By Josh Hoxie
Great magicians are masters of diversion. They attract our attention with one hand while using the other to trick us into thinking a supernatural act is taking place.
But even the best street performers could learn a lesson from the folks in Congress who are trying to repeal the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare.
When we talk about repealing Obamacare, we almost never talk about the windfall payday it would bring to multi-millionaires and billionaires. In fact, this massive tax cut is the proverbial card hiding in the sleeve of lawmakers pushing repeal.
A new study from the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities shows the 400 richest Americans, a group whose average annual income tops $300 million each, would get a combined annual tax cut of $2.8 billion if the Affordable Care Act is repealed.
In other words, people who already have more money than they could spend in a dozen lifetimes would get a massive pile of cash.
And many of us would do worse.
In fact, about 7 million low-income people would actually see their taxes go up if the law’s repealed, since they’d lose insurance premium tax credits that were enacted as part of the bill.
So, to be perfectly clear on this point, repealing Obamacare equals payday for the wealthiest households and higher taxes for the poorest households — millions of whom would also lose their health coverage.
Remember the story of Robin Hood? It’s just like that, but backwards.
Poll after poll shows Americans have no idea how concentrated wealth inequality is today — it’s far worse than most suspect.
A report I co-authored last year looked at the 400 wealthiest individuals in the country. This group together owns more wealth than the entire GDP of India, a country with over a billion people.
The report also showed this great concentration of wealth splits largely, although not exclusively, along racial lines. The 100 wealthiest Americans, none of whom are black, today own more wealth than the entire African-American population combined.
Unsurprisingly, most of us would like to live in a much more egalitarian society. If we can’t swing it, economist and author Thomas Piketty warns, we’re heading towards a hereditary aristocracy of wealth and power, where the children of today’s billionaires will dominate our economy and our government.
As we look back at the Obama legacy, we see a number of efforts aimed at beginning to bridge that massive wealth divide. From expanding opportunities for low-income children and families to asking the ultra-wealthy to pay their fair share, progress has been made on this front in the past eight years.
The Affordable Care Act was one of these efforts, and it touched directly on issues of life and death.
Don’t be fooled by the smoke and mirrors of today’s illusionists: Repealing it will directly counteract this progress. It will further concentrate wealth into fewer hands and strip low-income families of what little resources they have.
Josh Hoxie directs the Project on Taxation and Opportunity at the Institute for Policy Studies.
Correctly explained Flaglerlive!!
Now lets see when the millions of jobs that Trump promised, will arrive back so we can afford to pay the gouging private health care programs that the Republicans lobby so hard for.
Go red says
What a moron because of the past administrations mad science the national deficit has more than doubled to 21 trillion that burdens every man ,woman and child 60,000 dollars each,if you don’t pay taxes get food stamps and welfare and sit around waiting for the govt cheese it’s great
Tired of it says
Since the disaster of Obama Care took effect my insurance premiums have skyrocketed and my deductibles and coverage is the worst I have had in 30 years. I am having to pay for those that don’t work and that is bullshit. I pay enough in taxes, etc that I shouldn’t be hit again with high insurance premiums too. I am not poor and not rich, just a middle class retired person trying to get by. Obama Care has reduced my quality of life and I am tired of it. It needs to go.
Pretty weak and clearly one sided case…the writer makes an assumption that there would ONLY be a repeal, and forgets to discuss what the replacement would look like…perhaps it is a complete coincidence but with the Affordable Care Act – my premiums have more than doubled, and my Co-Pay has gone from next to nothing to $4000…which amount to a tax increase (or whatever spin name you give it) of over $500 per month. So I am willing to listen hard to someone who says they will address that which directly impacts my family,,,
“Meanwhile, those who make less than $200,000 per year — also known as “the rest of us” — would see no benefit.”
I call BS….. a 26 year old who makes 30K / year would have to pay $250 / month (after the “credits”) and all he would get is catastrophic health care. Everything else is out of pocket. So he will pay the “penalty” (TAX) of $700+. No wonder these kids are living with their parents. So if this joke of a healthcare program gets repealed, he and many those like him will see a huge benefit. Yes healthcare is a disaster, but that is no excuse for pushing through something that you have to “pass so you know what’s in it”. Shoving through something that you have to lie about (if you like your doctor you can keep your doctor, your costs will go down $2,500) because if you told the truth there is no way it would have been implemented.
