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Thread: The health care bill

  1. #1
    Cyburbian Veloise's avatar
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    The health care bill

    ...she typed fearlessly.

    Here's a helpful widget posted to Facebook by none other than Kjel (spreading the blame here!).

    What does the health care bill mean to me? (washingtonpost.com)


    And a letter from Michael Moore. (Wish I'd counted the number of times I heard the name of my fair state last night.)
    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/michae...?ref=fb&src=sp
    Last edited by Veloise; 22 Mar 2010 at 5:58 PM.

  2. #2
    Cyburbian imaplanner's avatar
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    well alright then.

    I'm conflicted.

    I'm stoked that the bill gets rid of pre-existing conditions, makes it illegal to drop you when you get sick and eliminates the maximum lifetime limits. After dealing with cancer at age 29 my wife is already most of the way towards our max lifetime limit, and she would have gotten kicked from other insurances because of the pre-existing condition.

    BUT - seems like these things are no-brainers and could have been accomplished with bipartisan support (let's see the repubs vote against those issues) and with a minimally invasive bill.

    I'm extremely upset that the government is now mandating people buy a terrible and unnecessary product. And that our tax dollars will go to prop up these greedy insurance companies. If we aren't going to have a true single payer system we at least need a public option. The government should not be mandating people buy a private, for profit product. We all know what's going to happen. The private insurance that the lower income people will be forced to buy is going to be so fraught with co-pays, deductibles and exclusions that people won't afford to be able to use it. Basically forced to pay money to a giant corporation for a product that will not benefit them. Terrible and shameful.
    Children in the back seat can cause accidents - and vice versa.

  3. #3
    Cyburbian stroskey's avatar
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    I think it is good they removed the lifetime maximum but as for pre-existing conditions, without more information I don't have an opinion. One would think it would be dumb to let people buy house insurance after your house is on fire but it can't be that simple...

    I sort of like making people buy insurance because those may be some of the people that go to the ER and not pay for their care, thus driving up the price for all people but on the other hand I see this as a back-door attempt to make private companies obsolete and have everyone go to a government program.

  4. #4
    Cyburbian mgk920's avatar
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    I am also very fearful about the Internal Revenue Service being the enforcement arm.

    However, the part that I am most fearful of is the extreme level of deficit spending that this scheme will require, and cost of these programs is always at least several times more than what is originally advertised (just look at the current experience in Massachusetts with a nearly identical state plan). The USA's federal government spent over $220G more than it took in in February, 2010 *ALONE* (the worst monthly number EVER), more than any of GWB's annual deficits, and is about to lose its 'AAA' bond rating.



    Mike

  5. #5
    Cyburbian illinoisplanner's avatar
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    This is disgraceful. I should not be forced to buy something I don't want or need. I'd like to pursue my own happiness, thank you. Not have Nancy Pelosi tell me what will make me happy.

    As for the Democrats saying the bill supports life, bullcrap. I don't care what your stance on abortion is, but mandating every taxpayer in this country to forcefully pay for a procedure that stops life cold in its tracks is just plain wrong. As for Obama's executive order, we'll see if that actually holds. I doubt it, though.

    This country is going to hell in a handbasket. Whatever happened to choosing your own destiny and making your own financial, personal, medical, and life decisions? I guess that's all out the door in this country.

    As for fixing unemployment, this bill will do nothing but make the problem worse. Many companies will have less money to create jobs in this country than before if they are either forced to pay for insurance or forced to pay penalties.

    And nevermind the astronomical costs. $940 billion? Unbeliveable. Hasn't Congress already spent enough money. As the protesters say, "Congress, cut your budget, not mine". I'm sure they could have made modifications to improve the system that weren't so expensive.

    November can't come soon enough. This bill is wrong in so many ways and needs to repealed.
    "Life's a journey, not a destination"
    -Steven Tyler

  6. #6
    Cyburbian Veloise's avatar
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    Shared via Facebook:

    AMA likes it
    “By extending health coverage to tens of millions of uninsured, improving competition and choice in the insurance marketplace, promoting prevention and wellness, reducing administrative burdens, and promoting clinical comparative effectiveness research, this bill will help patients and the physicians who care for them.”

    And if you are in one of those millions of American families who already have healthcare insurance?

    “Those who have insurance will see improvements right away: lifetime caps on coverage end; children can stay on parents’ policies until age 26, and insurance companies can’t cancel coverage except in the case of fraud.”

