Monday, August 24, 2009

Health Care Reform info

If you want to learn more about the health care reform debate, here are some great informational stories and articles to help you out!

The Daily Show With Jon StewartMon - Thurs 11p / 10c
Exclusive - Betsy McCaughey Extended Interview Pt. 1
Daily Show
Full Episodes
Political HumorHealthcare Protests

The Daily Show With Jon StewartMon - Thurs 11p / 10c
Exclusive - Betsy McCaughey Extended Interview Pt. 2
Daily Show
Full Episodes
Political HumorHealthcare Protests

Write your Rep!

Another sample letter for writing to your representative to show your support for health care reform!

Find your Representative

Dear ______ ,

All of us benefit from healthy communities and healthy families, in which every person has access to high-quality, affordable, and confidential health care from a provider of choice. Ensuring such access is a critical step in eliminating the poor health and gross health care disparities experienced by so many in this country.

I live in your district and I want you to support a health care reform proposal that guarantees reduced health care costs, choice of doctor and plan, and ensures quality care for every American! Quality health care is a human right and we have a moral obligation for care for ALL of our citizens! Please support health care reform!



Friday, August 7, 2009

It's been a long time coming

So, I've not blogged in a long time in part because I've been busy and in part because I've been pleased to have a president who has been making real changes and moving our country in a direction I can be proud of.

Snaps for the following:
- Closing Guantanamo
- Nominating Sotomayor, yeah diversity and high quality judicial leadership!
- Cash for clunkers, OK controversial maybe, but sometimes it takes a giant leap and little money to encourage people to live a little greener.
- Stimulus package, imperfect, true, but who had a drop in first-time applications for unemployment benefits this month? The US baby!

Anyway, you get my point. I've been pleased with many of Obama's choices and forward movement. Now, I'm feeling a little worried though. I am a huge proponent of revamping our entire healthcare system. I think as it is we are running up huge debts without actually providing the quality care each citizen of our planet deserves. Like food, shelter and education, I think healthcare should go to everyone equally. To do this I think we need to take profit out of the picture, but that's a post for another day. Now what we have to do is examine the options before us and determine if it's a move in the right direction. I think it is, but before I get on that soap box, I'm going to flush out some of the misinformation out there with the help of

The following are statements that have been made about the healthcare plan that have been debunked and found to be downright false:
- Statement from the Liberty Counsel "Page 992 of the health care bill will "establish school-based 'health' clinics. Your children will be indoctrinated and your grandchildren may be aborted!"" The word from FALSE, there's nothing like that in the bill!
- Statements from various bloggers "Health care reform legislation is “likely to mandate free ‘sex change’ surgeries.”" The word from FALSE, this is not mandated in the bill!
- Statement from the Club for Growth "The health care reform plan would set limits similar to the "socialized" system in Britain, where people are allowed to die if their treatment would cost more than $22,000." The word from FALSE, there is no proposal to put a price on life.
- Statement from a chain email "All non-US citizens, illegal or not, will be provided with free health care services." The word from FALSE, there will not be free healthcare for everyone in the US.
- Statement from a chain email "In the health care bill, "The 'Health Choices Commissioner' will decide health benefits for you. You will have no choice. None."" The word from FALSE, the bill says you can pick your plan.
- Statement from Betsy McCaughey "The health care reform bill "would make it mandatory — absolutely require — that every five years people in Medicare have a required counseling session that will tell them how to end their life sooner."" The word from FALSE, there is no truth to this statement at all.

The list could go on and this is just the tip of the iceberg. It seems for all of these gross exaggerations of the evils of this healthcare reform bill there are also some exaggerations on the benefits too. For more information about both sides of the debate check out and They are great resources.

