Archive for the ‘care’ tag
Daily equity news
“Road Home program amended to assist owners of homes of modest value,” - The Times-Picayune
U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development Secretary Shaun Donovan came to town carrying a letter that could help thousands of area homeowners finally finish their renovations.
The letter, which Donovan gave on Thursday to Louisiana Recovery Authority head Paul Rainwater, approved a change to the Road Home program that could distribute $600 million in leftover program money, giving up to $34,000 in extra grant money to as many as 19,000 low- to moderate-income homeowners, Rainwater said.
“States eager to power up electric car-battery industry,” - USA TODAY
DETROIT — The U.S. government has made it clear that developing a domestic auto-battery industry — for advanced batteries to power next-generation electric cars — is a priority. That has states scrambling to be sure they get a piece of the action.
This week, business leaders, politicians and entrepreneurs will gather in Detroit at a conference called “The Business of Plugging In” to discuss the future of plug-in electrics and plan how to attract and develop businesses involved in plug-in vehicle development.
“Public option gains support,” - Washington Post
A new Washington Post-ABC News poll shows that support for a government-run health-care plan to compete with private insurers has rebounded from its summertime lows and wins clear majority support from the public.
Americans remain sharply divided about the overall packages moving closer to votes in Congress and President Obama’s leadership on the issue, reflecting the partisan battle that has raged for months over the administration’s top legislative priority. But sizable majorities back two key and controversial provisions: both the so-called public option and a new mandate that would require all Americans to carry health insurance.
Daily equity news
”How Valid Is the Insurers’ Attack on Health Reform?,” - TIME MAGAZINE
After months of lending its cautious, very qualified support to health-care reform, the health-insurance industry has lobbed its first bomb at the Democrats’ proposals. But many of the industry’s assertions appear to have missed their mark.
Just two days before Tuesday’s scheduled vote on the Senate Finance Committee’s health bill, a report warning that the bill would result in sizable hikes in insurance premiums was released, and then widely panned as a flawed analysis of cherry-picked information. A spokesman for the committee called the report a “hatchet job, plain and simple”; and some Democrats on Capitol Hill claimed that the insurers’ broadside would actually ease, rather than slow, passage of health reform by unifying the various factions of the party against an industry with precious little credibility among the public. (See 10 players in health-care reform.)
“Public Option Is Next Big Hurdle in Health Debate,” - The New York Times
WASHINGTON — As the White House and Congressional leaders turned in earnest on Wednesday to working out big differences in the five health care bills, perhaps no issue loomed as a greater obstacle than whether to establish a government-run competitor to the insurance industry.
One day after the Senate Finance Committee approved a measure without a “public option,” the question on Capitol Hill was how President Obama could reconcile the deep divisions within his party on the issue. All eyes were on Senator Olympia J. Snowe, the Maine Republican whose call for a “trigger” that would establish a government plan as a fallback is one of the leading compromise ideas.
“Obama: New Orleans not forgotten,” - USA TODAY
NEW ORLEANS — In his first presidential visit to this city, Barack Obama praised the resiliency of residents in rebuilding their flood-wrecked homes and promised to continue flowing federal dollars to the effort.
“It is always an inspiration to spend time with the men and women who have reminded the rest of us what it means to persevere in the face of tragedy and rebuild in the face of ruin,” Obama said during a town-hall-style meeting at the University of New Orleans.
Daily equity news
“Deficit Complicates Push on Jobs,” - The Wall Street Journal
WASHINGTON — Democratic leaders pressed President Barack Obama on Wednesday to extend more elements of the existing economic-stimulus package, and to possibly add tax cuts that were rejected the first time around, despite a record budget deficit that is giving some lawmakers pause.
On Wednesday, the Congressional Budget Office estimated that the federal deficit for fiscal 2009 will be $1.4 trillion. That is somewhat better than the nearly $1.6 trillion the CBO projected in August, but much of the change stems from different accounting treatments for losses at Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the mortgage companies the government took over last year.
“Putting America’s Diet on a Diet,” - The New York Times
On his first day in Huntington, W. Va., Jamie Oliver spent the afternoon at Hillbilly Hot Dogs, pitching in to cook its signature 15-pound burger. That’s 10 pounds of meat, 5 pounds of custom-made bun, American cheese, tomatoes, onions, pickles, ketchup, mustard and mayo. Then he learned how to perfect the Home Wrecker, the eatery’s famous 15-inch, one-pound hot dog (boil first, then grill in butter). For the Home Wrecker Challenge, the dog gets 11 toppings, including chili sauce, jalapeños, liquid nacho cheese and coleslaw. Finish it in 12 minutes or less and you get a T-shirt.
So much for local color. Earlier that day, Oliver met with a pediatrician, James Bailes, and a pastor, Steve Willis. Bailes told him about an 8-year-old patient who was 80 pounds overweight and had developed Type 2 diabetes. If the child’s diet didn’t change, the doctor said, he wouldn’t live to see 30. Willis told Oliver that he visits patients in local hospitals several days a week and sees the effects of long-term obesity firsthand. Since he can’t write a prescription for their resulting illnesses, he said, all he can do is pray with them.
