Thursday, December 10, 2009

Jobs, Jobs, Jobs ~ Manufacturing Base !

Reminder: Last Day !

On Monday, Rapid Response sent out an important survey to get your input on how to create jobs in our country. If you haven’t yet done the survey, take five minutes to do so TODAY! The President is considering various approaches for needed job creation, including the strategies the USW is fighting for. He is now asking us to weigh in to tell him what we believe should be the most important priorities and tactics to make this happen. Responses will be compiled on Friday, so we need everyone who has not taken the survey to do so right now !

Or you can click on the title of this artice !

Wednesday, December 09, 2009

The Gift of Life ~ How Inspiring...

Yes, it is so great that we are all still here to enjoy and Celebrate life this Holiday Season.

By James Gleason

My wife just came back from a transplant nurses meeting (about 80 attending) and shared that my own 15 years (and I note and celebrate those others who responded to Adam with heart transplant years of 15 and 27 years out - YES!!!) is remarkable given what she heard in that presentation. Their topic was "Optimizing Immunosuppressive Management Strategies in the Transplant Patient and in retrospect they are still learning so much about our long history of over dosing/underdosing that it is truly amazing that we have the very positive results we have, and it should be getting better with each passing year as they learn more from observing those of us who are the long term survivors (hearts I'm talking about here, since the kidneys certainly have the longer history of those many years survival). I have observed over these years that transplant doesn't' prevent death, its an extension of the uncertain life span we all must face, transplant or not. So I have decided that the real question we all face is not how long we are going to live, but rather, what are we going to do with the life we have today, and tomorrow and if gifted with yet more, those days too.
So given this wonderful network we share here, what is everyone doing these days with that gift of life? Any special things you can share from this past year, for example, that were really special because you had that year to live because of the gift from a donor family who faced the other side of this uncertain length of life years/days? What are you celebrating this holiday season and how are you going to celebrate it because you can with this transplant ? Yes, Adam, we are (most of us anyway) still here, and thankfully very busy living life. Thanks for asking so we could share in responding to you this way. Happy and healthy holidays everyone (i.e., Russ, Karen, etc.). "Live long and prosper..." as they said on that famous Star Trek show years ago.

Jim Gleason,
Heart Transplant Recipient,
Oct 19th, 1994...

Editorial : I wish, I had written this. "Thanks Jim" !
Don Jones
Heart Transplant Recipient
Aug 17th, 1994

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Seven Health Care fixes, That Would Work !...11/24/09

Seven Quick fixes to Health Care
What would happen soon if the health-care overhaul passes.
By Ryan Teague Beckwith

To hear the rhetoric on both sides, you'd think the health-care overhaul in the Senate would change the U.S. system overnight. In reality, most of the changes — such as the new health insurance exchanges and insurance mandates for individuals — would not take place until 2014 (or 2013 in the House version).
Still, a few provisions are set to begin next year, if the legislation passes. Some of the most significant changes would extend existing programs and rules in order to immediately reduce the number of uninsured Americans. Others would end unpopular practices in the private insurance industry.The measures are designed to build immediate support for the longer-term provisions in the bills, which could still be changed by future legislation. They will also provide President Barack Obama and Congressional Democrats with talking points going into the 2010 elections. If the bill passes, expect to hear a lot more about these provisions in the near future.
Below, a few of the immediate changes:
* Insuring high-risk citizens. Both bills would create a $5 billion fund for temporary insurance for citizens with pre-existing conditions who have not been insured for at least six months. The program would end once the insurance exchanges begin in 2013 or 2014.

* Extending insurance for adult children. The House bill would allow parents to keep unmarried adult children on their health insurance until their 27th birthday; the Senate bill, until their 26th birthday. This would reduce the number of uninsured young adults.

* Extending insurance for the recently unemployed. Under current law, laid-off workers are allowed to continue buying their existing insurance through the COBRA program for up to 18 months. The bills would extend that coverage until the insurance exchanges begin.

* Ending lifetime limits on benefits. Both bills would end the lifetime caps on insurance coverage which have sometimes been used to deny payments to consumers with particularly expensive treatments. Both bills would also restrict annual limits on health-care benefits.

* Ending rescission. Insurance companies often cancel policies for consumers who require expensive medical care because they made honest mistakes on their medical histories. Both bills would prohibit insurance plans from canceling coverage except in cases of fraud.

* Starting to close the doughnut hole. Both bills would begin closing the so-called "doughnut hole" in Medicare Part D prescription drug coverage by providing an additional $500 in coverage starting in 2010. Over several years, the gap would be reduced until it was closed entirely.

* Taxing plastic surgery. The Senate bill would include a new 5 percent tax on elective cosmetic surgery. The tax is estimated to raise $5.8 billion over the next 10 years. It does not apply to cosmetic surgery to fix problems caused by accidents, disease or birth defects.

Ryan Teague Beckwith is deputy editor of

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Underdogs Blog=Don Jones !....11/21/09...You Bet !

