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» Hatrack River Forum » Active Forums » Books, Films, Food and Culture » President Obama's inaugural message (Page 1)

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Author Topic: President Obama's inaugural message
Brian J. Hill
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Here's the full text, which I suggest everyone read, but here's my reading-between-the-lines take.

To Republicans/conservatives: One big, giant F*** YOU! I won, you lost, get over it because if we're gonna get anything done, it will be my way. In your face!

To Democrats/liberals: As close to a "red meat" major speech as he has given in the last 5 years.

To moderates/anyone who wants something to actually get done: Might as well start despairing now, because the gauntlet has been thrown down, and ain't nothing productive gonna get done in the next 4 years, unless something big changes.

I mean for reals, the absolute lack of conciliatory message towards the opposition was, IMHO, both frightening and REALLY bad for our country's future. Not to mention a grave political miscalculation.

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TomDavidson
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quote:
I mean for reals, the absolute lack of conciliatory message towards the opposition was, IMHO, both frightening and REALLY bad for our country's future.
I disagree. Obama's constant attempts to work with the Republican Party seriously weakened his position, and it's an enormous relief to see him attempting to make an argument from principle instead of what he thinks is political expediency. Here's hoping he sticks to it.
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Lyrhawn
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Better he throw down a gauntlet than pussyfoot around and pretend everything is great. Those speeches just piss me off, because we all know everything isn't fine.

He laid out an agenda, which is completely his prerogative to do. He's not going to get all of it done, but he's told us what he's going to try to do. Too often in recent history presidents have failed to say what they plan to do for fear of losing the message war when they inevitably fail to do so. So we get a lot of feel-good crap that means nothing. So he gets a lot of credit, in my book, for laying out clear specific goals.

He just won an election. If the winner of an election can't push an agenda and expect to get some of it passed, then why do we even bother having them?

Maybe this is a sign that he's finally grown a real backbone now that he doesn't have to play nice to get re-elected.

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Parkour
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quote:
Originally posted by Brian J. Hill:
To moderates/anyone who wants something to actually get done: Might as well start despairing now, because the gauntlet has been thrown down, and ain't nothing productive gonna get done in the next 4 years, unless something big changes.

Your statement does not make sense. If you want something productive to get done, why would you want a conciliatory tone to the most obstructionist minority in history deadlocking congress more than ever?
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Blayne Bradley
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Being conciliatory has been proven to be a dead end, why try again when the definition of insanity is to do the same thing over and over and expecting different results?
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scifibum
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quote:
To Republicans/conservatives: One big, giant F*** YOU! I won, you lost, get over it because if we're gonna get anything done, it will be my way. In your face!
Could you be more specific? Where did he say anything quite so gloating?
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Parkour
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Truly the greatest trick the Devil ever pulled was making today's conservatives think that they were the ones negotiating in good faith and trying to cross the aisle, and it was Obama doing the stonewalling.
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happymann
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quote:
Originally posted by Parkour:
quote:
Originally posted by Brian J. Hill:
To moderates/anyone who wants something to actually get done: Might as well start despairing now, because the gauntlet has been thrown down, and ain't nothing productive gonna get done in the next 4 years, unless something big changes.

Your statement does not make sense. If you want something productive to get done, why would you want a conciliatory tone to the most obstructionist minority in history deadlocking congress more than ever?
When you say "congress" do you mean the Senate or the House since one has one minority and the other has the other...
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Parkour
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I consider Republicans to be a minority. They represent a minority of votes, nationwide, in both houses. The Republican minority in the Senate is the most obstructionist in our history, compliments of the filibuster, and the Republican majority in the House exists only because of massive nationwide gerrymandering giving them disproportionate represenation.

Either way today's conservatives are the most obstructionist minority in this country's history. Not even the Do Nothing Congress had nothing on what happens today.

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Darth_Mauve
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Yes, the Republicans would never even think of obstructing anything. Lets look at Healthcare. When President Obama came into office he had a health care plan--Single Payer, Government Backed Health Care for Everyone.

Republicans said NO!

He then compromised with a plan created by the conservative Heritage Foundation, and instituted by one of the leading Republican Governors in that Governors state, but with an option for people to choose a single payer plan if it was better.

Republicans cried NO!

So finally he forced through the Heritage Foundations plan, that the Republican Governor had backed.

Then, even after it passed, they labelled it "Obamacare" and have been attacking, denying, and trying to revoke it ever since.

He asked for Republican input. Their input was, "Limit liability lawsuits on bad doctors, and leave the rest alone." Other than that--nothing.

Or lets take "Cap and Trade" legislation.

When air pollution and carbon dioxide based global warming was considered a problem in the 1990's, the Democratic President wanted legislation to cap the amount of pollution a company could make.

The REPUBLICANS and the Heritage Foundation suggested a market solution, creating a market for pollution, and called it Cap and Trade. The Democrats said "No". It was way to capitalistic a solution for them.

President Obama tried to put limit on Carbon and Pollution. The Republican's said "NO". President Obama went against the wishes of the left and said, "We have to do something. Lets compromise. We'll try your Cap and Trade Plan."

A firestorm was created as the Republicans rebranded Cap and Trade as a liberal attempt to kill industry.

