You also can’t keep your doctor.

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You also can’t keep your doctor.

Everyone now is clamoring about Affordable Care Act winners and losers. I am one of the losers.

My grievance is not political; all my energies are directed to enjoying life and staying alive, and I have no time for politics. For almost seven years I have fought and survived stage-4 gallbladder cancer, with a five-year survival rate of less than 2% after diagnosis. I am a determined fighter and extremely lucky. But this luck may have just run out: My affordable, lifesaving medical insurance policy has been canceled effective Dec. 31.

This fact must be repeated endlessly: None of this should be a surprise to anyone. Conservatives and tea party activists were saying that Obamacare would destroy the health insurance system for years, right from the beginning of the debate. They said that, as written, it would mean most people would lose their health insurance plans. They said that, as written, it would mean that many people would lose their doctors. And they said that, as written, it was going to force many doctors to retire or pull out of the insurance pool. All these things are happening. No one should be surprised by it.

What people have to do now is assign responsibility for this disaster on the people who caused it. And those people are the politicians in the Democratic Party, from President Obama down to every elected Democrat in Congress. They wouldn’t negotiate, they wouldn’t compromise. All they were willing to do was to force this piece of crap down our throats, whether we wanted it or not.



  • JWing

    Unbridled arrogance on a scale this country has never seen before, but due largely to a complicit media this disaster remains under the radar for most low intelligent voters.

    Malfeasance writ large.

    Reputations need to be damaged, careers need to end, and some people need to go to jail for FRAUD on the public.

  • Okay, I’ll bite. What makes you think the supporters of Obamacare – the people who voted Obama into power – care about these types of stories?

    I mean, that’s who these messages are for, right? It would be a big waste of time to be just preaching to the choir.

    For every story about Edie losing his health plan, there’s a story about Jolene and her five kids who couldn’t get health insurance before.

    Democrats don’t care how much worse Obamacare makes everyone, they only care that it makes everyone’s health care equally poor.

  • Jetjockey

    Democrats: Spreading misery equally since 1828.

  • I fear that you are right, unfortunately. See my comment from October 29.

    On a positive note, what makes the situation different now is that many Obamacare supporters are now being hit with insurance cancellations they didn’t expect, higher insurance fees that they didn’t expect, and the loss of their doctor that they didn’t expect. And they didn’t expect it because they trusted Obama and his bald-faced lies that Obamacare would not cause any of these problems and would instead produce rainbows and unicorns and the second coming. Reality has now bitten them. If even a small percentage wake up and decide to punish the Democrats for this reality, the next election will be quite transformative.

    Then again, I have been expecting this kind of transformative election for the past twenty years. What I have seen instead is that no matter what craziness and stupidity the Democrats pull, their supporters still support them, blindly.

    So, though I note the possibility that the next election could be different, don’t confuse that with naivete.

  • “What people have to do now is assign responsibility for this disaster on the people who caused it.”

    That would be anyone who has voted Democrat regularly since, well, ever. But the very last person people blame for problems are themselves, even if the wounds are self-inflicted. People in Detroit are blaming Republicans for their problems, despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary.

    I’ve noticed that in public conversations, almost no one brings up the Obamacare fiasco. It’s as if people realize at some level that if they voted for Obama, they own the problem. Even in blue-green Oregon, not many are willing to admit that they maybe, just possible, have had something to do with this.

  • Unfortunately, I think many people are going to buy that this is all just growing pains, and a small sacrifice for “equality” of health care. After all, you’d have to be selfish to care more about your own health care than the poorest Americans. :(

  • joe

    Here’s hoping that the Choir grows larger! Once they see the damage first hand at what Obamacare or whatever you want to call it, is to their pocketbook and they realize that they don’t have insurance, maybe they will wake up.

  • It might be a good thing that people don’t bring up Obamacare in public conversation. While the simple reason might be their recognition that political conversation has become routinely unpleasant in recent years and they want to avoid it, it could also be, as you say, that they realize they own the problem. Thus, they might not want to talk about it or admit it publicly, but that also means that they might decide to reject the Democrats in the privacy of the voting booth because of it.

