“All told, 364,682 people in two months selected an insurer using the federal and state exchanges created by the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, according to a government report today. An additional 803,077 were found eligible for state children’s health plans or Medicaid, the program for the poor being expanded in at least 26 states next year.”—
Hey so finally numbers are looking decent for Obamacare enrollment. In particular, 800,000 people getting access to children’s plans and Medicaid is awesome news.
The private sector number is way behind where the government was hoping they’d be by this point (1.2 million buying insurance coverage from a private company, rather than 365,000). This is probably not great news in terms of avoiding the “death spiral” where only the people who need medical care in the immediate future sign up for coverage. Insofar as this system is set up to coddle private insurance companies and guarantee them steady profit, this is always going to be a risk with the private insurance mandate.
So why aren’t people signing up? Definitely there is a pool of people for whom health insurance is unambiguously too expensive at current prices. But that still leaves millions of people unaccounted for who would clearly benefit from insurance but haven’t signed up for it. What are they doing? Three possibilities:
They’re waiting until the website is functional. When you see tons of stories in the news about delays and mistakes in online registration, and then tons of stories about the government making massive investments in improving the online registration system, and you can’t actually get coverage until January, it makes sense to hold off until December, right? This is the most optimistic scenario, because it suggests that the problem will correct itself in next month’s numbers.
They don’t trust insurers. Historically health insurers have done everything they can do avoid reimbursing patients (e.g. labelling medical problems as “pre-existing”) and used confusing terminology and other obfuscation to take money and not provide coverage. New regulations are supposed to prevent this, but it might take a couple years before people are willing to trust insurers enough to fork over thousands of dollars per year to them for an unknown quality and quantity of coverage.
They can’t afford the payments. Plenty of people make too much to qualify for subsidies but can’t necessarily afford to spend thousands of dollars on health insurance - especially if, say, they’re also making mortgage and student loan payments. In this situation, people might think it makes sense to sign up only if they are diagnosed with a chronic medical condition and otherwise hope to avoid accidents. This is by far the worst situation (the “death spiral” where rates rise and fewer non-chronically-ill people sign up) because basically the government either needs to introduce a public option or broaden subsidies or allow insurance companies to stop covering new chronically ill patients.
Anyway yeah it looks like at least the system is avoiding the kind of total disaster where no one signs up at all. But enrollment is well below goals and it’s still not clear why. Hopefully next month’s numbers will give more context.
They are of course correct — linkbait headlines alone can’t make people share good content. However, they are disingenuous — the headlines *do* make people click on things once shared, so Upworthy shares convert much better than others. There’s a reason they spend so much time on their headlines.
Not only are “pure breeds” unhealthy, they’re not even really “pure” — we have been making them actively worse, as this series of before-and-after pictures separated by 100 years shows. The transformation endured by the bull terrier in particular is horrifying. It used to be a normal dog!
The most horrifying part of this story is that the US military resented the “interference” of civilian authority in their ability to launch nuclear missiles, which is why they deliberately made the codes unnecessary, and their supposed superiors on the civilian side didn’t find out about this until an article in the press.
babygay (n): an LGBT person for the first 5-7 years after they come out. Characterized by inexperience with romantic and sexual relationships, frequently accompanied by over-compensation for years of repression by being loudly vocal about their sexuality. Not necessarily related to chronological age.
Do you remember what your relationships were like when you were, say, 12 years old? You’d find some random person, declare your mutual undying love, go completely overboard, and break up two weeks later. You had no idea what you were doing, but that’s okay, because you were 12 and that’s expected.
Imagine going through that process when you are not 12 but 18, or 25. You’re just as inexperienced, just as hyper-enthusiastic, just as dramatic, but you’ve also got no adult supervision, and in addition you’ve got access to your own money, drugs and alcohol to complicate matters, to say nothing of the full range of sexual experiences. This is the curse of the babygay.
It’s much rarer now than it used to be — these days, lots of gay kids come out the moment they develop any sexual feelings at all, just like straight kids do. They have teenage gay relationships that are just like those of their straight peers. But progress is not evenly distributed, and there are still gay people who come out in their late teens, their twenties, and sometimes even later.
This is where much of the myth of gay promiscuity comes from: if teenagers could have sex as often as they liked with whoever they liked, they would have a lot of sex. Part of that is a function of being a teenager, but part of it is just because it’s novel and exciting. Babygays tend to be promiscuous, partly for that reason, and also because they’ve been repressing their sexuality for a while, so they have a lot of pent-up enthusiasm.
Of course, babygays are not uniform. Some have had heterosexual teenage relationships — they are the best-equipped for homosexual ones, though there is plenty of new stuff to learn. Some have had no relationships whatsoever, and are roughly as bad at them as your average 12-year-old, which is to say extremely bad.
Some have had no relationships and also have lingering feelings of guilt and self-loathing about their sexuality, and these are the ones least-equipped to responsibly handle their sexuality. They are likely to get over their fear and guilt with drink and drugs, ingredients which are unlikely to lead to good decisions when combined with inexperience at sex.
Most babygays get better at relationships and “grow out” of the babygay stage; in my experience that takes between five and seven years, but it varies a lot. They settle into longer-term relationships, just like lots of straight teenagers do in their twenties, but often several years delayed.
Some don’t, of course. Some people decide they like lots of sex with different partners, and as long as they’re responsible about not hurting anyone emotionally or physically, that’s a totally valid choice. In my experience, it’s not the choice made by the majority.
But the curse of the babygays — navigating your first emotional and sexual experiences at the same time, at full volume, with no ramp-up period — is a dangerous time. As gay kids come out earlier, and it continues to get rarer, I’ll be glad to see it go.
Controlled tests show the fungus grows faster in the presence of high levels of radiation, and that the chemical route involved is melanin — the same chemical found in skin. Now the scientists want to know if our skin can also use radiation to produce energy. Are humans partially solar-powered?
Cisco had a crappy quarter after Brazil and Russia started pulling orders; expect a lot more of the same from similar companies (IBM, HP, Oracle, and especially network equipment companies like Juniper). This has the potential to be a gigantic shot in the foot for the American economy.
When you’re a company that’s been around as long as Yahoo, there are lots of fun things that you stumble across. This year, we found a huge list of domain names that the company has owned for quite some time.
As we discussed what to do with them, it became obvious that it was time to set them free…back into the wild of the Internet. Surely, creative people, businesses and entrepreneurs could come up with something great to do with them. They could even spark some brand new ideas or companies.
Tomorrow, we’re starting a week-long auction that includes well over a hundred premium domain names. How premium you ask? How about sandwich.com? That’s a pretty awesome name, and now it’s back on the market!
Get ready to bid on your favorites, here’s a partial look at the treasure you’ll find:
- Crackers.com (Snack-rating site?) - AV.com (Reminds me of high school) - Jockeys.com (A social network for people who ride horses?) - Sled.com (Winter is coming) - Blogsport.com (Could be great if blogging ever became an Olympic sport!)
Go here to find the list. The Domainapalooza starts on the 14th and goes through the 21st, and we’ll be adding more domain names during the week.