7 Takeaways From the New Obamacare Sign-Up Data



The Obama administration released another round of data on Obamacare insurance sign-ups yesterday. The report covered plans selected in both federal and state-run exchanges through December 28. Some of the information in the report had already been released, such as the total number of sign ups. The report did, however, contain the first official federal government data about the age breakdowns of those who have signed up for plans so far. Yet even with the new information, the report also left a lot of important questions unresolved.

Here are seven takeaways and unanswered questions from the latest sign-up data.

1. The percentage of young people who have signed up so far is below the administration's target. As was expected based on preliminary statements by insurers and some state-level data, the percentage of young people who have signed up for private plans in the exchanges so far is low. Administration officials have indicated in the past that they need between 38 and 40 percent of private plan enrollees to be between the ages of 18 and 34 to make the new insurance risk pools sustainable. Premiums paid by that relatively health age group are needed to balance out the costs of older, and more expensive to insure, beneficiaries. 

But across the federal and state exchanges, just 24 percent of enrollees so far are between the ages of 18 and 34. That's well below the target, and out of proportion to the overall age makeup of the uninsured, about 40 percent of which are young adults. The administration notes that enrollment amongst the young was up in December, and says they expect that most young and healthy enrollees will sign up in March, at the end of this year's open enrollment period. But the lower than expected enrollment amongst the young so far isn't a good sign, and suggests that insurers may take a hit on plans offered in the exchanges this year. 

2. Every market is different, and some are worse off than others. Overall, the young made up about 24 percent of enrollees in private coverage through the exchanges. But the percentages varied by state. In Ohio, for example, just 19 percent of enrollees were between the ages of 18-34, while in New York, 27 percent of sign-ups were in that age group. There were also big differences in sign up numbers. Texas, the state with the second highest population, has recorded just 118,532 sign-ups so far, while North Carolina has 107,778. What this suggests is that going forward, there will be big state-by-state differences in the health of Obamacare's insurance markets. The exchange plans may prove sustainable in some places, but crash and burn in others.

3. Private plan sign ups so far are widely subsidized. Nearly 8 in 10 sign ups so far have been for subsidized coverage, with 78 percent of plans in state-based exchanges qualifying for financial help and 80 percent of federal sign-ups qualifying.

4. More women are signing up for coverage than men. About 54 percent of sign ups across both state and federal exchanges so far are from women. Since medical insurance tends to be more expensive for women, and the law prohibits price discrimination based on gender, this also suggests that the sign-ups through the end of last year were weighted toward those with higher medical bills.

5. We still don't know how many people have actually paid for private coverage. All of these figures are for people who have signed up for coverage. Some of them have paid their first month's premium, but some of them have not. Insurance companies have extended payment deadlines for coverage beginning in 2014 to at least January 10, and in some cases beyond that, which suggests that many have still yet to pay. But at some point, the extensions will have to stop, and we'll find out how many of those who signed up for coverage actually paid a premium and ended up fully enrolled.

6. We still don't know how many Medicaid enrollees are new and how many are simply renewing existing coverage. At the beginning of a press call yesterday, Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius touted the 3.9 million people the federal government says enrolled in Medicaid during October and November of last year. But some number of those people, perhaps the large majority of them, aren't getting coverage because of Obamacare's Medicaid expansion. Instead, they are renewing existing Medicaid coverage. Federal officials say they don't have a breakdown of how many of those 3.9 million Medicaid enrollees are new, and how many are just extending coverage they already had.

7. We still don't know how many people signing up for private insurance were previously uninsured. Even if you ignore payment issues and count all 2.2 million private plan sign-ups as being enrolled, we still don't know how many of those people were previously covered, and how many already had some form of health insurance. Given that Obamacare was chiefly sold as a vehicle for expanding health coverage, that's a pretty important figure. Without it, we really have no idea how many previously uninsured people have gained coverage under the law, and how many have simply shifted to different coverage under the exchanges. 

NEXT: New York Democratic Congressman to Retire

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  1. #8: We don’t know which lies the administration tells us are merely unfactual or whole orders of magnitude wrong.

    1. If only there was some sort of, I dunno, “Fourth Estate” that would act as a watchdog over these matters. Someone that wouldn’t just regurgitate press releases. but actually investigate and hold accountable the administration.

