Tag Archives: medicaid

How we treat our own

Coal miners crawl in mines no taller than a table top

Coal miners crawl in mines no taller than a table top

The standard of civilization is how we treat our own.

By that standard, we are increasingly uncivilized.

We can track our decline in our national disregard for human rights, in our xenophobia, the cry to build walls, our inclination to war, to betray nation states who have long been our allies, and our indifference to the plight of the living young, the disabled, the poor, the ill and the aged.

We stand ready to betray the trust to preserve and protect natural resources, historic monuments, and public lands.

We exploit hard working Americans struggling to make ends meet.

Let us choose one group of workers, hard done by the false political myths we tell, and repeat, who are at a focal point, in national discussions about energy, safety and health care.

On a recent public access TV show, I was asked, when promoting renewable energy sources including solar and wind, whether, “I cared about the miners I would put out of work – if we continued to push these renewable energy sources?”

The question is a little like asking, “How did our forebears feel when farriers were put out of work because more and more the model T replaced the thoroughbred horse?”

Nor is there any way we can close the door to renewables.

If anyone thinks renewables are a fad, then they’re a fad like the internet. Continue reading


Mr. Donald Trump and Speaker Ryan

Mr. Donald Trump and Speaker Ryan

Republican Presidential Candidate Donald Trump promised in September 2015 on 60 Minutes that when he got rid of Obamacare, “I am going to take care of everybody.  Everybody’s going to be taken care of much better than they’re taken care of now.”

Yet there’s Speaker Paul D. Ryan’s plan in the House of Representatives that won’t cover everyone – and Ryan is just fine with that – as are many members of the Republican caucus fine including Virginia Congresswoman Barbara Comstock – no matter that Ryan is prepared to leave millions behind without health coverage who have been covered under Obamacare.

Asked how many would lose coverage, Speaker Ryan said on CBS’s Face the Nation, “I can’t answer that question.”

Incidentally, Mr. Trump is lobbying Congress to support Speaker Ryan’s plan, to calm the fears of Republican members with a conscience.

Vice President Pence said they need the support of every Republican Member to pass the measure in the House.

Some will die without the health care coverage guaranteed by Obamacare.

Others will find health care unaffordable and do without and suffer for it.

For example, Lovettsville’s Eden Reck, 10 years old, reportedly has had 40 hospitalizations in her life, because of life-threatening genetic conditions.  Obamacare assures her family that she will continue to be treated.  The lifetime cap eliminated by Obamacare means her three siblings will now be at risk for the $1 Million lifetime cap she might exhaust for her care alone. Continue reading

Who Cares for the Ill in America?

I was Republican Senator Orrin Hatch’s special counsel when he was chair of the U.S. Senate Committee on Labor and Human Resources; I was especially proud to hear Hatch’s statement last June commending the states to participate in the expansion of Medicaid, to cover adults earning 138 percent of the poverty level, thus providing needed health care for those who were ill who couldn’t afford to care for themselves.

An income level of 138 percent works out to about $14,856 for an individual and $30,656 for a family of four. Compare those levels to your income and expenses, and those you may know who could be helped by this legislation.

In Virginia, this provision would cover 400,000 more Virginians, create 30,000 more jobs, bring $21 billion in federal funding over several years into our state.

Democratic Congressman Gerry Connolly, in neighboring Fairfax County, put it this way, if we opt in, our state shall receive “$17 in federal funds for every state dollar it spends on its Medicaid expansion program.” Continue reading