“Universal healthcare coverage appears elusive,” - Los Angeles Times
As a key Senate committee prepares today to pass its plan to overhaul the nation’s healthcare system, senior Democrats are acknowledging that it may be impossible to provide coverage to all Americans — a central goal of President Obama and his congressional allies.
That is fueling growing alarm among hospitals and insurance companies, which have made universal coverage a condition of their support.
“Reducing poverty with the guidance of the poor,” - Philadelphia Inquirer
Never underestimate the power of an old blue sweater - even one with a cheesy design of two zebras in front of Mount Kilimanjaro. Maybe especially one with zebras and a mountain.
That very sweater launched Jacqueline Novogratz’s career as an international social investor, and it is the inspiration of her recently published book, The Blue Sweater: Bridging the Gap Between Rich and Poor in an Interconnected World (Rodale, $24.95).
“States not meeting renewable energy goals,” - USA TODAY
Across the USA, states are falling short of their goals to increase the use of renewable energy as Congress weighs a national renewable-energy standard.
Thirty-five states have set goals to use more electricity from solar panels, windmills and other renewable forms of energy, according to a database funded by the Energy Department. There is no central clearinghouse of states’ compliance records, but USA TODAY research and interviews with state and power company officials found nine states that have failed or expect to fail to meet their energy goals.
“A Better Way to Health Reform,” - The Washington Post
The American health-care system suffers from three serious problems: Health-care costs are rising much faster than our incomes. More than 15 percent of the population has neither private nor public insurance. And the high cost of health care can lead to personal bankruptcy, even for families that do have health insurance.
These faults persist despite annual federal government spending of more than $700 billion for Medicare and Medicaid as well as a federal tax subsidy of more than $220 billion for the purchase of employer-provided private health insurance.
Daily equity news
“WIC nutrition program expands to cover fruits, vegetables,” - Los Angeles Times
Beginning today, women and children who receive food vouchers through the federal government’s WIC program will be able to use them to buy fresh fruits and vegetables.
“It’s a really welcome change,” said Gail Harrison, a public health professor at UCLA who was on the national Institute of Medicine panel that recommended the revisions to the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children — the first major change in the program since it began in the 1970s. “The supplemental food package contributes a very substantial share of dietary intake, and so making it healthier is all to the good.”
“Swiss Health Care Thrives Without Public Option,” - The New York Times
ZURICH — Like every other country in Europe, Switzerland guarantees health care for all its citizens. But the system here does not remotely resemble the model of bureaucratic, socialized medicine often cited by opponents of universal coverage in the United States.
Swiss private insurers are required to offer coverage to all citizens, regardless of age or medical history. And those people, in turn, are obligated to buy health insurance.
“$35 Billion Slated for Local Housing,” - The wall Street Journal
WASHINGTON — The Obama administration is close to committing as much as $35 billion to help beleaguered state and local housing agencies continue to provide mortgages to low- and moderate-income families, according to administration officials.
The move would further cement the government’s role in propping up the housing market even as some lawmakers push to curb spending at a time of rising debt.
Daily equity news
“U.S. Economy Gets Lift From Stimulus,” - The Wall Street Journal
WASHINGTON — Government efforts to funnel hundreds of billions of dollars into the U.S. economy appear to be helping the U.S. climb out of the worst recession in decades.
But there’s little agreement about which programs are having the biggest impact. Some economists argue that efforts such as the Federal Reserve’s aggressive buying of Treasury debt and mortgage-backed securities, as well as government efforts to shore up banks, are providing a bigger boost than the administration’s $787 billion stimulus package.
“The Five Biggest Lies in the Health Care Debate,” - NEWSWEEK
To the credit of opponents of health-care reform, the lies and exaggerations they’re spreading are not made up out of whole cloth—which makes the misinformation that much more credible. Instead, because opponents demand that everyone within earshot (or e-mail range) look, say, “at page 425 of the House bill!,” the lies take on a patina of credibility. Take the claim in one chain e-mail that the government will have electronic access to everyone’s bank account, implying that the Feds will rob you blind. The 1,017-page bill passed by the House Ways and Means Committee does call for electronic fund transfers—but from insurers to doctors and other providers. There is zero provision to include patients in any such system.
“Weight-Loss Surgery Breaks Families’ ‘Obesity Cycle’,” – Atlanta Journal Constitution
WEDNESDAY, Sept. 2 (HealthDay News) — Obese mothers have children who are likely to be obese, but a new study concludes that weight-loss surgery can break the cycle.
Researchers found that women who had weight-loss surgery before becoming pregnant had children who were less likely to be heavy when compared with siblings who were born before the weight-loss surgery.
Daily equity news
“Grass Roots Put New Orleans Back on Its Feet,” - The Wall Street Journal
With Federal Aid Finally Flowing to Hurricane-Ravaged City, a Flurry of Rebuilding Helps Shield It from U.S. Downturn
NEW ORLEANS — This once-ravaged city is finally mending from Hurricane Katrina after years of administrative delays and political disputes that choked the flow of millions of dollars in federal aid.