I've heard a Republican caller on a radio show blame the President for being an obstructionist. He said, "We've tried to work with the President, but he refuses to do everything we tell him to. How can we compromise if he won't vote our way?"

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Stone_Wolf_
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As a Cali resident, I don't get a voice as to who is president...thanks electoral college...but Obama, no matter that his politics are not the same as my own, is a dynamic leader, who is clearly very intelligent and well spoken, is honest about his goals for the country and his office, and then tries his hardest to fulfill said goals. While we may or may not be on the road to hell, I for one do not question his best intentions, while I definitely questioned W's, same for his ability to lead.

I will take Obama, a leader who I respect even if I disagree with over W who I did not respect, even though he had more conservative views.

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Boris
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quote:
Originally posted by Darth_Mauve:
Yes, the Republicans would never even think of obstructing anything. Lets look at Healthcare. When President Obama came into office he had a health care plan--Single Payer, Government Backed Health Care for Everyone.

Republicans said NO!

He then compromised with a plan created by the conservative Heritage Foundation, and instituted by one of the leading Republican Governors in that Governors state, but with an option for people to choose a single payer plan if it was better.

Republicans cried NO!

So finally he forced through the Heritage Foundations plan, that the Republican Governor had backed.

Then, even after it passed, they labelled it "Obamacare" and have been attacking, denying, and trying to revoke it ever since.

He asked for Republican input. Their input was, "Limit liability lawsuits on bad doctors, and leave the rest alone." Other than that--nothing.

Or lets take "Cap and Trade" legislation.

When air pollution and carbon dioxide based global warming was considered a problem in the 1990's, the Democratic President wanted legislation to cap the amount of pollution a company could make.

The REPUBLICANS and the Heritage Foundation suggested a market solution, creating a market for pollution, and called it Cap and Trade. The Democrats said "No". It was way to capitalistic a solution for them.

President Obama tried to put limit on Carbon and Pollution. The Republican's said "NO". President Obama went against the wishes of the left and said, "We have to do something. Lets compromise. We'll try your Cap and Trade Plan."

A firestorm was created as the Republicans rebranded Cap and Trade as a liberal attempt to kill industry.

I've heard a Republican caller on a radio show blame the President for being an obstructionist. He said, "We've tried to work with the President, but he refuses to do everything we tell him to. How can we compromise if he won't vote our way?"

Because it's apparently impossible to, in a period of nearly 20 years, look at an idea you used to think was great, consider the realities surrounding it, and suddenly realize what a phenomenally moronic idea it was in the first place. There's a reason those ideas were never actually brought before a Republican congress before Obama took office. But I guess democrats are the only ones allowed to change their minds...I mean evolve...on some subjects.

Taking the worst ideas a group came up with nearly two decades before, proposing them as a evidence of "working with the opposition," and then bitching about it when the opposition says it's a bad idea is probably not the best way to lead. Particularly when those ideas are used as little more than wrapping paper for the jumbled mess of bureaucracy and taxes that were included in that healthcare package. For instance, Obamacare allows for massive loopholes wherein a person can choose to pay the tax penalty (which is less expensive than many good insurance plans) until they suddenly come down with a debilitating and life threatening illness. Then, because they can't be denied for having waited to get insurance until they were about to die from something, they can sign up for insurance and have the insurance company pay all the million dollar bills, at which point they can then cancel their policy after they've been cured (if they've been cured) and continue on paying the penalty. In the heritage plan, there was no penalty for not having insurance other than, "Oh hey guess what. You have cancer. Guess you shoulda gotten insurance before now".

I mean, if I were to offer you a giant pile of manure for dinner, would you eat it? If I then covered the manure with bacon, cilantro, and cheese, would you eat it? Would you not think it stupid for me to complain that you aren't eating the pile of crap I served you despite the fact that I covered it with things that would be enjoyable on just about anything other than a pile of manure? That's basically what you're doing here. Republicans see a bunch of bacon covered in fecal matter and are saying, "Why did you do that to our bacon? We don't want that bacon anymore."

Then, I'm also wondering if you've actually *read* the Heritage Foundation's paper on health care from 1989 that the health care mandate comes from. That paper also recommended a lot of other measures. Of particular interest is the removal of tax exemptions for medical insurance plans. The idea there was this, most people who have insurance receive it from their employers, and most employers either pay for the entire cost of the plan or the vast majority of it. This results in both patients and doctors being completely disconnected from the financial issues inherent in medical care. For instance, most Americans don't realize just how much their insurance costs have increased over the past 20 years. Their bills get paid, and that's all they care about. It's when the bills *don't* get paid that they get angry, and the person they are angry at is the person paying the bills (insurance companies), not the person setting the price (medical industry).

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Destineer
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quote:
In the heritage plan, there was no penalty for not having insurance other than, "Oh hey guess what. You have cancer. Guess you shoulda gotten insurance before now".
...
Then, I'm also wondering if you've actually *read* the Heritage Foundation's paper on health care from 1989 that the health care mandate comes from.

