Obamacare Loophole Could Leave Doctors Holding the Bag for Unpaid Claims

President ObamaUS GovernmentI thought I'd lost my mind when I read a news reference to a three-month grace period health insurers must provide to customers who buy coverage through Obamacare exchanges and then don't pay premiums, but which could leave providers uncompensated for services rendered during the last two months of that grace period. As it turns out, though, I'm not the one who lost his mind — that honor belongs to the authors of the Affordable Care Act. Yes, the law really does require that insurers must keep deadbeats on their rolls for three months, but that they only have to pay claims submitted during the first month.

The Advisory Board, a research firm specializing in health care and higher education, has the details:

The loophole: A grace period for exchange purchasers

Under the final rules, qualifying health plans must offer a three month grace period to enrollees who receive advance payments for premium tax credit (offered to low-income enrollees in order to reduce out-of-pocket exchange costs) and miss a monthly premium payment. This will enhance continuity of care for those who cannot afford premiums for certain months due to job loss or other financial constraints.

Financial responsibility falls to providers

Qualified health plans are required to pay all claims in the first month of the grace period but can pend claims made in the second and third months, at which point the patient must pay either the claim or their exchange premium. If they cannot afford the payment, then claims during this second and third month can go uncompensated.

So what does this mean? Patients with unpaid claims face a tax penalty but are not charged with a rate increase, issued a repayment order, or even banned from participating in another exchange. In essence, enrollees can jump from one exchange plan to the next every four months—and still receive full health coverage.

If you're thinking that a consulting firm might just try to scare customers and potential customers, here's a similar write-up from a Summary of Final Rule on Establishment of Exchanges and Standards for Qualified Health Plans (PDF) from America's Health Insurance Plans, a trade organization. AHIP presents the rule as a victory, since earlier versions would have put them on the hook for all claims during that grace period.

Grace period for non-payment of premiums by individuals receiving advance payments of the premium tax credit. Under the final rules, qualified health plans must provide a grace period of three consecutive months if an enrollee receiving advance payments of the premium tax credit previously paid at least one month’s premium during the benefit year, consist ent with the proposed rules. However, the final rule requires qualified health plans to pay all appropriate claims during the first month of the grace period, but may pend claims in the second and third months of the grace period. The proposed rules would have required qualified health plans to pay all appropriate claims during the three month grace period.

A casual survey of available health care providers — I told my wife in between patient appointments — elicited a truly impressive string of profanity. No wonder, since the Advisory Board points out, "The loophole could take a serious toll on provider collections. Physicians may be left paying for a patients’ treatment during months two and three of the grace period, causing an uptick in bad debt collections."

Not too surprisingly, the Advisory Board suggests that small practices might want to consider refusing exchange plans, if they can, so that they don't, you know, go broke.

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  • Number 7||

    This is what makes it clear to me that the real end game for Obamacare is complete nationalized healthcare. Once it starts up and there are myriad problems, the only solution will be for the g'ment to take it all over.

  • Warrren||

    Yep. Fuck it up so they can suck it up.

  • ||

    Obama admitted long ago that single payer is the long term goal. That anyone thought that obamacare was anything other than an attempt to wreck the health care industry is laughable.

  • mr lizard||

    Ya but they are retarded. They shouldve just gone for broke back when they had both houses. Granted they would've gotten super crushed in 2010 and 2012 but not enough to overturn it. Now instead they'll likely never get back both houses and they'll be stuck with this beast forever. They will eventually have to kill it or loose everything and then team R will do it for them.

  • ||

    I don't know. When you look at what a colossal mess the act was, and then the fuckups we see coming through seem much more based on stupidity and completely not understanding human nature rather than active planning, and I just tend to think this is more incompetence than malice.

    I mean, do you think the Obama administration is capable of achieving anything other than being a purely political machine for a megalomaniac? Because all I've seen from them is idiotic mistakes, cronyism, and lying.

  • Warrren||

    I think they are trying to sandbag it but they are so incompetent that they just can't do it well.

  • robc||

    I think the authors of the bill were really trying, but the administration knew it would fail so they successfully sandbagged. This is why they didnt want a long debate about details.

  • Scarecrow Repair||

    I think you are right because that is how bureaucracies do everything. Their goal is building their empire, and it's better to get something in place just to get the ball rolling. Nancy Pelosi wasn't just joking when she said they had to pass it to find what's in it; that's how every bureaucratic program works.

    It's like rushing software to market to beat the competition, knowing the product sucks, but also knowing that it only has to work well enough in a few enticing areas to get people hooked and willing to wait for version 2.0 to get more features.

