Monday, August 31, 2009

It Has Begun

Well, exciting day here in Hancock.

I got up at 7 am (very early for me) to await the arrival of the contractors. They were about an hour late but they are here now working.

The kitchen designer came to remeasure with the contractor and make sure the new refrigerator from Nate and Dan would fit with the design as planned. It does. He brought me sampled for the countertop and I chose one. How funny is this... it's called Raven's Gemstone. Too cool. I picked a paint color for the walls too and will probably use the same one in the bathroom if they paint that (which they might not do).

The Company is Wilsonart Home. The photos on their site don't much look like the actual thing. I took one of my own of the sample and downloaded a photo with the Tibetan Sky (cool name isn't it?) paint color.

Meanwhile there are two nice young men digging and pounding outside my front door. They will do the frame, I guess and lay cement and then leave it all to set all day tomorrow. I was going to try and take pictures of the progress and "men at work," but it's too awkward to do that and I don't have their permission and am shy to ask, so...

Wednesday, they'll come and finish up. Yippee! Next Tuesday, they will start the bathroom. Kitchen cabinets take three weeks to be made so the work in the kitchen is probably 3-4 weeks off. Work in the bathroom will take 4-5 days. I'm going to have two very unhappy kitties but they are going to have one very happy human.

Yippee! Hope your day is as good as mine!

Friday, August 28, 2009

Saturday Wordzzle Challenge: Week 78

This is week 78 of the Saturday Wordzzle challenge. Anyone new to the process can refer back here to find out how it works. Whew! Tried a poem again this week. By the time I realized I was over my head, it was too late, so it is what it is. My brain is tired. I look forward to reading what everyone has come up with.

The words for this week's ten word challenge were: records, impulsive, really cool, bread crumbs, angels, Sponge Bob, magical moment, back and forth, suffering, good fences make good neighbors For the mini challenge: side effects are generally mild, clingy, rooster, samples, curiosity

My mini:

Side effects are generally mild, my foot, Carla muttered groggily pounding on the snooze button of the hideous alarm clock next to her bed. At least they were free samples and I didn't waste a fortune on this crap, she murmured wanting very much to go back to sleep. I should have know Ben was a loser when he bought this stupid clock. What kind of psycho buys an alarm clock that crows like a rooster? A lying, cheating bastard, that's who. A curiosity, he called it. That should have been a tip off too... Who talks like that? Think maybe I'll send this as a wedding gift to that bitch in a clingy dress he's marrying next week. Having made that decision, she felt suddenly energized and enthusiastic. She had to get cracking. Her appointment with the real estate agent was an hour from now and she didn't want to be late.

My 10-word:

It was not a magical moment, nope... not at all. Carla knew instantly that this was going to be a situation of "good fences make good neighbors." The guy looked like Sponge Bob's pointy-headed pink friend. And he seemed as manic as a cartoon character as well. He was running back and forth dropping what looked to her like bread crumbs (turned out it was grass seed... what did she know? She had been a city girl her whole life until now) and singing loudly something that sounded like an off-key rendition of "Angels from the Realms of Glory," one of her favorite ever hymns. What had she done! she muttered to herself. She had purchased this house in an impulsive moment, caught up in the excitement of the idea. She had thought the change of scene and the adventure of a home of her own would distract her from her suffering and loss, and now here was this weird buffoon cavorting around like a crazed cartoon right outside her door. Oh, God... he's spotted me she muttered to herself as he came bounding over. "Welcome neighbor," he sang out with a great booming laugh. I'm Michael Merriman. So nice to see that beautiful old house get some love and care. We're a good community here. I think you'll be very happy. I've got plenty of grass seed here. If you'd like, and if you can stand my singing, I'll do your yard too. Won't take me but 20 minutes and I enjoy the work." Up close he looked a lot less crazy. Instead he had the most beautiful kind blue eyes and a big smile that seemed to spread happiness. It was one for the record books she guessed as she felt her heart open for the first time in the two years since she had found her ex husband Jon (aka The Dirty Dog Bastard) in bed with her best friend. The realtor had told her the neighbor was a widower. Maybe her heart wasn't dead and there was hope for life and love still to come. Trying to play it really cool, though, she smiled back. "Nice to meet you Michael. What a wonderful welcome to my new home. I'm Carla Singer."

