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Bill Haskell



Articles by Bill Haskell

Data shows anti-union ‘right-to-work’ laws damage state economies

5 days ago

I believe Angry Bear has touched upon Right to Work several times now; here, here, and now today. This brief touches upon RTW laws damaging state economies.

Data show anti-union ‘right-to-work’ laws damage state economies: As Michigan’s repeal takes effect, New Hampshire should continue to reject ‘right-to-work’ legislation,

Economic Policy Institute,

Jennifer Sherer and Elise Gould, February 20, 2025

Key findings:

Data show that states with so-called “right-to-work” (RTW) laws have lower unionization rates, wages, and benefits compared with non-RTW states.

On average, workers in RTW states are paid 3.2% less than workers with similar characteristics in non-RTW states, which translates to $1,670 less per year for a full-time

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It’s still the prices, stupid

6 days ago

What’s Medicare’s secret sauce for controlling costs? The agency sets provider prices.

It’s still the prices, stupid, GoozNews, Merrill Goozner, Sept. 7, 2023

AB: What is fun is my being able to talk to these guys and exchange thoughts. Then I bring them to Angry Bear. Kind of under the weather yesterday and today. Got the chills and a headache.

The Times’ Upshot columnists weighed in on Labor Day on a subject I’ve written about extensively over the past decade. Since passage of the Affordable Care Act in 2010, Medicare has chalked up a remarkable record in holding down health care spending, reducing its projected outlays by a stunning $3.9 trillion, according to the analysis.

I was glad to see the Times finally pay attention to this

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A Scent of Evil

7 days ago

Read a couple of articles this morning. One by Slate and the other by Newsweek. Sneezing away here and not feeling up to par.

I am not going to post them here. Just too long, even if I made the print smaller. My perspective? I thought they were both good. Maybe you will think differently. There is sense of evil in both of the articles.

Ivanka Trump Instagram: The former adviser to the president has slipped back into her rose-colored bubble, SLATE, Greg Olear.

The tragedy in all of this is that Ivanka speaking out against Donald would have mattered. Ivanka speaking out would have had real power. Ivanka speaking out would have saved lives. Yes, there was a price she would have had to pay for speaking out—her father is a petty, vengeful

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No Longer Right to Work

7 days ago

We were living in Michigan when Engler and the Republican Legislature passed Right to Work Laws. The effort was meant to undercut Unions and saving costs for the Big Three automakers. Supposedly cars would be lower in costs to with the reductions reflected in prices to consumers. Never happened.

Michigan reversed Right to Work Laws just recently.

Michigan becomes 1st state in decades to repeal ‘right-to-work’ law, PBS NewsHour, Paula Gardner

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Michigan, long known as a mainstay of organized labor, on Friday became the first state in decades to repeal a union-restricting law known as “right-to-work” that was passed over a decade ago by a Republican-controlled Legislature.

The state’s “right-to-work” law had allowed those

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In-Box Topics Which May Be of Interest

7 days ago

Topical Emails from all different sites. Pulled from my In-Box and which I have no time to write about. Thinking, they still may be of interest to readers who visit Angry Bear. Please be topical or at least close.

Healthcare

Neighborhoods And Health: Interventions at the Neighborhood Level Could Help Advance Health Equity, Health Affairs. Mariana C. Arcaya, Ingrid Gould Ellen, and Justin Steil. Housing is tied to neighborhoods. To understand how housing affects health and health equity, the role of neighborhood environments must be considered.

Who owns your medical records? GoozNews, Merrill Goozner. Cyber thieves hacked their way into the computer system at Lurie Children’s Hospital in Chicago last week, shutting down the patient portal,

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Veterans Community Care Program is of lower quality, takes longer, and has soaring costs

8 days ago

The Veterans Community Care Program promised to give vets speedier access to high quality care. Instead, its care is of lower quality, takes longer and its cost is soaring. Suzanne Gordon and Steve Early focus on helping veterans secure healthcare.  I have talked with Steve previously.

Russell Lemle is a Senior Policy Analyst for the Veterans Healthcare Policy Institute. 

VA’s Private Health Plan Faces Huge Cost Overruns,

Washington Monthly, Russell Lemle and Suzanne Gordon,

January 3, 2024.