    This enthusiastic diagnosis of the healthcare bill comes from the American Medical Association. Now, I have been a national political reporter for over 20 years, for most of that time in Washington. And I can tell you this: If the AMA endorses a healthcare bill, you can rest assured that the legislation is not some left-wing radical ploy that will crater the healthcare system and send us down the road to communism. The doctors like their tee-off times; have fought liberal proposals for national health insurance for 60 years, and most recently played a role in torpedoing Hillary-care during the Clinton years. They are a powerful lobby, and played a key role in writing this bill. So did those other “socialists,” the drug companies. And that commie front for left-wing seniors, AARP.

    You may not like the bill for other reasons--if you are a business owner and don’t want to have to provide health insurance to your employees, or a rich family that doesn’t like the tax on your Wall Street returns--but whatever it is, Obama-care ain’t socialism. In fact, the nation’s doctors say it is good medicine.
    There's more. Click the link.

  7. #7
    Cyburbian mgk920's avatar
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    The AMA speaks for most doctors in the exact same way that the APA speaks for most planners.

    The rumblings that I have been hearing over the past several months are saying that should this scheme come into full effect, a very sizable percentage (perhaps half in some areas) of the USA's doctors will be leaving medicine - they'll be losing money in their practices.

    Mike

  8. #8
    Cyburbian CJC's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by mgk920 View post
    ...and is about to lose its 'AAA' bond rating.
    Care to make a friendly wager on this? I'll give you 20 years and 100 to 1 odds. Nah, make it 40 years and 200 to 1 odds. We control our own monetary policy and issue debt denominated in our own currency. Why would the US Govt ever consider default? And why would the ratings agencies consider it when they know that the US Govt would always look to altering monetary policy before defaulting (a AAA bond rating has nothing to do with inflation or relative value of the currency, only repayment).

    On the health care bill? Meh. I don't particularly care for it, but I'm glad something passed. At least now we have the chance of keeping further healthcare reform in the national conversation. Had nothing passed, no politician would have touched anything for a couple decades, minimum.
    Two wrongs don't necessarily make a right, but three lefts do.

  9. #9
    Cyburbian mgk920's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by CJC View post
    Care to make a friendly wager on this? I'll give you 20 years and 100 to 1 odds. Nah, make it 40 years and 200 to 1 odds. We control our own monetary policy and issue debt denominated in our own currency. Why would the US Govt ever consider default? And why would the ratings agencies consider it when they know that the US Govt would always look to altering monetary policy before defaulting (a AAA bond rating has nothing to do with inflation or relative value of the currency, only repayment).
    See:
    http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?p...d=aYUeBnitz7nU
    for example.

    With a lower rating, investors may start passing on USA national debt and/or requiring higher interest yields before they buy any, resulting in the feds having to 'print' money (AKA inflation, which is nothing but an extremely regressive confiscatory tax on ALL cash-based assets) to pay bills.

    Mike

  10. #10
    Cyburbian stroskey's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by illinoisplanner View post
    This is disgraceful. I should not be forced to buy something I don't want or need. I'd like to pursue my own happiness, thank you. Not have Nancy Pelosi tell me what will make me happy.

    This country is going to hell in a handbasket. Whatever happened to choosing your own destiny and making your own financial, personal, medical, and life decisions? I guess that's all out the door in this country.
    As a libertarian-minded person, I can't help but ask - if someone chooses not to get health insurance why should they expect to go to the ER and be accepted even knowing full well they can't pay the bill?

    edit - I read this on Yahoo!: " Insurers will be required to take all applicants. They won't be able to turn down people in poor health, or charge them more." Won't this increase the cost on everyone else? Not that sick people shouldn't have coverage, but I completely disagree that my costs are the same as a chronic smoker or an alcoholic... it doesn't seem logical.

  11. #11
    Corn Burning Fool giff57's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by stroskey View post
    edit - I read this on Yahoo!: " Insurers will be required to take all applicants. They won't be able to turn down people in poor health, or charge them more." Won't this increase the cost on everyone else? Not that sick people shouldn't have coverage, but I completely disagree that my costs are the same as a chronic smoker or an alcoholic... it doesn't seem logical.
    Isn't that the same as being in a group? All of my employees pay the same premium, no matter what their history is.
    “As soon as public service ceases to be the chief business of the citizens, and they would rather serve with their money than with their persons, the State is not far from its fall”
    Jean-Jacques Rousseau

  12. #12
    Cyburbian CJC's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by mgk920 View post
    See:
    http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?p...d=aYUeBnitz7nU
    for example.

    With a lower rating, investors may start passing on USA national debt and/or requiring higher interest yields before they buy any, resulting in the feds having to 'print' money (AKA inflation, which is nothing but an extremely regressive confiscatory tax on ALL cash-based assets) to pay bills.

