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Author Archive

Health Care Briefs on the New Law: A Foundation on Which to Build

HEALTH CARE BRIEFS ON THE NEW LAW: A FOUNDATION ON WHICH TO BUILD


by Frank Samuelson

A Foundation on which to Build.  The new Health Care Affordability Act is not perfect, but it is a foundation on which to build a more complete reform. For instance in the heat of the August 2009 congressional health care debate a rational provision to include and pay for consultations by patients and families with their doctors about treatment options and widely recommended “advance directives” for end of  life care were included in the plan. Those opposed to reform promptly labeled such consultations as “death panels” even though they left the decisions up to the patients and families. In the furor and misstatements, the provision was dropped. With the new law in place we can now work to restore this provision and make other improvements (and corrections) based on experience, not partisan debate.

–from Faithful Reform in Health Care

These brief summaries of benefits in the new health care law were prepared by Progressive Action for the Common Good (PACG) of the Quad Cities, based on research by Faithful Reform in Health Care
which represents many churches and other faith communities. (See the
list of members on their website.)  Faithful Reform seeks to speak the
“whole truth” about health care issues instead of the many half truths
that abound. If you, or someone you know, has had a personal experience
with this or another benefit of the new law, please share it with the
Health Care Reform Forum of PACG (karencadfael@aol.com).


Frank Samuelson is a retired pastor of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. He is a member of the Health Care Reform Forum of PACG and has been active in the Anti-racism ministry of the Northern Illinois Synod of the ELCA.

Health Care Briefs on the New Law: Cost Sharing

HEALTH CARE BRIEFS ON THE NEW LAW:  COST SHARING


by Frank Samuelson

Cost Sharing.  The new Health Care Affordability Act aims to provide adequate affordable health insurance for all Americans. Like any insurance it depends on many insured people paying premiums into a pool of money that will cover unexpected and expensive costs due to accident or illness. We buy insurance on our homes and cars and hope we never need it, but we know it will protect us if we do. We all need health insurance because we never know if or when an accident or illness may require expensive, life saving care. That is why the new law requires everyone to buy insurance, and will help pay the premiums for those who can’t afford the full cost themselves.

–from Faithful Reform in Health Care

These brief summaries of benefits in the new health care law were prepared by Progressive Action for the Common Good (PACG) of the Quad Cities, based on research by Faithful Reform in Health Care
which represents many churches and other faith communities. (See the
list of members on their website.)  Faithful Reform seeks to speak the
“whole truth” about health care issues instead of the many half truths
that abound. If you, or someone you know, has had a personal experience
with this or another benefit of the new law, please share it with the
Health Care Reform Forum of PACG (karencadfael@aol.com).


Frank Samuelson is a retired pastor of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. He is a member of the Health Care Reform Forum of PACG and has been active in the Anti-racism ministry of the Northern Illinois Synod of the ELCA.

Health Care Briefs on the New Law: Improving Medicare

HEALTH CARE BRIEFS ON THE NEW LAW:  IMPROVING MEDICARE 


by Frank Samuelson

Improving Medicare.  If you have Medicare, or have a relative or friend who does, the new Health Care Affordability Act expands and strengthens that coverage. The infamous “donut hole” will be reduced beginning this year and gradually eliminated by 2020. Beginning in 2011 most preventive services, including an annual check up, will be available without co-pays or deductibles. “Medicare Advantage” plans, which benefit private for-profit insurers, will be tightly regulated to reduce current waste, fraud and abuse. Don’t let opponents of better health care take these new benefits away.

–from Faithful Reform in Health Care

These brief summaries of benefits in the new health care law were prepared by Progressive Action for the Common Good (PACG) of the Quad Cities, based on research by Faithful Reform in Health Care
which represents many churches and other faith communities. (See the
list of members on their website.)  Faithful Reform seeks to speak the
“whole truth” about health care issues instead of the many half truths
that abound. If you, or someone you know, has had a personal experience
with this or another benefit of the new law, please share it with the
Health Care Reform Forum of PACG (karencadfael@aol.com).


Frank Samuelson is a retired pastor of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. He is a member of the Health Care Reform Forum of PACG and has been active in the Anti-racism ministry of the Northern Illinois Synod of the ELCA.

