Archive for September, 2013

Bravely tilting at windmills

There’s hardly much more to be said about the all-too-likely government shutdown, or the possibility of an even more terrifying default on our debt obligations. But even so, I firmly believe it’s a good idea to repeat this as often as possible so everybody understands it: Republicans in Congress are drawing their line in the sand, throwing thousands of government works temporarily out of work and threatening the entire world economy, not over a fiendish Democratic plan to confiscate all guns in the country, or to raise income tax rates to where they were in the 1960s, or to get involved in another costly war, or even a plan by President Obama to become dictator for life. No, they are fighting to the death over a plan to give poor people better access to health insurance.

And they are using the words of real heroes in the most offensive way possible to do it.

Minnesota Insurance Rates

MNsure and the Department of Commerce announced yesterday the rates for the insurance plans that will become available on the exchange October 1st, and it was great news: Minnesota has the lowest average rates in the country based on all the states that have made their rates public. A young non-smoker in the Twin Cities could get a plan for less than $91 a month, and that’s before subsidies are included.

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Breaking Encryption

The big news today is that the NSA has “broken” much internet encryption. Details are scarce, and comments are plentiful, but it’s important to understand at a high level what it means to “break” encryption. There are essentially three ways to “break” encryption, and they all mean different things.

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Where the uninsured live

Wonkblog has a great post today showing two maps: the first shows where the uninsured live who make less than 138% of the poverty level, which shows who could benefit from the expansion of Medicaid, and the second shows uninsured people who make less than 400% of the poverty level, which shows who could benefit from Obamacare’s subsidies.

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