Sunday, March 25, 2012

ObamaCare; Why should I Care? aka Whats in it for me?

Why should I care if the Presidents Affordable Care Act gets repealed? What’s in it for me?

Are you a Senior?
Obamacare will close the famed Medicare prescription drug "doughnut hole," which forces some seniors to pay thousands of dollars for prescription medications out of pocket.

Have you ever been sick? What about your kid?

Under Obamacare people can no longer be denied coverage because of pre-existing conditions. What's considered a pre-existing condition? Everything from high blood pressure to asthma to cancer or heart disease. If the law is overturned, up to 129 million people would be at risk of being denied insurance due to pre-existing conditions.

Do you get a mammogram, or a flu shot?

If Obamacare is repealed, one of the first things to go is coverage for preventive care. Preventive services include mammograms, cancer screenings, blood pressure tests, flu shots and bone density tests for osteoporosis. These services can prevent sickness, and also catch it early -- making treatment easier and less invasive.

Do you have a kid under the age of 26? Are you under 26?

Before the affordable care act, young people could be kicked off their parents’ insurance when they turn 18 or graduate from college. I’m sure its not shocking news that many recent college graduates do not have jobs that offer health care coverage. Now, your kids can stay on your insurance until they are 26.

So, do you care now?

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Savannah, the good ,the bad...

Back from 3 nights in Savannah. Great weather, lots of fun. Thoughts...

First of all Savannah is a funny mix of very old and very new. Loved the silver haired gent we spotted the first day wearing loafers,navy blazer, stripped tie, a bowler hat and plaid shorts. But Savannah is also home to SCAD, the Savannah college of Arts & Design, a very respected art school which floods Savannah with 1000s of college age aspiring artists in ripped jeans and t shirts, piercings and purple hair. Throw in a few hundred girls scouts from all over the county in town for the 100th anniversary of the girl scouts and you have quite a street scene.

We spent our days in the old; mostly touring homes built in the 1700s, walking the cobblestone streets and dodging the horse and buggies. We spent our nights in the new. The Savannah Stopover, a 4 day music festival made up of 70 bands on their way to South by SouthWest was in its second year and we got to enjoy some great music. One night we saw 3 terrific bands playing in an outdoor courtyard under a star filled sky and a full moon. Amazing.

My biggest complaint? Savannah seems determined to hide its most interesting history. Its not just the way the house tour guides refer to the War between the States or insist on calling the slaves 'enslaved servants'. It took forever to find the Civil Rights Museum which despite being one of the highlights of the trip was not to be found on any tourist map, not mentioned by the multiple on off sightseeing trolly companies, and even the tourist bureau didn't have a brochure or any information besides, 'its a few blocks down that way'. Turns out Savannah's civil rights history is fascinating and the museum while small was terrific. They were very happy to see us!
The other highlight was equally difficult to visit. The First African Baptist church, built and run by slaves in the 1700s, was part of the Underground Railroad and is still an active church today. It was beautiful and the young man who took us around was terrific.
All in all a good trip, even for a Yankee.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Politics: Cool stuff I learned today.

I was lucky enough to hear David Simas, who is responsible for "polling and messaging research” for the Obama national campaign. I’m sure he has a better title than that but more importantly he was smart, personable, and able to talk without ever consulting a note, boring his audience or seeming to tire out despite what I’m sure is a grueling schedule. Did I mention he was cute? Kind of the grown up version of the boy you dated in high school because he looked like Jackson Browne or, depending on your age, Jordan Catalano.
Here’s some highlights:
My two fav lines:
“Don’t compare me to the Almighty, compare me to the Alternative. (Biden)
“Romney reminds me of a guy who was born on 3rd base and thinks he hit a triple.” (focus group participant)
What I learned about Negative Ads: What is one of the results of negative ads? They suppress voter turnout because they increase cynicism about the process. This is especially good for Republican candidates as nationally Republicans win by subtraction while Democrats are helped by increased voter turnout.
Great Obama story: Obama was told that based on polling every segment of the American public was against him bailing out the American car companies. There seemed to be no political upside to doing it. His response? “The politics will take care of itself, this is the right thing to do”.
As a result-GM and Chrysler have turned a profit and thousands and thousands of jobs; auto workers, parts makers, distributors, dealerships, and the stores and restaurants that rely on them, have been saved.
Imagine. A politician who put doing the right thing over doing the politically expedient.
Side Note: How you can reduce the amount of political garbage ads on TV &Radio .
TV and radio stations are required to air political ads by candidates for federal offices even if their content is blatantly deceptive. Not so the messages of outside groups. Instead, broadcasters have the right to bar so called “third party” ads or insist on the accuracy of those they decide to air., the sister-site of the award-winning, is asking stations to insist on the accuracy of ads by super PACs, the political parties and all of the other outside groups that arrive at their doorsteps with cash in hand.
To make it easier for viewers the “Stand By Your Ad” initiative provides the names of station managers, the e-mail addresses of stations and a sample letter that can be amended and sent directly from the viewer’s account.
“To locate the “Stand By Your Ad” page, click and then click on “Stations.”