Tag Archives: health care

Green Party Annual National Meeting

This year’s Green Party Annual National Meeting is being held in Durham, North Carolina July 23-26.

For the first time ever, there will be live stream from the meeting.  To access it, just click:

Green Party stream National Meeting

Activities will include a panel on Single Payer Health Care, screening of a film on mountain top removal, and an address by Cynthia McKinney, 2008 Presidential Candidate.  Below is the press release:

GREEN PARTY OF THE UNITED STATES

http://www.gp.org

For Immediate Release:

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Contacts:

Starlene Rankin, Media Coordinator, 916-995-3805, starlene at gp.org

Theresa El-Amin, North Carolina Green Party, 919-824-0659,
teagreenparty at aol.com

Hillary Kane, Green Party Annual Meeting Committee, 267-971-3559,
hillarya at upenn.edu

<hillarya at upenn.edu>

The Green Party’s 2009 national meeting begins Thursday, July 23 in Durham, NC.

WASHINGTON, DC — The Green Party’s 2009 Annual National Meeting in Durham, North Carolina, will feature an address from former US Representative and 2008 Green presidential candidate Cynthia McKinney to the Green Party plenary, a forum on health care reform, and a screening of the new movie “Coal Country” among several events to which reporters, bloggers, and photographers are invited.

The Green Party meeting will take place Thursday, July 23, through Sunday, July 26, on the campus of North Carolina Central University (NCCU) in Durham. NCCU, the one of the nation’s oldest liberal arts institutionsfounded for African Americans, is celebrating its 100-year
anniversary. Continue reading

My Valentines Day Wish: I “Heart” Health Care For All

One of my biggest desires is for all people to have access to health care – a basic right that everyone should have.

Congressman John Conyers, Jr. (D-MI) has introduced H.R. 676-Single Payer Health Care-and has a website devoted to this bill and the Universal Health Care Movement.  The website has tons of news, information and tips on getting involved.  Additionally, Congressman Conyers welcomes people to email him with any suggestions.

The Green Party also advocates for Single Payer Health Care in its platform. 

My Valentine’s Day Message to everyone is to feel the love and support this movement.  No one should be without access to health care.
No one.

Happy Valentine’s Day:  I "Heart" Health Care For All

“Happy” New Year?

(I have been out of town for the past 2 weeks, so posting has been non-existent.)

I am having difficulty wishing people a “happy” new year with everything that is going in in our world: A failing economy resulting in job losses, a housing market crash, budget shortfalls; A broken health care system that continues to prevent families from receiving adequate health care; War-ridden countries and recent escalation of conflict in Gaza; the continuation of planetary destruction with not only the effects of war, but also the sale of land for oil drilling, lack of adequate regulation for pollution generating machinery and equipment and practices, lack of appropriate measures to address global warming, the demise of local businesses due to increasing invasion of large corporate giants, to name a few.

There is so much negative occurring at this time that it is difficult to focus on the positive. Nonetheless, I have generated this list of positive things in my life:

I am thankful that I have a job with health benefits.
I am thankful that I have the skill and knowledge to be able to grow my own food and be self sustaining.
I am thankful that I have resources to help my children and grandchildren right now in the current economic crisis.
I am thankful that I can gain and share knowledge about world events and actually have the ability to do something about some things to effect change.
I am thankful that I am able to provide an education for a little girl in Ethiopia, my small postivie contribution to one life which otherwise is affected by negative circumstances.
I am thankful for my husband who is a constant daily source of friendship and inspiration in my life.
I am thankful for my family and friends here in Utah and across the country.

My hopes for the new year?

That I am able to maintain my health and attitude to continue to work on peace, justice and sustainability issues in my community and beyond.
That at least one person I know who isn’t as convinced that big change needs to occur to improve our world will come to the realization that some of the things I mention here do need to be addressed and so they make changes towards that end for themselves and in their community.
That the new administration begins to make moves in the direction towards a more peace and just society and world without war.
That family and friends I know who are without jobs and health care will find improvements in those areas in their lives.

So “happy” new year with these things in mind. Peace on earth. Good will toward all life on our planet.