UnderDog`s Blog ?
By Don Jones = Underdog

I publish this blog, called Underdog almost daily. I write about things, I think, I know about ? For instance, I write about Organ/Transplantation. I write about Unions. I write about healthcare. I write a little about Pulmonary Hypertension. At times I am very opinionated. I do not ask that you agree with me, I do ask however that when you disagree with me, that your comments on my blog be without curse words. I do not use them in my blog. I must insist that your comments be curse free. If they are not without curse words, that`s your prerogative. However, that particular comment will be deleted. That's my rule ! I am a Democrat most of the time. Although, I have voted Republican. I am a voter of platforms and programs. Thus, the platform of the Democrats, usually fit my needs. I feel that if you are a Republican voter, you are mostly with and not without, you are white collar not blue collar. I feel if you are opposed to health care reform, you are both with and have great insurance ! I`m a Democrat who opposes gun control. I am a Democrat who opposes abortion. If you want to carry a gun, and I do ! Get licensed. I am ! You don't want or believe in abortion, don`t have one ! As for myself and my family, I view it as our decision, not your`s ! I believe in Free Democratic Trade Unions ! I belong to one. In my state of Tennessee, we have a law called (Right to Work) You are not required by law to join a union. If you do not wish to join, don`t ! You must understand, that I do not agree with that law, but, I am a law abiding citizen, thus I do abide by it ! I believe we should have term limits for our politicians. Congress was never intended to be a life-time occupation. We have them for our President and in Tennessee we have them for our Governor. Why not Congress and the Senate ? I once had a politician tell me, he could`nt be bought, but, he could be rented for a little while. I had a problem with that statement. I am a practicing Christian. I believe in separation of church and state. I have seen my church lose members over the years, because they turned into a political action committee(PAC). Let your conviction be tempered by your love for your fellow man. Let your example be that of Love, Hope and Charity ! I am a Freemason, Do not ever give up on our democracy. Vote ! Demand that your voice be heard and that you stay in touch/contact with your elected Representative`s. When you do disagree with someone, disagree with kindness, not hate or disgust. My e-mail address is on my blog. You can contact me via e-mail. or . You can make comments on my blog, I encourage you to do so. Just be agreeable or disagreeable, not ugly ! If you have items of interest you would like to see published, just forward them to this writer. Now, understand, I am the publisher, I will decide what is published and what is not ! If you wish to save my web-address for my blog, just click on the title or the following link. > <
and put it in your favorites.With warmest regard, I remain
Stick a Fork in Me, I`m Done !
UNDERDOG = Don Jones !

Friday, November 20, 2009

Medicare & Healthcare reform !...Check it Out !

Medicare & Healthcare Reform...H.R. 3962

A report requested by Republicans and released on Saturday by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services drew attention from health reform critics this week. The report questioned the expected savings from the House-approved health care overhaul. However, CMS's analysis is not an apples-to-apples comparison to the cost estimate conducted by the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) and the Joint Committee on Taxation (JCT), because CMS did not review tax provisions, which help offset the price tag of the Democrats' measure. It is certain that the House health care reform bill will extend the life of the Medicare Trust Fund by five years, significantly longer than any other recent proposal. The legislation will also cut out-of-pocket spending by more than $200 billion by 2019. "We must separate fact from fiction to avoid being alarmed unnecessarily," said Ruben Burks, Secretary-Treasurer of the Alliance. "Overall, national spending on health care would increase by less than 1.3% over the next decade with the House bill, even though millions of additional people will gain coverage. Without health care reform, health care costs are expected to rise at rates double that of inflation, growing every year as a larger share of the Gross National Product." To learn more facts about the financial benefits of H.R. 3962 to retirees, go to
______________________________________________________ Donut Hole...Sucking Sound ! $$$

Rising Drug Costs in Face of Health Reform The New York Times reported early this week that the drug industry has been raising its prices at the fastest rate in years - this year by 9%. The rise has caused speculation about price increases in advance of health reform legislation. Those increases will add more than $10 billion to the nation's $300 billion drug bill this year, and led Democrats in Congress to request two investigations of drug industry pricing on Wednesday.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Pulmonary Arterial Hypertension ~ This Writer Has It !...11/14/09

Pulmonary Arterial Hypertension
By Don Jones, PAH Patient...11/14/09

I have not written about my Pulmonary Arterial Hypertension disease lately. I have been doing a drug called Ventavis 5.0 inhaled six(6) times a day and a drug called Revatio(20mg.)The cost of these two drugs are appoximately $12,000.00 per month, my insurance pays, or I could`nt pay ! I do not believe these drugs have made a marked difference. I do not believe I`m any worse. Vanderbilt is going to stop these drugs and put me on a new drug called Tyvaso. I am affraid to ask the cost. Tyvaso is form of Remodulin. Tyvaso, (inhaled treprostinil) is an inhaled form of Remodulin®, which is a synthetic form of prostacyclin. It is produced by United Therapeutics, Inc and received FDA approval in 2009 for the treatment of pulmonary arterial hypertension in WHO Group 1 patients with NYHA Class III symptoms. Tyvaso is administered using the Tyvaso Inhalation System. The product is to be administered by oral inhalation, 4 times daily, approximately 4 hours apart during waking hours. The effects on a persons ability to exercise will decrease over the course of the minimum recommended dosing interval of 4 hours but treatment timing can be adjusted for planned activities in order to accommodate individual schedules of activity. I must say that I can`t wait to begin this new drug ! Shortness of breath is not much fun. I cannot do very much strenuous activity and walking is a nightmare at times. Being a Heart-Transplant, this disease puts a heavy burden on my heart. I`m not sure if I will continue the Revatio, Vanderbilt`s Dr. Hemnes(Picture Above) has not said at this point. As I learn more, I will write more in regard to this new treatment. I would ask what anyone`s experience is with this new drug, but, it is so new, there are`nt any. I have learned that as a PAH patient, I have good days and bad days. I find it extremely difficult to keep a positive outlook. I do know, that without my family, I could`nt make it ! Studies have shown that Tyvaso is a very effective treatment for pulmonary arterial hypertension. It is much less invasive than the current subcutaneous or intravenous formulation of treprostinil (Remodulin) and since it is administered less frequently than Ventavis®, it makes it a very desirable option for PAH patients. For additional Information, visit the Tyvaso Website.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Unfair Trade, Ya Think ?

