Flawed Study Inaccurately Suggests Dramatic Rise in Health Insurance Costs for Women | National Women’s Law Center

Below are several areas of the health care law that AAF fails to fully address in its analysis:

AFF doesn’t fully account for the impact of subsidies across the population. The health care law provides financial help – in the form of subsidies – for families and individuals to afford health coverage. While AAF acknowledges that young women with incomes below 400 percent of poverty ($45,960 for a single person) can qualify for premium subsidies, they fail to include this financial assistance in their calculation of average premium increases for young women.

AFF fails to address the expansion of Medicaid coverage. States have the option of expanding Medicaid coverage for individuals with incomes up to 133 percent of the federal poverty line, or $15,200 for a single person. But, again, AAF fails to note that some young women will become eligible for Medicaid coverage under the law. Nor does AAF include Medicaid’s modest premiums in their calculation of average premium increases.

Young women can still buy catastrophic plans. AAF assumes that young women will seek the lowest cost plan available to them. However, the study does not examine catastrophic plans for young people under age 30. Catastrophic plans offer lower premiums but higher deductibles. AAF should have included this option in their analysis to account for the full range of choices available to young invincibles.

AFF does not account for improvements in coverage. The health care law requires that qualified health plans cover essential health benefits, including maternity coverage – an important benefit for young women. Of the five states AAF finds to have the highest monthly premium increase, three of them – Nevada, Alaska, and Mississippi – previously  had no health plans with maternity coverage on the individual market. Many women in this age group will seek maternity care and this new coverage will allow them to get the care they need.

via Flawed Study Inaccurately Suggests Dramatic Rise in Health Insurance Costs for Women | National Women’s Law Center.

Pesticide illness triggers anti-Monsanto protest in Argentina | Environment | DW.DE | 25.10.2013

Sofía Gatica sits in the sun on a café patio in the Argentine city of Córdoba. She talks about raising her three children in Ituzaingó, a Córdoba suburb surrounded by soy fields. In the mid-1990s her oldest son became extremely ill.

\”When he was four years old, he came down with the illness that left him temporarily paralyzed,\” she recalls. \”He was admitted to the hospital. They told me that they didn\’t know what was wrong with him.\”

The Gatica family lived just fifty meters from fields planted with genetically-modified soy. Planes regularly flew overhead, spraying the plants with the herbicide glyphosate. Slowly, the entire suburb started getting sick.

Argentina is the world\’s third-largest soy producer

\”Children were being born with deformities,\” Sofia says, \”little babies were being born with six fingers, without a jawbone, missing a skull bone, with kidney deformities, without an anus – and a lot of mothers and fathers were developing cancer.\”

In 1999, Sofía Gatica gave birth to her fourth baby, a little girl. Three days later, the baby died of kidney failure. The loss of her child prompted Gatica to take action. She decided to find out what was happening in her neighborhood.

\”I went door-to-door and did a survey – asking each mother for the sick person\’s name, address, clinic, everything. And each mother sent me to another, and to another, and so on.\”

via Pesticide illness triggers anti-Monsanto protest in Argentina | Environment | DW.DE | 25.10.2013.

The Ultimate Lebanese Fail: Our Politicians

The Ultimate Lebanese Fail: Our Politicians (Elie posted this earlier and now it seems to not be there – don’t know if he pulled it or if it got censored. If he wants to pull it, I will take this down)

by eliefares

Once upon a time, I was a political person with a clear politician affiliation. I didn’t hide it. I wasn’t ashamed of it. If anyone had a problem with it, it wasn’t my problem.

I supported a party I had thought out to be the victim of current times. The rhetoric of the person in charge appealed to me. I thought he had a flawless run through a few years. Everyone else, on the other hand, was busy making mistakes all over the place. How could people not see that? I kept asking myself.

It may not be true. But I’d like to think I grew up since then. And it took me a long time to realize that it was okay to feel this betrayed, this deceived.

That same party I supported feels desolate and strange to me today. I’m not sure if the rhetoric that appealed to me back then changed or I developed some form of allergy to having it shoved down my throat. The man I had come to believe wasn’t the figure people had portrayed him to be was suddenly filing libel suits here and there. The people I knew were proud. I was appalled and disappointed. I was also disgusted by the utter bigotry that manifested, for instance, with him telling people they don’t know how to vote for an election that he worked on postponing. I voiced disdain throughout. They started shutting me out. I couldn’t care less – I liked it better on the outside.

That other politician I’m demographically supposed to like changes opinions faster than a weather vane in January changes directions. And his people change directions with him as well and it’s supposed to be completely normal. He wants everyone to believe he’s breaking through the mold of our feudal-like political successorship. But don’t tell that to his son-in-law.

My parliament, whose track record is worth looking into as the least efficient parliament to ever walk the Earth, has been ruled by the same person ever since I can remember. He’s an American citizen who hates America. In theory, my almost-24 years of life have had another speaker. In reality, he’s the only entity I can remember hammering away as session after the next failed to reach quorum.

The other side of that speaker’s coin is a beard that has an affinity to wars. Hold on, let me rephrase. It has an affinity to branding divinity onto wars we theoretically have/had nothing to do with. Eventually, we find ourselves in some deep mess but we can’t not take it because that’s what Allah wants.

There’s also that one who doesn’t even know where he stands regarding things and pretends he knows what he’s doing anyway, dragging an entire community that looks up to him and him alone – they’re getting nauseous from all the spinning, I bet.