  • I’ve not noticed a reluctance on most people’s part to talk politics in this part of the world, especially Democratic politics, because around here, it’s a pretty safe bet that whomever you’re talking to will be of like mind. I’ve had to listen to some infuriating assertions from people who ‘assumed’ that I was a fellow traveler. That hasn’t been the case with this fiasco. I’d like to believe that the scales may have fallen from people’s eyes, but as you are well aware, the human capacity for rationalization and self-deception is astonishingly high.

  • Maybe you just don’t understand the metaphor.

  • Dean

    All politics aside,
    Of interest is the type of insurance policies that have been canceled.
    Consumers report called them “Junk Insurance policies”,0,5590179.story#axzz2jh0e0Chm

  • “All politics aside,”

    Please don’t play this game. The reason Consumer Reports and Democrats are now making this claim is expressly because of politics. They are trying to justify Obama’s lie that “if you like your plan you will be able to keep it. Period.” And so are you, for political reasons. If you want to debate, fine. Just don’t make believe you aren’t.

    The point here isn’t whether Consumer Reports thinks these are junk plans. The point is that these consumers liked these plans, chose them specifically, and now will not be able to keep them, in direct contradiction to Obama’s promise. By what right do liberal Democratic elected officials assign themselves the power to decide what insurance plans are good and what plans are bad? In a free society, that right belongs to the citizens, not the government.

  • Cotour

    Obama just “misspoke”, as per the Times, you know, the paper of record.

    He said it 300 times, but he did not mean the words that came out of his mouth, it is you, me and everyone else that has misinterpreted is misstatements. He has little to nothing to do with it.

  • Edward

    I used the best voice analysis freeware that I could find on the web and discovered that Obama really said, “If *I* like your plan you will be able to keep it. Period.”

    It seems that people heard what they wanted to hear and disregarded the rest. (Apologies to Simon and Garfunkel.)

  • Edward

    “For every story about Edie losing his health plan, there’s a story about Jolene and her five kids who couldn’t get health insurance before.”

    Gee, are Jolene and her five kids *dying* of cancer, or are they just inconvenienced a little bit?

    Get some perspective.

  • Edward

    Do you mean those poorest Americans who are not sick and don’t need healthcare, much less expensive health insurance, or do you mean Edie who is *dying*?

  • Dean

    My wife is something of an expert in the field. The insurance coverage that was cancled is really junk. People like all sorts of things that are bad for them. Do you object to consumer safety? In these cases people were sold a bunch of crap insurance that really is a rip off. This is not politics, this is reality and people making capitol out of ignorance. A lot of those “policies” had limits that made them useless. Also take a look at the real numbers. I referenced a artical from a national news source, and you are spouting off an opinion that is both a corner case and libertarian ideology.
    Too many people are not going to act in a “smart/rational” manner, and are going to do things that are arguably bad for them selves, and allow slick talking insurance salesmen to con them, what, pray tell is your justifacation for allowing people to be taken advantage of? And if you start on about people need to act in their own self interest, what do you make of con games that are too sophisticated for a person of average brain power to detect?

  • Edward

    Your expert wife is somewhat misinformed. Or maybe one woman’s junk is another man’s treasure.

    Mine was (still is, I suppose) coverage that is best for catastrophic events – the basic reason for insurance in the first place, not for every time you get your teeth cleaned. It was from a high quality HMO, not some fly-by-night operation that doesn’t pay claims. Please explain to me how this is “junk,” because I truly do not understand your wife’s claim.

    I liked my insurance, because I am still very healthy and rarely see a doctor, so reduced co-pays for a doctor visit is a tremendous waste of money for me.

    I still pay far more for insurance than I get in benefits, just like my homeowner’s insurance, but I don’t pay for a lot of “junk” coverage that I don’t need (such as only paying a $25 co-pay for a doctor visit, or maternity coverage – as a single man, I don’t expect to get pregnant or need mammograms every couple of years or whatever stupid add-ons they also want to burden me with). I save far, far, far, more money with a high deductible than I spend on doctor visits every decade or so. I have saved much more than the high deductible, so even if (emphasis on the conditional) I end up with a catastrophic event, I still come out ahead.

    Perhaps your wife spends too much time on numbers and averages rather than considering the needs of each individual. That could adversely scew her perspective. From my point of view, *I* am still the best person to decide what I need and want (oh, how “free market” that sounds).