U.S. Taxpayers to Give Over $425 Million to Create Over 2,000 Jobs in China...

Chinese Manufacturer Claims "This is Just the Beginning"

Recent news revealed that the developer of a planned Texas wind farm is seeking – and expects to receive – more than $425 million in stimulus funds for the project. The wind farm is estimated to create a few-hundred temporary construction jobs along with about 30 ongoing jobs in the United States. Meanwhile, it is expected to create more than 2,000 jobs in China. That’s because a Chinese firm will be the exclusive supplier of the wind turbines for the project. China Artificially Lowers the Cost of their Exports, While U.S. Producers Struggle In case after case, China is continually found to provide massive subsidies to its domestic manufacturers along with other tactics to undercut U.S. producers. Consider that while China’s wind-turbine producing industry grows, in the first three quarters of 2009, there were 33 percent fewer announcements of U.S. wind turbine factory expansions compared to 2008.China plans on continuing their investments in the U.S. renewable industry in order to create a market for their manufacturers. Lu Jinxiang, an executive involved with the West Texas deal, was recently quoted as saying that “this is just the beginning” and the U.S. is “an ideal target” given our desire to promote renewable energy. We Can’t Afford to Give Up Good-Paying Manufacturing Jobs Unemployment now stands above 10 percent. Adding in those who have stopped looking or are not working as much as they would like takes the rate above 17 percent. Now is the time to make a real commitment to American jobs through a solid policy to promote manufacturing, as so many other nations already have. We need to get our country and our communities back on track. Green jobs can help reinvigorate the U.S. manufacturing base and provide quality, sustainable jobs for millions of Americans while promoting a cleaner environment. The stimulus bill was supposed to spark this activity – not create green jobs overseas. These wind turbines, their main components and other “green” products, can be made in the US – at least for the moment. It’s time to rethink our policies and renew our commitment to quality jobs in the U.S. Get Ready To Act ! We will NEVER just sit by and quietly watch this happen! Rapid Response will let you know how you can take action within a few days to help us try and stop this further export of U.S. jobs and taxpayer dollars to China!

Health Care Critical to Seniors...Life & Death !..11/13/09

Alliance Leaders Join First Lady as Part of Health Reform Effort

Several Alliance leaders are scheduled to be with First Lady Michelle Obama this afternoon at a White House health reform event focused on senior women. Ms. Easterling, Alliance Executive Vice President Judy Cato and Executive Board member Barbara Matteson of Tucson, Arizona, are planning to attend the event, which will shine a light on the difficulties older women face getting insurance and how health reform will help them.

Senate Works to Pass Its Own Health Care Bill :

The narrow margin in the House vote suggests enormous challenges in the Senate, where Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) is struggling to hold on to all 58 Democrats and two independents in his caucus. Sen. Reid has merged two bills into one. The fine print is not public, but according to The New York Times, the broad outlines are known. Unlike the House bill, which pays to extend coverage by taxing individuals who earn more than $500,000 a year and couples who earn more than $1 million, the Senate bill would impose a tax on higher-end insurance policies, which could have a detrimental effect on coverage for retirees and older workers. And unlike the House bill, which includes a national public plan, the Senate measure would allow states to opt out. White House officials realize that the closer the final vote comes to the November 2010 midterm Congressional elections, the more difficult it will be to pass legislation. "Senators must remember that many workers gave up other benefits in order to maintain their right to good health care benefits," said Ruben Burks, Secretary-Treasurer of the Alliance. "To tax those workers? health benefits now would be unfair."

