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Posts Tagged ‘fairfax’

You know,you know you are
Be still and know you are
Your life is meant for joy
It’s all so deep within, oh


Your life is beautiful
A seed becomes a tree
A mountain into a sky
This life is meant to be, oh

“Be Still” – The Beach Boys

I don’t know about you, but when things aren’t going my way I try everything in my arsenal of self help; mantras, books, meditations, and affirmations. Usually they work, when they don’t I want to slam my forehead into my well used copy of the “The Secret.” It doesn’t occur to me that patience with myself is one of the most efficient paths to stress reduction that I know.

I am one of those people that believes that coming up with solutions is better than complaining and whining any time. My problem is that I don’t suffer well. I expect solutions to come instantaneously and the problem with that is I am really not listening.

God has a great way of answering questions, it is pretty simplistic. Yes, no, and wait. The last part is the toughest because it requires faith. Thinking positively is pretty useless without faith. My dog Angel has plenty of faith, she knows that when you say “treat” we’re going to give her a little snack. She doesn’t worry about what kind of snack or if it is a big enough snack. Me on the other hand, worries how many snacks, will I get enough snacks, and if they are organic. All that worrying has gotten me nowhere. My stepdaughter also has non-complicated tools for dealing with this type of stress, it is called play. Kids can find joy in staring at a bug, coloring a picture, or singing to themselves. In these moments Cassandra is the perfect picture of self-awareness and joy.

So for today, I think I will go have a snack and sing to myself ( I don’t care if the snack is organic).

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Hi little girl, it’s me – don’t you know who I am?health
I met you last summer when I came up to stay with my Gram
I’m the guy-uy-uy who left you with tears in his eyes
You didn’t answer my letters, so I figured it was just a li-i-i-i-ie

“Girl Don’t Tell Me” – The Beach Boys


The health care debate has so many moving parts that it’s hard for anybody to keep them straight. So we decided to put together an overview of where we’re at—both good and bad—and what we’re all going to need to keep fighting for.

Neither of these bills is close to perfect. But we’re entering the home stretch where we risk losing a lot of what’s good in these bills and where we have a huge opportunity to strengthen the parts that need work.

Here’s where we are:

The House of Representatives passed their bill last month. The Senate is aiming to pass its version before Christmas.

Overall, both pieces of legislation would do four major things:

* Create a “Health Insurance Exchange.” The bills create a one-stop marketplace where people can choose from various insurance plans, including the public option. The details aren’t set yet, but initially the Exchange would likely be open to the self-employed, people without insurance at work, and small businesses.1 The key with the Exchange is that it brings “the bargaining power and scale that’s generally accessible only to large employers” to individuals—and with that, lower costs and better options.2

* Provide insurance to over 30 million more people. The House bill would expand coverage to 36 million people by 2019. The Senate bill extends coverage to 31 million.3

* Outlaw discrimination based on pre-existing conditions and gender. Insurance companies will have to stop denying coverage to people with “pre-existing conditions.” And they won’t be allowed to charge women more than men for the same coverage.4

* Eliminate coverage limits and price-gouging. The bills differ on some details, but in general would place limits on how much people have to pay for health care beyond their premiums. They both cap out-of-pocket costs and ban insurance companies from setting limits on how much health care they’ll cover for a person each year.5

batgirl

Of course, the devil is in the details, and much in these bills still needs work.

Here’s what still needs to be fixed:

* Both bills leave millions uninsured. The House bill leaves 18 million without insurance in 2019; the Senate bill, 24 million. Neither comes close to the vision for universal coverage so many of us fought for for years. We’ll all need to fight to continue to expand coverage in the bills this year, and in the years to come.6

* The Senate public option is weak, and conservatives are pushing to make it weaker. The public option is a core piece of reform that will create real accountability and competition for private insurance—and that’s why it’s at the center of such a huge fight. While the House bill creates a national public option, the Senate lets states opt out, denying their residents access to it. Plus, conservatives are working to weaken it even more. We’re all going to have to fight hard for the strongest version possible.7

* Many reforms don’t start quickly enough. While some pieces of reform go into effect right away, the larger structural changes are not scheduled to go into effect until 2013 (House bill) or 2014 (Senate bill). This includes the Exchange, the public option, and subsidies—the major ways coverage will be expanded.8

* Required insurance could still be too expensive for many. Both bills require virtually all Americans to have insurance. But the caps on how much we’re expected to pay are way too high, and the subsidies are way too low. Many progressives are working to fix this, but it’s going to be a significant fight.9

* Reproductive rights are severely restricted in the House bill. An egregious anti-choice amendment in the bill virtually prohibits anyone purchasing insurance in the Exchange from buying a plan that covers abortion—even if paid for with their own money. We need to make sure the final bill doesn’t include this rollback of reproductive rights.10

* The Senate bill could discriminate against lower income workers. The current Senate legislation retains a version of what’s called the “free rider” provision, which essentially penalizes employers for hiring lower income workers. This provision needs to be fixed before the bill is finalized.11

There’s a lot going on in these bills, and we’re all going to need to be vigilant to ensure the good pieces end up in the final bill, and the bad ones are fixed. It’s going to be a rocky ride. But if we fight together, we’ll come out stronger in the end.

