix of various other churches.
    By and large if you drive around the county I live in, that is the churches you see.
    There are a mix of others, but I can almost guarantee that if I were to go 5 miles from where I live down any road that I would come up with what I put up there.

    No CC’s. You have to go to Memphis or Bartlett, TN to find one of those. Only two in the whole greater Memphis metropolitan area. CC is not real big around here.

  40. Xenia says:

    I had some reason a while back to take a survey of the churches in town… Oh, I remember, I was passing out info packets to churches for the Compassion Pregnancy Center. That’s why I counted them all. It’s a small, compact town, not sprawly, easy to count. I forgot the Seventh Day Adventists.

  41. Hey, I never asked for any scientific data here. 😉

  42. Xenia says:

    In neighboring Monterey, there are two largish churches, my old CC and a newer seeker-friendly church. I don’t think either of them have more than 500 people each.

  43. Solomon Rodriguez says:

    I’m in the place to be, beautiful southern cali! At a quincenera reception enjoying fellowship

  44. Solomon Rodriguez says:

    In Montebelllo we have a huge armenian church down the street and of course the ever present Calvary Chapel Montebello as well as a small 4 sqaure

  45. Muff Potter says:

    Reuben wrote @ # 42,

    …a Calvary Chapel that hates Calvinists (and people who let their kids read Harry Potter books)…

    Did you know that hatred of certain books prior to the founding of our Nation led to them being burned? When books are burned, people are not far behind.

  46. Apologia77 says:

    I’m sorry but I have serious concerns about anyone so bitter that they feel the need to describe a difference of opinion or ideas and the bold conviction to stand on conscence for that issue as “hate”… It reduces the complexities of the world and human identity and expression to the level of the kindergarten sandbox.

  47. Not all book burnings are bad things:

    And a number of those who had practiced magic arts brought their books together and burned them in the sight of all. And they counted the value of them and found it came to fifty thousand pieces of silver. So the word of the Lord continued to increase and prevail mightily. (Acts 19:19-20, ESV)

  48. Scott says:

    Wow, Jim. It’s not surprising that 80% of those responded to the original poll said that they would not be signing up for ObamaCare. Why would they?

    They either already have coverage, or, they are like my 25 year old daughter who just plans to pay the ObamaCare tax which is a lot cheaper than the premium quotes she has gotten for crappy coverage anyways.

    If something goes wrong, she can’t be refused coverage at that time anyways. It’s a poorly crafted law and probably has nothing to do with helping people who can’t afford insurance coverage anyways.

  49. Haven’t read through the thread yet, but just wanted to comment on Scott’s #5 and 6. Absolutely with you on that. Asking for that same mercy.

  50. j2theperson says:

    ***If something goes wrong, she can’t be refused coverage at that time anyways. It’s a poorly crafted law and probably has nothing to do with helping people who can’t afford insurance coverage anyways.***

    Aren’t you only allowed to sign up during the enrollment period which is October through March? What happens if you do what your daughter is planning but then get seriously sick or injured during the time outside of the enrollment period? Aren’t you kind of screwed then, or what?

  51. Lutheran says:


    Good to see you!

    Yes. You have until the end of March, 2014 to enroll. If you want your coverage to start on 1/1/2014, you have to be enrolled by 12/15/2013.

    Be careful who you listen to. There’s a great amount of disinformation out there.

    Unless Scott’s daughter is making megabucks, all kinds of credits are available. It’s designed to be affordable. (as in “affordable care”). 🙂

  52. Lutheran says:

    Unfortunately, there are states where the very poor aren’t included in the ACA.

    That is because in these states, the Republican governors refused federal assistance that would have expanded Medicaid for them.

    Most of the states are in the Deep South.

    This article has the details as well as a map.


  53. Scott says:

    So, if my daughter gets sick and goes to the hospital she will be denied care because she’s not on ObamaCare? If she is poor already how is the $300 a mo plus high deductible premium quotes she is receiving “affordable”? Also, if an individual chooses not to get coverage, why are they being charged a tax? It’s a joke.

  54. Scott says:

    In addition, I remember reading that you CAN sign up through one of the exchanges after this year’s deadline, by waiting until the next enrollment period or you have have “extenuating circumstances” in your life.

    So, for a healthy young person, would you rather pay a small tax penalty for the first couple years of this debacle or two to three thousand dollars a year for crap coverage anyways?

  55. Dude says:

    It was a nice Sunday……we had 11 new faces in church this morning.Then came the phone call,my 82 year old mother got pulled over by a state trooper for speeding.85 in 50mph zone……she was running late for church of all things.Moms giving me gray hairs.

  56. Jim says:

    This country is going to have to figure some things out, and it will probably be painful for us all.
    1. What is the proper role of the federal govt?
    2. Why does the war on (fill in the blank) always fail?
    3. Why do some young people succeed financially, while others fail?

  57. Cindy says:

    You don’t get “on Obamacare” you buy insurance coverage through the exchanges made up of plans offered by private insurance companies. It sounds like there is a wide variety of plans and complexities, and I’m sure there will be issues as it’s implemented. Buying in is a way to honor your place in society, that if you are sick or injured you have been contributing to the costs of the healthcare system. You don’t just show up sick and now expect the rest of society to pay your bills. I think that’s a sound reason behind the penalty, you can sign up, have coverage, and when you need it it’s there or you pay a penalty that probably won’t begin to cover the expenses you will incur at the emergency room if something awful happens. My 26 year old son has looked into coverage and it looks like it will cut his premiums nearly on half. My husband was diagnosed with cancer for the first time at 24, my kids haven’t grown up with the luxury of thinking they can wait til they are older because young people don’t need insurance. A healthy young person is only healthy until that first diagnosis or accident. And yes I know statistically the odds are low, but they do happen to young people too.

  58. Linnea says:

    Just thought I’d share this little gem….at work, a new guy, with only 7 years work experience and doing the same job as the rest of us, is making 25-50K more a year. His question after the group’s first meeting? Am I the youngest here or is everyone as old as you? Not exactly ingratiating himself…

  59. Xenia says:

    3. Why do some young people succeed financially, while others fail?<<<

    Combination of hard work and willpower plus "the hand one is dealt" which can consist of:

    1. Opportunities, which includes where you live and what kind of jobs are available and profitable
    2. Family support
    3. Enough money to pursue education or start up costs
    4. Good health
    5. … and a hundred other possibilities. (Tsunami? House fire? Located a gold mine? Revolution?)

    In short, SYNERGY, what God gives you combined with what you do with it.

    (I would say "good luck" except I don't believe in luck.)

    I would also mention that "financial success" is not necessarily a goal of the Christian.

  60. Xenia says:

    As a Christian, I appreciate the opportunities I have here in the US. I thank God for the extreme ease and comfort that I enjoy here. However, it would be a big mistake for me to extrapolate my life here in America where I am rich by the world’s standards out to the lives of Christians in poor countries, people who are far more faithful than I am whom God has domiciled in huts, people who barely have fresh water to drink. I would not go quoting James Madison to these people. THESE people are my fellow citizens, however.

    If you adopt a form of Christianity that only works in America, you have made a grave error.

  61. Jim says:


    The Christianity that “works” in America is one that refers the poor to an entitlement program. I consider that practice to be neither Christian or American.

    By financially successful, I mean able to provide for yourself. Paul was able to do so, and encouraged the Ephesian elders to follow his example.

  62. Steve Wright says:

    Buying in is a way to honor your place in society, that if you are sick or injured you have been contributing to the costs of the healthcare system. You don’t just show up sick and now expect the rest of society to pay your bills. I think that’s a sound reason behind the penalty, you can sign up, have coverage, and when you need it it’s there or you pay a penalty that probably won’t begin to cover the expenses you will incur at the emergency room if something awful happens
    I thought a major reason for personal bankruptcy is due to medical expenses. So how is it that “the rest of society” is automatically paying those bills? If someone with a $70,000 income and no health insurance has an emergency room visit, he does not just get to send that bill back to be forwarded to “the rest of society” – that’s why losing insurance is such a scare and why we have such a problem in this nation to begin with. But a problem that Obamacare makes worse not better.

    And the “rest of society” has been paying for healthcare expenses for the poor for quite some time through their taxes. Medical for example? Should we not look at raising taxes on the rich before we raise taxes on millions of poorer folks like Michael?

    I see the admission that the penalty is going to be insufficient to actually cover expenses. In other words, there is no real gain there. That admission is appreciated and one of the reasons this is going to fail miserably.

