Tag Archives: Healthcare Reform

Israeli airstrike in Gaza injures 11 amid fierce clashes

An Israeli airstrike has injured 11 people in the Gaza strip. Another strike 24-hours earlier hit two smuggling tunnels and a weapons manufacturing site. The strike occurred amid clashes between Palestinian youths and Israeli police in the West Bank and East Jerusalem. Fighting erupted after Israel announced plans to build 1600 new homes in East Jerusalem, which has prompted outrage from the U.S., Al Jazeera.

Massive protests continue in Thailand. The opposition “red shirts,” which aim to oust the current government, have planned marches around Bangkok for tomorrow and have succeeded in their attempts to hold non-violent rallies. 150,000 people participated in last Sunday’s march, and analysts believe the movement is winning many sympathizers, Reuters.

A reported mine collapse that is believed to have killed almost 200 people is being denied by the country’s government. Minister of Mineral Resources Alpha Kanu says he visited the site and no collapse occurred, BBC News.

Hot Topic: Economist Paul Krugman on healthcare reform.

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Week in Review

  • Negotiations for an agreement for action on the problem of global climate change began as a UN-led summit opened in Copenhagen, Denmark this week. The summit will continue until December 18. At issue is how much financial support wealthy developed countries should give to developing nations to aid their efforts and what the target reduction of greenhouse emissions should be. Summit homepage.
  • Debate continued in the U.S. Senate over a healthcare reform bill. Opponents of healthcare reform tried to insert a provision that would prevent public funds from being used for pregnancy termination but it was defeated, Christian Science Monitor. The Senate will continue debate as they try to get a bill that can be passed. The Senate bill will need to be reconciled with the bill from the House of Representatives and then that bill must be signed by President Barack Obama to be put into law.
  • Students used the occasion of a scheduled state-sponsored day of demonstration to protest the current government on college campuses in Iran on Monday.  The protests are usually brief, but they show that support for he reform movement is still strong, Times Online.
  • Iraq’s government moved to go forward on planning elections for 2010. Opponents of the current government, staged a massive attack on Tuesday, using car bombs to strike 5 sites in Baghdad, including government and military buildings. 127 people died in the bombings and hundreds were injured. Lieutenant General Abboud Qanbar, Baghdad’s security chief, was removed from his position after the attack, Times Online. Who is counting the bodies in Baghdad?, BBC News.
  • In a small bit of uplifting news, the story of a dog that survived Tuesday’s attack despite being chained to the roof of one of the buildings that was bombed, Daily Mail.
  • U.S. President Barack Obama picked up his Nobel Peace Prize on Thursday, despite criticism that he had not done enough to earn it. Obama accepted the prize with “humility” and used the occasion to defend war as an instrument in the pursuit of peace.  Transcript of Obama’s speech, Associated Press.
  • Thursday, December 10, was Human Rights Day, a day that marked the 61st anniversary of the adoption of the UN’s Universal Declaration of Human Rights. A look back at human rights in 2009 from Human Rights Watch, Al Jazeera.
  • After violent protests, India announced that it will separate part of the southern state of Andhra Pradesh into a new state to be called Telangana. Calls for Telangana to become its own state date back 50 years, BBC News.

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Reid Promises Public Option in Healthcare Bill

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid has said that the U.S. healthcare reform bill will include a public option. The option of a government-run health insurance plan seemed to be dead in the water months ago, but is gaining more momentum, Wall Street Journal.

The death toll from yesterday’s suicide bombing in Baghdad has risen to 160, including 30 children who were on a bus. At least 540 were injured after the two car bombs detonated around 10:30 am local time, CNN.

Afghan President Hamid Karzai and challenger Abdullah Abdullah are at odds over the country’s election commission chief. Abdullah wants the chief fired, but Karzai has refused. The two will partake in a runoff election on November 7th after the UN issued a report stating they believed Karzai had not legally won the August presidential election, BBC News.

South Korea is offering to ship 10,000 tons of corn to North Korea. It would be the first government aid sent to the communist country in almost two years, but far less than the amount of aid South Korea has exported previously, New York Times.

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President Obama to Deliver Key Health Care Reform Speech Tonight

U.S. President Barack Obama will address a joint session of Congress to discuss his goals for health care reform tonight at 8pm EDT, Reuters. The speech will be broadcast live online on C-SPAN.

A major question is whether President Obama will push for the “public option”- a government run plan that people could buy instead of the private insurance that’s available now. Conservatives have criticized the public option saying it is tantamount to systems where health care is entirely government-run. Other reform options include requiring private insurance companies to stop using “preexisting conditions” as a reason to drop coverage. The Senate Finance Committee, under Chair Max Baucus, is working on a “moderate” bill that would not include a public option but would provide a plan that individuals under the age 25 could buy for “catastrophic illnesses” and would expand the number of people with low-incomes eligible for Medicaid coverage, New York Times.

What to look for in Obama’s speech, New York Times.

A look at health care systems worldwide, CNN.

A comprehensive series, including an examination of America’s health  care of last resort: the ER, USA Today.

An investigation of health care insurance industry CEO salaries, Daily Kos.

A review of President’s Bill Clinton’s 1993 speech calling for health care reform, CBS Political Hotsheet.

Bill Moyers interview of former health insurance industry executive Wendell Potter who discusses how market forces push the industry to put profit over health.

Bill Moyers on the controversy surrounding reform.

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