I'm confused. In what sense did the Heritage plan recommend a mandate, if there was no penalty for not having insurance?
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Destineer
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quote:
Of particular interest is the removal of tax exemptions for medical insurance plans. The idea there was this, most people who have insurance receive it from their employers, and most employers either pay for the entire cost of the plan or the vast majority of it. This results in both patients and doctors being completely disconnected from the financial issues inherent in medical care. For instance, most Americans don't realize just how much their insurance costs have increased over the past 20 years. Their bills get paid, and that's all they care about. It's when the bills *don't* get paid that they get angry, and the person they are angry at is the person paying the bills (insurance companies), not the person setting the price (medical industry).
I'm all in favor of getting rid of tax exemptions to improve efficiency in the market. But the idea of acquainting people with the financial costs of their health care, in the hopes that they will make cheaper decisions on that basis, seems like a pipe dream to me.

If people started having to pay the full cost of their plans themselves, I imagine there would be even more uninsured people.

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Boris
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The Text of the plan is here. It's about 12 pages long. The mandate explanation is on page 5, and actually seems like a very offhand suggestion, rather than a "let's do this! it'll work!" recommendation. It makes no mention of tax enforcement of a mandate to require the purchase of insurance. The enforcement tax was an idea developed during the deliberations on the entire package, one that I immediately thought was a terrible and stupid idea.

I should also mention that the original plan for Massachusetts' Health Care Reform package defined the penalty for not acquiring affordable coverage as the loss of the Personal Exemption on the individual's state tax return. This was changed to a tax penalty of up to half the cost of an "affordable" insurance package as determined by the state. The change was made a year after Governor Romney left office. So Obamacare doesn't really match what was instituted in Massachusetts at the time Romney was in office. So while the original framework resembles his work in Massachusetts, the federal bill that was built around that framework is significantly different(especially when you consider the piles of garbage that were also included in Obamacare).

I gather from the tone of the text provided by the Heritage Foundation that the mandate would basically mean that everyone has the ability to obtain health insurance, but if you don't get insurance, the fact that you didn't get it is your own fault, and noting that individuals who fail to get insurance is a net drain on society. Using taxation or penalties as enforcement was never mentioned. I recall the idea of a tax being applied to non-compliance for the Mandate in Obamacare being mentioned by a Democratic congressman. I don't recall his name, however. I also recall very few people thinking it was a good idea.

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Boris
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quote:
Originally posted by Destineer:
quote:
Of particular interest is the removal of tax exemptions for medical insurance plans. The idea there was this, most people who have insurance receive it from their employers, and most employers either pay for the entire cost of the plan or the vast majority of it. This results in both patients and doctors being completely disconnected from the financial issues inherent in medical care. For instance, most Americans don't realize just how much their insurance costs have increased over the past 20 years. Their bills get paid, and that's all they care about. It's when the bills *don't* get paid that they get angry, and the person they are angry at is the person paying the bills (insurance companies), not the person setting the price (medical industry).
I'm all in favor of getting rid of tax exemptions to improve efficiency in the market. But the idea of acquainting people with the financial costs of their health care, in the hopes that they will make cheaper decisions on that basis, seems like a pipe dream to me.

If people started having to pay the full cost of their plans themselves, I imagine there would be even more uninsured people.

Everything I gather from the Heritage Foundation's document is that it was a kind of, "Well, here's what we see as some current problems with the existing system. Here are some ways we could combat those problems." The idea that conservatives were pushing for these as solid solutions at the national level is really just revisionist history.

They were recommendations from a conservative think-tank. They were issued, for the most part, as a counter to the recommendations for a single-payer system that were just starting to pop up at the time. The idea that they came from a right wing source and should therefore cause conservatives to jump at the opportunity to get such measures enacted is pretty arrogant, and a good example of the complete disconnect between the values of the two parties and how the parties view one another.

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Destineer
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quote:
The mandate explanation is on page 5, and actually seems like a very offhand suggestion, rather than a "let's do this! it'll work!" recommendation. It makes no mention of tax enforcement of a mandate to require the purchase of insurance.
I don't see what makes it offhand. It's about half a page in a document that has 10 pages of text.

They don't mention any specific enforcement plans, but it's clear from the text that it's supposed to be a requirement in the same sense that car insurance is a requirement. Violating state auto insurance requirements is normally punished by a fine.

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Destineer
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They also don't use any hedging language when they put the idea forward. They don't say "Here's something that's worth a try." The line is "Under the Heritage plan, there would be such a requirement."
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Destineer
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It's also ridiculous to say this was just a think-tank idea and not a mainstream Republican one. There was a bill proposed by Dole, among others, according to the Wikipedia page on this.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Health_care_mandate

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Darth_Mauve
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If the conservatives or Republicans would have come out and said, "That plan is 20 years to late and lame and not going to work." or "That plan is based on our idea, but you've added terrible things to it" I would agree with you.

Instead they come out and say, "That is a Socialist Plan to steal our freedoms. We can't let the Democrats have any victory so we'll kill this bill. What ever we do we will partake of no part of it. It is evil and must be completely destroyed. Oh, the mandate? that seems the easiest to make illegal so we'll start there."

One is logical disagreement. The other is obstructionism.