Health Care Briefs On The New Law: Preventive Care

Health Care Briefs On The New Law:  Preventive Care


by Frank Samuelson

Preventive Care.  The new Health Care Affordability Act encourages and provides preventive care to help prevent, or provide early detection of, illness. This is especially important for seniors for whom annual physical check ups have not been covered by Medicare. It will also provide information to help patients and families, in consultation with their doctors, make more informed decisions about treatments. It will not set up “death panels” to mandate health care decisions. Don’t let those who are against health care reform, take these common sense provisions away.

–from Faithful Reform in Health Care

These brief summaries of benefits in the new health care law were prepared by Progressive Action for the Common Good (PACG) of the Quad Cities, based on research by Faithful Reform in Health Care
which represents many churches and other faith communities. (See the
list of members on their website.)  Faithful Reform seeks to speak the
“whole truth” about health care issues instead of the many half truths
that abound. If you, or someone you know, has had a personal experience
with this or another benefit of the new law, please share it with the
Health Care Reform Forum of PACG (karencadfael@aol.com).


Frank Samuelson is a retired pastor of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. He is a member of the Health Care Reform Forum of PACG and has been active in the Anti-racism ministry of the Northern Illinois Synod of the ELCA.

Health Care Briefs on the New Law: Covering the Uninsured

HEALTH CARE BRIEFS ON THE NEW LAW:    
COVERING THE UNINSURED


by Frank Samuelson

Covering the Uninsured. The new Health Care Affordability Act will extend health insurance coverage to 32 million Americans that now have no coverage. These fellow citizens now suffer, and often die prematurely without adequate health care. They also often end up in the emergency room where they must be treated, at excessive cost, with bills they cannot pay. This drives up insurance costs and taxpayer expenses for the rest of us. Don’t let opponents of health care reform take this sensible and humanitarian coverage away.

–from Faithful Reform in Health Care

These brief summaries of benefits in the new health care law were prepared by Progressive Action for the Common Good (PACG) of the Quad Cities, based on research by Faithful Reform in Health Care
which represents many churches and other faith communities. (See the
list of members on their website.)  Faithful Reform seeks to speak the
“whole truth” about health care issues instead of the many half truths
that abound. If you, or someone you know, has had a personal experience
with this or another benefit of the new law, please share it with the
Health Care Reform Forum of PACG (karencadfael@aol.com).


Frank Samuelson is a retired pastor of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. He is a member of the Health Care Reform Forum of PACG and has been active in the Anti-racism ministry of the Northern Illinois Synod of the ELCA.

GOP Attacking Women's Rights

GOP Attacking Women's Rights


By Congressman Bruce Braley

In just three short months, Republicans in Washington and throughout the country have pursued one of the most sweeping attacks on rights and liberties in generations. In less than 90 days, we've seen a full out assault on the middle class, workers, and kids.

And now…American women.

In Washington, House Republicans are attacking women's health and safety under the guise of reining in government spending. Instead of an honest discussion about our very real fiscal problems, Washington Republicans have decided to roll back the rights of women by half a century. They're recklessly pursuing an agenda to deny American women, particularly low-income women, access to vital health care services with a bullish charge to eliminate Title X – our country's only federally funded family planning program.

Unfortunately, this dangerous and irresponsible agenda isn't limited to Washington. In my home state of Iowa, Republicans in the State House have introduced dangerous legislation that would ban abortions after the 20th week of pregnancy, and could also lead to the criminalization of all abortions in Iowa. Already, our state's Governor has begun rallying support for the bill. Thirty-three Iowa House Republicans are supporting legislation that would stomp all over a woman's access to quality reproductive healthcare. These sorts of measures would set us back and destroy the social safety net that protects American women and their families.

I believe that we must stand strong with American women. Just last month, I called on Speaker Boehner to stop ongoing efforts to dismantle the Title X program. I have continuously fought for women's rights and access to quality healthcare and services. And I strongly believe that we can't let them suffer under a Republican agenda that undermines the progress of the last 50 years.

How can we afford to go backwards now?

Huffingtonpost.com
 

Health Care Briefs on the New Law: Young Adult Coverage

HEALTH CARE BRIEFS ON THE NEW LAW:  YOUNG ADULT COVERAGE


by Frank Samuelson

Young Adult Coverage. The new Health Care Affordability Act allows children to remain on their parent’s family health care insurance until the age of 26. This is especially important in today’s economy when even college graduates often can’t find jobs in their field and must settle for a low wage job with no, or inadequate, insurance as a temporary expedient. Don’t let those who want to rescind health care reform, take this common sense provision away.

