Open Thread and Link Farm, They’re Both Dumplings Edition

  1. Trans kids massively benefit from being allowed to socially transition – ThinkProgress
  2. Support for free speech is rising, and is higher among liberals and college graduates. – Vox
  3. Someone is wrong on the internet, millennial savings edition | FT Alphaville
    “In other words, you probably aren’t bad at saving. You are normal at saving. The people who seem good at saving, on the other hand, are actually also normal at saving, but very good at receiving.”
  4. Study: Feminists Are Less Hostile To Men Than Non-Feminists
    At least, among a sample of about 500 college students.
  5. Catapult | What My Godfather’s Glass Eye Taught Me About Disability Humor | s.e. smith
    “Here’s a thing about disability that some non-disabled people find deeply disturbing: It can be pretty funny, actually, especially in retrospect.”
  6. These Trans Women Are Fighting for Insurance Coverage as Trump Unravels Their Right to Care – Rewire
  7. The AR-15 Is Different: What I Learned Treating Parkland Victims – The Atlantic
    “A typical AR-15 bullet leaves the barrel traveling almost three times faster than, and imparting more than three times the energy of, a typical 9mm bullet from a handgun.”
  8. This Man Is on Death Row for Killing a 6-Month-Old. But What If We’re Wrong About Shaken Baby Syndrome? – Reason.com
    Another infuriating story of a justice system railroading a defendant. Co-written by Radley Balko, you won’t be surprised to hear. Content warning: Child abuse, rape.
  9. There is no campus free speech crisis.
    I think for the most part Jeffrey Sachs makes good arguments. But I think his citation of FIRE data to say that most successful de-invitings come from the right lies by omission; that’s fair to mention, but he should have acknowledged that the same data shows that the great majority of attempted de-invitings come from the left.
  10. Leftist Critiques of Identity Politics – Julia Serano – Medium
    In a very long article, Serano critiques the critiques.
  11. A Former SWAT Operator Says the Cop Who Stood Outside Is Another Victim of the Parkland Massacre
  12. The Adipositivity Project
    Hundreds of photos celebrating the fat naked body. (Most of the photos are of women, from what I saw skimming through, but there are a bunch of men as well.)
  13. New report shows continued growth of Catholic health systems that refuse to provide essential care | Eclectablog
    Some of these hospitals are for profit hospitals. Hospitals that don’t provide needed lifesaving care shouldn’t be legal to operate, regardless of the beliefs of the hospital’s owners.
  14. It’s Time to Abolish ICE | The Nation
    “ICE as it presently exists is an agency devoted almost solely to cruelly and wantonly breaking up families. The agency talks about, and treats, human beings like they’re animals.”
  15. (94) ‘The Hamilton Polka’ – Weird Al Yankovic – YouTube
  16. Report: The U.S. Border Patrol is deliberately destroying emergency water supplies.
    (The link goes to a 24 page pdf file.) This is hatred. This is evil. This is our tax dollars at work.
  17. The Private Life of Power
    Some employers are demanding to see applicants’ private facebook posts.
  18. SAva from “Ex Machina” and Amazon’s Alexa
    “To use the critic Alex West’s formulation, there’s a difference between a violent movie and a movie about violence, and there’s also a difference between a sexist movie and a movie about sexism.”
  19. American Democracy Is an Easy Target – Foreign Policy
    ” If a semi-incompetent social media campaign is all that one needs to send American politics into a halting state, then America’s troubles are far more fundamental than Russian interference.”
  20. How Employers Already Compel Speech From Workers
    Conservatives on the Supreme Court only seem interested in protecting workers’ free speech when doing so hurts unions.
  21. Labels aren’t Just for Jars: Give Kids the Words to Understand their Lives | crippledscholar
    “Part of the problem of the ‘labels are for jars’ argument is that it inextricably links the label with diagnosis and pathology. It completely ignores the possibility that the label can be part of a disabled identity.”
  22. Lesbian Couple Sues Federal Government & Catholic Church After Being Blocked From Fostering Refugee Child
    The Catholic agency, which turned the couple down because “they don’t mirror the holy family,” is paid millions of dollars by the Federal government for their foster care service. A prominent conservative called the lawsuit “gay bullying.”
  23. I’m a Campus Sexual Assault Activist. It’s Time to Reimagine How We Punish Sex Crimes. – The New York Times
    One factoid I didn’t know: The Obama Administration was encouraging Mary Koss and her collaborators to look into expanding “restorative justice”; the Trump administration rescinded that offer.
  24. What’s Actually Behind Cape Town’s Water Crisis – The AtlanticThe article blames “austerity-obsessed technocrats, irresponsible development, and willful ignorance.”
  25. The Crazy Fight Over Pennsylvania’s Congressional Map: Round 2 | Brennan Center for Justice
  26. Charles Gaba’s explains the “Medicare Extra for All” proposal.
    A bit long, but great reading if you want to understand the case for “Medicare Extra” in detail.
  27. ‘Medicare Extra For All’ And The Tectonic Shift Among (centrist) Democrats
  28. In Photos: ‘Faceless’ Fish Rediscovered After More Than a Century
    Actually, the others were found in the 1950s. But it’s been more than a century since this fish was last seen near Australia. And it does have eyes, but they’re buried beneath the skin. (The fish lives in a lightless environment.)
  29. This Deep Sea Fisherman Posts His Discoveries on Twitter and OH MY GOD KILL IT WITH FIRE
    Just a page full of photos of neat looking deep-sea creatures.

