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kmanweiss

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  1. Universal wouldn't increase the amount of paychecks between a patient and their doctor as it swaps one insurance system for a different one. However, the government isn't a for profit entity where the insurance company is. Government intervention in pricing control would help limit cost inflation for profit from paymasters. If anything, universal coverage would reduce the amount of people looking to get paid. Think of the reduction in the billing/claims department of various medical institutions. The reduction in salespeople. The reduction in various middlemen. Universal would mean that hospitals could cut billing staff. Universal means no more PBM (pointless middleman). Universal means no more skyrocketing pharmaceutical prices (which always seems to follow legislation that the pharmaceutical company lobbied for). No more hospital chargemasters making up arbitrary numbers for goods/services. The problem with the US system is that there are too many levels trying to make profit and doing so in ways that are basically unregulated. Pharmaceutical company, PBMs, insurance company, pharmacy, hospital, and the doctor are all trying to get paid from writing a script. That means the patient getting that script is on the hook for the profit of at least 6 different entities and thats just at the high level. While making profit isn't a bad thing by any means (pretty important element of capitalism), when it gets out of hand, it needs to be wrangled back into control. The medical industry as a whole though has too many lobbyists to control that through simple price control mechanics. At this point direct government intervention is needed. Some things just shouldn't be profit orientated (not to say that profit can't be made). But beyond all that cost control, there is a societal impact. It's something that is harder to measure, but is there, and its important. Reduction in bankruptcies and divorces has already been mentioned. Financial stability for people is very important. General health levels. Elderly or disabled people on fixed incomes not having to decide between medications and medical treatment or food and rent. No longer having to rely on charity or luck to finance expensive medical treatment through fundraisers or gofundme campaigns. It's been shown that universal healthcare (even if it covers elective abortions) actually decreases the abortion rate. Access to affordable birth control also reduces the abortion rate. Preventative care could heavily reduce overall cost of coverage vs more costly post-problem treatments, but most people, even if insured avoid preventative care because any medical care is expensive. The list goes on.
  2. Americans are downright silly when it comes to discussing health care. We claim to be better than everyone at everything, but we apparently can't tackle health care. We complain about how universal health care would result in long lines, and having to wait for treatment, but we have people that die in waiting rooms and we are outright refused treatment by insurance companies. Others defer treatment because even with insurance they can't afford the care they need. We complain about how much it would cost without realizing that we already pay for it now, and a universal system could control those costs. We complain about how bad universal healthcare would be, but try to find one person, even insured, that doesn't complain about our current health care system. They complain about the costs, the co-pays, the waits, the authorizations, the skyrocketing costs of prescriptions/services, the horrible billing systems, the low quality of care. 62% of bankruptcies are caused by medical expenses. 22% of divorces are due to money issues...I'm sure medical costs don't figure into that right? People, even insured people, avoid preventative care due to costs. Our current health care system is a travesty, and a burden upon our society.
  3. I would think a jump speeder or foot speeder (hover platform) would do exactly what you are looking for. Small, compact, used for short travel distances.
