J.R.’s Zaphne Blog News for 09-01-2018

The Battle for Healthcare in the US

Pretty much, the Republicans will put healthcare back to the way it was pre-2014 if Paul Ryan’s bill is passed by Congress and Donald signs the bill in its present form. Others will simply lose healthcare insurance as states withdraw from the Medicaid expansion and employers drop the coverage they were required to carry as they had 50 or more employees. Doctors, clinics, and hospitals have seen increased numbers of patients coming through the front door rather than the rear door due to the expansion of Medicaid to 138% FPL and subsidies for healthcare insurance to those under 400% FPL. My own PCP has seen many new patients who have never been to a doctor before except at the ER. With the proposed reversal of the mandate to have healthcare insurance and the dropping of Medicaid, it will fall upon hospitals and doctors to still provide stabilizing care as defined by law to all who arrive at their door. 

Interestingly, Republicans are happy with constituents paying a surcharge/mandate for not having healthcare insurance or healthcare. If they suddenly have to have healthcare insurance, they pay the penalty to private companies rather than use it to fund subsidies. Medicaid currently is not working according to Tom Price and as many as one in three doctors are not accepting Medicaid patients. My own observations with Michigan Medicaid when there was no Federal Government expansion disagrees with Tom Price’s claims. Hune and his associates have their healthcare for life having been in the legislature for short periods of time; why should 600,000 Michigan residents matter to Hune and his associates. 

Michigan and State Senator Joe Hune did their damnest to block people from access to healthcare. The ACA has a penalty for not getting healthcare insurance, which is based on the income of the uninsured and is paid yearly at tax time. The AHCA also has a penalty for not getting healthcare insurance. If the insured was 50 years old and made $11,880 annually, the penalty under the ACA is determined by income and remains the same; however under the AHCA, the penalty under a Bronze plan format jumps to $1,713. 

Keywords: [“healthcare”,”Medicaid”,”old”]
Source: https://www.nakedcapitalism.com/2017/03/battle-healthcare-us.html

Alistair McConnachie Prosperity Wonderful Wizard of Oz parable

Alistair McConnachie writes: The Wonderful Wizard of Oz by L. Frank Baum is a parable about Money Reform and the 1890s Midwestern political movement led by William Jennings Bryan; three times candidate for President of the United States. Oz is short for ounce, the measure for gold and silver. After vanquishing the Wicked Witch of the East Dorothy frees The Munchkins. With the witch’s silver slippers, Dorothy sets out on the Yellow Brick Road to the Emerald City, where they meet the Wizard, who appears powerful, but is ultimately revealed as an illusion; the real Wizard being just a little man who pulls levers behind a curtain. 

Dorothy drowns the Wicked Witch of the West; the water being an allegory for the Midwest drought. The real Wizard flies away in a hot-air balloon, the Scarecrow is left to govern the Emerald City, the Tin Woodsman rules the West, and the Cowardly Lion returns to the forest where he becomes King of the Beasts after vanquishing a giant spider which was devouring the animals in the forest. There are many variant readings of The Wizard of Oz. I see it as an election story, and read it against the amazingly intense elections of 1896 and 1900 when Democrat William Jennings Bryan ran against Republican William McKinley. After the Wizard book Baum moved to Los Angeles and churned out a whole series of Oz books, none of which are political. 

The Good Witch of the North tells Dorothy that the Wizard of Oz may help her return to Kansas. To achieve true freedom for herself and her allies Dorothy must destroy the Wicked Witch of the West – who enslaves the girl before being dissolved by a bucket of water. The story ends as the Good Witch of the South tells Dorothy that her silver slippers are so powerful that they can fulfil her every wish, and they carry her directly back home, quite without help from the fumbling Wizard. With so much election literature featuring the ratio of 16 oz of silver to 1 oz of gold, the colourful utopia just had to be called Oz. Purchase back issues of Alistair McConnachie’s Prosperity money reform journal here. 

Keywords: [“Dorothy”,”Wizard”,”Witch”]
Source: http://prosperityuk.com/2001/01/a-wonderful-wizard-of-oz-a-monetary…

Want To Train Your Brain To Feel More Compassion? Here’s How

Compassion meditation is an ancient contemplative practice to strengthen feelings of compassion towards different kinds of people. The feeling of compassion itself is the emotional response of caring and wanting to help when encountering a person’s suffering. With practice, it’s thought that compassion can be enhanced and this will increase the likelihood of a person exhibiting helping behavior-not only during the meditation practice, but out in the real world, when interacting with others. After only two weeks of online training, participants in our study who practiced compassion meditation every day behaved more altruistically towards strangers compared to another group taught to simply regulate or control their negative emotions. These findings suggest that compassion is a trainable skill, and that practice can actually alter the way our brains perceive suffering and increase our actions to relieve that suffering. 

We recruited participants with no prior meditation experience and randomly assigned them to learn either compassion training or reappraisal training, which is an emotion regulation technique that asks people to re-interpret negative events to decrease negative emotions. In the 30-minute guided compassion meditation, participants practiced compassion for themselves, a loved one, a stranger, and a difficult person in their lives. In the session, the compassion we feel for the loved one is used as a kind of home base to then attempt to extend similar levels of compassion to the other people. The real test of whether compassion could be learned was if people would behave more altruistically towards strangers, by doing things like spending their own money to help people they had never met. After only the seven hours of practice, people who trained in compassion behaved more generously compared to the other group. 

These findings provide early evidence that compassion is a trainable skill rather than a stable trait. As of April 2014, over 3,700 people have downloaded the compassion meditation training in over 60 countries. 

Keywords: [“compassion”,”people”,”train”]
Source: https://www.fastcompany.com/3037045/want-to-train-your-brain-to…

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