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Re: “Arizona ACA Enrollment Down 3.3 Percent. Cost For People With Subsidies Down 13.3 Percent.

What, Again,

I often wonder about the derivation of your name. What Again? Or is it Again What? Is that British? Scottish? Welsh? OK I'm kidding, I know lots of people who are afraid to sign their names to posts.

Like I said, we (my family and friends) are glad I made it and wish every one had access to this sort of coverage allowing them to live full lives without the fear of impending financial doom or bankruptcy. The only way to get there is to join the rest of the free word (not a pun) and provide a single payer healthcare system. Or else we could just let folks who can't afford insurance drop dead.

But with a majority of US households unable to weather a $5,000 emergency much less one approaching $100 grand I'd say the procedure is certainly worth the money and hope anyone going through this sort of crisis is provided the care needed to save his/her life.

Even you, What, Again... or Again What.

21 likes, 2 dislikes
Posted by Rick Spanier on 03/22/2017 at 2:41 PM

Re: “Does This Mean We Can Call It McSallyCare Now?

"You have to wonder why..." I suppose the obvious answer is she was offered a political plum in return. I just hope, for her sake, it was more than a letter from Paul Ryan suitable for framing. What's the going rate for betraying the public trust?

51 likes, 2 dislikes
Posted by Concerned Citizen on 03/22/2017 at 2:08 PM

Re: “Does This Mean We Can Call It McSallyCare Now?

She didn't have to walk the plank on this. Other GOP Reps have been willing to stand up to Trump and Ryan to protect their constituents. Here's Rep. LoBiondi of NJ: "Simply put, this bill does not meet the standards of what was promised; it is not as good as or better than what we currently have. Accordingly, I will vote no on this healthcare plan."

58 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by Teresa Zimmerman on 03/22/2017 at 2:05 PM

Re: “Does This Mean We Can Call It McSallyCare Now?

She and about a hundred other GOP reps demanded these changes to keep their constituents quiet.


33 likes, 3 dislikes
Posted by SonoranWinds on 03/22/2017 at 1:57 PM

Re: “Local Danish Bakery Serves Up Savory Desserts

Address? Hours?

5 likes, 4 dislikes
Posted by StrawHousePig on 03/22/2017 at 1:42 PM

Re: “Arizona ACA Enrollment Down 3.3 Percent. Cost For People With Subsidies Down 13.3 Percent.


Wasn't your life saving procedure worth the 85k? If it's not worth you paying it sure isn't worth it to me.

2 likes, 23 dislikes
Posted by What, Again on 03/22/2017 at 12:03 PM

Re: “Arizona ACA Enrollment Down 3.3 Percent. Cost For People With Subsidies Down 13.3 Percent.

Rick your story is absolutely amazing. Congratulations my friend.

I have to wonder though, when Part B medicare is $109 per month, how many $85,000 procedures they can fund. Do you fully understand and trust the US Government's accounting procedures and ability to deficit spend?

They can't trim a tree branch using a cost effective method. Need I mention simple road repairs? I see bigger problems coming, because of lack of discipline and honesty.

5 likes, 16 dislikes
Posted by Larry McNeil on 03/22/2017 at 11:11 AM

Re: “Arizona ACA Enrollment Down 3.3 Percent. Cost For People With Subsidies Down 13.3 Percent.

Your Average Jane Citizen

Thank you for your illuminating post! ACA was a start that is now fizzling out, especially for people like you and your husband. Republicare will more than likely make matters even worse for hardworking families leaving a single payer option the only obvious solution for those who are being gutted by healthcare costs. A personal note: I am pushing 70 and on Medicare. In July I suffered a life threatening heart attack and survived due to some fantastic care at Banner UMC. The total bill was pushing $85K and we wound up with out of pocket costs of less than $2,500. We wish every one had access to this sort of coverage allowing them to live full lives without the fear of impending financial doom or bankruptcy. This healthcare scam in the US is sickening - literally.

22 likes, 2 dislikes
Posted by Rick Spanier on 03/22/2017 at 10:51 AM

Re: “Arizona ACA Enrollment Down 3.3 Percent. Cost For People With Subsidies Down 13.3 Percent.