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Brian J. Hill
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quote:
Instead they come out and say, "That is a Socialist Plan to steal our freedoms. We can't let the Democrats have any victory so we'll kill this bill. What ever we do we will partake of no part of it. It is evil and must be completely destroyed. Oh, the mandate? that seems the easiest to make illegal so we'll start there."

One is logical disagreement. The other is obstructionism.

Clearly, the Evil Straw Man Republican whom you are quoting is practicing obstructionism.

When you look at facts through a partisan lens, that's all you're bound to see.

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Brian J. Hill
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To clarify that last point: I'm simply making the observation that it is partisans who tend to make the argument that the other side is being obstinate and obstructionist. When it's your side that's doing it, it's framed as standing firm on principles. Washington has become so hyper-partisan that compromise and statesmanship have gone out the window.
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MrSquicky
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quote:
I'm simply making the observation that it is partisans who tend to make the argument that the other side is being obstinate and obstructionist.
In this particular case, even leaving aside the overwhelming data showing them being obstructionist, the Republican leadership has come out and said that this is what they are doing. It's not like they've been shy about that.
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Boris
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quote:
Originally posted by Destineer:
quote:
The mandate explanation is on page 5, and actually seems like a very offhand suggestion, rather than a "let's do this! it'll work!" recommendation. It makes no mention of tax enforcement of a mandate to require the purchase of insurance.
I don't see what makes it offhand. It's about half a page in a document that has 10 pages of text.

They don't mention any specific enforcement plans, but it's clear from the text that it's supposed to be a requirement in the same sense that car insurance is a requirement. Violating state auto insurance requirements is normally punished by a fine.

Only if you get caught, and such laws with their accompanying fines are handled at the state level, not nationally. With auto insurance, if you don't have insurance, you are required to pay all damages associated to accidents that you cause, and may be held liable for damage if you didn't cause the accident (I don't know all the laws on the matter. I don't know if that's the case, but I'm putting that out there as a possible result of not having auto insurance). You can also be ticketed by any police personnel that respond to the accident. You don't just get a blanket fine if you don't provide proof that you got insurance every year (Also important, you can't get a car loan without proof of insurance to a level demanded by the lending institution).

It's not unreasonable to think that taxation would be an enforcement option, but the fact that they leave out any recommendations on enforcement is important for the context in which it was used and the argument that Republicans were just trying to stop everything from going forward, including stuff they came up with. It's just as possible that you could enforce the mandate by making it unlawful for individuals without proof of medical insurance to purchase alcohol or cigarettes. There are a thousand ways you could enforce a mandate that don't demand a blanket fine on people who don't get insurance. And the Heritage Foundation certainly doesn't recommend allowing people who don't have insurance to purchase it *after* contracting a severe illness.

In addition, the mandate section was the least detailed of the recommendations given in the plan. That leads me to conclude it was also the least thought out of the recommendations. Rather than outlining what such a requirement would do, they only explain why the requirement would be necessary.

Contrast that with the recommendation on tax exemption, which takes 3 pages and includes information on financial impact, and the other two recommendations have a lot more information as well. That's what leads me to believe the Mandate wasn't really fleshed out or thought of in depth at the time of publication, and instead cast out as an idea that any future plan developed by the Heritage Foundation would use. I've read in several places that the Heritage Foundation made many changes to their plan in the following years, but I can't really find any specifics on *how* it was changed.

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theamazeeaz
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quote:
Originally posted by MrSquicky:
quote:
I'm simply making the observation that it is partisans who tend to make the argument that the other side is being obstinate and obstructionist.
In this particular case, even leaving aside the overwhelming data showing them being obstructionist, the Republican leadership has come out and said that this is what they are doing. It's not like they've been shy about that.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W-A09a_gHJc
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Boris
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quote:
Originally posted by Darth_Mauve:
If the conservatives or Republicans would have come out and said, "That plan is 20 years to late and lame and not going to work." or "That plan is based on our idea, but you've added terrible things to it" I would agree with you.

Instead they come out and say, "That is a Socialist Plan to steal our freedoms. We can't let the Democrats have any victory so we'll kill this bill. What ever we do we will partake of no part of it. It is evil and must be completely destroyed. Oh, the mandate? that seems the easiest to make illegal so we'll start there."

One is logical disagreement. The other is obstructionism.

And the democrats sold it to the public by saying it would decrease medical costs. It hasn't. Quite the opposite. My contribution to my health insurance has increased by 50 bucks a month, and it's just me on it. If I had a family I'd be on the hook for over 200 bucks a month more this year than last year. So the democrats in congress were either incorrect in their estimates of what the plan would do, or they deliberately mislead the population. In either case, the Republican party was very much in the right to do everything they could to stop it from happening. Everything about that plan was offensive to conservative sensibilities and the dangling of recommendations made two decades prior as a means of appearing cooperative was insulting.

This is particularly important to remember when you consider that many Republicans felt that Obamacare's entire purpose was to completely destroy the Medical Insurance system so people would clamber for a Single Payer system. That was the purpose of introducing the public option. To decrease demand for public insurance by undercutting private corporations. I would not trust in the government's ability to keep costs down after all the insurance companies go bankrupt if that actually happened.