      1. Interesting idea. Would this be some sort of government agency, or do you see this as some sort of private watchdog, like, say, the Consumers’ Union? How would they communicate their findings to the public?

        1. It would have to antagonistic to the very idea of government to operate without partisanship. Those with a stated or revealed preference for a political party would have to be flung into the ocean.

            1. Fry: What if I don’t want to be a delivery boy?

              Leela: Then you’ll be fired…

              Fry: Fine.

              Leela: …out of a cannon, into the sun.

              1. You know, how is it we don’t shoot things into the sun? I mean, it’s right there, hard to miss.

                1. Has to go 11km/s to get there.

                  1. It’s a big gravity well. Just point and shoot.

                    1. It takes a lot of energy to counteract the inertia from Earth’s orbital speed in order to get things to fall into the Sun.

                  2. No, 11 km/s is just getting off the Earth. You are then going ~30 km/s around the sun: the real trick is *slowing down* so you start falling into the sun instead of just orbiting it, and slowing down from 30 km/s is no easy feat.

                    1. You’re not going through the fucking sun. Its a big target and your inertia is small enough that a direct hit isn’t going to matter. We’re not looking for a capture orbit.

                    2. No, your inertia is quite large.

                      This hipster will explain it.

                      Similarly xkcd explains the opposite problem: staying in orbit is hard (we’re talking about getting out of orbit, which is equally hard).

        2. Really, there are only two ways to do it. It’s either a government agency, or a public/private system in which all the costs are paid for by the government and all the watchdogs are licensed. Any other system would just be anarchy.

          1. Well, naturally a licensing regime. Without that, how will the government maintain order?

            1. Without a license, the government would be unable to certify that you have any 1st amendment rights.

              1. No duh. Come on, how else can we tell whether the conclusions of this hypothetical organization are valid?

            2. Without that, how will the government maintain order?

              Do you really have to ask this question? Fear.

                1. Fear, licensing and this fully operational battle station!

      2. What possible motivation is there for such a thing to spring up?

        1. Perhaps they could be some sort of cult, which collects money from their members?

        2. I don’t know. Maybe a brain parasite.

          1. “We support unreasonably large subsidies for the brain slug planet.”

      3. Seriously, what does it take to get media credentials to attend government press conferences? Could reason.tv do it, go to, say, Sibelius’ presser, and ask pointed questions?

        1. I would imagine so, if they wear a condom of course.

        2. I would imagine so, if they wear a condom of course.

        1. Don’t be defensive, Peter. We mean them. Those other journalists. Not you guys.

          1. Shut up, ProL! We’ve got him on the ropes! In just a minute he would have shown us his Illuminati membership card, you fool!

            1. I think this means ProL is one of them!

              1. One of them? No. I’m one of the others.

        2. As you will notice, I say that the only type of journalist that I don’t want flung into the ocean is the libertarian journalist.

          I don’t want you flung into the ocean, Peter. Celebrate this day.

          1. STAND BACK! Be silent! Be still!

            That’s it. . .and look upon this moment. Savor it! Rejoice with great gladness! Great gladness! Remember it always, for you are joined by it. You are One, under the stars. Remember it well, then. . .this night, this great victory. So that in the years ahead, you can say, ‘I was there that night, with SugarFree, the Praising!’ For it is the doom of journalists that they forget.

        3. Wow, I’d forgotten how Obamacare was going to create millions of jobs.

    2. WHAT ARE YOU PEOPLE TALKING ABOUT? There’s already such a thing as The Press. It’s a group of dedicated, principled people working together to inform the public and keep government and other powerful, connected interests in check. There are even laws that give them special protections so that they can freely work to speak against power without fear of state retribution. And the work is considered almost sacred by those who chose it, so much so that it is carried out without outside influence or bias, and is self-policed to guarantee that very thing.

      I feel like I’m taking crazy pills here.