    A final point about exchanges – there are “multiple options” in those states where insurance companies actually choose to participate in the exchanges. As everyone no doubt knows, many carriers have stated they will NOT be doing so – they literally have potentially thousands or more of new customers just for the showing up and they would rather NOT get that business than be part of this debacle…..those greedy companies!

  63. Gary says:

    Favorite quotes from the above links:

    the shutdown provides the country with a perfect moment to ask why a federal government whose spending habits are an insult to drunken sailors everywhere is paying above-market compensation to hundreds of thousands of “non-essential” workers.

    Proof positive of what many of us have long posited: that under the flimsy guise of a targeted War on Terror, the surveillance state has established itself with little regard for an honest relationship with the American public.

    The outcome of the shutdown fight won’t be determined by spin and cheap public relations tricks. The structure of the situation – which strongly favors the Democratic demand for a clean continuing resolution (CR) at the sequestration levels that Republicans wanted – will do that. That’s why polling indicates that more people are blaming Republicans for the problem.

    Lazy spin, poor choices and terrible incentives: That’s what Fox News, Rush Limbaugh and the rest of the partisan media have given the Republican Party. It’s not a pretty sight.

    Workers aren’t unionized, and some pols are now advocating child labor. It’s like the U.S. has gone back in time

    Of course they shut the Federal government down. Tea Party Republicans long for the days when there were no government authorities to enforce laws and restrain the power of unchecked wealth, the days when there was no Justice Department, no SEC, no other agencies protecting Americans from the misdeeds of bankers and corporate titans.

    GOP’s fooling no one: They’ll always (rightly) be blamed for shutdowns

    It’s difficult to describe the ramifications of suddenly taking $300 million a day out of an economy where millions of Americans are already out of work.

    Somebody’s been drinking media Kool Aid

  64. Gary, a casual observer says:

    LOL @Jim’s #35

  65. erunner says:

    3. Why do some young people succeed financially, while others fail?<<<

    Jim and Xenia. Something I've observed across the board is it never hurts to know somebody on the inside.

  66. brian says:

    You know in my old church I was told I was basically a crook for working for the government unless I was in defense, and that I made way to much money and having health insurance was distrusting God. That is the cut down version, now I have never taken home more than 40K per year in my entire life from one job, I did make more then that when I was working 100+ hours a week. I do have health insurance and rarely use it as my deductible is 5 K per year.

  67. Gary says:

    The weather here is cloudy with a chance of prayer.

    The church in #43 is very pretty. The inside in #44 is as pagan as any church I’ve ever seen, but I like the outside.

    Cindy’s #67 What you are describing is socialism. Is that what America has come to? Don’t you realize that the cost of insurance will drive private companies out of business? It’s already happening. And companies are laying off and reducing employee to part time.

  68. Scott says:

    Oh yeah, I forgot to mention, what about Obama’s intial sales pitch and promise that if his plan was passed it would lower the premium cost of a family of 4 by $2, 500 a year? I’ve essentially been pushed into a plan that has higher deductibles and co-pays. When I read Michael’s report the other day that he qualifies for a plan with only a $750 deductible and $200 plus a month, that seemed unreal to me. I am currently paying $237 a mo for my wife and it has a 10k deductible. She has no pre-existing conditions either. Covering her through my company ins offered a lower deductible of 5k but would of cost me $375 a month.

    So, it looks to me like Obama gave the insurance companies what they wanted, higher premiums, higher deductibles and co-pays, added low percentage coverage payers in young people being forced into the system via the threat of elevated punitive taxation.

  69. Check it out….
    The administration had turned off, but is up and running.

    This administration is shameless right now.

  70. Cindy says:

    Lol Steve, you are advocating more taxes? On the rich no less?

  71. Muff Potter says:

    Notice however that they always have over 6 billion dollars per month for a military quagmire in Afghanistan. About a month ago there was a small tea-party rally in my locale. Complete with 18th cent. Continental Army garb, they assured us all that the Federal Govt. is too big and taxes us way too much. One of the hecklers in the audience, a grad student from Cal State asked if it was fair that U.S. taxpayers subsidize big multinational corporations by pacifying Afghanistan so that they can extract the fossil fuel and mineral wealth from it and pay virtually no taxes. They ignored the heckler and her confederates until they started passing out leaflets. Then they were ejected from the rally.

  72. Steve,
    You should know better. When someone bankrupts a $70,000 medical bill, the next 1,000 patients will pay for it.

    Companies never take the hit – it always get’s passed through … so the rest of society does pay.if the uninsured are allowed to just dump their debt.

    Watch what happens the next time there is a refinery fire and see if the oil company takes the hit.

  73. We don’t put up with uninsured drivers for just that reason – the cost to society. Uninsured is always costly.

    To Scott’s daughter who now would be playing both sides – shame. Not buying insurance but take advantage of the Obamacare clause about “prior conditions.” Downright dirty.

  74. Where did Scott say anything about his daughter having a prior condition?

  75. Jim says:

    For millions of our neighbors, “the hand one is dealt” is multi-generational dependence on the govt, which equals poverty. Will we break this cycle by creating more dependence?

    History says no.

    I really hope that those who answered my #3 above aren’t preparing teens for life in the real world.

  76. Steve Wright says:

    Lol Steve, you are advocating more taxes? On the rich no less?
    Absolutely. I made my plan right here on this website a week or so ago.

    Unlike Obama and his followers, I do not think putting more financial burdens on the poor, as well as the lower and middle economic classes is very fair – and it is already clear that most of these people will be in a worse position than they were before Obamacare came on the scene. Even this blog has showed us plenty of personal examples of that in recent days as people share their stories.

  77. Steve Wright says:

    MLD – Apples to oranges. I was responding to those who keep repeating this idea that somehow if you are not insured, you don’t pay. Or like you said “to just dump the debt”

    Bankruptcy isn’t exactly easy or something typically sought out. My example of a guy making $70,000 a year is likely not going to quickly run to the bankruptcy court with all that would effect in the rest of his economic life.

    But it is legal and so maybe you wish to argue for a revision of the bankruptcy laws. Seems to be a far easier solution to this problem (if that’s what you see it as) than what Obamacare attempts.

    I think a bankruptcy filing is “paying” a lot for a person.

    And do you know what the auto insurance laws are in CA. The minimum limits? $15,000 injury? $5000 property damage? You think those really protect the public given the real costs of healthcare and car repair. Please, don’t tell me society does not “put up” with uninsured drivers – yet there is no way CA legislators would support raising those limits to the real world. And also remember, it is the left in this state that have killed all legislation that actually provided teeth to even those minimum liability laws. The DMV is NOT notified if you cancel coverage – so basically you can buy a policy for one day in order to register your car and cancel it the next day.

  78. Derek,
    In his #58 he said “If something goes wrong, she can’t be refused coverage at that time anyways.”

    My daughter has not had medical insurance for years as she tries to just keep the kids covered, but her only concern is that she will develop something and then NOT be able to get insurance when she can afford it.

    Scott seemed, at least from my reading, to be advocating, pay the small fine and if you do develop something serious, well jump on the insurance bandwagon at that time, because under Obamacare they cannot deny you for prior conditions.

    Heck, I think I should be able to buy life insurance for the same price that a 25 year old can – isn’t that age discrimination? The difference is that the insurance company can collect fees from the 25 yr old for 40 yrs to catch up to me. That’s the same thing as exempting young healthy people from the system until they get sick.

  79. Steve,
    I read credit reports all day long – I see what people do with their medical charges.

  80. Even the medical charges that go to collections, the doctors or the hospitals sold for 10 cents on the dollar.

  81. well, maybe 20 cents

  82. everstudy says:

    My wife and son have insurance straight from the insurance company, have for several years as the insurance offered through work is too expensive. Their policies have both gone up 25% two years ago and 60% last year due to the ACA. After looking at the exchange, a comparable policy would be about 250% increase, and they would both lose their current doctors (so much for that Obama promise…). For now we’re just waiting for the letter from the insurance company saying their current policy is no longer compliant and we’ll be forced into the exchange.

    I’m convinced that the ACA was written to be so confusing and unworkable that the public will be screaming for something better in the next few years and single payer will be forced on all of us (for the children of course).

  83. Steve Wright says:

    So MLD…the solution then to what you describe as to those credit reports is Obamacare?

    Blowing up the entire nation’s healthcare system, screwing things up for the vast, VAST majority of people in this country, not to mention the 1/7th or so of the economy duly effected.

    Surely you realize that Obamacare does nothing to actually solve the problem you are writing about….right?