I've read comments from individuals on this forum stating they *hope* to see people clambering for a Single Payer system when the costs of Obamacare become completely noticeable. Personally, the idea of Bait and Switch government is repugnant to me. Passing legislation you *know* will cause problems in the hopes that it makes people beg you for the solution you want to sell them smacks of deceit and arrogance. I do not want this country's government to turn into a legislative system that has more in common with Chinese water torture than proper government.

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twinky
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quote:
Originally posted by Boris:
So the democrats in congress were either incorrect in their estimates of what the plan would do, or they deliberately mislead the population.

False dichotomy. Two possible alternatives, just off the top of my head:

  • End user insurance costs are not the only costs associated with health care.
  • Not all provisions of the ACA are in force yet.

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Rakeesh
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It is something of a marvel to hear someone repudiating the idea of laws and policies advanced with the idea that they won't work or will cause harm, in pursuit of some other end...in defense of the modern GOP.
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Boris
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quote:
Originally posted by MrSquicky:
quote:
I'm simply making the observation that it is partisans who tend to make the argument that the other side is being obstinate and obstructionist.
In this particular case, even leaving aside the overwhelming data showing them being obstructionist, the Republican leadership has come out and said that this is what they are doing. It's not like they've been shy about that.
And if Obama had any real leadership qualities to speak of, they wouldn't have been like that. I mean, half the time his own party won't do what he asks. He is just not an authoritative person. He insulted the Republican party with his attempts at placation and they decided to oppose him completely out of spite (and strangely enough, the country seems to be doing *better* with all the gridlock than without it). Is that attitude childish? Sure it is. But if Obama had any kind of real leadership experience, knowledge, or talent, he could have kept them in line. He's not the first president to face an opposition party. He's just been among the worst at doing so.

Part of good leadership is trying to understand the motivations and desires of the people you are leading. Obama doesn't seem interested in even *trying* to understand conservative ideals. He seems like he feels doing such a thing would require him to wear waders and an air filter. He thinks conservatives are all just bitter rednecks that "cling to guns or religion or antipathy to people who aren’t like them or anti-immigrant sentiment or anti-trade sentiment as a way to explain their frustrations." Tell me why I should be following someone who doesn't give a crap about what *actually* motivates me?

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MrSquicky
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I'm not a big fan of the ACA or how the White House and Democrats pursued getting it passed, but I can't see how a responsible adult can objectively look at the GOPs actions during that with anything other than shame.

We have a severe health care crisis in our country and it behooved our leaders to have a responsible dialog about it and what can be done about it. The GOP took this as primarily an opportunity to try to defeat the President politically and came to the debate with dishonesty, screamed slogans, and seemingly intentional blindness.

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TomDavidson
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quote:
And if Obama had any real leadership qualities to speak of, they wouldn't have been like that.
Why do you think so?
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Boris
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quote:
Originally posted by twinky:
quote:
Originally posted by Boris:
So the democrats in congress were either incorrect in their estimates of what the plan would do, or they deliberately mislead the population.

False dichotomy. Two possible alternatives, just off the top of my head:

  • End user insurance costs are not the only costs associated with health care.
  • Not all provisions of the ACA are in force yet.

1. You're right. Bureaucracy costs money too. People have to fill out paperwork, file claims, enter data into databases, transcribe information, etc. All of that bureaucracy costs money. In fact, the majority of costs associated with medical care can be attributed to administrative costs incurred by bureaucracy.
2. Also correct. Unfortunately, the provisions most likely to increase the cost of insurance and medical care are the ones that haven't been implemented yet.

quote:
It is something of a marvel to hear someone repudiating the idea of laws and policies advanced with the idea that they won't work or will cause harm, in pursuit of some other end...in defense of the modern GOP.
Vague sniping without a lick of supporting information suggests that you probably have no data to back this claim up. Please cite some examples of the GOP running a bait and switch on the American people and I'll explain how it pisses me off just as much. But thank you for continuing to be an arrogant, snarky douchebag in political discourse.

My entire purpose here has been to point out that what you and others are providing as evidence of Obama attempting to be accommodating and working with Republicans to develop a working solution is not even remotely what you believe. There's this thing called confirmation bias. I'm trying to remove it. If you think I'm wrong in my assertion that he has not been as accommodating as you seem to think, either contribute with your own facts to support that idea, or shut the hell up, Rakeesh. I will not respond to snark from you in the future except to call you out on it.

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TomDavidson
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quote:
Please cite some examples of the GOP running a bait and switch on the American people...
Well, there's always the Clean Air Act. [Smile] Or the PATRIOT Act. Or, well....Everything? Everything they've done in the last 15 years? We can start there.
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Boris
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quote:
Originally posted by TomDavidson:
quote:
And if Obama had any real leadership qualities to speak of, they wouldn't have been like that.
Why do you think so?
A strong leader would have attempted to understand and appeal to the motivations of the Republican party. That's how you influence people. Obama never even tried that. His closest attempt was to just tack on something a Republican in a very left wing state implemented to a festering pile of garbage and called it cooperation. A couple of the recommendations Republicans made at the start (Exchanges, for example) were added at the very end, once the super-majority was gone, but by then it was too late.
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Rakeesh
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Ahh, tough Internet talk.