      1. I nominate Fist for funniest Post of the Day.

        1. I’m going to nominate him for most depressing tongue-in-cheek post instead. And also for Biggest Jerk.

          1. It’s just an honor to be nominated.

            1. I congratulate you. I even brought my A-game and Mayor of Jerktown badge. Sniff.

              1. WHO RUN JERKTOWN?!?

                1. I thought I did, but apparently I’m just a figurehead.

                  1. Well ain’t we a pair, Jerkkedy Man.

                    1. We should pick on Nikki as a team sport.

                    2. Fist’s got the knowing and doing of things.

      2. Journalism is a profession. With ethics and stuff. And a code. Kind of like Conan the Barbarian’s, but more violent.

      3. …”There’s already such a thing as The Press. It’s a group of dedicated, principled people working together to inform the public and keep government and other powerful, connected interests in check.”…

        The SF Chron is on it’s 60-something continuous day of running an edi-cartoon about how O-care would be just wonderful if the rethugs stopped thinking bad thoughts about it.
        I’m sure the editor is having to search harder for these, since even the NYT admits it’s a O-fuckup, but, hey…

        1. For the SF Chron, ‘head up their asses’, and in utero mean the same thing.

        2. I basically gave up on the Chron after they replaced their comment system with a new, “improved,” terrible one.

          1. Hey, congrats on the 49er victory. The first half was the worst officiating I’ve ever seen, but given the second half, Gore and Crabtree and Cap doing an outstanding job, I have no doubt the outcome would have been the same. It’s a shame bad refs have to smear it, and force teams to have to go out of their ways to prove themselves.

  2. One conclusion that several of these takeways is leading to is: Roberts was right. The penaltax isn’t big enough to be considered a penalty by most people.

    1. I don’t think this is correct.

      I am sure that every single person who ends up paying it will absolutely consider it to be a penalty.

      However as bad as most people are at math the penalty is nowhere near enough to even make the insurance look like a good idea.

      Ultimately there is no way you are going to convince someone whose budget is already stretched that paying a couple hundred a month of “insurance” with so high a deductible that they are nearly guaranteed to never meet it makes economic sense.

      1. Yes, even higher income people don’t like pissing away thousands of dollars for no fucking discernible reason.

      2. Yeah, the joy of reading the Democracy Underground threads when their participants discovered the high deductible and it would dawn on to them just how bad they got scammed. That was fun. For now. Until this shit hits my policy in another year.

        1. Until then, I get a pretty sweet deal on a highly trained male prostitute sticking his finger up my ass while I yell, ‘clutch time!’

      3. I’m guessing that most people who pay it will have no idea that they paid it or, if they do, how much it was. Most people don’t do their own taxes and pretty much have no idea how they are calculated.

    2. It’s small now especially for a single person but by 2016 it will be $695 per person in the household or 2.5% of your income. Probably still cheaper than insurance but that’s gonna be a lot of money for some people. Funny how they delayed the pain as long as possible isn’t it?

      1. I still wonder how the minimum tax ($95 or $695) doesn’t count as an unconstitutional capitation or head tax.

      2. You have to pass the bill and wait five years to know what is in it.
        Nancy Pelosi, paraphrased

        1. And you can’t blame this on the media. The bill was like 1,000 pages….and not the big print for old people, either…. and they have lives and interests and second homes and kept lovers on the side, you know? I weep for their hectored lives.

      3. And the important clause on that

        ” by 2016 it will be $695 per person in the household or 2.5% of your income”

        is the part about whichever is greater!

        People will be in for a rude surprise.

  3. My Mother signed up (and paid) but has no idea what is actually covered by her plan, nor what doctors she can see. I couldn’t provide any help.

  4. Count me as one of the ones that hasn’t paid yet. Haven’t received any documentation from BCBS about payment, enrollment, nothing. Wife called and was told that they “didn’t receive your application until Dec. 31” which is nearly two weeks after it was submitted. Asked to talk to a supervisor and wouldn’t you know it, they DID receive it before the December deadline after all. Now we play the waiting game as they process things so we can have an account number that our payment would actually go towards (there’s no way in hell I’m sending someone $500 without having a goddamn account number).

    Yay Obamacare!

  5. We still don’t know how many people signing up for private insurance were previously uninsured.

    This is the killer question, I think.
    If all the ACA did was restructure premium pricing among people who were mostly already insured, then it cannot be considered a net gain by anyone.

    Also, a point worth noting is that most of the people who really *wanted* insurance probably signed up before Dec. 30th. Which means that the ACA probably already GOT the majority of the people who really wanted and would benefit from it.

