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Health & Environment

Health, Science & Environment

Summary: Health Care Reform: Week of September 5

4 New Items including:

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  • Pawlenty Orders Minnesota Not To Apply For Federal Health Care Reform Money
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  • Fewer to get care with GAMC alteration
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David Culver, ed., Evergreene Digest

Steve Sack

With many still in dark, groups shed light on new health care law, Richard Wolf, USA Today

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  • With many still in dark, groups shed light on health care law
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  • Obama’s Health Care Bill Is Enough to Make You Sick
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A misguided push to dump health board, Star Tribune | MN
Bills would protect special interests, not taxpayers.

Pawlenty Orders Minnesota Not To Apply For Federal Health Care Reform Money, Eric Kleefeld, Talking Points Memo

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  • Pawlenty's order contains various points of explanation, taken right from Republican arguments against the new law.
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  • Playing politics with the peoples health. This move to swear off federal health care money could be worth a lot -- namely, a potential gain of five points in the Iowa caucuses in 2012.
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Fewer to get care with GAMC alteration, Warren Wolfe, Minneapolis Star Tribune | MN

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  • Now only one hospital remains to offer coordinated care, with 3,500 slots for 18,000 low-income adults.
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  • Pawlenty Orders Minnesota Not To Apply For Federal Health Care Reform Money
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Simpson: Veterans 'Not Helping Us' Save Country From Debt

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Aging vets' costs concern Obama's deficit co-chair

Brian Beutler, Talking Points Memo

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Submitted by Evergreene Digest Contributing Editor Thomas Sklarski

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National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility co-chairman Alan Simpson

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If Social Security is "a cow with 310 million tits" then what's the proper metaphor for veteran's benefits? We don't know. But Alan Simpson seems to think they're too expensive. Or too overused. Or something. Anyway, it's bad.

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"The irony (is) that the veterans who saved this country are now, in a way, not helping us to save the country in this fiscal mess," said Alan Simpson, co-chair of the White House's fiscal commission, according to the Associated Press.

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Simpson was referring specifically to the disability benefits the Department of Veterans Affairs dispenses to Vietnam veterans exposed to Agent Orange.

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More...

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Aging vets' costs concern Obama's deficit co-chair, Mike Baker, AP News, in Talking Points Memo
VA's move to sweeten benefits for aging vets worries Obama deficit chair; Senate to review it.

10 Ways Your Taxes Pay For Environmental Devastation

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Despite recent green investments, an array of government subsidies pay big dirty industries like oil, coal and factory farms to destroy the environment in every way possible.

Stephanie Rogers  EcoSalon

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Urban sprawl, pollution, over-consumption, deforestation…like it or not, U.S. taxpayers are still paying for all of these things to occur in America and beyond. Despite recent investments in green jobs and technology, an array of government subsidies pay big dirty industries like oil, coal and factory farms to destroy the environment in every way possible while greener, healthier industries like solar power and vegetable farms get a pittance.

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10. Highways
When gas prices rose dramatically in 2008, Americans began flocking to mass transit in droves, resulting in declining revenues for the Federal Highway Trust Fund. Naturally, the Bush Administration’s response was to take money from already underfunded mass transit and use it to pay for highways that are already, as Slate put it, “paved with gold”. Billions of dollars are pumped into the highway system every year, which encourages the polluting car culture and leads to further sprawl, while mass transit continues to fall by the wayside.

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It's the Opportunity, Stupid!

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The elected officials who steered this turnaround have abdicated their responsibility to uphold our nation's best interests, and have shown us, and the world, an America woefully deficient in both leadership and ingenuity.

Robert Redford, Huffington Post

Submitted by Evergreene Digest Contributing Editor Thomas Sklarski

A small minority of Senators robbed America of a cleaner, more prosperous future last week (July 18-24). In the middle of the biggest oil disaster in American history, the hottest summer on record, and a war with an oil-rich nation, this group of cynics blocked efforts to pass comprehensive energy and climate legislation. This was the moment brimming with potential for new jobs, a more robust economy and cleaner environment -- this bill would have guided America down a profoundly safer and more productive path.

So therefore, the Senate is left to vote on an anemic energy bill of such remarkably limited scope that it could have been passed during the Bush era.

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What is fuelling floods and fires?


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  • While most climate experts say that it is too soon to draw any conclusions about a link with climate change, many agree that current events fit in with the warnings issued by the International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) over the past 20 years.
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  • The truth: Still there, still inconvenient
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  • Who Cooked the Planet?
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Julia Slater and Renat Künzi, Swiss Info

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Tourists in Moscow wear face masks against the smog (Keystone)

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As flooding in Pakistan disrupts millions of lives, and huge areas of Russian forest burn, many people are wondering whether they are linked.

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Flooding of a 1,000km stretch along the Indus river has already claimed about 1,600 lives, and driven hundreds of thousands from their homes. Over 13 million people have been affected.

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In Russia temperatures have stood for weeks at almost 40 degrees; fires have destroyed villages and forests, while a pall of smog lies over large stretches of the country, including Moscow. More than 50 people have died as a direct result of the fires, while the mortality rate has doubled in the capital, the authorities admit.

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Related:

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The truth: Still there, still inconvenient, James P. Lenfestey, Star Tribune | MN
As 'Climategate' scientists are cleared, no doubt about warming remains.

Who Cooked the Planet? Paul Krugman, New York Times | NY<www.nytimes.com>

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  • Will any of the deniers say “O.K., I guess I was wrong,” and support climate action? No.
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  • The truth: Still there, still inconvenient
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