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31 Responses to Open Thread and Link Farm, They’re Both Dumplings Edition

  1. 1
    Ampersand says:

    So our first full day in Israel was “desert day.” We hiked through Ein Gedi – someone else on the tour has an app which tracks her steps, and that app claimed we climbed 13 stories – and took a dip under a waterfall. Ein Gedi is where, in the story, not-yet-King-David made a point, which I would describe as “I could have killed you but I didn’t,” by cutting then-King-Saul’s cloak.

    Then we visited Masada, near where the Dead Sea Scrolls were discovered, and finally we went kayaking on the Dead Sea itself. We also went into the water, floated (wow it’s hard to get your legs back under yourself once you’re on your back), and painted ourselves in Dead Sea Mud. Our guide cheerfully informed us that we were in the lowest place on Earth’s surface and therefore had nowhere to go but up.

    And finally, dinner and a drum circle.

    It was a pleasant and utterly exhausting day, and I’m afraid I forgot to take a single photo. (Although I heard a rumor that someone got a picture of me under the waterfall.)

    People keep on talking about how delicious the food is, and I’m sure they’re right, but this is a case where my narrow food tastes are really hurting me, because man, I just don’t see “delicious.” If I find something that’s “bland but acceptable,” that’s a victory. But I’m able to eat enough so I’m not hungry, which is what’s really important.

    Last note: I haven’t heard the word Tr**p once since the plane landed. It’s awesome.

    More later!

  2. 2
    nobody.really says:

    Masada! Castle nerds want to hear about Masada!

  3. 3
    Jokuvaan says:

    Firstly that study is old.
    Feminism of 2009 is not the same thing as feminism of 2018. ( I actually considered myself to be somewhat pro-feminism at the time.)
    Secondly the same thing can be viewed by non-feminists as hostility towards men and as not hostile towards men by feminists.
    Example: All men are potential rapists.

    Also how is it surprising that long guns as a general rule are more powerful than handguns or short guns?
    Do they think that the ‘sub’ in submachinegun comes from them being designed for submarine crews?

  4. 4
    Jake Squid says:

    If I find something that’s “bland but acceptable,” that’s a victory.

    All I can say is that’s infinitely better than Israeli food in 1974. I ate nothing except hard boiled eggs and one falafel from a street vendor over the course of two weeks. Everything else was unspeakably awful. And my food tastes as a child were somewhat more expansive than yours are now.

    Hurrah! for progress.

  5. 5
    desipis says:

    Last note: I haven’t heard the word Tr**p once since the plane landed. It’s awesome.

    I heard that if you stand in front of the mirror and say his name three times he’ll tweet something stupid.

  6. 6
    desipis says:

    Re #4: The study is based on the pseudo-scientific “Ambivalence towards Men Inventory” (AMI) which was created by the same people that created the pseudo-scientific “Ambivalent Sexism Index”. It’s another example of weaponized jargon in the field of social psychology that is structured to deceptively support ideologically motivated headlines with pseudo-scientific “studies”.

