Can California Achieve Universal Health Care in the Age of Trump?


Update April 27, 2017: BILL CLEARS FIRST HURDLE WITH SENATE HEALTH COMMITTEE APPROVAL!

Registered nurses and other healthcare advocates are celebrating the California Senate Health Committee’s passage this week of SB 562, the Healthy California Act, would establish an improved Medicare for all type system in California. Full details of the bill may be viewed here http://bit.ly/2ng5hUg

Lots of states have tried this without success, the most recent being Colorado (Mattie Quinn, 2016). Don’t overlook California, they just may have the answer.


The battle over the American Health Care Act has devolved into a question of whether Paul Ryan can save face by passing something out of the House that he knows can’t advance in the Senate.

Source: Can California Achieve Universal Health Care in the Age of Trump? | The Nation


Since this post is covering California’s attempt to get to Universal Health Care, another perspective is necessary to conceive the way forward. If it were easy, it would have been done. Despite universal health care being the standard throughout the world, we (the US) just has to be different, because. Universal Health Insurance /= Universal Health Care. This point cannot be emphasized enough. This article talks about various and sundry politicians with incremental views, such as the current Lt. Governor to cardinal views on Single Payer, essentially Medicare for all or the VA System.

But it could take years and billions of dollars to achieve coverage for everyone — if it happens at all.

Source: While Washington Fiddles, California Leaders Forge Ideas for Universal Health Care | State of Health | KQED News

H/T RoseAnn DeMoro

Mattie Quinn. (2016, November 9). Single-Payer Health Care Takes a Big Hit at the Ballot. Retrieved April 12, 2017, from http://www.governing.com/topics/health-human-services/gov-colorado-single-payer-health-2016-ballot-measure.html

For 18 years, I thought she was stealing my identity. Until I found her

A woman apparently using my name meant a nightmare of unpaid traffic fines and a criminal record. But when I tracked her down, a different story emerged.

 

Source: For 18 years, I thought she was stealing my identity. Until I found her | US news | The Guardian

The Digital Divide: A Quarter of the Nation Is Without Broadband

This is unacceptable in what is supposed to be the greatest country on Earth.

One-quarter of the nation does not have broadband. It’s time to finally close the digital divide

Source: The Digital Divide: A Quarter of the Nation Is Without Broadband | Time.com

The end of capitalism has begun

This article was published prior to the 2016 US Presidential election. The themes expounded have heightened meaning based on result of said election.

Without us noticing, we are entering the post-capitalist era. At the heart of further change to come is information technology, new ways of working and the sharing economy. The old ways will take a long while to disappear, but it’s time to be utopian.

Source: The end of capitalism has begun | Books | The Guardian

There are heroes, and there is Sen. John Glenn

There are heroes, and there is Sen. John Glenn. Most of us know the story, and the inspiration lives on and is manifested in others. This is not to say that Jeff Bezos, the subject of the linked story and tech/retail billionaire, isn’t considered a hero in the same regard. He does get points from me for making a connection, and by extension his spaceflight idea may have his genesis by the US Space Program (NASA).

https://venturebeat.com/2016/12/10/john-glenn-wrote-jeff-bezos-a-letter-that-he-received-the-day-the-astronaut-died/

My plan for basic income

I have been thinking about this a lot lately as my situation fluctuates. Could this be the political season when the right and proven thing to do gets done? I have a plan and here it goes:

  1. I would provide every non-incarcerated US Citizen an no-holes barred income of $26,000/yr for most Americans, such as those that live in our region or in Lee County, Alabama and $36,400/yr for more expensive places like most of the urban Northeast, including NYC, Boston, DC, Baltimore, Philly, etc., Silicon Valley, most of California, Chicagoland, Hawaii, South Florida, and Sea-Tac.
  2. This income would be free of Federal, State, and Local Income Taxes with anything above it taxed at 10% up to $100K, then 25% afterward. Medicaid would also be automatic for those at this income level with Medicare kicking in afterward up to 1.5x levels.
  3. This would replace SNAP, Section 8, AFDC, and in some places (not in NC/SC) direct cash welfare.
  4. How you spend the money or not spend it is up to you as long as it’s for legally purchasable items.
  5. Current DSS employees involved in the administration of these programs will be retrained to be involved in counseling, intervention, and non-bureaucratic matters.

How it paid for. OK, there are savings involved in reduced hidden social costs of doing what is done now, including criminal justice and policing. I would also raise taxes on people that can afford it but may not want to due to the “low tax conditioning” provided by the body politic. Our founding fathers wanted to keep the Church and the State separate because each has their place and is important, but do not mix well together; this also includes Biblical references that usually get twisted for means that justify ends.

Finally, it goes without saying that most people I know, including myself, are much happier with some greenbacks and change in their pocket. When you are happy, crime tends to be far from the mind. I see nothing wrong with being happy, and YOU CAN’T TAKE IT WITH YOU!

