Friday, April 18, 2014

Good Friday Blog Housekeeping and Statistical Numerology: A Healthy Spring Has Sprung


I'm posting this entry at 10AM on Friday morning. Good Friday, no less.

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Blog Housekeeping ...

I just was too tired after work and the gym last night plus my previous night's insufficient sleep to spend until 3AM composing an entry (which few people would read anyway). On a related note, I should note that my blogging activity over the next five days is likely to be intermittent with only short entries.

For starters, I need to go to the gym this evening.

Tomorrow, I am taking a MARC train to BWI Airport Rail Station to meet my mom and Ray, and we are going to an afternoon dinner at the Rusty Scupper in Baltimore.

I intend to return by evening, and I plan to post a jukebox Saturday night entry.

On Sunday -- Easter -- I am going to Quill's parents' house in Silver Spring during the day. My intention is to ride my bike there and back.

On Monday, I might be taking a Nellie's bartender friend to a delayed 30th birthday dinner at Old Ebbitt Grill or some other place.

Tuesday will necessarily be a gym night.

Thus, I may not have any entries until late Tuesday or even Wednesday.

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Weather Update ...

Before it recedes too far in the past, I wanted to note the rainfall totals from the storm earlier this week as well as monthly / seasonal / year-to-date totals through 4/17/2014 and their comparison to the 1981 - 2010 normal values at the three regional civilian airport climate stations (National, BWI, and Dulles) are given below.

Of note, all three had "trace" snowfall with Dulles's "trace" a daily record.

KDCA

Storm rainfall: 1.53 inches;
Month-to-date: 2.01 inches / Departure: +0.25 inches;
Season-to-date (since March 1st): 6.27 inches / +1.03 inches;
Year-to-date: 12.87 inches / +2.20 inches;
Seasonal snowfall: 32.0 inches or +16.6 inches

KBWI

Storm rainfall: 2.42 inches (daily record remains 2.52 inches in 2007);
Month-to-date: 3.09 inches / Departure: +1.24 inches;
Season-to-date (since March 1st): 7.47 inches / +1.72 inches;
Year-to-date: 14.76 inches / Departure: +3.06 inches;
Seasonal snowfall: 39.0 inches or +18.9 inches

KIAD

Storm rainfall: 1.23 inches
Month-to-date: 1.68 inches / Departure: -0.31 inches
Seasonal-to-date (since March 1st): 5.78 inches / Departure: +0.41 inches
Year-to-date: 12.28 inches / Departure: +1.49 inches
Season: 52.8 inches or +30.8 inches

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Affordable Care Act Update: The Numbers

Lastly, I really want to mention the very good news on the Affordable Care Act announced yesterday, namely, the 8 million exchange sign-ups that occurred during the initial open enrollment period ending March 31st, as well as the total failure of a non-Fox News actuarial death spiral to emerge owing to the healthy age mix of the signups. This is sure to drive the GOP Political / Media / Infotainment Bubble even further into an alternate and delusional reality.


Allow me to quote at length Jonathan Chait on this matter:

For all the Sturm und Drang, implementing a successful health-care reform was not actually very hard, for the simple reason that the United States started with the worst-designed health-care system in the industrialized world. When you spend far more on health care than any country, and you're also the only advanced democracy that denies people access to medical care, it's incredibly easy to design a better system.

[But i]f it's so easy to massively improve health care, why didn't it happen before? Because passing a health-care reform through Congress is incredibly hard. The system's waste created an enormous class of beneficiaries with a vested interest in the status quo. And the insecurity of private insurance made Americans terrified of change (which was necessarily complex).


And this is what conservatives have never understood ... The triumphs of Obamacare were designing a plan that could acceptably compensate the losers and generating the resources to cover the uninsured without alienating those with insurance. Designing and passing Obamacare was a project requiring real policy and political genius. Implementing it was easy.

But Chait -- just like Pres. Obama -- noted the utterly immorality, indeed, outright evilness of those radical Republican-controlled states (mostly, of course, in the American South) that have refused to expand -- at no cost to them -- Medicaid -- and thus denying 5 million of their people basic health care.


 
Nevertheless, things are moving in the right direction in so many ways -- and it doesn't matter if there is a GOP sweep in the November midterms (we know why that will happen) that allows Michael Barone to write yet another "American Political Atlas" explaining why there is an emerging yet another "New GOP Supermajority." It's just not true.

OK, that really is all for now.

--Regulus

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