Sources:

1. “A Health Insurance Exchange: The Fine Print,” The New York Times, August 20, 2009

http://www.moveon.org/r?r=85241&id=18172-11381997-6Gfo9tx&t=3

“Health Reform at a Glance: The Health Insurance Exchange,” House Committees on Ways and Means, Energy and Commerce, and Education and Labor, July 14, 2009

http://www.moveon.org/r?r=85665&id=18172-11381997-6Gfo9tx&t=4

2. “Health Insurance Exchanges: The Most Important, Undernoticed Part of Health Reform,” The Washington Post, June 16, 2009

http://www.moveon.org/r?r=85664&id=18172-11381997-6Gfo9tx&t=5

3. “H.R. 3962, Affordable Health Care for America Act,” Congressional Budget Office, November 20, 2009

http://cbo.gov/doc.cfm?index=10741

“Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act,” Congressional Budget Office, November 18, 2009

http://cbo.gov/doc.cfm?index=10731

4. “Top 10 Ways Health Insurance Reform Works for You,” The Speaker of the House, October 29, 2009

http://www.moveon.org/r?r=85669&id=18172-11381997-6Gfo9tx&t=6

“How Health Insurance Reform Will Help Your Family,” Senate Democratic Policy Committee

http://dpc.senate.gov/dpcdoc-responsiblereform.cfm

“Meeting Women’s Health Care Needs,” The Speaker of the House

http://www.speaker.gov/newsroom/legislation?id=0327

“Reports on Health Insurance Reform—Women,” Senate Democratic Policy Committee

http://dpc.senate.gov/dpcdoc-responsiblereform.cfm

5. “Top 10 Ways Health Insurance Reform Works for You,” The Speaker of the House, October 29, 2009

http://www.moveon.org/r?r=85669&id=18172-11381997-6Gfo9tx&t=7

“How Health Insurance Reform Will Help Your Family,” Senate Democratic Policy Committee

http://dpc.senate.gov/dpcdoc-responsiblereform.cfm

6. “H.R. 3962, Affordable Health Care for America Act,” Congressional Budget Office, November 20, 2009

http://cbo.gov/doc.cfm?index=10741

“Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act,” Congressional Budget Office, November 18, 2009

http://cbo.gov/doc.cfm?index=10731

“REPORT: How the Senate Bill Compares to Other Reform Legislation,” Think Progress, November 19, 2009

http://www.moveon.org/r?r=85670&id=18172-11381997-6Gfo9tx&t=8

7. “Sen. Reid Announces ‘Opt Out’ Public Plan,” The New York Times, October 26, 2009

http://www.moveon.org/r?r=85673&id=18172-11381997-6Gfo9tx&t=9

“Carper: Conservative Democrats Not Likely To Support Senate Public Option,” Talking Points Memo, November 17, 2009

http://www.moveon.org/r?r=85675&id=18172-11381997-6Gfo9tx&t=10

8. “Top 14 Provisions That Take Effect Immediately,” The Speaker of the House

http://www.moveon.org/r?r=85676&id=18172-11381997-6Gfo9tx&t=11

“What happens before 2014?” The Washington Post, November 19, 2009

http://www.moveon.org/r?r=85677&id=18172-11381997-6Gfo9tx&t=12

“Senate, House Democratic health bills compared,” The Associated Press, November 18, 2009

http://www.moveon.org/r?r=85667&id=18172-11381997-6Gfo9tx&t=13

9. “The Details of The New Merged Senate Bill,” Think Progress, November 18, 2009

http://www.moveon.org/r?r=85668&id=18172-11381997-6Gfo9tx&t=14

“REPORT: How the Senate Bill Compares to Other Reform Legislation,” Think Progress, November 19, 2009

http://www.moveon.org/r?r=85670&id=18172-11381997-6Gfo9tx&t=15

“Analysis: How the Senate health care bill stacks up with the House health care bill,” Think Progress, November 19, 2009