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Health Care & Trade Our Two Most Important Economic Indicators...11/12/09

It`s Health Care & Trade, Stupid !
By Don Jones

As most of you know, I am a strong believer in our middle class. I think that without Unions, Fair Trade and reformed Health Care our middle class is lost. I do not believe that Wall Street will save us ! I do not believe that unfair commerce will save us ! I do not believe that a few people with all of the money will save us ! Our political system has divided into two factions, the Republicans represent the rich and powerful. The Democrats represent the middle class and the not so powerful. If you do not believe or like that statement, where on earth have you been ? Unfair Trade is absolutely killing off all of our manufacturing base. Without descent paying jobs, America is lost ! Health Care is one of the factors in moving off shore and manufacturing that same product and send it here to the United States for sale. Health Care is part of our manufacturing cost. If say, Goodyear Tire & Rubber builds a plant in China and they have and are. They can pay their employee`s 0.42 cents per hour and no benefits/health care ! They send tires back to USA for sale, They cannot sell them in China for (5) five years ! Price does not come down. Now, that's fair, sure it is ! Workers here cannot compete with that kind of unfair trade. I picked on Goodyear because that is exactly what is going on, plus, I worked there before my retirement. Unions have been rendered almost powerless in the last decade or longer. It is tough to organize workers, when there are no jobs. Can we all sit in front of a computer and make a living ? I think not. It is jobs, jobs, jobs and as our President says, we must make products here ! We no longer make shoes, clothing, electronic`s. Buy American, sounds great, but where do you find American made products, you sure cannot find them at Wal-Mart ! They are the great China importers. Do not believe the party of NO that we cannot have fair trade. I have heard that crap, until I`m sick. We must have fair trade, trade that equalizes are workers. Without it, we become a third world country. Our very rich, move their money off-shore to avoid paying tax`s. That leaves just the middle class to tote the note. Soon there will not be enough of us remaining to pay. Stop the bleeding of our manufacturing base now, or pay dearly later...and not much later either. So, it is Trade and Health Care...fix it !

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

How Health Care Reform Would Help YOU !...11/10/09

Here’s How the House’s Health Care Reform Would Help You
by Seth Michaels, Nov 9, 2009

With successful passage of a historic health care reform bill this weekend, experts are weighing in on the benefits that the bill would bring to working families.
Maggie Mahar, a longtime observer of health care policy, says the progress Congress has made on health care is “astounding” and the House bill would move millions of families to less expensive, more comprehensive health care coverage, protecting them from medical bankruptcy, lifetime coverage caps and other consequences of our current flawed system. A study by MIT health care economist Jonathan Gruber suggests the changes in the House proposal will lower premiums by hundreds or even thousands of dollars for middle-class families who are looking to buy insurance.This legislation includes numerous benefits for working families, immediately and in the long term, whether you have insurance now or not: It will end the national scandal of medical bankruptcy—the number one cause of personal bankruptcy—by eliminating lifetime caps on insurer payments and limiting annual out-of-pocket costs. Medical bankruptcies affect up to 4,000 families every day in the United States—and 78 percent of them are fully insured.
It ends abusive insurance company practices, including the denial of coverage based on pre-existing conditions and “rescissions”—the practice of canceling coverage when patients file claims.

It provides subsidies to help middle-class and lower-income families afford coverage. Through an exchange, it offers people a wide range of choices of insurance, including a public health insurance option that competes with private insurers.

It narrows the “donut hole”—the gap in Medicare coverage for prescription drugs.

It creates incentives to increase the number of doctors and boosts funding for community health centers.

It allows young people to be covered by their parents’ insurance up to age 27.

It creates a new fund to help employers give health coverage to early retirees.

It provides for efficient, computerized medical records and other tools to streamline medical care and increase quality.

It cuts costs to the federal government as well as to families, reducing the deficit by more than $100 billion over the next 10 years—thanks, in part, to the existence of a public health insurance option, which lowers costs across the system.
Ad it’s fairly funded—through employer responsibility and a surtax on the very highest earners, not a tax on middle-class health benefits.

That’s a huge, historic win that will make a real difference in the lives of people of all ages. Here’s a two-page fact sheet that explains more.
Meanwhile: President Barack Obama
praised the House members who showed courage in taking this critical vote.
Health Care for America Now (HCAN) and other reform supporters are
thanking representatives who voted “Yes.” You can thank your member of Congress here. They showed courage by fighting against insurance companies and for working families—and they need to hear from you to know that they did the right thing.
And the Senate could begin debate on its own health care legislation
next week.

Monday, November 02, 2009

The Great Connection ~ Wal-Mart & China...11/02/09

The Emma Maersk (part of a Danish shipping line).

What a wonder 'Made in China ' is displacing North American goods big time. This monster transports goods across the Pacific in about 5 days!!! This is how Wal-Mart gets it's stuff from China . 15,000 containers and a 207' deck beam! The crew-size: 13 people on a ship longer than a US aircraft carrier (which has a crew of 5,000). Notice that 207' beam means it cannot fit through the Panama or Suez Canals . It is strictly transpacific. Cruise speed: 31 knots.. The goods arrive 4 days before the typical container ship (18-20 knots) on a China -to- California run. So this behemoth is hugely competitive when carrying perishable goods..The ship was built in five sections. The sections floated together and then welded. The command bridge is higher than a 10-story building and has 11 cargo crane rigs that can operate simultaneously. Additional info: Country of origin - Denmark Length - 1,302 ft Width - 207 ft Net cargo - 123,200 tons Engine - 14 cylinders in-line diesel engine (110,000 BHP) Cruise Speed - 31 knots Cargo capacity - 15,000 TEU (1 TEU = 20 cubic feet) Crew - 13 people First Trip - Sept. 08, 2006 Construction cost - US $145,000,000+ Silicone painting applied to the ship bottom reduces water resistance and saves 317,000 gallons of diesel per year. Editorial Comment ! A recent documentary in late March on the History Channel noted that nearly all of these containers are shipped back to China , EMPTY. Yep, that's right. We send nothing back on most of these ships. What does that tell you about the current financial state of this country ? Just keep buying those imported goods (mostly gadgets) until you run out of money. Then wonder what the cause of unemployment (maybe your job) in the U.S. and Canada might be? I believe it is time to start shopping somewhere besides WalMart.
LOOK FOR MADE IN AMERICA. We can do it if we stick together. American Made Only.