  84. Steve Wright says:

    Heck, I think I should be able to buy life insurance for the same price that a 25 year old can – isn’t that age discrimination? The difference is that the insurance company can collect fees from the 25 yr old for 40 yrs to catch up to me. That’s the same thing as exempting young healthy people from the system until they get sick.
    MLD – I love you…and you have set a high bar in this regard but the above may be the most foolish comparison I have ever seen you make. 🙂

  85. brian says:

    You know Steve I would hope, pray and even beg God would take me out before I owe any medical issues. One should always be entirely independent and the second one is not, we should die. I get that dying is cheap and trust me I want to be cheap. I pray God would take me out if I ever enter into the Realm of needing. God hates that, needing of any kind ever. I get that in spades. I even hope, which is of the devil true followers of the Lord Jesus do not do that, hope that is. They overcome, deal with it and move on. I still hope, goes to show what a piece of trash I am. What a very strange religion it really is a very strange religion.

  86. Jim says:

    @92-single payer is the goal.

  87. Scott says:

    MLD, you’re shaming my daughter who is like 90% of healthy young people that are balking at being forced into this debacle called Obamacare?

    Aren’t you one of the mortgage brokers who arranged for loans (using the system) for people you knew couldn’t afford them back in the day? 😉

  88. Scott, only because the Bush administration said that we had to give loans to people that could not afford them. That was the big deal back then – Bush teamed up with Barney Frank and said that loans had to be given to people even if they could not afford them.

    That is exactly how Bush crashed the economy.

  89. Steve, I was not defending Obama care. I was speaking to your false statement that people don’t just get to hand off their medical emergency bill to “the rest of society.” I am telling you that many, many middle class people do just that.

    When I ask people why they have medical bills in collection they say “My insurance company did not pay it.” So I say “OK, so when are you going to pay it.?” and they say “I’m not, I shouldn’t be responsible for it.”

    That was my comment to you. I could care less one way or the other about obama care – in 6 months I am going on Medicare. 😉

  90. Steve Wright says:

    So MLD, when you encountered such an applicant, did they get your best mortgage rate or did their credit for such decisions have an effect on their life elsewhere?

    (Glad you wisely didn’t double-down on that life insurance example) 🙂

  91. The life insurance example is spot on. For the same reason I can’t come into the life insurance pool at 64 and expect the rate of a 25 yr old … even though we are all going to die and I may be much healthier, – if we are going to have a system such as Obama care it must include the generation who thinks they will never get sick or die.

    I don’t care one way or the other about Obama care – the country will survive with or without it. Since some of you think it is unconstitutional perhaps the Supreme Court will rule it so and then it will be over.

    But I do think that if people opt out they should have to show means to pay before any kind of treatment.

  92. Jim says:


    SCOTUS already ruled, which to many is meaningless. Many liberal legal scholars agree that Row v Wade is bad law.

    The opinion may be more nuanced, but form memory, I believe that SCOTUS ruled that ACA is legal because the fine is a tax, which Congress has the power to levy, and that states can not be forced to expand Medicaid.

  93. Jim says:

    or Roe….

  94. “SCOTUS already ruled, which to many is meaningless.”

    So, to the ‘many’ they must be saying that there is not right reading of the constitution … which kinda kicks the legs out from under your argument.

  95. Steve Wright says:

    and I may be much healthier,
    This is your fatal flaw. There is no way that a 65 year-old is “much healthier” than a 25 year-old and that 25 year-old secures cheaper life insurance. Most likely the 25 year-old has preexisting conditions that actually keep him from even being able to purchase life insurance.

    Now, is society yelling how unfair that is? No, because they know the entire industry would collapse if people could just apply for life insurance anytime they wanted to and expect to pay the same as people who made the financial sacrifices to do without to protect their families from that loss.

    But when it comes to health insurance, such obvious actuarial principles are thrown out the emotional window. Or….maybe the government WANTS the industry to collapse so they can take control and all the power that comes with it. As both everstudy and Jim have pointed out, I agree there is no question that single payer is the ultimate goal in all this – as it was with Hillarycare except she made the mistake of actually saying so right out of the gate.

    Then, to take your foolish point further. There is a huge drain on the rest of society because of the cost of social welfare programs specifically related to those cases where a breadwinner died without adequate life insurance and the loved ones left behind are plunged into poverty.

    So shouldn’t we DEMAND that all people at least buy some minimal amount of life insurance in order to pay their fair share as members of society? And penalize them with a tax if they refuse to do so?

  96. Steve Wright says:

    MLD, as to the SCOTUS ruling – you do know that Obama promised and the law was written that what they were doing was not a tax, and in fact that allowed them to get the legislation into law in the first place.

    Then, before the SCOTUS, they argued it WAS a tax, because it was their only shot in having it upheld as constitutional.

    Seems to me that all but the most hyper-political-partisan who thinks the ends justifies any means (and I know that does not include you MLD) ought to oppose the legislation on the basis of that bait and switch lie if for no other reason.

  97. PP Vet says:

    The Republicans have a plausible justification for their obstruction in that Obamacare was bullied through on a party-line vote, hurried in the light of the Scott Brown election, and tailored shamelessly enough to create the appearance of a conflict of interest.

    Does that make shutting down the gummint right? Well, that can be debated. But at a human level , it provides some sort of justification. Democracy and legality are important, but can be perceived as being exploited unfairly.

  98. I don’t know if you guys think this type of banter is captivating, but I’ll give you a clue:

    It’s not.


  99. “Obamacare was bullied through on a party-line vote,”

    Why does that matter? It was still a majority. What if 2/3rds of the congress were one party and it passed by 2/3rds on a partyline vote – does that make it illegitimate?

  100. Jim says:


    My argument is Article 1, Section 8. SCOTUS gave themselves the power of Constitutional interpretation in Marbury v. Madison.

    Jefferson disagreed with Marshall’s reasoning in this case :

    You seem to consider the judges as the ultimate arbiters of all constitutional questions; a very dangerous doctrine indeed, and one which would place us under the despotism of an oligarchy. Our judges are as honest as other men, and not more so. They have, with others, the same passions for party, for power, and the privilege of their corps…. Their power [is] the more dangerous as they are in office for life, and not responsible, as the other functionaries are, to the elective control. The Constitution has erected no such single tribunal, knowing that to whatever hands confided, with the corruptions of time and party, its members would become despots. It has more wisely made all the departments co-equal and co-sovereign within themselves.

  101. Jim says:


    Smells like teen spirit.

  102. Steve Wright says:

    It matters because then over 60 House seats changed in the very next election, most of those remaining in the following election as well. And they did so almost exclusively due to dissatisfaction with this law.

    One Congress can’t bind a future Congress.

    We do not have a king. And the President does not get to act like a king just because Harry Reid has a 6 vote Senate advantage.

    The House of the people has shown their disgust, and it is confirmed in every poll.

    I appreciate the clarity. The House has voted plenty of bills in the recent days to fund various parts of the government. Reid and Obama say no. The House says, OK, let’s negotiate. Reid and Obama say No.

    Somehow Obama thinks this is his ticket to winning back the House in 2016. Maybe so. We will see. I think it is his ticket to losing the Senate in 2016.

    And the band plays on..but if anyone wants to complain about people being hurt by the shutdown, that is all in Reid and Obama’s lap because the House has done their job and voted those funding bills.

  103. “One Congress can’t bind a future Congress.”
    I agree – and with that election mandate, the reason they didn’t have a vote against Obamacare before now is….?” -trying to grab Obama by the short hairs

    So, have an up or down vote on funding the government today and have an up or down vote on Obamacare tomorrow.

    Reverse it if you want.

  104. When congress passes something relating to abortion or some other hot topic, no one from the ‘winning’ side comes out and says “well, we like the result but it was an invalid vote because it went along party lines.”

  105. Steve Wright says:

    MLD – the bottom line is that our government is created to encourage compromise among the parties and branches of government. People often seem to vote for divided government as you no doubt have seen over the years.

    Whether it was wise for the Democrats to use their raw power in 2013 to make such dramatic changes to the nation is now water under the bridge. I can tell you it was unprecedented to have legislation of that scope forced through in such a fashion. And I can tell you that the fallout was the American people in 2010 removing the Democrats and Nancy Pelosi from having that power any longer – a vote that was confirmed a 2nd time in 2012.

    The bottom line is today, the Republicans want to negotiate and Obama and Reid are saying no.

    I know you are not partisan in your politics, but I am surprised to see you encourage the side that refuses to work and talk with the other side. That is unlike you.

  106. #1 – “The bottom line is today, the Republicans want to negotiate and Obama and Reid are saying no.”