    Anyone who waits until late March is, by revealed preference, probably someone who would rather not be purchasing insurance and is only doing it to avoid the penalty. Ergo, while the enrollment numbers may improve, the percentage of “satisfied customers” is going to decline.

    My guess is that, on net, we’re talking about a few hundred thousand people with pre-existing conditions that got insurance they otherwise couldn’t get. And the number of people who are unhappy will vastly outnumber them.

  6. I don’t see the relevance of all of this. Are we actually going to judge the success of this law? Even if there’s an agreed upon metric, who cares? The success will be determined by how many congressional seats it gains for the Democrats.

    1. Or loses. Which I suppose is a negative gain if you want to get all New Tulpa on me. Is that what you want, FoE?

      1. It gives me leg tingles just thinking about whatever New Tulpa is.

        1. It’s nothing special. Just a ruse to make us appreciate Tulpa Classic more.

          1. You know, as someone who lived through the New Coke experience, I should have realized this. Damn that crafty Tulpa!

            1. Watch out for Sugar Free Tulpa.

              1. Sugar Free Tulpa

                I just called the funny farm to take me away, because you just drove me insane.

                1. Tulpa isn’t worthy of a Coke comparison. Faygo maybe.

    2. Bill Owens (D-NY 21) announced his retirement today. First elected in 2009 with 52%. His internals must be absolute shit.

      1. He just wants to spend more time with his family. On K Street.

        1. It’s funny. I’ve been on L street and I street. haven’t been on K street yet. something to aspire to, i suppose.

        2. Hey – pimpin’ ain’t easy, FoE.

          1. But it’s necessary.

      2. He was only reelected with 50% in 2012, and his opponent is a young rising star, Elise Stefanik.

        Ancient Democrat and Watergate baby George Miller is also retiring, but that’s probably a safe Democratic seat.

    3. Not quite. Success will be measured by how much additional control over our lives the government can exert. There are 110 new agencies created by Obamacare, each one staffed up and beavering away at establishing the controlling regulations. And there are dozens of “the secretary shall” directives in the law which Secretary Sebelius is diligently implementing.

    4. “I don’t see the relevance of all of this. Are we actually going to judge the success of this law? Even if there’s an agreed upon metric, who cares?”

      If the system falls apart, I’ll care a lot.

      If the system requires huge backstops from the federal government to keep the insurers afloat, a lot of people will care.

      If it fails spectacularly, we might be able to get rid of the damn thing and replace it with something better, and if it doesn’t hit its metrics, it probably will fail spectacularly.

      1. The first two things are without a doubt. The third? Don’t count on it.

  7. Federal officials say they don’t have a breakdown of how many of those 3.9 million Medicaid enrollees are new, and how many are just extending coverage they already had

    That’s bullshit. They know. It’s also entirely possible that some of that number are previously eligible but not enrolled for whatever reason.

    1. Seriously, give me read only access to the database for 20 minutes and I could give them that number and it would only take that long because I’d have to figure out the DB structure as I wrote the SQL.

      1. I don’t know, dude. I’ve seen some insanely terrible DB structures before. Like, “whoever designed this literally does not understand how relational databases work” terrible. Why do I suspect that these guys are like that?

        1. I wouldn’t be surprised if they have the actual database in a paper spreadsheet, which requires a clerk to manually erase and enter data.

        2. Because often the DBAs have no control over the structure of the data, which is decided by the programmers and dictated to the DBAs (or that’s my experience with Government Data.)

          1. It is the programmer’s responsibility to understand how relational databases work. Even if they are a sucky programmer and leave the index tuning to the DBA, they need to understand things like primary and foreign keys, one-to-many and many-to-many relationships, and joining at a minimum, or they have no business writing the spec in the first place.

            Or: good enough for government work.

            1. There should be a religion/martial arts institution, like a Shaolin temple, for training programmers.

              “When you can debug this program, you will be ready to leave this place. After you also snatch the pebble from my hand, walk on rice paper without leaving a trace, move this iron cauldron full of burning coals, and wax my car to a perfect shine.”

              1. They have one, it’s called Stanford.

                1. Your so-called code-fu. . .is really. . .quite pathetic.

        3. Because there are political appointments from health policy academia calling the shots and/or ignoring those who probably do know what they are doing. The probably did what I just did. Google SQL.