And the maxi:

Side effects are generally mild

How sweet it is to have a child

Tiny, clingy, sweet and new

It's really cool that he loves you

Angel sleeping in his crib

Jam and bread crumbs on his bib

How fast those magic moments fly

As weeks and months go zipping by

And newborn's curiosity

Succumbs to Sponge Bob on TV

Then just as quick another leap

To interrupt a mother's sleep

Back and forth he runs amok

Escaping death by sheer dumb luck

Impulsive, daring and enchanting

A boy the toddler starts supplanting

New adventures now he samples

Not meaning to, your heart he tramples

The kindly folks who live next door

Are not so kindly any more

The broken window they got past

That was a grudge that didn't last

But trampled flowers in their garden

Were more than they saw fit to pardon

Now bloody battles with light sabres

They say,"Good fences make good neighbors"

But still you haven't seen the worst

The next phase makes you think you're cursed

As teen years enter in like thunder

What happened to my child you wonder

Half strutting rooster and half boy

Insanely rude, then shy and coy

Who is this crazed, erratic loon?

And please, dear God, can he leave soon

He loved me once.... remember when?

Will he ever be my son again

Not suffering my love with sighs

Or worse yet sneers and rolling eyes

You pull you hair in deep despair

Then for a flash your boy is there

And the sweet young babe held in your arms

Your cracking bleeding heart recharms

The last phase is the worst and best

The mother's final, dreadful test

Strong and grown, his sails unfurled

The child now man takes on the world

Your job is well and truly done

He's now a man, your baby son

But mother's heart still sees them all

Babe, toddler, teen her eyes recall

Sweetness and pain both wrapped in joy

The man who is her baby boy.


Next Week's Ten Word Challenge will be: Spam, perpetual motion, sprinkle, telephone pole, stains, alphabetical, surgery, flattery, liberty, preservation

For the mini challenge: shadows, singularity, Florida, caterpillars, copy

Thanks for playing. For those who are new, here are some guidelines to make the process more fun.

Enjoy! See you next week.


Thursday, August 27, 2009

I've Got the Best Friends!!

Well, it's been a pretty cool day. Talked with the contractor and if all goes well, they will do my bathroom next week. Yes! Next week! It's really happening. He has ordered the flooring and the shower stall and the sink and toilet. I'd have had to wait 2-6 weeks for the sink I liked so I went with something else. Don't like it as much but this one quite nice too and it's available now, so it wins... and I'm still getting the toilet I like. So that was all pretty exciting.

Then, a few weeks back my Nate and Dan told me that they had a "surprise" coming for me. That's all that they would say. Not even a clue until yesterday when Dan (who is terrible at keeping secrets) added that it was "something I had said I wanted for my kitchen." Still I had no idea. Tonight they came by with my surprise and surprise me they did! One of their neighbors was moving and asked them if they knew anyone who might like this table. It's mine now. Replacing the garden table my kind friend Kim gave me 3 years ago when I moved into my house. That table has served well and Nate and Dan are going to use it in their yard so it is already instantly repurposed.

Anyway, here' are some photos...

Don't know if you can see it, but there's the green garden table
Kim gave me behind the new one...

Dan finishing assembling it...
Ta Da....
Can you see why I'm so glad that this floor is going to be replaced?
And isn't my new table beautiful?

Here's the linoleum I've chosen to replace it. Kitchen renovations are a month or so off still.
It's by Armstrong... as is what I chose for the bathroom.

Speaking of kitchen renovations... everyone should have friends like Nate and Dan. They are getting a new refrigerator and giving me the one they have now. It's much larger than mine, at least 5 or 6 years younger and has a bottom loading freezer! Cross another item off my wish list!

Dan also started the process of emptying the closet next to the bathroom. They will need to do water pipe stuff through there for both the bathroom renovations and the kitchen. Clearing it out has been on my wish list for a long time so that's kind a blessing in disguise (for me, anyway... not for Dan). I hadn't realized that he has to work tonight, so they came with my table, worked on my closet and then headed off for work. I feel very lucky.

May you all be blessed with friends as kind as mine,
with beauty and love in abundance
and with all good things!

Surprise! Another Health Care Video!

Think I'm obsessed?

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Ted Kennedy

I was trying to think about what to say about Ted Kennedy, a man I greatly admired, a man who has done great good for this nation on many fronts, who suffered much, made some horrible mistakes, but learned from them.