Cynthia McKinney’s TV ads on the Issues

Single Payer Health Care

View the rest of Cynthia’s tv ads:
Sustainable Investment instead of Corporate Bailouts
Green Values – Grassroots Democracy, Peace Social Justice, Environmental Wisdom
Green Party Seat At The Table will invite the Public
Constrained by the Two Party Paradigm
Restore Our Constitutional Rights
Rebuild the Economy with Energy Efficient Cars
Bring All The Troops Home
Katrina survivors right of return
Oppose Africom

Shot and edited by Don Debar

Green Party of Utah Joins Call to Greens for Collection Effort for Homeless

MEDIA RELEASE – GREEN PARTY OF UTAH

PRESIDENTIAL NOMINATING CONVENTION TO HIGHLIGHT HEALTH CARE, HOMELESSNESS, ENVIRONMENT, DRUG REFORM, IRAQ WAR

COLLECTION EFFORT FOR UTAH SHELTERS AND FOOD BANKS WILL BE HELD LOCALLY

Contact information: Deanna Taylor, 801.631.2998, gpu@gput.org

Green Party of Utah Delegate to Attend National Meeting in Chicago; Food and Clothing collection efforts will take place in Chicago and Utah; Presidential Candidate to be nominated

06.25.07 Salt Lake City – The Green Party of the United States Annual National Meeting, “Live Green Vote Green”, will be held in Chicago July 10 – 13, where the candidate for President for the GPUS will be chosen. The convention will serve as a public forum for discussion on a variety of major issues including nuclear power, single payer health insurance, homelessness, the war on drugs and the Iraq War.

Moab Green Party Local Member Harold Shepherd will be representing the Green Party of Utah at the Convention. “I am very excited to be a representative for the GPUT,” says Shepherd, a consultant for Red Rock Forests in Moab and Executive Director for the Center for Water Advocacy. “Utah is one of the states that is being hit most directly with climate change, energy development, water conflicts and other environmental and social justice issues and is far behind most other states in addressing these issues. I think the GPUT and the National Green party have a chance to be leaders in going beyond mere talk and actually reversing the tide of the social and environmental crises in the West.” Shepherd has over 25 years working with Indian Tribes, conservation organizations and activists on water and natural resources related topics.

Pat LaMarche of Maine, 2004 Green Party Vice Presidential Candidate and 2006 Candidate for Governor of Maine is launching a collection effort for homeless shelters during the National Convention for Chicago shelters. Utah will join that effort locally.

“Political parties have a tendency to drop into a location for a gathering or convention, occupy some of the more affluent areas of the city and completely overlook the constituency in that area that most needs a better government. I’m proud that every time I’ve put out the call to my Green counterparts around this country to help others in need; they have responded quickly and generously. I can’t thank the Greens of Utah enough for answering this call,” says LaMarche, author of Left Out in America: The State of Homelessness in the United States, which tells the stories of many homeless Americans during her 14-day journey in homeless shelters throughout the country where she witnessed firsthand the condition of the homelessness crisis.

“Homelessness effects everyone,” states Deanna Taylor, Co-Coordinator of the GPUT. “The National Alliance to End Homelessness estimates approximately 600,000 families and 1.35 million children experience homelessness in the U.S., making up about 50 % of the homeless population,” explains Taylor. “According to its 2007 report, The Road Home, Utah’s largest homeless shelter, all shelters served an unduplicated 3, 862 individuals for a total 222,581 nights of shelter last year. The total number of shelter nights is up by 8,207 from last year.” Taylor further adds, “There is no reason why anyone should be without food, clothing and shelter. This is not only a problem, it’s an epidemic that must be addressed by our leaders, our communities, and our citizens taking action to demand a system where homelessness becomes an issue of the past.”

The GPUT is joining the national collection effort to collect items for local shelters and food banks by asking Utahns to bring clothing, personal and food items in labeled bags or boxes during July to The Free Speech Zone, 411 South 800 East, Salt Lake City or The Utah Peace House Project, West Jordan (call ahead – 801.631.2998) or arrange a drop off/pick up by calling 801.209.0219 or 801.631.2998 or writing to gpu@gput.org

2008 Green National Convention: Live Green, Vote Green http://www.greenparty2008.org

Green Party News Center http://www.gp.org/newscenter.shtml

Green Party of Utah http://www.gput.org, http://www.desertgreens.org

Contact: Utah: Deanna Taylor, 801.631.2998, gpu@gput.org

Maine: Pat LaMarche, 207.671.0190, patlamarche@hotmail.com

The health care saga: Getting quotes for insurance

Recently my employer decided to explore other options for health insurance for its employees.  To do this, every employee had to complete an insurance application.

Now, this application wasn’t short and sweet.  In fact, it was the same type of application that one has to complete when signing up for an already established insurer of a company.  I was so annoyed by the prospect of having to fill out my entire health history, and that of each family member, just for a quote, that I refused to complete the 2nd part of the application where I had to supply dates and the current status of certain items.