Anyway, as for your complaints, multiple people in this thread *today* have already offered what you claim to be asking for or asking the questions you claim to wish to respond to. So mark me down as disinterested in a serious discussion along those lines with you, when you are showing-as we speak-little willingness to engage in what you claim to want.

The name calling and direct personal attacks are a good sign that you're worth talking to, though. And I'll note they were in response to neither of those from me. Another sign of...something.

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Boris
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quote:
Originally posted by TomDavidson:
quote:
Please cite some examples of the GOP running a bait and switch on the American people...
Well, there's always the Clean Air Act. [Smile] Or the PATRIOT Act. Or, well....Everything? Everything they've done in the last 15 years? We can start there.
And please explain *how* they were what you say they are? And no, I'm not going to accept your typical "Go look it up" because we're dealing with a matter of perception here. I won't perceive the same things you do right off the bat. But the PATRIOT act is something I'm not particularly fond of, either. But it's nice that you're comparing Obamacare to that wonderful pile of excrement. I am also not fond of how the GOP went lockstep with GWB, particularly towards the end of his tenure.

And to be clear, I'm not going to argue that the modern Republican Party is all sunshine and rainbows. All I am arguing is that the assertion that Obama actually made a concerted effort to work with Republicans is not particularly realistic, given the apparent lack of evidence provided to suggest that he did anything other than thumb his nose at them.

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TomDavidson
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quote:
A strong leader would have attempted to understand and appeal to the motivations of the Republican party. That's how you influence people.
Given that their stated priorities within literally days of his swearing-in were to prevent him from passing any legislation, which motivations do you think Republicans have that it would have helped to understand?

-------

quote:
And please explain *how* they were what you say they are? And no, I'm not going to accept your typical "Go look it up" because we're dealing with a matter of perception here. I won't perceive the same things you do right off the bat. But the PATRIOT act is something I'm not particularly fond of, either. But it's nice that you're comparing Obamacare to that wonderful pile of excrement.
We're talking about bait-and-switch, right? Compare the reasons Bush gave for the Clean Air Act in his SotU address to what the bill does. Then compare the stated justification for the PATRIOT Act with what the bill does. In neither case do we see any obvious overlap.
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Boris
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quote:
Originally posted by TomDavidson:
quote:
A strong leader would have attempted to understand and appeal to the motivations of the Republican party. That's how you influence people.
Given that their stated priorities within literally days of his swearing-in were to prevent him from passing any legislation, which motivations do you think Republicans have that it would have helped to understand?
Uhh...How about any of them? You would be surprised what can happen when you actually make an effort to understand people who don't like you or are out to defeat you. If you respond to obstinance with obstinance, guess what happens.
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TomDavidson
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quote:
How about any of them?
Give me one. What motivation do you personally have, for example, that you do not believe Obama understands and would help him better negotiate with Republicans determined to block any attempt at success?
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theamazeeaz
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$50 bucks a month? Now, I'm curious about this one: calculate the annual increase (monthly) for each of the preceding years up to this one.

My understanding is that Obamacare will decrease medical costs by decreasing externalities. Externalities like the fact that we pay more because many people don't have insurance but still get sick and hospitals pass that cost on to everyone because those people never pay. Externalities like people waiting far too long to get something checked out. Externalities like babies being born because people are too stupid to budget for the pill (ca-ching) or can't pull enough cash together to get an IUD. Externalities like medical bankruptcy, which causes a lot of bankruptcies, by the way.

My understanding is that Obamacare also limits the percentage profit to the insurance company and that if the insurance company exceeds that profit margin, it must return money to the individuals.

As I also understand it, it will take TIME for the health care system to recover from the rapid influx of people who hadn't been getting certain things checked out, but are going to do that now. But if there are fewer medical bankruptcies, illnesses get caught earlier, costs WILL stop accelerating at their alarming rate.

I am also happy to pay more to know that people who have lousy jobs are serving me, their customer, better because the are not working in spite of an injury they should be getting treated.

I am very proudly one of the people who hope Obamacare will pave the way for single payer insurance. Having what treatment is available to me decided by a for-profit company who has the right to drop me at a whim makes me really uncomfortable. I think single-payer health care will allow for more people to free-lance, to make risker financial moves. However, it would have decimated an entire industry with lobbyists and a crazy congress just isn't possible. I also don't think Obamacare is perfect, but I don't think people made it horrible to make people want single payer. I think they made it to solve as many problems with our health care system as they could. It's just that you can't fix everything in one bill. Period.

Is it fundamentally dishonest to pass a moderate bill, hope it becomes the norm, and that a more progressive bill will be easier to swallow?

What do you think about Don't Ask Don't Tell? Like Obamacare it was a compromise bill that passed after a very progressive attempt had failed. Do you think it was dishonest for people to agree to it, it hopes it would be repealed someday? Was it better than an outright ban of gay people in the military? Yes. Should it have not ever been passed in hopes that the full ban have been lifted wholesale?

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Boris
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quote:
Originally posted by TomDavidson:
quote:
A strong leader would have attempted to understand and appeal to the motivations of the Republican party. That's how you influence people.
Given that their stated priorities within literally days of his swearing-in were to prevent him from passing any legislation, which motivations do you think Republicans have that it would have helped to understand?

