Washington Post: Some health insurance premiums are going down (Updated)

Thanks, Maritza, for this great clip:


Repeal this:

It turns out that pigs do fly. Last month, insurer Aetna received approval from Connecticut regulators of its request to reduce premiums on individual policies by an average 10 percent, starting in September. Yes, you read that right: reduce the premium. The decrease, which affects some 15,000 consumers, will save those policyholders $259 annually, on average.

“I think it’s the shape of things to come,” Timothy Jost, a law professor at Washington and Lee University and a consumer representative to the National Association of Insurance Commissioners, says of Aetna’s move.

Under the health-care overhaul, insurers beginning this year must spend at least 80 percent of the premium dollars they collect on medical claims or quality improvement efforts. Administrative expenses and profits are limited to 20 percent or less of what they collect. Those that don’t meet these new “medical loss ratio” standards have to refund the extra premiums collected to consumers. (In insurance lingo, medical claims paid are considered “losses.”)

// more


Bernanke says jobs, growth will pick up after June

WASHINGTON (MarketWatch) — Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke on Tuesday acknowledged “somewhat slower than expected growth” but said the U.S. economy will pick up in the second half of the year and inflation will moderate. “I expect hiring to pick up from last month’s pace as growth strengthens in the second half of the year,” Bernanke said in a speech to international bankers meeting in Atlanta. He said the Fed’s $600 billion bond purchase program will wind down by the end of the month and gave no hint the central bank was considering a third round of purchases. He repeated that rates will remain low for an “extended” period of time.


Interesting Afghanistan read from Joe Klein:

/// snip

….I wouldn’t be surprised if President Obama announced a major withdrawal process that will begin with the departure of a few troops this summer (and the transition of mostly peaceful cities like Herat and Mazar-e-Sharif to Afghan government control), then begin in earnest by the end of the year, with forces down to about 50,000 a year from now and the 25,000 stabilization force by the end of 2012. The Afghan National Army ain’t the 101st Airborne, but it is strong enough, with continuing US support, to prevent a Taliban takeover of the country. That, plus the continuing covert campaign by drones and special operators, should be more than enough to protect US national interests in one of the world’s most remote places.

/// More and worth the read


Nice, hopeful story:

Industry clusters help foster innovation, job growth

CLEVELAND — Alex Nudelman, a strapping 49-year-old, confidently pushes buttons on a computer-controlled milling machine and suggests it’s ready to sculpt a small piece of metal.
His instructor stops him, noting Nudelman has not programmed in all the tools needed to shape the metal block.
A journeyman autoworker who was laid off in 2009, Nudelman is taking a community college class here so he can work on the more sophisticated gear powering the region’s growing cluster of medical device makers. If all goes well, he may soon be churning out spinal implants instead of seat brackets.


Emerging industry centers include electric-car batteries in Michigan, clean energy in Colorado and robotics in Pittsburgh. In clean energy alone, 20 regional non-profits have sprung up around the USA in the past three years to coordinate funding and product-launching efforts among companies, universities, entrepreneurs and state agencies.
Now, the federal government is stepping in. President Obama’s fiscal 2012 budget proposes a competition to identify 20 potential clusters that would receive a share of $2.5 billion in financial incentives. A separate program involving 16 U.S. agencies aims to advance existing industry hubs. With a report Friday showing job growth slowing, officials say funding for innovation is needed to expand payrolls.

// more


I really couldn’t care less of Anthony ‘Barack Obama is no values’ guy Weiner, but the media’ hypocrisy is just staggering.


Hey, listen, if you are a member of the elite media, like you are Chuck Todd or Bob Schieffer or Jake Tapper or George Will, please take a moment to pop over to Memeorandum and check out the reaction of various media outlets to the Anthony Weiner scandal. Now, after you’ve done that, I want you to come back here and answer me this: why didn’t you assholes treat David Vitter or, especially, John Ensign this way?
Why did David Vitter have an easy time getting reelected without having to listen to you guys question his morals 24 hours a day? And why wasn’t John Ensign run out of the village on a rail for making a mess of the place? Aren’t senators more than four times as powerful as congressmen? Isn’t it a juicer story when the sex-scandal involves hypocrisy as well as lying?

Personally, I don’t care about Rep. Weiner. I like his attitude, but I’m not much for yapping dogs. Earlier this week he went on the Rachel Maddow Show and lied to my face for fifteen straight minutes. I have no use for the guy. I hope he goes away never to be heard from again. But I don’t want to hear weeks and weeks of breathless speculation about the political career and personal morals of a backbencher who has no leadership position, no important committee chairs, no clout of any kind, and no bearing on the big issues facing the country.

