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Posted on April 5 at 7:18 p.m.
Unlike some of the posters who think Obamacare plans are better than the individual plans that were sold in Ca, based on very biased articles from Mother Jones and Huffington Post, I actually had my policy cancelled so I think I know what I am talking about.
I use to have an individual policy with Blue Shield for my wife and me. It had a $5,200 deductible per person and a similar out of pocket maximum. It had a very robust network of providers, essentially covering every doctor and hospital in Ca, as well as most providers out of state. It had no lifetime or annual limits and all preventative care was free. It also covered non-formulary drugs. It cost me $679 a month
The Obamacare policy has a $5,000 deductible and $6,350 out of pocket maximum. The network of doctors and hospitals is pitifully small compared to what I had. None of my doctors take it. Sansum won't take it and UCLA or Cedar Sinai in LA won't take it. What good is the policy if I can't find a decent doctor or specialist to treat me if I get sick. If I need specialized care outside of Santa Barbara, I am screwed. The drug formulary is about 2/3 the size of the old one and it doesn't cover non-formulary drugs. So If i need an expensive drug for a serious condition, I am probably out of luck. This super duper Obamacare policy costs $1,110 a month, far more than my pre-Obamacare policy.
Now I know I wasn't the only one in the individual market who got screwed. Most people who didn't qualify for subsidies were shocked when their plans were cancelled and they were told the new sticker price. Yes, people who have employer health plans were unaffected but their time is coming when they have to face the same issues I dealt with in the last few months.
So please don't tell me I don't know what I am talking about. You can read your Mother Jones and other nonsense, but that doesn't mean you have any more than a superficial understanding of the subject. If you're going to defend this law at least educate yourselves as to what is really happening instead of repeating the political talking points of the partisan supporters.
On Covered California Deadlines Bumped Two Weeks
Posted on April 4 at 10:58 p.m.
"The reason why "If you like your doctor, you can keep your doctor" was not true in about 3-?% of cases, was because those people had signed up for junk insurance plans. Under ACA they could not keep them, because they were junk - ACA sets the standard higher than junk."
As someone who had his plan cancelled and offered an Obamacare plan, I can promise you the above statement is totally false. The plan I had was far from junk; in fact, it was much better than any of the plans on the state exchange. The premium for the Obamacare plan was $500 per month more than my existing plan; and it had a higher out of pocket maximum and most importantly the network of doctors and hospitals were about half of what I previously had access to. In addition, I use to have coverage for out of state providers and non-formulary drugs, both of which I lost when my plan was cancelled.
Most people (like the above poster) have no idea what is included in the Obamacare plans and end up saying ridiculous nonsense, demonstrating their ignorance of the subject.
Posted on February 21 at 2:09 a.m.
^^^^That analogy is absurd. It is not even remotely analogous to the Israeli/Palestinian conflict.
On Talking with Former Head of Israeli Spy Agency
Posted on August 22 at 3:50 p.m.
Dr Dan, trust me, I have nothing against local businesses, safe neighborhoods, or efficient transportation. My problem is that it is very easy for a politician to support these things without really meaning it. The devil is in the details. Most politicians are expert at running their mouths without saying anything of substance. I am sure everyone on the city council is for safe neighborhoods and local businesses, but when you analyze their votes it becomes apparent that (for the majority) their actions contradict their stated intentions.
On Megan Diaz Alley Running for City Council
Posted on August 21 at 10:57 p.m.
"Alley emphasized the importance of efficient transportation, safe neighborhoods, local businesses, and a sustainable environment."
And she is also for motherhood and apple pie. Most of these candidates will say anything to get elected. In other words, how can I discuss the issues without saying anything meaningful and/or offending anyone. I give her an "A" for political pandering. She is well on her way to becoming a sycophantic politician, modeling the people who are endorsing her.
Posted on May 28 at 3:58 p.m.
Ken, I have no clients who have any interest in charter or private schools in Santa Barbara or anywhere else. Although in some instances I think it would be advantageous for parents and their children to have a free choice or competitive school model as an alternative to the current govt school monopoly, I am not an ideologue regarding this issue.
I know it may be hard for you guys to believe, but my only reason for running for the school board was because too many of our children are graduating our schools without the requisite skills to succeed in life. For instance, over 70% of the students who continue their education at SBCC are unprepared for college courses and are required to take remedial courses in math and English. Most of these kids drop out and make up the vast majority of the unemployed or underemployed.
I have many ideas for reforming our schools to improve student outcomes. At the minimum, I would expect that every kid who graduates from our high schools can read, write and perform basic math at a proficient level. If you google me, I am sure you can read a number of articles where I have discussed these reforms. It will require changing the culture, expectations and reforming some of the labor practices and rules which are antithetical to successful student academic performance. Unfortunately, the education labyrinth in Sacramento and its many school districts throughout the state have become a bureaucratic nightmare that are operating under decades-old mandates and archaic rules.
Finally, I wish people could depoliticize this issue. The solutions need not be defined as left or right. It is the interest of everyone, no matter where they stand on the political spectrum, to fix our schools so every kid has a chance to succeed in life. A good education is the best chance to escape poverty for many of our socioeconomic disadvantaged residents.
On Santa Barbara Teachers Association Elects New Union Boss
Posted on May 27 at 10:33 p.m.
Brandon, the fact that your wife is a teacher and a district employee is relevant information which should be routinely disclosed regarding articles relating to collective bargaining or policies impacting district employees. Although she may be on a one-year contract, that does not mean she wouldn't benefit from collective bargaining.
A number of assertions about employee health insurance costs, salaries and class room size were made. It wasn't clear to me if you were quoting Mr. Houchin or these were facts you independently researched. Although I understand you were only reporting his claim that he doesn't want to defend bad teachers, most people familiar with our public educational system know the teacher unions expend a tremendous of money and effort defending poorly performing teachers regardless of the impact it has on our students.
The fact that you told me about your wife or you believe these articles to be entirely objective is beside the point. Your readers deserve to know this important piece of information, so they can decide for themselves if the information is relevant or if you were able to omit any subtle personal bias or editorializing from influencing your reporting.
Posted on May 27 at 5:59 p.m.
Most people don't know that Brandon Fastman's wife is a teacher at SB Junior High School. Last year I had an exchange with him when I suggested he should disclose this information when writing articles regarding policies affecting district employees. He agreed with my suggestion and told me the paper would disclose it in the future.
Obviously, it hasn't happened. I would hope the Independent would understand the necessity of disclosing information that can affect the objectivity of the author. It might be helpful for Mr. Fastman and the Independent to take a refresher course in journalistic ethics.
Posted on November 13 at 12:11 a.m.
Geeber, for the sake of accuracy, probably no more than 60,000 people voted in the district (probably less). Therefore, it is reasonably certain that more than one of every three voters voted for me. The 15% is the percentage of the total votes (each voter had three selections).
I am waiting for the precinct returns to see what effect the UCSB students had on the election. A record number of them voted this time. It is well known the Democratic Party pays them to register students. It is nice to know that many students, who have no intention of staying here after they graduate, are having a disproportionate influence on local elections and levying parcel taxes on property owners in the district.
On Real Americans
Posted on November 12 at 10:06 p.m.
Well Ken, I did get over 20,000 votes but you're probably right about not many of them coming from UCSB or Isla Vista.