-------

quote:
And please explain *how* they were what you say they are? And no, I'm not going to accept your typical "Go look it up" because we're dealing with a matter of perception here. I won't perceive the same things you do right off the bat. But the PATRIOT act is something I'm not particularly fond of, either. But it's nice that you're comparing Obamacare to that wonderful pile of excrement.
We're talking about bait-and-switch, right? Compare the reasons Bush gave for the Clean Air Act in his SotU address to what the bill does. Then compare the stated justification for the PATRIOT Act with what the bill does. In neither case do we see any obvious overlap.

Do you mean the Clear *Skies* Act? If that's the law that forced me to start using these retarded HFA inhalers, I hate it. PATRIOT wasn't a very good piece of legislation either. Of course, Obama still hasn't done squat to get rid of it.

But, still, you're stuck in GOP = GWB mode. Bush is not the GOP and the GOP is not Bush. The GOP followed him pretty blindly after 9/11, so I can see how you can confuse the two. Can you provide any examples that don't involve George Bush deceiving the people?

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Xavier
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quote:
A strong leader would have attempted to understand and appeal to the motivations of the Republican party.
I think the overwhelming motivation for Republican politicians after 2008 was "make sure Obama is perceived as a failure as a president". Any other motivations were eclipsed by that one, big time.

And you're right, I don't think he initially understood the strength of that motivation very well at first. He does now though, I suspect.

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Boris
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quote:
Originally posted by TomDavidson:
quote:
How about any of them?
Give me one. What motivation do you personally have, for example, that you do not believe Obama understands and would help him better negotiate with Republicans determined to block any attempt at success?
How about the desire to curb run-away government spending? The desire to not have the government digging its nails into daily life? The desire to prevent the money we spend on taxes from being wasted on people who are gaming the system? Democrats never even tried to address some of the glaring possibilities for abuse that exist in it. Or how about just not being told we should do this because it's "In your best interest" as if the government was our parents?
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Boris
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quote:
Originally posted by theamazeeaz:
$50 bucks a month? Now, I'm curious about this one: calculate the annual increase (monthly) for each of the preceding years up to this one.

My understanding is that Obamacare will decrease medical costs by decreasing externalities. Externalities like the fact that we pay more because many people don't have insurance but still get sick and hospitals pass that cost on to everyone because those people never pay. Externalities like people waiting far too long to get something checked out. Externalities like babies being born because people are too stupid to budget for the pill (ca-ching) or can't pull enough cash together to get an IUD. Externalities like medical bankruptcy, which causes a lot of bankruptcies, by the way.

My understanding is that Obamacare also limits the percentage profit to the insurance company and that if the insurance company exceeds that profit margin, it must return money to the individuals.

As I also understand it, it will take TIME for the health care system to recover from the rapid influx of people who hadn't been getting certain things checked out, but are going to do that now. But if there are fewer medical bankruptcies, illnesses get caught earlier, costs WILL stop accelerating at their alarming rate.

I am also happy to pay more to know that people who have lousy jobs are serving me, their customer, better because the are not working in spite of an injury they should be getting treated.

I am very proudly one of the people who hope Obamacare will pave the way for single payer insurance. Having what treatment is available to me decided by a for-profit company who has the right to drop me at a whim makes me really uncomfortable. I think single-payer health care will allow for more people to free-lance, to make risker financial moves. However, it would have decimated an entire industry with lobbyists and a crazy congress just isn't possible. I also don't think Obamacare is perfect, but I don't think people made it horrible to make people want single payer. I think they made it to solve as many problems with our health care system as they could. It's just that you can't fix everything in one bill. Period.

Is it fundamentally dishonest to pass a moderate bill, hope it becomes the norm, and that a more progressive bill will be easier to swallow?

What do you think about Don't Ask Don't Tell? Like Obamacare it was a compromise bill that passed after a very progressive attempt had failed. Do you think it was dishonest for people to agree to it, it hopes it would be repealed someday? Was it better than an outright ban of gay people in the military? Yes. Should it have not ever been passed in hopes that the full ban have been lifted wholesale?

I wouldn't be able to tell you what the increases over the past would have been, because I haven't stayed with any single company long enough to get hit with Insurance rate increases more than once. Most of the companies I've worked for cover the entire bill. That is becoming less feasible and the year prior to being hired for the company I work for individuals were covered fully by the company. Single employees must now pay about 180 a month. The company covers the remainder, which comes out to about 500 dollars a month. The company I worked for previously chose to switch insurance providers rather than face increased costs. The plan we ended up with was significantly worse than the one we had, but my costs remained the same. Every company I worked with up to that point paid insurance costs in full going back to when I was in college, where I had student insurance going back to when I was covered under my parents' plan. I have no idea how much it cost them.

The fact that Obamacare was built to address "as many problems as they could" is a major failing. We've already seen numerous unintended consequences from portions of it, many of which had to be removed through congressional action. It's a 1300 page bill, for crying out loud. If you really need all of that to fix the problem, you aren't being very creative. Republican proposals were to make a small number changes to the system that would have a large impact. Democrats proposed a large number of changes that would have very little impact individually. The excessive complexity of Obamacare is likely to bring the medical industry to its knees in such a way that it would be difficult at best to fix.

