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Health, Science & Environment

Series | A Nation Under Trump, Part 9: How do we create a high-value health care system?

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Mercy Sr. Karen Schneider, a pediatrician, left, talks with the mother of a child in the emergency room at Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore in 2014. (CNS/Bob Roller)

  • The Series: As the anniversary of Donald Trump's election as president of the United States approached, the NCR staff wondered if the calls to action that persisted immediately following the election remained as urgent.
  • Part 9: Admittedly, we need to do more than what's been proposed ... to rectify the current problems and impending crisis in U.S. health care. However, without accepting the moral and practical urgency of universal health coverage and the equally critical need to overhaul health care financing and delivery, all reform efforts are doomed to fail.

Michael Panicola, National Catholic Reporter (NCR)

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Nov 7, 2017 | 2017 has been a tumultuous year in health care in light of the repeated, failed attempts by Republicans to repeal and replace the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, known colloquially as Obamacare. This has caused uncertainty in insurance markets, paralyzed health care providers and negatively impacted some of our most vulnerable members in society who purchase coverage through the health insurance marketplaces or participate in the Medicaid program. 

Despite President Donald Trump's claims that we will have "great health care" and "take care of everyone," we are further away from those lofty aspirations than we were prior to his taking office.

Michael Panicola has a doctorate in health care ethics from St. Louis University and is a theologian and ethicist working in Catholic health care.

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Xcel Energy–the most abusive special interest in Minnesota?

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  • Action Alert:  Oppose Xcel Energy ripoff legislation
  • Related: Update on Xcel ripoff nuclear bills

Alan Muller, Airheads

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March 22, 2018 | Is Xcel really the worst?  It’s hard to say–there are so many candidates.  The Minnesota Chamber of Commerce?  3M?  The shadowy interests behind PolyMet and Twin Metals?

From where I write, in Red Wing, which is some sort of ultimate Xcel “company town,” there’s just no contest.  And for someone with a history of working on waste and energy issues, living in a community (nice as it is in many other ways) rendered so bereft of dignity and integrity by it’s servile relationship with Xcel can be painful.  (Of course, the locals don’t seen it that way–they are so used to being told what to do and what to think that they don’t notice.)

Info on Xcel’s latest foray is below, Senate File 3504 / House File 3708 (they are identical).

To see the abuses of Xcel on a larger playing field, one needs to visit the MN Public Utilities Commission and/or the state Legislature.  A puppet show on a different scale entirely.

https://secure.gravatar.com/avatar/6d57702fd8973cb88610af7707ffa036?s=100&r=pg&d=mm Alan Muller, blogger

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Related:

Update on Xcel ripoff nuclear billsAlan Muller, Airheads

  • What to do: Testify at the hearing if your schedule and the stability of your stomach allows.
  • March 27, 2018 | This is a follow-up to the March 22. 2018 post entitled  “Xcel Energy–the most abusive special interest in Minnesota?” (above) and subtitled “Action Alert:  Oppose Xcel Energy ripoff legislation.”
  • A hearing on Senate File 3504 , was rescheduled for March 27th at 1:00, in Room 1150 Minnesota Senate Bldg.  Energy and Utilities Finance and Policy Committee
  • If you would like to speak, contact Committee Administrator Darrin Lee at 651-293-2962 or darrin.lee@senate.mn.

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Series | A Nation Under Trump, Part 8: Trump's environmental rollbacks lack 'moral compass'.

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Protesters gather for a fossil fuel and climate change protest outside Trump Tower May 9 in New York City. (CNS/Reuters/Brendan McDermid)

  • The Series: As the anniversary of Donald Trump's election as president of the United States approached, the NCR staff wondered if the calls to action that persisted immediately following the election remained as urgent.
  • Part 8: Since routinely stating on the campaign trail the false belief that climate change is a hoax devised by China, Trump has not elaborated on those opinions. But the bevy of actions undertaken in his administration's first nine months has sent a clear signal of little intent to prioritize climate or other environmental concerns.
  • Planet, people take back seat to business since election.

