Boston Univ. health economist and The Incidental Economist blogger. @afrakt on Twitter. Shares don't imply endorsement.
93 stories
·
27 followers

King v. Burwell 101 - Required Reading

1 Share

Imran Cronk and Rebecka Rosenquist, MSc

The case King v. Burwell, being argued before the Supreme Court on March 4th, challenges the authority of the Federal Government to issue health insurance premium subsidies on federally-facilitated marketplaces. The question is whether the tax subsidies available on exchanges 'established by the state' were intended to be available on the federal exchange as well.

The case is complex and its verdict could strike at the core of the ACA. The legal question is not constitutional but statutory. Did the IRS correctly interpret language of the ACA? Access to coverage for millions of Americans hangs in the balance.

Sitting as we do at the University of Pennsylvania, we can't help but approach complex matters such as these as any good student would. So here's our syllabus of required reading for King v. Burwell 101.

UNIT 1: BACKGROUND

  1. NYT Overview of the Issue
    1. [NYTimes.com/upshot] "Obamacare, Back at the Supreme Court: Frequently Asked Questions": An impressive and extensive resource from Margot Sanger-Katz.
  2. What is the case about?
    1. [Vox.com] "King v. Burwell: The new Supreme Court case that could gut Obamacare": Adrianna McIntyre gives an overview of the major aspects of the case, with some discussion on each side's arguments and the implications of the decision.
    2. [NEJM.org] "Subsidies and ACA Survival -- Divided Decisions on Premium Tax Credits": Timothy Jost analyzes the lower court decisions that brought King v. Burwell all the way to the Supreme Court.
  3. What are the implications of the Supreme Court taking the case and what's the ruling likely to be?
    1. [TheIncidentalEconomist.com/] "The Supreme Court will hear King -- That's bad news for the ACA": Nicholas Bagley analyzes the possible outcomes of the Supreme Court decision and discusses the implications of the Court's hearing the case in the first place.
    2. [WashingtonPost.com] "For Chief Justice John Roberts, anti-Obamacare lawsuit poses major dilemma": Greg Sargent interviews Harvard professor Laurence Tribe on the potential impact that Chief Justice Roberts' vote will have on the decision.
    3. [NationalJournal.com] "Will John Roberts or Anthony Kennedy Save Obamacare?": Sam Baker looks at how lawyers are tailoring their appeals to the two justices considered to be the 'swing vote'.

UNIT 2: OPPOSING VIEWPOINTS

  1. Who is behind the suit and what are their motivations?
    1. [Vox.com] "Meet Michael Cannon, the man who could bring down Obamacare": Sarah Kliff interviews the Cato Institute's Michael Cannon, the leader of the effort to end subsidies on the federal marketplaces.
    2. [Cato.org] "Cato Institute amici curiae brief to SCOTUS": The brief skewers the individual mandate and its penalty, the employer mandate, and other aspects of the Affordable Care Act's legislation and implementation.
    3. [Cato.org] "Everything You Need to Know about King v. Burwell": A podcast with Jonathan Adler.
  2. What is the counter-argument from the Obama Administration and its allies?
    1. [SupremeCourt.gov] "Obama administration amici curiae brief to SCOTUS": The brief provides justification for subsidies on the federal marketplace and explains the crucial role of these tax subsidies in the success of the ACA.
    2. [AmericanProgress.org] "The Prohibitive Cost of Any Congressional Response to a Ruling Against the Affordable Care Act": Topher Spiro explains how Congress would be fiscally unable to take sufficient steps to address the disruption resulting from a ruling in favor of the petitioners.
  3. What does it look like when these viewpoints go head-to-head?
    1. [NIHCM.org] "Webinar: King v. Burwell: Debating the Future of the ACA": A spirited debate between Nicholas Bagley and Michael Cannon.
    2. [PennLawReview.com] "Debate, King v. Burwell and the Validity of Federal Tax Subsidies Under the Affordable Care Act": If you're up for in-depth legal analysis, Law Profs. Eric Segall and Jonathan Adler debate in the pages of the Penn Law Review.
    3. [NationalJournal.com] "Why Obamacare will win" and "Why Obamacare will lose": Sam Baker debates himself.
  4. What do the economists say?
    1. [LDI.upenn.edu] "52 Economic Scholars Not Friendly to ACA Subsidy Challenge": The amicus brief filed by a notable group of economic scholars reviews the economic underpinnings of insurance markets and explains why subsidies are essential to the central aims of the ACA.