  8. That bitch was just in Tampa, selling her crap. I bet she caused that movie theater shooting, too, just being here.

  9. My own unspoken prediction came true… the numbers aren’t “bad enough” – as released by the government – to declare this thing a catastrophe. But the numbers also aren’t good enough to declare it a success either. Of course “a success” is still a failure since the whole ponzi scheme will require billions of dollars per year to keep propped up, all without reducing medical/insurance costs.

    The possible winners? The crony insurance companies – if they get their bailout.

    The losers? Us. Of course.

    1. “The possible winners? The crony insurance companies – if they get their bailout.”

      That’s the definition of unsustainable.

      It’s unsustainable politically. It’s one thing to give the banking industry huge handouts once. Quite another to keep giving them huge handouts on a regular basis, into the foreseeable future. That’s just not going to happen for very long.

      It’s unsustainable from a stock market perspective, too. If and when Wall Street sees that their profits are not self-sustaining, that they’re completely dependent on government handouts, then those earnings (or lack thereof) are going to be given one sorry ass multiple. Their p/e ratios are going to drop like a rock.

      1. Quite another to keep giving them huge handouts on a regular basis, into the foreseeable future. That’s just not going to happen for very long.

        The USDA would like a word.

  10. “Just 24 percent of enrollees so far are between the ages of 18 and 34. That’s well below the target, and out of proportion to the overall age makeup of the uninsured, about 40 percent of which are young adults.”

    The “young adults” I’ve talked to, who supported ObamaCare, made a big deal about how ridiculous ObamaCare’s opponents are–touting the fact that the penaltax for not buying insurance is so low as to be a non-issue.

    These “young adults” were completely oblivious to the fact that ObamaCare’s success depends on them being so afraid of having to pay the penaltax that it drives them to buy insurance they don’t want.


  11. At the beginning of a press call yesterday, Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius touted the 3.9 million people the federal government says enrolled in Medicaid during October and November of last year.

    I forget, are Democrats supposed to be openly proud that more people are on welfare? Wasn’t accusations of such considered a ‘smear’ by the Obama Truth Team?

    1. They are both a smear, and Dems are supposed to be openly proud of more people on welfare. You were aware that they’re experts in holding contradictory opinions, right?

    2. I forget, are Democrats supposed to be openly proud that more people are on welfare?

      They want everyone on Medicaid. That’s the road to Single Payer.

        1. Single Prayer, as in “we won’t have one.”

        2. + a rather large number (which we would tell you, but we are not quite sure how to define and measure it).

  12. OT: Net Neutrality rules struck down

    Warning: the comments are a bloody nexus of gibbering stupidity. Read at your own risk.

    1. I saw that on Gizmodo, which I was kicking myself for looking at when I saw the headline (something something BIG CORPORATIONS something something). I preserved what’s left of my soul by not reading the post or the comments.

      1. A wise choice.

        1. Most likely, I couldn’t understand them, anyway. I’m not sure they speak the Queen’s English over there.

        2. I kind of wanted to read them. I love, love, love the wailing and rending of garments from the Net Neutrality crowd. They have to be possibly the stupidest movement in modern history. “Please, government, come in and take control of this internet which has given me so much because of its freedom and lack of central control, and control it so that I can torrent without getting throttled or charged for tons of data usage…until the media and entertainment companies get you to crack down on us like a ton of bricks. I’m a FUCKING GENIUS!”

          1. Huh. The comments usually make me want to kill.

          2. We can only be free when government imposes freedom upon us.

    2. The comments had an error and didn’t load. The stupidity has probably overloaded the system.

      1. The comments were an error. The Internet has rejected them.

      2. See! The KKKorporations are already exerting control!

        Basically, there’s no way we can have a free and open Internet without total government control. You know, the one spying on us.

    3. Plaintiff: “The FCC’s Open Internet rules…”

      The Honorable Judge Widget: “Dismissed…next”

    4. I went over to huffpost to read the comments section. I only do it to practice restraint. Ultimate Warrior used to do something similiar back in his hey day when it came to his training and healthy eating regiment. He would purposely buy boxes of cookies only to open and smell them on a regular basis to teach himself self control. then he would throw them out. I am the Ultimate Warrior of libetarians!!!

