Obamacare: History in the Making
Contributed by Alex Shrugged
Can I complain a little? It is very difficult to write about historically significant issues when history is still unfolding as we speak. OK. That complaint is over. Let me complain about something else. Obamacare has been under attack from the moment it was was passed and even before that. Speaker Nancy Pelosi said that we had to pass Obamacare into law to see what was in the law. Well... it's passed. I've seen it. Where do I go to get a refund? Not all of Obamacare gets implemented at once. This year physicians will be paid according to the quality of care they provide.... not on the volume. Which means what? I can already feel the pressure my doctor is under. I used to go to my friend, the doctor, but she can't see me any more. It's not about our friendship. She can't afford to see me any more. I'm too sick. She's not telling me this. Her actions tell me what she is thinking. She has sold off the family practice portion of her business to a mega-corporation hospital while she continues to run a specialty practice... one that caters to the reasonably healthy who want to improve their health. Is she some sort of terrible person? No! She is a practical person. She cannot possibly absorb the hit she would take if she kept her family practice. (Since I know her, I know that she has been losing money on the family practice for some time now.) And she is not unique. Medicine is moving away from the family doctor, leaving sick people to an impersonal, factory-line medical care. Why? Because you deserve it!     
Rubella is gone from America
Contributed by Southpaw Ben
The World Health Organization announces that Rubella, the R in the MMR vaccine, has been eradicated from the Americas, as there have been no cases not traceable to other countries in 5 years. The last endemic cases took place in Argentina and Brazil in 2009. The main threat of Rubella is to pregnant women in the first trimester, as it can cause Congenital Rubella Syndrome in children, which can cause blindness, deafness, autism, and heart defects. On a similar note, the US had been measles free for 15 years until there was an outbreak of 150 people that spread from Disneyland in California. Doctors blamed parents who didn't trust the MMR vaccine for this outbreak. 
None that I can find other than princes and princesses.--alexshrugged
- Leonard Nimoy (age 83, COPD, lung disease): Mr. Spock on Star Trek and more. Before his death he posted on Twitter, ""A life is like a garden. Perfect moments can be had, but not preserved, except in memory." 
- Yogi Berra (age 90, natural causes): Baseball catcher, outfielder, and manager. He said, "Always go to other people's funerals; otherwise they won't go to yours." 
- B.B. King (age 89, stroke): Blues singer/electric guitarist. A brass band accompanied his funeral procession playing "When the Saints Go Marching In". 
- Yvonne Craig (age 78, breast cancer): The original Batgirl on TV's Batman. She was one of the first women superheros. 
This Year in Film
- Star Wars: The Force Awakens: Episode 7. It grosses over 2 billion. 
- Jurassic World: (Like Jurassic Park only the humans are dumber.--alexshrugged) 
- And...: The Martian, Minions, and Inside Out. (I loved these three.--alexshrugged) 
This Year in TV
- The host of the Miss Universe contest announces Miss Colombia as the winner, but the winner is really Miss Philippines: After crowning the wrong woman, they come back after commercial break and fix it. (What a nightmare.--alexshrugged) 
- Trevor Noah takes over as host of The Daily Show: . (I've not seen enough of the new show to comment.--alexshrugged) 
- Mr. Robot: Hackers are trying to destroy a megacorporation. (I've not seen enough of the new show to comment.alexshrugged) 
- The Expanse: Based on the novel of the same name. (I started reading the novel. It is weird. The TV show looks well produced.--alexshrugged) 
This Year in Music
This Year in Video Games
- Call of Duty: Black Ops 3: First person shooter and 12th in the series. 
- Fallout 4: action-role playing game. It sold more digital copies than physical copies the first day. 
- Madden NFL 16: It had to happen. (I played football in high school, but I never realized it was this intricate.--alexshrugged) 
- Video game sales reach $61 billion this year: More than half is from PC games with the next major portion from portable games. 