–from Faithful Reform in Health Care

These brief summaries of benefits in the new health care law were prepared by Progressive Action for the Common Good (PACG) of the Quad Cities, based on research by Faithful Reform in Health Care
which represents many churches and other faith communities. (See the
list of members on their website.)  Faithful Reform seeks to speak the
“whole truth” about health care issues instead of the many half truths
that abound. If you, or someone you know, has had a personal experience
with this or another benefit of the new law, please share it with the
Health Care Reform Forum of PACG (karencadfael@aol.com).


Frank Samuelson is a retired pastor of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. He is a member of the Health Care Reform Forum of PACG and has been active in the Anti-racism ministry of the Northern Illinois Synod of the ELCA.

Health Care Briefs on the New Law: Insurance Protections

HEALTH CARE BRIEFS ON THE NEW LAW:   INSURANCE PROTECTIONS
WHAT’S IN IT FOR YOU? AND FOR OTHERS?


by Frank Samuelson

These brief summaries of benefits in the new health care law were prepared by Progressive Action for the Common Good (PACG) of the Quad Cities, based on research by Faithful Reform in Health Care
which represents many churches and other faith communities (see the
list of members on their website).  Faithful Reform seeks to speak the
“whole truth” about health care issues instead of the many half truths
that abound. If you, or someone you know, has had a personal experience
with this or another benefit of the new law, please share it with the
Health Care Reform Forum of PACG (karencadfael@aol.com).


Insurance Protections. The new Health Care Affordability Act provides protection from insurance companies that reject health coverage because you have a “pre-existing condition”. It also prevents them from canceling your insurance when you get sick, or make an honest mistake on your application form. It prohibits annual or lifetime limits on health care payments.

Don’t let those who are against reform, take these common sense protections away.

- from Faithful Reform in Health Care

Frank Samuelson is a retired pastor of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. He is a member of the Health Care Reform Forum of PACG and has been active in the Anti-racism ministry of the Northern Illinois Synod of the ELCA.  Health Care Briefs will appear on Wednesdays on Blog for Iowa.

Glenn Beck's Attacks On Progressives Don't Belong On Iowa Public Airwaves

Glenn Beck's Attacks On Progressives Don't Belong On Iowa Public Airwaves


By Alta Price, M.D.

Glenn Beck attacks “progressives” by lying about us and our vision for the country. And he does it by emotionally spouting paranoid conspiracy theories that incite those so consumed by anger and fear, or so out of touch with reality they believe his calumny, to commit acts of domestic terrorism against progressive individuals or groups.


These are not theoretical concerns. There have been specific acts of domestic terrorism directly linked to Glenn Beck. One example is the attempted murder of staff at the ACLU and Tides Foundation, foiled when the gunman was stopped for a traffic violation. A volunteer Illinois League of Women Voters moderator received death threats after Beck claimed she would not allow recitation of the Pledge of Allegiance at a legislative forum.

Other specific progressive individuals or groups Beck is endangering include George Soros, Credo Mobile, Richard Trumka, Frances Fox Piven (a woman in her late 70’s), and Van Jones.

Does YOUR organization have the word “progressive” in its title or mission statement?

I believe those of us who proudly claim the progressive label should stand up and defend ourselves against the likes of Glenn Beck. Anyone who uses violent eliminationist rhetoric does not deserve access to the public airwaves in Iowa, no matter who they are attacking.

This is the letter I sent to our local right-wing talk radio station in reaction to the shootings in Tucson, Arizona:


  
Dan Kennedy
WOC
Program Director
3535 E. Kimberly Road
Davenport, IA 52807

Dear Mr. Kennedy,

I called you last week to discuss your decision to air Glenn Beck rather than Stephanie Miller. I heard that Stephanie Miller received more votes to replace Dr. Laura than any other host.

Last week I wanted to make the point that half of the people in your listening area come from the other side of the political spectrum. Stephanie Miller has a great show, and one that does very well in many media markets. I discovered her show during the brief period we had progressive radio in the Quad Cities. But then Clear Channel decided what we really needed was another Christian station, and we lost Stephanie and other talk show hosts that I enjoyed. I bought an iPod specifically to get the Stephanie Miller show. I love talk radio, but I don’t listen to any local stations anymore, because they don’t have any shows that interest me. I listen to the Stephanie Miller podcast every time I’m in my car (unless my 20 year old daughter makes me listen to her music).

But in light of what happened in Tucson on Saturday, I am more concerned about the unintended consequences that could happen even here if the airwaves are filled with the hateful, violence-inciting rhetoric of someone like Glenn Beck.