You left Ensign alone. You left Vitter alone. Hell, you barely even reported it when Ensign resigned. But for weeks you’ve been hounding a comparative nobody. Why?

Are you puppets controlled by Andrew Breitbart, Matt Drudge, Sean Hannity, and Rush Limbaugh? Do you have minds of your own?

// more and terrific.


108 thoughts on “Washington Post: Some health insurance premiums are going down (Updated)

  1. FIRST!!!!
    Angela looks totally smitten. I heard the Germans were mad Obama did not stop in their country. Wow!

  2. Those two seem to enjoy each other’s company. I love the stool photo too. She must be a shorty.

  3. Pete Souza is amazing. I like the picture of the president’s feet next to Ms. Merkel’s standing on the stool. Souza is just a fascinating photographer.

    Good will overcome evil. As much as so many, including some in the media want to see this president fail, it won’t happen. He is the man for this time to fix this mess that we are in.

    And one last thing. I am sending the link to everyone whose e-mail address I have in the media.

    Thanks for what you do, BWD.

  4. That is, I am sending the link to Booman’s column to everyne whose e-mail address I have.

  5. Wow, new commenting software doo-dad. Kind of cool, although I think Firefox is having issues with it.

    Anyway, the MSM will continually chase the next shiny object, and the GOP will stamp feet and fulminate. Polls will come and polls will go; some will be in our favor, some not. But, as the first story shows, PBO’s changes continue to churn on, making life better for everyone, and with hard work we will win in 2012.

    I admit, I was more than a bit flummoxed by ABC’s poll results. Then I saw the Gallup numbers — which say the exact opposite. Now we wait for another poll — CNN or NBC — to either verify ABC or refute it. Nothing is certain except flux. We just have to ride the waves and make sure that at the end we’re standing up, and the other side is flailing in the water.

  6. I always enjoy coming to this site and hearing some good news. Thanks for the positive economic, diplomatic, Afghanistan and jobs report information; and a big “right on” about the “Endless Weener” stuff.

  7. I agree, Souza is a treasure to have as a WH photographer. He takes the most fascinating pics. I hope he is planning to stick around for PBO’s second term.

  8. It was loading quite slowly, and then freezing. Then again, the internet at my work sucks big time, so it may have just been me. Seems to be fine now.

  9. President Obama looks soooooo handsome, as usual. That smile just makes you melt.

    Timing of the ABC-WAPO poll is so interesting, especially since ABC PAID that woman to help Breitbart out Weiner. And especially since this poll says the exact opposite of what every other poll says.

  10. The only problem I am having, is that my last comment was still in the box. Oh well, I guess it will get the bugs worked out eventually.

  11. Good news on the health care front. Regarding cuts in Medicare and Medicaid, I heard my local radio news (brief) while walking this morning that hundreds of nurses were going to Capitol Hill to protest cuts in these programs. Did anyone see anything on TV or anywhere wlse this morning?

  12. Oh gosh POTUS is so stunning, look at those beautiful teeth and his gorgeous face. The Chancellor looks cute and I love the 2nd to last picture. Later when she visited the State Dept, she presented SOS Clinton with a German Newspaper cover of them both in their different selection of pantsuits. lol I never even noticed that she was a a pant suit wearer too. 🙂

  13. Love, love all those pictures of our wonderful President. He is so handsome and gracious.

    Also love Booman’s article. It is so telling, when they leave the Repubs alone and go after Dems. I also don’t care about Weiner, except that he always put himself out there are equal to the President. He is a fool.

  14. I think the Chancellor is a bit smitten by our President, Who wouldn’t ????

    Most of the world leaders feel the same way as she does.

  15. I’m using Firefox and there is no particular holdup for me here.

    the print is so light tho………I have my background set white, so that may be the problem, huh?

  16. I got to go to the ceremony at the White House this morning – it was so beautiful, the grounds of the WH were stunning, I enjoyed all the military trappings, the band etc. Wish I could have been closer but I could see Michelle, Barack, and Angela from afar.

    I didn’t have time to read the earlier thread and I’m sure this was mentioned a million times, but it sure looks like our President and Mrs. Merkel really like each other. And that is so important. I believe our President is really liked and respected by world leaders and what a difference from the Bush years!! Little by little his international efforts will pay off – with peace agreements and trade agreements +++, plus it’s the right thing to do.