    Mike
    I absolutely agree that interest rates may (will) rise and the government may crank up the printing presses, but the ratings agencies will lose any credibility that they have left (which isn't much after their atrocious performance of the last five years) if they downgrade US government debt.

    They'd be hopping from one extreme to the other in five years - subprime mortgages were AAA less than five years ago (when bundled "correctly") and now the literal lender of last resort to everyone in the world is not AAA, but some company (whose assets the federal government could always seize or tax, in theory) is? Makes no logical sense, and it won't happen.
    Two wrongs don't necessarily make a right, but three lefts do.

  13. #13
    Cyburbian TexanOkie's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by CJC View post
    I absolutely agree that interest rates may (will) rise and the government may crank up the printing presses, but the ratings agencies will lose any credibility that they have left (which isn't much after their atrocious performance of the last five years) if they downgrade US government debt.

    They'd be hopping from one extreme to the other in five years - subprime mortgages were AAA less than five years ago (when bundled "correctly") and now the literal lender of last resort to everyone in the world is not AAA, but some company (whose assets the federal government could always seize or tax, in theory) is? Makes no logical sense, and it won't happen.
    If the economy doesn't pick back up, though, couldn't this whole situation turn into another late-1970's-style period of intense stagflation? And back then we weren't spending extra trillions (in the equivalent late 70's dollars) on active wars, stimulus & bailout packages, and new entitlement programs.

  14. #14
    Cyburbian illinoisplanner's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by stroskey View post
    As a libertarian-minded person, I can't help but ask - if someone chooses not to get health insurance why should they expect to go to the ER and be accepted even knowing full well they can't pay the bill?
    There are a few things. Maybe they can afford the bill. Maybe they're wealthy enough or have the resources so that they can pay it back over time.

    The other thing is that they should be on Medicaid if they're really poor or unemployed, Medicare if they're old, and if they don't fall in those categories, they should find a better job that offers insurance, demand it from their employer, or try to find third party insurance elsewhere. But they shouldn't be forced to be covered. If they don't want to go to the ER, they don't have to.

    And maybe if Congress would take actions to make the economy and job situation better, then people would have no problems finding jobs that offer insurance.

    edit - I read this on Yahoo!: " Insurers will be required to take all applicants. They won't be able to turn down people in poor health, or charge them more." Won't this increase the cost on everyone else? Not that sick people shouldn't have coverage, but I completely disagree that my costs are the same as a chronic smoker or an alcoholic... it doesn't seem logical.
    Exactly.
    "Life's a journey, not a destination"
    -Steven Tyler

  15. #15
    Cyburbian Brocktoon's avatar
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    You don't have to buy health insurance under the new system. If you don't then you pay a fine. You don't have to pay taxes or pull a permit to build a house. Mandates are part of living in a civilized society. Now the Feds don't tend to mandate financial expenditures from its citizens. It will be interesting to see the courts interpretation on the topic before the majority of the reform takes place in 2014.

    As for the cost, what is the cost of Medicare and Medicaid estimated for the next 10 years? Here's a hint...its more than $940 billion. (http://www.gpoaccess.gov/USbudget/fy10/pdf/summary.pdf)

    In 2010 the total cost for these two programs is $742 billion. The current "do nothing approach" is unsustainable.

    With almost half of the people in the US on some form of government supplied healthcare we were progressing towards a single payer system.

    After every piece of big legislation the opponents say how terrible it is...NCLB was going to reduce school to nothing more than teaching the test, Welfare reform was going to create a huge homeless problem, cutting the military in the 1990's was going to leave our military unprepared for warfare etc.

    Is it perfect?...of course not...nor was the Civil Rights Bill of 1957 but its a start.
    "You merely adopted the dark. I was born in it,..." -Bane

  16. #16
    Cyburbian CJC's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by TexanOkie View post
    If the economy doesn't pick back up, though, couldn't this whole situation turn into another late-1970's-style period of intense stagflation? And back then we weren't spending extra trillions (in the equivalent late 70's dollars) on active wars, stimulus & bailout packages, and new entitlement programs.
    Yes. And ratings on US Government debt never dropped below AAA in the 70's (or even flirted with it). I can't imagine a scenario, outside of war or a complete meltdown of the government, that would cause the USG to lose AAA. We could inflate the currency at 50% per year and not lose it, IMO (unless corporations and other entities found some other currency to issue debt in - but if we're inflating at 50% per year, the euro has likely collapsed).
    Last edited by CJC; 23 Mar 2010 at 2:06 AM.
    Two wrongs don't necessarily make a right, but three lefts do.

