141 Comments

In every election cycle, health insurance is a greased football. I would like to see elected politicians, who currently enjoy free health insurance on the taxpayers' backs, have to pay for health insurance on a need basis, just as most of us do. Why does this fail to get traction every election cycle? What's the obstacle? Let's save some taxpayer dollars and force politicians to live our reality.

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Only seems fair, doesnt it? There seems to be some whining that they havent received raises often enough - how many every day ordinary folks - lots on social security (that these characters done like) who dont get over $150,000 a year to live on! Why shouldnt they pay their own health insurance? I get why CONGRESS doesnt want it to happen but people like us? Why isnt there more upset over that? Or does the "woke and cancel culture" thing exist to take their minds off actual everyday issues? Silly question.

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I whole heartedly agree!!! Let’s press for this until we get it!!

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Apr 24Liked by Judd Legum

Your reporting is amazing and so well-researched, Judd. Thanks! I don't know if you'd be willing, but I'd love to see you take on some rural-focused issues, whether related to the impacts of corporate concentration on small farmers, the Biden Admin's slowness to act on reforming the Packers and Stockyards Act (which governs the terms Tyson and big ag companies dictate to contract farmers), the "rural gentrification" phenomenon that is hitting a number of rural states and regions, the closure of community banks and the harm that has done to local rural and small town economies, etc. I am a farmer in rural Appalachia and run and organization called the Rural Urban Bridge Initiative. Thanks again for your top quality journalism!

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Please investigate the LTC insurance companies. Over 20 years as a pubic school teacher I signed up for a policy with the understanding that it would cover the costs of nursing home care and/or in-home care. After paying monthly premiums for over 20 years of over $100, the policy only pays for @150$ a day for nursing home or in-home care for a very short period of time (30-60 days). What a rip off. I have spent too much money to stop the payments now. Nursing home care costs $8000/month and 24 hr care in the home is @1000$ a day. Now what?

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That’s what you get from a health “care” system run by “investors” (people who see your pain only as an opportunity to make money).

At the rates you cite, over 20 years you paid for maybe 4 months in a nursing home. So from their point of view, after that you are a liability. Watch your back.

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Insurance companies use those premiums to invest—they made a fortune from those investments and are reneging on contractual agreements to provide care.

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My concern is that all the semi-reasonable Republicans are leaving the House. Who will be elected in their absence? If trump loses, these far rights Christi Nationalists will still be around.

Also, is anyone preparing for violence on Election Day and the days following?

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Apr 24·edited Apr 24

I'm a bit more hopeful of mostly nonviolence. Since the January 6 arrests and imprisonments, it has been more talk than action. The insurrectionist selfie takers and their ilk learned of consequences. Also there have not been many supporters or family showing themselves at Trump's election interference (the illegal act) trial, misnamed a hush-money (the means) trial).

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founding

We have to admit that there's something very wrong in our voting system when those running for office depend on donations from those who support them if they are able to have a chance at winning. For example, I just received an email from Harry Dunn, the Capitol Police officer who is now running for a seat in the House of Representatives, the body he sought to protect druing the January 6th 2021 mayhem. Officer Dunn said that his campaign will have to go dark next month if they don't raise enough money for advertising. So, do we "buy" our candidates for office? If no one knows who they are, what they're like, and what they stand for, they cannot win. We clearly place our fate in Mammon. We are "the richest nation" and we have the most advanced munitions and armed forces, thus it seems to follow that we are ruled by this money, and we have the highest rates of gun violence. Those who benefit monetarily from this way of doing business fight voraciously to preserve their benefits (e.g., the NRA, and the whole lobbying system).

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I agree with much of what you wrote. I tend to make my cash donations very small and instead donate my time to the candidates/issue in much larger measure.

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Apr 24Liked by Judd Legum

Yes! Please keep digging deeply into those stories that shed light on this election. The big media are trying to make money and then provide insights. In that order. This Substack concept gives investigative journalists the freedom to pursue the facts and analyze the facts no matter where they lead and that can include can take place without the many conflicts of big media. It is a wonderful concept. It pressures the big media. Along with ProPublica and similar platforms it is one of the country’s best hope for consistency in getting out the story regarding this once in a lifetime and life changing election.