UNIT 3: POTENTIAL IMPACT

  1. For states?
    1. [NEJM.org] "Predicting the Fallout from King v. Burwell -- Exchanges and the ACA": Nicholas Bagley, David Jones and Timothy Jost explore the different approaches that states might take if the petitioners' challenge against subsidies is successful.
    2. [NYTimes.com] "Many States Will Be Unprepared if Court Weakens Health Law": Margot Sanger-Katz takes a detailed look at the obstacles facing states who might construct their own exchanges if federal marketplace subsidies are struck down.
  2. For the Supreme Court?
    1. [NYTimes.com] "The Supreme Court at Stake: Overturning Obamacare Would Change the Nature of the Supreme Court": Linda Greenhouse warns that the Supreme Court has permitted itself to be recruited to the front lines of a partisan debate and is at peril as a result.
  3. For Individuals
    1. [RWJF.org] "The Implications of a Supreme Court Finding for the Plaintiff in King vs. Burwell: 8.2 Million More Uninsured and 35% Higher Premiums": Linda Blumberg, Matthew Buettgens and John Holahan crunch the numbers.
Read the whole story
afrakt
1271 days ago
reply
Share this story
Delete

thedolab: Do Andy Goldsworthy’s beautiful ice and snow...

1 Comment and 3 Shares




















thedolab:

Do Andy Goldsworthy’s beautiful ice and snow sculptures give you chills? 

Read the whole story
afrakt
1660 days ago
reply
Share this story
Delete
1 public comment
dreadhead
1661 days ago
reply
Cool
Vancouver Island, Canada
DMack
1661 days ago
awesome!

What I've Learned From My Side Job Critiquing Dick Pics

2 Comments

In September this year, I woke up to an excellent dick pic. I can remember it quite clearly: it was a low-lit shot of a firmly-erect penis straining sideways through boxers, and I was thrilled to receive it: it was subtle, it wasn’t unsolicited, and it was unusually sexy for a Snapchatted cock shot. It also changed the trajectory of my life. I don’t want to send anyone’s ego out of the stratosphere by saying that, but it’s not really an exaggeration: after I received that photo, invigorated and shot through with dopamine, I tweeted about how rare and encouraging it was to receive a decent dick pic. That sparked an online conversation about how to improve the dismal state of dick pics—I would classify them as generally dull, artless and unsolicited—and that lead to my rise as the Internet’s most beloved dick pic critic.

I started Critique My Dick Pic (Not! Safe! For! Work!, and that goes for all links throughout) that same day; a blog with a simple, self-explanatory premise: men (and other people with penises) send me pictures of their dicks, and I critique them with love. “With love” refers to my policy of being neutral about the size of someone’s dick and refusing to shame sender’s bodies, but it’s not about being saccharine or coddling: I don’t mince my words when someone sends me a thoughtless, lazy shot (although I do still try to be somewhat encouraging and constructive).

The fact that I don’t critique actual dicks is difficult to fully communicate to men: I still get dozens of emails asking me for private dick reviews, and requests to describe the “perfect penis." That’s pointless to me, and I’m never going to do it. Just imagine it: imagine, for example, if I decided that the perfect dick is shaped like a coke can, and it’s uncircumcised, and it has visible veins (but not too many), and it’s rock hard and dead straight. Where does that leave people with thin dicks? Veiny dicks? Dicks that veer to one side? Are they supposed to feel shitty and miserable about a body part they can’t change because of the idiosyncratic ideals of some woman from New Zealand they were never going to fuck anyway? It’s nonsense. I find the idea of a “perfect dick” reductive and insidious, and I often have to underline the fact that I’m not here to critique dicks, I’m here to critique dick pics.

The obvious question, then, is what makes a good dick pic? I’m often asked this, and I consistently repeat a few key tips: don’t send a log. Realize the power of your hands to transform a dick pic from ordinary to wettie-inducing. Pay attention to the background and setting of your picture, and understand how off-putting a visible pile of dirty laundry or extremely mundane collection of shower gels can be. Be aware that even a very small amount of thought and consideration for the desires of your receiver will set you apart from most dick pic senders, and take advantage of that by putting more than three second’s thought into the pose, composition and lighting of your picture. Having said that, though, it’s difficult to prescribe an ideal dick pic. Some of the most memorable pictures I’ve received I never saw coming. I wouldn’t have thought to recommend dusting your half-naked body with bone fragments, for example. 