  • JW||

    Let's call it Incompemalice. Or malicepentence.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    I have a right to your medical services!

  • Austrian Anarchy||

    That is pretty much the size of this one. No doubt the authors of that section exclaimed something along the lines of, "Those doctors are rich, they can handle it."

  • Atanarjuat||

    Every time I read a story like this I have second thoughts about trying to go to medical school.

  • Warrren||

    Go to med school and then hook up with an all-cash place.

    Or outfit a van full of supplies and equipment and be a grey-market house call guy.

  • ||

    Why would you do that to yourself? Please tell me your backup is to become a lawyer.

  • Ted S.||

    Single-payer legal care.

    Because there's no lawyer who does anything worth more than minimum wage.

  • Austrian Anarchy||

    The subjective theory of value suggests that value might increase with the seriousness of the charges.

  • ||

    I needed a /sarc tag there. The debt to earning/employment ratio for becoming a lawyer is pretty ugly right now.

  • Dweebston||

    I mentioned that to my friend, a recent law-school entrant. She said she knows, but she's ultimately aiming for politics so it doesn't matter whether she can earn a living in private practice.

    So perfectly encapsulated the problem, and she was, and remains, entirely oblivious.

  • General Butt Naked||

    The scheduling of certain medications has made being a doctor an extremely profitable enterprise, you just have to show some initiative.

    Hell, you could probably live good just tending to the medical "needs" of the hit and run community.

  • Contrarian P||

    I could probably make a reasonable living billing for taking Tony's head out of his ass as needed.

  • Stephdumas||

    A bit off-topic but I spotted that video titled "ObamaCareNado".
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F073Mt0F6Ec

  • Swiss Servator - past LTC(ret)||

    Shriek or Tony will be along to tell us how this is the finest legislative achievement since Hammurabi had scribes put stylus to clay. The only thing that can stop this from SUMMONING MAGICAL HEALING UNICORNS is Rethuglicans, the Kochs and libertarians!

  • Warrren||

    It's Hammurabi Time!

  • Neoliberal Kochtopus||

    Every time you see him
    That Hammurabi's hype
    I'm dope on the scrolls
    And magic with the scribe
    Now why would I ever
    Stop making laws?
    With others writing code
    That's just so full of flaws...

  • Contrarian P||

    Please Hammurabi, don't hurt em.

  • AlmightyJB||

    OT: A Columbus police detective is facing charges of attempted distribution of heroin and using or carrying a firearm in relation to a drug trafficking crime.

    http://www.nbc4i.com/story/229.....accused-of

  • Swiss Servator - past LTC(ret)||

    OSU football team booster?

    *ducks, runs from sloopy*

  • Finrod||

    So that's why Nancy Pelosi said we had to pass ObamaCare to find out what was in it. This is like opening a Christmas present delivered by Jack Skellington.

  • Sudden||

    Or the turkey from Thankskilling

  • RussianPrimeMinister||

    Nice tits, bitch.

  • Sevo||

    Sometimes you catch things you'd rather not have in the boat.
    Unfortunately Pelosi's too fucking dumb to know that.

  • Fluffy||

    In Massachusetts, the Patrick expansion of Romneycare (Act 224) takes care of this by having the state buy out all medical bad debt from providers and putting the state in charge of collecting it.

    I am the only observer so far, apparently, to hypothesize that the state will choose to regard the funds in question as nondischargeable state liens, instead of as unsecured debt.

    I have little doubt that the Feds will follow suit here, because there's no way they'd miss the opportunity to expand on their current set of tax lien and student debt peons by adding in medical debt too.

  • Sudden||

    Hadn't thought about that, but damn that makes too much sense that its borderline frightening.

  • Adam330||

    So how does the state go about enforcing a lien against, say, a hip replacement?

  • RussianPrimeMinister||

    Ever seen Repo, the Genetic Opera?

  • Archduke Trousersenthusiast||

    Who doesn't love a good on-stage rendition of a mayo enema?

  • ||

    You Canadians are really starved for entertainment up there, aren't you?

  • Archduke Trousersenthusiast||

    GIVE US MORE THAN SHARKNADO

  • Warrren||

    BUTTHOLEMAYO!

  • ||

    You know what Canada could use? Another baseball team. I think Vancouver should get a team.

  • Cytotoxic||

    No we need a volcano. Time for Anahim hotspot to step up to the (tectonic) plate.

  • Warrren||

    Toronto and Montreal aren't enough for you people?

  • Archduke Trousersenthusiast||

    Montreal

    what?

  • Warrren||

    The Montreal Homos? Isn't that a team?