  17. How wonderful that you got to partake in the ceremony. It’s living history!

  18. I think the job front will get better a lady at the employment agency stated that their will be a lot of baby boomers retiring

  19. Thank you so much for the positive news, BWD. I don’t think I’ve ever hated the MSM more than I do today.

    AQ and DF and other AZ members – sending my best.

  20. Hate to be a nudge, but could not the White House protocol folks have properly carpeted the step stool that Chancellor Merkel was standing on? Looks so funny to see pieced-together carpet over an old, dingy wooden stool at The People’s House!

    I’m kidding, but it struck me as a bit funny. 🙂

  21. Sorry, I could not read what I was saying but the tittle of the above is: The Agenda Project: Patriotic Millionaires’ Message to Congress “Tax Me”

  22. I just want to try this new black box out and it works…white print on black, and a whole new range of Log In buttons. Fancy stuff here.

  23. Can I just say that POTUS has some gorgeous skin, particularly for an almost 50 year old. He must use Michelle’s products. LOL

  24. I think it folds in under the podium, so it isn’t a solid piece that can be fully carpeted. I could be wrong, but I see what looks like a hinge in the middle.

  25. Bwd: the hypocrisy in the msm is because they email there boys in the media.
    Me thinks, dws can do the same, play the media. You know, alot of media pundits like Dws, like CM, and Rachel.
    So, feed the beast.

  26. How wonderful for you! Donna dem4Obama, was also there. She posted some pictures over at The Obama Diary. Wasn’t able to get real close. I so love hearing these first hand reports.

  27. Many are already taking early retirement and cutting back their hours at work because they want the freedom more than they want the money.

  28. Yesterday seemed to be Twitter day. As someone who loves to gather information and organize the heck out of it, I had originally made a Twitter page for media and another for politicians.

    Then I saw a phone # list at the Obama Diary, and later, realized I have an email list at my blog.

    Soooo…. I have combined these into one mega cool contact page.

    This one is for the media

    Please bookmark it – or BWD can add it to the area on the right if she wants.

    As we find more addresses, list them here and I will scoop them up and put them on the page.

    Now we can pester in all the flavors, write a letter, call, email, and Tweet.


    How fun

  29. Yes Elly, I’m sure you had a fun time while at the ceremonies and I bet you were excited as well, I know that I would be. But yes, It’s almost impossible to not like the Obamas. They are like magnets, they draw you to them, with their humble smiles and warm compassion. I begin to feel that the International countries loves our President even more than some here In America. And like you said, he’s soooooooooooooooooo good looking, cute, Handsome, easy on the eyes, yeahhhhhhhhhh, Easy on the eyes 😉 Look, he Is all of that, and with a pretty attractive wife, wowwwwwwwwwwww I just love them both. Forget all those that’s hating on him, because they’re jealous and envious. We got us a very smart and Intelligent First family, and I’m oh soooooooooooo proud of them, because they are making our Country better 🙂

  30. If the part of the ACA that mandates health care coverage is found unconstitutional by the Supreme Court, does that make the entire law unconstitutional?

  31. Now that my Friends, Is a great Video. This needs to be passed on, and on. Thank you maritza 🙂

  32. Depends on the decision. Of the two that ruled against the ACA, one said it all had to go and the other said only the mandate needed to be stricken. The health insurance co’s certainly don’t want the latter, as mandates are the only way they can afford the other measures and premiums would skyrocket otherwise. Only ruling the mandate unconstitutional would probably be the quickest way to a robust government option.

  33. Of course the counter would be “If you want to pay more – just donate whatever you want extra to the government. I don’t think the IRS complains if you want to pay more”.

  34. Well, I was noticing the Chancellor’s shoes. The stool was okay for her shoes, Imo. I just wonder If anyone else notice.

  35. Heh. She doesn’t seem to mind that hand on her back at all. Not squirming away after a certain other someone gave her an uninvited back rub. I’d say she wouldn’t mind a nice little shoulder rub from her tall new friend. The stool is beyond cute.

  36. She really isn’t short. Our pres is over 6 feet. And the podium is set for the POTUS.

  37. You know, I was thinking that soon the Germans will be digging up old records showing that Obama has distant relatives from there!!!

  38. ABC wanted to have Breitbart on their show to do live commentary during the midterms – remember? Due to pressure and pushback from DEM supporters, they relented and changed their mind.

