President Obama Signs the Landmark Health Reform Bill into Law

President Obama Signs the Landmark Health Reform Bill into Law

Congress gave final approval on Sunday night to historic health reform legislation that will provide medical coverage to tens of millions of uninsured Americans and remake the nation’s health care system along the lines initially proposed by President Obama.  When the decisive 216th vote went up on the electronic tally board in the House chamber, Democrats erupted in cheers and reprised the “Yes, we can!” chant from the Obama presidential campaign.

On Tuesday, President Obama signed into law a landmark health care reform bill, presiding over the biggest shift in U.S. domestic policy since the 1960s and capping a year of vigorous debate.  The law will bring near-universal coverage to a wealthy country in which tens of millions of people have been left uninsured.

We have now just enshrined the core principle that everybody should have some basic security when it comes to their health,” Obama said at a signing ceremony at the White House.  President Obama was joined by House and Senate legislators who backed the bill, as well as by ordinary Americans whose health care struggles have touched the president.

President Obama On Passage of the Health Reform Legislation

President Obama Signs Health Reform Into Law

Slide Show: President Obama Signs the Landmark Health Reform Bill into Law

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President Obama: The “Time for Bickering” About Health Care is Over

President Obama: The “Time for Bickering” About Health Care is Over

After weathering a number of setbacks during the summer, on Wednesday night President Barack Obama spoke to a joint session of Congress and called upon them to enact sweeping health care legislation.  Obama declared that the moment has arrived to protect millions of people who have either unreliable insurance or no coverage at all.  Obama said the changes he proposes would cost about $900 billion over decade, “less than we have spent on the Iraq and Afghanistan wars and less than the tax cuts for the wealthiest few Americans” passed during the Bush administration.

He said there is widespread agreement on about 80 percent of what must be included in legislation.  And yet, criticizing Republicans without overtly saying so, he added, “Instead of honest debate, we have seen scare tactics and ideological warfare that offers no hope for compromise.”  “Well, the time for bickering is over,” he said. “The time for games has passed. Now is the season for action.  I am not the first president to take up this cause, but I am determined to be the last.”

President Obama: The “Time for Bickering” About Health Care is Over

Rachel Maddow Reports On President Obama’s Health Care Speech To Congress

The full-text of President Obama’s speech to Congress can be read here.

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Health Care Reform: Ummm…Knees. Do You Have Insurance for Those?

Health Care Reform: Ummm…Knees. Do You Have Insurance for Those?

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As the Mind Fades Away: Remember When

As the Mind Fades Away: Remember When

Remember When was the first film directed by Jason Ramsey, a film that was produced on a bare-bones budget of only 25 dollars. This sadly tender short film is about a 30-year-old man who is suffering from Alzheimer’s disease, almost the youngest on record (the youngest is said to be a 29-year-old). Remember When tells the story of a spouse trying to cope with her young husband’s loss of mind and spirit, while still trying to relish the fleeting moments of clarity that they are able to share together. In a way, the film pays tribute both to those who suffer from Alzheimer’s and to those who lovingly stick with them.

As the Mind Fades Away: Remember When

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Things Could Be Worse? Health Care’s Big Lies in Three Morbidly Nasty Minutes!

Things Could Be Worse? Health Care’s Big Lies in Three Morbidly Nasty Minutes!

Can you imagine what if you get sick nowadays, how things could be any worse? No health insurance? “Sorry Bozo,” sneers the clerk at the Emergency Room desk. “Take a Number.” Oh crap, I gots like number 7,426. Oh no, I’m a bloody, bloody mess….and I gots number 7,426. What number are they calling now? Number Three. But even worser things, OMFG unthinkable horrors can happen when you can’t afford Health Insurance. Arms fall off. And ever worser things wither away and drop off a body’s body. It’s just horrible. Yep.

Health Care’s Big Lies in Three Morbidly Nasty Minutes

Animation by: Dale Goodson

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World AIDS Day 2008: To Respect and Protect

World AIDS Day 2008: To Respect and Protect

Today, December 1st, is the 20th Annual World AIDS Day, a day when individuals and organizations from all around the world come together to bring attention to the global AIDS epidemic. According to UNAIDS estimates, there are now 39.5 million people living with HIV, including 2.3 million children. Around half of all people who become infected with HIV do so before they are 25 years-old, and they are killed by AIDS before they are 35. Around 95% of the people with HIV/AIDS live in developing nations.

However, HIV today is a threat to men, women and children on all continents around the world. Started in 1988, World AIDS Day is not just about raising money, but is also about increasing awareness, fighting prejudice and improving education. World AIDS Day is important in reminding people that HIV has not gone away, and that there are many things still to be done.

D. Patrick Zimmerman, Psy. D.

Bruce Springsteen: The Streets of Philadelphia

Many words may make it sound contrived
But somehow we’re alive
The survivors-Our heads bowed
The survivors-At memorials for other faces in the crowd

Teachers and artists
And Saturday girls
Or twinsets-and-pearls

If life is worth living,
It’s got to be run
As a means of giving,
Not as a race to be won
Many roads will run through many lives
But somehow we’ll arrive

The Pet Shop Boys, Miracles

Red on World AIDS Day

Music Audio: You Raise Me Up:

World AIDS Day 2008: To Respect and Protect

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The Ugandan Orphan Dancers: Turning Tragedy into Dance

The Ugandan Orphan Dancers: Turning Tragedy into Dance

The Ugandan Orphans Dance Troupe on Tour

The Ugandan Orphans Dance Troupe, also known as The Spirit of Ugandan Orphans Dance Troupe, is a dance troupe comprised of Ugandan orphans who tour in order to financially support themselves and the children of two orphanages in Uganda. Most members of the group have lost one or both parents to AIDS, have had parents killed by rebels or have seen poverty or disease cause enough family hardship that parents felt compelled to turn their children over to orphanage care.

The Ugandan Orphans Dance Troupe was founded by Texas banker Alexis Hefley, who first traveled to Uganda in 1993 to live and work with AIDS orphans in Kampala. Upon returning home, she founded the Uganda Children’s Charity Foundation and partnering with Sister Rose Muyinza, who also worked with Kampala-area orphans, launched the Spirit of Uganda Orphans dance touring program in 1996. The Orphans of Uganda Dance Troupe raises awareness about the continuing HIV/AIDS epidemic in Africa, while at the same time supporting the 700 other orphans who live in the two Children of Uganda homes.

Embodying the warmth and light of their nation, The Spirit of Uganda Orphans Dance Troupe is comprised of twenty-two children between the ages of eight and eighteen, who are serving as cultural ambassadors for Uganda’s 2.5 million orphans. Resonant with melodic tones of standing drums, dramatic choreography, bright layered rhythms and gorgeous vocals, The Spirit of Ugandan Orphans Dance Troupe recently toured the United States, bringing the transformational power of their native song and dance to America in their spirited and hope-filled performances.

Following is the documentary Transcendent Spirit: The Orphans of Uganda by Douglas Menuez, as well a video of dance performance by Uganda orphans.

Transcendent Spirit: The Orphans of Uganda

Uganda Orphan Dancers: Turning Tragedy into Dance

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