When I first published this story, there was a link to it that happened to be on Medium at the time but is no longer there, so this is an entirely new story and is current.

More inspiration going forwards will come from here:

https://www.reddit.com/r/BasicIncome/

Study: What do poor people do when given cash?

Contrary to some partisans in the mainstream media, most of us that are poor are not lazy moochers. If anything, those that demonize the poor are guilty of corporate welfare.

New research from Stanford shows what poor people tend to do when given money. Cenk Uygur and Ana Kasparian, hosts of The Young Turks, break it down. Tell us what you think in the comment section below. http://tytnetwork.com/go“A recently published research paper (paywall) by David Evans of the World Bank and Anna Popova of Stanford University shows that giving money to the poor has a negative effect on the consumption of tobacco and alcohol. Evans and Popova’s research is based on an examination of nineteen studies that assess the impact of cash transfers on expenditures of tobacco and alcohol. Not one of the 19 studies found that cash grants increase tobacco and alcohol consumption and many of them found that it leads to a reduction.In addition to looking at results from individual studies, the researchers also conducted a meta-analysis — a statistical technique for combining the results from across studies — to find the overall effect on tobacco and alcohol consumption of receiving cash. Their meta-analysis found that the overall effect was slightly negative.Why on earth would this be? Evans and Popova highlight several possibilities.One, the cash transfers may change a poor household’s economic calculus. Before receiving the cash, any spending on education or health might have seemed futile, but afterwards, parents might decide that a serious investment in their children’s school was sensible. To make this happen, it might mean cutting back on booze and smoking.”*

Read more here: http://qz.com/853651/definitive-data-…

Hosts: Cenk Uygur, Ana KasparianCast: Cenk Uygur, Ana Kasparian***

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Originally published at www.youtube.com.

Jim Roye – a response

View at Medium.com

View at Medium.com

A response to Jim Roye on Medium

Paying every adult in the US $26,000/year would cost you $6.2 trillion/year. Your plan would be another $1.5 to $2 trillion a year more than that (depending on exactly how many people live in the high cost of living areas.)

That’s already double the entire Federal budget. Eliminating Section 8, SNAP, etc.. nets you back a couple hundred billion but you wipe that out with Medicare expansion.

And then your tax plan would reduce Federal tax revenues instead of increasing them.

So where does the magic fairy dust come from that pays for this plan?

This is not to excuse the past, but isn’t the value of money a fiat creation, that is not based on much to back it up; i.e. gold or other precious metal standards? ICBW, but doesn’t governments worldwide find ways to spend money on things that are important to them? At the US Federal level, balanced budgets are a myth, and we spend beyond our means in various ways that have disagreeable points. Since money is a creation of men that can’t pass through, what is the point of not denying some level of happiness while here?

To answer your question, it’s maybe magic pixie dust or something analogous, but ultimately it comes down to priorities and political will, which so far is lacking in this regard.

 

Internet inventor: Make tech accessibility better already

I know technology people, such as Molly Holzschlag, that has been preaching this about accessibility #a11y {Accessibility is often abbreviated as the numeronym a11y, where the number 11 refers to the number of letters omitted. (“Computer accessibility,” 2017)} for a long time now. I am physically disabled but can vouch for what happens to others on the web. I never realized how much of a problem it is worldwide, and this is unacceptable.


Both Vint Cerf, known as a “father of the Internet,” and his wife have hearing disabilities.

Getty Images

This is part of CNET’s “Tech Enabled” series about the role technology plays in helping the disability community.

Vint Cerf is often called the “father of the internet.” Consider him a pretty stern papa.

Cerf, who is hearing-impaired, played an integral part in the invention of some of the most crucial technologies of the last half century, including the internet and email. But as quickly as he’ll extol how tech can advance society, he won’t mince words about its track record accommodating people with disabilities.

Accessibility shouldn’t be a “pixie dust” designers sprinkle on as an afterthought, he said.

“It’s a crime that the most versatile device on the planet, the computer, has not adapted well to people who need help, who need assistive technology,” he said in an interview last month. “It’s almost criminal that programmers have not had their feet held to the fire to build interfaces that are accommodating for people with vision problems or hearing problems or motor problems.”

Plenty of guidelines for designing accessible technology exist, but their implementation too often has been subordinate to other design goals, he said.

Cerf is best known as one of the designers of the architecture for the internet in the early 1970s, helping to shape the rules that dictate where internet traffic goes and, about a decade later, helping to deliver the first commercial email system. Today he is Google’s “chief internet evangelist” and contributes to the People Centered Internet, a group he cofounded to advance connectivity worldwide. His own disability, and the disabilities of people close to him, shaped his approach to tech, he said.

Email, for one, brought Cerf more than the typical benefit of posting and interacting on your own timeline.