  17. #17
    Cyburbian Marine Corps Planner's avatar
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    Thank You President Obama!

    I am happy we finally got it through. The military has had socialized health care for years and it works. The other side will cry for some time, but that is OK. It's all good!

  18. #18
    A poll in Massachusetts, where Mitt Romney put together a health care bill that mandates everyone must have insurance, showed that only about 10% of the public is against the mandate. In a word, it works without any problems.

    I work a lot with health clinics. The staff says it works.

    There is an additional form you have to file with you income taxes, it comes from your insurance company. It works.

    I thought the idea was crazy when it was first proposed.

    But it works!

  19. #19
    OH....IO Hink's avatar
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    I don't love the mandate, but without it, the entire plan doesn't work.

    I am glad that something got done. The more I move towards Libertarian leanings, the more I realize that policy will never be perfect. This is a good first step. I think that it will help some people, and there will be a tremendous amount of problems that no one really thought about - which is what I fear. I wouldn't have a concern if our legislature was a fluid body, who could deal with simple issues in a bipartisan fashion, but I see the R's just looking to repeal the bill in its entirety. I think the piece by David Frum is spot on...

    http://www.cnn.com/2010/OPINION/03/2...ategy/?hpt=Mid


    I think that this bill has done very little to have people who can pay take control of their own healthcare. I think that the mandate will help get more people to get care, but will make the system larger and in turn will continue to hurt the solvency. The accounting tricks will show in 6 years and we will again be looking at a problem. But for now, I think that we are at least doing something. If we can make the necessary changes between now and 10 years to make this stronger, cheaper, and solvent, I think we have a chance at success.

    I don't think that this will do much in the way changing the healthcare system though. Insurance companies, sure, but not the healthcare industry. Stronger tort reform, better medicare funding to doctors, and minimum pay to use services will need to be added at some point. I do not think Doctors are the problem, I think that the way we compensate them, and their motivation to do good medicine is what is.
    A common mistake people make when trying to design something completely foolproof is to underestimate the ingenuity of complete fools. -Douglas Adams

  20. #20
    Cyburbian TexanOkie's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Marine Corps Planner View post
    I am happy we finally got it through. The military has had socialized health care for years and it works. The other side will cry for some time, but that is OK. It's all good!
    With all due respect (and gratitude for your service), military members are government employees and get their medical care from their employer. There is (was) nothing preventing other employers from offering up similar services, save costs.

    On a completely separate topic, back in May 2009, Forbes published an article about two government reports which explained the unfunded liabilities in Medicare and Social Security. At the time, the total unfunded liability of both programs was a combined $106.4 trillion. The article also notes that, at the time, the total net worth of the country was only $51.5 trillion. It would be interesting to see how these numbers have changed and/or will change under the new health care policies.
    Last edited by TexanOkie; 23 Mar 2010 at 9:54 AM. Reason: double reply

  21. #21
    Cyburbian beach_bum's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Hink_Planner View post
    Stronger tort reform, better medicare funding to doctors, and minimum pay to use services will need to be added at some point. I do not think Doctors are the problem, I think that the way we compensate them, and their motivation to do good medicine is what is.
    Exactly, tort reform is something no one wants to touch, but its desperately needed. Medical malpractice insurance and the cost associated with it are driving up costs just as much as the other players.

    Things I like about the bill: no lifetime cap, the pre-existing condition clause gone...
    Things I don't like about the bill: mandated insurance and the high cost associated with the bill as we go into debt even further.

    It feels like that only some of the big issues were dealt with here, but as others were saying...its a start.

    On another note: The R's are about to lose another member of their party (me) if they don't stop pandering to the far right wing of the party, if you don't like the bill for sound reasons (fiscal, legal) fine, but don't hang our hats on small details of the bill that don't really matter in the long run.
    "Never invest in any idea you can't illustrate with a crayon." ~Peter Lynch

  22. #22
    Cyburbian PrahaSMC's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by stroskey View post
    I think it is good they removed the lifetime maximum but as for pre-existing conditions, without more information I don't have an opinion. One would think it would be dumb to let people buy house insurance after your house is on fire but it can't be that simple...
    Actually, it is that simple: these are human lives we are talking about; not bricks and mortar. Do you honestly believe people should have to go bankrupt because of cancer, diabetes, or some other heritable condition?