As someone whose life was shattered by losing one sibling to murder, I cannot imagine the kind of pain Mr. Kennedy had to overcome and I cannot help but admire that he never lost his compassion for his friends and colleagues but more than that, he never lost his compassion for the citizens of this country.

I thought maybe the best tribute I could give - since Health Care was his greatest passion - was to let him speak in his own words:

I hope you'll take time to listen to the Canadian video below. It's really excellent and informative.

Rest in Peace, Lion of the Senate. You were a gift to the nation and you presence will be missed.

Canadian Doctors & Health Care Experts Discuss Their System

Well worth listening to....

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Great Health Care Discussion

This is Representative Anthony Weiner ( D, NY) on Morning Jo discussing health care... It's about 17 minutes of video, but worth listening to...


Then there are the Billionaires for Wealthcare.... It's kind of silly, but they're point is interesting, I think...

Friday, August 21, 2009

Saturday Wordzzle Challenge: Week 77

This is week 77 of the Saturday Wordzzle challenge. Anyone new to the process can refer back here to find out how it works. Agggh.. my brain is on the fritz. I'm going to post this with just my maxi (because that's all I've written) and hopefully will post the 10 word and mini later tonight or tomorrow.... Ok.. 11:00 pm and I have filled in the missing two. Whew. Looking forward to reading what others came up with.

The words for this week's ten word challenge were: blind panic, apartment, fleas, soap operas, cajun cooking, free and easy, legal, sangria, public school, new For the mini challenge: class, calendar, keeping secrets, boring, fashion

Ten word:

Kate sat in her new apartment drinking sangria, watching soap operas and a cooking show about cajun cooking in hopes of avoiding the blind panic she was feeling on discovering that her poor little kitty was being eaten alive by fleas. She had read all the directions and the legal disclaimers on the Free and Easy flea powder. Free and Easy, she thought, was a stupid name for the stuff. It wasn't free and as far as she was concerned, it wasn't easy either. The directions on the package had clearly been written by someone who had dropped out of public school in the first or second grade, if they had gone at all. Kitty did seem to be feeling better, though and the sangria had both relaxed Kate and given her an appetite. She wondered if there was somewhere she could order cajun food to be delivered. The big city had its flaws, but delivery made up for a lot.

The mini:

Keeping secrets, Amanda Calendar thought, was boring, boring, boring. What was the point of good gossip and exciting news if you weren't allowed to tell it? Her mother told her it was wrong and unkind to tell stories about other people, whether they were true or not. Gossiping, she had said, was low class. But as far as Amanda could tell, the gossipy girls in school were all rich and popular and dressed at the height of fashion, so she didn't think her mother was right about that.

My maxi:

Blind panic, important date
Not free and easy... I'm running late
Cat has fleas, the apartment's a mess
I spilled sangria on my new dress
I've known big Mac since public school
Adoring him was my golden rule
He was so handsome it shouldn't be legal
Me, I was shy and tried to act regal
I had no skill or sense of fashion
Insecure, I hid my passion
Buried myself in boring classes
A pathetic nerd - I even wore glasses
Years on the calendar have moved on by
The world has changed and so have I
I'm considered to be quite good looking
I've mastered the art of cajun cooking
But here's the news that's so exciting
After college I took up writing
My name shows up in soap opera credits
Keeping Secrets is the show I edit
Big Mac's an actor and wants a part
Alas, he still holds the key to my heart
I mustn't revert to days of yore
And remember I'm awkward and shy no more
Who knows love may spring in his heart at last
And in the role of husband he'll soon be cast.


Next Week's Ten Word Challenge will be: records, impulsive, really cool, bread crumbs, angels, Sponge Bob, magical moment, back and forth, suffering, good fences make good neighbors

For the mini challenge: side effects are generally mild, clingy, rooster, samples, curiosity

Thanks for playing. For those who are new, here are some guidelines to make the process more fun.

Enjoy! See you next week.


Pizza Parable

Rachel Maddow's Pizza Parable... I thought this was very clever and very true.

Then there was John Stewart's interview with Betsy McCaughey, the original the source of the "death panel" goofiness. Good interview. Jon is brilliant, as always.

