By Margaret Flowers for Health Over Profit. Today Politico provided more details of the Republican’s plans to repeal and replace Obamacare (the Affordable Care Act). Overall, the impacts on the health insurance industry are hard to predict, but we can say for certain that they will do what they can to protect their bottom line. The impacts on people are clearer to see – fewer people with low incomes will have access to Medicaid, people with low incomes who do not qualify for Medicaid will be unlikely to be able to afford health insurance premiums, especially if they are older and high quality health plans will continue their decline. It is also clear that the Republican plan will worsen the healthcare crisis in the United States. Here are some of the details.
By the Upper Peninsula Environmental Coalition. Houghton, MI — Upper Peninsula Environmental Coalition (UPEC) members and supporters are expressing outrage and frustration following news that the Michigan Department of Natural Resources (DNR) issued a surface use permit authorizing Orvana Resources – a subsidiary of Highland Copper – to begin exploratory drilling in Porcupine Mountains Wilderness State Park. According to the DNR, drilling began Sunday, before the agency’s press release had even been published. The Porcupine Mountains Wilderness State Park is well known for its hiking trails, rugged terrain, old growth forests, miles of wild and scenic Lake Superior shoreline, wilderness campsites, rivers, lakes and waterfalls. “The sulfide mining industry is leading the State of Michigan around by a leash….”
The new campaign is called “Health Over Profit for Everyone (HOPE): Making health the bottom line.” It has the sole focus of shifting the political culture in the United States so that National Improved Medicare for All (NIMA) is the only politically-feasible solution in the next four years. We can do it! Just as we have worked together in broad coalitions to put reclassification of the internet on the table and to stop the Trans-Pacific Partnership, we also have the power to win NIMA. A strong group of NIMA advocates have joined to form the steering committee. We’ve created an activism website at HealthOverProfit.org that contains information and tools you’ll need to educate, organize and mobilize. We’ll provide national conference calls and coordinate days of action.
By Anne Meador of DC Media Group on Facebook. Washington, DC – The public was barred from a Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) meeting scheduled for 10 am Thursday. Over 30 Department of Homeland Security police met Beyond Extreme Energy (BXE) at the front doors, preventing entry to what organizers are calling a sham meeting with industry insiders. “It’s a ‘denial of citizens rights’ and prevents the public from taking part in Energy policy proceedings,” said organizer Ted Glick, with Beyond Extreme Energy. He called on FERC to be transparent and follow their mandate to put the public interests before oil and gas industry profits. Over 60 persons allied with BXE had planned to attend the meeting to express opposition to an increasing number of fracking energy infrastructure projects.
By LeeAnn Hall for Other Words – Eli Lilly wasn’t Price’s only investment. In March of last year, he also bought stock in Pfizer and health insurer Aetna. The value of all three corporations rose soon after his stock purchase. He didn’t stop there. In August, Price put down between $50,000 and $100,000 to buy shares in Innate Immunotherapeutics, which makes a multiple sclerosis drug. He also bought stock in Zimmer Biomet Holdings — one week before introducing a bill designed to blunt a regulation that would have hurt the company’s profits, according to CNN. Senate Democratic leader Charles Schumer called for that transaction to be investigated as a violation of a law against insider trading.
By Mnar Muhawesh for Mint Press News – MINNEAPOLIS — For almost three years, the residents of Flint, Michigan, have had poison running through their pipes. The city’s water supply has been tainted by lead and other dangerous pollutants since the city started drawing its water from the polluted Flint River in April of 2014 in an effort to cut costs in the economically depressed city. By January of 2015, city officials were ensuring their own supplies of clean bottled water. And the governor’s office was informed of the toxic water in February. But it wasn’t until October that year that residents were warned to stop consuming the city’s toxic water.