    No, they want to renegotiate.

    #2 – “but I am surprised to see you encourage the side that refuses to work and talk with the other side”

    They did talk and they did negotiate (way back when) … but they couldn’t work something out.

    The fact that it was a partyline vote goes both ways. You know that there was leadership pressure on some repubs who may have wanted to vote for it – to stand down.

    My whole point is that both sides are rascals … but the rascals on Obama’s side had more votes. As an American, I can accept that.

  107. Steve Wright says:

    but the rascals on Obama’s side had more votes
    But MLD – You act like the Senate somehow counts more than the House. They are EQUAL.

    And you also forget that Reid has not brought votes to the floor also. How do we know he has more votes if he refuses to bring what the House has passed to his chamber for a vote. And that’s the way spending bills work you know. They are voted on in the House, THEN voted on in the Senate, then compromised.

    Has the Senate defeated the dutifully passed House spending bills to fund Head Start, Veterans Affairs, the National Institute of Health etc. How come you let Reid off for not at least making his Democrat colleagues go on record as voting no, or join with the GOP and fund these important parts of government.

    We know why Reid won’t do it – he does not want his party to face tough reelection battles and have to defend such votes. I’m just surprised you support that tactic.

    I know I am more partisan than you, but your grasp of the actual history that has taken place is a little off.

    Now…we also have this debt ceiling issue. Obama is saying no President has ever had to negotiate over raising the debt ceiling. That is simply false and in fact it can be shown that all twenty-something times it has been raised, there has been negotiation between the parties. Likewise, he also says he can’t prioritize revenues if the debt ceiling is breached. That too is ridiculous – even a tiny mom and pop business prioritizes revenues as to what bills to pay first.

    But he is demanding the elected representatives of the House submit to his demand for more money to spend, even as that money to be spent is because his party voted to spend so much of it in the past and they have since been defeated as a result.

    The debt ceiling is not a “renegotiation” – and Obama is using the same tactics as with the shutdown and I am surprised to see your support.

  108. “But MLD – You act like the Senate somehow counts more than the House. They are EQUAL.”

    Are you saying that Obamacare passed with no vote in the House? That was a pretty good twist. I must have missed that one.

  109. MLD,
    You act like no law was ever modified after passing.

    Any argument you put up just supports that this is a flawed law.
    I pointed one out on an earlier thread.
    On this one, you have shown how healthy young people opting out of the program will increase the costs and premiums.
    The Democrats in the Senate and the President don’t want to change it a all.
    Hence, their “no negotiations” talk.
    Are you for leaving it flawed?

  110. “Now…we also have this debt ceiling issue. Obama is saying no President has ever had to negotiate over raising the debt ceiling.”

    So negotiate over debt ceiling issues. Obama wants to raise the debt ceiling 20 trillion dollars (I made the figure up) and the other side is only willing to go !0 trillion. So, the negotiation is between 20 and 10 (which a compromise would be 15) … not 20 and 10 and Obamacare.

    This is really silly and I think you know it. You want to revoke Obamacare? … get enough votes for a single issue up or down vote. In good faith I will support you and your position – how’s that? 🙂

  111. Derek, do you think that the repub ideas are going to make Obamacare flawless? If you wipe out Obamacare all you are saying is that you like the current flawed medical care system we have today.

  112. Did I say they were going to make it flawless?
    Sorry they screwed it up a good system, for all the uninsured, and still didn;t seem to help all the uninsured.
    I never bought into the argument of how “flawed” it was before.
    If I could, I would say, ditch the ACA and try to come up with something that actually helped uninsured people.
    You sirt of skipped my question there, by asking me a question.

    So here it is again with another.

    Are you for leaving it flawed?
    Are you for the law as it currently stands then?

  113. Derek, perhaps I have just been around longer than you – so I know that there is no perfect law – there is no law that makes everyone happy. That is why we have a system to resolve that without having a revolution everytime someone is not happy.

    The majority wins – live with it and form your own new majority to repeal it.

  114. :If I could, I would say, ditch the ACA and try to come up with something that actually helped uninsured people.”

    And the reason we have not seen a Boehner care plan yet proposed is…?

  115. Oh, never mind answering.
    This whole thing is much more interesting to watch than to talk about.

    Showing a lot of motives in the Executive’s selective funding of things under the control of that branch of government.
    You know, like shutting down amber alert websites, while leaving a First Lady website running.
    Spending more money shutting down WWII memorials to keep wheelchair bound Vets out, than they have actively spent on the Memorials since they were finished.

    Oh wait, here s my favorite. Blocking off all the spots with cones around Mount Rushmore that you can see the carving from the road (not the Park), so that you won’t be able to stop on the highway to see it.

    This President has shown his pettiness.

  116. Note. I never said there was a perfect law.
    My opinion is, the less regulatory laws the better. Laws that regulate business, usually end up costing us even more in taxes or higher insurance premiums. Or taxes on business are added into costs and we pay them anyways.
    I am for less laws that regulate business.
    If you must regulate, make them easily understood. Short and to the point is best.
    Any one who stands up for a law that is so long that no one reads it before passing it has just done something of immense stupidity.
    Don’t pass laws that you have no idea what is in them seems to me to be far to common sense for the Democratic majority that passed this to understand.

  117. Someone is watching too much Fox news. 🙂

    That’s why I gave up watching any of those guys years ago. It doesn’t make you smarter and it does not make you more informed … it turns your mind to mush and makes it so you cannot think for yourself.

    Here, let me turn on Hannity so I know what to think.

  118. “I am for less laws that regulate business.”

    So was Christopher Cox when he took over the SEC – but we know what resulted after that.

    For full disclosure, Chris Cox was my congressman, whom I voted for when I lived in Newport Beach.

  119. #127
    The only news shows I watch are local.
    I can’t stand Hannity, cause he shills for Republicans.
    I have never been able to stand him.
    You are really pulling out the broad brush there MLD.

    All I can say about the contentiousness in government is this.
    We already see individual counties in certain states, wanting to secede from the states they are in. Colorado and your own state have some of these counties.

    Don’t be surprised when a state starts talking about this.
    I don’t think it is too late yet, but I can imagine.

    Our founding fathers, wrote this long ago, but don’t think it doesn’t apply today.

    “When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.”

  120. Well, I guess we will see where some of those counties get their water if they do choose to leave the state 🙂

  121. #129 – Spoken like a true son of the South

  122. London says:

    “if I could, I would say, ditch the ACA and try to come up with something that actually helped uninsured people.”

    And how long would we have to wait for that? We’ve been a country for over 200 years and no one has come up with anything better yet…are you suggesting people wait another 200?

  123. 200 yrs….come on. That is so melodramatic.

  124. London says:

    and your comment wasn’t????

  125. London says:

    If there was a better plan, then whomever had it should have spoken up and tried to get it through into law.

    They didn’t and there is no better plan. If they had a better plan and they were saying…hey, we came up with this GREAT plan that we think is better than Obamacare, we think we should stop and look at it before we move on.

    But they don’t…so to sit here and say let’s stop everything that was legally voted in by the people who we voted in to represent us, it until they do, is just plain silly.

  126. Jim says:

    I understand that many have bought into the lie that the fed govt is supposed to provide jobs, food, funds, etc…

    Does no one think that the Church has a responsibility to care for the least of these?

  127. My comment merely stated what I wish to see happen. It was not melodrama even in the least.
    Yours seemed to imply that the county has been waiting, with bated breath, for the advent of the ACA.
    Do I need to put the definition of melodrama up to demonstrate how yours was closer to melodrama?
    So please, don’t even compare the statements.

    #136 makes too much sense at the end there, Jim.
    Expect it to be dissected, instead of heeded.

  128. Steve Wright says:

    The bottom line is that all the Republicans asked for was what Obama already gave to his big business cronies – a one year delay on the mandate.

    Given that the individual mandate is dependent on the employer mandate, and given how unprepared (as seen in the websites) the exchanges were for the Oct 1st – a one year delay was hardly extreme or viciously right-wing.

    One year delay and the whole government gets funded in full.

    And the Democrats turned THAT down – even though this “law of the land” has been modified multiple times at Obama’s whim these last couple years.


  129. “But they don’t…so to sit here and say let’s stop everything that was legally voted in by the people who we voted in to represent us, it until they do, is just plain silly.”

    Well, until the people legally voted in do what they are doing now,
    Then it is wrong. To the ones who disagree at least.

  130. London says:

    You voted in the people who are supposed to represent you. If they aren’t then vote them out.
    None of get to vote on every single law. That’s why we have a representative government.