Richard Smith says
It appears that the “Project on Taxation and Opportunity” hasn’t done their research and homework prior to publishing this commentary. Plus to me this is just another left wing liberal’s opinion of a policy that was pushed onto the American people by liars and unethical government bureaucrats. More than likely the Institute for Policy Studies is part of this left wing movement if this is what their narrative is for ALL Americans on both sides of the aisle. Someday I trust I will get to hear and read about the REAL truth instead of left wing crap all the time.
This is for Skeeter, Bubba, W. Thurston Republican III, and all the rest of the victims and co defendants of the Little Crooked Liar, Old 45, the nut in the awful office, Al Capone’s love child – Trump.
BTW, the rest of us know full well what the crooked Republicans’ plan is – everyone may have access to whatever they can afford. Anyone who can’t afford to live should die and disappear. Just like Jesus said.
For those who say their insurance has skyrocketed – I say PROVE IT!!! Mine has stayed exactly the same – no change – and I have better coverage. So you could say I have benefited from the changes.
Trump and his Red cronies have played Americans for fools. They make huge promises, play the smoke and mirrors and then screw you in the end. Today he will announce federal funds for the wall. What happened to Mexico paying for it? He has said that he will send the feds into Chicago to take care of the crime there – ummmmmm NO. He has put a gag on federal agencies. Has anyone actually READ 1984 lately? I think Trump may be using it as his playbook.
It is so sad, to see the ignorance of the liberal media. They are so blinded by that ignorance that they haven’t figured out that a vast majority of our population do not even believe the crap they write. As other responders have said…very one sided. I am under that $200, 000 number like the majority are…I had my premiums go up to $1,200.00 per month with an individual deductible of $6,000 and that affordable. You people need to pull your heads out of your behinds and at least work positively towards a better solution. PalmCoaster talks about the millions of jobs…really…he has been in office 2 days…really it is absurd…and then to say the gouging republican healthcare plans….I gave the numbers that I paid under AHA Obama Care….and you don’t think that is gouging….Oh and if I do not pay those prices…Obama ordered his goons at the IRS to fine me…Ummm I call that extortion….So sad how blind liberals are…
@Tired of it.
You hit the nail on the head!
Health premiums after Obamacare? They’re lower.
Average health insurance premiums in the nation’s individual market actually dropped when the Affordable Care Act was implemented
By Lisa Zamosky
July 29, 2016
When health insurers start to announce rate increases for the upcoming year, it almost always comes with a sense that the sky is falling. There’s been no shortage of doomsday reporting lately as companies submit rate increase requests for 2017 Obamacare insurance policies.
Across the board, things don’t look so bad: The Kaiser Family Foundation projects a rate increase for the second-lowest cost Silver plan in 14 markets of about 10 percent.
But changes in what insurers charge for coverage vary widely across states and among insurers, and in some cases, the jump in prices is concerning. Though insurer rates in Washington and Rhode Island are going down, health consulting firm, Avalere, found the lowest-cost Silver plans in Connecticut, DC, and Oregon will increase by more than 15 percent.
Those numbers are tame, however, when compared with the requested rate hikes submitted by Geisinger Health Plan in Pennsylvania, which filed for a 40 percent increase in 2017, and Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Texas which is looking for 60 percent jump.
It’s little surprise that when coupled with rising out-of-pocket costs, many American families say health care costs top their list of worries.
Surprisingly good news about premiums
Three years before the ACA took effect, health insurance premiums were increasing by 10 percent to 12 percent each year, and the rate of the uninsured was growing.
Today, even as news about big premium increases for 2017 raises concerns about the Affordable Care Act’s long-term health, an analysis released last week in the journal Health Affairs seeks to put things in perspective. The upshot: Things could be worse.
It turns out that the average premiums in the individual market actually dropped when the ACA was implemented.
“Average premiums for the second-lowest cost silver-level (SLS) marketplace plan in 2014, which serves as a benchmark for ACA subsidies, were between 10 and 21 percent lower than average individual market premiums in 2013, before the ACA…,” write researchers from the Brookings Institute.
And in 2016 – two years into the marketplaces’ operation – premiums are still lower than they were in the individual insurance market in 2013. They’re 20 percent below the Congressional Budget Office’s (CBO) original projections, write co-authors of the analysis, Paul Ginsburg and Loren Adler.