  13. Until now I had the general impression the Kathleen Sebelius was attractive. Sorry kids, you’d have to be over 50 to understand that. Maybe not pertiest gal at the ball but still a keeper. Until now.

      1. fathoms. I’m sorry I posted that.

        1. I’ve caught myself wondering if at one point in time she was good looking. By one point in time I mean like forty years ago.

          1. Yes, people say that about Pelosi, only they use a measurement greater than mere years.

            1. 40 years ago or 4 (chugged) drinks from now.

            2. Nancy Pelosi, aged 18

              She looks like the evil queen in some sci-fi pulp novel.

              1. She IS the evil queen in some sci-fi pulp novel.

                And we’re all saddled with her.

            1. Evil even then. That’s instructive. Thank you.

              1. You ever seen a politician’s eyes, chief? Sometimes that politician, she looks right into you. Right into your eyes. You know the thing about a politician, she’s got…lifeless eyes, black eyes, like a doll’s eye. When she comes at ya, doesn’t seem to be livin’.

            2. Or not.

            3. Actually, she’s relatively better looking now, compared to most other women her age.

              It’s interesting. Some women are just doomed to be homely their whole lives (sorry, Lena Dunham), others are good-looking into old age (Sophia Loren), and most who are good-looking when young eventually lose it, but the fourth option is the most interesting. Those are the women who are nothing special when young, but somehow manage, when over 50, to move up the scale of hotness in their cohort. Helen Mirren is a prime example: nothing special when young, but somehow totally hot now. Emmylou Harris is also hotter than she used to be.

          2. 40 years ago, I was a lustlest 12yo, Mr. Logichead.

            1. 40 years ago I was a zygote.

    1. Maybe if you have a giraffe fetish.

  14. Health policy-related: My Alma Mater bans e-cigs on campus, because Grand Moff Napolitano says so

    Although UC issued its directive a year ago, UC Irvine crafted a policy in the ensuing months that exempted chewing tobacco and e-cigarettes. The campus argued at the time it had the “autonomy” to come up with its own policy.

    “After the New Year, the new UC president clarified her position on the new smoking policy,” Lawhon said of Janet Napolitano.

    Prior to Jan. 1, smoking was banned within 25 feet of campus buildings and on the grounds of the Student Center. E-cigarettes, which are battery-powered devices that emit nicotine-infused vapors, were banned indoors only.

    A Jan. 1 Register report chronicled how UC Irvine was the only one of 10 UC campuses continuing to permit e-cigarettes and chewing tobacco.
    “They know what the ban means,” UC spokeswoman Dianne Klein said last week, “and we’ll be working with them to make sure they do implement the ban in its entirety.”

    Each of UC’s nine other campuses banned all smoking as of Jan. 1, plus e-cigarettes and chewing tobacco, according to a review of the new policies posted to their websites.

    If there’s anything that shows how full of shit progressives are, it’s their absurd crusade against e-cigs, a product that can actually help people quit smoking.

    1. Good luck enforcing a ban on something that has no odor and is undetectable unless you actually see the person smoking. Hey, I have to go take a piss (and puff on my e-cig in the bathroom where no one can see me).


      1. What you do not smell is called nicotine powder. It is odorless, tasteless, dissolves instantly in liquid, and is among the more deadlier poisons known to man.

        1. Ha! You fell victim to one of the classic blunders, ProL. The most famous of which is never get involved in a discussion war with New Tulpa. Or Old Tulpa. But only slightly less well know is this: never go up against a statist when death is on the line!

          HA! HA HA! H…

          1. I have to grant that–statists own death. And pasta. Love statist pasta.

          2. And to think that all along it was his ideology that was poisoned…

            All forms of statism are poisoned. I’ve spent the last few years building up an immunity to it.

      2. You are part of the problem. They’re not fucking smoking.

        1. VAPING. Happy now, Ms. Worst? Christ, you’re worse than New Tulpa. Though I guess with you being the worst, that makes sense.

          1. That’s Miss Worst to you. Duh.

            1. It’s Fraulein Worst now.

              1. You better give me my fucking diaeresis then.

                1. God damn you’re a pain in the ass! Here:

          2. The funny part about these bans is that they can’t use the word “smoking” as, e-cigs involve no such thing. So instead they have to use something along the lines of “releasing vapor” which includes not only e-cigs, but also hot beverages and human-fucking-beings. These attempts to ban e-cigs will likely go down as some of the worst legislation in history, from the perspective of unintended consequences.

