He's awfully touchy when it comes to those hands...

As we have noted again and again, even though Congress hasn't managed to repeal (much less "replace") the Affordable Care Act, the Trump Administration keeps coming up with new ways to sabotage Obamacare, like cutting this fall's open enrollment period by half (from 90 days to 45 days, ending December 15 to screw people who put off enrolling until the last minute in previous years), slashing the advertising budget by 90%, and forbidding HHS regional directors from attending ACA enrollment events (which are tainted by the presence of groups that don't want Obamacare to die). Well, like any bunch of damn trouble-making do-gooders, some former Health and Human Services officials who worked on promoting ACA enrollment during the Obama administration have set up a new group to promote open enrollment this fall (November 1 to December 15), since the actual Trump HHS isn't interested in doing its own goddamned job.

The new group, Get America Covered, went online today, and was co-founded by Obama administration veterans Lori Lodes and Joshua Peck. Both worked in HHS's Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), the agency responsible for making the ACA work, as part of the efforts to reach and enroll people for individual health insurance plans on the healthcare exchanges. In a press release, Lodes said,

If the administration was committed to making sure people had the information they needed to sign up for health care, we wouldn’t need to start Get America Covered. But people’s lives are at stake so everyone has to step up and fill whatever gaps they can so people get the health care they need [...]

With an Open Enrollment period that’s half as a long, a new final deadline to enroll, cancelled advertising and gutted funding for guides who help people through the process, the administration is making it harder for people to get their health care coverage. We can’t fix that but we can’t sit on the sidelines either. So we’re going to do everything we can to make sure people have the facts about the quality, affordable health care coverage that’s available at

The group's national co-chairs will be former CMS Administrator Andy Slavitt, who writes some of the best healthcare 'splainers on Twitter, as well as Van Jones, former insurance executive Mario Molina, and Goddamned Hollywood Liberals Alyssa Milano and Bradley Whitford. [West Wing digression excised for me, the editrix, by me, the editrix.]

Lodes concedes that the new nonprofit can't do what a properly run, properly funded government agency would, like CMS did under Obama, but she's certain that their outreach will be better than the paltry efforts the Trump administration is making: "They have set the bar so low."

“Our focus is really going to be on the facts that people need to know to get signed up,” Lodes said. The organization has what she described as a “six-figure” budget raised from foundations and private organizations she wouldn’t disclose, and is still raising funds. The group will also solicit online donations from the public.

Get America Covered will also collaborate with other private groups trying to fill in the gap the Trump administration is leaving open, including the Planned Parenthood Federation of America, Families USA, Indivisible, Young Invincibles and Community Catalyst, Lodes said.

And no, imaginary libertarian reader, this is not an example of how we don't need no government when there are nonprofit activists working to pick up the slack where government fails to do its job. It's more like people forming a bucket brigade after Mayor Trump has deliberately driven the town's only fire truck into a bridge abutment. A worthy effort, but no replacement for the real thing, and it shouldn't be needed at all.

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[Get America Covered / HuffPost / Politico / image by Mathias Waslik, Creative Commons license]

Doktor Zoom

Doktor Zoom's real name is Marty Kelley, and he lives in the wilds of Boise, Idaho. He is not a medical doctor, but does have a real PhD in Rhetoric. You should definitely donate some money to this little mommyblog where he has finally found acceptance and cat pictures. He is on maternity leave until 2033. Here is his Twitter, also. His quest to avoid prolixity is not going so great.

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We feel like we say this a lot during these dark days of the Trump era, but WHAT IN THE HOLY MOTHERFUCKING FUCK DID WE JUST WATCH? And how in the hell can anyone who claims to give a shit about this country be OK with the public tongue-bath Donald Trump just gave Vladimir Putin on live TV?

The reviews are starting to roll in:

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Elon Musk, Space Trash Cowboy

Silicon Valley's most arrogant asswipe is not a baby, he just pays people to wipe his ass.

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STOP THE FUCKING PRESSES! Elon Musk has been wronged! Newspapers, throw away your front pages! TV talking heads, scrap your A and B bloc! Someone change the tickers in Times Square!


When Vern Unsworth, the British cave explorer who helped rescue the trapped Thai soccer team, told CNN that Musk's mini-sub was a "PR Stunt" that had "absolutely no chance of working," he clearly wounded Musk's delicate constitution. But then Unsworth had to go a step further and tell Musk to "stick his submarine where it hurts."

Musk responded like a fucking adult by Tweeting that he never saw Unsworth when he flew to Thailand to personally deliver his mini-sub last week, adding, "Sorry Pedo guy, you really did ask for it."

"Pedo" -- short for "pedophile" -- seems a bit harsh and also a tiny bit libelous. This caused the Twitterverse to lose their minds and criticize Musk for being an asshole (again). Since Elon Musk is a gazillionaire with tons of free tweetin' time on his hands, he responded to his critics by doubling-down, "Bet ya a signed dollar it's true."

Musk later deleted the tweets and retreated to the relative safety of his secret moon base. Unsworth is now threatening to sue Musk, telling a Australian news outlet, "This is not finished. I think people realize what sort of guy he is."

The whole ordeal started started when Musk posted an unnecessarily dramatic video of a small submarine built out of a fuel pod used in one of the Space X rockets. The idea of stuffing a child in a tiny metal tube sounded amazing to fanboys, but a number of people immediately wondered if the hastily assembled claustrophobia simulator was ambi-turner.

Maybe Musk is just butthurt over all that money he was caught donating to Republican pacs? Maybe he's just venting after the NLRB said Musk violated labor laws when he discouraged Tesla workers from unionizing? Maybe we should change those front pages once again!


[WSJ / NBC News / BBC / Business Insider]

Wonkette is ad-free and reader supported, and thinks Elon Musk should STFU.

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