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September 23, 2009

Important Facts About Healthcare Reform

Benefits of Healthcare Reform:

So what does reform mean for you? In short, it means stable, quality, affordable care that you can depend on when you need it.

Here are five ways that health care reform will help lower costs, improve quality and bring stability to your health care.

  1. You & Your Doctor Make Decisions
    Health Care Reform Means You and Doctor Will Make Health Care Decisions
     
  2. Stable Coverage If You Have a Pre-Existing Condition or Get Sick
    Health Care Reform Means Stable Coverage for You and Your Family if You Have a Pre-Existing Condition or Get Sick.
     
  3. Lowers Cost & Caps Out-of-Pocket Expenses
    Health Care Reform Lowers Costs, Caps Out-of-Pocket Expenses and Eliminates Limits on Annual or Lifetime Care.
     
  4. Focuses on Preventive Care
    Health Care Reform Focuses on Preventive Care to Fend Off Illnesses and Save Costs.
     
  5. Relief to Employers
    Health Care Reform Provides Relief to Employers.

For more information go to: http://www.factsaboutreform.org/index.html

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August 17, 2009

8 Reasons Why YOU Need Health Care Reform NOW — WITH A Public Option!

Folks, if you believe in healthcare reform and want to see it implemented NOW is the time to speak-up! 

Our elected officials MUST hear OUR voices. 

Now is not the time to be dignified, poised and full of grace; now is the time to fight back. The other side is fighting dirty.  Now is the time to speak up or forever hold your peace.

Contact your elected officials and let your voice be heard!

Don’t let them win; fight for your right to have a healthcare system WITH a public option.

Go to http://www.usa.gov/Contact/Elected.shtml and contact your Senators and Congresspersons. Let them know that you WANT healthcare reform with a public option.

Inaction will not work.  Be the difference you want to see in America!!!

8 ways reform provides security and stability to those with or without coverage:

1.  Ends Unfairness for Pre-Existing Conditions: Insurance companies will be prohibited from refusing you coverage because of your medical history.

2.  Ends Very expensive Out-of-Pocket Expenses, Deductibles or Co-Pays: Insurance companies will have to abide by yearly caps on how much they can charge for out-of-pocket expenses.

3.  Ends Cost-Sharing for Preventive Care: Insurance companies must fully cover, without charge, regular checkups and tests that help you prevent illness, such as mammograms or eye and foot exams for diabetics.

4.  Ends Dropping of Coverage for Seriously Ill: Insurance companies will be prohibited from dropping or watering down insurance coverage for those who become seriously ill.

5.  Ends Gender Discrimination: Insurance companies will be prohibited from charging you more because of your gender.

6.  Ends Annual or Lifetime Caps on Coverage: Insurance companies will be prevented from placing annual or lifetime caps on the coverage you receive.

7.  Extends Coverage for Young Adults: Children would continue to be eligible for family coverage through the age of 26.

8.  Guarantees Insurance Renewal: Insurance companies will be required to renew any policy as long as the policyholder pays their premium in full. Insurance companies won’t be allowed to refuse renewal because someone became sick. Learn more and get details:

 http://www.WhiteHouse.gov/health-insurance-consumer-protections/

8 common myths about health insurance reform:

1.  Reform will stop “rationing” – not increase it: It’s a myth that reform will mean a “government takeover” of health care or lead to “rationing.” To the contrary, reform will forbid many forms of rationing that are currently being used by insurance companies.

2.  We can’t afford reform: It’s the status quo we can’t afford. It’s a myth that reform will bust the budget. To the contrary, the President has identified ways to pay for the vast majority of the up-front costs by cutting waste, fraud, and abuse within existing government health programs; ending big subsidies to insurance companies; and increasing efficiency with such steps as coordinating care and streamlining paperwork. In the long term, reform can help bring down costs that will otherwise lead to a fiscal crisis.

3.  Reform would encourage “euthanasia”: It does not. It’s a malicious myth that reform would encourage or even require euthanasia for seniors. For seniors who want to consult with their family and physicians about end-of life decisions, reform will help to cover these voluntary, private consultations for those who want help with these personal and difficult family decisions.

4.  Vets’ health care is safe and sound: It’s a myth that health insurance reform will affect veterans’ access to the care they get now. To the contrary, the President’s budget significantly expands coverage under the VA, extending care to 500,000 more veterans who were previously excluded. The VA Healthcare system will continue to be available for all eligible veterans.

5.  Reform will benefit small business – not burden it: It’s a myth that health insurance reform will hurt small businesses. To the contrary, reform will ease the burdens on small businesses, provide tax credits to help them pay for employee coverage and help level the playing field with big firms who pay much less to cover their employees on average.