Editorial : Thanks to Buddy for this ! Ya Think Wal-Mart is your friend ? I think not !

Sunday, October 25, 2009

The Church, The Christian, and Politics ?

What Would Jesus Do ?

By Don Jones...10/25/09

It is Sunday morning, I have followed my usual routine, I`ve watched the Sunday morning news - talk shows. I then went to church. I have a fellow christian friend at church his name is, lets call him, Bobby, now Bobby and I are of the same persuasion when it comes to politics. We usually vote the Democratic ticket and we both love Tennessee football. We are both liberal thinkers. Now in some Church's liberal has become a political word, and not a good word at that. Where they get this, I have no idea. Now, I have another christian friend at my church, his name is, lets call him Joe ! Joe is of the conservative persuasion. now that`s alright, except, I`m not sure what a conservative right wing republican is, or if he is one ? I have found that most conservatives have come to a conclusion that if you are liberal democrat, that is a very bad thing. I do not believe their conclusion. There are some republicans, who believe that you cannot be a christian and be a democrat. I do not believe that. There are some Democrats who believe that if you are a republican, you cannot be a christian. I do not believe that. What would Jesus do ? I believe that Jesus would be a liberal. I believe he was a liberal. He cared about the poor and the oppressed. His ministry was among them. Jesus drove the money lenders from the temple ! He healed the sick ? He fed the multitudes/poor ! Now, if you do not agree with me, that`s alright ! I may not understand, why you do not ? But, that's alright too ! My point being that, if Christian's cannot disagree without being disagreeable, then no one can. Jesus loved/loves the believer and the lost. Can we do less ? I think not ! I believe our forefathers were probably more smart/intelligent than we give them credit for ! The separation of Church and Government is an absolute must. If you practice what you preach by example, that is all you must do. If Jesus loves the saved and the lost, are we to be so petty as to not love our fellowman ? I`m not saying that Republican`s are our enemy`s ! I`m saying we must love them, even if we disagree with them ! If we are to be examples of love and share our Christ, we must keep politics out of the church. Want to persuade someone to become a born again christian ? Do it by example. Not by political party. I`m a Christian and a Democrat. If you are a Christian and a Republican, I must love you and accept that fact ! I may disagree with your political philosophy. I still must love and accept you as a Christian. The next time you have a discussion with someone, who is of a different persuasion than you, try finding out, what you agree on. Then proceed to have social intercourse. I bet you will find out that you agree on more than you think you do ? ! "God Is Love"!

Friday, October 16, 2009

Health Care & A Public Option...10/16/09

As Insurance Industry Continues Its Campaign of Lies…

Obama administration officials and Congressional Democrats fired back on Monday at a misleading insurance industry report that said premiums would climb sharply with the passage of comprehensive health legislation. The report, by Price Waterhouse Coopers, was attacked on several fronts. White House officials said the industry had ignored features of the bill that would lower costs for consumers, like subsidies for people who could not afford insurance. Nancy-Ann DeParle, director of the White House Office of Health Reform, said she was surprised by the report because she met last week with Karen Ignagni, president of America’s Health Insurance Plans (AHIP), which commissioned the report, and they vowed to work together. Price Water house Coopers acknowledged that numbers in the report could be misconstrued. "America's Health Insurance Plans engaged Price water house Coopers to prepare a report that focused on four components of the Senate Finance Committee proposal," the company said in a statement. "As the report itself acknowledges, other provisions that are part of health reform proposals were not included in the PwC analysis." For example, Finance Committee aides said, the study assumes that a proposed 40% fee on insurers that offer high-cost insurance, and more than $100 billion in taxes on the health care industry, will be passed directly onto consumers without forcing any kind of behavioral changes by individuals or companies. In essence, the study looked at the worst-case scenario and failed to consider mitigating forces such as tax credits to purchase insurance, Democrats said. “The misleading and harmful claims made by the profit-driven insurance companies are politicking for corporate gain at its worst,” Sen. John Rockefeller (D-WV) said in a statement. “Their recent statements only further highlight that our focus here in Congress must be on the inclusion of a public health insurance option in the marketplace to protect families and put more money back in their wallets by creating greater competition and driving down costs.”

Editorial : Without a Public Option, there is no competition ! The Insurance company`s have no competitor`s. That`s not good for you and I !

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Call Congress for FREE !

How to Call Congress for Free...

