Sunday, 26 April 2015 / TRUTH-OUT.ORG

Speakout

SpeakOut is Truthout's treasure chest for bloggy, quirky, personally reflective, or especially activism-focused pieces. SpeakOut articles represent the perspectives of their authors, and not those of Truthout.

The bipartisan "Doc Fix" legislation (H.R. 1470, now H.R. 2) and proposed amendments will undermine traditional Medicare and advance the goal of privatization, according to Dr. Don McCanne in a series of posts to his popular health policy blog, the Quote of the Day. If enacted as it presently reads, it will:

1. Limit choice of physician in traditional Medicare. Physicians in traditional Medicare would be subject to onerous new documentation requirements for payment and financial incentives to avoid complex patients under the proposed "Merit-based Incentive Payment System." 

Washington, DC – Yesterday, the Human Rights Defense Center (HRDC) filed a comment with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), an independent federal agency, urging the CFPB to add language related to protecting the finances of released prisoners to a proposed rule regarding regulation of prepaid debit cards. Sixty-eight criminal justice reform groups, civil rights organizations and public interest law clinics joined in the comment.

The comment requests that the CFPB exercise its authority under the Electronic Fund Transfer Act (EFTA) to add language to a proposed rule regarding regulation of prepaid accounts under EFTA and the Truth in Lending Act.

Having assessed in the last three posts the impacts of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) over the last five years,  we have seen that the ACA will not bring universal access, contain health care costs for patients and tax payers, or improve the quality of care. 

These are some of the main lessons we have already learned from the ACA's initial five years.

Zahra Shahtahmasebi: Thank you to everyone tuning in to this important interview. Joining me this morning is a very special guest, Nicky Hager.  I'm sure he needs no introduction for those of you in New Zealand, but for those who don't know him, he is the author of six books including Secret Power and last year's page turner: Dirty Politics. His most recent work examines theSnowden files extensively, to analyze New Zealand's role in the Five Eyes Alliance.

Long Beach, California — Hazmat suit-wearing demonstrators with Californians Against Fracking will protest today outside a state-run "aquifer exemption" workshop in Long Beach aimed at helping oil companies get federal permission to dump oil waste into California's underground water. The protest starts at noon at the Holiday Inn Long Beach Airport, 2640 N. Lakewood Blvd., Long Beach.

"Instead of this 'Toxic Dumping for Dummies' class, Gov. Jerry Brown's regulators should protect our water from oil waste," said Ash Lauth of Californians Against Fracking. "During this devastating drought, oilcompanies shouldn't be allowed to use our aquifers as trash dumps for fracking flowback and other dangerous fluids."

Join us for PEACE AND PLANET, a mobilization to build a nuclear-free, peaceful, just, and sustainable world!

April 24-26, New York City

Indigenous organizations and thousands of people from around the world have called on delegates attending a major conference on the illegal wildlife trade to recognize tribal peoples' right to hunt for their survival.

Survival International, the global movement for tribal peoples' rights, indigenous organizations from Brazil, Cameroon, Kenya and many other countries, and over 80 experts on hunter-gatherers, have urged delegates attending an intergovernmental conference in Kasane, Botswana, on March 25, to recognize that tribal people should not be treated as criminals when they hunt to feedtheir families.

Mar 25

There Is No Palestinian Problem...Yet

By Emanuel E. Garcia, SpeakOut | Op-Ed

For all of the energy, emotion, for all of the massacres that have occurred over the past several decades in the Holy Land, for all of the advocacy of one-state or two-state solutions, there has never quite been an acknowledgement that there has yet really to be a problem.

Yes, you've heard me correctly.  What is the problem?

Mar 24

The Need for Wisdom

By Marcus Peter Ford, SpeakOut | Op-Ed

Kevin Carey's new book, The End of College, is subtitled, "Creating the Future of Learning and the University of Everywhere." The University of Everywhere, however, could just as easily be called the University of Nowhere because it exists only on the internet.

Minerva University, named after the Roman goddess of Wisdom, is just this type of university. Minerva is the brain-child of multi-millionaire and former Snapfish president, Ben Nelson. As a freshman at the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania, Mr. Nelson concluded that there was a more rational way to structure higher education, one predicated on certain modes of analysis and skills. All students should be required to take the same courses their freshmen year - formal analysis (mathematics); empirical analysis (science); complex system (social sciences), and multimodal communication (writing, rhetoric, and public speaking). These four courses constitute to the basis of all subsequent study at Minerva.

Ten hours by bus coming from Mexico City, I finally arrived in the tiny remote municipality, surrounded by mountains and a dense fog, in the state of Hidalgo, Mexico. The town boasts about 21,000 people, many of whom are self-sustained farmers.

Each year, over 120,000 people come from places such as this in Hidalgo to work under an H2-A VISA in agriculture and in other industries like landscaping, construction - and crab picking under an H2-B VISA.