6.  Your Medicare is safe, and stronger with reform: It’s myth that Health Insurance Reform would be financed by cutting Medicare benefits. To the contrary, reform will improve the long-term financial health of Medicare, ensure better coordination, eliminate waste and unnecessary subsidies to insurance companies, and help to close the Medicare “doughnut” hole to make prescription drugs more affordable for seniors.

7.  You can keep your own insurance: It’s myth that reform will force you out of your current insurance plan or force you to change doctors. To the contrary, reform will expand your choices, not eliminate them.

8.  No, government will not do anything with your bank account: It is an absurd myth that government will be in charge of your bank accounts.  Health insurance reform will simplify administration, making it easier and more convenient for you to pay bills in a method that you choose.  Just like paying a phone bill or a utility bill, you can pay by traditional check, or by a direct electronic payment. And forms will be standardized so they will be easier to understand. The choice is up to you – and the same rules of privacy will apply as they do for all other electronic payments that people make.

Learn more and get details:

http://www.WhiteHouse.gov/realitycheck
http://www.WhiteHouse.gov/realitycheck/faq

8 Reasons We Need Health Insurance Reform Now:

1.  Coverage Denied to Millions: A recent national survey estimated that 12.6 million non-elderly adults – 36 percent of those who tried to purchase health insurance directly from an insurance company in the individual insurance market – were in fact discriminated against because of a pre-existing condition in the previous three years or dropped from coverage when they became seriously ill. Learn more:

http://www.healthreform.gov/reports/denied_coverage/index.html

2.  Less Care for More Costs: With each passing year, Americans are paying more for health care coverage. Employer-sponsored health insurance premiums have nearly doubled since 2000, a rate three times faster than wages. In 2008, the average premium for a family plan purchased through an employer was $12,680, nearly the annual earnings of a full-time minimum wage job.  Americans pay more than ever for health insurance, but get less coverage. Learn more:

http://www.healthreform.gov/reports/hiddencosts/index.html

3.  Roadblocks to Care for Women: Women’s reproductive health requires more regular contact with health care providers, including yearly pap smears, mammograms, and obstetric care. Women are also more likely to report fair or poor health than men (9.5% versus 9.0%). While rates of chronic conditions such as diabetes and high blood pressure are similar to men, women are twice as likely to suffer from headaches and are more likely to experience joint, back or neck pain. These chronic conditions often require regular and frequent treatment and follow-up care. Learn more:

http://www.healthreform.gov/reports/women/index.html

4.  Hard Times in the Heartland: Throughout rural America, there are nearly 50 million people who face challenges in accessing health care. The past several decades have consistently shown higher rates of poverty, mortality, uninsurance, and limited access to a primary health care provider in rural areas. With the recent economic downturn, there is potential for an increase in many of the health disparities and access concerns that are already elevated in rural communities. Learn more:

http://www.healthreform.gov/reports/hardtimes

5.  Small Businesses Struggle to Provide Health Coverage: Nearly one-third of the uninsured – 13 million people – are employees of firms with less than 100 workers. From 2000 to 2007, the proportion of non-elderly Americans covered by employer-based health insurance fell from 66% to 61%. Much of this decline stems from small business. The percentage of small businesses offering coverage dropped from 68% to 59%, while large firms held stable at 99%. About a third of such workers in firms with fewer than 50 employees obtain insurance through a spouse. Learn more:

http://www.healthreform.gov/reports/helpbottomline

6.  The Tragedies are Personal: Half of all personal bankruptcies are at least partly the result of medical expenses. The typical elderly couple may have to save nearly $300,000 to pay for health costs not covered by Medicare alone. Learn more:

http://www.healthreform.gov/reports/inaction

7.  Diminishing Access to Care: From 2000 to 2007, the proportion of non-elderly Americans covered by employer-based health insurance fell from 66% to 61%. An estimated 87 million people – one in every three Americans under the age of 65 – were uninsured at some point in 2007 and 2008. More than 80% of the uninsured are in working families. Learn more:

http://www.healthreform.gov/reports/inaction/diminishing/index.html

8.  The Trends are Troubling: Without reform, health care costs will continue to skyrocket unabated, putting unbearable strain on families, businesses, and state and federal government budgets. Perhaps the most visible sign of the need for health care reform is the 46 million Americans currently without health insurance – projections suggest that this number will rise to about 72 million in 2040 in the absence of reform. Learn more:

http://www.WhiteHouse.gov/assets/documents/CEA_Health_Care_Report.pdf

March 21, 2009

A Garden Grows At The White House

flotus-garden-2    First lady Michelle Obama broke ground on a new garden near the fountain on the South Lawn that will supply the White House kitchen with fresh herbs and vegetables for meals.

flotus-garden-3-students-bancroft She was joined by students from Bancroft Elementary School in the District of Columbia. The children will stay involved with the project including planting herbs, vegetables and fruits in the coming weeks and harvesting the crops later in the year.

flotus-garden-1  “We’re going to get a big one in our back yard, the South Lawn,” she promised the volunteers.