Is calling Congress racking up long-distance charges on your phone bill ?
One interesting quirk about the U.S. Capitol is that there are no official toll-free lines to the Congressional switchboard.
That means you foot the bill most times you call the official number (202-224-3121 for the Senate;

(202-224-3121 for the House) with a question or concern for your elected officials.
But toll-free lines offered by different lobbyist groups present a free alternative to calling the official Congressional numbers. Some members also foot the bill for their constituents calls.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Health Care & The VEBA`s ?...10/12/09

Health Care Reform & The VEBA`S...
by : Don Jones...10/12/09

During this long debate on Reforming Health Care, I have heard very little in regard to the many existing Volunteer Eemployee's Benefit's Association`s (VEBA) and this health care reform will affect these VEBA`S ? I`m certain, it will affect them, the question is will it be a positive or negative impact ? Those Retired United Steelworkers of America (USWA) and United Auto Workers (UAW) perhaps it is time, you found out ? As I understand it, health care reform, will affect those of us retired and members of these VEBA`S ? I`d almost laugh, if it was`nt so tragic, but I believe this reform will affect us ! It is just a matter of how ? They call them Volunteer Employee`s Benefits association`s , I did`nt volunteer, did you ? I do know that, if this money in the VEBA`S is not replenished, it will soon be all gone ! It must be invested and money made on the investment. Looking at the stock market today, I cringe at that very thought. The Health Insurance Company`s are in control at the moment. That alone should worry you. Does me ! Goodyear has negotiated all of us retiree`s away. They handle my pension alone now. I`m sure CEO Bob Keegan is trying to figure out a way to get that, as well as my health benefits. I do not know who to tell you to contact in regard to your/our VEBA, perhaps Jerry Ivey or David Nelson (731)885-6641 ? Or Their local`s web-site > < Or maybe Cong. John Tanner >(731)885-7070 or his site You can be sure of one thing though, someone on wall street is trying to figure out how to get their hands on your/our VEBA money.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

National Organ Transplant ~ Waiting List !...9/11/09

Organ/Transplant Waiting List > USA...9/11/2009

National List :

Kidney ---- 81,150

Liver---- 15,941







Total : 103,456
Tennessee :









Total: 2,143

"Give The Gift of Life, Be an Organ/Tissue Donor, It`s the Masonic thing to Do " !

Tuesday, September 01, 2009

Public Option in Health Care...9/01/09

What Exactly is a Health Care"Public Option ?

Simply put, a public option would be a new health insurance plan overseen by the government. You can think of it like a Medicare plan non-seniors could purchase. The President stresses that it must be self-sustaining, stating, “taxpayers aren't subsidizing it. . . it has to run on charging premiums and providing good services and a good network of doctors, just like any other private insurer would do.”*

The Benefits of a Public Option Include:

Giving Americans a Better Range of Health Care Choices
Expanding the options that are available means consumers will have more ability to decide what fits their needs. A high-quality public option with lower-cost premiums promises to attract many Americans, especially those who have been disappointed by our current for-profit system.

• Making the Private Health Care Market More Competitive:

Today, there is really no competition. Huge for-profit insurers control large geographical regions. This profit-driven system needs incentive to meaningfully reign-in costs while providing quality care, rather than simply passing on higher premiums that drive more people into the ranks of the uninsured.
Medicare, the public insurance program, has been much more successful than private insurers when it comes to reducing administrative and operating costs. A public plan option would force private insurers to compete on efficiency and quality, rather than on their ability to enroll the lowest-cost people. Plus, since a public option doesn’t have to earn huge profits, premiums are expected to be less.

• Keeping Insurance Companies Honest:

The for-profit insurance industry is guilty of engaging in a number of unethical practices to increase the bottom line: raising rates exorbitantly to force companies into dropping coverage, denying procedures that should be covered, dropping a policy just as a person is diagnosed with a major illness by finding a “technicality.” With the threat of losing customers to a public plan, insurance companies will have an incentive to provide better coverage that is also more affordable. A Public Option Is Really Just Common Sense.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Universal Health Care in USA ... Facts ! 6/24/09

America Needs/Deserves Health Care Now !

Myth: The U.S. has the best health care system in the world. Fact: The U.S. has among the worst health statistics of all rich nations. Summary The U.S. does not have the best health care system in the world - it has the best emergency care system in the world. Advanced U.S. medical technology has not translated into better health statistics for its citizens; indeed, the U.S. ranks near the bottom in list after list of international comparisons. Part of the problem is that there is more profit in a pound of cure than an ounce of prevention. Another part of the problem is that America has the highest level of poverty and income inequality among all rich nations, and poverty affects one's health much more than the limited ministrations of a formal health care system. Argument Let's review the health care statistics first, and analyze them afterwards. All statistics here are for the year 1991; they have generally become worse for the U.S. since then.Health Care Expenditures (percent of GDP) (1)

United States 13.4%
Canada 10.0
Finland 9.1
Sweden 8.6
Germany 8.4
Netherlands 8.4
Norway 7.6
Japan 6.8
United Kingdom 6.6
Denmark 6.5
Doctors' incomes: (2)
United States $132,300
Germany 91,244
Denmark 50,585
Finland 42,943
Norway 35,356
Sweden 25,768