  131. @140
    Which would probably be why so many Democrats got voted out of the House after they passed the ACA.
    The House isn’t supposed to consider past laws and make new ones that override previous ones? News to me. I am sure if the Republicans passed a law that Democrats hated then the conversation would be different.

    So your point?

  132. Derek – the big difference is that they did that as stand alone legislation … the way that men do it.

    But your guys are trying to do it by shutting down the government and risking default.

    I said earlier – why not just have your up or down vote on the single issue of Obamacare with no strings attached? I think the word is they are chicken.

  133. Lutheran says:

    I never have understood why people would vote in Republicans in the first place.

    It’s like bringing in a wolf to “take care” of the chickens.

    It’s such a cynical view of human nature…

  134. Steve Wright says:

    I said earlier – why not just have your up or down vote on the single issue of Obamacare with no strings attached? I think the word is they are chicken.
    MLD – I am confused. There have been multiple straight up votes in the House to end Obamacare – all passing.

    The media and the left call them symbolic wastes of time. But there have been many. What is it you are asking for?

  135. MLD,
    I believe they probably will chicken out. Said it before.
    Government has been shutdown for a while now. Has the world ended?
    Sorry, default isn’t a boogey man to me. We go through this crap every 6 months. Tired of it. Let’s see what happens.

    Answered any of my questions yet?

  136. Steve,
    Well obviously the votes have done nothing to persuade anyone (persuasion is an art) . At what point to you say, “well, we must hold a minority position.”

  137. I answered your question – you asked me if I accepted the legislation with flaws – I told you all legislation has flaws. Otherwise no legislation would pass at all.

    But i turned it back on you and said that you must be accepting the flws of our current system.

  138. Steve,
    This I know we can agree on (Derek listen in)

    Kershaw is on the dirt tonight and we will wrap it up!! 🙂

  139. Ok, MLD you win.

    ACA is great for me, you and millions of Americans.

    Start posting those ACA success stories.
    I want to know how many people have already enrolled in the ACA?

    I must know more, after all America has been waiting 200 years for this and we just can’t wait another 200 years.
    Heck, we can’t even wait a year according to the glorious leaders in the august body of the Senate.
    The scales have fallen from my eyes and your clever turning around of my own argument against me has made me to see the light.
    Is the website working now?
    What did I ever do before this?

    For those of you out there wondering, that was melodrama. 😉

  140. Night all.

  141. Hey look at it this way, the warS in Iraq and the war in Afghanistan were crap, didn’t do a thing and were a total loss of both money life and bodily wreckage .. but we all ended up by going along with it – even though everyone knew they would fail from day one..

    Obamacare actually will look great compared to those crap shoots.

  142. Derek, I never said anything about Obamacare being good. My argument is against GOP tactics

    I am indifferent to Obamacare. I said it yesterday – the country will survive with or without Obamacare.

  143. Now I need to go down to my car and drive home. I am listening to Steve’s message last week on Isa 11. After his survey question here I need to find out if the lion is going to eat straw on the earth..
    I think I was just getting that part when I parked this morning – if any of you know, don’t give it away. 😉

  144. Steve Wright says:

    At what point to you say, “well, we must hold a minority position.”
    When they lose the House in 2014….and are removed from office in Jan 2015. Not a day before…if it was me and I was elected to fight for the people who elected me.

  145. Steve Wright says:

    I should add though, at the same time I would be open to working with the Senate and President at any point to achieve a compromise. But as long as they refuse to negotiate, then I refuse to cave. If I am a Republican, my voters did not vote me into office (and replace the Obamacare-voting Democrat most likely) to just go along and vote with whatever Reid and Obama order me to do.

  146. “But as long as they refuse to negotiate”

    again, I think you meant to say “renegotiate” what was already passed.

    The dems could say the same thing – they were sent to Washington to protect Obamacare. 🙂

  147. j2theperson says:

    ***In addition, I remember reading that you CAN sign up through one of the exchanges after this year’s deadline, by waiting until the next enrollment period or you have have “extenuating circumstances” in your life.

    So, for a healthy young person, would you rather pay a small tax penalty for the first couple years of this debacle or two to three thousand dollars a year for crap coverage anyways?***

    So, there is a definite possibility that if she refused to sign up then was seriously injured during the time when enrollment was not going on that she would have to pay for those medical expenses on her own because she would not have “extenuating circumstances” (such as losing her job and the health insurance that went with it) to explain why she hadn’t bought insurance during the enrollment period? Right? I realize the likelihood of that happening is small, but those sorts of things do happen to healthy young people. It is a gamble to not have health insurance although I understand why she isn’t going to buy it.

    I’m fortunate in that, right now, my husband and I make such little money that we still qualify for medicaid even under the new, stricter income guidelines passed in Wisconsin, so we don’t have to go to the exchange yet. It’s a good time to be “poor” in this country.

  148. Lutheran says:

    If the Republicans don’t soon see the light and give up their idiocy, they can kiss their long-time alliance with business goodbye. Pretty soon they’ll be as useless as the libertarians, who managed to garner less than 1% of the total vote in the last 2012 election — 0 senators and 0 in the House of Reps.

  149. I agree with Lutheran, and I am a pretty conservative guy – but there is absolutely no win here for the republicans, not in substance, nor in pride, not even bragging rights for “standing up for what you believe.”

    There best and maybe only out right now is to fund the government and Obamacare and say “well, we tried to warn you and protect you, but alas we can do no more.”

    If Obamacare doesn’t pan out, you can say “neener, neener, neener.

  150. Steve Wright says:

    (from that right-wing mouthpiece known as the San Jose news in the people’s republic of california)

    Cindy Vinson and Tom Waschura are big believers in the Affordable Care Act. They vote independent and are proud to say they helped elect and re-elect President Barack Obama.

    Yet, like many other Bay Area residents who pay for their own medical insurance, they were floored last week when they opened their bills: Their policies were being replaced with pricier plans that conform to all the requirements of the new health care law.

    Vinson, of San Jose, will pay $1,800 more a year for an individual policy, while Waschura, of Portola Valley, will cough up almost $10,000 more for insurance for his family of four….

    “I was laughing at Boehner — until the mail came today,”

    Waschura said, referring to House Speaker John Boehner, who is leading the Republican charge to defund Obamacare.

    “I really don’t like the Republican tactics, but at least now I can understand why they are so pissed about this. When you take $10,000 out of my family’s pocket each year, that’s otherwise disposable income or retirement savings that will not be going into our local economy.”

    Both Vinson and Waschura have adjusted gross incomes greater than four times the federal poverty level — the cutoff for a tax credit. And while both said they anticipated their rates would go up, they didn’t realize they would rise so much.

    “Of course, I want people to have health care,” Vinson said. “I just didn’t realize I would be the one who was going to pay for it personally.”

  151. Steve,
    Can I ask this? How do you know that the story above is Obamacare related and not just
    1.) greed and gouging by that insurance carrier
    2.) the employer just taking the opportunity to do a different split with the employees .. blaming Obamacare?

    I just signed up again for my company insurance during open enrollment last month and my plan stayed the same and my premiums remained the exact same as last year.

    What do you think is up?

  152. Steve Wright says:

    Their policies were being replaced with pricier plans that conform to all the requirements of the new health care law.
    Right there in the article, MLD.

    Did your employer offer you the exchanges? Did you sign that mandatory form that says you were offered the exchanges. Is your open enrollment the same as your renewal date (they are not always the case).

    I’m sure if I knew the details I could dig out an answer for you.

  153. #162
    Both your points just sounded like talking points for the next healthcare law.

    “Greedy insurance companies”
    “Greedy Corporations”

    I can hear the next cry….

    “The system is broken and we must do something!”

    After all everyone knows, it is never the fault of government regulations that prices rise.

    The government will never be held accountable when people like you always support hteir favorite fall guys.

    Way to be a talking head, MLD.

  154. But Derek – I didn’t say either of those terms.

    You on the other hand seem to be poised to defend those insurance companies to the end.

  155. Steve,
    I was offered the Exchange
    I imagine I signed a form – I know I had to read something online about the exchange.
    I couldn’t tell you about the open enrollment dates vs renewal dates since this is my first year with these guys.

    All I can say is that my plan and premiums remain the same.

  156. Scott says:

    j2theperson, ” It’s a good time to be “poor” in this country.”

    If you say so…

  157. Scott says:

    Secretary of Health and Human Services Sebelius on Obamacare, spoken like a true bureaucrat and scare monger.