Exclusive - Betsy McCaughey Extended Interview Pt. 1
The Daily Show With Jon StewartMon - Thurs 11p / 10c
Daily Show
Full Episodes
Political HumorHealthcare Protests

This is the second part of the interview:

The Daily Show With Jon StewartMon - Thurs 11p / 10c
Betsy McCaughey Pt. 2
Daily Show
Full Episodes
Political HumorHealthcare Protests

Part 3 was not aired....

Exclusive - Betsy McCaughey Extended Interview Pt. 2
The Daily Show With Jon StewartMon - Thurs 11p / 10c
Daily Show
Full Episodes
Political HumorHealthcare Protests

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

A Smart Response to Nonsense

I've always been fond of Barney Frank. Go Barney!

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Friday, August 14, 2009

Saturday Wordzzle Challenge: Week 76

This is week 76 of the Saturday Wordzzle challenge. Anyone new to the process can refer back here to find out how it works.

The words for this week's ten word challenge were: superlative, flea market, falling leaves, disinformation, who was that masked man?, keeping kids out of trouble, I'm a believer, bonnet in the attic, staff, generation For the mini challenge: deep in the forest, government, charming, heirlooms, flabbergasted

My 10-word:

Our first venture into the world of flea markets was on a superlative Fall day, the kind that makes it seem like anything is possible. The falling leaves were a rainbow of nature's wondrous magic and the whole family (even my teenage daughter and my mother-in-law) were happily united in our enthusiasm for the day's event. We had found a great project to bring the generations together that was a great way of keeping the kids out of trouble and even making a little money. It had started when Marcus found an old Lone (who was that masked man?) Ranger costume and an antique bonnet in the attic. Now we all piled happily into the van for weekly jaunts to flea markets around the area. Having the kids staff our booth was pure genius on my husband's part. I had some doubts at first, but now I'm a believer and we're a happy, united family at last. Don's mother and I are even starting to get a long. Who'd a thunk that was possible!?

The mini:

Lefty Lagorno was flabbergasted to discover that the government safe house deep in the forest where the Feds were hiding him was not some bare bones shack but a charming cottage furnished with what seemed to be magnificent heirlooms. Going straight, he thought, might not be so bad after all.

And the mega:

The Bonnet in the Attic Flea Market held weekly at the Falling Leaves State Park Fair Grounds was a magnificent venue for the generation of funding to maintain the the Park's extensive grounds. They had a superlative staff which included baby sitters for keeping kids out of trouble while their parents either shopped or marketed their wares. The flea market sported a wide range of goods from charming arts and crafts to heirlooms to junk and even included a farmer's market. It was universally popular with vendors, shoppers and tourists alike, which is why almost everyone was flabbergasted when a small masked group of alleged Ultra Right Wing Lunatics began a disinformation campaign protesting the use of government land for profit. "I'm a believer in free enterprise," their leader intoned through his megaphone to a crowd that was mainly both uninterested and unimpressed, though an occasional wag would quip, "who was that masked man?" Eventually a curious reporter decided it would be fun to know the answer to that question and discovered that the so-called protesters had been hired by the proprietor of Deep in the Forest Antiques who resented the competition. He became something a laughing stock and his shop - which initially lost even more business - became known to many as Masked Man Enterprises. Luckily he did have both a conscience and a sense of humor and he eventually set up his own booth at the flea market where he turned a great profit.


Next Week's Ten Word Challenge will be: blind panic, apartment, fleas, soap operas, cajun cooking, free and easy, legal, sangria, public school, new

For the mini challenge: class, calendar, keeping secrets, boring, fashion

Thanks for playing. For those who are new, here are some guidelines to make the process more fun.

Enjoy! See you next week.


Tommy Douglas, Author of Canadian Health Care

Tommy Douglas was the author of the Canadian Health Care system. There are lots of false rumors about how bad the Canadian system is despite the fact that most Canadians love it and would not trade it for anything - especially our system... A few years back in a national poll for the Greatest Canadian - this man came in first.

And a speech he gave regarding Canadian Medicare...

And for those of you who dedicatedly oppose public option health care, here's a link where you can express your opposition. You can use this to express your opposition to Medicare and to sign away your right to participate in it now or in the future. You might want to oppose the VA too. That's truly socialized medicine. Last I heard, the army hasn't gone commie.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Health Insurance Reform Reality Check

Information from the White House regarding Health Care Reform:

8 ways reform provides security and stability to those with or without coverage

Ends Discrimination for Pre-Existing Conditions: Insurance companies will be prohibited from refusing you coverage because of your medical history.