In Other News
|Al-Qaeda assassins murder 12 in a shootout at the offices of the satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo||Apparently the newspaper disrespected Mohammad. Over a million people attend a protest against the murders.     ||(Free speech is difficult. Burning the newspaper is fine. Shttong the publishers is not although the USA has a long tradition of killing newspaper people for printing embarassing things... often true things.--alexshrugged)|
|The NSA can now hide spy software in your hard drive straight from the factory!||That means, the NSA can insert something undetectable at the hard drive factory, so that you can install NSA spyware out of the box.    ||(Is it really happening? I'd say they have the ability, and its all set up. Whether an individual drive is compromised or not, I do not know, and cannot know. It's made a fundamental part of the drive.--alexshrugged)|
|Bowe Bergdahl is charged with desertion and misbehavior before the enemy.||He had left his post and was held captive by the Taliban for 5 years.    ||(He seems to be a lost soul. He probably should be locked up for desertion, but he will be freed.--alexshrugged)|
|Police officer Michael Slager shoots Walter Scott for a bad brake light.||The officer was filmed doing it. Scott was unarmed and running away. Slager is charged with murder.   ||(Running away is not a capital crime. I saw the video. It was cold-blooded murder.--alexshrugged)|
|Protests in Baltimore turn into riots after Freddie Gray dies in police custody||Maryland declares a state of emergency deploys the National Guard. The officers involved are charged with murder, but it is obviously a political ploy to appease the rioters. Charges will be dropped next year.       ||(Freddie Gray was certainly treated poorly by police, but it looks like an accident as he was being transported to jail.--alexshrugged)|
|Two ISIS-sympathetic terrorists attack an art contest in Garland, Texas depicting pictures of Mohammed.||The terrorists are shot dead by police. The art contest was in sympathy with the attacks on the satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo.      ||(I saw the winning picture. It was good and looked respectful.--alexshrugged)|
|Rachel Dolezal, president of the Spokane chapter of the NAACP, is revealed to be.... WHITE||She says that she identifies as black, but not that she is actually black.  ||(I'm not sure why a white person cannot be president of such a group, but Rachel Dolezal seems extremely weird.--alexshrugged)|
|A white supremacist shoots 9 black people dead in Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church.||He said he was trying to start a race war.      ||(I was afraid he might succeed.--alexshrugged)|
|California requires that school children must be vaccinated.||That is a requirement to enroll in public or private schools.    ||(What happened to personal freedom?--alexshrugged)|
|Undercover videos reveal Planned Parenthood trying to sell aborted baby body parts||This practice calls into question the ethics of the organization trying to video innocent Planned Parenthood officials.    ||(It never ends.--alexshrugged)|
|Adulterer's dating website Ashley Madison is hit with a $578 million class action lawsuit||A breach of Ashley Madison's customer database reveals a lot of names.||(SUCKERS!--alexshrugged)|
|Kim Davis is sent to prison for refusing to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples:||She is a government clerk and refused on religious grounds.||(As I recall, she allowed others to issue the licenses, but because she refused to participate, she was punished.--alexshrugged)|
|Ahmed Mohamed (The Clock Boy) has charges dropped for bringing what appeared to be a bomb to school.||Media opinion was that the charges were anti-Muslim harassment. President Obama invited "Clock Boy" to the White House.||(It was the innards of a digital clock, but how would a teacher know that?. This was all BS.--alexshrugged)
|Islamic terrorists murder 14 people in a San Bernardino, California mental facility.||It was a husband and wife team. The police gun them down in a shootout. ||(The passwords on the terrorist's iPhones were retrievable in that configuration, but the Feds borked it. They asked Apple to help them, but Apple refused. I think someone managed to jailbreak it.--alexshrugged)|
This Year in Wikipedia
Year 2015, Wikipedia.
- Key Features of the Affordable Care Act By Year - HHS.gov (2017). Archived from the original on January 18, 2017. Retrieved on 30 May 2017. “2015 IMPROVING QUALITY AND LOWERING COSTS Paying Physicians Based on Value Not Volume. A new provision will tie physician payments to the quality of care they provide. Physicians will see their payments modified so that those who provide higher value care will receive higher payments than those who provide lower quality care. Effective January 1, 2015.”
- Pelosi: 'We Have to Pass the Bill So That You Can Find Out What Is In It' - YouTube. Retrieved on 30 May 2017.
