11/30/18 -
Reading time: 4 min
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South Koreans are locking themselves up in fake prisons to escape from real life. "Prison Inside Me" has held over 2,000 "inmates" who pay $90 to spend 24 hours in a mock prison. The idea is to take a break from the stress of daily life. No work, no mobile phones, no clocks, no fancy food. Need a break? Go to jail.
Just remember, a wise manager once said
#1: Obamacare Enrollment Drops 💊
Not as hot as last year

The open enrollment period for the Affordable Care Act plans (aka Obamacare) ends on December 15th. The open enrollment period is the window within which Americans can buy into health insurance plans for 2019. Halfway through the enrollment period, signups are down 11% compared to last year.

The options are more attractive

The decline is surprising since plan premiums have declined this year (the first time ever), subsidies for low-income Americans have risen, and markets that previously had few ACA plans available now have more options.


The left blames Trump for the decline and argues that he has actively undermined Obamacare by scaling back outreach and education. Only 1 in 4 who buy their own health insurance or are uninsured are aware that the enrollment period ends on 12/15. In addition, Trump has shorted the open enrollment period.


The right sees the decline in enrollments as a result of a strong economy - which they attribute to Trump’s policies. Articles argue that, with lower unemployment, many workers who previously purchased ACA health plans are likely now covered by employer plans.


So what's causing the decline?

A number of factors. Yes, American's are likely jumping onto employer plans as the unemployment rate drops (as the right states). And yes, the current administration isn't exactly supporting/rooting for more sign ups (as the left states). In addition, Congress repealed the individual mandate, which required Americans to get insurance or get fined. All of these combined provide an explanation for the 11% drop.

In Canada...
Common Ground #17 🤝
Quick reminder
Our goal with Common Ground is to highlight the common values that left and right-leaning media outlets share. We're doing this because we want to remind our readers that not every topic is partisan and polarizing.
How do we do this?
We take articles from the left and the right that seem to be telling a news story in the same way - and extract common values from them. We hope these common values spark a conversation of agreement with your neighbor on the other side of the aisle. 😊

Summary: Three U.S. soldiers were killed by a roadside bomb in Afghanistan on Tuesday. This brings the death toll up to double digits for the year.  Both sides took the opportunity to look at the war again this week and expressed their dismay.

Evidence of common ground:

  • Washington Examiner says “casualties mount” and the NY Times says the “fight drags on”

  • Washington Examiner says Trump “reluctantly signed on to” the current strategy

  • NY Times says Trump is continuing with the current military strategy “only because ‘experts’” told him it was necessary

Common ground: The situation in Afghanistan is getting worse, not winding down, and this deserves our attention


Summary: Tuesday was officially 'Giving Tuesday', an idea started by a YMCA in New York City in response to the heavy consumerism push of both Black Friday and Cyber Monday. The left focused on its history, while the right featured an op-ed by a popular young Christian social media figure.

Evidence of common ground:

  • NY Times includes quote that implies this is the antidote to Cyber Monday and Black Friday

  • Robertson (for Fox News) suggests this is a good pivot from the unhealthy temptation to compare your holiday gifts to other people’s gifts on social media

Common ground: During this (and future) holiday seasons, let’s help those in need rather than spiral into endless consumerism

One day your thankful, the next you're trampling people
Extra extra...✨📰✨

Good boy. Researchers find that dogs really aren't all that smart in comparison to other domesticated animals (CNN)

Iron Man 0.1? Pentagon invests millions into Lockheed Martin exoskeleton technology that will make 'super-soldiers' (Reuters)

Predicting insects. Scientists have developed a satellite-based warning system for African farmers of incoming pest infestations (BBC)

Now hiring. Honeywell is expected to relocate its HQ to Charlotte, NC - creating 700+ jobs in the process (Seattle Times)

To the moon. Nine companies will compete for $2.6 billion worth of contracts to help NASA get back to the moon (CNBC)

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