  • ||

    Montreal Expos moved to DC and I'm watching the Dodgers obliterate the last place Toronto Blue Jays 14-4.

  • SweatingGin||

    The Montreal Expos became the Washington Corporate Welfare Whores, right?

  • Andrew S.||

    There's a reason why some of my fellow health care attorneys (completely against Obamacare from a political POV) called the AHCA the "Health Care Lawyer Full Employment Act"

  • Alice Bowie||

    I know you guys hate the single payer Idea.

    However, what's wrong with having a single payer system exclusively for the Poor/Disabled/Retired and a complete free market for everyone else?

    That is, have public clinics (Like MAYO) that are funded by the tax payer (just like it is today) except all are employees of the government.

    Those that are retired, disabled, or poor (the ones that claim they are but are cash rich) that are able to pay for free market service can do so as well.

  • Alice Bowie||

    The public clinics can only be used by those entitled (Poor, disabled, retired).

    However, retired folks with, let's say 10 times the annual median income in estate revenue would be ineligible.

  • Sevo||

    Alice Bowie| 7.22.13 @ 9:51PM |#
    ..."However, what's wrong with having a single payer system exclusively for the Poor/Disabled/Retired and a complete free market for everyone else?"

    Because the supposed limitation to the P/D/R will quickly be gamed so there will be nothing like a medical market. Notice how, oh, food stamps have been limited to the poor? Yeah, right.
    Further, as a retired old fart, we are among the wealthiest segment of the population. I'll be more than happy to take *your* money, but I have a certain issue with accepting money taken at gun-point,

  • Alice Bowie||

    You are right about the abuse Sevo and that should be addressed. People should be prosecuted on fraud for these offenses and thrown in jail.

    I'm saying take all of the entitled people and make them go to public clinics funded by the tax payer.

    This way, there are no doctors in the free market side getting any government money.

    I would take it a step further and outlaw health insurance and require those in the free market side to pay for all medical services. This would force providers to adjust rates to what people can pay.

    We can also offer expensive treatment (cancer, chemo, open-heart, etc.) at the tax payer clinic open to all.

    I am not a fan of single-payer for all.
    It's best to have the two tiers.

  • General Butt Naked||

    The problem isn't fraud, Herr Alice.

    It's that when politicians sense that segment A is getting pissed off that segment B is getting free shit, they don't scale back the free shit for segment B; they include segment A in the free shit army.

    That's how you get a country with people having 5 kids, a part time job, smart phones for all and the top 53% paying for their food, housing and medical care.

    I think on our way to a free society there is a lot that we can cut before we stop forcing charity at gun point, but we must stop this inexorable widening of the definition of "needy".

  • General Butt Naked||

    The problem isn't fraud, Herr Alice.

    It's that when politicians sense that segment A is getting pissed off that segment B is getting free shit, they don't scale back the free shit for segment B; they include segment A in the free shit army.

    That's how you get a country with people having 5 kids, a part time job, smart phones for all and the top 53% paying for their food, housing and medical care.

    I think on our way to a free society there is a lot that we can cut before we stop forcing charity at gun point, but we must stop this inexorable widening of the definition of "needy".

  • ||

    The problem isn't fraud, Herr Alice.

    The problem is double-posting!

  • General Butt Naked||

    Just doin' my part for the economy.

    That's one post saved and or created.

  • Dweebston||

    Nothing spells economic relief like duplication of effort.

  • Bo Cara Esq.||

    "we must stop this inexorable widening of the definition of "needy"."

    Well said.

    Look at 'disabled' persons. I don't know about most but I'm less opposed to assistance or accomodations to a blind person. But a huge percentage of people considered legally disabled are people that, for instance, have trouble sleeping at night. It's incredible.

  • RussianPrimeMinister||

    I am technically qualified as a "disabled person" because I have been diagnosed with severe vertigo.

    No joke, I could, if I wished, get a handicapped parking thingy. I could go on disability. I could take advantage to all kinds of specialized government programs.

    And my vertigo has never slowed me down, that's what kills me. Sure, I can't sleep from time to time and have SEVERE hallucinations because of it (hallways stretching out forever and spinning rooms) but that's never stopped me from working or enjoying life.

  • Sevo||

    Alice Bowie| 7.22.13 @ 10:29PM |#
    "You are right about the abuse Sevo and that should be addressed. People should be prosecuted on fraud for these offenses and thrown in jail."