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Apr 24Liked by Judd Legum

I would love to know more about where the WinRed scrape off goes. Jared Kushner set up the for profit privately owned (?) company for Republican online donations over the objections of Ronna McDaniel. Republican House members are required to use WinRed which takes a percentage of every donation. Buuut Mitch McConnell’s senate campaign fund does NOT use WinRed. Why?

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Apr 24Liked by Judd Legum

You may have seen the “documentary“, Climate: The Movie (the cold facts), directed by Martin Durkin. It is a masterpiece of misinformation. I have been trying, unsuccessfully, to find out who funded this film. I suspect the money trail leads to big oil, given its claim that climate change is a hoax perpetrated by those who are against industrial capitalism. If this is something of interest to you, I think it might be a worthwhile endeavour.

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Apr 24Liked by Judd Legum

please document the effort of Trump and associates to push the "noncitizens voting in large numbers" lie as a basis for claiming that the 2024 election was "stolen". it appears this effort is becoming more organized and showing up at the state level; it would surprise none of us if the new "leadership" of the RNC is making public statements to this effect a requirement for receiving funds. the sooner this lie gets attention in the media, the sooner the Biden campaign and others will understand that they need to aggressively counter it; please lead the way as you have on so many critical stories.

the work you and your associates do is totally awesome. i am so grateful for it!

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Apr 24Liked by Judd Legum

What’s the state of our readiness for the next pandemic, or even another Covid surge? None of us really wants to think about this, I’m sure , but over the last few years while we were living with the Covid pandemic, our epidemiologists were telling us we need to be much better prepared for the next one. The last two key things I heard in the media were (1) that Congress had not been able to pass funding that, among other things, would have been used to restore stockpiles of related supplies and general readiness, and (2) that Covid was no longer a pandemic. Of course we don’t know whether (or when) it could mutate back into a threat — and now we also have the avian flu hovering on the horizon while our scientists express concern about “will it or won’t it?” cross over into the human population with devastating impacts. So I’d really like to know just how prepared we are, and what the plan is.

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There are a few institutions given grants to build isolation facilities and conduct research . . . UNMC- Omaha works on Ebola. But, you know what? Actual diseases—like the leading cause of blindness, Age-related Macular Degeneration—and others, aren’t getting the funding necessary to prevent progression of diseases. I think the emphasis should be on the Here & Now. Emerging viruses, scary as they are, shouldn’t get the bulk of research dollars. Unfortunately, most research has become a commodity left to Biotech Corporations. It’s all about the money.

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Either/or -- ? Why not "Both/And"?! We humans have shortsighted focus which prioritizes the immediate threat. Of course that has saved our lives countless times! But it's often at the cost of the bigger picture and the longer range threat, and we tend to forget that. The Climate Crisis is a perfect example.

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I agree!!!!

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There's supposed to be pandemic necessities on the ready. It's difficult to believe that President Biden hasn't done this.

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I think any consideration of preparedness should start with a background of Michael Lewis' book "The Premonition." What Lewis shows must be addressed. Simply laying something over the top of that, without dealing with the reality, is never going to work out smoothly, if at all.

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There isn't a day that goes by that I don't think of the suffering in Gaza. I just read an article about reported mass graves near two hospitals. And yet there are those who clutch their pearls at nonviolent student protests at Columbia University.

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Perhaps it's time to consider getting the Biden Administration to focus on the criminal charges they so rightly deserve. 18 U.S. Code § 1091 is the statute that incorporated the Genocide Convention in US criminal law.

They may feel they are immune now, but let's get them considering what is possible when they leave office, given they have set the precedent of charging former presidents.

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founding

Who is the "they" who so rightly deserve? [I think we're on the same page.] I am concerned about Biden's culpability for funding the munitions and bombs that have devastated Gaza and caused an incomprehensible amount of death. How can we call Netanyahu's government to account if we are funding what brings about the destruction and death?

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I am 78 years old. My wife is 80. We have 5 children: 2 Democrats and 3 Republicans. The Republicans are extremely worried about world politics and are very cynical. The Democrats are far more hopeful. I believe the biggest problem we will be leaving our descendants is climate change and, of course, that it has been caused primarily by humans and neglected by our generation.