Ends Exorbitant Out-of-Pocket Expenses, Deductibles or Co-Pays: Insurance companies will have to abide by yearly caps on how much they can charge for out-of-pocket expenses.

Ends Cost-Sharing for Preventive Care: Insurance companies must fully cover, without charge, regular checkups and tests that help you prevent illness, such as mammograms or eye and foot exams for diabetics.

Ends Dropping of Coverage for Seriously Ill: Insurance companies will be prohibited from dropping or watering down insurance coverage for those who become seriously ill.

Ends Gender Discrimination: Insurance companies will be prohibited from charging you more because of your gender.

Ends Annual or Lifetime Caps on Coverage: Insurance companies will be prevented from placing annual or lifetime caps on the coverage you receive.

Extends Coverage for Young Adults: Children would continue to be eligible for family coverage through the age of 26.

Guarantees Insurance Renewal: Insurance companies will be required to renew any policy as long as the policyholder pays their premium in full. Insurance companies won't be allowed to refuse renewal because someone became sick. Learn more and get details:

8 common myths about health insurance reform

Reform will stop "rationing" - not increase it: It’s a myth that reform will mean a "government takeover" of health care or lead to "rationing." To the contrary, reform will forbid many forms of rationing that are currently being used by insurance companies.

We can’t afford reform: It's the status quo we can't afford. It’s a myth that reform will bust the budget. To the contrary, the President has identified ways to pay for the vast majority of the up-front costs by cutting waste, fraud, and abuse within existing government health programs; ending big subsidies to insurance companies; and increasing efficiency with such steps as coordinating care and streamlining paperwork. In the long term, reform can help bring down costs that will otherwise lead to a fiscal crisis.

Reform would encourage "euthanasia": It does not. It’s a malicious myth that reform would encourage or even require euthanasia for seniors. For seniors who want to consult with their family and physicians about end-of life decisions, reform will help to cover these voluntary, private consultations for those who want help with these personal and difficult family decisions.
Vets' health care is safe and sound: It’s a myth that health insurance reform will affect veterans' access to the care they get now. To the contrary, the President's budget significantly expands coverage under the VA, extending care to 500,000 more veterans who were previously excluded. The VA Healthcare system will continue to be available for all eligible veterans.
Reform will benefit small business - not burden it: It’s a myth that health insurance reform will hurt small businesses. To the contrary, reform will ease the burdens on small businesses, provide tax credits to help them pay for employee coverage and help level the playing field with big firms who pay much less to cover their employees on average.

Your Medicare is safe, and stronger with reform: It’s myth that Health Insurance Reform would be financed by cutting Medicare benefits. To the contrary, reform will improve the long-term financial health of Medicare, ensure better coordination, eliminate waste and unnecessary subsidies to insurance companies, and help to close the Medicare "doughnut" hole to make prescription drugs more affordable for seniors.

You can keep your own insurance: It’s myth that reform will force you out of your current insurance plan or force you to change doctors. To the contrary, reform will expand your choices, not eliminate them.

No, government will not do anything with your bank account: It is an absurd myth that government will be in charge of your bank accounts. Health insurance reform will simplify administration, making it easier and more convenient for you to pay bills in a method that you choose. Just like paying a phone bill or a utility bill, you can pay by traditional check, or by a direct electronic payment. And forms will be standardized so they will be easier to understand. The choice is up to you – and the same rules of privacy will apply as they do for all other electronic payments that people make. Learn more and get details:

8 Reasons We Need Health Insurance Reform Now

Coverage Denied to Millions: A recent national survey estimated that 12.6 million non-elderly adults – 36 percent of those who tried to purchase health insurance directly from an insurance company in the individual insurance market – were in fact discriminated against because of a pre-existing condition in the previous three years or dropped from coverage when they became seriously ill. Learn more:

Less Care for More Costs: With each passing year, Americans are paying more for health care coverage. Employer-sponsored health insurance premiums have nearly doubled since 2000, a rate three times faster than wages. In 2008, the average premium for a family plan purchased through an employer was $12,680, nearly the annual earnings of a full-time minimum wage job. Americans pay more than ever for health insurance, but get less coverage. Learn more:

Roadblocks to Care for Women: Women’s reproductive health requires more regular contact with health care providers, including yearly pap smears, mammograms, and obstetric care. Women are also more likely to report fair or poor health than men (9.5% versus 9.0%). While rates of chronic conditions such as diabetes and high blood pressure are similar to men, women are twice as likely to suffer from headaches and are more likely to experience joint, back or neck pain. These chronic conditions often require regular and frequent treatment and follow-up care. Learn more:

Hard Times in the Heartland: Throughout rural America, there are nearly 50 million people who face challenges in accessing health care. The past several decades have consistently shown higher rates of poverty, mortality, uninsurance, and limited access to a primary health care provider in rural areas. With the recent economic downturn, there is potential for an increase in many of the health disparities and access concerns that are already elevated in rural communities. Learn more:

Small Businesses Struggle to Provide Health Coverage: Nearly one-third of the uninsured – 13 million people – are employees of firms with less than 100 workers. From 2000 to 2007, the proportion of non-elderly Americans covered by employer-based health insurance fell from 66% to 61%. Much of this decline stems from small business. The percentage of small businesses offering coverage dropped from 68% to 59%, while large firms held stable at 99%. About a third of such workers in firms with fewer than 50 employees obtain insurance through a spouse. Learn more:

The Tragedies are Personal: Half of all personal bankruptcies are at least partly the result of medical expenses. The typical elderly couple may have to save nearly $300,000 to pay for health costs not covered by Medicare alone. Learn more:

Diminishing Access to Care: From 2000 to 2007, the proportion of non-elderly Americans covered by employer-based health insurance fell from 66% to 61%. An estimated 87 million people - one in every three Americans under the age of 65 - were uninsured at some point in 2007 and 2008. More than 80% of the uninsured are in working families. Learn more:

The Trends are Troubling: Without reform, health care costs will continue to skyrocket unabated, putting unbearable strain on families, businesses, and state and federal government budgets. Perhaps the most visible sign of the need for health care reform is the 46 million Americans currently without health insurance - projections suggest that this number will rise to about 72 million in 2040 in the absence of reform. Learn more:


And something I stole from Jay Simser over at Bailey's Buddy:


And... anyone who hasn't seen the movie SICKO really should put it on your to do list. Whatever you think of Michael Moore, he resists going over the top with this movie and presents a great deal of information on health care systems around the world. Granted, I started out in agreement with him so I'm not totally unbiased, but I think it's a film worth watching in any case. Here's a link to some interesting and significant and well documented health care information from Moore's website.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Congressman Hinchey on Health Care Reform

I received the following email from my Congressman today. I thought it was worth sharing. I'm so glad he represents me!

Dear Ms. Rabenau:

Thank you for contacting me regarding your support of the health care legislation that is currently being debated in the House. I appreciate hearing from you and welcome the opportunity to respond.

Like you, I am very concerned about how expensive health care is and how many people go without it. All Americans should have access to quality health care and I think the best solution is to establish a national health care system. Over 45 million Americans have no health insurance today, and millions more have inadequate insurance. Employers who have long provided quality coverage for their employees are cutting back benefits and raising workers' out-of-pocket expenses to deal with the rising cost of health premiums. Most of those who do have health insurance have to rely on their employers to provide it and as a result they have little or no choice about what kind of coverage they will have, and little or no security about whether they will remain insured, should they lose their job.

There is no good reason why our country should not offer its people a universal and comprehensive health care plan. It is a disgrace that our country allows people to go without coverage. Today, more than 30 percent of the money spent on private health care in America is spent on administration and advertising by health insurance companies. That's more than enough to cover the cost of providing insurance to people who don't have coverage now. By contrast, the administrative costs of Medicare--our universal health care system for seniors--comprise only 2 percent of the program's spending.

The current House health care reform legislation would provide Americans with an array of high‐quality private and public health insurance options. Most importantly, if you like the insurance you already have, you can keep it. The bill helps ensure that more Americans will have access to greater choices in doctors and plans by taking away the insurance industry's ability to deny coverage and care because of a pre-existing condition. This legislation builds on what is currently working in the employer‐based system while ensuring that all Americans health needs will be covered by insurance. No one will have to worry about being denied based on a pre-existing condition or being without coverage if their employer drops coverage, or if they lose their job, or change employers.