    Should I choose not to get new tremendously expensive health insurance, then I will become a scofflaw, rather than a law abiding citizen. This choice is what that turd Obamacare has driven me to.

    “Too many people are not going to act in a “smart/rational” manner…”

    Oh, so now that – in your opinion – there are some people too stupid to care for themselves, all the rest of us need a nanny, too? Frankly, I can’t tell you what I think of that idiotic thinking without getting insulting, which Robert is not fond of on his site.

    If I sound angry that I am losing my choice of health insurance, it is because I am.

    If I sound angry that I have been put into the position of considering becoming a scofflaw, it is because I am.

    If I sound angry that your wife is making recommendations for me even though she does not know me, it is because she has no idea of my needs or desires or whether I am smart enough to figure out an insurance policy , so I am. (Is she next going to recommend that government tell us which life insurance, homeowner’s insurance, auto insurance, or other policies we can/should/must buy, just because she thinks that we are not savvy enough about insurance to choose for ourselves?)

    Yeah. I am angry.

  • Dean

    The goverment does tell you what auto insurance to get, minimum levels of liability, etc. because people used to not have enough, because “I am a great driver”, and then one accident and not enough coverage .
    Now if your policy meets a few (not all) of the requirements, and you have had it for a couple of years, it would be grandfathered. What has happened is that insurance companies are canceling insurance before the “end” mostly to try to get you onto a more expensive policy .
    Look at your policy limits. Are you covered over $100,000? Over $250,000? Because my wife and I have had our insurance pay out more than that in this year.
    As to my wife looking at the big picture rather than an individual , well that is how we must consider the problem because it’s everybody, not just you. Remember the “Vegas odds ” are that they are going to pay out 80% on you.
    I used to think I was wasting money on insurance and doctors . I and my wife are alive today because we have good insurance.
    Too many people had nothing. So their medical treatment came from the emergency room at 10 times the cost of a doctors visit. Overall this will reduce costs.
    Price a colonoscopy , which detects colon cancer early. 5 or 10% of people over 50 have colon cancer. Early treatment is cheap, late detection is a death sentence . So over age 50 you should plan on $3,000 to $6000.
    Do you “feel healthy” enough to take that statistical chance?

  • First, it isn’t the “government” that is regulating the insurance industry, it is the “state government.” We live in a federalist system. These kinds of regulations were intended to be done at the city and state level. The federal government was intended to be specifically forbidden from doing this by the Constitution, as written. It is partly for this reason that Obamacare has been such a failure.

    Second, I am glad your insurance worked out so well for you and your wife. But what worked for you might not work for others. You exhibit a great deal of hubris thinking that it might. You don’t have a direct line to God, and are just as likely to be wrong as right about this issue. In fact, we all should always be very suspicious of any solution proposed by anyone who appears so sure of themselves.

    Third, you might not realize it, but your approach to this whole issue is quite fascist. You want to dictate terms to everyone. You insist on that power, “looking at the big picture rather than the individual.” Well, what if I decided that, “for the big picture,” you shouldn’t have any health insurance at all? Would you like it? I doubt it. Yet, you see nothing wrong with denying others access to the kinds of health insurance they want, just because you think it is the right thing to do.

    Such behavior is entirely hostile to the idea of freedom. And that you probably don’t realize it that leaves me even more horrified.

  • Cotour

    I won’t even speak to the insurance issue, your belief system seems to inform you that you are incapable of ultimately and actually taking personal responsibility for yourself and your existence because there are people in the world that would take advantage of you and others. That one sentence below says everything about you to me. I can not believe that I read the sentence below, but I do believe that there are some people in this country who truly believe it.

    How do you function? Who told you it was a good idea to propose to your wife? Who told you how or when to propose to your wife? What do you do when you get a flat tire? Who do you call?

    “And if you start on about people need to act in their own self interest, what do you make of con games that are too sophisticated for a person of average brain power to detect?”

  • Edward

    “The goverment does tell you what auto insurance to get”


    Auto insurance is not a requirement. I know at least two people who have no auto insurance – legally. Are you asking yourself “how can that be?” It is because they do not drive. They have no cars or drivers licenses. The government (federal or state) does not require them to have auto insurance, BECAUSE they don’t need it in any amount. (Besides, I was suggesting that next thing we know, government would tell us what auto insurance to get. Maybe even require it whether or not you drive.)

