Professor Plum walked barefoot into the mail room and said: “My plan to split my flip-flops into separate soles and straps was simply unworkable.”

He read the mail…. (More)

Professor Plum then left with Ms. Scarlet to join the resident faculty in the wine cellar library, where they’ll spend the weekend drinking thinking on our motto of Magis vinum, magis verum (“More wine, more truth”).

In the staff poker game, the Professor of Astrology wanted to separate the three-way pot. He opened by raising with a pair of red Queens. Chef reraised and the Squirrel called her reraise. The Professor of Astrology Janitor looked at his dwindling stack of chips and moved all-in, hoping one or the other would fold. Instead both called, Chef with the Ace and King of Clubs and the Squirrel with the Jack and Ten of Spades. In a heads-up pot, the Professor of Astrology Janitor would have been a slight favorite against Chef’s Ace-King and a substantial favorite against the Squirrel’s Jack-Ten. But with both in the pot, he was a 60-40 underdog.

The flop brought the Ace of Hearts, Queen of Spades, and Nine of Diamonds, and the third Queen made the Professor of Astrology Janitor a 70% favorite. But the Eight of Clubs on the turn gave the Squirrel a Queen-high straight and, with only one card left, the Professor of Astrology Janitor needed an Ace, Nine, or Eight to make a full house or the Queen of Clubs to make four-of-a-kind. Instead, the river brought the Five of Hearts.

The Squirrel tapped at his Blewberry: “I got lucky. I only called your all-in because I was last and had good pot odds.”

The Professor of Astrology Janitor shrugged. “Queens are always dicey in a three-way pot.”

He began his plaintive mewling and Chef went to the kitchen to make Cloud Eggs, leaving your lowly mail room clerk to review the week’s correspondence….

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Dear Ms. Crissie,

As the U.S. Senate considers the Better Care Reconciliation Act, we are writing to urge them to strike the “Consumer Freedom Option” from the bill. It is simply unworkable in any form and would undermine protections for those with pre-existing medical conditions, increase premiums and lead to widespread terminations of coverage for people currently enrolled in the individual market.

The Consumer Freedom Option allows insurers to sell products that must comply with all rules in current law alongside plans that do not comply with current insurance reforms – meaning they are allowed to refuse offering coverage to certain people, charge different rates based on age and gender, and not provide comprehensive health benefits. This would allow the new plans to “cherry pick” only healthy people from the existing market making coverage unaffordable for the millions of people who need or want comprehensive coverage, including, for example, coverage for prescription drugs and mental health services.
[…]
As healthy people move to the less-regulated plans, those with significant medical needs will have no choice but to stay in the comprehensive plans, and premiums will skyrocket for people with preexisting conditions. This would especially impact middle-income families that that are not eligible for a tax credit. Taxpayers will pay more to finance federal tax credits for the individuals in comprehensive plans and these costs will continue to increase, even with dedicated funding. Risk adjustment is also critical to making the individual market sustainable, but can only work when there are uniform benefit requirements across the market.

Finally, this provision will lead to far fewer, if any, coverage options for consumers who purchase their plan in the individual market. As a result, millions of more individuals will become uninsured.

America’s Health Insurance Plans and Blue Cross/Blue Shield

Dear AHIP/BCBS,

We applaud you for writing to the U.S. Senate and agree that the so-called “Consumer Freedom Option” is yet another Republican attempt to gut the consumer protections offered by the Affordable Care Act. However, we note that the GOP Wealthcare Act has so many horrible provisions – including gutting Medicaid – that we would prefer it if Majority Leader Mitch McConnell ditched the entire idea and instead worked with Senate Democrats to fix the problems with the ACA.

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Dear Ms. Crissie,

Do you think the AHIP/BCBS letter will convince Senate Republicans to vote against the Wealthcare Act? Also, what are Cloud Eggs, why are they this week’s recipe, and how does Chef make them?

Partly Cloudy about Breakfast in Blogistan

Dear Squirrel,

We have no idea whether the AHIP/BCBS letter will convince Republicans to abandon their wildly unpopular Wealthcare Act. We hope so, and we keep calling our senators to voice our opposition. But ultimately, only time will tell.

As for Cloud Eggs, Chef says these are made by separating the egg white and egg yolk, beating the egg white with a pinch of salt until it’s fluffy, gently folding in a bit of grated Gruyere, Swiss, or Parmesan cheese, then slipping the fluffy egg white onto a cookie sheet and forming a slight depression with the back of a spoon. Bake at 450º for 3 minutes, remove from the oven and carefully pour the yolk into the depression in the egg white, and bake for another 3 minutes. Bon appétit!

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Photo Credit: AP Photo

AHIP/BCBS.

Cloud Eggs.

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Happy Sunday!