    As GBN mentions the "fraud" is simply the politicos extending the benes to anyone who wants them and can deliver five votes. You think politicos, of all sleazy examples of humanity, are going to keep free shit to those who might vote for them? Not on your LIFE! It's your money they get to spend for their benefit. Imagine how easy THAT is!
    I'm sure you're working to jail that lying asshole Obama and the hag Pelosi for the fraud already committed, right? Fraud should be punished.

    "I'm saying take all of the entitled people and make them go to public clinics funded by the tax payer."
    Yeah, and Communism will work just as soon as we find the New Soviet Man. It only cost some 100million deaths looking and not finding; how many should we assign to you?
    Exactly how much history have you read?

  • Bo Cara Esq.||

    I don't take Alice Bowie to be arguing for Communism. I think he is arguing there should be a limited social safety/insurance net for the disabled, retired, poor, and then free markets for everyone else. Hayek advocated this and I wouldn't call him a Communist.

    However, I agree with everyone else's concerns: how do you keep this truly limited? I'm almost amazed that I have to type that. Most people I know will stop a cashier if they ring you up for a slightly higher price and argue. You would think a nation of such people would not need some structural limiting factor on how much money could be taken from them and distributed to others. But I guess decades of wearing people down has their toll..

  • Dweebston||

    Does anyone else suspect Alice is American's non-racist handle? Imagine his suggestions with the conditional "for poor white folks," or "barred from brown immigrants."

  • Sevo||

    Bo Cara Esq.| 7.22.13 @ 11:36PM |#
    "I don't take Alice Bowie to be arguing for Communism."

    I don't either. I just see a lack of knowledge gained from that experiment; a hope (like Commies) that things are just 'this much' away from being wonderful!
    And then finding that 'this much' means millions of deaths.

  • Sevo||

    Alice Bowie| 7.22.13 @ 10:29PM |#
    ...'We can also offer expensive treatment (cancer, chemo, open-heart, etc.) at the tax payer clinic open to all."...

    Uh, those who have to pay for this sort of stuff make some really tough choices. It's about how much of your assets you use to prolong a life under what circumstances.
    If you, Alice, somehow believe that you, Alice, are better informed to spend my money to continue the life of this guy over here requiring really, really expensive treatment, I'd really love to hear what sort of IGNORANT HUBRIS leads you to that STUPID PRESUMPTION.

  • Agammamon||

    This is the same reasoning behind Dunphy's "SWAT just need more training".

    Reforming these systems is not sufficient. We've been reforming them for decades but the incentives to increase their scope are too great. They need to go away.

  • NotAnotherSkippy||

    So exactly what standard of care are the entitled entitled to? If you're 95 and have terminal lung cancer are you entitled to a $1M proton beam treatment that will extend your life by a few weeks? I mean, you can't put a price on a life, can you?! Get back to me once you've come up with a rational proposal that won't bankrupt us.

    If people want health insurance then they should be able to buy health insurance. I think what you're trying to point out is the 3rd party payer problem, but that is easily resolved by removing the tax exemption for employer provided insurance and showing the employee what it really costs when they go to the doctor for a runny nose. The problem isn't that providers charge more than people can pay. The problem is that the prices aren't transparent and what isn't seen is by definition "free."

  • Sevo||

    NotAnotherSkippy| 7.23.13 @ 12:42AM |#
    "So exactly what standard of care are the entitled entitled to? If you're 95 and have terminal lung cancer are you entitled to a $1M proton beam treatment that will extend your life by a few weeks?"

    Exactly the problem. Alice thinks that medical care is resolved in simple questions; gee, somebody is sick, "we" should pay to make them well.
    Alice has posted here for some time; Alice is a lefty who hopes that money grows on trees and can be used to make everyone happy! We just need to tend the orchard.

  • creech||

    If you want the $1M proton beam treatment, you will not be stopped.
    And you will pay for it yourself or find someone to give it pro bono, but you are entitled to force the taxpayers to pay it.

  • PapayaSF||

    My compromise: A bunch of free-market reforms in health care, cushioned by a large (say $10 billion) Medical Charity Foundation, to cover the poor and undercut the argument that free-market reforms will kill them. Of course it will sooner or later turn into a wretched hive of waste and corruption and cronyism, but it'd be a small price to pay for the freeing of health care elsewhere. Plus you could get all sorts of celebrities doing fundraising activities for it.

  • General Butt Naked||

    Hell, just get rid of the licensing schemes.

    I'd gladly pay an RN or PA with a kiosk at the mall for advice on minor health issues. That, and being able to buy any medication at a pharmacy would democratize health care more than any of the bullshit being pushed by the left and their corporate cronies.