    The study talks about “the popular belief that feminists dislike men” and how “In popular media… feminism is situated culturally as an identity that depends on active hostility towards men”. The study references the AMI as something that measures “hostility” but completely fails to address the difference between the AMI’s definition of hostility and what the popular belief’s frame as hostility.

    Consider some of the questions in the AMI that measure “hostility” towards men:

    4. When men act to “help” wornen, they are often trying to prove they are better than women.
    9. Men will always fight to have greater control in society than women.
    11. Even men who claim to be sensitive to women’s rights really want a traditional
    relationship at home, with the woman performing rrtost of the housekeeping
    and child care.
    15. Most men pay lip service to equality for women, but can’t handle having a women as an equal.
    17. When it comes down to it, most man are really like children.

    A common theme is that “hostility” is a belief that most men don’t really support feminism. Of course conservatives / non-feminists will be more likely to believe those things. Those beliefs aren’t the basis for the stereotype of the “man hating feminists”, it’s the moral condemnation of men (both collectively and individually) as a result of those beliefs that forms the basis of the stereotype. For example, believing that “men will always fight to have greater control in society than women” isn’t a hostile belief if it’s considered as the natural state of things and morally acceptable.

    The failure of the study to consider this distinction undermines its credibility completely.

  7. 7
    Petar says:

    RE: #4

    (1) Label people as feminist depending on whether they identify as feminists AND view gender equality as the primary goal of feminism.
    (2) Those who see feminists as hostile to men, feeling superior to men, working towards oppressing men, protecting female privilege, attributing positive qualities to women, etc. are automatically labeled as non-feminists, even if they identify as feminists. No equality, see…
    (3) Rate participants on hostility and benevolence towards men depending on a set of questions ripe with assumptions, and often containing four or more words matching some of the ‘red flags’ in (2)

    YOU WON’T BELIEVE YOUR EYES!!!!11111One11!!!!!

    Those labeled as feminists by the study are less shitty towards men!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    I SHIT YOU NOT!

    In simpler words: Those who espouse only the morally superior tenets of feminism are better people.

    Or: Those who hate men are not feminists, which is why feminists do not hate men.

    Even simpler: Decent people are decent.

    ——–

    By the way, I am well aware that there is a very pronounced tendency among some psychologists, and especially those who call themselves evolutionary psychologists, to work in this manner. You can see it on both sides. My favorite example is how tests for “authoritarianism” have changed since WWII, and how what a US test from 48, a Soviet test from 88, and two modern tests, one from France and one from the US give totally conflicting answers.

  8. 8
    Celeste says:

    For example, believing that “men will always fight to have greater control in society than women” isn’t a hostile belief if it’s considered as the natural state of things and morally acceptable.

    Scientific racism is still racism. Biblically supported racism is still racism. Believing that “white people are better suited to lead society than black people” is racist even if you believe that it’s the natural state of things and morally acceptable.

    The same is true here. Of course men who think women are inferior will find that belief to be morally acceptable. That doesn’t mean it’s not hostile.

  9. 9
    desipis says:

    The belief that “men will always fight to have greater control in society than women” and the belief that “women are inferior” are two distinctly different things. Also, neither of those beliefs are inherently hostile towards men which is the focus of the original claim.

  10. 10
    Jeffrey Gandee says:

    The word “hostile” is doing a lot of work, and probably needs to be defined better in a discussion like this.

    To me, recognizing and pointing out population level differences isn’t necessarily hostile- but it can be. I’m a redhead. There’s pretty strong evidence that redheads have a lower pain threshold than non-redheads. If someone mentions that in conversation- whatever. It’s true, and maybe even valuable knowledge in certain circumstances. But if a person keeps saying it, like all the time, it can become hostile. If every time some guy walks by my desk, he reminds me that people like me feel more pain, that’s hostile.

    To me, pointing out population level differences in the sexes is OK in certain places. It’s OK to know about them, and OK to answer a questionnaire honestly if one is handed to me. If I’m asked “on average, are men more competitive than women?” I’m answering yes. That’s not hostile. But if I go around telling women how noncompetitive they are, or viewing all women through a “women aren’t competitive” lens, that’s hostile. If I make assumptions about individual women that’s hostile (and irrational).