    You, however, advocate that I be coerced into an insurance plan that I DON’T WANT. Or need. And may not be able or willing to pay for.

    “Now if your policy meets a few (not all) of the requirements, and you have had it for a couple of years, it would be grandfathered.”

    Did you notice all of those conditionals? None of those conditionals were said by the president over the past few years. He did not say that if I changed my insurance in any way after March 18 2010 that I could not keep my insurance. He said “Period.” That word is different from “asterisk,” meaning of course, “fooled you! You screwed up by getting different insurance after the deadline. Ha ha.”

    “… because it’s everybody, not just you.”

    No, it’s just me. Or are you not into free markets, individual choice, and capitalism. Maybe you like socialism, nanniocracies (yes, I made up that word, don’t bother looking it up, it should be self-explanatory), and totalitarianism. You sound socialist (“It’s everybody, not just you”).

    “I used to think I was wasting money on insurance and doctors . I and my wife are alive today because we have good insurance.”

    Well, good for you, but I don’t think that I am wasting money on my homeowner’s insurance, even though I never have used it and hope never to use it. I have other assets that I can use in the case of medical needs, floods, earthquake, or other acts of god not covered by insurance. I can sell my house. I can dip into my retirement savings. I can have an insurance policy that covers catastrophic medical needs and pay my own deductible. I am not you. I am an individual. “I am not a number!” “I am a free man!” (both of which may become untrue at the beginning of next year).

    Just because you and “too many people” have nothing, does not mean that it is right or fair to eliminate the insurance that is right for MY condition. Please do not project your condition or the condition of “too many people” onto me. I am not you or them. I am not advocating that THEY be required to have the insurance that is right for me, because not everyone is me. Not everyone has my wants or needs. My insurance is not right for everyone, which is why there used to be more than four types of insurance (Platinum plated, Gold plated, Bronze plated, and unplated turd). Their problem should be solved differently than by creating a problem for me. That is just trading problems. That is extremely bad engineering.

    You should be allowed to find the insurance that is right for you and I the insurance that is right for me and the “too many people” should each find the insurance that is right for them. That is basic fairness. That is a basic right.

    Speaking of which: We are about to lose our right to health insurance. (I know, everyone is claiming that Obamacare gives the right to everyone, but…) A right is something that you can do or not do. You have the right to free speech. You have the right to remain silent. You have the right to bear arms. However, you have jury duty. It is a requirement – a duty (it says so right there in the name).

    We are about to go from having the right to health insurance to having a duty to buy it – with less chance (Vegas odds: none) of getting out of it than getting out of jury duty (hardship case). What a crock.

    Still angry. You aren’t helping, Dean.

  • Cotour

    You can be required to purchase insurance, a product, by the government when the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, which is an appeals court, decides to write law. When he decides to rule that a bill written, presented and defended by all concerned as a penalty is judged to be a tax.

    Why wasn’t the bill rejected and sent back to the Congress and Senate to be reargued or rewritten? Now THATS a good question.

    What a total and complete fraud has been perpetrated on the citizens of America.

  • Tom Billings

    Yes, Blair, …the First Saturday Party here in Portland was a bit strange that way. The hostess was *not* one way or the other, on the surface. Even when people were introduced as “interesting”, they all seemed to find something else to talk about, even when talking about medicine. After getting no replies to the description of someone photographing Secretary of HHS Sebelius , while she was being gifted with a copy of “Websites for Dummies”, even I switched to talking about the new Novartis drug being fast-tracked By the FDA, for suppressing myostatin, to help build and retain muscles. Enough of us were over 50 for it to be of interest.

    The previous weekend’s Halloween Party, where people *knew* the host was libertarian, and voluble about it, was the most poorly attended in 15 years, I am told. The self-believing “smart kids” will be clinging to their identity, and the ideologies defining it, till some of them die from it, or enough of their closest friends. Meanwhile, they’d just rather bathe in the fantasy as long as they can.

  • Cotour

    Promise, Obama can promise what ever he thinks he needs to promise in order to make the sale. The real problem we have is the people who wrote and passed the bill into law.

    Obamas problem is that his salesman’s promise has become an undeniable lie. People don’t like when you gain their trust and blatantly lie to them in order to fulfill your own agenda.