In addition to lower than expected premiums, ACA plans include a host of benefits many policies didn’t have before the law took effect. That, along with a guarantee of coverage for all who apply for health insurance and restrictions on medical underwriting should have caused a precipitous spike in the cost of health plans.
Follow us: @EyeOnInsurance on Twitter | healthinsurance.org on Facebook
@tired of it and @Veteran
Don’t blame Obamacare for the greed of your insurance company and you paid for the uninsured before Obamacare. In fact you paid more. The law forced those “lazy” people to get insurance or be fined. But Republicans don’t like that for some reason.
You do know you can shop around for a better policy now right? I look each year to see if I get a better policy other then what is offered to me. Since I make too much money I don’t qualify for a credit so my job’s plan is the best choice.
The primary cause of the insurance premium rate hikes under ObamaCare is the requirement for insurers to cover high-risk consumers. Insurance companies can no longer deny Americans with pre-existing conditions and can’t charge higher rates based on health status or gender. These factors, along with a few other required benefits, rights and protections (like the elimination of lifetime and annual dollar limits) led to rate increases between 2010 and 2014.
By 2015 a lot of the premium growth has slowed, and health care spending is curbed for the first time in the decade in many instances. On top of that, many Americans can now Get Reduced Premium Rates and lower out-of-pocket costs by enrolling in a plan on their State’s health insurance marketplace.
Now if Governor Scott would have set up a STATE exchange, maybe you’d have more choices.
But for the hell of it I went to the http://www.healthcare.gov site and for someone that is 55 that makes 35,000 (SSI) gets a tax credit (of $325.04 per month.
(That is the middle class tax cut that is going away when the ACA is repealed)
A Premium plan
Florida Blue (BlueCross BlueShield FL) · BlueOptions Gold 1505
Estimated monthly premium
Florida Health Care Plans · IND Bronze Standardized HMO
Estimated monthly premium
As usual #alternative facts have shown up. If the Republican leadership of this country worked to make the law better (state lines, more options, more options to avoid the fine) then trying to repeal it 60 times at a cost of 1.45 million dollars a VOTE we wouldn’t have this issue right now. About 87 million dollars wasted… By republicans.
Think about what else they could have done to help you and I and not the lobbyists that pay for their campaigns .
Common Sense says
Seven years and the Republicans haven’t come up with a better alternative. And even his nominee for health hasn’t a clue as to what Trump’s plan is.
And for those so worried about the national debt and the deficit…aren’t you concerned about the 14 billion for the wall that Mexico was supposed to pay for?
Tired of it says
The money saved by not having to take care of all the illegals will more than pay for the wall over the years.
GO TRUMP! Best thing thst ever happened to this country. Keep crying Flaglerlive and the rest of the snowflakes. You make my day! Most working americans are sick and tired of the horrific Obamacare plan that ruined insurance preminums for us working people. Millions lost our insurance plans because of Obama. Thank God we have a president that cares about us now. GO TRUMP!
Republicans have their chance, wait and see what happens. It is my understanding the Trump policy is “Repeal and Replace”. The replace may or may not be better, lets hope it’s better because Obamacare doesn’t cut it.
This repel of Obamacare sounds like the Flagler County dunes restoration , take No action but have NO plan on how to do it.
Keep Obamcare until a new plan has been developed and reviewed by the healthcare agencies. Don’t give a benefit to the wealthy help the poor and middle class that need it the most.
If it was so good why all the force? Why does the left constantly need the force of government? How about I and my new President, force you ? How would you like that?
i was scheduled for surgery in 2014 and before i was admitted i had to pre-pay my dedectible of $10,000. how is it “affordable” if my premiums are subsidized (paid by everyone) and i have to pay that kind of money out of pocket????
Since implementation of ACA my premiums only went up 71.62%. I’m not sure if that’s skyrocketed or through the roof.
I’m with blue cross and will be on the phone with them this morning, can I quote your figures?, because they are substantially lower than mine.
The whole deal with Obamacare is either you want a low deductible or a high deductible which is based on your age, your current medical condition and of course your household income. Low deductible less out of pocket more expensive, high deductible more out of pocket and less expensive.. You make over $64,080 for 2 people in your family , your out of luck.