Money now flowing through the city is beginning to deliver the most visibly widespread improvements since Katrina struck four years ago today. Scores of public works projects are under way. The last police precinct using a FEMA trailer as temporary headquarters moved into real offices earlier this year. More than half the public schools in New Orleans have been turned into higher-performing charter schools. Returning residents have pushed the population to 76% of its prestorm total of about 455,000.
“Yes, We Can Afford Health-Care Reform,” - Washington Post
“Moderate” opponents of health-care reform like to say that we cannot afford it, particularly in the midst of a recession that has widened the deficit with both reduced tax revenue and the fiscal stimulus package. This was the argument advanced by Sen. Joe Lieberman on TV a week ago and repeated by Michael Gerson in this newspaper: “Obama’s massive spending, intended to stabilize the economy, also drained the Treasury, making it more difficult to propose major new expenditures.”
”Report maps out solutions to child obesity,” - USA TODAY
To make it easier for children to eat healthfully and move more, local governments in towns and cities across the country need to help create a better environment, a new report says.
Children and their families should have access to grocery stores that offer plenty of healthful food such as fruits and vegetables, and schools shouldn’t be surrounded by fast-food restaurants. Children should be able to ride their bikes or walk safely to school, and they should have safe places to play afterward, says the report out today from the Institute of Medicine (IOM) and National Research Council.
“Transportation Bill Inches Forward,” - National League of Cities
The future of funding for federal surface transportation programs, due to expire on September 30, was muddled further last week when House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee Chairman James Oberstar announced that the House would act to adopt a short-term fix for the federal Highway Trust Fund but would not extend the programs due to expire.
Oberstar has said he would not extend the current program but instead gained support for a sweeping $500 billion six-year authorization bill adopted by a House subcommittee last month. However, the House panel charged with finding the funds to pay for the ambitious new surface transportation program has indicated that health care reform will be the next issue it tackles as the September 30 deadline draws closer. Both the Obama Administration and members of the House Ways and Means Committee have indicated they oppose any increased taxes to fund transportation at this time.
“At Wal-Mart, Labeling to Reflect Green Intent,” - The New York Times
Shoppers expect the tags on Wal-Mart items to have rock-bottom prices. In the future they may also have information about the product’s carbon footprint, the gallons of water used to create it, and the air pollution left in its wake.
As the world’s largest retailer, Wal-Mart Stores is on a mission to determine the social and environmental impact of every item it puts on its shelves. And it has recruited scholars, suppliers, and environmental groups to help it create an electronic indexing system to do that.
Foreclosures are continuing to set records despite the Obama administration’s $75 billion plan to help borrowers at risk of losing their homes.
There were 1.9 million foreclosure filings in the first six months of this year, a 15% increase from the first six months of 2008, according to a report today from RealtyTrac. One in 84 homes
Daily equity news
“City Neighborhoods Dig In to Protect Fragile Gains,” - The Wall Street Journal
PHILADELPHIA — This year, Margaret Shepherd is knocking on the front door of nearly every house in West Oak Lane. Her daily rounds are part of a large-scale effort to stem foreclosures in this blue-collar, largely African-American neighborhood.
“I’m getting so much exercise, it’s ridiculous,” Ms. Shepherd said on a recent afternoon.
“Stimulus spending finally starts to trickle down,” - USA TODAY
In Indianapolis last month, a state government official named Jacob Sipe finally got the news he’d been anticipating. The U.S. Treasury had approved $164 million to finance affordable housing projects left paralyzed by the credit crisis, using funds from the Obama administration’s increasingly controversial fiscal stimulus.
Before the financial crisis erupted, the housing program was funded via state tax credits that developers in turn sold to large banks. With the banks crippled, demand for the tax credits — and thus the funds that subsidized the state’s low-cost housing — evaporated.
Daily equity news
“White House to Push Forward on National Urban Policy Agenda,” - Washington Post
Administration to Host Daylong Talks Tomorrow; Tour of U.S. Cities Planned
After remaining out of the public eye since its creation in February, the White House Office of Urban Affairs plans on Monday to launch a public conversation to create a national urban policy agenda, said Adolfo Carrión Jr., its director.
The White House will host a daylong urban policy discussion including mayors, county executives, governors, urban policy experts, and heads of various agencies, Carrión said in a telephone interview yesterday.
“DOCTOR IS IN: Childhood obesity bigger than a weight issue,” - Atlanta Journal Constitution
Medical Director, Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta, Child Wellness and Medical Director, Georgia Children’s Health Alliance.
Childhood obesity is a problem throughout America, but it’s an epidemic in Georgia, where approximately 37 percent of children ages 10 to 17 are overweight or obese.
”Groups seek stimulus funds for homeowners and job training,” - Los Angeles Times
An assembly at Wilshire Boulevard Temple presses city officials to allocate money where it’s most needed.
Hundreds of delegates from Los Angeles-area religious, labor and community organizations gathered Sunday at Wilshire Boulevard Temple to propose that federal stimulus funds go toward helping homeowners avoid foreclosure and improving job training programs.
The two-hour assembly organized by One LA-IAF, a network of congregations, schools, unions and other groups, was designed to press local political leaders to spend the federal money on issues that the organization considers the most pressing. Several City Council members attended the event.