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I find your observations fascinating. My adult children are both Democrats (as are their friends); it is an unspoken millennial understanding that between pollution, climate change, and politics millennials probably won't live to the end of their natural lives and their children certainly won't. The Republicans I worked with were climate deniers etc; they were angry because we libs were trying to destroy their "drill baby drill" party etc.

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What is being done to help seniors on a fixed income afford to buy their groceries and pay medical bills. Medicare has high copays and they don’t qualify for food stamps.

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Yes, and Medicare Advantage plans are great if you are healthy. They are ready with the denial of claims when you need actual coverage for significant illness/injury. Why is this allowed? Politicians seem to just look the other way (which they do for a lot of unethical practices).

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Medicare Advantage is a private plan. Medicare is a government plan. Medicare Advantage looks good at first...lower costs and more coverage, but it becomes restrictive and once you're on it, you can't switch off to real Medicare without the "prior condition " restrictions . AARP (supposedly a lobby for seniors) pushes Medicare Advantage.

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Rep Ro Khana and another congressperson are working on legislation to change the name from “Medicare” advantage so that people don’t get scammed into signing up

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I wanted to email them to say thanks, but since I'm not in their district, their web sites would not allow me get a contact email. Anybody have a list of Representative's email addresses? Google wasn't helpful (or maybe I'm not that good a researcher)

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founding

I have found that we can reply to Ro (or anyone else from any other state) if he emails asking for campaign donations.

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It also depends on your location and what your doctors accept . . .

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Not so. The Biden administration is clamping down on “junk” insurance policies and the word is out re: Advantage plans . . . For those who bother to read up on it.

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Would you care to share a citation or link for those of us who would like "to read up on it"? I am very interested, and thanks in advance.

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I did quite a lot of digging on the internet before I chose my Medicare plan last fall. I also consulted an agent. I can’t do the homework for you. Your health issues will determine the sort of plan best suited for you. Just—don’t do an Advantage Plan. Your financial and health situation will determine what sort of Medicare Part C and Part D (prescriptions) are best for you.

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founding

I was horrified to learn that now the population with the highest growing rate of homeless are older women.

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Apr 24Liked by Judd Legum

How about an independent summary of the efficacy of wearing masks, personal spacing, and other defensive measures suggested or dictated during the COVID pandemic? There will be another pandemic eventually; what are the real lessons learned? If one infected person got almost an entire church choir sickened through aerosols, how can it be that there was not a single reported transmission event from all aviation travel?

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How can it be? I did a search and found several, some from early on, some from overseas, but I found some. Here's an early one. https://www.canada.ca/en/public-health/services/diseases/2019-novel-coronavirus-infection/canadas-reponse/summaries-recent-evidence/evidence-risk-covid-19-transmission-flight-update-3.html

Not sure why you didn't find any. But not finding something and then going on to claim that "there was not a single reported case from all aviation travel," seems a bridge too far. Perhaps you could site the source for this claim.

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I think following the money is really important AND I want that for everything…from Congress to president. Dems as well as Republicans. So keep it coming!

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I can't figure out why big companies think that electing Trump and white Christian supremacists is in their best interests? The current system works in their favor and even if Democrats implemented more climate regs, taxes, etc., it pales in comparison to the hit to their bottom line that a Trump presidency, and Project 2025, would likely trigger. Investors tend to hate chaos and uncertainty, and both seem likely if Trump and the extremist Republicans try to impose Project 2025 on the majority of the country. I don't notice people rushing to invest in the Hungarian, Russian, or Iranian stock market. On the other hand, some companies in Germany, such as BMW, did really well during WW II. Or is it that, all evidence to the contrary, they still think they can ride the tiger?

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Read :

Dark Money by Jane Mayer

Shock Doctrine, by Naomi Klein

Thomas Hartmann’s books on Monopolies

Nancy MacLean’s book on Democracy in Chains.

Instead of dealing with Climate Change and overpopulation, the billionaire Fascists choose to wipe out the middle classes and seize the power and wealth for themselves. They want a bloodbath; they want epidemics—they’ve used up the Earth’s resources and their answer is to cull the populations. Don’t expect any human kindness or revelations from the Ebenezer Scrooges of Libertarian Fascism.

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Reminds me of that poster we used to have on the wall back in the day: "The one who dies with the most toys, wins."

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