Currently, middle‐class families pay an enormous “hidden tax” of nearly $1,100 per year to provide care for the uninsured and underinsured. The House proposal will end this tax by containing overall costs and expanding access to affordable care for everyone. Additionally, the House proposal invests in reforms to help prevent the costs of health insurance from overburdening businesses, families and the federal budget.

I have been a committed cosponsor of legislation to create a single-payer health care plan since I took office in 1993. While I ultimately believe a single payer health care system is the best option for our country, I recognize that this goal is not achievable in this current session of Congress. As such, I strongly believe that the final health care reform package, which Congress is expected to approve this year, must include a public plan option that would provide Americans with a choice between health insurance provided through various private companies or through a public plan operated by the government. I, along with many of my House colleagues believe that any comprehensive health care reform legislation that comes before Congress must, at a minimum, include a public plan option that would enable people to buy into a public health insurance program that is on a level playing field with private health insurance plan.

I appreciate the time you took to share your thoughts and ideas with me and I'm also very pleased to hear of your support for expanding coverage and reforming our health care system. Making broad strides on health care reform is extremely important to me and I continue to work diligently on this issue.

Thank you again for contacting me. Your comments and concerns are always welcomed. I also encourage you to visit my website,, where you can learn about my latest efforts in Congress on your behalf. Best regards.


Maurice D. Hinchey


And a little (a long one actually) Keith Olbermann on Sarah Palin and a wide range of things...

Friday, August 07, 2009

Saturday Wordzzle Challenge: Week 75

This is week 75 of the Saturday Wordzzle challenge. Anyone new to the process can refer back here to find out how it works. I had an awful, awful, awful time with this weeks words. I mean awful. Hope the rest of you did better.

The words for this week's ten word challenge were: reluctant, sacrilege, territory, humiliating, master of ceremonies, gesture, dirty deed, crumbling, thaw, token For the mini challenge: official portrait, personal bank account, shoulder bone, unbearable, widow

My 10 word:

It feels like sacrilege to be as reluctant as I am at the moment to do wordzzles this week. I am, after all, the mistress/master of ceremonies, so to speak. This is my territory and it feels humiliating to have my creative energy crumbling away like this. Anyway, this dirty deed, token gesture of 10-word is all I can come up with until my brain and spirit thaw from whatever is troubling me.

My mini:

For Widow Margaret Johansenn the pain of her loss - even after all these months - remained almost unbearable. Today was the unveiling of the official portrait that had been begun just before the accident which killed George and left her with little more than bruises and a broken shoulder bone. Cynics thought she had married him for his personal bank account, but they were wrong. She had loved him with her whole being. Not that she didn't enjoy being rich. Money was nice. But George had been nicer.

And the maxi:

Climbing over crumbling rocks outside his tiny cabin in the Northwest Territory, George Johansenn felt liberated and free in the isolation and beauty of this retreat. While he waited for the Spring thaw, he rested and read and contemplated the radical choice he had made four months earlier. He had reluctantly realized that the life he had been living had become unbearable. The commissioning of an official portrait had been the final straw for him. The burden of his responsiblities had felt overwhelming. Quitting was not an option. It would have been humiliating, a sacrilege to the altar of family honor. So he had decided that he would have to die... or at least seem to die. He had planned his death with great care, leaving a substantial personal bank account and estate for his "widow," whom he deeply loved. He had It was a measure of the depth of his despair that he had been able to leave her behind. The only thing that had gone wrong with his plan was that she too had been injured. Luckily it was only a broken shoulder bone. She would recover, he was sure. He had hated to cause her grief but he knew the life ahead would not suit her and he wanted her to be happy. In token of his love he had sent a puppy for her to love and which he hoped would comfort her in her grief. He had hated hurting her, but it had felt like his only choice. Now he had to put it all behind him. The dirty deed was done, gestures of love made and there was no turning back. He was master of ceremonies for his own future and free of both old burdends and joys.


Next Week's Ten Word Challenge will be: superlative, flea market, falling leaves, disinformation, who was that masked man?, keeping kids out of trouble, I'm a believer, bonnet in the attic, staff, generation

For the mini challenge: deep in the forest, government, charming, heirlooms, flabbergasted

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Enjoy! See you next week.