Family Size Minimum Income: 100% of Poverty Level Maximum Income: 400% of Poverty Level
1 $11,880 $47,520
2 $16,020 $64,080
Fed Up says
Can you please explain why my comment is still “awaiting moderation” 24 hours later and there have been multiple comments after mine published?
You’re not to use our publication as a platform to bash it. Your previous comment actually made valid points, but your opening line gratuitously slurring the site disqualified it. You’re welcome to try again. Do so respectfully or find yourself another news source. FlaglerLive is not for everyone. Thanks.
Katie Semore says
@Tired of it, one of the alternative facts? How much does it cost to take care of illegal aliens or did you just make up this fact? Where are the figures to prove your statement?
You have a policy from the ACA or do you have private insurance?
Sorry that happened to you but when I heard that I looked into it and that isn’t Obamacare’s fault. That is the hospital you went to forcing that because they don’t believe you can pay based on the insurance you have or a balance you have with the hospital. They are putting their profits before your health. A friend of mine had this happen so she went to another hospital about an hour away that didn’t request the deductible upfront.
Instead of all the repeals over the past 8 years, that should have been an update to the law. Lets hope #TRUMPCARE can fix that.
AGAIN. . . Years ago YOUR governor Rick Scott, and his Republican cronies in the Florida legislature, stripped the Florida “Insurance Commissioner” of the power to set health insurance rates, as a “poison pill” for Obamacare!!! THAT is why health insurance premium rates are not going down, like they are in other states. Obamacare CANNOT set health insurance premium rates!!!
Take a read. . . this from politifact.com:
Frederick and the rest of you fact-averse conservatives. If the Affordable Care Act is as bad as you believe, how do you account for over 20 million participants? How do you account for the U.S having the fewest uninsured citizens in our history? How do you account for the fact that, while health insurance premiums have, as always, increased, the annual rate of increases is lower than before the ACA? How do you account for the fact that you Republicans don’t have a better plan?
Last question… why do you want to take health insurance from millions of fellow Americans, mostly elderly, children and the poorest of our citizens? Why… because you have insurance yourself and see no need to help others? Because you think they don’t deserve health care? Because you are Republican and just don’t give a crap?
I am pretty sure Alex Sink or Charlie Crist would have allowed for an Insurance Commissioner but it is party over common sense. So many poor republican voters have been hurt by Scott with decisions like this but they seem to place the blame on Obama.
Again, Liberals try to provide healthcare, Republicans work 8 years to stop it. 2017 and they still haven’t shown us a plan.
@Bernie2020. . . I am really enjoying your commentary! There have been many times when I have felt like the only voice of reason in a wilderness of the FOX brainwashed. Thanks so much for speaking out and presenting actual FACTS.
Through it all. . . we are neighbors. . . we are a community. I never want ANY of our citizens manipulated, fed conspiracy theories, being gouged by insurance companies or anyone else, for that matter. I would love to try and figure out a way to really open ALL citizens eyes and minds to the honest, factually based, reality of our current political situation. That is a really tough effort when there are so many that have been indoctrinated into the ALT RIGHT mind set of fear and hate for so many years.
Thanks for all your efforts Bernie2020!
@Sherry Thank you. I feel the same about you. This “SNOWFLAKE” doesn’t melt when it gets hot.
Fed Up says
Why do we only debate INSURANCE in the healthcare debate and not discuss the elephant in the room, the actual cost of healthcare. If we enforced current laws already on the books, (specifically 15 USC chapter 1), and apply it to all aspects in the health industry as it is applied to every other business, we would not need insurance to pay for healthcare! We must — and can — stop this crap with existing law. This will collapse the cost of care for both the government and private parties by as much as 80% and permanently end and reverse the budget problems it is causing — for the federal government, for state and local pensions, and for private firms and individuals! Medical monopolies, price fixing, non-disclosure of prices, discrimination in pricing, etc. all serve to keep prices going up and could be stopped today without having to replace Obamacare.
Repeal it, improve it, replace it, whats it matter. All about $$. ..
As usual Knightwatch you side step…… tell me how this is fair??
a 26 year old who makes 30K / year would have to pay $250 / month (after the “credits”) and all he would get is catastrophic health care. Everything else is out of pocket. That 26 year old should have some choice. He has none. He is being screwed because he is fit and healthy.
