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TheBirthdayGnomette says:
(Sun Jul 23 15:34:22 2017 [Edit/Delete]
Today is Sunday July 23rd 2017 C.E.

We have SIX (6) Birthdays!

Charisma Carpenter as Cordelia Chase
Misty Mage
NJ Wicca

Happy Birthday from the Bronze, to Charisma Carpenter, Misty Mage, NJ Wicca, Sententia, Sufi, YOUNGBOB!

! kissed him, and I told him that I loved him. And I killed him. Buffy, 'Faith, Hope & Trick'

to be added to the birthday list, please email

^ v
ChristopherMarlowe says:
(Sun Jul 23 14:20:32 2017 [Edit/Delete]
Good morning beta!

^ v
ChristopherMarlowe says:
(Sun Jul 23 03:03:36 2017 [Edit/Delete]
and I am back home!

^ v
ChristopherMarlowe says:
(Sun Jul 23 00:12:27 2017 [Edit/Delete]
At a friend's house,burgers are on
the grill!

Everyone enjoy your night!

^ v
ChristopherMarlowe says:
(Sat Jul 22 18:55:06 2017 [Edit/Delete]
Late morning in drive by

Combining a bit of work through

^ v
TheBirthdayGnomette says:
(Sat Jul 22 14:34:28 2017 [Edit/Delete]
Today is Saturday, July 22nd 2017 C.E.

We have FOUR (4) Birthdays!


Happy Birthday from the Bronze, to Jai, piedog, Spikette, Undead!

Yeah, but you're an amateur fry cook and I come from a long line of fry cooks that don't live past 25.Buffy, 'Doomed'

to be added to the birthday list, please email

^ v
wolfguard says:
(Sat Jul 22 13:25:03 2017 [Edit/Delete]
Early Morning Drive-By
Night person. *g*

Woken up. Up. Post.


Read, will ponder and reply later today. *g*

Christopher Marlowe,

Absolutely understand your position. If the problem is fear of some given legislation being past, then one might well hope a president is incompetent. *g* OTOH, if the 3 o'clock in the morning phone call happens - remember that ad? *g* - then one might want a competent person answering the phone.

Some folks complain that President Trump has given the military too wide a rein, but I'd feel more comfortable with Mattis or McMaster answering that call, than Trump. And Mattis is now, technically, a civilian, i.e. retired from the USMC.

Often people assume military leaders first, even desired, option is force. This is far from the reality. Many, if not most, caution the use of force. I believe Mattis said if the Department of State is not well-funded, then he will need more funds for ammo.


^ v
lostinamerica says:
(Sat Jul 22 12:08:23 2017 [Edit/Delete]
wolfguard--Yes, the focus has been to provide health care to as many
Americans as possible. If that's your only goal, you could easily craft a bill
to accomplish that. But if you also want to rein in health care costs, that
really complicates things. I never got the impression quality of care was an
issue, except for the low quality of care people without health insurance get.

The main problem I see is basic economics. You want to give more people health
insurance. Since most people get their health insurance through work, that
means the people without health insurance aren't working or are working at a
job level where insurance isn't covered by an employer (I'm leaving out any
self-employed people who may not have insurance due to the high cost). How is
someone who isn't working or working at a high enough level going to be able to
afford the health insurance cost born by employers? They can't, so then who
pays that cost--it gets spread among those who are able to pay and health care
costs rise. I just don't see a way around this very basic fact. If you want
to cover people who can't bear the cost, how can the cost NOT rise for those
who can?

And yes, that is a lengthy article :)

^ v
ChristopherMarlowe says:
(Sat Jul 22 03:19:22 2017 [Edit/Delete]
wolfguard Bieber is a young man with great talents, but he has been adopting a 'bad boy' persona for quiet some time. Like many a young man, he will not likely to listen to his betters and continue to be adored by many. *g*

^ v
ChristopherMarlowe says:
(Sat Jul 22 02:03:47 2017 [Edit/Delete]

I think pence would be a lot more
competent, however I fear he would
be too successful in passing
legislation I think is bad. So I
feel quite the conundrum as a
bleeding heart liberal.

^ v
wolfguard says:
(Sat Jul 22 02:01:48 2017 [Edit/Delete]
Christopher Marlowe,

On a lighter note, China has banned Justin Bieber from performing in China,
because of bad behavior. According to the BBC (online) the Culture Bureau said
(in part?) ...