Percent of population covered by public health care:
ALL NATIONS (except below) 100%
France, Austria 99
Switzerland, Spain, Belgium 98
Germany 92
Netherlands 77
United States 40
Average paid maternity leave (as of 1991; this changed with Clinton's
signing of the 1993 Family and Medical Leave Act):
Sweden 32 weeks
France 28
United Kingdom 18
Norway 18
Denmark 18
Japan 14
Germany 14
Netherlands 12
United States 0

Life Expectancy (years):
Men Women
Japan 76.2<> 82.5
France 72.9<> 81.3
Switzerland 74.1<> 81.3
Netherlands 73.7<> 80.5
Sweden 74.2<> 80.4
Canada 73.4<> 80.3
Norway 73.1<> 79.7
Germany 72.6<> 79.2
Finland 70.7 <>78.8
United States 71.6<> 78.6
United Kingdom 72.7<> 78.2
Denmark 72.2 <>77.9
Infant Mortality Rate (per 1,000 live births):
United States 10.4
United Kingdom 9.4
Germany 8.5
Denmark 8.1
Canada 7.9
Norway 7.9
Netherlands 7.8
Switzerland 6.8
Finland 5.9
Sweden 5.9
Japan 5.0
Death rate of 1-to-4 year olds (per community of 200,000 per year):
United States 101.5
Japan 92.2
Norway 90.2
Denmark 85.1
France 84.9
United Kingdom 82.2
Canada 82.1
Netherlands 80.3
Germany 77.6
Switzerland 72.5
Sweden 64.7
Finland 53.3
Death rate of 15-to-24 year olds (per community of 200,000 per year):
United States 203
Switzerland 175
Canada 161
France 156
Finland 154
Norway 128
Germany 122
Denmark 120
United Kingdom 114
Sweden 109
Japan 96
Netherlands 90
Note: the murder rate for the above age group is 48.8 per 200,000. Even
subtracting this entirely still puts the U.S. near the top of the list.
Premature Death (years of life lost before the age of 64 per 100 people):
United States 5.8 years
Denmark 4.9
Finland 4.8
Canada 4.5
Germany 4.5
United Kingdom 4.4
Norway 4.3
Switzerland 4.1
Netherlands 4.0
Sweden 3.8
Japan 3.3
Percent of people with normal body mass:
Men Women
Germany 53% <>37
Finland 51<> 37
United Kingdom 46<> 38
Canada 52 <>29
Switzerland 49<> 30
France 44<> 30
Denmark 44<> 25
United States 47<> 22
Sweden 44 25
Percent of people who believe their health care system needs fundamental change:
United States 60%
Sweden 58
United Kingdom 52
Japan 47
Netherlands 46
France 42
Canada 38
An explanation of America's poor health care statistics Sharp readers will notice that the last chart may mean different things to different people. Conservatives think the U.S. health care system needs reform because there is too much government involvement in health care; liberals because there is not enough. So let's clarify this statistic with a few others. Americans are the most dissatisfied with the quality and quantity of their health care. Of the 10 largest industrialized nations, the U.S. ranked dead last in health care satisfaction, with an approval rating of only 11 percent. (3) There's no putting a positive spin on this statistic; any president with such a low approval rating would be impeached! Most of this dissatisfaction stems from the high expense and unavailability of U.S. health care. During the 1993 debate on health care reform, polls consistently showed that two-thirds of all Americans supported the idea of universal coverage. (4) Polls also showed that Americans didn't want to pay the higher taxes to achieve this goal, which many pundits took to be an amusing example of public inconsistency. Actually, the public was entirely consistent. Other nations manage to cover everybody, and at lower cost. Nor is America's international reputation in health care as high as many Americans boast it to be. "Ask anyone you know from a foreign country... which country is the envy of the world when it comes to health care," Rush Limbaugh wrote in See, I Told You So. But according to a Gallup poll published by the Toronto Star, only 2 percent of all Canadians believe that the U.S. has a better health care system than their own. (5) The fact is that America does not have the finest health care system in the world; it has the finest emergency care system in the world. Highly trained American doctors can summon Star Wars-type technology in saving patients who have become seriously injured or critically ill. But as far as preventative medicine goes, the U.S. is still in the Stone Age. It should be no surprise that in America's health care business, entrepreneurs will take a pound of cure over an ounce of prevention every time. But in reality, what affects the health of Americans lies more outside the formal health care system than within it. In Europe during the last century, life expectancy nearly doubled after nations purified their drinking water and created sanitation systems. In America during this century, the highest cancer rates are found in neighborhoods around the chemical industry. (6) A healthy diet and exercise provide better health than most medicines in most circumstances. Other nations have realized that factors outside the hospital are more important than factors inside it, and have used this bit of wisdom to lower their health care costs. Perhaps the greatest reason why Europeans are healthier than Americans is because they have reduced poverty, especially child poverty. The link between poverty and poorer health has long been proven. One survey reviewed more than 30 other studies on the relationship between class and health, and found that "class influences one's chances of staying alive. Almost without exception, the evidence shows that classes differ on mortality rates." (7) The American Journal of Epidemiology states that "a vast body of evidence has shown consistently that those in the lower classes have higher mortality, morbidity and disability rates" and these "are in part due to inadequate medical care services as well as to the impact of a toxic and hazardous physical environment." (8) And in an even more important finding, studies from Harvard and Berkeley have proven that income inequality -- not just absolute poverty -- is equally important. (9) States with the highest levels of income inequality also have the highest mortality and morbidity rates. The reason why relative poverty matters is because prices and opportunities are relative too - the U.S. may have the best medical technology in the world, but at $10,000 a procedure, who can afford it? Many reasons contribute to the worse health of the poor. Political scientist Jeffrey Reiman writes: "Less money means less nutritious food, less heat in winter, less fresh air in summer, less distance from sick people, less knowledge about illness or medicine, fewer doctor visits, fewer dental visits, less preventative care, and above all else, less first-quality medical attention when all these other deprivations take their toll and a poor person finds himself seriously ill." (10) And this is not to mention that the poor work and live in more polluted, hazardous and strenuous environments. These deprivations are especially hard on infants in their critical development years. The U.S. has tried to combat this problem by offering universal prenatal and postnatal health care, much like Europe does. But the U.S. is fighting against a head wind because it has levels of poverty that Europe does not. Again, a person's health is affected by more factors outside the formal health care system than within it. It's not enough to give a few programs to a person in poverty; what's needed is removing that person from poverty completely. "When I look back on my years in office," says C. Everett Koop, Reagan's former Surgeon General, "the things I banged my head against were all poverty." (11) If America is to improve its health statistics, it must not only pass universal health care, but reduce poverty as well.
Editorial : We cannot afford not to implement Universal Health Care ! It seems our race to the bottom continues.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Tennessee Donor Service ~ "The Gift of Life"! ~ County Court Clerks