  • Pzatchok

    If they were truly ‘junk’ policies then the Insurance commission of your state could have told the insurance companies to make them right.

    The fact is not ONE SINGLE DEMOCRAT came up with that idea. No on single democrat thought just to pass a law or rule that would make those policies illegal to sell. For 30 YEARS we have had that option and not once did a democrat come up with that idea.

    Until they had unstoppable power and passed a 25 thousand page bill to do what two pages of law could have done in a day.
    Now why is that? Why so much for so little?

    Funny not ONE single insurance company tried to stop them from passing this bill. Why is that? Could it be that the insurance companies see an ocean of profits from this in the near future? Profits that can’t be stopped because its now federal law that you HAVE to buy their products.
    The insurance lobbyists are the ones who wrote this law. The liberals just see it as a way to guarantee the habitually poverty stricken keep voting for them.
    They will back any law that keeps the poor poor and voting for them.
    The people need bread and the Dems offer cake.

  • Edward


    On the topic of auto (and other) insurance, I get to modify that policy as I go along. When my car stops being worth much, I can stop the collision insurance and save quite a pretty penny, maybe even more than its (aged) value.

    Dean wrote:

    “Overall this will reduce costs.”

    This will reduce *whose* costs? Not mine, and probably not yours. If it would reduce Edie’s, then why is she so upset about it? Do you think that it is going to reduce Jolene’s (with the five children, see one of Trent’s comments above: 3 November 7:02 PM)? And even if it saves Jolene some money, was it worth the extra cost to the rest of us, and the loss of our freedoms? Really?

    Also from Dean:

    “Price a colonoscopy , which detects colon cancer early. 5 or 10% of people over 50 have colon cancer. Early treatment is cheap, late detection is a death sentence . So over age 50 you should plan on $3,000 to $6000.”

    So, what makes you think that I can’t save $6,000 each year by buying the inexpensive insurance (whose deductible was significantly less than that $6,000) rather than that expensive Obamacare “turd” health insurance? I *still* come out ahead, and could save huge sums of money in a personal HSA-type of account, even if I get a colonoscopy each year after age 50. Which reminds me:

    None of us probably will need a colonoscopy ever again, considering what President Obama and Congress have rammed up our butts.

    (Once again, sorry for writing in anger, but it isn’t going away. I am more eloquent when I am calmer, but I don’t see that happening on this topic in which I, and so many others, are getting screwed. By lies. Had Obama told the truth, I could have chosen to stay with the individual plan that I had on 18 March 2010. Although that assumes that the insurance company wasn’t forced by law to make changes, which it almost certainly was. *** Sarcasm Alert *** Thanks, Obama. Thanks. A. Lot.)

  • Dean

    You accuse me of hubris in making a statement, and then go on rants of your own which are exactly that. If you wish I can point you to multiple sources of statistical information which is my primary basis for opinions. Not “what I feel”, which seems to be the basis for most of the statements. As to the concept that I am a liberal or what ever, not. I consider myself a “Goldwater republican”.
    The problems are: up until now we (everyone) have been subsidizing the medical services of the poor by higher hospital rates, etc. Also, statistics say that if you are paying $500 a month, that at some point during say ten years the insurNce companies expect to pay out $48,000.. So what you are saying is that you want to engage in fiscally risky behavior . Fine, are you willing to forego any and all medical care you can not pay for in cash? The tragedy of the commons is that everyone wants to graze livestock and no one wants to contribute to maintenance . Reform is needed, right now this country has the highest medical costs in the world, and yet outcomes/treatment rates down around number twenty. The system needs reforming, and all you want is to opt out in a financial sense and then use up services when you need them. Do you have a real proposal to reform the system or are you all just complaining about costs to you. Probably that’s it.
    Is this the right thing to do for the majority of people in this country? I believe it is best for the majority.
    I give up, I have too many spacecraft projects to work on and so: Good day and good bye.

  • I doubt you will read this, which is a shame. You have repeatedly tried to argue the rightness of your position, which to me is completely irrelevant to the debate that is going on here.

    I, and Edward, have been trying to explain to you that just because you think your position is right is no justification for imposing it on everyone. It is that simple. Would you object if the Catholic Church demanded that we stop eating meat on Friday, and imposed that by law? What if the Jewish religion demanded that pork be outlawed?