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Brian Roewe, National Catholic Reporter (NCR) 

Nov 7, 2017 | After a September visit to Florida to survey damage waged by Hurricane Irma, President Donald Trump was asked whether the storm, along with Hurricane Harvey in the Gulf Coast, had changed his views on climate change.

"We've had bigger storms than this," he told reporters on Air Force One. 

Since routinely stating on the campaign trail the false belief that climate change is a hoax devised by China, Trump has been mum in further elaborating those opinions. But the bevy of actions undertaken in his administration's first nine months has sent a clear signal of little intent to prioritize climate or other environmental concerns.

http://evergreenedigest.org/sites/default/files/Brian%20Roewe%2C%20NCR.jpgBrian Roewe is an NCR staff writer and editor of Eco Catholic. He covers a wide range of issues: the environment, clergy sex abuse, the 2016 presidential election ... and the occasional sports story. His reporting has earned multiple honors, most recently at the 2017 Catholic Press Awards.

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67 Environmental Rules on the Way Out Under Trump

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Photo Credit: Shutterstock.com

  • Here are the details for each policy targeted by the administration so far — including who lobbied to get the regulations changed. Are there rules we missed? Email climateteam@nytimes.com or tweet @nytclimate.
  • Related: Trashing the Planet For Profit by William Bowles

Nadia Popovich, Livia Albeck-Ripka, and Kendra Pierre-Louis, New York (NY) Times

Thanks to Evergreene Digest reader/contributor Carol Bulchuck for this contribution.

http://evergreenedigest.org/sites/default/files/Editor%20Comment%20icon.jpgEvergreene Digest Editor's Note: This list does not include new rules proposed by the Trump administration that do not roll back previous policies, nor does it include court actions that have affected environmental policies independent of executive or legislative action.

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Jan. 31, 2018 | Since taking office last year, President Trump has made eliminating federal regulations a priority. His administration — with help from Republicans in Congress — has often targeted environmental rules it sees as overly burdensome to the fossil fuel industry, including major Obama-era policies aimed at fighting climate change.

To date, the Trump administration has sought to reverse more than 60 environmental rules, according to a New York Times analysis, based on research from Harvard Law School’s Environmental Regulation Rollback Tracker, Columbia Law School’s Climate Tracker and other sources.

Sources: Harvard Law School’s Environmental Regulation Rollback Tracker; Columbia Law School’s Climate Deregulation Tracker; Brookings Institution; Federal Register; Environmental Protection Agency; U.S. Chamber of Commerce; White House.

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Related:

Trashing the Planet For Profit by William Bowles, William Bowles, Investigating Imperialism / Dandelion Salad

  • https://farm6.staticflickr.com/5181/5626501347_3b338279c8_z.jpgWe refuse to accept responsibility for the state of the planet. Yes, ultimately, it’s the economic system, capitalism,  that’s doing the damage but surely it’s time we also accept responsibility for our role in maintaining an unsustainable economic system, a system that in the short term we all benefit from.
  • Related: Climate Denial Will Kill Us

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The dark side of daylight saving time

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(Credit: Adisorn Saovadee via Shutterstock)

There is one time of year when you are likely to be short on sleep — the annual shift to daylight saving time.

David Wagnerthe Conversation / Salon 

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03.09.2018 | A train hurtled around a corner at 82 mph, eventually coming off the rails and killing four passengers.

Decades earlier, faulty decision-making resulted in the deaths of the seven-person crew of the Space Shuttle Challenger.

Years before these events, a stuck valve regulating the supply of coolant to a nuclear reactor nearly resulted in the meltdown of a nuclear plant in Pennsylvania. In each of these cases, poor or inadequate sleep was one of the factors that contributed to the failure.

David Wagner is an Associate Professor of Management at the University of Oregon's Lundquist College of Business, and is a graduate of the Management Department at Michigan State University.

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