    This is how I understand hostile, so I think I agree that this study isn’t really measuring hostility.

  11. 11
    Michael says:

    In other news, Joe Biden conflates being a sexual predator with being fat and unattractive:
    https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/politics/onpolitics/2018/03/21/joe-biden-donald-trump-miami-beat-hell-fattest-sob/445372002/

  12. 12
    RonF says:

    Re: #16. I read the report and it seems clear that the Border Patrol is destroying caches of water and food left in the desert. I agree with the report that this is not humanitarian and the Border Patrol’s administration should stop. People are people. However, the demand (it’s always demands with these people) to dismantle the Border Patrol makes no sense, as it would leave the border unprotected.
    Re: #14: I disagree that ICE should be abolished. What the article argues is that the cause of families being broken up, etc., is the actions of ICE. But in fact, what the cause is that people have broken the law and have been allowed to escape the consequences for long enough to create families, etc. The root cause of this are the illegal acts of the person that ICE picked up. The article claims that “ICE has become a genuine threat to democracy” but fails to advance any argument to support this; instead, they wander off into a specious claim that it’s enforcing “white supremacy”. But what is a genuine threat to democracy is when laws are passed in accordance with the Constitutional forms of our government, created by Congress and signed by the President – and then ignored by the very Executive branch whose sworn duty it is to enforce them. If people don’t want immigration laws to be enforced then let them change them. But until then a failure to enforce them causes people to lose trust in the worth of government or the purpose in participating in democracy.

  13. 13
    Ampersand says:

    Ron, the punishment you favor – ripping families apart – is grossly disproportionate to the crime (misdemeanor, technically) committed.

    Would you let your children suffer from poverty, or perhaps die, rather than committing a misdemeanor? I don’t believe you would, because you’re a loving parent. So are those parents.

    When you watched Les Miserables, did you think Jean Valjean was treated justly?

  14. 14
    Ampersand says:

    However, the demand (it’s always demands with these people) to dismantle the Border Patrol makes no sense, as it would leave the border unprotected.

    Border protection doesn’t have to be done by the Border Patrol; we could dismantle the BP and create a new agency.

    IF the BP has a culture that encourages a depraved indifference to human life; and IF that culture cannot be reformed; then dismantling and creating a new agency might be the best way to go.

  15. 15
    RonF says:

    IF the BP has a culture that encourages a depraved indifference to human life; and IF that culture cannot be reformed; then dismantling and creating a new agency might be the best way to go.

    I agree with this.

    Ron, the punishment you favor – ripping families apart – is grossly disproportionate to the crime (misdemeanor, technically) committed.

    None the less it is prescribed under the law, and ICE is charged with enforcing the law, not adjudicating it. Our government is quite deliberately structured so that law enforcement and law adjudication are separate. Black Lives Matter’s whole reason for being is that there are cops out there that have decided that they should do both. You can’t have it one way with one set of laws and the other way with others. If people who favor not doing this wish the law to change then they should get a bill passed. I personally favor permitting illegal aliens who have been here for ‘x’ number of years and have been otherwise law abiding to have a process for getting their presence legalized. But there’s a price for that, and so far it appears that the Democratic party doesn’t want to pay it because it would not make them (or at least those who came here as adults) citizens and it would make it harder for more people to come here illegally.

    When you watched Les Miserables, did you think Jean Valjean was treated justly?

    I’m not familiar with the work; I’ve never watched or read it.

  16. 16
    RonF says:

    Would you let your children suffer from poverty, or perhaps die, rather than committing a misdemeanor? I don’t believe you would, because you’re a loving parent. So are those parents.

    No, I would not. But it seems to me that what we are talking about here are not people who had families in Mexico and crossed the border into the U.S. to get money to support them. We seem to be talking about people who crossed the border into the U.S. and then established families here.

  17. 17
    Kate says:

    Our government is quite deliberately structured so that law enforcement and law adjudication are separate. Black Lives Matter’s whole reason for being is that there are cops out there that have decided that they should do both. You can’t have it one way with one set of laws and the other way with others. If people who favor not doing this wish the law to change then they should get a bill passed.