    Why is all right for you to impose you ideas on everyone but wrong for these groups to do so? The simple truth is that it is wrong for both to do it. Freedom means you can only persuade people of your beliefs, not impose them by force. I wish you’d listen to this point.

  • Robert Clark

    Yep, that cancer patient who had the best doctor in her region for her cancer was really getting crap insurance.
    The spin meisters have no shame…

    Bob Clark

  • Robert Clark

    And so they would force you to carry MORE EXPEPENSIVE auto insurance for your wife and children driving – even when you have no wife or children?
    That is the absurdity of Obamacare forcing you to carry more expensive coverage even when it doesn’t apply to you. If you don’t , your coverage is deemed crap insurance.
    I’m susprised they haven’t gone farther. Elderly men need periodic prostate exams. Why haven’t they required also ALL women to carry prostate exam coverage?

    Bob Clark

  • Robert Clark

    In case I wasn’t clear about Obamacare forcing people to pay for more expensive coverage they don’t need see here:

    Sticker shock often follows health insurance cancellation under Affordable Care Act.

    MIAMI (AP) — Dean Griffin liked the health insurance he purchased for himself and his wife three years ago and thought he’d be able to keep the plan even after the federal Affordable Care Act took effect.
    But the 64-year-old recently received a letter notifying him the plan was being canceled because it didn’t cover certain benefits required under the law.

    Individual health insurance policies are being canceled because the Affordable Care Act requires plans to cover certain benefits, such as maternity care hospital visits and mental illness. The law also caps annual out-of-pocket costs consumers will pay each year.
    In the past, consumers could get relatively inexpensive, bare-bones coverage, but those plans will no longer be available. Many consumers are frustrated by what they call forced upgrades as they’re pushed into plans with coverage options they don’t necessarily want.–230501601.html

    Bob Clark

  • Cotour

    If I as an individual choose to give away my own money and live in a communal situation sharing my resources that is a kind of socialism / communism that I can live with. Dean see’s the government in a “good”, paternal way where the government is welcome to take your resources through taxation to the degree that the government determines and redistribute it to whom the government determines should have your resources. Redistribution.

    The problem with being comfortable with that kind of thinking is that the people who become empowered and inhabit and administer government will tend to use those resources in a subjective way that will benefit their point of view and in essence create a model of dependence related to those individuals who are the beneficiaries of this government largess using other peoples money. The beginning of and the incentive on the road to abuse of power.

    Government is necessary, but it is a necessary evil. Dean does not understand this subject at this level, he understands it beginning many layers above this kind of logic / understanding and is therefore condemned to exist under a false Constitutional model that he believes is true.

    If you were to ask a person like Dean to define as best he can what the Constitution was designed for, and that is what this conversation is about, or means he would have a hard time doing so because he is un aware of its history and its source. It does not mean that he is a bad person, but it does mean that he and many others who think similarly are easily lead down the slippery slope. And there are plenty who would choose to lead them.

  • Edward

    1) Statistics are fine for statisticians, but I have a life to live, and I rarely fit the statistical norm. Please do not lump me into a statistic. I am not a number, I am a human being (I know that I already said that, but it didn’t sink in). I am unique, just like everyone else.

    2) “The tragedy of the commons” is a good morality play, but no one has demonstrated that it has ever occurred. Ever. Especially in the insurance industry, where there are very intelligent actuaries who make sure it doesn’t.

    Adam Smith even realized this folly. We act with *enlightened* self interest, not selfishness.

    3) If I choose to take risks, that is my choice (you are pro-choice, aren’t you?), not yours. Indeed, to follow your advice is only to change the risks that I take. I could pay more for health insurance with the increased risk of some other occurrence in life. Were I to remain healthy, then I could easily outlive my retirement savings, which had to suffer in order to cover the expensive health insurance. I find it better to have a more general savings than to buy life insurance (as a single person, who would be my beneficiary?), flood insurance (a very rare occurrence in my neighborhood), or earthquake insurance (not so rare).

    Frankly, it is better to have a whopper of a retirement fund act as all three of those insurances than to pay for them and end up with no retirement savings. In the first case, I have an excellent chance of being able to retire, in the latter case I have none. Which is the greater risk? It seems to me that this self interest is pretty enlightened.

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