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Speakout

SpeakOut is Truthout's treasure chest for bloggy, quirky, personally reflective, or especially activism-focused pieces. SpeakOut articles represent the perspectives of their authors, and not those of Truthout.

The bipartisan "Doc Fix" legislation (H.R. 1470, now H.R. 2) and proposed amendments will undermine traditional Medicare and advance the goal of privatization, according to Dr. Don McCanne in a series of posts to his popular health policy blog, the Quote of the Day. If enacted as it presently reads, it will:

1. Limit choice of physician in traditional Medicare. Physicians in traditional Medicare would be subject to onerous new documentation requirements for payment and financial incentives to avoid complex patients under the proposed "Merit-based Incentive Payment System." 

Washington, DC – Yesterday, the Human Rights Defense Center (HRDC) filed a comment with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), an independent federal agency, urging the CFPB to add language related to protecting the finances of released prisoners to a proposed rule regarding regulation of prepaid debit cards. Sixty-eight criminal justice reform groups, civil rights organizations and public interest law clinics joined in the comment.

The comment requests that the CFPB exercise its authority under the Electronic Fund Transfer Act (EFTA) to add language to a proposed rule regarding regulation of prepaid accounts under EFTA and the Truth in Lending Act.

Having assessed in the last three posts the impacts of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) over the last five years,  we have seen that the ACA will not bring universal access, contain health care costs for patients and tax payers, or improve the quality of care. 

These are some of the main lessons we have already learned from the ACA's initial five years.

Zahra Shahtahmasebi: Thank you to everyone tuning in to this important interview. Joining me this morning is a very special guest, Nicky Hager.  I'm sure he needs no introduction for those of you in New Zealand, but for those who don't know him, he is the author of six books including Secret Power and last year's page turner: Dirty Politics. His most recent work examines theSnowden files extensively, to analyze New Zealand's role in the Five Eyes Alliance.

Long Beach, California — Hazmat suit-wearing demonstrators with Californians Against Fracking will protest today outside a state-run "aquifer exemption" workshop in Long Beach aimed at helping oil companies get federal permission to dump oil waste into California's underground water. The protest starts at noon at the Holiday Inn Long Beach Airport, 2640 N. Lakewood Blvd., Long Beach.

"Instead of this 'Toxic Dumping for Dummies' class, Gov. Jerry Brown's regulators should protect our water from oil waste," said Ash Lauth of Californians Against Fracking. "During this devastating drought, oilcompanies shouldn't be allowed to use our aquifers as trash dumps for fracking flowback and other dangerous fluids."

Join us for PEACE AND PLANET, a mobilization to build a nuclear-free, peaceful, just, and sustainable world!

April 24-26, New York City

Indigenous organizations and thousands of people from around the world have called on delegates attending a major conference on the illegal wildlife trade to recognize tribal peoples' right to hunt for their survival.

Survival International, the global movement for tribal peoples' rights, indigenous organizations from Brazil, Cameroon, Kenya and many other countries, and over 80 experts on hunter-gatherers, have urged delegates attending an intergovernmental conference in Kasane, Botswana, on March 25, to recognize that tribal people should not be treated as criminals when they hunt to feedtheir families.

Mar 25

There Is No Palestinian Problem...Yet

By Emanuel E. Garcia, SpeakOut | Op-Ed

For all of the energy, emotion, for all of the massacres that have occurred over the past several decades in the Holy Land, for all of the advocacy of one-state or two-state solutions, there has never quite been an acknowledgement that there has yet really to be a problem.

Yes, you've heard me correctly.  What is the problem?

Mar 24

The Need for Wisdom

By Marcus Peter Ford, SpeakOut | Op-Ed

Kevin Carey's new book, The End of College, is subtitled, "Creating the Future of Learning and the University of Everywhere." The University of Everywhere, however, could just as easily be called the University of Nowhere because it exists only on the internet.

Minerva University, named after the Roman goddess of Wisdom, is just this type of university. Minerva is the brain-child of multi-millionaire and former Snapfish president, Ben Nelson. As a freshman at the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania, Mr. Nelson concluded that there was a more rational way to structure higher education, one predicated on certain modes of analysis and skills. All students should be required to take the same courses their freshmen year - formal analysis (mathematics); empirical analysis (science); complex system (social sciences), and multimodal communication (writing, rhetoric, and public speaking). These four courses constitute to the basis of all subsequent study at Minerva.

Ten hours by bus coming from Mexico City, I finally arrived in the tiny remote municipality, surrounded by mountains and a dense fog, in the state of Hidalgo, Mexico. The town boasts about 21,000 people, many of whom are self-sustained farmers.

Each year, over 120,000 people come from places such as this in Hidalgo to work under an H2-A VISA in agriculture and in other industries like landscaping, construction - and crab picking under an H2-B VISA.