And there’s that politician who is defining how it is to have power and rule a country all the way from a distant land which he’s aiming to get naturalized in, I suppose. A baggage of influence, wealth, power and corruption is synonymous with his name. Who said those can’t be put to good use at les Champs-Elysées?

Then there’s that prime minister who comes from a city torn apart by war while he attends Cirque du Soleil. And there’s that who’s supposed to replace him and who said, once upon a time, that we were getting a new government. The only thing we’re getting is news about his gastroenteritis instead. There’s also that president who, on a visit to the country he’s supposedly ruling between his many travels and as part of his country burns to the ground, he attends some honorary event for a random mayor of some random town. And there are those who rule over us without having a brevet certificate. I remember jokingly saying to my 14 year old cousin this past summer that she’d be an ass (in the animal sense of the word) if she didn’t pass that exam.

A friend of mine has been unemployed for the past 6 months in a profession that shouldn’t be this impossible in Lebanon. He thought his unemployment would last only one month. And that friend likes to joke about his situation often but it kills me every time to realize that there’s nothing I can do and that no one of those who can actually do something (refer to the above politicians) cares, for my friend is not a lone case in this country and the utter despair that my age-segment of society feels is due to the policies, or lack thereof, that these politicians enforce. And, apart from the people living on cloud 9, I’m willing to bet this despair isn’t exclusive to my age group. People are tired. People are exhausted. And who’s to blame?

That same friend has also been unable to sleep for the past few nights. It’s not because he has insomnia. It’s because he comes from a city that has been witnessing a Lebanese civil war-esque fights. It’s because each explosion feels like it’s happening inside his house. It’s because those politicians couldn’t care less about that city, as they slept in their fortresses and their beds, absolutely carefree without a single worry to trouble their good night’s sleep.

I’m tired of living in Lebanon and that’s not something I hide. But I’m not tired because of the country per se. I’m tired because our politicians are such a failure at what they do. They can’t come up with policy. They can’t come up with laws. In fact, they work on breaking them. They bicker like hormonal teenage girls in some American high school drama, fully knowing how their bickering reflects on the masses that follow them. They complain of a status quo but do nothing to change it. They couldn’t care less about the people they like to talk for. They don’t know how to rule. They have no idea how to govern. And they’re glad with chaos, believing chaos is what we all want.

They don’t get it. They will never get it. They will never know how it is to try and make ends meet. They will never know how it is to be unemployed and hopeless and feeling useless. They will never understand how it is to see your parents worried all the time about paying your university tuitions. They lack the empathy to try and understand. They will never understand how it is to live in the country that they have given us because their version of it has nothing to do with ours.

Lebanon has many shortcomings. But if there’s one that tops them all, it’s our politicians. All of them. And the sad part is they’re staying there till kingdom come.

Aussie Spin to kill wild birds and protect million chicken farms! Poultry vet agrees free range encourages bird flu – ABC Rural (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)

He thinks it\’s \’commonsense\’ that free range birds are more likely to contract the virus because they have more exposure to wild water birds.

\”If you have commercial poultry free ranging and they come into contact with these wild water fowl, wild ducks, invariably at some stage they will contaminate this commercial poultry, and, using simple terms, the virus hots up and it gets into these commercial poultry and you finish up like the current situation like we have, where we have significant mortalities and we need to quarantine the farms and unfortunately have to destroy the birds.\”

via Poultry vet agrees free range encourages bird flu – ABC Rural (Australian Broadcasting Corporation).

Corporate giveaway of public land – Largest urban farming and reforestation project in the U.S. gets underway in Detroit — City Farmer News

Insane giveaway to investor who will do who knows what with the land in 10 years to no benefit to the community.

The lots being sold to establish Hantz Woodlands consist of approximately 140 acres of land in an area roughly bounded by Van Dyke Street on the west, St. Jean Street on the east, Mack Avenue on the north and Jefferson on the south.

via Largest urban farming and reforestation project in the U.S. gets underway in Detroit — City Farmer News.

IWS Documented News DAILY POSTINGS: [IWS] WEF: THE GLOBAL GENDER GAP REPORT 2013 [25 October 2013]

The Global Gender Gap Report 2013 finds 86 out of 133 countries improved their global gender gap between 2012 and 2013, with the area of political participation seeing the greatest progress

·         Iceland has the narrowest gender gap in the world, followed by Finland, Norway and Sweden.

via IWS Documented News DAILY POSTINGS: [IWS] WEF: THE GLOBAL GENDER GAP REPORT 2013 [25 October 2013].

FDA Update: Nearly 600 Dogs Have Died, Thousands Sickened in Connection With Chinese Jerky Treats | Food Safety News

(If 580 people had died from eating jerky, the issue would have had hundreds of investigators and dozens of labs right on top of finding the cause. The takeaway from this is do not feed any packaged “treats” to any of your pets because those charged with making sure they are safe, do not have the budget or whatever to do the job.)

Approximately 580 dogs have died and 3,600 have been sickened in a mysterious connection with consuming Chinese jerky treats, according to a new update from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

The problems date back as far as 2007, when FDA first began receiving a higher volume of reports of dogs exhibiting symptoms such as decreased appetite, lethargy, vomiting and diarrhea. The apparent commonality was a diet including various brand-name jerky treats, all of which were manufactured in China.

via FDA Update: Nearly 600 Dogs Have Died, Thousands Sickened in Connection With Chinese Jerky Treats | Food Safety News.