If your goal is Single payer, that's fine, but telling the American people that you're going to pass a law that will greatly decrease medical costs, knowing it will actually increase costs, and deliberately lying about it in hopes that people will clamor for what you really want to give them in the future is just arrogant. What's also likely to happen is people blame Obamacare for out of control costs and go on the warpath to get it repealed outright.

And going back to externalities...You realize that Obamacare doesn't really remove any of those things you mention? We will still end up paying for all of those people who can't afford care to get care. The only difference is that the hospitals and other medical companies will make a lot more money (Don't even think about expecting them to drop their prices. They provide life saving services whose value is hard to quantify. Good luck convincing them they shouldn't charge as much as they do now. We can't even control the costs involved in our existing government contracting system, and insurance companies have a hard time controlling costs already. What makes you think the government can do it better?).

Having people wait to get checked until something explodes? You'll actually see that increase as doctors have to spend more time doing paper work and less time working with patients. With more people trying to see the doctors and the number of family doctors decreasing in this country, expect to be forced to wait longer to see a doctor. The actual cost of doctor visits will end up increasing as well. Everyone likes to gloss over the fact that time sensitive illnesses like cancer are much more survivable in the US in great part because of the wait time required to see a doctor in many single-payer health care systems. And people will still put off going to the doctor because they just don't have time to or because they don't want to or because it's a pain in the butt.

And people will still be stupid about having kids, not because they can't afford the pill (seriously? Ca-ching? Sprintec costs 9 bucks a month. Ask your doctor to prescribe the cheap stuff instead of letting them up sell you to the stuff under patent), but because they choose not to take it, just like they do now. It *may* stop medical bankruptcy, but I think I'd choose a bankruptcy over death if presented with the choice. Wouldn't you?

As for the medical industry taking time to adapt to the influx of people, that's a pretty bad cop out, don't you think? "Well, maybe the prices will increase for a while until all these people who have been sick for ages start getting covered by insurance, but they'll go down eventually." No. No they won't. Medicine's various industries have no incentive to keep costs to patients down under Obamacare. There was nothing done to reduce the profiteering in the medical industry. Because of the nature of what they provide, it is nearly impossible to convince them that what they charge is more than they should be charging. In the situation where costs for doctor visits start getting heavily controlled, expect to see doctors start refusing insurance payments outright. I have a doctor that won't take insurance from anyone, charges 200 bucks, and lets you file your own insurance claim. Because she's out of network, I get maybe 30% back from them. If she were in network, she would be limited to charging about 75 dollars for a visit.

And DADT didn't really get sold as one thing and turn out to be the exact opposite. Its enforcement was fairly severe, but it wasn't an outright lie. Accepting a partial measure in hopes of getting a full measure is acceptable, just don't lie blatantly about what's going to happen with your half measure and pretend it's not a stepping stone.

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TomDavidson
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quote:
How about the desire to curb run-away government spending? The desire to not have the government digging its nails into daily life? The desire to prevent the money we spend on taxes from being wasted on people who are gaming the system?
Do you believe that Obama does not understand that many -- far from all -- Republicans genuinely care about these principles? If not, how do you believe he would govern differently if he did?
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TomDavidson
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quote:
But, still, you're stuck in GOP = GWB mode. Bush is not the GOP and the GOP is not Bush.
Very true. Can you name something constructive the GOP has done at the federal level since the Bush Administration?

------

quote:
Having people wait to get checked until something explodes? You'll actually see that increase as doctors have to spend more time doing paper work and less time working with patients.
I think you'll find this is precisely wrong. Once the various exchanges are set up, I fully expect preventative care to skyrocket in demand.
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Boris
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quote:
Originally posted by TomDavidson:
quote:
How about the desire to curb run-away government spending? The desire to not have the government digging its nails into daily life? The desire to prevent the money we spend on taxes from being wasted on people who are gaming the system?
Do you believe that Obama does not understand that many -- far from all -- Republicans genuinely care about these principles? If not, how do you believe he would govern differently if he did?
I don't think he even acknowledges these as legitimate issues with modern government. How would he govern differently if he did? I couldn't say, primarily because doing so would be a very radical shift from his current style. I imagine he would begin to resemble Clinton's style a little more, but I couldn't say for certain because I was a teenager in the Clinton years and the only thing I paid attention to then was BBSes and Computers.
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theamazeeaz
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quote:
Originally posted by TomDavidson:
quote:
But, still, you're stuck in GOP = GWB mode. Bush is not the GOP and the GOP is not Bush.
Very true. Can you name something constructive the GOP has done at the federal level since the Bush Administration?
[Wave]

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Commercial_Advertisement_Loudness_Mitigation_Act

But that's about it.

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TomDavidson
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And that was a Democratic bill originally. [Smile]
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TomDavidson
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quote:
I don't think he even acknowledges these as legitimate issues with modern government.
Now we've gone from the need to understand that some Republicans believe these are legitimate issues to believing -- and agreeing with them -- that they are issues which demand his attention. Are you suggesting that a good leader must believe the same things his opposition believes?
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