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Health Care & Environment

11.18 How Extreme Weather Is Shrinking the Planet

11.18 Air pollution levels ‘forcing families to move out of cities’ [like from desertification, lack of drinkable water and rising oceans, there will also be pollution-caused immigration until humans fix things]

11.17 Policies of China, Russia and Canada threaten 5C climate change, study finds [Climate catastrophe is increasingly likely without worldwide organization, funding and commitment to winning THE WAR AGAINST GLOBAL WARMING.]

11.16 Scotland was first Industrialized Country to Run wholly on Wind in October

11.16 How pesticide bans can prevent tens of thousands of suicides a year [how many thousands more die early from eating pesticide-laced food?]

11.15 The Earth is in a death spiral. It will take radical action to save us [fossil fuel burning, un-recyclable plastic production/use and methane gas release must cease ASAP.]

11.15  The long read:  The plastic backlash: what's behind our sudden rage – and will it make a difference? [the world wants to throw-up...]

11.15 Claws out: crab fishermen sue 30 oil firms over climate change [workers are waking-up...]

11.15 Trump administration to cut air pollution from heavy-duty trucks

11.14 Backed by Ocasio-Cortez, Youth Climate Activists Arrested in Pelosi's Office Demanding Democrats Embrace 'Green New Deal'

11.13 What would a smog-free city look like?

11.13 Global report highlights Australia’s renewables potential amid mixed signals for coal

11.13 Interior department whistleblower: Ryan Zinke hollowed out the agency

11.12  This Land is Your Land:  The Zinke effect: how the US interior department became a tool of industry [behaving ignorantly again...]

11.12 Planned Parenthood's new president warns of 'state of emergency' for women's health

News Media Matters

11.19 The Biggest Threat to Free Speech No One Is Talking About

Daily: FAIR Blog
The Daily Howler

US Politics, Policy & 'Culture'

11.19 Last Week Tonight with John Oliver 11/18/2018 (HBO) [29:26 video]

11.19 Michael Bloomberg: Why I’m Giving $1.8 Billion for College Financial Aid

11.19 Trump’s Diminishing Power and Rising Rage

11.19 Trump Says He Was 'Fully Briefed' and Also 'Not Briefed Yet' But Either Way Saudi Crown Prince 'Absolutely' Not Involved Because Trump Knows 'Everything That Went On' Without Listening to Tape of Khashoggi Murder

11.19 'We Need New Leaders, Period': Progressive Newcomers Urge Democrats to Embrace Bold Agenda or Face Primary Challenges [Current Democrat leaders are highly compromised by corporate donations]

11.19 SNL explains Jeff Bezos and Amazon’s HQ2 strategy: trolling President Trump [2:55 SNL video]

11.18 Trump says Pelosi deserves speakership, offers Republican votes [An affirmation of Pelosi's unsuitability]

11.18 Khanna to Pelosi: Don't Just Create Green New Deal Select Committee, Make Ocasio-Cortez Its Chair [Will Pelosi earnestly change, or end her career in disgrace?]

11.18 Chuck Schumer, Feckless Hack [Neoliberal Democrats must go!]

11.18 What the State of the VA Tells Us About Trump’s War on Welfare [Privatizing often results in outright fraud and higher costs by private prisons, privatized health insurance and health care, privatized public schools and online "colleges" like Trump University]

11.17 What the State of the VA Tells Us About Trump’s War on Welfare

11.17 As Energy for Medicare for All Explodes, Steny Hoyer's Plan Includes Waiting for Trump to Help Make Obamacare Better [Another who is unfit to be Democrat leader]

11.17 'A Staggeringly Bad Idea': Outrage as Pelosi Pushes Tax Rule That Would 'Kneecap the Progressive Agenda' [Unfit to be Democrat leader]

11.17 Trump Is Starting to Panic

Justice Matters
High Crimes?

11.14 The Guardian view on Yemen’s misery: the west is complicit [WAR CRIMES]

Economics, Crony Capitalism

11.19 Bankrupt Sears wants to give executives $19 million in bonuses [blatantly immoral and sick to richly reward those who led the company into the bankruptcy]

11.18 Big Pharma Bankrolled Pro-Trump Group As Trump Pushed Pharma Tax Cut [Corruption Central!]

11.16 Amazon’s HQ2 Will Get a Tax Break Designed to Help the Poor [a Republican program that directly helps participating wealthy companies—but only helps workers if and when 'trickle-down' occurs.]

11.16 Trump doesn’t want to punish Saudi Arabia over Khashoggi. His new sanctions prove it. [George W. Bush made a similar immoral decision for the same oily reasons after 9-11, protecting Saudi defense contracts while facilitating the slaughter of poorer Arab "terrorists" in the region.]

International & Futurism

11.18 New Evidence Emerges of Steve Bannon and Cambridge Analytica’s Role in Brexit

11.18 France demands UK climate pledge in return for Brexit trade deal [Excellent!]

11.17 Saudi crown prince's 'fit' delays UN resolution on war in Yemen

11.17 Thousands gather to block London bridges in climate rebellion [We're losing WWIII because the enemy is invisible while we're like frogs slowly cooking. We aren't informed enough to be alarmed, but must get organized and motivated to fight back. We need a War Plan to ruthlessly pursue the fight of our lives!]

11.17 CIA finds Saudi crown prince ordered Jamal Khashoggi killing – report

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  States Launch their Own Health Care reforms

COMMENTARY:

States Launch their Own Health Care reforms

by James Ridgeway
First published in his blog Unsilent Generation earlier today, 9 February 2010

Some of these initiatives are for the good. Some are bad. In either case they’re bound to make matters at the federal level more complicated with members of Congress rushing around trying to harmonize state and federal policy.

For those of you totally fed up with health care reform,now threatening to drag on with Obama’s tiresome face-to-face debate theatrics, some small relief may come from the states which have begun to take reform into their own hands. Some of these initiatives are for the good. Some are bad. In either case they’re bound to make matters at the federal level more complicated with members of Congress rushing around trying to harmonize state and federal policy.

Kaiser Daily Health Policy Report posted a starting list of some initiatives this morning and they’re well worth taking a look at. They run the gamut from a Dem proposal in California for a single payer system to self-insurance in Philadelphia.

“State lawmakers in at least three dozen states are pushing ahead with a series of measures aimed at pre-empting whatever might come out of Washington,” reports Politico. On the left, Democrats in the California Senate recently approved a measure to establish a state-run, single-payer health care system favored by liberals on Capitol Hill. And on the right, conservatives in Virginia and other states are pushing legislation to stave off federal efforts to mandate that individuals secure insurance coverage or require businesses to provide it – Politico.

“The Missouri Senate spent nearly all of its session time Monday on resolutions that would urge the state’s attorney general to sue the federal government for legislation that may never see the light of day in the U.S. Congress,” says the Daily Missourian. The legislation would urge the state attorney general to join with “other state attorneys general in threatening a lawsuit against the federal government if a version of the health care reform is passed into law. The attorneys general, led by Henry McMaster of South Carolina, have said they would sue over a provision inserted into the U.S. Senate version of health reform that was designed to win the support of conservative U.S. Sen. Ben Nelson, D-Neb.” That language would have exempted Nebraska on a permanent basis “from funding the expansion of Medicaid that would be required under the proposed bill” Columbia Missourian [bad link]

Modern Healthcare, on the rise of uninsured residents in Minnesota: “Less than 60% of Minnesotans had health insurance through an employer in 2009, which contributed to a notable increase in the number of residents without insurance in a state that typically has rates of coverage higher than national averages, a new study indicates. Authors of the Minnesota Health Access Survey said the results likely will serve as a preview of other state and national surveys because Minnesota is one of the first states to report academic findings on the rate of uninsured people for 2009.” The survey “found that the number of Minnesotans without insurance increased by 106,000 between 2007 and 2009, leaving the state’s uninsured rate at 9.1%, compared with 7.2% two years earlier.”

The Philadelphia Inquirer reports on efforts by the “Law Enforcement Health Benefits Inc., which oversees health-care benefits for Philadelphia police. LEHB and its administrator, Thomas Lamb, are roundly praised for aggressively reining in costs. ... Even so, LEHB’s efforts cannot offset city health-care costs that are high relative to other employers’, mostly because Philadelphia employees pay little out of their own pockets. That leaves taxpayers shouldering health-care costs that jumped 123 percent from 2001 to 2008, a period in which city revenue rose only 38 percent. ... Starting in July, Lamb will be at the forefront of a new effort to control medical costs known as self-insurance. Instead of paying a premium to its insurer, Independence Blue Cross, LEHB, using city funds, will now pay claims as they come in. The city hopes to save about $5 million in fiscal 2001 because of the switch to self-insurance.”

The St. Paul Pioneer Press reports a legislative effort “to rescue a state-run health care program for the poor took its first hesitant step Monday toward becoming law.” The measure, advanced by Sen. Linda Berglin, DFL-Minneapolis, is estimated to cost roughly $320 million and “would restore coverage, now set to expire at the end of March, for those earning less than $7,800 a year.” A companion measure is moving through the House. “The bill is on a fast track as one of the big early tests of the 2010 session. It passed out of the Senate’s Economic Development and Housing Budget Division on Monday, will be heard in the Senate’s Finance Committee today and is headed toward a vote Thursday on the floor of the Senate.”

Kansas Health Institute reports that, “Kansas is going to need more doctors to meet the growing needs of an aging population, officials here say. Meanwhile, the University of Kansas School of Medicine in Wichita has been successful training doctors who choose to remain in the state. Almost half its graduates have stayed in Kansas; the national average for retaining medical school graduates is 29 percent. With the aim of turning out more graduates, university officials here have long wanted to convert the Wichita campus to a four-year school. It’s a two-year program, now.”


Born in 1936, James Ridgeway has been reporting on politics for more than 45 years. He is currently Senior Washington Correspondent for Mother Jones, and recently wrote a blog on the 2008 presidential election for the Guardian online. He previously served as Washington Correspondent for the Village Voice; wrote for Ramparts and The New Republic; and founded and edited two independent newsletters, Hard Times and The Elements.

Ridgeway is the author of 16 books, including The Five Unanswered Questions About 9/11, It’s All for Sale: The Control of Global Resources, and Blood in the Face: The Ku Klux Klan, Aryan Nations, Nazi Skinheads, and the Rise of a New White Culture. He co-directed a companion film to Blood in the Face and a second documentary film, Feed, and has co-produced web videos for GuardianFilms.

Additional information and samples of James Ridgeway’s work can be found at JamesRidgeway.net and at his newest web site, Solitary Watch.

This article is republished in the Baltimore Chronicle with permission of the author.



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This story was published on February 3, 2010.
 

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