I “indefinitely deprioritize” (ahem) at least half of the dick pics I receive, maybe more than that. If that sounds discouraging, bear with me: every day I receive dozens more pictures than I could ever hope to review, and an alarming amount of them are still of terrible quality. I get hundreds of emails from men who clearly don’t read the blog and just want to flick a whip-it-out, zero-effort cock shot at anyone who’ll look at it. I’m not here for that. A good way for submitters to make sure that their picture will feature on the site is for them to send me their absolute best effort in the form of one single pictureI get plenty of “here’s my dick at 14 different angles, please critique!” type submissions, and they’re rarely a hit with me. People who are courteous and polite in their emails have a markedly better shot of receiving a critique, and I’ve mentioned before that I will prioritize dicks of color, and any other submissions which prevent the blog from becoming an endless sea of cis Caucasian junk.

All in all, Critique My Dick Pic is proving to be an extremely positive and humbling project. It’s fun and light, but it’s also confirmed to me just how fragile men are; how crumblingly insecure and self-conscious so many of them are about their bodies. That’s very human and understandable, and it’s a terrain with which most women are familiar, but men in particular are exhorted to grin and bear their body issues rather than talk about them. Perhaps that’s why they’ve responded so openly to my project; an anonymous outlet for them to share their deepest vulnerabilities (and to swing their dicks around). It’s very humbling to be put in a trusted position like that, and even though I have a pull-no-punches approach to reviewing, I try to be careful with people’s feelings. Fundamentally, I’m doing this project to help people—senders and receivers alike. I want to rid the world of boring, artless dick pics, and I want to get everybody on board with that.

Artwork by Liza Nelson/EMOJI IRL, used with permission.

Madeleine Holden is a New Zealander with an abiding interest in criminal justice, sex, and rap music. She's on twitter @moscaddie. Visit Critique My Dick Pic here.

Read the whole story
afrakt
1678 days ago
reply
Oh!
Share this story
Delete
1 public comment
pfctdayelise
1679 days ago
reply
Oh, I love this.
Melbourne, Australia

the power of Adobe Photoshop

2 Comments
Read the whole story
afrakt
1749 days ago
reply
Wow.
Share this story
Delete
1 public comment
mgeraci
1749 days ago
reply
gah!
New York, NY

"Fake Or Real" Debate of the Day: Extreme Knife Ping Pong!

2 Comments and 3 Shares

Check out this extreme knife-throwing performance by Sweden's table tennis stunt group (yes, it exists) Tumba Ping Pong Show that will either put you on the edge of your seat or make your eyes squint because it really does look too good to be real. What's your verdict?

Submitted by: Unknown (via Reddit)

Read the whole story
afrakt
1770 days ago
reply
Share this story
Delete
1 public comment
dreadhead
1772 days ago
reply
I hope this is real.
Vancouver Island, Canada

September 18, 2013: The McEverything

1 Comment and 3 Shares


These days, including the breakfast offerings, McDonald's offers 43 different sandwiches. So this dude (his website is called "Dude Foods") decided to create one big sammich consisting of all 43 combined.

Quote:

After all 43 sandwiches were finished and sitting at my table I got to work putting the McEverything together. I originally anticipated it only being a couple of feet high, but as you can see from the pictures it ended up MUCH taller than that. I took a few photos along the way as well just so the whole thing wouldn’t be a total waste if ended up tumbling over onto the floor before I finished stacking all the sandwiches on top of one another. Oh, and if you’re wondering how I held the entire thing together the answer is bamboo skewers… lots and lots of bamboo skewers….

Aside from keeping the McEverything from toppling over as I was assembling it I’d say that the hardest part of building it was not eating any of the sandwiches until it was complete. I’m a total sucker for McDonald’s sandwiches, especially their McGriddles.

Now, I know that some of you are probably reading this right now and thinking to yourself “Man, what kind of idiot spends $143 on 43 McDonald’s sandwiches?” The way I see it though is that with all the leftovers I have I’ve got all my breakfasts, lunches and dinners covered for the next week or so!
link
Read the whole story
afrakt
1786 days ago
reply
Share this story
Delete
1 public comment
samuel
1786 days ago
reply
Bamboo skewers: brilliant.

Now having to do something with 43 different McDonalds sandwiches: less so.
The Haight in San Francisco
robynnc
1786 days ago
"The way I see it though is that with all the leftovers I have I’ve got all my breakfasts, lunches and dinners covered for the next week or so!" and a trip to his cardiac provider... yuck.
Next Page of Stories