    I’d like to see law and order types take corporate criminals as seriously as Elizabeth Warren does. Then, maybe I’ll buy that cracking down on illegal immigration is just a matter of principle. However, conservatives’ compassion for criminals tends to be directly linked to the size of the criminal’s bank account.
    I actually agree that we should not have laws that we are not willing to enforce. I think a lot of laws should be abolished for that reason. But there are huge areas of law where that is not the case and prosecutorial discretion is actually a thing that is legal; and police are not honor bound to haul in every jay-walker, speeder and turnstile jumper. They need to pick their battles.
    But, police accidentally shooting unarmed people and people who have committed no crimes dead and police refraining from deporting the parents of American citizens who have committed no crime other than entering the country illegally are not just two sides of the same coin. People who are for Black Lives Matter and against ICE are consistent in wanting people who have committed minor infractions to be treated with compassion.

  18. 18
    Ben Lehman says:

    It’s quite reasonable to approve of extra-judicial mercy and condemn extra-judicial violence and murder. Not only can I have that both ways, I do.

  19. 19
    Kate says:

    Well said Ben!

  20. 20
    Jokuvaan says:

    Scientific racism is still racism. Biblically supported racism is still racism. Believing that “white people are better suited to lead society than black people” is racist even if you believe that it’s the natural state of things and morally acceptable.

    Actually no, scientific studies about the differences of races doesn’t say shit about how we should treat a individual.
    Differences inside racial groups are far larger than differences between racial groups.

  21. 21
    RonF says:

    However, conservatives’ compassion for criminals tends to be directly linked to the size of the criminal’s bank account.

    Then I guess I’m not a conservative. I’m all in favor of prosecuting corporate criminals. And I bet I’m more consistent that Senator Warren on that. Do you think you’ll hear Senator Warren pressing for enforcement of this law against corporations:

    Any person who, during any 12-month period, knowingly hires for employment at least 10 individuals with actual knowledge that the individuals are aliens described in subparagraph (B) shall be fined under title 18 or imprisoned for not more than 5 years, or both.
    (B) An alien described in this subparagraph is an alien who—
    (i) is an unauthorized alien (as defined in section 1324a(h)(3) of this title), and
    (ii) has been brought into the United States in violation of this subsection.

    I bet if that one was enforced strictly you’d see a big change in illegal entry into the U.S. Overall I favor changing a lot of laws concerned with corporate misdeeds so that more of them serve jail time rather than get away with paying fines.

    But, police accidentally shooting unarmed people and people who have committed no crimes dead and police refraining from deporting the parents of American citizens who have committed no crime other than entering the country illegally are not just two sides of the same coin.

    I think one has nothing to do with the other and the argument looks like classic misdirection. Besides, I thought the issue was not so much cops accidentally shooting unarmed people as it was them deliberately shooting them.

    People who are for Black Lives Matter and against ICE are consistent in wanting people who have committed minor infractions to be treated with compassion.

    Applying the law with compassion is a Christian virtue. But applying with compassion doesn’t mean that the act that violated the law is thereby legitimized and gets no punishment. Jesus shamed the crowd away from stoning the adulturess; but he also admonished her to sin no more. If she failed to repent and stopped sinning she would in the end be punished.

    Speaking of Black Lives Matter – and as an aside to the point here – people at my church who went to the Chicago March for Lives gathering saw BLM and other left-wing causes there. When I was told about this I asked “Really? They’re attracted to this movement? What do the BLM people think about the concept that only cops and military should have guns?”

  22. 22
    RonF says:

    Regarding #26, this paragraph jumped out at me for it’s rather dismissive tone:

    One of the main reasons people got so hot & bothered about the ACA was the infamous “If you like your plan you can keep it” brouhaha. As you may recall, the insurance carriers were given nearly four years to bring their non-compliant policies up to ACA requirements, with the deadline for doing so being 12/31/13. Very few did so, and as a result, in late October 2013, about 5-6 million people enrolled in non-compliant plans started receiving cancellation notices, advising them to replace it with a new, ACA-compliant plan.

    So, in other words, if your plan was not ACA compliant, you couldn’t keep it. Which means that “If you like your plan you can keep it” was a bald-faced lie.

    Many of them freaked the hell out, driven in large part by President Obama’s infamous quip.