"Justin Bieber is a gifted singer, but he is also a controversial young
foreign singer"

"We hope that as Justin Bieber matures, he can continue to improve his own
words and actions, and truly become a singer beloved by the public,"



^ v
wolfguard says:
(Sat Jul 22 01:43:22 2017 [Edit/Delete]
Christopher Marlowe,

The Republican party assumed they had a president who would sign whatever they
sent him. Sometimes he seems to behave as if he would (~ I'm waiting here with
pen in hand for a bill) and other times not (~~ health care needs to be for
all (uber-paraphrasing here)). It may not matter sometimes, because the
Republican party is unable to get enough agreement among themselves to pass
some legislation.

For me, it's relatively simple. I disagreed with practically all of his
positions expressed during the primaries and general election. That said, I
don't want him to botch a major foreign policy crisis - which he shows himself
capable of doing - botching it up.


^ v
ChristopherMarlowe says:
(Sat Jul 22 01:26:27 2017 [Edit/Delete]
wolfguard Trump's administration is not particularly cohesive, but it does appear to reflect Trump himself.

I'm not sure what I want out the White House, right now.

^ v
wolfguard says:
(Sat Jul 22 00:41:58 2017 [Edit/Delete]
Christopher Marlowe,

His experience is an example of one reason the President is having difficulty
finding enough people to fill his administration.


^ v
ChristopherMarlowe says:
(Fri Jul 21 23:34:47 2017 [Edit/Delete]

^ v
ChristopherMarlowe says:
(Fri Jul 21 19:05:07 2017 [Edit/Delete]
wolfguard Looks like Sean Spicer has quit. Wow.

^ v
Maverick says:
(Fri Jul 21 19:04:31 2017 [Edit/Delete]

^ v
wolfguard says:
(Fri Jul 21 18:41:27 2017 [Edit/Delete]
Trivia Girl,

Elephants can jump. They've just do it in the blink of an eye. *g*


From a distance it appears to me that many of those involved in creating and enacting the ACA, aka Obamacare, had three main goals:

1 - Expand coverage

2 - Control costs

3 - Improve quality

My impression, based on limited reading, is during the process many of them put coverage ahead of cost.1

A few years ago Steven Brill wrote a lengthy article on American health care. He observed the public debate usually revolved around who should pay for it, but he was interested in exploring why it cost so much.2 I think that's a better place to begin.

From the chapter, ~"Conflict and Change in American Health Care" in Understanding Health Policy it appears greed weighs greatly in health care decisions. Before 1970 cost were not great enough to concern most purchasers, i.e. business and government. Since 1970 it has and this has resulted in conflicts between providers/suppliers and purchasers/insurers. Each group seeks ways to increase their power to affect the price. During a given time, American health care reflects which group dominates.

1 Though I suspect many of them would argue expanded coverage was one way to control cost.

2 Why medical bills are killing us


^ v
Trivia Girl says:
(Fri Jul 21 14:52:36 2017 [Edit/Delete]
Trivia of the day for Friday!

The starfish is one of the only animals who can turn its stomach inside-out.

The elephant is the only mammal that cant jump.

The penguin is the only bird who can swim, but not fly.

Q is the only letter in the alphabet that does not appear in the name of any of the United States.

One quarter of the bones in your body are in your feet.

^ v
TheBirthdayGnomette says:
(Fri Jul 21 13:03:05 2017 [Edit/Delete]
Today is Friday, July 21st 2017 C.E.

We have FOUR (4) Birthdays!

levitation junkie
Miss Edith
R o B

Happy Birthday from the Bronze, to Jenn, levitation junkie, Miss Edith, R o B!

Time for some thrilling heroics. Jayne, 'The Train Job''

to be added to the birthday list, please email

^ v
ChristopherMarlowe says:
(Fri Jul 21 12:55:37 2017 [Edit/Delete]
yay glow boy!

Happy Thank Joss It's Friday!

^ v
lostinamerica says:
(Fri Jul 21 12:29:45 2017 [Edit/Delete]
slooowwwly away from the Hot
Pockets and toward some nice
cheese, nuts and fruit :)

wolfguard--I guess
repealing and replacing Obamacare
isn't really the issue, then ;)

Shade of Bronze--Hope your
daughter is OK :)

Agent Cooper--Have fun for
us :) Where are you?

Yay! Glow Boy!