I take huge issue with this statement in the article:

"While no one wants to pay the full cost of ACA health care, which averages $611 a month, the top 20 percent who make over a hundred grand can manage it. "

It is disingenuous to say what those who make over $100k can manage. You have no idea what our circumstances are, the sacrifices we have made to get to this place.

No, I do not want to pay $1400 a month in insurance premiums, not when I paid $650 last year for better coverage! Also, my husband and I built out business ourselves. It is what supports us. We took out no loans. We started it after my husband had been laid off three times during the recession. Our business is service-based, and our income can vary. It can be feast or famine some months. There have been months when we have had billables out but no income in. But we purposely dave money for these down times so we can ride it out. Why should we be punished for doing so?

All this to say, why should OUR long hours, weekends, no vacations, and time away from our daughter building a life to support ourselves and our family with no government aid be used against us? We choose to work these long hours so we can get ahead. We choose to live in a small house, one that we can actually afford rather than over-extend ourselves and take out more debt. We chose to pay off our student loan debt early rather than be burdened by it well into our forties. We choose to drive fourteen-year-old cars that are worth maybe $1500 rather than upgrade every couple years like a lot of those around us. The cost of our monthly premium could easily cover two new car payments each month! Why should our good work and the way we choose to save money for our retirement and daughter's education be taken from us and used against us?

I am a supporter of universal healthcare. The only way to make it fair and right is for everyone to be taxed equally and have equal access to care.

That said, the system we have now is bananas and for those of us who are self-employed, getting no subsidies, working long hours, and not getting a break, it is not right or fair that my hard work should cover others in this manner. We purposely choose to live a frugal, saving lifestyle. I do not want to be punished for it. Or heck. I guess I could just choose to cut back our hours and work, buy two new cars (which I could afford with the cost of our monthly premium), and take a vacation. I could really use a vacation! Or even a trip to the doctor's office without having to worry if that sonogram my husband needs will even be covered!

13 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by Your Average Jane Citizen on 03/22/2017 at 10:32 AM

Re: “Retooled

$9.50 for a burger, no sides. Want fries? $4 more. Maybe a beer too? $6. Meal for one, $20 before tax and tip.

This is the same price as getting a burger/fries/beer at nearby establishments like Ermanos or Pasco, both of which source as much of their food from local farms and ranches as possible. Where is this new place getting their meat from?

Does this stuff matter? I think people care about this info and want to know how much something costs and what they are getting for their money. If there is better quality food in the area at the same price point, that is significant. Step it up TW!

This 'review' smells like an advertisement.

10 likes, 11 dislikes
Posted by HumanBean on 03/22/2017 at 9:39 AM

Re: “Arizona ACA Enrollment Down 3.3 Percent. Cost For People With Subsidies Down 13.3 Percent.

Thank you Rick! A rational and intelligent analysis and response. Non-Profit health care is the only way to go. There are ZERO rational arguments against it. We need to wake people up!

23 likes, 4 dislikes
Posted by HumanBean on 03/22/2017 at 8:06 AM

Re: “Arizona ACA Enrollment Down 3.3 Percent. Cost For People With Subsidies Down 13.3 Percent.

The impact of the horror stories above from real people virtually priced out of the market with access limited to to a single provider and few doctors are far more compelling than Safier's latest self deprecating attempt at policy analysis. The view from 40,000 feet is clear, the US is the only western democracy on earth with a health care system designed to generate profits at the expense of universal coverage and health outcomes consistent with the wealthiest nation on the planet. The answer to this dilemma is clear, you only have to remove the blinders and take a look at how other western democracies handle health care coverage and ask why the hell can't we do the same?

24 likes, 4 dislikes
Posted by Rick Spanier on 03/22/2017 at 7:49 AM

Re: “Arizona ACA Enrollment Down 3.3 Percent. Cost For People With Subsidies Down 13.3 Percent.

I'm sorry you didn't understand my comment humanbean. But there is no need to call me crazy. You see, you fall into the same trap that many liberals do. You focus on the outcome and then the process be damned, you want your outcome. But the end does not justify the means. And had you understood my "illegals" comment you would know that I did not coin the phrase "doing the jobs that Americans won't do." The left did, in trying to rationalize another "outcome" desire. The US health insurance industry subsidized R&D for drug makers with our premium dollars while foreign countries took advantage of much of that money spent to bring drugs to market. Our costs skyrocketed because of the FDA approval process.