Since I don’t watch Fox News, normally I would not be that familiar with Beck. But my book club (mostly Republican women … and me) read his book Common Sense last year. (I must admit, I read the whole thing at Borders so I wouldn’t contribute to his cause.) That was where I discovered his disturbing anti-Progressive views.

Since I was instrumental in founding Progressive Action for the Common Good in 2005, I know something about progressives. Believe me, we are nothing like what Glenn Beck rails against. But it disturbed me that he would lie about progressives to his readers, many of whom no doubt believe everything he says.

The enclosed article gives you some idea about the kinds of things he tells his viewers and listeners about progressives like me:

He says progressives are

“slowly but surely robbing Americans of individual choices and liberties and quite honestly, robbing the bank as well.”

“The enemy to our Constitution is the progressive movement.”

“Progressives have been patient for decades, creeping their way into the system in the cover of darkness. And this is their opportunity. They’re going to deal a final death blow to the Constitution if they can.”

Beck claims progressives are responsible for the income tax, Federal Reserve, Prohibition, the League of Nations, and eugenics (leading to the Holocaust).

“Progressives realized victory required changing history. To defeat them, we have to correct that. Progressives know how powerful history is. When these truths get told and the lies get corrected, the game is going to be on. It’s pulling the mask off the monster.”

 “…what does a fight mean to the uber left progressive? All bets are off. They will cheat. They will lie. They will steal. And they have, in the past, blown things up if it helps them win.”

As I am sure you are aware, we have unstable people in the Quad Cities. I read some of what the Tucson shooter wrote on YouTube. Parts of it sounded like things Glenn Beck would say (Beck sometimes sounds semi-deranged himself).

Some paranoid, anti-government person in the Quad Cities listening to Glenn Beck might just decide to do something about the evil Progressives destroying our country. Ironically, it has just become a whole lot easier for such a person living in Iowa to get and carry a gun.

As it happens, right now I am President of the Board of Progressive Action for the Common Good. We have public events all the time, sometimes about controversial issues like health care reform. I could be readily identified as a Progressive leader at such an event.

Will the next bullet go through my head?

Please do not put this man on the radio.

                        Sincerely,

                        Alta L Price, MD

~Alta
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).
  E-Mail Alta Price 



**BFIA SUGGESTED ACTION**


These are the six Glenn Beck carrying stations in Iowa.  Call the one in your town and ask them to explain themselves.
 


Quad Cities  WOC 1420  (563) 344-7025
Burlington  KCPS 1150  (319) 754-6698
Sioux City  KSCJ 1360  (712) 239-2100
Waterloo  KXEL 1540  (319) 234-2200
Spencer  KICD 1240  (712) 262-1240
Des Moines  98.3 WOW-fm  (515) 331-9200

Francis Thicke Comes To Davenport

Francis Thicke Comes To Davenport


by Sherry Staub

“Iowa’s state government should explore a broader role in promoting local food production, Democratic secretary of agriculture candidate Francis Thicke said Tuesday in the Quad-Cities.”  Quad-City Times 


Have you ever dreamed about what it would be like to have a politician with some common sense and a PhD…..meet Francis Thicke. He is bright, articulate and amazingly humble for someone who held a national position as Program Leader for Soil Science for the US Department of Agriculture in Washington, DC and received numerous honors for his public service in Agriculture.


Speaking from his heart about the future of Iowa Agriculture and how it looks a lot like the future of our planet to a group of about 30 people at Antonella’s Restaurant in downtown Davenport, he told of models and paradigms for growing real food and breaking the fossil fuel connection to farming. He recognizes that accomplishing this all without “pulling the rug out from under” our farmers is a delicate process. His strategy is to help them connect the dots between the new paradigm and real profitability leading us into the new millennium. His enthusiasm and honest personal experience with farming makes him a believable and trustworthy candidate.

Talk about your Field of Dreams…. Francis Thicke as Secretary of Agriculture would be a dream come true.

Candidate Thicke’s visit on August 3, 2010 was sponsored by Democracy for America-Quad Cities, which has endorsed his candidacy. He is also seeking an endorsement from the national Democracy for America organization.  Visit the candidate's website:  ThickeforAgriculture.

Sherry Staub volunteers with the Progressive Action for the Common Good Local Foods  Initiative, which includes Farm-to-School, and co-facilitates a Community Garden at St.Paul Lutheran Church in Davenport, Iowa.