      3. Hell I manage not to be noticed sitting in my seat on an airplane. I just hold it in long enough that you can’t see any vapor coming out.

    2. It’s just another example of the fact that they do not think. They emote. They have an emotional reaction and then rationalize it. As opposed to thinking and coming up with a response. But they believe they are responding, when all they know how to do is react.

      It’s sad, really. I mean, human beings are given the gift of a reason. Yet progressives choose not to use that gift, instead defaulting to basic animal emotions.

  15. Holy, crap. I just found out about the Kelly Thomas verdict. I was really hoping those two bastards would rot in jail for at least a little while. Full acquittal? Seriously?!

    1. (punches Scientist in the nuts)

      Ha ha!

      1. What are you trying to do? Bruise my bruises?

        1. Just be glad he didn’t hit you with the Full Balko Twist.

          1. It has a swirl.

    2. The general consensus around here is police intimidation. Apparently the audience was full of uniformed policemen who, when they weren’t staring down the jury, were heckling the prosecution’s witnesses. Of course the judge didn’t do anything because he’s on the same team.
      I figure that the jury members decided that it was best for the safety of themselves and their families that they find these creeps innocent, or their sons might be next.

      1. Fucking pieces of shit.

  16. Check this out.

    It snowed here last night. It was an unusually wet snow. These are snowballs that were rolled by the wind. I’ve seen this on hillsides, but NEVER on a flat surface.

    Pretty cool.

    1. Must have been a hell of a wind. Where do you live? North Dakota or the Withered Heath?

      1. Montana.

        The wind’s not really that bad here today (comparatively). I think it must have something to do with the consistency of the snow.

        1. Montana.

          So… the Withered Heath.

          Seriously, though. The only part of Montana I’ve ever seen was West Yellowstone. It was late summer and below freezing. That was all I needed to know about that.

          1. You mean…that it’s awesome?

            1. Hey, I like cold weather, but only in winter.

          2. Yeah, West Yellowstone is at 6700’…cold place. 40 here today. Supposed to be 50 Friday.

  17. Regarding the subsidies: Do we have any idea how the subsidies break down? The amount of your subsidy depends on how far below 4x the poverty level you are. There’s a big difference between a poor person who is fully subsidized and a middle class person who is, say 5% subsidized.

    Also, there are court cases pending regarding whether these subsidies can be given to people in states with federally-run exchanges. If HHS loses that court fight (as they clearly should) many of these “enrollments” will evaporate.

    1. I hate myself for taking it, but there was no way I could afford insurance without the subsidy. Ours was nearly half of the full premium and we are decidedly a middle class family with pretty much average income.

      I’m betting that the vast majority of middle class families are getting the same size subsidy as we are.

      1. Well, it isn’t your fault that your fellow countrymen decided to ruin the healthcare market. There’s no shame in taking what little you can get back as long as you keep advocating for a return to a full free market.

    2. I was under the impression that subsidies kick in once the premiums go above 8% of your income, which is a hell of a lot for shitty insurance.

  18. All of these takeaways point to one thing. The plans on the exchange are too damned expensive. Young people are shying away from them because they can’t afford the affordable care…unless they get subsidies.

    1. “Older, less healthy seek health coverage”
      Which, of course, is totally predictable, but don’t worry:
      “They said demand for insurance through the marketplaces was increasing across all age groups and that youth outreach will become more aggressive in the months ahead.”
      One more lame ad campaign will put it over the top!

      1. Sebelius: “Among young adults, the momentum was particularly strong.”


        Can we not hold anyone responsible for the truth anymore?

        1. People think it’s easy reading a script of someone else’s gibberish. It isn’t.

          Back in the day I remember politicians used to double back on themselves, claiming A before claiming the opposite of A, often just separated by a sentence or two. The consultants have really raised the bar with gibberish, though, as anyone can deploy this sophisticated form of public communication. Instead of practicing the speech before hand, you practice your ‘crazy eyes’.

  19. No way dude I never thought about that.


  20. my neighbor’s aunt makes 68 dollars/hour on the laptop. She has been out of a job for nine months but last month her pay check was 15377 dollars just working on the laptop for a few hours. read the full info here


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