http://thinkprogress.org/2009/11/19/senate-house-comparison/

10. “The Ban on Abortion Coverage,” The New York Times, November 9, 2009

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/11/10/opinion/10tue1.html

11. “The noxious ‘free rider’ provision,” The Washington Post, November 25, 2009

http://www.moveon.org/r?r=85671&id=18172-11381997-6Gfo9tx&t=16

“Senate Health Bill Improves Employer Responsibility Provision,” Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, November 19, 2009

http://www.cbpp.org/cms/index.cfm?fa=view&id=3003

“The Baucus Bill: The Worst Policy in the Bill, and Possibly in the World,” The Washington Post, September 16, 2009

http://www.moveon.org/r?r=85672&id=18172-11381997-6Gfo9tx&t=17

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217pxMartianManhunterRossAlex

OK, this is amazing: More people believe in UFOs than oppose the public health insurance option.1

Seriously, it’s easier to find someone who thinks aliens are landing spaceships in our cornfields than someone who thinks we shouldn’t create a public option to keep the insurance companies honest.

The insurance companies are basically the only ones who don’t like the public option—which is probably why their industry is spending nearly $5 million per week trying to fight off health care reform in Congress.2

We need to remind our senators that everyday Americans—not space aliens, and not profit-driven insurance executives—support the public health insurance option. Click here to send a free fax about the public option to Senators Arlen Specter and Robert Casey:

http://pol.moveon.org/fax?tg=FSPA_1.FSPA_2&cp_id=1125&id=17382-11381997-rQnuHmx&t=3

Outside of the Senate, insurance company boardrooms, and Area 51, the support for the public option is overwhelming.

At least two thirds of Americans want the choice of a public plan.3 Fully 73% of doctors, the people who see the moral and medical need up close every day, want a public option.4 And a majority of small-business owners, who know firsthand the economic case for health care reform, back it.517

Yet the health insurance companies—and some subset of the people who believe they’ve seen flying saucers—oppose it. And somehow, ridiculously, that’s put the public option in danger in the Senate.

Can you send this free fax to your senators, Arlen Specter and Robert Casey, to make sure they know just how popular the public option is?

http://pol.moveon.org/fax?tg=FSPA_1.FSPA_2&cp_id=1125&id=17382-11381997-rQnuHmx&t=4

P.S. Remember last week’s email “from” the public option? Well, it turns out the public option now has its own Twitter feed—@im_publicoption—for important updates and miscellaneous observations on the state of the health care fight. Check it out here:

http://www.moveon.org/r?r=84785&rc=tw&id=17382-11381997-rQnuHmx&t=5

Sources:

1. “More Americans Believe In UFOs Than Oppose A Public Option,” Media Matters, September 29, 2009

http://mediamattersaction.org/blog/200909290001

2. “Insurance and HMO Industries Spend Nearly $700,000 Per Day to Kill Health Care Reform Measures,” Public Campaign Action Fund, September 15, 2009.

http://www.moveon.org/r?r=84720&id=17382-11381997-rQnuHmx&t=6

3. “In Poll, Public Wary of Obama on War and Health,” The New York Times, September 24, 2009

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/09/25/us/politics/25poll.html

4. “Poll Finds Most Doctors Support Public Option,” National Public Radio, September 14, 2009

http://www.moveon.org/r?r=84786&id=17382-11381997-rQnuHmx&t=7

5.”Small Business Owners Say Cutting Health Care Costs, Need for Reform are Top Concerns,” Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, December 3, 2008

http://www.rwjf.org/pr/product.jsp?id=36550

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oracle_1

Last week Move.On asked members to share photos showing how they and their loved ones are suffering under our broken health care system.

The responses simply blew them away. They showed the photos to recording artists R.E.M., and together they produced this incredibly powerful video.

Watch the video and share it with your friends today.

With the news that some in the White House are considering a “trigger”1—a delay tactic designed to kill the public option—it’s more important than ever to get the word out that we simply can’t afford to wait for real reform.

Click here to watch the video and send it to your friends today: http://pol.moveon.org/healthcare_cantwait/?id=17196-11381997-5xE1rKx&t=3

2rbtqgpmvh

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“The sunday mornin’ gospel goes good with the soul80watts_11_09-FRONTinvite
There’s blues, folk, and country, and rock like a rollin’ stone
The world could come together as one
If everybody under the sun
Add some music to your day”

“Add Some Music to Your Day” -The Beach Boys

Urban Compass has always been a cause that truly impresses me. Giving inner city children the opprotunity to see the activities of a world outside of gang life is a noble one…..