    They didn’t freak out because of a quip. They got angry because they were f**king lied to. Dozens of times. A posting on the White House web page is not “a quip”. And it cost them money, as opposed to what I suppose this author would refer to as another “infamous quip”, “The Obama plan will save a typical American family up to $2,500 every year on medical expenditures ….”

  23. 23
    Ampersand says:

    I’ve seen folks on Twitter argue that March For Our Lives and BLM could be allies if MFL would incorporate a critique of police gun violence into their anti-gun-violence agenda, but don’t feel that MFL has managed to do so. I’ve also seen anger at the double standards in how easily MFOL has been accepted compared to BLM (for example). But there have also been some solidarity going on.

    Although in a population of millions, you can find virtually any opinion, I doubt a significant portion of Black folks believe that owning a gun is an effective way for Black people to protect themselves from being shot by police, if that’s what you’re suggesting.

  24. 24
    Ampersand says:

    Ron, I’ll believe compassion is a Christian virtue when I don’t live in a culture in which the meanest, least compassionate political movements and players loudly identify as Christians.

    But applying with compassion doesn’t mean that the act that violated the law is thereby legitimized and gets no punishment. Jesus shamed the crowd away from stoning the adulturess; but he also admonished her to sin no more. If she failed to repent and stopped sinning she would in the end be punished.

    If the punishment for an act is wildly disproportionate and unjust, then it’s better to have no punishment take place. If the punishment for jaywalking were being thrashed with heavy rods, then the first priority is changing that law; punishing the jaywalkers should not even be a concern until the law is changed to something reasonable.

    If the punishment were something reasonable and compassionate, then this would be a different discussion; but until that happens, it’s cruel and malevolent to call for the law to be carried out, or to make that a higher priority than treating people with decency.

    Also, the children whose lives are ripped apart by the unjust, vindictive laws Republicans support have not committed any act that violated the law. It’s not illegal to have parents who are undocumented citizens. It is (sadly and unjustly) illegal to be an undocumented immigrant who was brought to the US as a child – but you can’t reasonably say that the “act that violated the law” was committed by that child.

  25. 25
    Ampersand says:

    Ron, regarding “if you like your plan you can keep it”:

    Yup, I agree. The “if you like your plan you can keep it” was the single least justifiable thing Obama said, in my opinion. It was a lie, and it was a foolish lie. Because there is literally no way to make that happen, and Obama must have known that.

    (Even if the ACA had never passed, some people would STILL be forced off their health care plans, because health care plan churn is a major part of how health insurance markets work. Even if the mechanism you mention didn’t exist, the promise still would have been false. It was not only a lie but a stupid lie.)

    That said, I don’t think the savings claim can be called a lie. “Up to” is a pretty clear indication that they’re saying “up to,” not “exactly this amount,” and many Americans did save money under the ACA. Also, importantly, the Obama administration was not a dictator; what they propose during the campaign, and what Congress passes after the plan is put through the political sausage-making factory, can’t reasonably be expected to be identical. If someone thinks it’s a “lie” when that happens, then I’d say the problem is at least in part that they don’t understand how our governmental system works.

    Then again, I would like it if all Presidential candidates would make that point clear, and say things like “of course, I can’t promise any legislation I propose will become law, because Congress has enormous powers and I can’t pass laws without them.” But if not explaining that is a lie, then it’s a lie told by 100% of presidential candidates.

  26. 26
    nobody.really says:

    Yup, I agree. The “if you like your plan you can keep it” was the single least justifiable thing Obama said, in my opinion. It was a lie, and it was a foolish lie. Because there is literally no way to make that happen, and Obama must have known that.

    (Even if the ACA had never passed, some people would STILL be forced off their health care plans, because health care plan churn is a major part of how health insurance markets work. Even if the mechanism you mention didn’t exist, the promise still would have been false. It was not only a lie but a stupid lie.)

    Well, Obama’s statement was inaccurate—but I wouldn’t call it a lie unless it was said to deceive.

    What was the context in which Obama would say this? Well, RonF provides a link. For example, the White House web page said, “Linda Douglass of the White House Office of Health Reform debunks the myth that reform will force you out of your current insurance plan or force you to change doctors. To the contrary, reform will expand your choices, not eliminate them.”