My premiums are up 300% since the ACA was enacted. My deductible increased 40 fold. I didn't realize how good I had it.

I want the old system back where I had choice. Right now I have little if no coverage, while spending mass amounts of premium dollars to subsidize another "outcome" forced desire.

4 likes, 20 dislikes
Posted by Larry McNeil on 03/22/2017 at 7:34 AM

Re: “Arizona ACA Enrollment Down 3.3 Percent. Cost For People With Subsidies Down 13.3 Percent.

To Your Average Jane Citizen,
Yes, they have us paying in alternate universes. We can't afford to use our expensive health insurance so we buy memberships at Urgent Cares and, in your case, a direct care practice. The advertised numbers do not account for these additional costs, though I'm certain the government and corporations are fully aware of it since they are making big money from it.

I would not go to a doctor in my ACA network either. I went a couple times and that was enough. I would never trust them with a child.

8 likes, 1 dislike
Posted by Jean on 03/21/2017 at 9:04 PM

Re: “Editors Note

A free press needs to do its job. The problem is very few media outlets have the capability to do the reporting that is necessary to keep clowns honest. There are ten million stories a day and almost no one doing them, especially positive stories. There are hundreds of successes, and teachers busting their butts everyday in TUSD and all you hear is TUSD has one foot in the grave and the other on a banana peel. There are hundreds of truly monstrous bills in the cesspool called the Arizona legislature, and you hear about almost none of them. We need a strong free press, that is what I heard constantly at the book festival and it's true.

17 likes, 2 dislikes
Posted by Frances Perkins on 03/21/2017 at 8:47 PM

Re: “Grandmas, the Declaration of Independence and Cursive

Bravo, Kate Gladstone.

Really interesting post - thanks for taking the time to provide the source information as well.

Posted by Parent X on 03/21/2017 at 8:12 PM

Re: “Arizona ACA Enrollment Down 3.3 Percent. Cost For People With Subsidies Down 13.3 Percent.

We are the only industrialized nation with a for-profit health insurance system. Some nations have public non-profit systems, other nations have privately run non-profit systems but most have hybrids. Is your contention that the rest of the world is using 'illegal doctors'?

Seriously, your response had a heavy whiff of 'Their gonna take out jobs' crazy in it..... Hard to rationally respond to crazy but here goes...

As for Pharmaceutical R&D, more than half of R&D dollars in this country is already public money, take into account the tax credits they get on the other 40% and we are footing the bill for more than 65% of the R&D right now, maybe higher. That's right you are subsidizing their profits. This is how it works in America. Wake the fuck up!

As to not messing with it, you are aware that the highest increases in health care costs by percentage occurred under George W Bush, before Obama care, right? Costs were jumping 40%+ per year. Obamacare was just frosting on an already shitty cake, and it was written by the industry. Just like this new bill.

Nobody is asking for perfection, we just want a system similar to those that are already working everywhere else in the world, where people get more coverage, more care and the pay far less. Their systems are not perfect, but they are much better than anything we have ever had.

29 likes, 5 dislikes
Posted by HumanBean on 03/21/2017 at 8:07 PM

Re: “Grandmas, the Declaration of Independence and Cursive

Handwriting matters but does cursive matter? The research is surprising. For instance, it has been documented that legible cursive writing averages no faster than printed handwriting of equal or greater legibility. (Sources for all research are listed below.)

More recently, it has also been documented that cursive does NOT objectively improve the reading, spelling, or language of students who have dyslexia/dysgraphia.
This is what I'd expect from my own experience, by the way. As a handwriting teacher and remediator, I see numerous children, teens, and adults dyslexic and otherwise for whom cursive poses even more difficulties than print-writing. (Contrary to myth, reversals in cursive are common a frequent cursive reversal in my caseload, among dyslexics and others, is J/f.)
Other issues with cursive, for many students whose visual and/or motor talents are less than average, include the difficulty that is accidentally created by assuming that all letters can start in the baseline all the time (since this doesn't work for any letter that follows a cursive b, o, v, or w).