By : Don Jones, Heart-Transplant#189 ~ Vandy

By donating $1.00 when you renew your vehicle's license tags, you can help educate others about the critical need for organ and tissue donations through the Tennessee County Clerks "HELP RENEW LIVES" campaign. If you mail in your renewal, simply add $1 to the registration charge and check the appropriate box indicating your are “adding a dollar for donor awareness”. If you visit your local County Clerk, you may be asked if you would like to donate a dollar for donor awareness; if not, simply tell the staff member you would like to do so.

Together we CAN save lives !

Governor Ned R. McWherter(D)Tennessee, 1987-1995 Monument Fund

Governor Ned R. Mc Wherter(D)Tennessee 1987-1995

By : Don Jones

Pictured above is the Honorable Ned R. McWherter, Governor of Tennessee 1987-1995 ! In This writers opinion, one of the best Governors in my life time. It seems that his home County, Weakley County is going to erect a bronze life sized monument in his honor. I cannot think of a more deserving public servant to do this for ! When the Governor was asked about this, he said, as long as there are no public tax-payer funds used, he would endorse it ! "Thanks" Governor McWherter for all that you did and still do ! If you would like to contribute/donate to this monument in his honor, just click on the title of this article or the link below !

Friday, May 29, 2009

Big Lies About Heathcare Reform...

Here Come the Big Lies About Health Care Reform
by Mike Hall, May 28, 2009

We noted a few days ago how the private insurance industry was set to unleash its attack dogs on health care reform to try to kill a public health insurance plan option as part of President Obama’s health care reform initiative. Those dogs have started to bark. Yesterday, the fake group, Americans for Prosperity (AFP)—another one of those astroturf names meant to appeal to All of Us—launched a $1.7 million TV ad campaign claiming we may all die if Obama’s health care reform proposals are enacted. The ads don’t even skirt the neighborhood of the truth, but then, as Robert Borosage wrote last week, the health care industry has a long history of “trying to scare the hell out of Americans” when it comes to health care reform.The ads conjure up the boogeyman of a “government-run” health care system where patients will die as their cancerous tumors grow to fatal stages while they wait months to receive care. Scary stuff. Phony, but meant to scare us all. A public health plan option has won the endorsement of major health care groups and many senators and representatives and is a key component of the AFL-CIO’s health care reform principles. It would provide workers who have private insurance and those without insurance a choice in coverage: Stay with their private plan or choose the public plan option. It would also—which scares the hay out of the private insurance industry—provide some competition for an industry that has secured a near-monopoly of the market and recorded record profits, while we are paying more for less care. The Wall Street Journal reports that another group, Conservatives for Patients’ Rights, is buying air time for a 30-minute Sunday morning infomercial featuring “horror stories” about the Canadian and British health care systems and warning the U.S. government is about to take over health care here. Like AFP’s campaign, that message doesn’t even have a nodding acquaintance with the truth. But a key Republican strategist says the truth doesn’t matter when it comes to fighting health care reform. BTW, most Republican lawmakers have decried a public plan option with strikingly similar, and just as phony, arguments. Think Progress reports that lies about health care reform are not going to go away anytime soon. In an interview with The New York Times, conservative pollster Frank Luntz admitted that he would continue raising the false specter of a ”Washington takeover” of health care—whether or not that was Obama’s actual proposal. “I’m not a policy person. I’m a language person,” Luntz said. Click here for a detailed look at the blueprint for the propaganda campaign against health care reform. The truth may set you free, but a big lie just might protect Big Health Insurance Companies’ big profits.