  4. It wasn't government size so much as inaction and corruption. While those can often be factors in big government, they can actually be factors in any government. The Republic survived for a long, long time, and the seperatists only popped up in the last little bit of it. The government incompetence was all part of Palpy's plan. The separatists were world that had not aligned with the Republic, or had at one time, but broke away due to the failings of the republic (incompetence and corruption). They were no particularly wealthy or powerful. They got played by Palpy just like the Republic did. Neither side had a massive military to begin with. Palpy sent Darth Saruman to help guide and lead the Seperatists. Darth Saruman convinced them that to stay independent from Republic control, they'd need a huge army to protect themselves. They didn't have a standing military, so droids were the best option, but droids cost money, so the seperatists had to take out huge loans from the banking clan. Palpy had manipulated the Republic to pay for a giant clone army. Towards the end of the war both sides made massive expenditures to again increase the size of their armies in hopes of crushing the other side (again manipulated by Sheev and Saruman). The sad part about the prequels is that they never really focused on how well formulated everything was by Sheev. In fact they did such a bad job explaining it that everyone believes the trade federation was part of the Seperatists and that the shadow council were the leaders of the seperatists. Neither of these things are true. Palpy manipulates the Republic to suck at it's job and become really corrupt. This causes a rival government to grow into existence. Palpy sends Saruman to control and manipulate this other government. Palpy forms a shadow council of the various power brokers in the universe. This shadow council includes the banking clans that handle all banking in the universe, the droid/weapon manufacturing clans, and the trade federation that controls most of the galaxy's trade routes. You know, the people most likely to profit from a gigantic galaxy wide civil war. Palpy tells them to do as he orders and he'll make them more wealthy than they could imagine. Saruman convinces the seperatists to create a giant droid army. Meanwhile Palpy creates the clone army behind the Republic's back and then forces them to use it. Palpy has the trade federation (republic members) put an embargo on his home world while making sure the senate can't do anything about it, then uses his place as a victim to rise to power. Palpy then sends Obi to a non-republic world as a spy, he gets captured, and Palpy sends an entire army to a non-republic world which is quite clearly an act of war in order to save his spy. In the end, he destroys the shadow council, destroys the Jedi, and takes control of the Empire while cutting off all support to the Seperatists allowing him to have an easy win in the war. It's honestly pretty compelling, but almost none of this is covered in the movies. You have to read the novels, comics, and watch the cartoon shows to pick up on all the hidden details.
  5. Books are almost entirely China also. Genesys core was the only book to ever be printed in the US, and that was on a pretty limited basis. My guess is the move to US production of that book was because the backlog in the Chinese based production at the time was so deep that there was no way they'd meet deadlines and were forced to go with US printing...but that likely cost them on the profit margins.
  6. Books are almost entirely China also. Genesys core was the only book to ever be printed in the US, and that was on a pretty limited basis. My guess is the move to US production of that book was because the backlog in the Chinese based production at the time was so deep that there was no way they'd meet deadlines and were forced to go with US printing...but that likely cost them on the profit margins.
  7. If I were to guess, I'd say that FFG likely has some print run minimum that they like to hit. Say 25k copies of something. They probably wait until they have close to that many orders from retailers before even putting it in the production queue. But since they only have one production facility they work with, it's just one big queue that included all their other miniature and boardgame IPs also. So then the new addition to the queue is already going to be a 6 month wait. Then they end up bumping certain items up due to demand, new releases, or to match the paper product production line. So that can end up delaying things another 3 months. Then you end up with strikes, supply chain issue, holidays, pandemics, weather events, acts of god, and you delay things another month or two. Pretty soon you end up with no product on the shelves for up to a year. This then causes hording and reselling when it finally comes back into stock only causing the stock to run out super quick and FFG restarting the whole process. They don't want to hold on to a huge amount of stock in warehouses. They don't want to order twice what they know they can move. So they end up in this vicious cycle of stock problems. The corona virus is going to mess with their supply chain for a long time. Factory shutdowns, shipping issues, raw material supply issues. It's going to disrupt current production for months, which will ripple forward causing everything else to be delayed. The effects could be felt up to a year in the future pretty easily.
  8. LOL, yes, thank you, wary would be correct. Of course if you have 3 jedi in a system causing continual problems from some Imperial warlord, he may become weary.
  9. Even in the time of the Republic, when Jedi were involved in the government and got involved in various situations across the galaxy....few people understood the Jedi and their power. Fewer yet actually saw it in action. Jedi didn't swing lightsabers in public on a daily basis. They also didn't use force powers all willy nilly to get better deals on space apples at the space farmer's market. The vast majority of people probably saw the Jedi as just some sort of government advisors. Silly people wearing cloaks and hanging out in libraries and temples all day. Religious think tanks that had government influence. After the clone wars, these shadowy people all but vanished. 20 years have gone by since the last of their kind had been spotted. If you are 20 or under, you might likely have never heard of them. Even if you are say 35 or under, it's unlikely you know about them unless you directly witnessed them or were specifically told by your parents. The random crackpot or two that tell stories about Jedi probably come off like some guy telling you about the time he saw the loch ness monster or bigfoot. Even if you are say 50 years old, and were in your late 20s during the clone wars....your most striking impression of the Jedi would be religious government advisers that acted as generals in the war. You were told they turned against the government in a coup, but still, the idea of their powers and lightsabers isn't something that was really well known. A robed figure with a lightsaber post Ep6 would just be seen as some oddball with a quirky weapon. I doubt most people would even connect the dots between you and the Jedi. High ranking Imperial officials would be weary of any reports of you in their territory, and would like to gain control of you somehow. High ranking rebels would also likewise want to recruit you. Luke would be wanting to start his Jedi school, so he might be paying attention. High ranking powerful crime syndicate members might be aware of Jedi and again want to use you for their own purposes. All in all, I don't think you'd garner any more attention than a Mandalorian, a wookiee with armor and a giant vibroaxe, or any other over-the-top armored/armed member of an RPG group.