  • Sevo||

    General Butt Naked| 7.22.13 @ 10:31PM |#
    "Hell, just get rid of the licensing schemes.
    I'd gladly pay an RN or PA with a kiosk at the mall for advice on minor health issues."

    Man, this is a mess. That asshole FDR and the idiot Truman managed to load us with a mess that's nearly impossible to straighten out.
    Not sure of the clear answer, but it'd be a start if there were no tax-exempt medical insurance benes, and no pub-sec ditto. None.
    Move all of the payments out of tax-exempt status, include them in the pay check and let people buy what they wanted.
    Like the lawyers eaten by the sharks, it'd be a good start.

  • Bo Cara Esq.||

    It's a mess, and from what I understand a lot of it goes back to price controls (is there any mischief they can't work?). That led to these tax exemption for employee benefits programs and market mechanisms were ruined.

    Here's one small suggestion I've thought of: what if the government just got out of the way in areas like requiring yearly check ups for renewal of prescription X or whatever. One of the big cases we learned about in my Con Law class was where a state passed a law saying only certain licensed people could fit lenses to glasses, and a prescription was required to do it. Imagine if that kind of protectionist rent seeking were eliminated, there would have to be some significant savings....

  • Sevo||

    Bo Cara Esq.| 7.22.13 @ 11:42PM |#
    "It's a mess, and from what I understand a lot of it goes back to price controls (is there any mischief they can't work?)."

    Uh, did you miss the reference to FDR and Truman?
    Yes, it was (actually) wage controls; tax-free medical insurance benes were one of the few ways companies could compete for skilled workers post WWII.
    I do not disagree with removing benes for smaller rent-seekers, but it'd be nice if we sort of ended the general rent awards.

  • Bo Cara Esq.||

    It was your mention of FDR and Truman that made me think of it, apologies if I seemed to not be giving you the hat tip there.

  • Sevo||

    It's not the h/t; I wasn't sure you were familiar with the econ controls during and post WWII.

  • Red Rocks Rockin||

    However, what's wrong with having a single payer system exclusively for the Poor/Disabled/Retired and a complete free market for everyone else?

    The first one exists--it's called Medicare/Medicaid, and it's in a deficit this year to the tune of over $660 billion.

    The second one does not exist.

  • Agammamon||

    We already have an example of that - VA hospitals.

  • Adam330||

    We've basically had that for the last nearly 50 years- Medicare/Medicaid is single payer for the retired/disabled/poor (with the twist that the state governments take over as the payers for the Medicaid piece). It's not government-provided, as you suggested, but it is single payer. That wasn't good enough for the libs though. They need to make sure everyone is brought in.

  • Contrarian P||

    Alice, let me explain. Doctors, nurses, and the allied health professions are, in the vast majority, inherently charitable people. They got into their profession because they wanted to help people, to have a job they could feel good about. Sure, there are exceptions, but they are not the rule.

    Back before government began its victory march through the healthcare field, it was considered part of your duty as a physician to give free care to those who couldn't pay. Many of my colleagues in private practice still do. Unfortunately, what has happened is that through health policy, the government has strongly stacked the deck to force physicians to join large groups or to work for hospitals, removing the choice from the individual doctor.

    When I fill out a chart, there's no place on there for me to decide whether or not I want to bill for the service. I have to fill out a chart for each visit and a coder decides how much to bill whoever is paying (Medicaid, Medicare, private insurer, the individual, etc). And yes, I have to fill one out, because the courts have decided that if I don't document everything I do, I open myself up to all kinds of liability. In other words, if I give you free care, I don't get paid and you still get to sue me if anything bad happens.

  • Contrarian P||

    If given the opportunity, healthcare providers are more than willing to give charity care. The single payer system (Medicaid) that we've had doesn't produce better health outcomes than having no insurance at all. There's no evidence that it's a better system than simply allowing providers to be charitable. Give those providing free care some legal protection and stop forcing physicians to join groups that have made patients into customers.

  • Hyperion||

    Don't you guys really want to talk about royal babies? I like, can't believe, that like, no one here, is like talking about it. It's like all the rage.

    You Libertarians are so boring!

  • Rich||

    It'd be awesome if Kate and Will named their new son Trayvon.

  • Hyperion||

    No way, the big Z is all the rage now!

    What should they call the new rug rat...

    Let's see, all the cool White Hispanic names were already taken 500 years ago,

    Like Francisco Vasquez de Coronado. Now that's a cool fucking name. No wonder a guy goes chasing after the legendary seven cities of gold, with a name like that, you feel like a real badass.

    So, let's see.

    Jorge de Galleta Blanca?

    Nope, that's not quite it... I need help here..

