Michigan ex-pat in Brooklyn, web nerd, banjo novice, loves food, mildly abrasive
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How many people will Obamacare and AHCA kill?

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Five separate people were bylined on a Center for American Progress post about how many people AHCA will kill. The post is quite long, but all the authors really do is take the CBO estimates of how many people will lose coverage under AHCA and then divide that number by 830. They do this because there is a study that shows that 1 person dies unnecessarily for every 830 people who lack health insurance.

I have duplicated CAP’s efforts here, but rather than focus only on the AHCA, I have also included Obamacare and single payer into the mix. One other difference is that I track cumulative deaths between 2017 to 2026 rather than reporting an annual figure for each year.

Under AHCA, nearly 540,000 people will die in the next decade because of lack of health insurance coverage. For Obamacare, it is a more respectable 320,000 deaths.

If you enjoyed this content, please subscribe to the People’s Policy Project patreon. In the next month, the PPP will have its own website full of gems such as this.

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sstrudeau
3 days ago
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Brooklyn, NY
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jsled
4 days ago
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«Under AHCA, nearly 540,000 people will die in the next decade because of lack of health insurance coverage. For Obamacare, it is a more respectable 320,000 deaths.»
South Burlington, Vermont

Google family calendars are going live

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Last month, Google consolidated all of its family-sharing products under the new Family groups feature. From the new Family page, you can easily manage who has access to YouTube TV, Keep notes, content from Google Play, and more. Another component of Family groups, a shared calendar, is going now live for some users.

The premise behind the family calendar is simple. When you create a family on Google, a calendar called 'Family' automatically appears for all members in Google Calendar.

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Google family calendars are going live was written by the awesome team at Android Police.

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sstrudeau
16 days ago
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This is a nice touch though something you could have easily set up without the "family" feature. Lizz & I have kept one for years...
Brooklyn, NY
satadru
22 days ago
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Nice.
New York, NY
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Tim Walberg: If climate change is real, God will “take care of it”

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Yes, it’s true. It looks as though Trump is getting ready to pull the U.S. out of the Paris climate agreement tomorrow. There’s no reason for alarm, though. According to Michigan Congressman Tim Walberg we don’t need to act on the recommendations of the international scientific community, as God will see us through.

“I believe there’s been climate change since the beginning of time,” Walberg told his constituents in Coldwater last Friday. “I think there are cycles,” he went on to say. “Do I think that man has some impact? Yeah, of course. Can man change the entire universe? No.”

“Why do I believe that?,” Walberg asked. “Well, as a Christian, I believe that there is a creator in God who is much bigger than us. And I’m confident that, if there’s a real problem, he can take care of it.”

Here, if you can stomach it, is the video of Walberg, who, by the way, also voted to take health coverage from 24 million Americans.

That’s right. Who needs the Paris accord when we have God?

Walberg’s constituents should demand that he forgo his health insurance, which we all pay for, and leave his life in the hands of God. If he can say to future generations that they should just trust in God, then it seems like he should be willing to do the same when it comes to his own health, doesn’t it?

And, really, why do we even need Tim Walberg in Congress? I mean, can’t God just take care of us?

Seriously, I think I might start a campaign to have people write-in “God” in 2018, when Walberg runs for reelection. I’m already starting to sketch out the “Write-in God… he’ll take care of it” yard signs in my mind.

In case you’re feeling a little sick to your stomach over all of this, here’s a little something that might make you feel a little better – video of Neil DeGrasse Tyson talking about the importance of science.

Make no mistake about it, folks. We’re at war.

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sstrudeau
25 days ago
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Brooklyn, NY
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Voting Systems

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Kenneth Arrow hated me because the ordering of my preferences changes based on which voting systems have what level of support. But it tells me a lot about the people I'm going to be voting with!
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sstrudeau
26 days ago
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It me
Brooklyn, NY
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alt_text_bot
26 days ago
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Kenneth Arrow hated me because the ordering of my preferences changes based on which voting systems have what level of support. But it tells me a lot about the people I'm going to be voting with!

“The accurate belief that people love consuming video doesn’t mean people love consuming news video”

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Our old friend Josh Sternberg — you may know him from his days at Digiday, The Washington Post, or NBC News — has started a morning media newsletter called The Media Nut (née The Media Mix). I’ve found it to be an interesting complement to the headlines-and-links style of most morning media emails; it’s Josh going a little deeper on three or so topics each morning, using his background knowledge (which is stronger in the ad-agency/ad-buying world than most in our little business). You should try it out!

Anyway, Josh does Q&As with people in his newsletter and he asked me. Here’s a copy of our quick exchange over email that ran in this morning’s edition.

Josh Sternberg: You’ve been watching media companies for a long time. What are 3 things they’ve gotten right?

Joshua Benton: It’s hard to lump “media companies” together on something like this, but a few thoughts:

— Newspapers were generally right to raise the print subscription prices through the roof, to stop trying to reach younger readers with discounting and churn, and to recognize that if you’re reading a print newspaper in 2017, you’re probably a pretty committed customer (as well as at retirement age). That’s helped them deal with inevitable subscription decline while keeping print circulation revenue relatively steady, in many cases.