According to comparative studies of handwriting speed and legibility in different forms of writing, the fastest, clearest handwriters avoid cursive although they are not absolute print-writers either. The highest speed and highest legibility in handwriting are attained by those who join only some letters, not all: joining only the most easily joined letter-combinations, leaving the rest unjoined, and using print-like shapes for letters whose printed and cursive shapes disagree.
(Other problems with cursive include the fact that starting every letter on the baseline forces cursive letters to change their shape and starting point whenever they follow a cursive letter b or o or v or w.)

Reading cursive still matters but reading cursive is much easier and quicker to master than writing the same way too.

Reading cursive, simply reading it, can be taught in just 30 to 60 minutes even to five- or six-year-olds (including those with dyslexia) once they read ordinary print. (All that's required is to show them, step by step, how the letter-shapes they already know gradually became the fancier ones that they sometimes see.)

Given the importance of reading cursive, why not simply teach this vital skill once children can read print instead of leaving it to depend upon wherher a child can "pick it up" by learning to write in cursive too?

We dont require our children to learn to make their own pencils (or build their own printing presses) before we teach them how to read and write. Why require them to write cursive before we teach them how to read it? Why not simply teach children to read cursive along with teaching other vital skills, such as a form of handwriting that is actually typical of effective handwriters?
Just as each and every child deserves to be able to read all kinds of everyday handwriting (including cursive), each and every one of our children dyslexic or not deserves to learn the most effective and powerful strategies for high-speed high-legibility handwriting performance.
Teaching material for practical handwriting abounds especially in the UK and Europe, where such handwriting is taught at least as often as the accident-prone cursive which is venerated by too many North American educators. Some examples, in several cases with student work also shown:…,,,…,,,,, )

Even in the USA and Canada, educated adults increasingly quit cursive. In 2012, handwriting teachers across North America were surveyed at a conference hosted by Zaner-Bloser, a publisher of cursive textbooks. Only 37% wrote in cursive; another 8% printed. The majority 55% wrote with some elements resembling print-writing, others resembling cursive.
(If you would like to take part in another, ongoing poll of handwriting forms not hosted by a publisher, and not restricted to teachers visit for the One-Question Handwriting Survey, created by this author. As with the Zaner-Bloser teacher survey, so far the results show very few purely cursive handwriters and even fewer purely printed writers. Most handwriting in the real world 75% of the response totals, so far consists of print-like letters with occasional joins.)
When even most handwriting teachers do not themselves use cursive, why glorify it?

Believe it or not, some of the adults who themselves write in an occasionally joined but otherwise print-like handwriting tell me that they are teachers who still insist that their students must write in cursive, and/or who still teach their students that all adults habitually and normally write in cursive and always will. (Given the facts on our handwriting today, this is a little like teaching kids that our current president is Richard Nixon.)

What, I wonder, are the educational and psychological effects of teaching, or trying to teach, something that the students can probably see for themselves is no longer a fact?
Cursive's cheerleaders (with whom Ive had some stormy debates) sometimes allege that cursive has benefits which justify absolutely anything said or done to promote that form of handwriting. The cheerleaders for cursive repeatedly state (sometimes in sworn testimony before school boards and state legislatures) that cursive cures dyslexia or prevents it, that it makes you pleasant and graceful and intelligent, that it adds brain cells, that it instills proper etiquette and patriotism, or that it confers numerous other blessings which are no more prevalent among cursive users than among the rest of the human race. Some claim research support citing studies that invariably prove to have been misquoted or otherwise misrepresented by the claimant.

So far, whenever a devotee of cursive claims the support of research, one or more of the following things has become evident as soon as others examined the claimed support:

/1/ either the claim provides no source (and no source is provided on request)

or, almost as often,

/2/ when sources are cited and can be checked (by finding and reading the cited document), the sources provided turn out to include and/or to reference materials which are misquoted or incorrectly represented by the person(s) offering these as support for cursive,

or, even more often,

/3/ the claimant correctly quotes/cites a source which itself indulges in either /1/ or /2/.

