Archive for April 22, 2009
Health Care Reform Update: The Problem of Underinsurance
by Alta L. Price, M.D.
The May issue of Consumer Reports has an excellent article entitled “Hazardous health plans: Coverage gaps can leave you in big trouble”. Many people who don’t have health insurance through their job and buy a plan in the individual market don’t realize their insurance is worthless until they get sick and actually need the coverage. According to the article, 14,000 Americans a day lose their job-based coverage, and some of them may be looking for an individual plan for the first time in their lives. Especially if you are in this situation, you need to read the article. In addition to describing the scope of the problem, Consumer Reports tells you what you can do to protect yourself and lists 7 signs that the plan is junk.
For you health care reform activists out there, Consumers Union suggests some common sense insurance reforms to address these problems. It is clear that regulation of insurance companies will have to be part of health care reform. I am not sure how much of that needs to happen on the state level, although I suspect if the federal government were to subsidize insurance premiums, it would have the power to make these regulations.
Speaking about state level efforts, yesterday I attended a press conference in Moline, Illinois called by AARP Illinois about a health insurance reform bill they are supporting. The Health Insurance Consumer Protection Act (HB3923) passed the Illinois House and will soon be considered in the Illinois Senate. Any Illinois citizens reading this might want to contact AARP’s Health Care Hotline (1-800-664-9903), to help connect you with your State Senators – urging them to pass the Health Insurance Consumer Protection Act.
Price is a physician practicing Pathology in Davenport, Iowa. One of
the original Deaniacs, she stays involved with Democracy for America,
Iowa, and the Quad Cities. She advocates for quality, affordable health
care for all, primarily as a volunteer with Progressive Action for the
Common Good (Health Care Reform Issue Forum). Watch for Dr. Price's Health Care Reform Update every Tuesday here on Blog for Iowa. E-Mail Alta Price
President Obama Returns to Iowa for Earth Day… and More Earth Day Events
Newton Daily News
President Obama Returns to Iowa for Earth Day
President Barack Obama will be taking a tour of Trinity Structural Towers in Newton on Wednesday morning and the city has been abuzz with preparations for the president’s visit.
The president will land on Air Force One in Des Moines Wednesday morning and then travel to Newton for the tour of Trinity Structural Towers, according to a release from the White House.
Obama’s visit is closed to the public.
Other Iowa Earth Day Events:
Iowa volunteers are invited to rescue prairies throughout the state to celebrate Earth Day 39. This is the 10th annual Prairie Rescue Event.
Volunteers of all ages will help restore prairie at approximately 15 sites throughout Iowa. Tasks vary by site and range from cutting invasive species to hand-planting native seed.
For a listing Spring 2009 Prairie Rescue sights, visit the Prairie Rescue website
Des Moines Events:
Wednesday, 10-5 Free admission
Des Moines Botanical Center
909 Robert D. Ray Drive
Des Moines, IA 50316
Downtown corporations and organizations will team up for the 2nd Annual Earth Day Trash Bash a spring cleanup event organized by Operation Downtown, Des Moines Parks and Recreation, and Downtown Community Alliance. Volunteer teams will work to clear away litter that has accumulated on our streetscapes and trails over the winter months. After a thorough sweep of their assigned territories, teams will gather at Hansen Triangle garden for refreshments, music and awards.
University of Iowa:
Earth Day will feature Bike to School Day, a screening of the film An Inconvenient Truth, and an ice cream social on the UI Pentacrest. The ice cream social will run from 1 to 5 p.m. between Macbride Hall and Jessup Hall, while the film screening will begin at 8 p.m. in room 101 of Biology Building East.
Other UI events include:
- Screening of Who Killed the Electric Car?, 8 p.m., in room 101 of Biology Building East.
- Dedication of student garden by UI president Sally Mason, 1:30 p.m., Thursday, April 23, at the UI Environmental Coalition Student Garden
- Screening of The Future of Food, 8 p.m., Thursday, April 23, in room 101 of Biology Building East.
- Arbor Day tree planting, 9 a.m., Friday, April 24, on the UI Pentacrest.
The University of Northern Iowa
UNI will host “Get Your Green On!”, a series of events celebrating Earth Day, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., Wednesday, April 22, at the Maucker Union Courtyard.
Available events include tours of UNI's Botanical Center, a 5K run/walk, an environmental job booth hosted by UNI Career Services, live music and many more exhibits and activities. Twenty-five organizations are scheduled to participate. Click here for more info and UNI events
Iowa State University:
Forum: Iowa State on the Energy and Climate Crisis (4:30pm) Discussing ISU energy policy, research, and educational programs on energy and climate change. Panel participants: • Warren Madden • Kate Schwennsen • Gene Takle • Pete Englin
The 11th Hour (6pm) Narrated by Leonardo DiCaprio, this captivating documentary explores the perilous state of our planet, and the means by which we can change our course.
Kerry Emanuel: “Is Global Warming Affecting Hurricanes?” (8pm) Kerry Emanuel is a professor of atmospheric science at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. The lecture will review the evidence that hurricane activity is closely linked to sea surface temperature and then examine the various environmental processes that cause sea surface temperature to change, focusing on the role of human-induced climate change. Click here for more info and ISU events
Friday, April 24
Green Expo: 4:00 – 9:00 p.m.
Click here for more info and Clear Lake events
Earth Day Activities for Sat. April 25 include:
9:00-11:00 a.m. volunteers are assigned to clean various areas of Mason City.
10:00 a.m. to Noon enjoy the Earth Day Festival in East Park.
Click here for more info and Mason City events