Well, that got thrown back in my face.  Not by my employer, but by the company from which  the group insurance quote was being sought.  They told my employer that if I refused to complete the application, the quote they would give would be the highest and not based on a group rate.  In other words, Dee’s application was holding up the process.

How bogus!

I was faced, then, with a dilemma:  Continue to refuse to supply the information and thereby prevent a possible lower quote from an insurance company for the rest of my colleagues or supply the information (supposedly protected by HIPAA) and now let a company that won’t necessarily be our new insurance company have all my sensitive information?

Begrudgingly, I chose the latter of the two options.

This is just another example of how our health care system controls everything out our health care decisions.  Citizens of the  U.S. are definitely in a trap – and thus the large numbers of them going without insurance, mostly not by choice.

Something’s gotta change.

Health Care

As time passes I become more and more frustrated with the health care system in the U.S.

Recently I found out that my 18 year old pregnant daughter is facing open heart surgery. On top of the emotional shock and drain this is causing on her and me, the amount of “stuff” she is going through with doctors and insurance is unbelievable. Because she is 18 and not in school, she was just informed the other day that she would not be covered on her dad’s insurance. She turned 18 in December and was told (again just the other day) that not only would she not be covered, but all doctor’s bills that this insurance company had paid would be billed to her to have to pay. This will amount to thousands of dollars.

She is pregnant with no job and now newly diagnosed heart disease.

We are going to see if her state insurance (which served as her secondary insurance as a pregnant teen) will cover those bills, but who knows……

To put it bluntly: Health Care in the U.S. sucks.

One of the many reasons I am a member of the Green Party is because of its position on health care, particularly the section on Universal Health Care:

The United States is the only industrialized nation in the world without a national health care system. The current system’s high costs and widely recognized failures demand that bold steps be taken. The Green Party supports a universal, comprehensive, national single-payer health insurance program as the only solution to the current disastrous for-profit system.
Continue reading

Health care for children in the U.S.

The Bushites will not stop at elevating privatization of healthcare:

The Bush administration, continuing its fight to stop states from expanding the popular Children’s Health Insurance Program, has adopted new standards that would make it much more difficult for New York, California and others to extend coverage to children in middle-income families.

Administration officials outlined the new standards in a letter sent to state health officials on Friday evening, in the middle of a month-long Congressional recess. In interviews, they said the changes were aimed at returning the Children’s Health Insurance Program to its original focus on low-income children and to make sure the program did not become a substitute for private health coverage.

A “substitute for private health coverage”?  I think what they mean is that they don’t want the profits of private health companies being compromised by more and more folks becoming eligible for the CHIP program. 

If thehealth care system in this country wasn’t so focused on greed and profit-making at the expense of the health care needs of very single person living in America, there would not be a need for programs like CHIP and there would be no competition for insurance companies because there would be NO insurance companies.  Imagine, EVERYONE receiving the health care they need, regardless of income.  What a concept.

The Bush Administration has left our children behind in many ways.  This is yet another example of how Americans are continuing to be screwed.

Utah Docs say clean our air!

Utah is among the top cities for polluted air – especially in the winter time during inversions where the pollution is trapped by high pressure weather systems that don’t move – sometimes for weeks at a time.

It was interesting to see this item in today’s Deseret News about Utah’s Air:

Utah MDs campaign for clean air to ease ‘health crisis’
By Joe Bauman
Deseret Morning News
      Alarmed by death and damage to health caused by air pollution, several Utah physicians are calling for the state to take strong action.
      From mandatory dips in freeway speed limits during smoggy days to a ban on new coal-fired power plants, Utah Physicians for a Healthy Environment proposed what they acknowledge are bold actions Monday during a press conference at LDS Hospital.
      Among the proposals are reducing speed limits on bad-air days, a moratorium on building coal-fired power plants and an air-pollution course in elementary school curriculum.