  • Xenocles||

    Trayvon is obviously not a contender, but I've heard that George is a frontrunner among the bookies.

  • Archduke Trousersenthusiast||

    Yup, followed by James

  • Xenocles||

    Not sure if a gambling addict or just didn't get the joke. My wife didn't either, so maybe it's no good.

  • Archduke Trousersenthusiast||

    who the what now?

  • General Butt Naked||

    Royal Baby news coverage: The best argument for abortion there is.

  • Sevo||

    Hyperion| 7.22.13 @ 10:47PM |#
    "Don't you guys really want to talk about royal babies? I like, can't believe, that like, no one here, is like talking about it. It's like all the rage."

    Given the average intelligence of the royal family, it's tempting to believe that a new-born will raise that average.
    But then that idiot Philip was a infant once, so I'm not sure it's a good bet.

  • Hyperion||

    You saying that inbreeding lowers intelligence?

    Where's your proof?, flat earther!

  • Sevo||

    Hyperion| 7.22.13 @ 11:35PM |#
    "You saying that inbreeding lowers intelligence?'

    No inbreeding required AFAIK. The royal family is dumb as dirt just by chance.

  • Archduke Trousersenthusiast||

    The new baby will have a strong hapsburgian chin!

  • ||

    They need to name him Joffrey, just to fuck with the rest of the world.

  • Aloysious||

    You bastard. That certainly fucked with me. I just had cold sweats.

  • Archduke Trousersenthusiast||

    .

  • Dweebston||

    Is this the derpy demarcation line/buffer zone?

  • ||

    OT Double Feature!: There's some opinion piece by John Sutter at CNN on a woman who died on a rollercoaster, and why this proves we need federal regulations for them. In short, the number of people killed is dwarfed by other sources, but nevermind that! Deaths = more regulations, no matter what.

    On a more hilarious note (also at CNN), John Avlon tries to show how The Newsroom is important for real life journalism. Apparently people should model their careers and behavior off fiction. He uses the absurdly unconservative RINO Will McAvoy as someone to emulate, claiming him as a moderate (because only extremists accept the Tea Party as anything but terrorists, amirite?).

    The commenters for both pieces are having none of it. "Enough" on the Avlon piece rebuts the assumptions underpinning the writer's claims. Best part:

    What McAvoy is, is a sock puppet; Aaron Sorkin's hand is right up his rear, making him talk. Its a WORK of FICTION. If Sorkin's hand makes him want to sound like a moderate, then by God thats what you'll get. Problem is we all know who Aaron Sorkin is, and what his politics are. It would be like Glenn Beck writing a show about a moderate liberal news anchor who is anti-abortion, anti-welfare and pro states rights. It would not add up.
  • Red Rocks Rockin||

    Apparently people should model their careers and behavior off fiction.

    Well, it's not like people don't already act as if they think real life is just like the movies (or should be, anyway).

  • Contrarian P||

    I modeled my life after Beowulf. Got that mead hall ready to roll any time now.

  • Generic Stranger||

    I saw a commercial for The Newsroom the other day. I thought it was an advertisement for the Church of Latter Day Saints right up until they plastered the name of the show on the screen.

  • Archduke Trousersenthusiast||

    Words in German
    part 1
    part 2

  • Hyperion||

    I lol'd.

    German does have that harsh tone to it.

    My son-in-law is fluent in, I think, 5 or 6 languages and pretty good in several others. I'm jealous as hell of that, it seems impossible.

    Last time he was here for a visit he was working on German, and I swear, he has the accent down already, he sounds exactly like one of those damn Kraut Nazis.

    Interestingly enough, apparently English is a Germanic language. Although I do note that through it's modern development, it has a hell of a lot of Latin based words. Which is the biggest advantage for any English speaker who wants to learn one of the Latin romance languages.

  • Sevo||

    "Interestingly enough, apparently English is a Germanic language. Although I do note that through it's modern development, it has a hell of a lot of Latin based words. Which is the biggest advantage for any English speaker who wants to learn one of the Latin romance languages."

    Granma wouldn't speak (much) Kraut; 'old country'. I got a couple of semesters of Latin and Spanish in HS.
    It was enough; you can mosey through Europe with that.
    English is the lingua franca.

  • Dweebston||

    Ich kann ein bissien Deutche sprechen, although my pronunciation is awful and my spelling is probably worse.

  • Sevo||

    "Ich kann ein bissien Deutche sprechen"
    My Kraut is really spotty especially written: 'I can speak German pretty well'?