And don’t give me the “think of others line”…. that 26 year old is working hard to take care of himself and live his “American Dream” and does volunteer work to help others in his free time. Tell me how that is fair…….
The poor have never paid or done their share. The rich have picked up their tab far too long! Time to put the computers, phones, game boy and other toys down, give up the beer and drugs and do your part. If you don’t contribute, don’t expect anything for free. Those that don’t want to do their part move to Russia and they’ll take care of everything for you. Freddy the Free Loader days are a thing of the past!
Your about 100 off on the cheapest plan
People covered: Primary (Age 26) with estimated tax credit (not your premium) of $69.78 per month 30 k a year on Flagler
Florida Health Care Plans · IND Essential Plus Bronze HMO 41
Plan ID: 56503FL1380002
Estimated monthly premium
Copayments / Coinsurance
Emergency room care: 60% Coinsurance after deductible
Generic drugs: $3 Copay after deductible
Primary doctor: 60% Coinsurance after deductible
Specialist doctor: 60% Coinsurance after deductible
Estimated total yearly costs
Katie Semore says
@Fredrick, it is kind of like dollar-cost averaging. One day that 26 year old will be a 56 year old and will likely cost the insurance companies a lot more than he has paid in over his/her adult life. The cost of treatment for one bout, of one of the more curable types of cancer, will likely exceed the amount a person has paid for health care insurance over an adult life time. You can’t expect to wait until you are sick and need insurance coverage to buy it. That is how insurance works. Insurance is a pool of money, that is paid out to those who need it at a given time. It is not like buying a Big Mac that you purchase and eat when you are hungry and not have to buy another one until you are hungry again.
RAISE THE ALARM!!!!! TRUE PATRIOTIC AMERICANS who still believe in our democratic-republic, who aren’t out to destroy it but to better it instead for the welfare of our country, there is something very wrong, very scary going on with corrupt meglomaniac Trump and his transition team and administration. And it involves Russia and communism.
Trump is lifting all sanctions the U.S. had against Russia for invading Ukraine – WHY?
Trump is forcing out ALL experienced, in the know Dept. of State officials – WHY?
Trump’s mouthpiece whom Trump himself claims is one of those who committed voter fraud, the corrupt, lying Brietbart Bannon – has told us to shut up and not listen to OUR media, only Trump – WHY?
Trump’s pick for secretary of state – Tillerson – a good friend of Russia interests and former Exxon CEO, is suddenly confirmed when he should be considered a criminal against the U.S. for refusing to abide by U.S. sanctions against both Russia and Iran by secretly selling his oil over there. WHY – pressure?
Trump has opened up the massive laying of toxic oil and gas pipelines all across the U.S. – WHY? To ruin the nation’s farmlands with spills, or gas us like his family and protege Hitler did in Nazi Germany? To poison us all in his takeover attempt? To ruin the rivers and underground aquifers with toxic oil and gas and other chemicals so we become poisoned and diseased?
RUSSIA has arrested a spy in Russia who they think was spying for us (the U.S.) – WHY? How did they know? Did Trump and his team, having access to super secret briefs, turn the guy in to please Putin and stop the flow of intelligence from over there to here? – WHY??? We must stand BEHIND our intelligence operatives, not traitorously turn them in!
Trump is really building that wall to keep we-the-people who don’t like him or trust him, WE – the rightful U.S. citizens and patriotic Americans, INSIDE as a PRISON. Think of the Berlin Wall. Are you getting the correlation now?
The First Amendment will be trashed. The media will be silenced and we will not know what is TRULY going on.
Our scientists and researchers and teachers will be silenced and gagged (already happening now) all for oil baron profits. There will be jobs, but they will be nearly slave-wage jobs designed to work you to death for the benefit of a few, making them even richer.
RussiaGATE – A former MI-6 agent, well respected, had to go into hiding after he reported intelligence on Trump and Putin’s business relationships and what Trump did over there and how Russia influenced OUR nation’s elections. How? So an already disliked corporate-lover and former republican, Hillary, would win the democratic nomination, and then dissing Hillary right before the election so it would outrage rightwingers who hated her already as well as many democrats and independents who didn’t like her either for what they discovered about her methods and intentions against Bernie and for corporations. That is how they influenced OUR elections. The same communistic KBG tactics which Putin has been employing for decades and is an expert at. Trump, Trump’s administration, and Putin have a deal going on, and our country is going to become more communistic, more ‘big-brother’, more facist and dictatorial, and the brainwashed right wing republicans are going to fall for it all (and already have) and bring this country to ruin!!! There will be NO jobs, no REAL infrastructure.