In 2014, Congress passed the Veterans Access, Choice, and Accountability Act, which set up a temporary program that outsourced veterans’ care from the Veterans Health Administration (VHA) to private sector providers. In 2018, President Donald

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Just some news from Reporting in Letters from an American

9 days ago

Full article at the link.

Last night Prof: Heather Cox-Richardson reporting in “Letters from an American” a comment made by Tucker Carlson to Egyptian journalist Emad El Din Adeeb. Carlson emphasized an equivalency of American leaders to Russia’s Putin.

My Letters Take . . .

“Every leader kills people . . . Some kill more than others. Leadership requires killing people.”    

I can not think of any US president openly assassinating a person by edict or murdering as many people as Putin has to eliminate any threat to his dictatorship. Others may have a different opinion than I on this. Carlson obviously did this trip so as to gain attention so as to remain a pundit in the US. A pundit unassociated with any major news broadcasting network.

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Computerized Systems can be compromised by Cyberattacks

9 days ago

I took the story from a NBC News article written by Kevin Collier, “Parents struggle after Lurie Children’s Hospital cyberattack.”

Quelle Surprise as one blogger used to say from time to time. What else is new? This was bound to happen. The issue(s) as I see it, is/are what is the backup(s) to the system?

The Story

Deborah Land said the outage has caused an infuriating runaround. Her daughter needs bloodwork completed for an appointment next week. The digital order to get that bloodwork is inaccessible due to Lurie’s systems being down Repeated calls to the hospital’s emergency call center and a visit to the hospital has not yielded a paper order for the bloodwork.

Her daughter is on a controlled substance and needs to refill her

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“Should Democrats Trade the Southern Border for Ukraine?”

10 days ago

Just before Christmas 2023, I posted a partial of a Thom Hartmann commentary (reader: Jim Han suggestion), a radio personality, is liberal or progressive in his beliefs, and has other sides of politics, etc. on his radio broadcasts. Yes, he makes money by having his views and discussing other views on his show.

I am starting to see others take up the issues at the Mexico-US border. But not in the way, I would hope they would take it up. These are people who I would mostly agree with from time to time. Today, they are starting to present a different dialogue to which I do not agree as it promotes a Republican lie. The following is a reposting of what I posted December 20, 2023. Not very old, still relevant, and I believe to be the right message.

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Paranoia, passivity, and keeping reality at bay

10 days ago

Paranoia, passivity, and keeping reality at bay, INFIDEL753 Blog, Infidel753

This post is about psychology, not politics.  It may not look that way at first, but bear with me.]

Many on the left feel a persistent anxiety about the danger of large-scale right-wing political violence.  Much of the right-wing population is heavily armed (though lately many urban liberals have been buying guns too, due to the ongoing menace of violent crime in the big cities), and for years there has been an undercurrent of rhetoric about “Second Amendment solutions” and so forth in response to future election outcomes or other events they don’t like.  Then, too, there was the January 6 insurrection.  Many fear that any major legal move against Trump, or his

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Catlin Clark Sets the mark in Basketball

10 days ago

Taken from MSN’s reprint of a Washington Post article. How can you not get excited about this? As a basketball small forward and guard, a thunker when trying to dunk the ball. I think this is exciting. How can you not like this?

Iowa’s senior guard entered the night with 3,520 points, seven shy of Plum’s record. Caitlin Clark wasted no time, making a right-handed layup on the Hawkeyes’ first possession and a three-pointer on their second position to get within reach of the milestone. After Iowa committed a pair of turnovers, Clark pushed the ball up the court in transition and pulled up from three steps inside the center court line near the left sideline to swish the record-setting three-pointer just 2:15 into the game.

Clark celebrated by

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Dems Slam Social Security Board Nominee Over History of Supporting Benefit Cuts

11 days ago

Andrew Biggs knows small incremental increases in SS withholding would resolve any shortfall. The plan presented by Dale Coberly is such and it was agreed up by the Social Security administration as workable. This has been a long running back and forth with Andrew Biggs whose only plan is cuts in Social Security and its demise.

