Thursday, June 22, 2017

Making Poor People Pay More For Less Health Insurance

 As 23 million Americans risk losing their health care if the Republican bill passes, a doctor is running for office to fight for our “secure future”

Today, Senate Republicans unveiled the health care repeal bill which they’ve been working on behind closed doors.

Here’s analysis from Vox.com: “Policy after policy in the bill is built to achieve the same goal: making poor people pay more for less health insurance.”
The bill gives the wealthy massive tax breaks, and does so by slashing Medicaid funding and cutting health care subsidies for middle and low income Americans.

So far, opposition to the bill is strong—the AARP, the American Medical Association, and the Children’s Defense Fund are just a few examples of the groups voicing their disapproval.

Dr. Rob Davidson sees what’s happening in Congress right now, and he thinks America needs to do better. Having seen our system up close, he believes in health care for all. So he’s running for Congress in West Michigan.

You can contribute to Dr. Davidson’s campaign here.

 Why Dr. Rob is running:

“As an ER doctor, Rob works with people from all backgrounds. Rob cares for them and their families, treating everyone the same and ensuring they get the best care.”

Rob understands the importance of health care for all Americans so no one has to worry about preexisting conditions, or disease outbreaks in our communities. Health care for all means reducing fears of going broke because of a medical emergency.

Our families face a lot of uncertainty about the future and they deserve a member of Congress who will address those concerns in a real way, not just with sound bites.

As a Spring Lake school board member, Rob fights for all children so they get a good education.

Rob believes we must invest in quality public schools that can prepare all students - regardless of background or ability - for a 21st century economy.” 

Click Here To Support Dr. Rob Davidson
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Thursday, June 15, 2017

Stop the Senate’s secret “health care” plan


 By now you’ve probably heard that the House-passed “health care” bill would rob 23 million Americans of health insurance, push up premiums for those who keep it, and degrade the protections even employer-sponsored insurance provides.

But you may not be aware of the other ways Trumpcare would damage working families and our economy.

EPI research shows that Trumpcare’s cuts to Medicaid and insurance subsidies would drag down job-growth by more than a million jobs by 2020, and even more thereafter. Our research has shown that this job loss would occur in every state and the vast majority of Congressional Districts.

We have also shown that out-of-pocket costs like premiums, deductibles and co-pays would rise by a whopping $33 billion per year if the House plan was passed by the Senate. These costs would rise largely because key regulations forcing better behavior from health insurers―that were part of the Affordable Care Act―would be stripped away.

Sign the petition telling the U.S. Senate to reject the American Health Care Act and protect the health care of millions of working people.

We cannot allow a tax cut for the rich and corporations to masquerade as “health reform,” when in fact all it does it rob Americans of insurance, raise out-of-pocket costs by tens of billions, and slow the economy and job growth.

Stand with the EPI Policy Center to reject the Senate’s “health care” repeal legislation that would make health care unaffordable for working families, older Americans and people with pre-existing conditions.

Thank you for demanding an economy and a health care system that works for everyone, not just the wealthy few.


Liz Rose
Communications Director, EPI Policy Center

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

PatientsLikeMe: Putting Patients First

Recently a former colleague, Chris, took a short trip from San Francisco, for a visit.  During our conversation he shared about his family, and what his kids were up to.   His daughter works for PatientsLikeMe.  It is a website and smartphone app in the health industry that serves as an online community for people with illnesses, diseases, etc., that can crowdsource learning how to manage and overcome the challenges related to their setbacks.  I am not doing it justice, so you should check it out yourself. 
"Imagine this: a world where people with chronic health conditions get together and share their experiences living with disease. Where newly diagnosed patients can improve their outcomes by connecting with and learning from others who've gone before them. Where researchers learn more about what's working, what's not, and where the gaps are, so that they can develop new and better treatments"
I quickly went online, downloaded the app, signed up, and am now a member of a great community.  I also contacted family members and encouraged them to go to the website and check it out.

I hope you find it as valuable as I did.

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

How Mindful Team Engagement Can Cultivate Innovation and Inclusion

There has been a rapid development of new technologies claiming superior approaches to leadership development and team engagement. However, big companies continue to struggle with creating inclusive cultures and retaining diverse workforces. Why? Technology clearly has its place in the game. However, we believe culture change also requires dedicated face-to-face time for connection, vulnerability and mindful team engagement. 

What do teams and communities need to mindfully engage and create inclusive environments where each individual can communicate and contribute to their greatest potential?

This is a question our team at HiveQuest thinks about deeply in our work. 

An alternative approach to group learning 

How many times have you sat in a room with one person speaking at the front, while you simply sit and “receive knowledge”? When you leave, you have to then figure out what to do with that knowledge, and have no context for how others received it. We feel this is not the way adults learn best and want to actively work to flip that model.