- Affordable Care Act – Now What? - Leavitt Group News & Publications (November 16, 2016). Retrieved on 30 May 2017. “ACA Provisions that could NOT be Repealed using the Budget Reconciliation Process A number of important ACA provisions could NOT be repealed using the budget reconciliation process, such as the Marketplaces/Exchanges themselves and Insurance Market Reform provisions such as: Prohibition on pre-existing conditions limits Prohibition on annual and lifetime dollar limits for 'essential health benefits' Required first-dollar coverage of preventive services, Requirement that small insured plans provide 'essential health benefits' Coverage of dependent children to age 26 Maximum eligibility waiting period of 90 days Requirement to provide Summary of Benefits and Coverage (SBC) Prohibition on insurance company 'rescissions' with limited exceptions Paying Physicians based on value not volume”
- How to Prepare for 2017 with MACRA Final Ruling. prognocis.com (18 Mar 2016). Retrieved on 30 May 2017. “MIPS grades eligible clinicians (ECs) on four performance category scores (quality, resource use, clinical practice improvement activities, and advancing care information), aggregated into a Composite Performance Score (CPS). This CPS is compared against the performance threshold, which results in a positive, neutral, or negative payment adjustment for the payment adjustment period (usually a year after the end of the performance period).”
- Executive Summary - QPP_Executive_Summary_of_Final_Rule.pdf (OFFICIAL GOVERNMENT SITE) (PDF) (October 14, 2016). Retrieved on 30 May 2017.
- Chapter 2: Benchmark Developments in U. S. Health Care (PDF) (2014). Retrieved on 30 May 2017.
- 2015 Deaths - Wikipedia (2015).
- 2015 in film - Wikipedia (2015). Retrieved on 27 January 2017.
- 2015 in television - Wikipedia (2015).
- 2015 in music - Wikipedia (2015). Retrieved on 30 January 2017.
- 2015 in video gaming - Wikipedia (2015).
- Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula
- Charlie Hebdo shooting
- "Charlie Hebdo, Known for Its Satire, Commemorates Attack Accordingly", 'New York Times', 6 January 2016. Retrieved on 1 October 2016.
- "Huge Show of Solidarity in Paris Against Terrorism", 'New York Times', 11 January 2015. Retrieved on 1 October 2016.
- 2015 - Wikipedia.
- National Security Agency
- Russian researches expose breakthrough U.S. spying program. Reuters (February 16, 2015). Retrieved on February 16, 2015.
- United States Army
- http://www.cnn.com/2015/03/25/politics/bowe-bergdahl-charges-decision/index.html CNN
- http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2015/03/25/bergdahl-to-be-charged-with-desertion-official-says FOX News
- Shooting of Walter Scott
- 2015 Baltimore protests
- Governor of Maryland
- Death of Freddie Gray
- Freddie Gray death: 12 arrested during protests. CNN (April 25, 2015). Retrieved on April 26, 2015.
- Baltimore erupts in riots after funeral of man who died in police custody. Retrieved on July 16, 2016.
- Six Baltimore officers charged in Freddie Gray death. The Washington Post (January 5, 2015). Retrieved on January 5, 2015.
- Curtis Culwell Center attack
- Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant
- 2 Dead In Shooting At Muhammad Art Exhibit In Garland. Retrieved on July 16, 2016.
- IS says it was behind US prophet cartoon attack. BBC News (May 5, 2015). Retrieved on May 5, 2015.
- Rachel Dolezal resigns as as Spokane NAACP head; parents talk of her 'identity issues'. The Los Angeles Times (June 15, 2015). Retrieved on June 15, 2015.
- Dylann Roof
- Charleston church shooting
- South Carolina Senate
- white supremacy
- Charleston Church Shooting Suspect, Dylann Roof, Captured. The New York Times (June 18, 2015). Retrieved on June 18, 2015.
- Governor of California
- California Governor Signs School Vaccination Law. NPR (June 30, 2015). Retrieved on January 7, 2015.
- Planned Parenthood 2015 undercover videos controversy
- Covert Video Targets Planned Parenthood Fetal-Parts Policy. The New York Times (July 14, 2015). Retrieved on September 19, 2015.
- Ashley Madison adultery website faces $578m class action over data breach. The Guardian (August 22, 2015). Retrieved on August 22, 2015.
- Kim Davis (county clerk)
- Clerk (municipal official)
- Obergefell v. Hodges
- Kim Davis Jailed For Contempt in Kentucky Gay Marriage Dispute. The New York Times (March 9, 2015). Retrieved on March 9, 2015.
- Ahmed Mohamed: No charges for boy, 14, arrested over clock. BBC News (September 16, 2015). Retrieved on September 16, 2015.
- 2015 San Bernardino attack
- Urban Dictionary: bork. Retrieved on 30 May 2017. “bork Irreversibly damaged. My soundcard is borked.”