Belated Yay! greengirl and

^ v
YayOfTheDay says:
(Fri Jul 21 11:11:01 2017 [Edit/Delete]
let's hear a great big bronze cheer for glow boy!

yay glow boy!

Happy Thank Joss It's Friday!

^ v
Shade of Bronze says:
(Fri Jul 21 07:04:22 2017 [Edit/Delete]
Just now lurked and got caught up, but it's bed time for me, I took notes *g* and will try to post over the weekend.

I've been devoting my days to my daughter and what she is going through.

But I'm still here with you all and appreciate being privy to your conversations!

^ v
ChristopherMarlowe says:
(Fri Jul 21 04:06:53 2017 [Edit/Delete]
wolfgaurd Whoops, I am wrong. Donald is not the Disco Duck, he is an entirely different duck person.

^ v
wolfguard says:
(Fri Jul 21 03:15:10 2017 [Edit/Delete]
"Conflict and Change in America's Health Care System"1

The New Millennium: Provider Power Re-Emerges

Providers: Physicians, Hospitals, and the like.

"In the mid-1990s, most health care analysts were certain that tightly
managed care - with purchasers and insurers dominating health care
providers - had become the new paradigm for health care in the United
States. By 2001, this certainly had evaporated. From 2000 to 2010, HMO
enrollment dropped from 32% to 19% of insured employees ... During those
years, preferred provider organization (PPO) enrollment grew from 30% to
60% of insured employees. Tightly managed care was faltering...

"...Hospitals consolidated into hospital systems and demanded large price
increases from insurers. Physicians balked at tight managed care contracts.
Negotiations between health care providers and insurers became increasingly
hostile, with one side or the other often refusing to sign contracts. As
hospitals and providers gained an upper hand in negotiations with health
plans, HMOs in turn demanded more money from employers. Insurance premiums
for family coverage went from an average of $6,000 per year in 2000 to
almost $14,000 in 2010 ...

...Employees out-of-pocket health care costs increased 34% from 2004 to

...In most states, three large insurance companies control more than 60% of
the market ...

Providers also consolidated ... Consolidation went hand in hand with
organizations converting from non-profit to investor-owned "for profit"
status as they sought to raise capital for buy-outs, market expansion, and
organizational infrastructure ... By 2009, most specialty hospitals,
imaging centers, ambulatory surgery centers were investor-owned...

,,,more lucrative third-party payment for procedurally oriented specialty
care has been one of the key factors shaping physician workforce weighed
toward nonprimary care fields and a hospital sector filled with tertiary
care facilities. Emblematic of this trend is the emergence of a new type of
for-profit hospital, the speciality hospital fully or partially owned by
groups of specialist physicians. Aso of 2010, 265 of these hospitals
existed in the United States, typically limiting their services to cardiac
and orthopedic procedures - service lines that are well reimbursed.
Physician owners of these hospitals double benefit financially, receiving
income from both the payment for the services they directly provide and
their share of hospital profits. Moreover, physician owners often channel
well-insured patients from nonprofit general hospitals to their own for-
profit specialty hospitals. In one example, 16 cardiac surgeons and
cardiologists shifted patients with heart disease from a university medical
center to a new hospital only caring for patients with heart disease ...
Uninsured patients continued to have cardiac procedures at the university
hospital ...

... the common practice of physicians referring patients for imaging tests
at a facility owned by the same physician is associated with higher volumes
of imaging services, increasing costs, and exposing patients to unnecessary

...Single-specialty groups have grown markedly since the late 1990s. Two
major drivers of this growth are (1) the ability of organized specialists
with market power in a local area to negotiate for high reimbursement rates
from insurers and (2) the bringing together of capital to invest ... as a
result of thes trends, the income of specialists who offer procedural or
imaging services has far outpaced the growth in earnings of primary
physicians ...

(I'm going to summarize some material. To compete nonprofits community
hospitals have set-up 'specialty service lines' to attract specialists
physicians and well-insured patients ... leads to less focus on
'traditional medical-surgical wards.)

"...These trends pull health care ... farther away from a primary care-
based, community responsive model. Evidence suggests that this trend will
fuel continued inflation in health care costs without yielding commensurate
benefits for the health of the public..."

(There's a section on the pharmaceutical industry that I will post excerpts
on tomorrow.)