“Because I’m hearing-impaired, emails are a tremendously valuable tool because of the precision that you get,” he said, sitting on a hotel couch in his trademark three-piece suit before a SXSW keynote organized by engineering trade organization IEEE. (On this occasion it was grey pinstripe with a blue shirt.) “I can read what’s typed as opposed to straining to hear what’s being said.”

He’s not alone in needing an assist from technology. About 360 million people worldwide have a hearing disability, roughly 5 percent of all the people on Earth, according to the World Health Organization. Then factor in those with vision, motor or other impairments. In the US alone, more than one in three households has a member who identifies as having a disability, according to panel research by Nielsen last year.



President George W. Bush presented Cerf with the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation’s highest civil award, in 2005.

Mandel Ngan/AFP/Getty Images

Email and the internet were also crucial to his wife’s adaptation to her own disability, even though Cerf teases her for being uninterested in email for more than two decades after he began playing with network mail in the early ‘70s.

Sigrid Cerf, who became deaf as a 3-year-old because of spinal meningitis, finally took the plunge onto the net in the mid ’90s to learn about cochlear implants: surgically embedded devices that bypass the ear and send the brain signals it interprets as sound.

She learned about the technology — and the doctors specializing in it at Johns Hopkins Hospital — by surfing the web. “She couldn’t get anybody’s attention at Johns Hopkins until somebody in Israel put her in touch by an email exchange,” he said. Even as an inventor of the internet, Cerf said he was amazed by the role email and the net played in so fundamentally changing his wife’s relationship with her disability.

Cerf’s awareness of disability also sharpens his criticism of tech’s shortcomings.

“It can’t be a pixie dust that you sprinkle on top of the program and suddenly make it accessible, which is the behavior pattern in the past,” he said. Accessibility should be a design choice that is rewarded, “something a lot of companies have not stepped up to,” he added.

But he believes awareness among engineers and designers is improving. For people with hearing impairments, speech-to-text products are growing more sophisticated, like automatic closed captioning on YouTube. Voice-command technologies, like those in Amazon’s Alexa, Apple’s Siri and Google Assistant, are more commonplace. And most recently, neural networks — a programming technique based loosely on how the human brain learns — are advancing speech synthesis, to make it more natural for people with vision or physical disabilities to interact with technology.

Perhaps most encouraging, he said, is a growing recognition in the tech community that accessibility is important.

“We need to build in these things from the beginning,” he said. “That’s very powerful stuff.”

Special Reports: CNET’s in-depth features in one place.

Life, disrupted: In Europe, millions of refugees are still searching for a safe place to settle. Tech should be part of the solution. But is it? CNET investigates.


Originally published at www.cnet.com on April 10, 2017.


Computer accessibility. (2017, March 28). In Wikipedia. Retrieved from https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Computer_accessibility&oldid=772572895

As Charlotte faces poverty and violence, CMS seeks more counselors and social workers | Charlotte Observer

It will be interesting if they are able to pull this off in the anti-tax sentiment that has invaded the city, despite current Democratic control of local government.

Superintendent Ann Clark’s budget plan calls for $27 million more from Mecklenburg County, part of it to hire more school counselors, social workers and psychologists. Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools is making the request as the community grapples with poverty and violence.

Source: As Charlotte faces poverty and violence, CMS seeks more counselors and social workers | Charlotte Observer

Emory Healthcare eICU program saves Medicare millions | FierceHealthcare

This practice needs to be encouraged. It would also help for Medicare to pay for Electronic Blood Pressure and Glucose monitors as well as other devices for the patient or caregiver to take readings, upload them to an Electronic Health Record for review by Doctors and Nurse Practitioners, and possibly even Wearable Sleep Monitors. A little tech now saves a lot of drama and dollars later.

via Emory Healthcare eICU program saves Medicare millions | FierceHealthcare

Disabled, or just desperate? Rural Americans turn to disability as jobs dry up

Disabled, or just desperate? Rural Americans turn to disability as jobs dry up

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It is stories such as this is why I submitted my plan for a Universal Basic Income with some responses, some of which I did not even consider. The first image to the left is shortly after I applied for disability, that had the required physical exam.

The imPages from DisabiltyDecision10012014_Redactedage on the right is some 2 1/2 years later on approval on the 3rd attempt. What I have been told on the subject is that this is not unusual, at least for not getting it on the 1st try. Albeit a law firm that has a vested interest in handling these types of claims, this is a thing and has some explanation to why this is so (Binder and Binder, 2011). Part of what the article refers to may have played a part in this.

 

In rural Alabama, a man faced a difficult choice: Keep looking for work, or apply for disability?

Source: Disabled, or just desperate? Rural Americans turn to disability as jobs dry up | The Washington Post


Binder and Binder. (2011, July 14). Long Approval Process For Social Security Disability Claims. Retrieved April 12, 2017, from http://www.binderandbinder.com/In-The-News/Why-Do-Social-Security-Disability-Claims-Take-So-Long-to-be-Approved.shtml