  10. I see 2 possible explanations. A band of pirates raided some lightly guarded Imperial facility expecting to haul away armor, weapons, resources, stuff to sell on the black market. This happened to be a research facility that had the child, and they took the child also. While this makes sense for a set up, it doesn't make sense for why they'd still have the kid or have taken the child in the first place. Who cares. It took us awhile for the child to show any ability, and in the heat of a smash and grab raid, why would you want to take some random alien child with you. 2nd option would be someone hired the gang/pirates/thugs to protect the child. Someone (ex-jedi on the run?) found the child, perhaps even broke into the facility to steal the child. They knew about the species due to their jedi past and decided they needed to keep the child out of Imperial hands. But as they are being hunted by Imps/First order/who knows what, they decide the safest thing to do is dump the child on some band of pirates they can pay to protect the child. I could see Mando and the child running across this person in a future season and having the guy explain that he had a vision of an armor clad warrior protecting the child in a way that they couldn't, so he left the child with the pirates. A bit more far fetched in the explanation, but it makes more sense that these pirates are paid to take care of the child than them wanting to steal a child themselves.
  11. This is why I love my group. We have an instinctual rule. Often times we notice that we have an instinctual reaction to a situation "My character does this." and then everyone gasps, then the player rethinks it and realizes that it's a brash reaction and the walks the action back. The GM gets to enforce the instinct if its appropriate for the character. Over time we've come to embrace those instincts. Having some nutball just throw caution to the wind and do that stupid impulsive thing leads to really, really interesting scenarios that are fun to play out.
  12. Include things beyond combat. Have encounters that require stealth. Do more RP encounters using social skills. Force users that can deflect shots, or use their abilities in other ways to mess with that character. Lots of enemies. Combat encounters that take place in areas where weapons are restricted. "Sorry sir, anything bigger than a sidearm is not allowed in here." Vehicles. Starship combat, ground vehicle combat. Mass combat encounters. I tend to find that I get munchkin players when I failed as a GM. If combat becomes the focus of the adventure, players will build towards that end. If I spread out the sorts of things that are useful, no one focuses so intently on combat. The other side of the coin though is that it's ok for a character to have a niche. This characters niche is combat. He's great at that. If all you do is have combat encounters, then the game is oddly balanced and he prospers. If however there are things for the other players to participate in, then it doesn't matter. If someone becomes amazing at being a 'face' character, and is the center of every diplomatic encounter, we don't worry about the combat character's feelings. Just balance the encounters so that every player has a chance to shine in every adventure.