  • Boisfeuras||

    "Ich kann ein bisschen Deutsch sprechen" (I can speak a little German)

  • Generic Stranger||

    From what I've read English is 2/3 Germanic, 1/3 Latin. The 1/3 is mostly thanks to the invasion of Briton by the Normans.

  • JW||

    Indo-European is the term.

  • Generic Stranger||

    That's the broader category, yes. But that's like saying to someone explaining what a liger is that the proper term is "cat", or perhaps "mammal". Both Germanic and Latin-based languages are Indo-European.

  • ||

    Yep.

    Fucking Jerries.

  • ||

    You know who else spoke German?

  • Bryan C||

    Hans Gruber?

  • Hyperion||

    The thread is dead. Dead is the thread. Do you know who else was dead?

  • ||

    Alex Rodriquez's career? To think that just three years ago everyone was predicting he'd break the home run record.

    An entire generation and a half of players irrevocably tainted by steroids. Hank Aaron and Roger Maris are still number 1 in my book.

  • Bo Cara Esq.||

    Is the lesson don't date Madonna? I mean, have you seen any Guy Ritchie films of late?

  • Xenocles||

    Ted Williams

  • ||

    By the numbers I would say Ted Williams and Babe Ruth are just about tied for the title of Greatest Hitter Who Ever Lived. I think Ruth can fairly claim the edge because he hit more home runs and effectively changed the game of baseball. In my opinion no other individual athlete has ever had such a profound effect on their sport.

    But I would make a case that if Josh Gibson had been allowed to play with the white boys he would have shattered every record in the book.

  • Boisfeuras||

    Of course, Williams had lower numbers due to WWII and Korean War service.

  • KDN||

    Ted Williams was great, but he's nowhere near as superior to his peers as Ruth. He was also a butcher defensively whereas Ruth was a competent but below average fielder.

    Gibson's reputation is probably overstated as a consequence of being a great player in inferior leagues where they didn't keep exact records and that relies a lot on oral history. I think it's telling that his "official" SLG is actually lower than Ruth's depsite playing in said inferior leagues. Add in the fact that he played catcher, and it's quite unlikely that he would have ended up breaking any non-positional records.

    That said, he probably would have been the best player at his position during his peak (and, consequently, possibly the best in the bigs) and one of the best all time. At worst he's comparable to Piazza and at best Gehrig; considering positional scarcity that's good enough to be a Top-5 batter all time.

  • Contrarian P||

    Williams, despite facing the slider through the second half of his career, posted a higher batting average and on base percentage than did Ruth. Hitting was much more dominant during Ruth's day than in Williams'. The vast majority of the top thirty hitters for average played in Ruth's time period or just before it. During the 1930 season, the entire league hit .296, making Ruth slightly less impressive as a hitter for average. Williams hit .400 when nobody else had done it for twenty years, in other words, the phenomenon was extinct. When Ruth was playing, the best hitters were still hitting .400. I'd contend the pitching was better during Williams' era (and baseball had changed the rules to rebalance the game). Also, Williams played and excelled during the integration of baseball, while the Babe never had to face black ballplayers.

    Of course the Babe was primarily known as a home run hitter and he certainly was better than everyone else in that department during his era (though I'd contend that was at least partly due to his hitting style being perfect for the lively ball and less adept pitching). Williams, though, was certainly no slouch, and if he had not lost years of his prime, especially during WWII, his home run totals would likely have approached, if not surpassed, Ruth. In any event, there's no doubt that Ruth was the greatest slugger of all time, though Williams, in my opinion, was a greater all around hitter.

  • KDN||

    You're leaving out park effects: Fenway was much easier to play in than Yankee Stadium (and the Polo Grounds). As far as superiority of pitching during WWII era, sure I'll concede that, but it remains that when you adjust for era and park an exempt defense Ruth is still superior: Ruth's surpassed Williams's career high in oWAR 5 times in his career. It's not a huge difference though, and if you prefer Ted then I won't fight it that much. This isn't exactly Ryan Howard vs. Albert Pujols.

  • Hyperion||

    An entire generation and a half of players irrevocably tainted by steroids

    Well, rest assured, now the NFL will be testing for HGH, whatever the fuck that means. (yes, I know what HGH is).

    Damn, it is raining like a SOB, again. The monsoons have come to Balmer, and it's a long season...

  • Dweebston||

    Albuquerque seems to've finished its half-a-week monsoon season. Facebook lights up with delighted posts, all variations on the same refrain: AHMEHRGERD IT'S RAINING.

  • Alice Bowie||

    The existence of a third party payer (regardless of government/insurance) is the true enemy of cost containment in healthcare.

