Face-Eating Leopards

A couple of years ago, an ACA-related "case study" story went viral for a week or so about a man from Fort Mill, South Carolina by the name of Luis Lang.

Initially, the story seemed to be about a man who railed against Obamacare while both taking absolutely no responsibility for failing to take advantage of the benefits of the law which he was entitled to and simultaneously blaming President Obama for the failure of his own GOP-controlled state to expand Medicaid under the law. Several people wrote up articles ripping Mr. Lang to shreds over his seeming hypocrisy, myself included.


Presented without comment:

A sizable minority of Americans don’t understand that Obamacare is just another name for the Affordable Care Act.

This finding, from a poll by Morning Consult, illustrates the extent of public confusion over a health law that President Trump and Republicans in Congress hope to repeal.

In the survey, 35 percent of respondents said either they thought Obamacare and the Affordable Care Act were different policies (17 percent) or didn’t know if they were the same or different (18 percent). This confusion was more pronounced among people 18 to 29 and those who earn less than $50,000 — two groups that could be significantly affected by repeal.

...When respondents were asked what would happen if Obamacare were repealed, even more people were stumped. Approximately 45 percent did not know that the A.C.A. would be repealed. Twelve percent of Americans said the A.C.A. would not be repealed, and 32 percent said they didn’t know.

Via Abby Goodnough and Robert Pear in yesterday's New York Times:

Justin Kloski learned that he qualified for Medicaid under the worst of circumstances. The student and part-time lawn-company worker had lost 20 pounds, could not shake a nagging cough and was sleeping 14 hours a day when he decided to visit a clinic in Muncie, Ind., that provides free care for the poor and uninsured. A clinic employee invited Mr. Kloski, now 28, to apply for Medicaid.

A few days later, he took his new coverage to the emergency room at IU Health Ball Memorial Hospital in Muncie. A CT scan found a 15-centimeter tumor in his chest, so big it was pressing on his windpipe. In May 2015, he learned he had Hodgkin’s lymphoma, a form of cancer that is curable if caught early.

The Affordable Care Act, and Governor Pence’s decision to go against many other Republican governors and expand Medicaid under the law, may well have saved Mr. Kloski’s life.

About a decade ago, there was an excellent animated TV series on Nickelodeon called Avatar: The Last Airbender:

Avatar: The Last Airbender takes place in a world that is home to humans and hybrid animals, adjacent to a parallel Spirit World. Human civilization is divided into four nations: the Water Tribes, the Earth Kingdom, the Fire Nation, and the Air Nomads. Each has a distinct society, wherein people known as "benders" have the ability to manipulate and control the element of their nation using the physical motions of martial arts. The show's creators based each bending style on an existing Chinese martial art, leading to clear visual and physical differences in the techniques used by Waterbenders (tai chi), Earthbenders (Hung Ga kung fu), Firebenders (Northern Shaolin kung fu) and Airbenders (Baguazhang).

...At any given time, only one person in the world is capable of bending all four elements: the Avatar, who serves as an international arbiter. When the Avatar dies, the Avatar spirit is reincarnated into the next one of the four nations in the Avatar Cycle: the Fire Nation, Air Nomads, Water Tribe, Earth Kingdom, in order.

Yesterday, over at the NY Times, Paul Krugman, writing about the supposedly imminent repeal of the Affordable Care Act, tried to answer the question "How many people just shot themselves in the face?"

After giving it several shots, a Twitter follower of mine suggested that he bring me in on the issue:

@paulkrugman You really need state-level data (hint: @charles_gaba). Trumpier states didn't expand Medicaid or encourage/support exchanges.

— (((MikeRose))) (@MikeRose2d) November 29, 2016

In my latest exclusive post over at healthinsurance.org, I did my best to come up with the answer. Check it out!

Many in Florida Count on Obama’s Health Law, Even Amid Talk of Its Demise

MIAMI — Dalia Carmeli, who drives a trolley in downtown Miami, voted for Donald J. Trump on Election Day. A week later, she stopped in to see the enrollment counselor who will help her sign up for another year of health insurance under the Affordable Care Act.

“I hope it still stays the same,” said Ms. Carmeli, 64, who has Crohn’s disease and relies on her insurance to cover frequent doctor’s appointments and an array of medications.

Mr. Trump and Republicans in Congress are vowing to repeal much or all of the health law, a target of their party’s contempt since the day it passed with only Democratic votes in 2010. If they succeed, they will set in motion an extraordinary dismantling of a major social program in the United States.

Once again, this is all I can say: