Public Health Option

5 THINGS YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT OBAMA’S PUBLIC HEALTH INSURANCE OPTION

The choice of a public health insurance plan is crucial to real health care reform. But right now, it’s being smeared by conservatives and insurance-industry front groups. Here’s what you really need to know:

1. Choice, choice, choice. If the public health insurance option passes, Americans will be able to choose between their current insurance and a high-quality, government-run plan similar to Medicare. If you like your current care, you can keep it. If you don’t—or don’t have any—you can get the public insurance plan.

2. It will be high-quality coverage with a choice of doctors. Government-run plans have a track record of innovating to improve quality, because they’re not just focused on short-term profits. And if you choose the public plan, you’ll still get to choose your doctor and hospital.

3. We’ll all save a bunch of money. The public health insurance option won’t have to spend money on things like CEO bonuses, shareholder dividends, or excessive advertising, so it’ll cost a lot less. Plus, the private plans will have to lower their rates and provide better value to compete, so people who keep their current insurance will save, too.

4. It will always be there for you and your family. A for-profit insurer can close, move out of the area, or just kick you off their insurance rolls. The public health insurance option will always be available to provide you with the health security you need.

5. And it’s a key part of universal health care. No longer will sick people or folks in rural communities, or low-income Americans be forced to go without coverage. The public health insurance plan will be available and accessible to everyone. And for those struggling to make ends meet, the premiums will be subsidized by the government.

For more information read “The Case for Public Plan Choice in National Health Reform,” Institute for America’s Future

How to stop the Swine Flu

Want to help prevent future flu pandemics?  It’s easy.  You don’t have to lobby congress for billions of funding for pandemic research.  You don’t have to wear a surgical mask 24×7.  No, the best thing you can do is to vote with your dollars.  Buy pasture-raised pork and other meats.  Really, it’s that easy?  Indeed it is.  Read this fantastic article from Wired.com.

http://www.wired.com/wiredscience/2009/05/swineflufarm/

So next time you go the grocery store to pick up a cellophane wrapped package of meat (how convenient!), or you order that steak or the pork chops off the menu at the restaurant, just realize that you are contributing to system that is killing us.  Sounds harsh?  Well, it’s time we faced the cold hard facts.  So what’s the answer?  Find local producers in your area that raise their animals on pasture.  They care about the welfare of their animals, their workers, the environment, and their customers.

http://www.eatwild.com/

EatWild.com is a great resource to find local producers.  Go to the farmer’s markets, or better yet go to the farms, and know where your food comes from.  It could prevent the next flu pandemic.

Finally, A Flying Car

That’s it, I’m getting my pilot license.

The Plane That Drives – Photos Essays by TIME

This is amazing! Sheep Art

Yes it is an ad, but this is how internet ads should be done!

Healthcare Reform Petition – Please Sign

In his speech, President Obama made it very clear that he wants Congress to pass health care this year. But lobbyists are lining up to torpedo Obama’s health care plans.

Next week, Congress will gather for President Obama’s health care summit to make plans for the year—they need to hear from real people who want health care reform in 2009!

I signed a petition urging Congress to pass health care for all this year. Can you join me at the link below?

http://pol.moveon.org/thisyear/?r_by=15682-1988502-SjxOqpx&rc=confemail

Here are my comments that I included with the petition.

I work as a cook in a restaurant.  The owner tries her best to take care of her employees and, unlike most restaurants, is able to offer health insurance.  However, even under a group health plan, the monthly cost of the insurance is 1/3rd of my paycheck.  That’s just for the insurance though.  I still need to pay my deductibles and co-pays.  The amount of money that I have to spend to receive a minimum standard of care is outrageous.  We should be ashamed that we do not provide this basic level of care for EVERY AMERICAN CITIZEN.  The shame doesn’t fall to our government, it falls to its people.  We let this go on for far too long.  Our “every man/woman for the themselves” mentality needs to be replaced with a mentality of caring for each other.

I know people are scared by the idea/term “Socialized” Medicine.  However, we have plenty of other socialized services that people just take for granted.  Personally, I don’t want to go back to a time when fire protection services were contracted from private companies.  Or I had to belong to a private library in order to take loan of a book.  We socialized these services because that was the right thing to do.  Socialized medicine is the right thing to do.  Do it NOW!

Maggot Farms for Everyone!

Yucky but useful: Maggots make compost

A thriving maggot bin reduces kitchen and restaurant waste by 95 percent, according to research conducted by ESR International. That means 100 pounds of food scraps will produce 5 pounds of soil amendment and 20 pounds of well-fattened larvae.

In warm-winter areas, maggot bins can be maintained year-round. BSF larvae thrive best at a temperature of 80 to 90 degrees, and languish or die at temperatures much more than 100 degrees. Adult flies need sunlight to breed, and home larvae bins must generally be left outside in a protected spot.

While ESR International’s larvae composters may appeal to garden hobbyists in the United States, the company hopes to have a larger environmental impact with large-scale municipal waste-disposal projects in warm-weather developing countries such as Colombia and Vietnam. Using maggots to consume food waste as well as animal and even human waste could greatly decrease the production of methane, a potent greenhouse gas.

If only we lived in a warmer climate…

We Need a Secretary of Food, not Agriculture

One of my favorite topics to post about here is Food Policy.  Here is a short piece at the NY Times that talks about the opportunity that President-elect Obama has to nominate a reformer instead of an insider to the post of Secretary of Agriculture.

Op-Ed Columnist – Obama’s ‘Secretary of Food’? – NYTimes.com