  158. London says:

    We don’t agree very often, like ever, 😉
    But I just want to say thanks for being a voice on the “other” side of this debate.
    I get too aggravated to participate in healthcare debates in this blog, so I appreciate that there’s at least one person that’s able to speak about it in a calm matter and represent the non-rebulican side.

  159. Steve Wright says:

    Hi MLD,

    Won’t have time to do much of this today. As to your plan, first I am happy we have a success story – apparently “Obamacare didn’t screw up my plan” is the best we can hope for if all the other misery stories we have read on this board are also true.

    A couple things for my curiosity. Did EVERYONE’s rate at your plan stay the same too – and same coverages? You mentioned you are only a few months away from Medicare. I imagine rates for such ages not being looked at too carefully for changes and filings cause you are gone off the plan very soon. So just out of curiosity, ask around the water cooler, especially the younger guys, and see what you find.

    The other point is that I assume your company is not in a self-insured plan – and actually uses an insurance carrier to provide the insurance coverage. If so, and you don’t have to tell us what company, but do you have any thoughts as to why YOUR insurance company isn’t one of those greedy ones you are complaining about? Did they raise rates for other businesses anywhere in the state (or country)? Are they greedy if they felt they had to for others – but kind to you?

    Hey, maybe you SHOULD tell us the carrier so we all can sign up with them. 🙂

    Have a good day.

  160. Nonnie says:

    Having lived in the UK for 12 years and enjoying the incredible benefits of the National Health Service (NHS) I have been ashamed that the USA did not have something comparable to it for hard working, tax paying people. Anyone who works, pays into the NHS and gets the care they need. The money comes directly from your pay check, just like state and income tax does in the USA.

    We all know that there are people in the USA who are not working, or not paying taxes because they are in the states…some are not working and are on benefits, some are there illegally….. yet they get FREE medical care. For them, I am happy and thankful that their medical needs are being met. However, it is a disgrace that some people who work hard, pay taxes, yet they cannot afford to go to the doctor when they get a chest infection, or a bladder infection. How tragic that they must choose between buying groceries or paying for a doctor’s visit and a prescription. This seems so immoral to me. I have personally been in that situation and it is a horrible place to be.

    I see a need for affordable health care, but sadly, from what I am hearing, what is being offered it is not “affordable” for many working-class people. I don’t have an answer, but I sure do see the need.
    No answers, just hoping something good will come out of this.

  161. Jim says:

    Swiss to vote on $2,800 basic income for every adult

  162. Lutheran says:


    I heard the Swiss basic income thing debated last night on a progressive talk show, with the editor of Reason. The latter seemed to have no big problem with it, or with the idea that a mark of a civilized society is that there should be a social safety net.

    I was a little surprised. But I guess I shouldn’t have been surprised that libertarians don’t speak with one voice. In fact, I’d guess given that POV, it’s more like trying to herd cats. Which may be one reason there are no libertarian members of Congress.

  163. London says:

    I had a work permit when I was in the UK and was entitled to free health care there the whole time I was on it.
    There are some MAJOR issues with the NHS, mostly around wait times, that I would hope would never happen in the US, but I agree with Nonnie, that it is shameful in the country that working people paying taxes don’t have coverage.

    I recently volunteered at a large (treated nearly 1,000 patients) dental clinic and posted a photo or status on FB about how people were already lining up the day ahead of time to be treated.

    The response from one of my English friends was complete disbelief that in our country poor people had to “queue up” for something he took for granted. Of course, there could be 1 million jokes made about the state of dentistry in the UK, but that point remains, that to citizens of other countries, it’s shocking that our people have to stand in line for hours (over night actually) to be treated for things like this.

  164. Steve Wright says:

    I am not sure why dentistry is separated from health insurance in this country. Dental work due to an accident is not. And if you get some sort of disease from poor dental hygiene, the disease is still covered.

    Just another one of our stupid things in this country that probably started 40-50 years ago and nobody knows why.

    I have health insurance….but don’t have dental insurance.

    (London, it was very cool to see that outreach you were a part of a couple weeks ago)

  165. Jim says:

    Lute-libertarians speak with 100 voices. It’s frustrating and confusing, which is why it took me over a year of study to decide if I could use the term to describe myself.

    I’m anti federal intervention, which means:

    1. Anti interventionist foreign policy.
    2. Anti corporatist economics.
    3. Pro civil liberty and privacy.

    I guess I could just say “constitutionalist”, but that would be more confusing, and no one cares what the constitution says anyway.

    I guess you’re going to keep saying that there are no libertarian members of Congress until someone responds. I assume that you’re referring to party and not ideology, which is a mistake, as libertarianism is an ideology. Unfortunately, it seems to only be gaining traction in the GOP.

  166. 2. Anti corporatist economics.

    What does this one mean?

  167. Steve Wright says:

    I guess I could just say “constitutionalist”, but that would be more confusing, and no one cares what the constitution says anyway.
    I’ve never agreed with you more, Jim.

  168. Lutheran says:


    Maybe you guys should rent a room.


  169. j2theperson says:

    ***There are some MAJOR issues with the NHS, mostly around wait times, that I would hope would never happen in the US, but I agree with Nonnie, that it is shameful in the country that working people paying taxes don’t have coverage.***

    It really troubles me that poor people in this country get free health care and wealthy people can afford whatever insurance and care they need or want, but then there’s that whole space in between where health care is a major drain and worry. My family makes like ~$21,000 a year and, as a result, we qualify for Badgercare. Our health care is essentially completely free for us. We’re not suffering–we can afford our mortgage and our bills and our needs and our basic wants. So we really have every incentive to stay at this income level and not much incentive to rise above it unless we were able to quickly and substantially rise above it, because if we make too much money we suddenly have to pay a lot of money for health insurance so all the extra money we make would go to that and we’d basically be exactly where we are now except we’d be paying for our healthcare. It seems like there ought to be some way to change things so that people are better eased into having to completely pay for their own health care instead of just suddenly making only $2000 more a year and being expected to pay full freight.

  170. I am a “constitutionalist” too!

  171. London says:

    I make pretty decent money at the moment, not always, but at the moment.
    I’m currently a contract employee which means I get no insurance benefits.
    The cost is HUGE for me to buy it on my own, so I am looking forward to Obamacare kicking in. I will be automatically accepted and I will pay about 1/2 of what I would pay if I bought a plan today.

    I’m also a single person and thus, pay an HUGE amount of taxes which pays for other people to have free healthcare. I have no issue with that for those that need help. I think I have a bit of an issue for people who aren’t trying to make things better for themselves though.

    For me, and only speaking for myself here, Obamacare seems to even some of that burden out. No, it won’t lower my taxes, of course, but it will allow me to use some of my own money for something other than a crazy individual insurance premium.

    Also, people who, like my nephew who has type 1 diabetes since childhood, and are over 21 now, are able to stay on their parents insurance till they are 26.
    That keeps them off the medicaid rolls while they are attending college and/or working at entry level jobs.

    This site is very much right leaning any more, so I will take my leave of the conversation and let you guys have at it.
    Just felt like I should speak my mind for my own benefit really.

  172. Jim says:

    That’s the problem, MLD. Everyone is. Even people like you who say things like, “I’m sure there’s an amendment somewhere that addresses that…..” You can find your quote yourself.

    In response to your question above, the end of corporate welfare and crony capitalism, which bears no resemblance to free market capitalism. This is not partisan, as both sides are guilty as heck.

  173. Jim, like you I am for absolutely zero going to the private sector …for any reason. i am also against any cost overrides on government contract. Companies need to hire better estimators.

  174. Jim,
    “That’s the problem, MLD. Everyone is. Even people like you who say things like,”

    I just have a broader view, and I think most Supreme Court decision back me up. There is more to being an American than going to war and driving on interstate highways.

  175. Ricky Bobby says:

    Agreeing a lot with Jim. I’m more his version of Libertarian.

  176. Jim says:


    My bet is that you, and all the left leaning people here agree with the following.

    1. Anti interventionist foreign policy.
    2. Anti corporatist economics.
    3. Pro civil liberty and privacy.

    I think that only Washington elites support corporate bailouts and subsidies. I think only neo-cons and “support the prez at all costs” folks disagree with #1 & 3.

    I think that social safety nets are the point of contention, and no one here has been interested in serious dialog, because presumption is just so fun on the internet…. 🙂

  177. Jim says:

    …but I’ve been wrong before…

  178. jamesk says:

    What is more of a shame is that the Christian Church in this country has ignored “The least of these” in this country to the point they now look to the government and not the church for help.

  179. London says:

    I prefer to speak for myself thanks Jim.