Such a White House garden has been a dream of noted California chef Alice Waters, considered a leader in the movement to encourage consumption of locally grown, organic food. She has been appealing for change through the taste buds since the 1960s.

She organized a series of fundraising dinners in Washington before President Barack Obama’s inauguration in January that served foods purchased from local producers at an area farmer’s market to show how it can be done.

Reached Thursday at her Berkeley, Calif., restaurant, Chez Panisse, Waters said she was thrilled by the news.

“It just tells you that this country cares about people’s good health and about the care of the land,” she said. To have this sort of ‘victory garden’, this message goes out that everyone can grow a garden and have free food.”

Victory gardens were vegetable gardens planted during the world wars with encouragement from the government to make sure there was enough food for civilians and the troops. Waters says her family had such a garden.

Waters has been lobbying for a vegetable garden at the White House since 1992. Recent White Houses have grown some herbs and have practiced limited container gardening on the mansion’s roof to supply it with tomatoes, peppers and other vegetables. The new garden will be the first on the White House grounds in many decades, Waters said.

She said Michelle Obama always has been receptive to the idea.

“She talks about food in connection with children, and it’s a beautiful thing,” Waters said.

Waters also has pushed the administration to adopt her Edible Schoolyard project in which children plant their own produce to eat in the school cafeteria. Most public schools are serving too much processed food that is contributing to the childhood obesity epidemic which can lead to chronic health issues, she argues.

Alice Waters on 60 Minutes:

 

 

Original post:

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20090319/ap_on_go_pr_wh/white_house_garden

 

daffodils

 Happy Spring!

February 2, 2009

Economic Stimulus Plan – President Obama Needs ‘YOUR’ Help Today

Later this week, the Senate will vote on President Obama’s economic stimulus plan which includes historic investments in green jobs, health care, and education to get our economy back on track.

But right now, the stimulus doesn’t have the votes to pass. Republicans and conservative Democrats are teaming up to strip out items that will help the average American — college loan assistance, health research, tax cuts for poor folks — in favor of more tax cuts for corporations. These republicans and conservative democrats promise to block the plan if they don’t get their way.  

President Obama’s plan isn’t perfect but it will:

  • Create millions of green jobs to double our clean energy production in three years which will in turn create more jobs
  • Create affordable health care for the unemployed which will take make you and I stop paying for very, very expensive emergency  room visits
  • Creates the biggest investment in education since World War II.  This will help prevent hundreds of thousands of teachers from being laid off and stop thousands of schools from closing.  If teachers are laid off and schools close where will your children go to get an education?  What will you do with them during the day?

“But what we can’t do is let very modest differences get in the way of the overall package moving forward swiftly,” he said, adding that he hopes a bill can be passed “in the next couple of weeks so we can put America back to work and start digging ourselves out of this deep hole that we’re in.” President Obama 2/2/ 09

This is OUR government and President Obama needs our help today or tomorrow at the latest. 

We need to make sure our Senators and Congresspersons know that we want this plan passed sooner not later.  We have to make them know that they are standing in the way of America becoming economically healthy and we need to let them know that we not going to take their foolishness – we will vote them out in 2010!!!

Please call your senators and ask them to support President Obama’s economic stimulus plan because it will save or create 3 million jobs. Make sure you know the name of your two Senators then call the Capitol Operator at (202) 224-3121and ask to be transferred to your Senators.

You can also select your state and both your Senators office number will pop up and you can call you Senator directly in his/her office by going to:

http://www.senate.gov/general/contact_information/senators_cfm.cfm

Desperate times call for desperate solutions.  Please call your Senator today. 

Please pass this on and thanks for all you do for our country!

October 25, 2008

Video Ad: Will America Be Better Off Four Years From Now? ‘YES’ , If We Unite and Rebuild TOGETHER!

 “At this defining moment in our history, the question is not, ‘Are you better off than you were four years ago?’ We all know the answer to that,” Obama narrates. “The real question is will our country be better off four years from now? How will we lift our economy and restore America’s place in the world?”

October 18, 2008

Meet Me In St. Louis: 100,000 At Obama Rally!

 

 “What a magnificent day the Lord has made,” Obama said. “And thank you for being here today.”

