Environment and Health
One of the many lessons we must learn from the 29 miners who lost their lives in Montcoal, West Virginia is that our patterns of energy use, as well as how we shop, are intimately tied to those who risk their lives each and every day deep beneath the Earth’s surface.
We all know who the real bad guys are in the health biz. They’re the insurance companies, the drug companies, and the lawmakers who serve them. Those are the easy ones. After them it’s murkier. Some doctors and hospitals also cheat and steal or are incompetent, but most do the best they can to try to cure us. Unfortunately “best they can” often isn’t that good.
Last year, before Rush Limbaugh pledged to emigrate to the jewel of Central America, I lived and worked In Costa Rica for six months.
For Rush, the health-care fight was personal. In January, suffering with chest pains, the yackety-yacker was rushed to a hospital in Hawaii. After his recovery, he used the experience to embellish his rhetorical assault on reformers: “Based on what happened here to me,” he bellowed, “I don’t think there’s one thing wrong with the American health care system. It is working just fine, just dandy.” Well gosh, Rush–that’s because Hawaii has had a form of Obamacare since 1974, including a statewide mandate that employers provide health coverage for full-time workers. Why shouldn’t all Americans get what you got?
Just like Victory Bonds supported the U.S. role in World War II, so does Green America hope to see “Clean Energy Victory Bonds” help America fight climate change.
Coal, oil, gas, and nukes have mounted a powerful defense against altering the status quo, and local utility companies daily build more legislative walls guarding their potent existing cartels. Public utility regulators remain cozy with those utilities, and the regional agencies in charge of seeing that there’s enough juice to go around remain deeply secretive and deep in the industry’s pocket.
When First Lady Michelle Obama decided to launch the “Let’s Move” campaign to fight childhood obesity, she brought much-needed attention to a crisis millions of children face. It’s a special concern for children of color, because new research shows black and Latino kids are disproportionally at risk.
Congress has debated health-care reform for generations. Our much-debated and historic legislation is finally ready to go to work, hopefully delivering expanded coverage, making health care more affordable, and holding insurance companies accountable. But we still need to keep an eye on some of the best ideas in this arena, which are often born at the state level.