  180. London says:

    I don’t think it’s an either/or thing. The Church isn’t some institution that is designed to be helping any way…it’s designed to be made up of the least of these, and the most of these and the in-between of these.

    We forget that some times when we try to be “helpers” instead of includers. (yes i made up that word, but i like it)

  181. Steve Wright says:

    Healthcare advancements have been so wonderful that the church today (at least in America) lives in a totally different world than any time in the past.

    If someone years ago got cancer, the church was there to help them die peacefully, hopefully without significant pain if at all possible, to try and keep them comfortable, a cold washcloth, change bedpans etc.

    Someone comes up to you today and says I was just diagnosed with cancer – it very possibly (and even likely if early enough) is NOT a death sentence – but the church can’t do anything of consequence to help fight the cancer per se. It can still do what it always has done, help with meals, the person’s childcare while they are recovering from chemo, rides to the hospital etc.

    Hopefully we all can agree to be against ANY future healthcare system where A) bureacrats ration care and B) the government makes it illegal for health professionals to serve the public outside of the government monopoly.

    I’m worried about going down both of those roads as a country in the not too distant future.

  182. Jim says:


    So speak for yourself. I’m honestly interested. I understand that these topics can create hostility, particularly if we’re assuming what the “other side” believes. Is dialog impossible here?

  183. Xenia says:

    “Looking to the church for help” sounds pious, but how can the church help someone who just lost their job and has a $2000 monthly house payment, which is common here in CA? Or an uninsured family that has a $20,000 hospital bill for having a normal birth? Maybe a small church can help one or two of these people for a short amount of time but not for long. Even with the best of intentions, the well will dry up.

  184. London says:

    Honestly, I get enough dialog and discussion on healthcare topics every day at work since it’s my industry.
    I don’t come to this blog to get involved in debates in politics, and I’m definitely not interested in “sides”. So, it looks like you’ll have to get your political fix elsewhere.

  185. Xenia says:

    Also….. an awful lot of Christians are awfully picky about who they choose to help.

    And what about those folks who don’t have a church? Shall we let them die? Or starve?

    I have told this story before about the time I took a road trip with a group of Tea Party ladies who spent the whole trip condemning Obama to hell (“He’s the anti-christ for sure”) but when we got out of the car they marched past all the homeless people without a second glance. Yeah, I really want to be in the icy cold hands of those ladies….

  186. Xenia says:

    I am not a supporter of Obama, however.

    (Just because I have compassion for the poor does not mean I am an Obama supporter.)

  187. Steve Wright says:

    Also….. an awful lot of Christians are awfully picky about who they choose to help.
    And what about those folks who don’t have a church? Shall we let them die? Or starve?
    Good point Xenia.

    Having said that, recently we went through another round where the supermarket gift cards we give to the very poor and homeless in our community, who do not have any connection to our church, were once more being sold on the street for 25-50 cents on the dollar for cash to buy drugs.

    What happens is the word gets out and all of a sudden we have a steady line of people show up all asking for gift cards. Literally saying “Hi, I heard I could get some supermarket gift cards here”

    We also have connections to a local food bank and when we encourage these people in that direction they have no interest. They want the cards, or they leave.

    So once more we have to go back to saying foodbank or nothing, then the word on the street gets out again, and we stop having the line.

    Then we can go back to trying to help people one-on-one with our limited resources. The cards are meant to supplement the foodbank and thus round out the needs for a person – since the foodbank is always uncertain as to what particular food might be available that week. One week they may have bread but no peanut butter, another week peanut butter but no bread.

    It’s a good system – until it is abused.

  188. Jim says:


    I’ll be just fine without your input or hostility. Sorry for trying to understand someone who disagrees with me. What would the world come to if we all did that?

  189. Ixtlan says:

    One of the great things about blogging is that if you don’t like the topic of the conversation, you don’t have to read it nor do you have to comment on it.

  190. Xenia says:

    Here’s what I think:

    As civilizations advance, all the members of society benefit. We all benefit from the eradication of smallpox and polio, for example. We all can trust that the water that comes out of the faucet is safe to drink. We all trust that (most of the time) the food being sold in the stores is safe to eat and that (most of the time) the food served in a restaurant has been prepared according to regulations, subject to inspection. We trust that the bottle of aspirin we buy really contains aspirin and are not sugar pills. We trust that the bridges won’t collapse and that kids will get to go to school until grade twelve. These are things we have come to expect because we live in a society that has advanced to this degree.

    I do not understand why health care cannot be included among the things that a person who lives in an advanced society can come to expect.

  191. Ixtlan says:

    “(Just because I have compassion for the poor does not mean I am an Obama supporter.)”

    That was funny.

  192. Xenia says:

    Should be, in that last line, “cannot” come to respect.

  193. Xenia says:

    Cannot come to “expect”

    That’s a complicated sentence, even without the typos

  194. Ixtlan says:

    “I do not understand why health care cannot be included among the things that a person who lives in an advanced society can come to expect.”

    I agree Xenia. It is an injustice in our country where many working poor are simply priced out of the ability to provide healthcare for themselves. And the government, as usual, just makes the situation worse.

  195. Steve Wright says:

    And yet, it seems the focus of the present debate centers more on money, than providing healthcare. Health insurance is NOT healthcare. It is a means to pay for healthcare, like the government tax dollars are another means, like cash in your pocket is a means.

    a complaint from Obamacare supporters was that so many uninsured people were getting healthcare needs met in the emergency room, and then sticking society with the bill. That argument does not have to do with healthcare access…but MONEY. The love of which is the root of all evil. Almost all people want to provide a safety net, (yes even conservatives) – few people want to sacrifice to provide a free ride for someone who is capable of providing for himself with a little sacrifice (yes, even liberals).

    Of course, we also recognize that if affordable healthcare were available for people, they often would not even need the emergency room, and their care needs (and costs) would be a fraction of what they end up being when they are forced to resort to the ER. So this is a very complicated issue.

    Made more complicated by the tremendous advances we have in our particular nation. Advances we can thank a system that rewards with profit. Rewards skilled surgeons, rewards improved machines, improved drugs, improved medical devices – all after years of experimentation or training, and tremendous financial investment.

    Some of what is called “healthcare” is very, very expensive. Even experimental in nature, with no guarantee of recovery.

    Expensive stuff in society is always, always rationed by price. If that can’t happen, the rationing will take place by other means – namely bureaucratic decisions. But who wants that?

    it is a complicated, and emotional issue indeed. I don’t know where the church fits into it – except to the extent of Christians using their God-given vocations to do what is right.

    And as to anyone touching something to do with medicine….first…do no harm.

  196. j2theperson says:

    ***“Looking to the church for help” sounds pious, but how can the church help someone who just lost their job and has a $2000 monthly house payment, which is common here in CA? Or an uninsured family that has a $20,000 hospital bill for having a normal birth? Maybe a small church can help one or two of these people for a short amount of time but not for long. Even with the best of intentions, the well will dry up.***

    I agree. I mean, people complain all the time about the government taking money from them and giving it to other people, but if you’re advocating for the church to start handling peoples’ healthcare then the same thing is going to happen. The money the church would need to use to help people would be coming out of your pocket, and it would probably need to take a lot more of your money in order to pay for peoples’ healthcare than the government takes from you.

    It just doesn’t seem feasible for the church to be providing for peoples’ healthcare needs, and I suspect that if the church ever was put in charge of that that people would dislike the constant demand/drain on their pocket book from that way more than they dislike their current taxes they pay to a secular government.

  197. Jim says:

    I wonder if it’s possible to do the math. I have no idea how large or how rich the church is in America. 50 million people? 200 bucks a person equals $10 billion. 20 million? $500. The SBC claims 16 million members.

    As the war on poverty has proven, throwing money around (including govt employee pay), is merely a band-aid. A faith-based initiative could include training to show people how to achieve self sufficiency.

    I need Bono’s phone number. 🙂 I also need sleep, because this is obviously crazy talk….

  198. Steve Wright says:

    Gates, Buffett, Ellison, the Koch Brothers, the 4 Walton heirs, Bloomberg – 10 people.

    A 10% wealth tax on just these ten people raises 40 BILLION dollars. It would dwarf anything the members of all the churches in America could reasonably raise for this problem.

    And they likely would make almost all of it back with the investment returns on their 90% they have left.

    If we expanded it beyond the top ten, and maybe bumped the tax to 15-20%, we could bring in some real money!