Nothing is perfect, but we've got to start somewhere, so why not adopt some changes that will help as many Americans as possible. I can't stand to hear another story like this one, or this, or this, where someone needlessly lost their life, their savings, or will be forever changed because they didn't have healthcare coverage at one point! I think the dire-straights that we're in currently call for dramatic changes in our system that include:
- Reducing the cost of medical school
- Encouraging practitioners to pursue primary care tracks
- Pay doctors salaries not by the test, but implement checks and balances to ensure the highest quality of care
- Streamline record keeping with electronic records to cut down costs
- Focus more on prevention than emergency medicine, this means providing healthy meals in school, requiring outdoor time and physical activity for kids in school, rewarding people for healthy lifestyles, and promoting eating habits that include local and organic products that are affordable for all Americans.
- Offering health coverage and care for all Americans regardless of their income level. This is an ethical and moral issue!
- Give people an alternative to the insurance companies, so there is competition and they are forced to be more ethical in their business practices.

I'm concerned that the people who support changes in the healthcare system are keeping their voices down and hoping for the best, leaving us with this and this. If you want to make a change in our country that protects American's from the suffering caused by our current system, be sure to write your Representative and let them know you want them to vote for Healthcare Reform! It only takes a minute. If you're not sure what to write the Teamsters have the following letter as a guide on their website:

"As your constituent, I urge you to take a stand for health care reform and vote 'YES' on H.R. 3200, America's Affordable Health Choices Act, which would provide the changes that our nation's health care system so desperately needs, such as quality health care that is affordable and accessible to all. America's Affordable Health Choices Act would mean an average savings of $2,800 per year for the average person. This bill is our chance for health care coverage that is affordable while also providing good benefits. The time is now for health care reform - it can no longer wait! Please vote 'YES' on H.R. 3200, America's Affordable Health Choices Act."

And if you're interested in more stories about this healthcare debate check out:

Sunday, March 29, 2009

It's not what your country can do for you

This story on NPR got me thinking about times in our country's past when we made sacrifices for our united well being. It made me start thinking, what can we do today to improve our country's financial state. I'm not talking on a policy level, but I'm thinking day-to-day life changes and sacrifices. There are several areas where I'm recommitting myself to my country and to bettering my communities economic situation:

1) Act Green - The environmental situation we find ourselves in is really a global crisis equal to the economic crisis and intricately connected I believe. So where can we start to make headway, everybody's heard it before: Turn off your lights; buy energy efficient bulbs; use less water; recycle; reuse old objects in a new way; give hand-me-downs and hand ups to people who need what you have but aren't using . . . the list can go on. If we care for what we have here in natural resources, we'll better our environment and our country as a whole.

2) Volunteer - Everyone is busy and scheduled to the max these days, but there's no one who can't give three hours to benefit another person once a month. When we volunteer we not only improve another person's life, we provide the potential that they will then feel more uplifted and be able to pay it forward to someone else. We also improve our collective attitude by contributing to a sense of optimism and hope for a better future. I think a positive attitude goes a very long way in increasing people's energy and our ability to pull out of a desperate situation. In Nashville TN 'Hands on Nashville' is a great place to start when looking for a volunteer opportunity.

3) Buy local - There are many things that we can put our money towards, but I think small local businesses that use very few resources and support local economies is always a noble cause. At a time when big banks and big businesses are being bailed out by our federal government, let's bail out that local farm by purchasing their strawberries this summer, let's go to our small local grocery store, let's buy handmade gifts from a local artist, let's eat at local restaurants, and let's shop at our local bookstores.

That's the start of my stimulus package, what are you planning on doing for your country in it's time of need?

Saturday, February 28, 2009

party lines

I was a member of the young Dems in college, but is recent years I've been trying to keep party loyalty out of my politics, so I can truly understand what I believe and why. This has certainly not made me more conservative, but it's made me more articulate and well versed in issues I feel passionately about. I have to say though, I'm having a hard time containing my disappointment in the republican leadership's response to the economic situation and their insistence on towing a party line. Particularly when Obama has made such an important reach across the aisle to use brain power from all parties to solve this crisis. I want to play nice, but the conservative positions on social issues and their inability to recognize the needs of their constituents has curdled my blood and I'm having a hard time maintaining my compassion and openness to their positions. However, I will keep trying . . . as I am want to do.

Getting excited about March!

The Vegilantes are gearing up for their first meeting in the end of March/beginning April. Our first step will be smaller than this project, seed bombs, but this video is truly inspirational! Get ready to grow Nashvegas!

Is our congress just monkeying around?