Dale and Bruce held a back and forth with Andrew Biggs here: Notes on Social Security Reform: Responding to Angry Bear: “Where does the $17 trillion deficit come from?” andrewgbiggs.blogspot.com. Both Bruce and Dale are in the comments section replying to Andrew Biggs. Bruce Webb also gives a rundown here: “Soc Sec XXXVII: Backwards Transfers: Biggs Responds,” Angry Bear (angrybearblog.com). In another instance commenter

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‘Hell No’: Trump Allies’ Plan to Privatize Medicare Draws Alarm and Outrage

12 days ago

It never ends as commercial interests keep trying to horn in on healthcare for the old geezers like myself. Except, it is not person related healthcare. It is related to the size of your wallet. More on Medicare Advantage by Jake Johnson at Common Dreams.

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A right-wing coalition’s proposal to make Medicare Advantage the default enrollment option would be a “clear handout to the private insurance industry,” said one critic.

‘Hell No’: Trump Allies’ Plan to Privatize Medicare Draws Alarm and Outrage, Common Dreams, Jake Johnson

A right-wing coalition that’s been laying the policy groundwork for another Trump presidency has developed a plan to further privatize Medicare by making fraud-riddled Medicare Advantage “the default

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Eleven* Years of #ACA Medicaid Expansion in One Image

12 days ago

Eleven* Years of #ACA Medicaid Expansion in One Image, ACA Signups, Charles Gaba

I just posted a colorful graph which tracked ACA Qualified Health Plan (QHP) enrollment over eleven years of Open Enrollment Periods.

Below I’ve done the same thing for ACA Medicaid Expansion. The data comes from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services quarterly Medicaid Budget & Expenditure System reports.

*Unfortunately, the MBES reports only run through June 2023, so it’s missing 6 months of updates (which have likely shown a small drop in ACA Expansion Medicaid enrollees due to the ongoing Unwinding process). It therefore actually only includes 10 1/2 yrs of enrollment data.

Also keep in mind that if the remaining 10 states had expanded

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USPS tells regulator, “mind your own regulations”

13 days ago

This has been going on several years now and Angry Bear has been featuring Steve Hutkins from Save The Post Office and also former North Carolina Postmaster Mark Jamison. The battle goes on as big business through Louis DeJoy attempt to bring their vision of how a Post Office should be managed. The USPS is meant to go anywhere and everywhere mail needs to be delivered. It is not supposed to eliminate delivery to places farfetched and out of the way of well-traveled routes. The intent was to deliver the mail everywhere.

And some can not envision such.

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USPS tells regulator, “mind your own regulations.”

Save the Post Office,

Steve Hutkins. January 4, 2024

The Postal Service has started off the New Year by refusing to

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George W. Bush, Jr. Gaffs-The Dark Side

15 days ago

Went dumpster diving in my Internet sites to find this again. George W. Bush, Jr. – The Dark Side (realchange.org)

Enjoy the silly remarks by Boy-George Bush as compared to Joe Biden. And then the political clowns such as Hur, attack Biden? A president who took us through what could have been one of the greatest economic downturns in the history of the US. The stress must have been tremendous the last three years.

And trump gave us $2 trillion in deficit spending with his TCMJ being passed under reconciliation and which sunsets in 2025. The only safe landing will be for corporations. Their tax breaks were made permanent by trump and Republicans. And in the background, we have Jamie Dimon, others, and Republicans complaining of economic disaster

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February 9, 2024, Letters from an American

16 days ago

Why is it that Democrats always pick the wrong guy? Yes, he delivered an honest, nonpolitical, and legal determination of Biden’s guilt or innocence as assigned to do. No, he is not entitled to go forward with his personal BS assessment of Biden a man he obviously distains.

February 9, 2024, Letters from an American, Prof. Heather Cox-Richardson

Yesterday, Special Counsel Robert Hur, appointed by Attorney General Merrick Garland in January 2023 to investigate President Joe Biden’s handling of classified documents before he was president, released his report. It begins: “We conclude that no criminal charges are warranted in this matter. We would reach the same conclusion even if Department of Justice policy did not foreclose criminal charges

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trump’s TCJA Made the Tax System, Tax Season More Burdensome

16 days ago

In Angry Bear’s commentary Looking at the Trump 2017 Tax Breaks, we examined exactly what the TCJA did for citizens. By the end of 2025, the TCJA would add to the deficit an ~$2.2 trillion. If extended, we can expect another $1.5 trillion. Special exempts were written into the bill so those (business interests) who benefited from the tax cuts would have the tax break into the 2030s. We beginning to or are exceeding the nations GDP.