    Both Single Payer and Insurance cause the exact same problem:
    the consumer is detached from the true cost of the service provided.
    The provider gets away with charging much much higher. This is what caused the run-a-way expenses in healthcare.

    In the free market side of healthcare, each patient should pay the provider directly for all services except for possibly catastrophic injuries/illnesses. This will truly control costs.

  • Bo Cara Esq.||

    -Single Payer and Insurance cause the exact same problem:
    the consumer is detached from the true cost of the service provided

    Might be different if 'Insurance' were not so regulated.

  • Sevo||

    Alice Bowie| 7.22.13 @ 11:46PM |#
    "The existence of a third party payer (regardless of government/insurance) is the true enemy of cost containment in healthcare.
    Both Single Payer and Insurance cause the exact same problem:
    the consumer is detached from the true cost of the service provided.
    The provider gets away with charging much much higher. This is what caused the run-a-way expenses in healthcare."
    Nope.
    There is a difference in kind here, not a difference in degree.
    If YOU pay your own medical insurance premiums, you get to be very serious in checking what you're getting compared to what you're paying. Do you have auto insurance, Alice?

    "In the free market side of healthcare, each patient should pay the provider directly for all services except for possibly catastrophic injuries/illnesses. This will truly control costs."
    That is 100% true. I applaud you in this statement.
    If we all bought insurance (meaning, like most insurance, it covers emergencies) we would all make the choices that suit out needs.

  • Libertymike||

    sevo-three words:

    Third party payment

  • Sevo||

    L,
    Yes, that was the point.

  • Libertymike||

    sevo, Verily, I say unto thee,

    I FUCKING HATE THIRD PARTY PAYMENT MECHANISMS!

    /LM late night rant

  • some guy||

    The only problem with the comparison to auto insurance is that you are required to have auto insurance if you have a car (and want to drive it on public roads). People should be free to have health without health insurance, but they should have to deal with the full consequences of that decision.

  • creech||

    Not the only problem: I'm required to have insurance to cover me hitting your car. There is no requirement for me to have insurance for damage to my car.

  • some guy||

    True.

  • Suellington||

    Fucking hell. Our premium just went up a hundred bucks a month. We now pay close to a grand a month as a self employed couple with two healthy kids. What a frickin sham.

  • Hyperion||

    Don't worry, it gets better. We had to pass it to see what was in it.

    The wonders of Obamacare knows no end.

    I've received 2 raises in the last 2 years, totaling 4.5% of salary, and yet I bring home less because of the increased costs of health insurance.

    The affordable care act, lol.

  • Xenocles||

    Just imagine if it weren't affordable.

  • some guy||

    Well, they never said it would be affordable for everyone.

    Also, people keep leaving off the front of the bill: Patient Protection. Another lol.

  • Agammamon||

    You know, this might work out in our favor.

    Once this is implemented and the doctor's get the bill, they'll stop taking insurance. Once everything's on a cash basis then the doctor's will have an incentive to be up front on prices (and have to compete on price). And it should, once and for all, drive home the distinction between insurance and care. Everyone will be insured, no-one will accept that insurance.

    And the government is left with a big bag of trash in the form of unpaid premiums and penaltaxes.

  • Sevo||

    "And the government is left with a big bag of trash in the form of unpaid premiums and penaltaxes"

    Problem here is that the only money the "government" has comes from you and me.
    So, I'd rather leave my nose on my face and correct the problem before that becomes the default solution.

  • Dweebston||

    Once nose removals are free, how will you resist not getting one?

  • C. Anacreon||

    And as soon as anything like that started to happen, would come revoked medical licenses for anyone not willing to take a certain percentage (no doubt quite high) of patients with government-approved insurances.

  • Adamsmith1776||

    Teh beaurty is that this is limited to insurance purcahsed on the exchanges--so that if you buy insurance in the artificial marketplace set up by the ACA, doctors won't take it--whcih means that we will have artificial insurance from an artificial market place. Reminds me of the old soviet line where the workers said they pretended to work and the government pretenced to pay them.

  • Xenocles||

    It's quite a crazy world when I start appreciating the Guardian. First they take the lead on the NSA issues and now they have a feature on their site that mutes the royal baby coverage.

  • Archduke Trousersenthusiast||

    THAT IS THE GREATEST THING EVER

  • Archduke Trousersenthusiast||

    TROOF:


    Jose Canseco @JoseCanseco
    America and mlb what fucking hypocrites.captain america was created on steroids.lol
  • Xenocles||

    Uh, hello? That was government approved steroids.

  • Archduke Trousersenthusiast||

    Speaking of the Guardian:

    MORE TRUTH

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