  13. I'm scared to admit this as I see people on reddit begging for GMs for online games all the time, but my main group is all GMs and we play online. We've all GM'd various systems for years. So the group tends to come up with creative solutions. They are all ultra-aware of meta-thinking and really force themselves to RP their characters which tends to lead to ridiculous situations. They've used light freighters as guided missiles on more than one occasion. Launching them at Hutt palaces and Imperial bases. They've strapped a bunch of anti-vehicle mines to speeder bikes and used remote controls to drive them into AT-ATs. The funny part is they always complain about how broke they are...I keep pointing out how they've launched a fortune worth of vehicles as ballistic missiles just to save time/effort. A moment that made the whole party go "What?" On a jungle planet the party came across a hostile group of monkey like creatures that attacked from the trees. One of the players was attacked and due to a few surprising rolls of the dice, his arm was ripped clean from his body by one of the irate monkeys. I saw it as a sort of blessing as I figured a cybernetic arm with agility bonus would be appreciated by the gunslinger. The doctor refused to just stabilize him and insisted he was going to reattach the arm right there in the jungle. He pulled out all the stops, getting an assist from another character and flipping a destiny point, he rolled 3 triumphs. It was hard to argue with those kind of results...so he reattached the arm with full functionality in the middle of a jungle with only a standard med kit. He now refuses to treat minor wounds as that's beneath his skill. Everyone hates the arrogant doctor. Oh, and he's a Givin, that dresses in black robes. Nothing like the angel of death as your medic. One time they needed to free a prisoner from a heavily guarded Imperial facility (not a prison). They did a lot of recon, bought equipment, came up with crazy mission impossible solutions to infiltrating the building from multiple angles at the same time in order to distract guards, hack security systems, infiltrate the building from the roof, etc. Everything was timed out and perfect. The target was rescued, and they could have easily left the building the same way they came in, but for some reason they instead decided to forget all the carefully orchestrated plans and shoot their way out the front door while also stealing stuff from the armory. They then stole a speeder, led the imperials on a chase into the slums (populated by innocent aliens), ditched the speeder, stashed the weapons in an innocent business owners shop, and skipped town. They tend to just leave a trail of destruction everywhere they go. I had an adventure where they were supposed to figure out how to sneak aboard an Imperial freighter, take control, and escape with it without the Imperials finding out. I had thought through all the various scenarios of how they could do this including what would happen when they resorted overt violence instead of playing the stealth game. The previous adventure included a deadly plague, so the doctor created a non-lethal form of the plague that showed all the physical symptoms of the plague and acted as a vaccine to the actual plague, the exposed just themselves to this vaccine plague, then released the actual plague on the station including the crew that was resupplying the Imperial ship. They literally just needed to sneak on board a lightly guarded Imperial transport, subdue a few crew/guards, and drop the ship out of hyperspace early...but instead they became bio-terrorists as they wiped out an space station with thousands of people. Best part. The entire reason they were supposed to steal this particular ship. It had a bunch of political prisoners the Rebels wanted to free. They all died from the plague. They no longer get rescue missions.
  14. Players were trying to break into the Bespin central banking system by capturing a banking droid and hacking into it without (to steal transaction information, not cash) raising any alarms. Everything went according to plan. But when they finished the hack they realized they had this fully functional droid evidence/witness that would be a problem. Ideas were brainstormed. Memory wipe, kill and toss in a dumpster, etc, but every plan had flaws that could lead back to the party. My hope as the GM was to use one of those flaws to have law enforcement track them down. Then someone got a crazy idea. Toss the thing off the side of the city. No evidence, no witness, the droid just goes missing. The next day rumors start swirling around the underworld that a banking droid was found on a gas mining rig in a lower orbit than the city and law enforcement was investigating. The players split up that evening, and tossed several more banking droids over the side of the city, then made a statement taking responsibility as some anti-government, anarchist terrorist group they made up. They even recruited some patsies and started creating an actual organization, then they tipped off the cops as to where a meeting was being held in order to get the organization busted. It turned out to be quite an over the top cover up to their crime.
  15. It's not like Star Wars ever cared how long travel took. You may want to act like it has, but it simply hasn't. Hyperspace has always been a hand wavey time cut that isn't well defined. Sure, games and people have tried to explain it all in great detail, but those explanations often contradict what we see in even the OT. ****, hyperspace itself as seen in the OT is nuts. An entire fleet of ships with various hyperdrive ratings, various levels of upkeep, and various skills of pilots enter hyperspace with the same ending coordinates but somehow come out in the exact same formation with the exact same distance from one another and all at the same time. At those speeds and distances even the slightest miscalculation by a buggy computer, or a quirky droid should result in massive problems. Heck, even without such imperfections, the ships should be tripping over each other coming out of hyperspace. Heck, the very concept of hyperspace taking days or weeks to travel makes hyperdrives in snubfighters an insane idea to begin with. Imagine being confined to a cockpit for days or a week at a time. It would have similar effects as solitary confinement in prisons, and the physical effects it would have would leave you unable to effectively pilot the craft at the other end of the jump. Fact of the matter is that most of the 'big' complaints I come across about the new movies also apply to the OT. I'm not saying the new movies don't have problems. They do. They have some HUGE, glaring issues. But those are hardly ever the issues that I see being discussed.
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