    In other words, the context was for purposes of comparing a world with Obamacare to a world without Obamacare. And I understood the remark to mean, “Obamacare will not preclude your insurer from continuing to offer whatever plan they currently offer. Of course, your insurer may CHOOSE to discontinue your plan. But since that’s true with or without Obamacare, that shouldn’t be a relevant factor when evaluating the merits of Obamacare.”

    Likewise, Obama often said, “Any you can keep your doctor.” Perhaps somebody, somewhere, believed that this law would repeal the 13th Amendment and permit people to compel their physician to serve them. But I rather expect most people understood this to mean, “Obamacare will not preclude you from continuing to receive care from your doctor”–contradicting a right-wing talking point.

    For example, consider Obama’s remarks in Largo, Md., on Sept. 26, 2013: “Now, let’s start with the fact that even before the Affordable Care Act fully takes effect, about 85 percent of Americans already have health insurance — either through their job, or through Medicare, or through the individual market. So if you’re one of these folks, it’s reasonable that you might worry whether health care reform is going to create changes that are a problem for you — especially when you’re bombarded with all sorts of fear-mongering. So the first thing you need to know is this: If you already have health care, you don’t have to do anything.” That is, the context for this remark is the fact that opponents had said that Obamacare would compel everyone to drop their current health insurance. Obama was rejecting that–accurately.

    And it cost them money, as opposed to what I suppose this author would refer to as another “infamous quip”, “The Obama plan will save a typical American family up to $2,500 every year on medical expenditures ….”

    So Obamacare cost a typical American family money—relative to what they would have experienced in the absence of Obamacare? Citation, please.

  27. 27
    Kate says:

    Yes, he should have said “If you like your plan, the ACA will not prevent you from keeping it.” The ACA grandfathered existing plans for current subscribers. Insurers could have continued to offer noncompliant plans to customers already enrolled in those plans. They chose not to. Nor is it reasonable to take Obama’s statement to mean your employer won’t ever change your options, your doctor will never retire and all the other nonsense that is brought up to label that statement a lie. Everyone with any sense knew what he meant.

  28. 28
    Jake Squid says:

    The ACA grandfathered existing plans for current subscribers. Insurers could have continued to offer noncompliant plans to customers already enrolled in those plans.

    Not only that, but our companies were all on non-compliant plans up until late 2017. Including when we changed carriers several times. So, yeah, existing, non-compliant plans weren’t phased out until 2017.

  29. 29
    Gracchus says:

    “Everyone with any sense knew what he meant.”

    Still, if the companies are withdrawing plans as a result of ACA changing their incentives to the point where those plans are no longer financially viable, isn’t that a fairly forseeable consequence of the law, and isn’t that the kind of thing Obama would have expected people to also be concerned about?

    What he said may not have technically been a lie, but I think a lot of people felt reassured by what he said who shouldn’t have been reassured.

  30. 30
    Kate says:

    If people thought their old plans were stable under the former system they were damn fools.

  31. 31
    Ampersand says:

    Nobody: What Linda Douglass of the White House Office of health reform said is not very prominent, compared to what Obama and various Democratic Congresspeople said. FactCheck gives a selection of quotes from more prominent people, and also points out that Obama eventually admitted that his promise went too far and apologized.

    For years, President Obama promised millions of Americans with health insurance that “if you like your health care plan, you can keep your health care plan” under his health care overhaul. He wasn’t the only one, either.

    Back in 2009, several top congressional Democrats echoed the president’s assurances that those who were happy with their plans would be able to keep them.

    Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said the health care overhaul efforts “means making sure you can keep your family’s doctor or keep your health care plan if you like it.”

    Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin told the happily insured “we are going to put in any legislation considered by the House and Senate the protection that you, as an individual, keep the health insurance you have, if that is what you want.”

    And current Senate Budget Committee Chairwoman Patty Murray also said: “If you like what you have today, that will be what you have when this legislation is passed.”

    You could parse many of these comments to say that they weren’t literally promises that after the ACA passes, everyone who likes their plan can keep it. But I think that the overall impression was given, and people who took it as true were being ignorant of how the healh care market works, but not unreasonable to hear the Democrats as saying “if you like it, you’ll be able to keep it.”

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