A community of practice is a research-based structure that makes a major paradigm shift in adult learning. It offers an ongoing space for people to meet and have room to surface dilemmas in their work and discover new approaches from the wisdom of others.

To test the impact of this group learning approach, we have been hosting in-person “Community of Practice” events with CultureLabx in San Francisco. Over the past couple of months, we’ve brought together local culture builders to have deep conversations and crowdsource their ideas about supporting belonging, inclusion, and diversity in the workplace. 

We posed the following inquiry: 

How do we interrupt inequitable patterns of participation to engage in courageous conversations around inclusion? 

To address this, we focused on practicing norms for inclusive collaborations. We theorized that attendees would gain valuable new insights from the co-construction of knowledge and peer-to-peer learning.

Through our experience facilitating these networking events, and thanks to the willingness of all involved to share openly and vulnerably, we arrived at some key takeaways to bring back to your workplace. 

Using Norms to Foster Inclusion
We began each event by setting agreements about how we would engage with each other as a new community. For example, one norm was to “withhold blame, shame, or judgement”. Then a Block Party protocol allowed us to reflect more deeply on the norms and begin building trust as a group.

From our own experience using the norms internally, and from event participant feedback, we’ve found norm setting to be crucial in holding safe space for everyone.
What’s important to know about setting norms:
  1. PURPOSE: They help level the playing field. Everyone has access.
    It’s much easier to give your 100% when you don’t have to climb a mountain to do so.
  2. PROCESS: They can build team connection from Day 1.
    Each person gives input  and takes responsibility for developing the company culture.
  3. PRACTICE: They take time to internalize and integrate into your culture.
    Setting intentions and interrupting old ingrained behaviors that aren’t serving the greater good requires awareness of self and others to enhance communication.
Norms are important because they create equal access for all community members to make their voices heard in a positive and organized way. Extroverts can agree to pause more to allow others to speak. Similarly, introverts can agree to speak up and request time to process information when needed. Norms help account for different communication, processing, learning, and engagement styles. Furthermore, giving everyone a chance to share their ideas and perspectives sparks greater innovation. 

One of our event facilitators had this to say after the event:
“Voices of dominant culture loudly communicate their discomfort and disapproval of messages that would fall outside the normative conversations. Ears are not trained to hear the silence of the oppressed.”
When we establish norms for mindful team engagement, we make space for the voices of the oppressed and ask dominant voices to embrace their discomfort. The deviant conversations that emerge often lead to the most creative and innovative results.

-Melissa Shaffer

Saturday, June 3, 2017

Support Joseph Kopser for Congress, (TX - 21st District)

Trump just pulled out of the Paris Climate Agreement, but you can defeat one of the most anti-science politicians in Congress

Meet Joseph Kopser!

The context:

Rep. Lamar Smith, Chairman of the House Committee on Science, just praised Trump’s withdrawal from the Paris Climate Agreement. But a veteran, businessman and actual scientist is running to unseat him on a pro-science platform, and he’s already raised over $80,000 to do it!

Why is Joseph Kopser running?

“It’s time for new leadership in Texas. Rep. Lamar Smith has represented Texas since 1986 and built a reputation as Congress’s most persistent climate change denier – a fact that is even more disturbing considering he is the Chairman of the House Committee on Science, Space and Technology. Rep. Smith doesn’t believe in facts, and he doesn’t want them reported. Instead, he believes it’s “better to get your news directly from the President. In fact, it might be the only way to get the unvarnished truth.” We can do better.”

You can contribute $21 to Joseph's run today.

“I want to help move this country forward, which means supporting science and business while taking climate change seriously. I have the experience to do it. In 2013, I was recognized as a White House Champion of Change for my efforts in Energy and Transportation.

I served in the U.S. Army for 20 years earning the Combat Action Badge, Army Ranger Tab and Bronze Star. I graduated from West Point with a BS in Aerospace Engineering and received a Masters from the Harvard Kennedy School in 2002.

I’m currently the President of Grayline, where we work to bring together experts, data and solutions to help companies and public institutions manage disruptive change. Before joining Grayline, I was the Co-Founder and CEO of a Texas-based technology company that enabled seamless multimodal experiences and connected transit commerce to app users worldwide.

Your donation will help send a powerful signal that a people-powered campaign can defeat one of the most anti-science politicians in Congress."
Support Joseph Kopser Today

Thursday, June 1, 2017

Trump Announces U.S. Will Withdraw from Paris Accord

Today, President Donald Trump has announced that the United States will withdraw from the Paris Accord, a global coalition designed to address and curb climate-change due to emissions. The U.S. now becomes 1 of 3 countries, alongside Syria and Nicaragua, that are not participating in this agreement, which includes 195 countries.