Cursive devotees' eagerness to misrepresent research has substantial consequences, as the misrepresentations are commonly made under oath in testimony before school districts, state legislatures, and other bodies voting on educational measures. The proposals for cursive are, without exception so far, introduced by legislators or other spokespersons whose misrepresentations (in their own testimony) are later revealed although investigative reporting of the questionable testimony does not always prevent the bill from passing into law, even when the discoveries include signs of undue influence on the legislators promoting the cursive bill? (Documentation on request: I am willing to be interviewed by anyone who is interested in bringing this serious issue inescapably before the publics eyes and ears.)
By now, youre probably wondering: What about cursive and signatures? Will we still have legally valid signatures if we stop signing our names in cursive? Brace yourself: in state and federal law, cursive signatures have no special legal validity over any other kind. (Hard to believe? Ask any attorney!)
Questioned document examiners (these are specialists in the identification of signatures, the verification of documents, etc.) inform me that the least forgeable signatures are the plainest. Most cursive signatures are loose scrawls: the rest, if they follow the rules of cursive at all, are fairly complicated: these make a forger's life easy.

All handwriting, not just cursive, is individual just as all handwriting involves fine motor skills. That is why any first-grade teacher can immediately identify (from the print-writing on unsigned work) which of 25 or 30 students produced it.

Mandating cursive to preserve handwriting resembles mandating stovepipe hats and crinolines to preserve the art of tailoring.


Handwriting research on speed and legibility:

/1/ Arthur Dale Jackson. A Comparison of Speed and Legibility of Manuscript and Cursive Handwriting of Intermediate Grade Pupils.
Ed. D. Dissertation, University of Arizona, 1970: on-line at

/2/ Steve Graham, Virginia Berninger, and Naomi Weintraub. The Relation between Handwriting Style and Speed and Legibility. JOURNAL OF EDUCATIONAL RESEARCH, Vol. 91, No. 5 (May - June, 1998), pp. 290-296: on-line at…

/3/ Steve Graham, Virginia Berninger, Naomi Weintraub, and William Schafer. Development of Handwriting Speed and Legibility in Grades 1-9.
JOURNAL OF EDUCATIONAL RESEARCH, Vol. 92, No. 1 (September - October, 1998), pp. 42-52: on-line at…

Handwriting research on cursive's lack of observable benefit for students with dyslexia/dysgraphia:

"Does cursive handwriting have an impact on the reading and spelling performance of children with dyslexic dysgraphia: A quasi-experimental study." Authors: Lorene Ann Nalpon & Noel Kok Hwee Chia URL:…

Zaner-Bloser handwriting survey: Results on-line at…

Ongoing handwriting poll:

The research most often misrepresented by devotees of cursive (Neural Correlates of Handwriting" by Dr. Karin Harman-James at Indiana University):…

Background on our handwriting, past and present

2 solidly informed debunkings of the claims for cursive:……

3 videos, by a colleague, show why cursive is NOT a sacrament:



(shows how to develop fine motor skills WITHOUT cursive)

Yours for better letters,

Kate Gladstone
DIRECTOR, the World Handwriting Contest
CEO, Handwriting Repair/Handwriting That Works

1 like, 0 dislikes
Posted by Kate Gladstone on 03/21/2017 at 8:05 PM

Re: “Arizona ACA Enrollment Down 3.3 Percent. Cost For People With Subsidies Down 13.3 Percent.

If you eliminate the profit structure, how long will it be before we see illegals performing minor surgeries? Doctors income would be the next thing to go. Then R&D for pharmaceuticals.

Have you ever considered that maybe we should not have messed with it? Perfection is impossible.

6 likes, 28 dislikes
Posted by Larry McNeil on 03/21/2017 at 7:35 PM

Re: “Arizona ACA Enrollment Down 3.3 Percent. Cost For People With Subsidies Down 13.3 Percent.

David, to completely ignore the deductible side of the cost metric is really inappropriate. Just because people have health insurance does not mean they have health care. There is a difference.

Until we have a non-profit health care system we will continue to spend twice as much for half the care. It does not matter who's plan is in place. The issue is for-profit health care, not the ACA, not TrumpCare. Eliminate the profit structure, that is the only solution.

28 likes, 6 dislikes
Posted by HumanBean on 03/21/2017 at 6:54 PM

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