  199. j2theperson says:

    ***I wonder if it’s possible to do the math. I have no idea how large or how rich the church is in America. 50 million people? 200 bucks a person equals $10 billion. 20 million? $500. The SBC claims 16 million members.***

    But those people are not evenly distributed across all churches. I cannot imagine a way in which the people of my church with 200 members maybe would be able to pay for the cancer treatment or the long-term care or the c-section and baby nicu stay for one or two members. It seems utterly unfeasible.

    But say there was some kind of big parachurch organization. It would need to have paid employees–people to create an organizational structure, people to oversee the money, people to manage the employees, people to interact with all of the millions of people who need healthcare assistance, people to process claims and pay healthcare providers, people to weed out fraud and overstated/misstated claimed both from people seeking assistance and from healthcare providers seeking payment.

    I don’t see how the church could competently do any of that.

    And from an emotional/spiritual perspective, at least when the government screws up, refuses your claim, engages in fraud, overpays its employees or whatever it’s just the government doing that. Being pissed off about the government is a national sport. But if it’s a *church* doing all of those things, well, suddenly, in the minds of many wounded people it’s not just lame bureaucrats doing them wrong it’s God Himself abandoning them and casting them aside and misusing their money to His own selfish ends. That’s not a good thing.

  200. j2theperson says:

    Beyond that, $10 billion may sound like a lot of money but it’s a drop in the bucket compared to what the government currently actually spends on health care which, as far as I can tell, is anywhere from $732 billion to $1 trillion.

  201. jamesk says:

    @195 The same with government. The problem with socialism is you eventually run out of other people’s money.

  202. Xenia says:

    What about those of you who, for various reasons, no longer attend a church? Will you voluntarily give money to some church in town that you don’t even attend?

    “Let the church take care of it” are not words that shouls be uttered by people who do not regularly attend and support a church.

    Think about it: some people are so disgusted with churches that they can’t bring themselves to join in with any of them for worship yet they are going to give, say, $200 per family member, to one of these churches (which one, I wonder?) to pay for health care? You don’t trust them enough to put money in their collection plates to do the work of God but you will trust them to use your money to take care of people’s medical expenses?

    And what people will be recipients of this largesse, anyway? As I have noted, Christians are very picky about who they judge as worthy of their help.

    And what about those dear-to-God churches where most of the people are very poor? Appalachia? Inner city?

    What about home fellowships? What if five or six people meet in a living room for prayer and study? If one of them, an uninsured person, has a heart attack? Do you expect the rest of the group to pay his hospital bill, which can reach into the hundreds of thousands of dollars? What if, upon receiving the bill, the rest of the people decide to quit the fellowship? Who pays the bill? Are the other members legally bound to pay it? When you join a church, are you, in effect, signing a contract to be financially responsible for the health care of the poorer people of your group? Will all churches be forced to have membership lists? Will the members be sent a bill each month to cover the health care of the members? (And I am not even talking about humanitarian aid for families who are out of work, etc.)

    Will your local church start telling you not to have so many kids, you are using up all our funds? We’ll pay for one or two kids, after that you are on your own?

    Those of you who value your freedom above all things. What will you do when your local church begins to tell you you’d better lose some weight or quit smoking or start exercising or else they will not pay for your health care? (Only those who can afford health care may eat that extra piece of pie at the pot luck. People are watching!)

    All you pastor-haters out there. You don’t trust them with your soul. Are you going to trust them with your body?

  203. Xenia says:

    AND, if “the church” (whatever is meant by that) is expected to replace public assistance, imagine how unwelcome the poor will become in many churches. If you are a poor sick person with a large family, few churches will be happy to see you come through their doors because in one month such a family can deplete an entire benevolence fund.. Churches will cater to the young,rich and healthy even more than they already do.

    Big rich churches (which we often criticize here) are in a position to help more people than small, poor churches. They can have a large benevolence fund. To fill this fund, will members be taxed? Will a monthly bill be sent to members? When the fund runs dry, will the tax to members be raised? Will rich members be assessed more than poorer members? Who will be given the job of deciding who will pay how much? Talk about potential for abuse!

    Small parishes will be abandoned because they lack the funds to pay for the open-heart surgery of an uninsured member. Big churches will grow even bigger and will become even more bureaucratic.

    Imagine your health care in the hands of one of those Moses Model pastors we all love to criticize here. He’s a god, deciding who will or won’t get the operation. Who will or will not live.

    If hospital bills weren’t so high, and if rent were cheap, maybe we could return to a medieval-style system of church-operated charity. Maybe we could return to leeches, blood-letting, and herbs from the forest, which are cheaper than open heart surgery and chemo. Along with the blessing of advanced medical care- you know, something that might actually save your life- comes the curse of extremely high medical costs, costs that cannot be covered in a fair way by most local churches.

  204. Xenia says:

    And if you don’t want to leave charity in the hands of the local church, do you want to see it in the hands of some national church organization? Maybe the National Council of Churches? With all those liberals? Who will spend your money on sex-change operations?

  205. Xenia says:

    My daughter recently had an excruciating pain in her side. She went to a Doc-in-a-Box. They thought it was appendicitis and told her to go the hospital emergency room ASAP. She went and they determined she had a kidney stone. The bill was $15,000. Can you believe that? She happened to have insurance. We have many family members who do not have insurance. Fifteen thousand dollars to be told you have a kidney stone. *That* is why it is unrealistic to expect “the church” to take care of the medical bills of the uninsured.

  206. Xenia says:

    Jim, you mention business opportunities and self-sufficiency. Are you talking about an MLM? (Multi-level marketing.)

  207. Xenia says:

    j2, I completely agree with you.

    I know a man who left Christianity because the women of his church would not provide free baby-sitting for his daughter. He blamed God. This is unreasonable, but he is not unique. Sure, we can say that these people were not “real” Christians in the first place but why add stumbling blocks?

  208. “pastor-haters”…

    pastor-haters, sittin’ right there on the bench next to me…

    They was mean and nasty and ugly and horrible crime-type guys sitting on the bench next to me…

    …oh, sorry, flashback, carry on…

    ( G-Am7-G) / C – A7 – / D7 G7 C G-Am7-G / C – A7 – /
    / D7 – G7 – / C – C7 – / F – F#dim7

  209. Xenia says:

    Thanks, Arlo.

  210. erunner says:

    Xenia, $15K!!! I’ve had more than my share of kidney stones but I don’t recall bills like that.

    What has always irked me are when a person stays in the hospital and you check each line item on the bill. Talk about gouging. Seems to me you could reduce costs in medical care by reigning in the price gouging that is a part of the system. It wouldn’t eradicate the issues before us but I think we’d be surprised how those dollars add up on a national scale.

  211. Steve Wright says:

    There are a lot of social welfare areas other than expensive healthcare where the church and private charity COULD pick up the ball, and thus reduce the tax burden required for THOSE programs….not to mention just getting the federal government out of much of that and letting the states do what they want and tax people as they need to fund it.

    Do this in addition to the many other things we talk about the federal government wasting money on (foreign aid, crony capitalism etc.) and we could bring the tax burden down a lot and open the door for Americans, who are a giving people for the most part (Christian and non-Christian alike) to have more of their money to do with as they want to help their neighbor.

    And even if they choose to not help anyone but spend it on themselves, that still helps people in the economy and allows THEIR incomes to rise.

  212. Jim says:


    You asked me about MLM before, and I answered. I’m not sure if this is a fixation of yours, or if you googled me. I made some money in MLM in the late 90’s, but saw behind the curtain. I haven’t had anything to do with the industry since 2000. I don’t see it as a viable business model for the average person.

  213. Jim says:

    My pondering aloud was in regards to feeding the poor as a first step. Seemed to be the practice in Acts 6.

  214. Jim says:

    Starting at Acts 4:32

  215. Xenia says:

    #222 @ Jim, thanks for answering. I didn’t remember you answering it before, which is why I kept asking. Many people (often very conservative people) get caught up in MLMs but as you say, it’s not a viable business model.

  216. Jim says:


    It was during the food stamp discussion. We agreed on something like helping someone start a window washing business.

  217. Xenia says:

    Jim, I remember that conversation but I don’t recall you saying “no” to the MLM question specifically. I know a lot of people who want what they called “financial freedom” and “having their own business” who fall for MLMs. But not you, so thanks for the explanation and sorry for badgering you about it.

  218. Jim says:

    No worries. Don’t forget that I’m half Greek, so I always have 4 or 5 business ideas floating around in my head. None involve a diner 🙂 , but food trucks are hot these days.

  219. Xenia says:

    A souvlaki truck with freshly fried loukoumades for dessert would be awesome!

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