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September 2016

Medicare and Health Care Insurance Snags, Traps, Escalating Costs, And Surprising Bipartisan Potential Solutions

Washington Watch


Rep. Diane Black, a Tennessee Republican congresswoman, and Earl Blumenauer, a Democratic congressman from Oregon, don’t agree on very much about health care.


Both sit on the powerful House Ways and Means Health Subcommittee and both tend to vote on the opposite side of most health care issues. Black, a nurse by training, has called President Barack Obama’s Affordable Care Act an “abject failure” which she argues was “built on a grand deception.”


Black’s dislike of liberal health care policies is well known. She’s best known on Capitol Hill for her hardline anti‑abortion stance. Earlier this year, she authored the Conscience Protection Act, a bill, approved by the House 245‑182 preventing discriminating against a health care provider based on the provider’s refusal to be involved in or provide coverage for abortion. Black is also well known for her role as a member of the controversial Select Investigative Panel on Infant Lives, a House committee formed in the wake of last summer’s Planned Parenthood sting videos.


Blumenauer, on the other hand, is an environmental crusader who is known for cycling from his Washington residence to the U.S. Capitol and occasionally to the White House for meetings. A strong supporter of the President’s Affordable Care Act, Blumenauer says “it is absolutely a step in the right direction,” and has strongly criticized Republicans’ efforts to dismantle the health care law as “a disappointing political stunt.”


His biggest accomplishment since winning the Portland, Oregon, district in 1996 has been getting Congress to approve giving veterans the right to discuss medical marijuana as a treatment option with the Veterans Affairs doctors in states where it is legal. He tried repeatedly to persuade Medicare to reimburse doctors for talking with seniors about their wishes for end‑of‑life care, and during the 2009 Obama health care fight, it was his amendment that then‑Republican-vice-presidential candidate Sarah Palin labeled “death panels,” killing the amendment.


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Chasing Crap

Leslie Goes Boom


I broke my record while chasing the crap out of my life.


About a year and a half ago, I started running. I did this for a two reasons: to help me keep off the 85 pounds I lost, and to run out every bit of bad energy in my life.!


I started out slowly. I would run for one minute and then walk for 29. Then I’d run for two minutes and walk for 28. After a few months of training, I could actually run 5K.


For the first time in my life, I ran the 5K in a race with my daughter. We ran the Rocky Balboa race in Philadelphia in November of 2014. It was a freezing cold day. I hate the cold. But I must admit that the race was absolutely exhilarating. It gave me not only a real feeling of accomplishment, but I found out what a runner’s high really is.


For those who have not had the pleasure of experiencing it, a runner’s high is the emotion of overwhelming happiness and fulfillment you get when heart pumping exercise causes the endorphins to light up in your body like a firecracker.


I truly believe that everyone needs a little runner’s high in their lives on a regular basis. We all have crap in our lives. Mine comes in the form of living with cancer for 20 years. When I run, it numbs the pain and makes the poop in my life go away, even if just for a little while.


I decided to challenge myself and train to run a 10K. I signed up to run the women’s 10K in Central Park in June.


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