RI’s Emily DiVto discusses the TCJA’s impact upon common citizens.

The TCJA Is Making Our Tax System—and Tax Season—More Burdensome

Roosevelt Institute, Emily DiVito

February 5, 2023

With tax season upon us, a bevy of taxpayers have taken to social media to decry their unexpectedly paltry returns. While

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Medicare for All or Medicare for Wall Street Profits?

17 days ago

Ran across two articles on conservatives, a presidential candidate, and the US Gov. pushing people towards Medicare Advantage plans. I thought I could combine both articles on one post using snippets of information from each. It was too exhausting to do so.

I will keep them separate and write each independent of the other. Since I have been writing on healthcare for a while, I typically add my own comments as taken from other sources. This Rolling Stone article includes some of it. To which, I will say most of this piece is taken from Rolling Stone.

This article adds to what many of us have been saying about Medicare Advantage plans. Read on . . .

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Republicans Are Planning to Totally Privatize Medicare if Trump Wins,

Rolling

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Basketball and Watching an Amazing Player

18 days ago

Catlin Clark. It is amazing to watch this young woman play. And then there is me! Small m.

I played street ball, YMCA ball, league ball, high school, and a bit of college before the Marine Corps snatched me up. At 6 feet and just shy of 6’1″. I was a thunker. I could get my hand over the rim but not the ball. The ball would hit the rim and you could hear the thunk-sound in the gym. Hence, a thunker.

It was fun though.

Catlin is putting up an average 32 points a game, 8 assists, 7 rebounds, 48% on baskets. 3-pointers is looking pretty damn good too. Both are damn good. My average was 12 points a game. High was 19 points. Low was 3 points when all I did was carry and pass. I do not know the rest, but I was deadly at the blue line. I was good

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The coming of the 14th Amendment and Why

20 days ago

The following sounds familiar, yes? Not much has changed since the Civil War. Still the same attitude, we belong but only on our terms. The Democrats of the South, now today’s Republicans starve for some type of leadership and glommed on to trump. What a compliment to trump that someone needed him and adored him.

The murder of Lincoln was unfortunate. Southerners again had Black Americans under their thumb regardless of constitutional amendments and enforced by vigilantes.

Just some thoughts taken from a commentary.

“Enslavement, they believed, had enabled a few men to monopolize wealth and power in the American South, where they dominated state governments and wrote laws to protect their own interests. Those same men had taken over first

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Medicare Advantage Draft Letter making the Rounds in the Senate

21 days ago

Once again, there are efforts made to the US Senate urging Senators to support Medicare Advantage plans. The facts against Medicare Advantage for seniors have been stated over and over again by Kip Sullivan, myself, and others as well.

PNHP President has authored a counter letter to the Senate explaining some of the issues and problems with Medicate Advantage. Many of which come to bear once the enrollee is a part of the Advantage programs. Profiteering at the expense of traditional Medicare funding is only one of the issues.

The Medicare Advantage program has a record of harming patients by delaying and denying care, and by restricting our choice of doctor. Insurance corporations have been caught overcharging taxpayers by up to 140 billion

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Betting it all on a Constitutional Loophole

22 days ago

Slate’s Mark Joseph Stern has posted a good commentary about Oregon politics, “Oregon Republicans bet it all on a constitutional loophole. They lost big-time.”

The topic? What happens to in-office politicians who attempt to block legislation or function by not being in attendance. For some years, Oregon suffered from politicians who decided to just not show up or be in attendance. The effect of 10 or so of the Oregon State Senators not being there over a number of days stalled legislation in the state senate.