    So it’s not surprising that their shenanigans with Brietbart is payback for what happened during the midterms. Breitbart and his GOP cronies in the media don’t forget. They are extremely vindictive.

  39. It is a wonderful news with the health care. The type of News that Never makes the MSM.

    There is no doubt on the treatment of Dems and TBGOPers’ sex scandals.

    The biggest difference, the right would feast on any Dem and the media would as well. But on the right’s sex scandals, especially after the 2006 elections, the right would pretty much ignore the story and the MSM would timidly follow the right’s version.

    It never fails.

    Ensign, if you all recall, the information was given to Megyn Kelly by the husband, and instead some how Ensign was informed and 3 days later Ensign spoke about it. No questions from the media as to why Fox hide the information.

    Lee from NY, same thing.

    Anyone remember Massey from NY in 2010? Beck had him for an hour. The media feasted. But Lee and subsequent pictorials from Gwarker and TMZ, the MSM ignored the story.

    The MSM is a corporate hag and does nothing to be fair but to lean to the right and pretend that all issues must be debated by their terms. That is Right wing leaning. The media knows this but has refused to correct themselves.

  40. At first I thought the photo of the two of them at the table and the photo of the feet were all one picture, and I was VERY confused! Um, don’t their feet look really big? What is this??

    But now I get it and you’re so right — it’s adorable, as are all of these great photos of our President charming the heck out of the German chancellor!

  41. I wouldn’t mind a shoulder rub from Merkel’s tall new friend either. 🙂

  42. Yeah I was sideeyeing those scuffed up old shoes but I guess she is very frugal or something. Our pres shoes would probably be the same if he had his way, he hates shopping. : ) She seems like a really serious person but I like how sweet faced she gets when our POTUS is around.

  43. Aww I agree for a guy his skin is great…I can picture her giving him facials and stuff. 😀

  44. But now they’re saying on Twitter there are no bodies there. I’m confused and twitterpated at this point.

  45. Actually, I it wasn’t confirmed but they received the info from a tipster. So now MSNBC is saying the same thing as what you saw on Twitter

  46. Methinks this is balloon boy redux: Silly summer season in the media has begun!!!

  47. Thank you for those addresses….they’ll get a GOOD earful! On another subject, I need some help with being able to see what the heck I’m writing. The letters are black on a black background and my old eyes have enough trouble as it is:) All these fancy bells and whistles now! It works fine for me to post, but I can’t see what I’ve written. Most annoying. Any help would be appreciated. Thanks.

  48. It’s because Bush was a creeper and she probably didn’t like him anyway. Nobody did. I wouldn’t want some guy touching me that I didn’t even like…this one, well, he’s ok. She likes him.and most of all he’s respectful.Bush always acted like he was at a frat party or your best bud.No respect for another Head of State, especially considering she’s a woman.

  49. According the the Houston Chronicle, deputies were led to the site by a psychic. 😐

    That reminds me of the Monty Python sketch in which someone asked for “more fairy stories involving the police.” Eric Idle then pops out of nowhere in a fairy outfit and makes it so.

  50. And the answer to that is that those who don’t contribute more apparently don’t love their country. If the roles were reversed you can be sure the Republicans would be saying stuff like that.

  51. I am someone who enjoys coming to this site just as I enjoy going to the OFA site (although, I wish the OFA site would return to its previous format). I usually read everyone else’s post and follow their links. However, this time I wanted to say something to encourage you to stay strong. Don’t fret over the machinations of the Mainstream Media. They think that the majority of people are stupid; hence, that is why they are always resurrecting Sarah Palin. PBO was elected when the economy was in the tank because of the republicans. People are aware that the republicans have done nothing but said “no” and have blocked everything that PBO is trying to do to move this country forward. They see what the republican govenors have done and are doing to destroy jobs or stop jobs from being created in their states. They see the dismal failure of the teaparty, and they know that nothing will get better with them in charge. Despite all this, PBO has managed to do a lot of good things–starting with pulling this country from the brink of economic collapse.

    In 2012, not only will PBO be re-elected but the Democrats will retake the Congress and hold on to the Senate. This time, I am sure the Dems (blue dogs and liberals) will not screw up this opportunity and everyone will put their foot to the pedal and this economy will take off like “greased lightning.”

    In short, everything is going to be all right. Stay cool, stay strong, stay focused and stay united….Peace

  52. She is so cute in the one photo holding up her hand as to say, “oh I hated those back rubs by that last guy, why in the world would he think I want his grubby hands on me…..you are so nice and polite Mr. President”.