There are children in our city who are lost to gangs as early as age six – not out of choice, but for survival. They are caught in a cruel and relentless cycle of poverty, pain and violence. Urban Compass is dedicated to ending this cycle now and replacing it with an environment of hope and a future of possibilities. By guiding our city’s youth along a path paved with education, mentoring, and play, Urban Compass will allow children not simply to survive, but to thrive.

On Thursday, October 15th Urban Compass will giving a benefit to raise much needed funds for this important and needed organization.

ONE NIGHT ONLY

a_flock_of_seagulls_7_t520Step back into the 80’s and join friends of Urban Compass for a night of music, 80’s video games, and good food and drink. All proceeds benefiting the programs of Urban Compass

Urban Compass is a nonprofit organization in Watts whose main goal is to keep children in school and out of gangs.  Urban Compass provides a safe, welcoming, and innovative environment that challenges youth to envision and navigate a course for a rewarding future characterized by achievement, independent thought, and social responsibility through education, mentoring, and play.

When: Thursday, October 15, 2009pacman2_narrowweb__300x421,0

6:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m.

Where: AT&T Center

1150 South Olive Street, 32nd Fl

Los Angeles, CA 90015

Tickets:  tickets start at $80

To purchase tickets please contact Theresa Gartland at 323.383.7588 or

tgartland@urbancompass.org

If you can’t attend you can still donate any amount by clicking here

The following list illustrates a few specific ways you can assist Urban Compass with our After-School Program Costs:

  • $100 covers the cost of pencils for the school year
  • $60 covers the monthly cost of fruit
  • $100 covers the monthly cost of arts and crafts
  • $20 covers the monthly cost of disinfecting wipes
  • $20 covers gas money for one field trip
  • $300 covers the cost of St. Michael’s uniforms for the year

UC_typical_13


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“I had to fix a lot of things this morningHealth Care Reform-interests killing it 07-27-09
‘Cause they were so scrambled
But now it’s okay
I tell you I’ve got enough to do”

“Busy Doing Nothing” – The Beach Boys”

It feels like a new lie about health insurance reform crops up each day. Government taking over all health care? Not true. Euthanasia for seniors? Couldn’t be more false. Rationing of care? Reform will stop rationing, not increase it.

These lies create fear and anger, and we’re seeing the results around the country. Frightened crowds have flooded town halls, and the office of a Georgia representative was defaced with a swastika.

It’s time to set the record straight — and, more importantly, expose the special interests and partisan attack organizations behind the lies and misinformation.

That’s why we created our new “Setting the Record Straight” site. Check out the site today and then spread the word to your friends.

Visit Setting the Record Straight

As the site makes clear, these lies are no accident. They’re part of a deliberate plot by the special interests who profit from the status quo to kill any reform at all. While Americans watch their paychecks dwindle, their coverage disappear, and their businesses struggle, special interests are trying to scare folks into opposing reform.Leslie_Thompkins

Our “Setting the Record Straight” site has all the info you need to fight back, as well as easy ways to get involved in the fight for health insurance reform. We’ll be updating it often with new information debunking health care lies, so stop by regularly.

As we learned during the campaign, lies like these can spread like wildfire through viral emails and from friend to friend. The best way to stop them is to arm yourself with the facts — and make sure your friends and family know the truth.

Check out the site, and share it with everyone you know:

http://my.barackobama.com/record

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1287777170_ceef0d8d58_oAmericans spend more on health care than people do elsewhere, but somehow we spend more for less.

Most of us have no clue about the actual cost of our medical care until the bills arrive, because hospitals and doctors don’t publish their charges. The cost of insurance goes up and up, with fewer services covered. Millions of Americans needlessly suffer or die from preventable medical errors and infections.

It doesn’t have to be this way. Costs can come down and quality can improve if we stop letting the insurance companies run the show, make billing clear and simple, and focus on prevention and managing chronic illness better.

You can make a difference by taking our pledge and joining our effort to make health care a top priority for our nation’s leaders.

THE PLEDGE:
I want to join with other Americans to support action, answers and accountability. It is time to:

* * Give my family security that we will have quality care when we need it at a cost we can afford;
* * Make hospitals and doctors more transparent about the cost and quality of care they offer;225px-Unclesam_comics
* * Eliminate unnecessary bureaucracy between patients and the care they need;
* * End long waits for care;
* * Examine all solutions that will ensure all Americans access to quality, affordable care, with input from real people like me.

Sign the pledge here

http://www.thepetitionsite.com/takeaction/411857645?z00m=15215845

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