    I'm really surprised at the reactions of both parties. On the right, people are acting as if this is doomsday socialism; on the left, people are dusting of GWB's old mission accomplished banner. The reality is, this bill is nearly identical to a lot of the market-based solutions that Republicans touted in response to Clinton's overhaul proposal in the early nineties... and, of course, Romney's plan in MA. Ultimately, this legislation is going to be totally ineffectual. By mandating that everyone buys insurance, without offering a public option, there will be tacit price-fixing amongst insurers and thus no cost-containment... exactly like things are now. People with pre-existing conditions and aggressive illnesses will be "covered," but simply gauged on premiums... just like most are now. And, with no tort reform, doctors will continue to practice defensive medicine... just as many are forced to do know.

    Overall, this legislation is a good thing for healthy working and middle class families. Read: people who don't need any major procedures, but will be helped immensely by access to basic care that they were previously unable to access, due to lack of insurance. However, for the seriously ill and the working poor, it will be the same sad circus-- subsidizing private insurers with a distinct motive not to provide care is not the answer.

    So, whatever. I guess this is a step in the right direction, but most people won't notice any difference in their day-to-day lives... the barriers to accessing quality, affordable healthcare still exist. No public option = no real reform.

  23. #23
    Cyburbian stroskey's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by giff57 View post
    Isn't that the same as being in a group? All of my employees pay the same premium, no matter what their history is.
    Yes, and I disagree with it. People who work out and/or do other athletic/healthy events shouldn't have to pay the same as a pack-a-day smoker or the coworker that goes to the bar every single night.

    Quote Originally posted by PrahaSMC View post
    Actually, it is that simple: these are human lives we are talking about; not bricks and mortar. Do you honestly believe people should have to go bankrupt because of cancer, diabetes, or some other heritable condition?
    No one is saying there shouldn't be help for those with terrible conditions but wasn't the whole point of this bill to make things more economical and contain price? If we go off of those standards, then letting people who find out they are sick buy insurance at that time reduces the money they have put into the premium "pool", undermines the point of insurance (pay a little bit now, use later), and basically forces those who play by the rules to pay more. It's punishing the responsible compared to those who decide to wait. Insurance works because people all pay and hope they never use it - not because the responsible ones pay and everyone else gets to use it.
    Last edited by stroskey; 23 Mar 2010 at 9:19 AM. Reason: double reply

  24. #24
    Forums Administrator & Gallery Moderator NHPlanner's avatar
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    As a parent of a child with autism, this bill is terribly important to me.

    I have what many would consider a "cadillac plan," good insurance through my collectively bargained contract with my local government employer. Even with my "good" insurance, my insurance company has steadfastly refused to cover basic therapies (occupational therapy, speech therapy, etc.) for my son, saying they aren't "medically necessary."

    Because of this, my family has had to go through the painstaking process of getting my son qualified for medicaid through the Katie Beckett waiver process...not fun at all. Even with the supplemental medicaid covering some of what my son needs for therapy, it still won't cover what most autism professionals consider the most effective means of therapy for autism - Applied Behavioral Analysis therapy (ABA). Prior to turning age 3, he got 9 hours a week of ABA therapy at home through state required early intervention programs. The impact on his development was amazing...he is a totally different child because of the intense therapy he received at this early age.

    After age 3, however, the role shifts from the early intervention providers to school districts...which do not offer ABA....making it my responsibility to pay for out of pocket since insurance won't cover it. I simply cannot afford this for my son today.

    With the passage of this bill (coverage of “behavioral health treatments” such as ABA therapy, would be required), finally, we can get my son the help that will guide his development academically and socially...we hope putting him on the road to being able to live an independent adult life someday.

    For my son, and the millions of families dealing with autism in their lives, this bill has been the answer to a lot of prayers. Even if I get taxed more because of the type of insurance plan I have, it will be well worth it in my mind.
    "Growth is inevitable and desirable, but destruction of community character is not. The question is not whether your part of the world is going to change. The question is how." -- Edward T. McMahon, The Conservation Fund

  25. #25
    Cyburbian mgk920's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Gotta Speakup View post
    A poll in Massachusetts, where Mitt Romney put together a health care bill that mandates everyone must have insurance, showed that only about 10% of the public is against the mandate. In a word, it works without any problems.

    I work a lot with health clinics. The staff says it works.

    There is an additional form you have to file with you income taxes, it comes from your insurance company. It works.

    I thought the idea was crazy when it was first proposed.

    But it works!
    AND, under Article. I. Section. 8. and the 10th Amendment (USA Constitution), the state level is PRECISELY where lawmaking of this sort belongs.

    How is your program doing when matched against the state's general fund?

    Mike

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