By Staff of Project for Public Spaces – A growing body of research over the last several decades has shown the connections between “place” and health, and it is well documented that a person’s zip code can be a more reliable determinant of health than their genetic code. Today, PPS is proud to release The Case for Healthy Places—a report of peer-reviewed research that offers evidence-based guidance, recommendations, and numerous case studies to which health institutions, community organizations, and other partners can refer in order to create and support healthy placemaking initiatives. Produced with generous support from Kaiser Permanente and Anne T. and Robert Bass, this important study focuses on five key areas…
By Amanda Bent for AlterNet – On August 31, 2016 advocates around the world commemorated International Overdose Awareness Day. We do so each year, first and foremost, to honor the memories of those tragically lost to overdose, but also to build solidarity around preventing future tragedies. I spent part of my day strategically engaging with folks passing through a busy local intersection in my city. By holding up signs and passing out informational flyers, we drew attention to the alarming fact that overdose is the leading cause of accidental death locally and nationally, surpassing even car accidents. The brief but frank conversations I had with community members all centered on a very pressing and pointed question
By Haul No! Grand Canyon, AZ — Energy Fuels Inc. is planning to poison the Grand Canyon including the precious Colorado River. Are we going to let our future be poisoned for thousands of generations by this greedy corporation? We say, “Haul no!”. #HaulNo! is an awareness & action tour that is being planned for Spring 2017 throughout Northern Arizona and Southern Utah along the proposed uranium haul route from Energy Fuel’s Canyon Mine to its White Mesa Mill. Volunteers from organizations such as Diné No Nukes, Clean Up The Mines, Grand Canyon Trust, and concerned community members have joined forces to spread awareness and empower action to ensure that the Grand Canyon, sacred sites, precious water, and our communities are safeguarded from the deadly and toxic threat of uranium contamination.
By Charles Ornstein for Pro Publica – A Pentagon consultant was recommending that Air Force officials quickly and discreetly chop up and melt down a fleet of C-123 aircraft that had once sprayed the toxic herbicide Agent Orange across Vietnam. The consultant also suggested how to downplay the risk if journalists started asking questions: “The longer this issue remains unresolved, the greater the likelihood of outside press reporting on yet another ‘Agent Orange Controversy.’”
By Ali Afshar for Human Development Project. California – You may or may not know that the incidence and relapse rates of schizophrenia in African-Caribbean males in Western countries has been reported as being much higher than equivalent white male cohorts. This knowledge was forefront in my mind when I saw a man in his twenties muttering to himself, handcuffed and surrounded by 4 white male police officers on El Camino, in Northern California. As a physician, I have a duty (shit, I swore an actual oath) to preserve the health of all humans. There was no way I was going to drive past this situation without making sure that guy was going to be fine. As I pulled over to ask if the gentleman was OK, I was immediately threatened with a ticket for blocking traffic. I re-parked my car legally and returned. My exact words were “I want to help to make sure this guy is OK”. The officers were aggressive and angry, instantly.
By Ian Zabarte of Native Community Action Council. Las Vegas, NV — Indigenous rights and environmental advocates from throughout the US condemned nuclear colonialism on what is recognized as “Columbus Day” Tuesday, October 11, 2016. Native Community Action Council held a press conference in front of the Thomas and Mac Moot Court at the Boyd Law School on the campus of UNLV for participants in the Native American Forum on Nuclear Issues at UNLV. Since 1951 the US and UK have conducted nuclear testing within Western Shoshone homelands causing a wide variety of adverse health consequences know to be plausible from exposure to radiation in fallout. The proposed Yucca Mountain high level nuclear waste repository, if licensed, will add significant risk factors to the lives of the Western Shoshone and Southern Paiute people.
By We Are Seneca Lake. READING, NEW YORK — In a decision likely to have broad implications for hundreds of We Are Seneca Lake defenders, Judge David Brockway dismissed trespassing charges against six local business owners due to insufficient evidence. The 12-hour trial took place in the Town of Reading Court on September 30. In addition, four of the business owners were found guilty of disorderly conduct for preventing a vehicle from passing through the gates of Crestwood’s gas storage complex on Route 14 in Reading, NY. Attorney Gibson will appeal that decision. “We saw in the testimony that the officers arrested these people without any direct knowledge that they actually were on private property,” said Sujata Gibson, defense attorney. “We are considering a federal lawsuit to ensure that this type of apparently politically motivated mass arrest and prosecution cannot continue to take place.”