 “Whoo! I am on a high to see so many people of so many colors,” said Nicole Brown, a young black woman who lives St. Louis. “I mean, I’m anxious — is this real?”

Saturday was also surreal for both Senators Obama and McCain.  McCain was in North Carolina and Virginia defending red states while Obama was greeted by exceptionally huge crowds in Missouri which Republicans had considered safe just months ago.

According to the St. Louis Police Department about 100,000 people gathered to hear Obama speak at a rally earlier Saturday. If you live in Kansas City, Obama will be at the Liberty Memorial this afternoon.

 

Obama’s speech was focused on the economy.  Here is an excerpt:

My opponent’s been talking a lot about taxes in his campaign. But here’s the truth Missouri – we are both offering tax cuts. The difference is who we’re cutting taxes for. It comes down to values – in America, do we simply value wealth, or do we value the work that creates it? For eight years, we’ve seen what happens when we put the extremely wealthy and well-connected ahead of working people. Now, John McCain thinks that the way to rebuild this economy is to double down on George Bush’s policy of giving more and more tax breaks to those at the very top in the false hope that it will all trickle down. I think it’s time to rebuild the middle class in this country, and that is the choice in this election.

  Senator McCain wants to give the average Fortune 500 CEO a $700,000 tax cut but absolutely nothing at all to over 100 million Americans. I want to cut taxes – cut taxes – for 95 percent of all workers. And under my plan, if you make less than $250,000 a year – which includes 98 percent of small business owners – you won’t see your taxes increase one single dime. Not your payroll taxes, not your income taxes, not your capital gains taxes – nothing. It’ time to give the middle class a break, and that’s what I’ll do as President of the United States.

 Lately, Senator McCain has been attacking my middle class tax cut. He actually said it goes to, “those who don’t pay taxes,” even though it only goes to working people who are already getting taxed on their paycheck. That’s right, Missouri – John McCain is so out of touch with the struggles you are facing that he must be the first politician in history to call a tax cut for working people “welfare.”
 
 The only “welfare” in this campaign is John McCain’s plan to give another $200 billion in tax cuts to the wealthiest corporations in America – including $4 billion in tax breaks to big oil companies that ran up record profits under George Bush. That’s who John McCain is fighting for. But we can’t afford four more years like the last eight. George Bush and John McCain are out of ideas, they are out of touch, and if you stand with me in 17 days they will be out of time.

 

 We need new priorities in Washington. I think it’s time to give a tax cut to the teachers and janitors who work in our schools; to the cops and firefighters who keep us safe; to the waitresses working double shifts, the nurses in the ER, and the plumbers fighting for their American Dream. These workers are the backbone of our country. They are the ones that Washington has forgotten. They’re the ones I’ll fight for. And while Senator McCain ignores the payroll taxes you pay to score a few political points, I’ll put a tax cut into the pockets of working people so you can pay the bills, put away some savings, and pass on a brighter future to all our children.   

 

 

Get Out The Vote (GOTV): Don’t Be Seduced or Fooled By The Poll Numbers

 Election Day is ONLY 17 days away and even though the polls reflect that Senator Obama is leading, I’m telling you – don’t be seduced by the poll numbers. Don’t believe the hype.

 We (Democrats) can’t start celebrating in the 4th quarter; we have to end the game strong.  We’re at the one yard line, now is the time to keep up the pressure, follow the game plan and guarantee the touch-down.

 Senators Obama and Biden are depending on you personally – EVERY VOTE counts.  Every person matters.  Every state matters.

None of us should look at the numbers and think, ‘Obama is going to win anyway, so I don’t have to vote’.  If enough people think that way Obama will not win.

Add that thinking to the allegations of illegal purging of voters all across the country – which will adversely affect newly registered voters –  and it is even more obvious that every vote is needed to win this election.

 A recent report in The New York Times stated that, “Tens of thousands of eligible voters in at least 6 swing states have been removed from the voter rolls or have been blocked from registering in ways that appear to violate federal law according to a review of state records and social security data by the NYT.”

The NYT said that this was attributed to errors in handling the registrations; it also said that it will adversely affect Democrats since there are more newly registered Democratic voters.  This will also cause confusion and frustration on Election Day when all these newly registered voters who are excited to vote are challenged by election officials.

We only have to look at the stealing of the 2000 and 2004 elections to be reminded how seemingly ‘little things’ can change the results of an election. We only have to look at the current financial crisis in America and now globally to see that having the wrong person as president can and will affect us all and can result in loss of savings, loss of jobs, loss of opportunities and cause us to struggle with basic things such as putting food on the table.

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