They cited scientific studies showing that heart attacks and strokes are linked to air pollution; that methyl mercury pollution is blamed for declining wildlife; that ozone pollution may cause faster aging; and that air pollution could cause genetic changes that will be passed on from generation to generation.
      Such concerns prompted them “to be activists for our patients,” said Dr. Brian Moench, a Salt Lake anesthesiologist.
“Current air-pollution levels along the Wasatch Front constitute a health crisis,” he said. If the increasing levels of pollution aren’t checked, in 20 years a full-blown catastrophe could happen, he said.
      Because of population growth, motor vehicle traffic — the source of 65 percent of air pollution — could double in 20 years, he said. With climate changes, more droughts could be expected, also increasing ozone pollution, he added.
      Four new coal-fired power plants are on the drawing boards for the Beehive State, according to Moench; they are among 150 such facilities planned across America. The plants release mercury pollution, and there is no way to capture the vapor, he added.
      Mercury is deposited on the ground and into water. When bacteria transform it, the material becomes dangerous methyl mercury. That accumulates up the food chain, increasing many times, he said, and poses a danger. It is particularly serious for babies, the most vulnerable members of society.
      “More electricity from coal would simply be a full frontal assault on public health,” Moench said.
      In terms of health and other impacts, he added, air pollution costs Utah people at least $4 billion annually.
      The danger from air pollution extends beyond Salt Lake City and Provo, according to Dr. Richard Kanner of the University of Utah School of Medicine, whose speciality is the respiratory system. “It’s more than the Wasatch Front,” he said.
      “We know that Cache County has a problem.” And problems like Cache County’s high particulate levels might show up elsewhere in Utah if the state had monitors in many locations, he said.
      The very young and old are at most risk, along with “patients who have heart and lung disease,” Kanner said.
      Citing a Harvard study involving six cities and PM10 particulate pollution, he added, “They didn’t find a level below which it was safe.”
      The panel recommends that Utah:

      • Impose a moratorium on new coal-fired power plants and retrofits existing plants with new air pollution control technology.

      • Reduce the speed limit along the Wasatch Front to 55 mph on bad air days.

      • Expand mass transit throughout the Wasatch Front, offering it free to the public.

      • “Reduce Utah’s air pollutants by 20 percent through numerous strategies such as assessing auto taxes based on a car’s M.P.G..”

      • Make people more aware of air pollution’s impacts, for example by adding an air-pollution course to the school curriculum.

      • Pay special attention when issuing warnings about air pollution to note the danger that pollution can pose to the unborn so pregnant women can reduce their exposure.

      • Ask that school buses not idle in school yards while waiting for students. “The engine should be shut off to decrease children’s exposure to diesel exhaust.”

      • Encourage school districts to use buses that run on alternative fuels.
      As air pollution worsens, said Dr. Scott N. Hurst of LDS Hospital, “we’ll see a further rise in people suffering from heart and lung disease.”

E-mail: bau@desnews.com

Mandatory Bicycle Helmets? Why stop there?

While I like most things that Salt Lake City Mayor Rocky Anderson stands for, I disagree with his stance on implementing mandatory bicycle helmet laws. He says he feels that he has to do everything he can to promote this since “lives are on the line”.

Rocky was the host of KCPW’s Midday Metro last Friday and he had as his guest someone from a brain injury association who cited many statistics of brain injuries as a result of accidents. He also had a physician who said that “if the public didn’t have to pay for their medical care, it wouldn’t be an issue” (the issue of choice in wearing helmets). The argument can be made the the public pays for the healthcare of folks who don’t have insurance in these cases (medicaid picks it up in many cases).

I am opposed to a manadatory helmet law, not because I don’t use them, but because, once again, we have a government official seeking to mandate what decisions people make for themselves that would affect themselves. So let’s take a look at some of the healthcare conditions that the public ends up paying for and let’s not stop at a law just for bicyclists. Consider these items:

If this law is implemented, I don’t think we should stop with bicycles. We need to make all automobile drivers and passengeres wear helmets also because there are more auto drivers than there are bicycle riders and how many head injuries could be prevented in car accidents if everyone wore helmets in cars? Passengers included? What are the statistics of head injuries sustained in auto accidents?

But wait, there’s more…….we should make everyone wear kevlar so that they won’t be at risk of being injured from a stray bullet.

And how about fast food? Obesity and related health problems is an immense problem in this country. How about mandating how much fast food a person can eat per month? How much decrease would there be in serious health conditions would there be if the government limited how much fast food a person could eat? Hmmm…?????

Oh, but hold on…..the government should make everyone wear masks with filters to keep the pollution from entering their lungs. What are the stats for folks who develop respiratory illness in this valley? Would that be reduced if they wore filtration systems when going out. Better yet……make it mandatory to walk or bike to get where you are going – yes, that’s the ticket! Ban motorcycles, cars, trucks……..that would not only reduce the number of bicyclists being hit, but would clean up our air and cause more people to exercise and get healthier – it’s a win-win situation!!!

Yes, there are “lives on the line” – in many ways more extensive than with riding bicycles. If we are serious about the health of our citizens, then we need to do more than mandate bicycle helmets.