1 Chapter 16 in Understanding Health Policy: a clinical
by Thomas Bodenheimer and Kevin Grumbach, copyright 2012.


^ v
wolfguard says:
(Fri Jul 21 02:12:20 2017 [Edit/Delete]
Christopher Marlowe,

Donald was the Disco Duck?!


^ v
ChristopherMarlowe says:
(Fri Jul 21 02:05:41 2017 [Edit/Delete]

I don't think Donald duck would
like duck dynasty, duck season you

^ v
ChristopherMarlowe says:
(Fri Jul 21 00:59:54 2017 [Edit/Delete]

Oh now that is sneaky! It wouldn't
be the first time something was
set to take effect after an

Congress critters are a devious

^ v
wolfguard says:
(Fri Jul 21 00:26:28 2017 [Edit/Delete]
Edited: Fri Jul 21 00:27:58 2017
Christopher Marlowe,

Yesterday, Mitch McConnell told Republicans, as I understood ...

(1) The bill can be amended.

(and to your point)

(2) It would not go into effect for two years.1

~ Therefore there should be no problem in voting for it.

What was not addressed is how the uncertainty affects consumers, providers,
suppliers, and insurers' planning.

1 Therefore its effects would not be known till after the 2018
mid-terms. Cowards. *g*

ETA Trivia Girl

The founder of Duck Dynasty? :)


^ v
ChristopherMarlowe says:
(Thu Jul 20 23:25:58 2017 [Edit/Delete]
Wolfguard. The replace option
failed but I'm not sure what would
happen if the repeal passed

^ v
Maverick says:
(Thu Jul 20 23:06:02 2017 [Edit/Delete]
Truvia Girl: I call you THAT as somewhere I recently read that Stevia (the alternative low-cal sweetener) is being investigated as a potential cure for Lyme Disease. Now, that's important. Meanwhile Disco Duck by Cheese-It Ritz and the Quackers or just by Rick Dees (I seem to remember a Rick Dees as some kind of disk jockey somewhere.)



^ v
Trivia Girl says:
(Thu Jul 20 21:45:20 2017 [Edit/Delete]
Since no on answered the question, please consult the following link!

Disco Duck

^ v
wolfguard says:
(Thu Jul 20 21:26:57 2017 [Edit/Delete]
Christopher Marlowe,

I'm looking to post the last section on health care history later tonight.


^ v
wolfguard says:
(Thu Jul 20 20:19:17 2017 [Edit/Delete]
Edited: Thu Jul 20 20:19:33 2017
The dogs bark, but the caravan goes on.

- tweeted by a Saudi citizen


^ v
ChristopherMarlowe says:
(Thu Jul 20 19:44:34 2017 [Edit/Delete]
wolfguard I know. The diminishing number of posters, lack of interesting topics to discuss that doesn't involve politics and everyone is busy with summertime stuff. I know I've been trying to enjoy more activities.

^ v
wolfguard says:
(Thu Jul 20 18:00:10 2017 [Edit/Delete]

What we have here is a failure of content. :(


^ v
Trivia Girl says:
(Thu Jul 20 14:59:25 2017 [Edit/Delete]
Sunnydale's Trivial Pursuit

Category: Pop music
Question: Who had the hit 'Disco Duck'?

^ v
TheBirthdayGnomette says:
(Thu Jul 20 11:51:29 2017 [Edit/Delete]
Today is Thursday, July
20th 2017 C.E.

We have FOUR (4) Birthdays!

Little Bubbles

Happy Birthday from the Bronze,
to Ember, Little Bubbles,
KittyWillow, Slayfaith!

Hell, I don't know. If I had
wanted schooling, I'da gone to
school.Jayne, 'Ariel'

to be added to the birthday list,
please email

^ v
YayOfTheDay says:
(Thu Jul 20 11:03:48 2017 [Edit/Delete]
let's hear a great big bronze cheer for halfrek!

yay halfrek!

Happy CD Thursday!

^ v
wolfguard says:
(Thu Jul 20 06:41:33 2017 [Edit/Delete]
Yay Greengirl!

Christopher Marlowe,

I first thought - bizzaro! *g*

Deadguy Memorial Angel Wednesday Question

Does California still lead the U.S.. in number of vampires now that the hellmouth is no longer there?

Very likely. Sunnydale collapsed in on itself and the hellmouth shifted and emerged elsewhere in California.

Night All


^ v
ChristopherMarlowe says:
(Thu Jul 20 00:32:53 2017 [Edit/Delete]
wolfguard That must have been quite the shocker, seeing the Master kill Buffy straight off.