Quite uppity of them, you think? If you are not going to do what I want, I will not be there and the rest of you and the voters for that matter can stuff it till you decide to play in “my-political-ballpark.” And of course, do what I

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Wrong about Biden economy

24 days ago

We are into the fourth year of Biden’s first term as President and some are finally beginning to realize that maybe, just maybe what Joe did was mostly correct. Yeah sure, there were some things he got wrong. However, he did lead us through one of the worst economic calamities the nation has survived, a pandemic. Democrats in Congress did help. In 2008, Obama had two years of Democrat support which went away in 2010.

Recognized Biden’s efforts was Larry Kudlow, Trump’s White House’s Director of the National Economic Council. On Thursday’s Fox’s News Kudlow admitted, “he was wrong about the Biden economy and all the predictions of an economic slowdown and impending recession.”

There is still a hint of a slowdown and New Deal democrat talks about

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Looking at 2022 Healthcare Costs and Two Forecasts

26 days ago

I am attempting to present a simple way to portray the costs of healthcare in the US. Using pie charts, a bar chart, and a graph gets the measures of cost across and at the same time presents different discussion points. Merrill Goozner presents the same data as did Peterson and draws a different conclusion. Healthcare costs do not appear to be outstripping economic growth. The issue still remains that we can manage our healthcare costs in a more efficient way. The other issue presented here? CMS and CBO reporting has to be accurate as it drives what the government does.

The Nation’s Health Dollar ($4.3 Trillion), Calendar Year 2022: Where It Came from and Where it Went, (cms.gov)

Where Did We Spend the Money for Healthcare?

From Where Did

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Merrill Goozner Talks about Abortion

27 days ago

Abortion is a tough topic to write about as both sides get a bit mean. The one side forbidding it more so then the supporters of reproductive choice. Maybe it has to do with the thought or thinking behind it. Women decide and the males shut up, except for the orange one.

Abortion in the news, GoozNews, Merrill Goozner

There’s only one health care issue that will be on the ballot this November, and that’s abortion.

Health care pundits like myself can tick off a half dozen other issues we would like to see the candidates address this year: prescription drug prices and the Biden program to rein them in; the future of Medicare and Medicare Advantage; how to respond to the next pandemic; how to address the opioid, behavioral health and obesity

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The Renaming of Bird Species Honoring historical figures

27 days ago

In Michigan, we had a feeder about 20 feet from the deck. We would get different species . Flickers, Downey Woodpeckers, Chickadees, Nut Hatches, Wrens, the common sparrows, etc. The Nut Hatches and Chickadees were the acrobats and would hang upside down. When the feeder would empty out the Chickadees would hang around on the feeder hanger and watch me take the feeder down. I would fill it, rehang it, and they would still be looking down or fluttering around. No fear. I put oranges on nails in a piece of wood one time and a set of Orioles came by. Hummingbirds were around so we had a sipping arrangement for them. A lively area and worth watching.

I imagine they will be renaming the Orioles too.

Why dozens of North American bird species are

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Mark Cuban’s Cost Plus Drugs Plan

28 days ago

Mission of Mark Cuban Cost Plus Drugs

The following is Mark Cuban’s pitch on supply drugs. If you do not have healthcare insurance which pays for drugs you more than likely going to pay list unless you have a drug store discount such as GoodRx.

Mark Cuban talking pharmaceuticals and costs: We started Mark Cuban Cost Plus Drug Company because every American should have access to safe, affordable medicines. If you don’t have insurance or have a high deductible plan, you know that even the most basic medications can cost a fortune. Many people are spending crazy amounts of money each month just to stay healthy. No American should have to suffer or worse – because they can’t afford basic prescription medications.

If you are fortunate enough to

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Jamie Dimon wants to help poor people by . . .

29 days ago

Jamie Dimon says lower-income people need more help and he’d ‘pay for it by taxing the wealthy a little bit more’ Fortune

Taxing the Rich?

If he really wants to help the poor? Allow the tax breaks for individuals in the upper 20% sunset. reverse the tax breaks, and tax income from foreign enterprises. A little bit more below.

Didn’t we just have a conversation about Jamie’s beliefs on taxes here at Angry Bear? If you forgot, you can find it here: In Defense of Trump’s Economics by a Billionaire. Jamie is defending trumps economic policies. Such things as leaving the reconciliation tax rate alone for those whose income is 80 percent and below. Allow the taxes under reconciliation sunset for those whose income is in the top 20%. A quick and

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