  53. The psychic thing really bemuses me…I mean WTF is this the Dione Warwick school of investigation?

  54. I went to The Obama Diary but it was running slow. I’ll go by later tonight. The President and first lady looked so wonderful. I love her dress and hair, as usual, she looks stunning and our Prez looks handsome as ever.

  55. I’ll never forget the picture of candidate Obama with his feet up and a hole in his re-soled shoes. He’s pretty frugal himself.

  56. Africa: I was talking with my wife about those to assholes Vitter and Ensign they got away the MSM did talk as much as they are doing with Weinier. We do not give a shit about Weiner probles those are his for ever his we just feel sorry for his family.
    We are deomocrats and will support them when they do the right thing for our country, POTUS is doing his job and doing it just fine, and he will have our full support.

  57. L.L fuck the polls the MSM is playing with us I have seen this movie before, they need the ratings, Is about Money Money , Money because The GOP and DEMOS will be force to spend a lot of money in 2012.

  58. SR, that is what I think. The president would not mind the mandate being stricken so he could institute the public option with perfect cover.

  59. Thanks HHO
    I have felt myself sinking today. It takes so much energy to pushback on this lazy MSM. I have ckd all of the repugs I can on Twitter too. Just to send digs on the stupid statements and lies they make.This site is a blessing to me each and every day as are each of the posters here. There is so much knowledge here. I send it everywhere I can. Thanks again.

  60. Oh that ad by the ‘patriotic millionaires’ brought tears to my eyes. We MUST all send this to everyone we know and most especially to our congress people. ALL Republican Congress members need to get this sent to them.

    Now off to read all of the other good stuff you’ve compiled bwd- thank YOU~

  61. I agree:) It was wonderful. Can someone send that to every Congress person’s mailbox?They need to see that.Hi,Sherjr…nice to see you tonight..hope all is well.Need to go check out the photos at TOD from today…

  62. I remember the picture of her meeting him when he was a candidate. She was absolutely radiant. “Oh, if only this guy replaces the “frat boy.” (I just cringed when I saw Bush grab her shoulders, like some kind smarmy boss manhandling a secretary. God, how embarrassing for the U.S.!)

    Obama treats her like a lady….and like a head of state.

  63. Yup. The media and the pollsters need to keep up their eyeballs by stirring up nontroversies. Let’s take a pledge not to be distracted and disheartened.

  64. Can you all believe that tripoli just got 80 bombs dropped on it, and still going on??? Yes, 80! Shock and awe, part two!

  65. BBC reported that around 4000 bombs have been dropped in Tripoli alone till date. NATO seems to be screwing up this mission..

  66. I don’t think going after Gaddhafi was part of the mission. So there is certain mission creep going on here with NATO. The mission was humanitarian but nobody can afford the resulting stalemate – France and UK were already complaining about being stuck with too high a cost.

  67. Thanks for pointing that out, jacqueline! I thought it was sooooo charming. I bet she didn’t give a darn that this stool wasn’t the most well-appointed piece in the world. Quality people. They don’t come a dime a dozen.

  68. What are your thoughts on the Tripoli bombing? I am just curious.

    I am encouraged about Afghanistan and Iraq ending.

    I hope Libya is done very soon.

  69. I just thought of something! How long before wiener-gate is the presidents fault?
    I am serious. With the way The msm stretches things and the GOP distorts stuff, I think it is only a matter of time…

  70. We are only doing command and control in Libya. But the neo cons will attack him on this, if kaddafy ain’t gone soon.

  71. Also, all the pl sticking up for weiner is just funny!
    And then in the same breath, they say with this economy anyone could beat the president…


  72. Does anyone find the “recent comments” option on the right hand side useful ? I don’t.

    Also,I would prefer that the new comment box has the same background color as the login boxes.

  73. I don’t know. All I know is, I can’t see what I type in the new comment box. It posts as white on black background, but as I type it’s black on black. I have NO idea what I’m writing or if it’s spelled correctly. If it typed white on the black, that would be much better. Is there a fix for that?

  74. I use a cool FF add-on that sets all my webpages light grey that saves from color shocks of various websites.

    With new comment box, now my input is in white in light grey background.


    The FF extension, if you’re interested


  75. I’m guessing our firebrand Rep’s political career will be ending in a few hours. Breitbart released the x-rated photo to two deejays and they sent it to Gawker. I think we’re done here.

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