I am starting to see the value of remaining spoiler-free for shows. *g*

^ v
Trivia Girl says:
(Wed Jul 19 23:54:52 2017 [Edit/Delete]
Sunnydale's Trivial Pursuit

Category: Angel
Question: What does the word 'Shanshu' translate to in the Angel series?
Answer: To Live or Die

Trivia Powers that Be: Maverick
Trivia Glitter Twins: notsoShyGirl, missmuffet (hi!)

^ v
ChristopherMarlowe says:
(Wed Jul 19 22:49:22 2017 [Edit/Delete]
Yo Maverick!

^ v
Maverick says:
(Wed Jul 19 19:20:48 2017 [Edit/Delete]
Trivia Girl: Shan, get outta here. (BTW, I love the movie, "To Live and Die in L.A.")

Questions about Health Care. As someone who has administered Group Health Care Plans over a period of around 40 years, I can tell you what happened. First of all, in the late 1970's in Group Plans there were only 3 categories and all premiums were 100% paid for by the employer. Single was around $100 a month. Married was around $175 a month and Family (including children up to 19 unless they were full-time in college and then a tad longer at an additional premium) at around $250 a month. As time progressed AND medical care costs (what the insurance companies had to pay) rose, coverage became more expensive. In time the "family" amount got separated and the number of people covered in a family were each charged for. Then what happened is that the companies agreed to pay for Single Coverage (the employee) and the employee had to pay each month for the premium cost ABOVE Single Coverage. At that point employees with large families were being charged (payroll deduction) significant amounts per month (but still at a discount [because it was a Group Plan]) versus what an individual policy would cost. Then, while the premiums kept going up (because medical health care kept getting more expensive) the employers began to pay just a percentage of the cost, like maybe 1/3rd, and the employee had to pay 2/3rd (again payroll deduction per month.) I remember when a family plan would cost OVER $10,000 per year, whereas it originally cost around $3,000 per year. This was in construction companies, which had to fight for work. The total Health Care Cost (at the bottom line) went from around $10,000 per year to well over $150,000 per year (even with the employee's contribution.) It takes quite a bit of profitable construction work to withstand costs at this level. Nowadays it's standard for the company to pay a nominal amount per employee and let the employee pay the bulk of the cost. I found that I had to take quotes from the various companies each year and sort through the various coverages to attempt to buy the lowest costing insurance (but with a quality company.) It seems like companies would quote low-ball amounts on a NEW policy (thinking they could raise their rates the following year.) I had to switch companies each year and got all kinds of complaints, but that was what was necessary to be able to afford this coverage. Obamacare is failing. It demands a basic level of expensive coverages that most people don't need and/or want. Insurance companies no longer want to provide these coverages because they are losing money (unless the government subsidizes it.) Obamacare is going off a cliff BUT it was always intended to fail. It was always a bait-and-switch with SINGLE-PAYER (nationalized, socialized) health insurance (the payer being the Federal Government.) The Federal Government, even if this was a good idea (which it is not,) cannot afford this kind of expensive PREMIUM coverage and the Government is the worst administrator of any kind of big program spending. Look at all the Medicare fraud; look at the inefficiencies of the Veteran's Administration; look at the dilemma of baby Charlie Gard versus the British United Health Service. Trump speaks to Senators regarding the impending demise of Obamacare and the need to do something because the Democrats are just obstructing.


Eternal Flame

^ v
missmuffet says:
(Wed Jul 19 19:04:08 2017 [Edit/Delete]
Trivia Girl: To live and to die. To die one must first be alive.

^ v
wolfguard says:
(Wed Jul 19 18:20:40 2017 [Edit/Delete]

Belated Yay KAM!

Belated Deadguy Memorial Buffy Tuesday Question

What was the biggest BtVS spoiler you wish you hadn't read or heard?

Faith being apparently killed by Buffy in Graduation Day 1. After first season, I never saw the first airing of an episode live. I saw them on video. Nevertheless, I would risk the Bronze on Tuesday nights. *g* It was on May 18, 1999 that I saw a posted spoiler about Faith being stabbed and falling from a height. Grr Argh!!!!!

A similar event happened for The Wish. I must not have fully rewound the video tape, because when I hit 'play' the first thing to appear was the Master breaking Buffy's neck! What?!?!?



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