Obamacare Scores Another Win At Supreme Court

So let us tonight come to some factual foundation about the Affordable Care Act.

While I was a supporter of single-payer in 2009, I was also pragmatic in my ability to score a run when it slides across home base. A win is a win. The health care needs of the nation required much assistance in 2009. Obamacare, simply put, was the fix that could pass Congress.

Obamacare is now very much deeply entrenched in America’s health care system. It covers some 31 million Americans directly, and it gives additional protection to people who get their health insurance outside the Obamacare markets — including from their employers. Republicans worked feverishly to derail the bill in 2009, and dismember it thereafter as they feared it would work, and the public would appreciate the benefits. Another social program!! Oh, no!!

My husband, James, runs his own guardianship business, dealing with clients with dementia or Alzheimer’s, and is on Obamacare. In fact, the office of Secretary of Health and Human Services, Kathleen Sebelius called our home to talk with James about his powerful letter of support for the plan…..and the call came mere minutes after he returned home from foot surgery which was made possible due to ACA.

This program touches on everything from menu calorie labels to the rights of nursing moms to free preventive care to lower drug costs for seniors. It protects people with pre-existing conditions. It helps disabled kids and their families. It has changed payment incentives to try to reward the quality of care, not just the quantity of care.

This program is a win-win no matter where you live, what you like on your pizza, or how you vote. From a policy perspective, the door has been opened and it is time to build on it, and I would suggest there is a clear path to universal coverage. The politics need to get rugged for that to take place, but the end result would be a win for all Americans.

Madison Tornado: Seven Years Ago Today

Seven years ago tonight a tornado crossed from Park Street, across Lake Monona, and slammed the Madison isthmus. The storm would be labeled as a F1. We like to think we are strong and in control of all things. Then we are reminded of real power in the hands of something else.

Early that morning I started my venture around the neighborhood with camera in hand. As one might expect there were many people out looking at the debris from the storm. I was struck at various places by things such as metal siding literally wrapped in a circle around a light pole, or a sailboat upside down in Lake Monona, a playground set under a huge tree that had blown down, or streets blocked to traffic from the massive uprooted trees lying about as if they were matchsticks flung about for fun.

Many of the people I talked with spoke about a noise–a large rumbling noise–that came moments before the wind. Some people went to their basements, but most I talked with were watching the weather reports on TV and spent the storm in their living rooms. One man I spoke with slept through it, and one woman gasped as I passed her house and she was first looking out at the scene in her robe and slippers while walking down her steps.

“This is so sad,” she said and covered her mouth with a hand. “Lots to clean up but lots to be grateful for too as we take note of the most important fact that no one was hurt.”

I recall arriving back home and giving a most detailed account on the telephone to Aunt Evie, who lived in Hancock, Wisconsin. She had not heard of the news and I was more than able to be her on-the-spot reporter. And we had much to see from our home!

B. B. Clarke Beach was hit with rugged winds which resulted in five trees down and close to 15 canoes and such watercraft on rental slots all gone, as well as the metal rental units themselves. After the storm, James and I took a 45-minute walk around the larger area, getting home at 1:30 A.M and being thoroughly soaked.  The trees in some cases at the park were cork-screwed out of the dirt, with the heavy metal sign anchored to a concrete base at the entrance to the park popped out of the ground.

Earlier that night I had been watching the weather, as I have an interest in such things, but James was starting to sleep.  I heard the roar (about 12:20 ) as I was looking out from our home. In fact, I had set the rocking chair set up so I could watch the lightning from the windows.  But then the winds started and I yelled for James and as he started coming from the bedroom I saw the whirling multi-colored display of a power line let go. I grabbed James and pulled him down on the floor under a wooden door frame.

Then the tornado had passed. In seconds.

In a few minutes, James had his shoes on first and went outside to pull some branches that were clogging the street drains so water could flow. I soon followed as we looked at our home which, thankfully, suffered no damage.