Choosing Who Is By Your Side
On Wednesday, Republicans and a handful of Democrats in the House voted to repeal last year’s health care reform bill. Repeal won’t get pass the Senate—although Republicans insist the vote isn’t merely symbolic—but the vote is part of a backlash against the Democrats’ signature accomplishment of the last two years. Support for the health care reform bill is more mixed than that vote might suggest, but a CBS/New York Times poll found that while more Americans favor keeping the bill than repealing it, just 13% say they’ve benefited from the provision of the bill already in effect.
But while the debate over the future of health care reform rages on, there is one regulatory change that I can certainly get behind. The new hospital visitation regulations that President Obama directed Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius to implement—they aren't part of the Affordable Care Act—finally went into effect on Tuesday. The regulations prevent hospitals which receive Medicare and Medicaid funding from denying visitation privileges on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity, and they allow patients to decide for themselves who is allowed to visit them and make medical decisions on their behalf.
As Joan McCarter writes, the regulation was in part inspired by the story of Janice Langbehn, who was kept—along with their three children—from her partner of 18 years’ bedside as her partner lay dying after suffering an aneurysm. While policy is especially good news for gay and lesbian families who have struggled to get visitation rights in many hospitals, you don’t have to be gay or lesbian to want the right to have the people you love—whoever they may be—by your side.
These five main food groups are important for your brain's health and likely to boost the production of feel-good chemicals.
We all know eating “healthy” food is good for our physical health and can decrease our risk of developing diabetes, cancer, obesity and heart disease. What is not as well known is that eating healthy food is also good for our mental health and can decrease our risk of depression and anxiety.
Infographics show the classes and anxieties in the supposedly classless U.S. economy.
For those of us who follow politics, we’re used to commentators referring to the President’s low approval rating as a surprise given the U.S.'s “booming” economy. This seeming disconnect, however, should really prompt us to reconsider the measurements by which we assess the health of an economy. With a robust U.S. stock market and GDP and low unemployment figures, it’s easy to see why some think all is well. But looking at real U.S. wages, which have remained stagnant—and have, thus, in effect gone down given rising costs from inflation—a very different picture emerges. For the 1%, the economy is booming. For the rest of us, it’s hard to even know where we stand. A recent study by Porch (a home-improvement company) of blue-collar vs. white-collar workers shows how traditional categories are becoming less distinct—the study references "new-collar" workers, who require technical certifications but not college degrees. And a set of recent infographics from CreditLoan capturing the thoughts of America’s middle class as defined by the Pew Research Center shows how confused we are.
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