Archive for April 3, 2009
Iowa Supreme Court Declares Gay Marriage Ban Unconstitutional
Dear Iowa, You Make Us Proud!
According to the New York Times, Iowa has become just the third state in the nation to approve same-sex marriage. The decision came down today when the Iowa Supreme Court unanimously ruled that a 1998 law prohibiting gay marriage was unconstitutional.
From the New York Times:
“The Iowa statute limiting civil marriage to a union between a man and a woman violates the equal protection clause of the Iowa Constitution,” the justices said in a summary of their decision.
And later in the ruling, they said: “Equal protection under the Iowa Constitution is essentially a direction that all persons similarly situated should be treated alike. Since territorial times, Iowa has given meaning to this constitutional provision, striking blows to slavery and segregation, and recognizing women’s rights. The court found the issue of same-sex marriage comes to it with the same importance as the landmark cases of the past.”
Read the complete story here.
And from the Chicago Tribune:
Bryan English, a spokesman for the Iowa Family Policy Center, which opposes same-sex marriage, said many Iowans are disappointed with the ruling.
“I would say the mood is one of mourning right now in a lot of ways,” English said.
Yes, if you don't count all that jubilation!
Iowa is now officially more progressive than California.
Take THAT, California!
And to think, we launched the national campaign of Barack Obama, too!
Is there nothing we can't do? We have the power!
Bogus Threat Of Rationed Health Care
by Dave Bradley
The Progressive Cedar Valley Voices Project – The Cedar Valley Voice column is a response to state Rep. Jeff Kaufmann’s column during the legislative session.
One of the most incredulous threats that opponents of universal health care drag out and shake to scare people is that under a universal health care system health care would be rationed. Opponents tell us that we may have longer waits for optional surgeries.
Well, that may be true. But the thing that makes this whole concept of a future rationed health care so ludicrous is that our health care is already heavily rationed. The big difference is that those who face the rationing now are the poor, the uninsured and the under-insured. And the rationing is not for elective surgeries but for everyday life-threatening illnesses. Most people never hear this story because media does not talk about it. I have no doubt that if Americans were truly aware that this outrage existed they would demand it be fixed immediately.
Fully one-sixth of Americans have no insurance and another one-sixth are under-insured or have deductibles so high that they are discouraged from seeking medical care. Think of that folks. Our health care system is already rationed to fully one-third of your fellow citizens. When these people access the medical system they know that it could be financially disastrous.
One half of the bankruptcies in the United States, affecting more than 2 million people a year, are due to medical bills. Many of these people thought they had good health insurance only to find that their insurance company was able to avoid their obligation with some small print escape clause. Certainly every one reading this column, save a few lucky souls, are one serious illness away from bankruptcy.
Give that a long thought. You may think you are covered for a health emergency, but you won’t find out until you have an emergency if your insurance company will cover you. Then you may become one of the growing list of bankruptcy statistics. Add to that that most insurance has a lifetime cap. Those caps are reached relatively quickly these days. So even if they pay the bills, they may not pay all.
Opponents of universal health care claim we have the best hospitals in the world. We do. But they are not available to all. They are not available to those who can’t pay the price. These people are rationed out of the system.
On top of that, drug therapies are often priced out of the range of many folks. Thus, even if they are able to access the medical system they may not be able to afford the drugs needed for treatment.
Americans like to make deals. They love to make a good deal and get really mad when they get flim-flammed into a really bad deal.
Well, America you have been flim-flammed into a really bad deal. You’re spending the money for a big new RV and you’re getting a 1969 VW bus. And the guys selling it to you keep telling you that the VW bus is better than all those other sleek new RVs that others are driving. And we believe him. Or at least our politicians do. One would almost think the politicians who support the current system had stake in keeping a bad system.
There are two groups that win in our current system. The insurance companies and the politicians they contribute to. We pay almost twice as much as any other country for half the coverage. Most of that excess goes to the insurance companies in overhead.
It is time to redesign this system rationally, to cover all citizens and to remove the burden of costs from the business sector that can no longer afford to support a poor design.
Dave Bradley is a self-described retired observer of American politics “trying to figure out how we got so screwed up.” An
Iowa City native, currently living in West Liberty, Dave and his wife
Carol have two grown children who “sadly had to leave the state to find
decent paying jobs.“