— The New York Times was right to resist the urge to cut its newsroom to anything like the degree large metro papers did, recognizing that strong international and investigative reporting (for instance) were key to differentiating itself from the rest of the industry. They wouldn’t be able to convince 2 million-plus people to pay for a digital subscription if they’d done what, say, the Los Angeles Times or Chicago Tribune did.

— I think, broadly speaking, that news organizations have correctly viewed fake news as a chance to clarify their mission and meaning, both to the public and to themselves. One underrated impact of the web on traditional publishers has been to screw up their sense of identity. Are we still watchdogs? Are we pageview chasers? Are we the full bundle of news and information we used to offer, or some subset? Are we planning a strategic future or just managing decline, watching the plane slowly circle its way to the ground? The 2016 campaign and what has followed has brought some clarity to why our jobs are important, which both helps make the argument for why what we do deserves customer dollars more clear and gives a morale boost to an industry that needed one.

Sternberg: Nieman Lab does a huge “look in the crystal ball” series every year. Do you ever, years later, revisit predictions folks made and have them write why they were wrong (or right!)?

Benton: No, because I want predictors to optimize for interestingness, not accuracy. If we did a report card a year later, people would get more cautious and say things like “I predict print advertising will continue its decade-long decline next year,” which is boring. I’ll take some smart person’s vivid fever dream of what 2018 might bring over dull correctness.

Sternberg: What’s the biggest trend you see media chasing after that you think has lasting legs?

Benton: I think the podcast boom has legs. Publishers love the fact that a podcast’s customer relationship is not intermediated in the same way text is (by Facebook, primarily). It’s a direct subscriber/publisher relationship — it’s like recapturing a bit of the days when news traffic arrived via people typing www.myfavoritenewssite.com into the browser window. While all forms of advertising get commodified eventually, I think podcast advertising, particularly host-read ads, will maintain premium value longer than most. And podcasts done right can do a great job taking advantage of one of publishers’ key assets — that their newsrooms employ smart and interesting people — better than text and at a lower price point than video.

Sternberg: Conversely, which trend do you think they need to stop pursuing?

Benton: I am 100 percent prepared to be wrong about this, but I think many publishers’ continued investment in video will prove to be a waste of time and money. The platform control of monetization, the high cost structure of quality video, the terrible quality of cheap semi-automated videos some publishers are pushing — there will be winners that come out of it, but nearly all of them won’t come from the newsier end of publishing. There are local news sites, most of them chain owned, that stuff so much crap autoplay video onto article pages (just to hit meaningless plays-per-month metrics for corporate bosses) that they are painful for browsers to render, much less for readers to read. The accurate belief that people love consuming video doesn’t mean people love consuming news video.

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sstrudeau
26 days ago
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Podcasts are the true legacy of RSS, proving how a open, distributed standard really does level the playing field; nobody was able to capture Podcasts the way text & video have been captured by Google & Facebook.
Brooklyn, NY
acdha
26 days ago
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Washington, DC
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cjmcnamara
27 days ago
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"Publishers love the fact that a podcast’s customer relationship is not intermediated in the same way text is (by Facebook, primarily). It’s a direct subscriber/publisher relationship — it’s like recapturing a bit of the days when news traffic arrived via people typing www.myfavoritenewssite.com into the browser window." never thought of it that way

California’s Surprisingly Cheap Single Payer Plan

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There is coverage today of a new report from the California Senate Appropriations committee estimating the budgetary implications of a proposed single payer health plan for the state (Sacramento Bee, LA Times, Vox). I’ve not yet been able to access the report directly, but the coverage of it is pretty encouraging.

After the implementation of single payer, the report says, health expenditures in the state of California would total $400 billion per year, or 15 percent of the state’s GDP. This is 3 percentage points lower than the share of GDP the US overall spends on health care.

The reports indicate that, currently, government spending on health care in California is around $200 billion and employer spending on health care is between $100 billion and $150 billion. There is no indication of how much individuals currently spend on top of employers and governments on individual premiums and out-of-pocket expenses. Nonetheless, net of current government spending ($200 billion) and employer spending ($100-$150 billion), the single-payer plan requires an additional $50 to $100 billion of spending, or 1.9% to 3.8% of CA GDP.

For that extra 1.9% to 3.8% of GDP:

The state would pay for almost all of its residents’ medical expenses — inpatient, outpatient, emergency services, dental, vision, mental health, and nursing home care — under the plan, and Californians would not have any premiums, copays, or deductibles.

That’s an incredible deal for just 15% of GDP, which again is lower than the US as a whole already spends on health care.

Of course, there are challenges to implementing single payer on the state level. States have to deal with all sorts of federal laws like ERISA that could disrupt their plans. States have to hope the federal government will chip in the share they currently contribute to the state’s health care sector. States have to worry about rich people leaving to avoid tax to some degree. And states have to worry about what will happen during a recession when the state’s budget contracts in ways the federal government’s budget does not.

But if the plan would work like this report says it does and at the cost this report says it does, it is a no-brainer.

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satadru
22 days ago
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New York, NY
sstrudeau
27 days ago
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Brooklyn, NY
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jhamill
22 days ago
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Single Payer for 15% of GDP? That's a great deal. Sign me up.
California
jsled
34 days ago
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«After the implementation of single payer, the report says, health expenditures in the state of California would total $400 billion per year, or 15 percent of the state’s GDP. This is 3 percentage points lower than the share of GDP the US overall spends on health care.»
South Burlington, Vermont
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