World AIDS Day

I attended a commemoration of World AIDS Day this morning in Reading.  Berks AIDS Network hosted the event and Rep. Dante Santoni Jr. and Sen. Mike O’Pake both showed their support.  Thanks to both of them for being there.  Carolyn Bazik, Executive Director, reminded us of some of the statistics:

67% of all HIV/AIDS infected people live in sub Saharan Africa

1 in five HIV positive people do not know their status

33,400,000 people are living with HIV/AIDS

2 million people died in 2008 from HIV/AIDS

Hundreds of thousands of children in Africa have been orphaned by AIDS and many of them are positive.  HIV is completely preventable by taking basic precautions.  Know your partner, do not use intravenous drugs, use condoms when engaged in sex and know your own status.

FDL Action Health Care Update: Monday (11/30/09)

Here are the FDL Action health care reform highlights for Monday, November 30.

1. To put it mildly, Jon Walker believes that the Urban Institute’s new report “endorsing the idea of a super-hard trigger for a robust Medicare-style public option” is off base. Walker argues that the idea of a “magical robust theoretically super-awesome trigger” is “purely a fantasy of health care wonks that does not have a prayer of ever becoming law.”  And Walker has a great punchline to all this, apparently riffing off of Prince’s “When Doves Cry”: “This is what it sounds like when veal moos.” Wow, what did Jon Walker eat for Thanksgiving anyway? LOL

2. Jane Hamsher argues that the  opt-out provision “was a trojan horse, championed by liberals who were negotiating against themselves,” and that in the end, it failed to pick up a single Republican vote. Now, we’re going to get the same charade with “the sequel, ‘The Return of Trigger,’ starring the Urban Institute and other featured players.” Something tells me this is a sequel we don’t want to see, but may be forced to anyway.

3. Jon Walker has some good news, “What The Senate Bill Does Better, Part 3: Starts With Greater Access To The Exchange.”

4. I’ve got a post pointing to excellent framing by The Pennsylvania Progressive, who writes, “Sen. Richard Lugar of Indiana says we should stop reforming health care so we can concentrate on killing Afghans…killing is a higher priority than healing.” Wow, it sounds so…Republican!

5. Jane Hamsher asks, “Why Continue to Fight For a Public Option?” The answer: “The public option battle has become a proxy war over who controls government, whether Congress has the slightest responsibility to reflect the will of the public, whether Democrats from Obama on down can just casually abandon their campaign promises in the wake of unrelenting influence peddling and whether progressives are going to take a stand for something and refuse to back down.” Those sure sound like fighting words to me.

6. Jon Walker riffs off of an article by Ezra Klein which argues, “If you had tuned in six months ago for 10 minutes, you would have had all the information necessary to predict exactly where we’d be today.”  Walker concludes that the Senate “just spent almost half a year working on health care reform, and didn’t accomplish anything that couldn’t have been done in three weeks if they were a functioning legislative body.” In other words, health care reform could have been completed last spring, leaving Congress free to turn to other matters, like…uh, the economy perhaps? Clean energy and climate legislation? Comprehensive immigration reform? A million other things? Nah, much better to have spent the better part of a year negotiating against ourselves and chasing the ever-elusive “bipartisan” support. Great.

7. Jon Walker live blogs the Senate debate over health care reform, which began at 3 pm earlier today.

8. Jon Walker summarizes the new CBO report on the Senate health care bill and its effect on premiums, writing that “reform would do basically nothing to reduce or increase premiums for most Americans.” According to Walker, this will largely keep U.S. health care costs “nearly twice as high as any other industrialized nation,” an outcome that “should not be a surprise” given the “sweetheart deals with all the concerned health industries.” And on that happy note…