A MASSIVE FRAUD and evil is about to descend upon us all and we MUST FIGHT. We MUST go forth and sign up to vote, run for office, take back our country! We must hold our congressfolk accountable completely, although I know it will be difficult because republicans are great at hiding things, brainwashing, lying and cheating in their greedy corruption for power and riches at the expensive of the majority of U.S. citizens who are NOT super wealthy. We HAVE to fight corruption, fraud, lies, communistic facism, and tyrannical dictatorship with ALL OUR MIGHT to SAVE OUR COUNTRY from COMMUNISM and FACISM!!!
This is for real, people. Trump is slamming us all over the place and bent on ruining us all. Wake up, America and fight for your freedoms, your Constitution, your families, your homes, your health, your LANDS!
Katie Seamore, as usual, you are completely correct!
Having spent 11 years as an actual health insurance underwriter myself. . . maybe I can shed some additional light here:
1. Insurance companies are “for profit” businesses . . . they are run by “capitalists” who naturally will do everything to “maximize profits”. That is their all consuming goal. That is precisely why they began “Cherry Picking” ONLY very healthy people for their health insurance coverage. Those with any kind of serious illness could NOT buy health insurance for ANY price, prior to Obamacare! DISGRACEFUL!
2. Insurance companies REQUIRE monthly premiums from “healthy” people, as well as “unhealthy” people in order to create the pool of money needed to pay the hospital, physician, pharmaceutical and lab costs, etc.
3. Under Obamacare, in order to provide health insurance coverage for those who really need it. . . like the unhealthy ones with “pre-existing” conditions. . . the “individual mandate” was created, requiring TODAY’S “healthy” people to buy coverage and pay monthly premiums. Those premiums keep the pool of money viable, not only for the people that have claims today, but also for those “healthy” people who have unforeseen medical expenses like automobile accidents.
4. If ONLY those who immediately required medical payments bought coverage . . . ALL insurance companies would immediately FAIL and go out of business!
5. It’s similar car insurance. . . EVERYONE should be required to have it at all times!
6. Because the Republicans would not allow a “single payer” plan similar to Medicare. . . a “non-profit” entity. . . and, because the “state” governments were given such control. . . Obamacare does NOT set health care insurance monthly premium rates, and they vary from state to state.
7. Yes, Obamacare needs improvement. . . and it should and could be made better. BUT, completely repealing Obamacare without a BETTER health care plan for ALL is nothing short of horrific for millions upon millions of Americans who would be devastated without health insurance.
Richard Smith says
@ Sherry – “Health premiums after Obamacare? They’re lower.”
What a bunch of crap! Plus who gives a shit about national averages. What people care about is THEIR specific cost of heath care not someone in a state 3000 miles away. My wife has been in this country for 10 years now and her health care cost per month has gone from under $100 per month with ZERO deductible to almost $500 per month with $9000 deductible. Obamacare was passed in March 2010 where her monthly premium in January 2011 and 2012 remained the same, about $100 per month with very low deductible only because Premera BCBS of Alaska did not implement Obamacare until 2013. That’s when her premiums and deductibles started to climb. Her monthly premium in 2013 was $120 with $7000 deductible, 2014 was $144 with $7000 deductible, 2015 was $187 with $7000 deductible, 2016 was $258 with $9000 deductible and this year it was going to be $480 with $9000 deductible. I told the healthcare companies in Florida that they can keep their worthless healthcare policies. I’ll pay cash for health services when needed and wait for Trumps affordable healthcare act to take affect.
So where and when exactly did MY wife’s healthcare premiums and deductibles go DOWN? I would like to know along with the millions of other middle-class Americans that are in the same boat. Yeah right, you can keep your plan. Yeah right, you can keep your doctor’s. Yeah right, your healthcare cost will be lower! What a bunch of crap and lies that the American people had stuffed down their throats. And the person who designed the Obamacare system had the audacity to actually admit to the American people that we are stupid. Well not so stupid any longer are we?