House health care committee quashes bill to delay single-payer

first_imgby Morgan True vtdigger.org A bill that would delay the implementation of Green Mountain Care, the state’s planned universal public health care program, won’t make it out of committee. The bill was sent to the House Health Care Committee, which voted Wednesday on bills it plans to work through before crossover. H.858, which would push the governor’s single payer plan to 2019, didn’t make the cut.‘It’s disappointing but not surprising,’ said Rep. Patti Komline, R-Dorset, the bill’s primary sponsor.Though H.858 had picked up a bipartisan group of sponsors, it was essentially dead on arrival.One of those sponsors was Rep. George Till, D-Jericho, an obstetrician, said the proposal makes good sense, but he recognizes it is largely a symbolic gesture.‘Moving to GMC is a massive change in our medical system,’ he said.If the point is to cover every Vermonter and lower health care costs, then it’s important to know exactly what those costs are now, he said.‘If you want to ask, ‘Are we making a difference with a new system?’ you have to compare it with new data, you can’t compare it with old data,’ Till said.Collecting the data to understand the current health care landscape, which is still shifting with the implementation of the new health care exchange, isn’t feasible by 2017, when Green Mountain Care is expected to begin, he said.The rocky rollout of Vermont Health Connect means there won’t be good data on how the exchange has altered health care until 2015, according to Till.With a two-year lag on Medicare data, an accurate picture of current health care reform won’t emerge until at least 2017, he said.Till said 2017 is an arbitrary timeline for switching to Green Mountain Care.‘It was a political promise by the governor,’ he said. ‘I think that’s a terrible way to make decisions [about health care].’He supports universal health care, but he said it’s more important to do it right than to do it quickly.In the past two years Vermont has had the lowest rates of growth in health care costs since the growth rate numbers were first recorded. Till said that eliminates the urgency of further reform.‘The pressures of double digit increases in spending are not there right not now,’ he said. ‘It takes away the urgency of having to make a change.’last_img read more

What Do Wolfdogs Want?

first_imgToday, scores of breeders across the United States mate wolfdog with wolfdog and sell the puppies, for as much as $5,000 each. The animals surged in popularity recently thanks to Game of Thrones, which featured mythical “direwolves,” and Instagram, which has dozens of popular wolfdog accounts.  … Wolfdogs are not the kind of animal anyone should be picking up on Craigslist. They are superior athletes, for one. “Think about wolves, who have territories of 800 square miles and run at 35 or 40 miles an hour,” Nicole Wilde, a canine behavior specialist, told me. “A 15-minute potty walk? That’s not going to cut it. Even with the northern [dog] breeds, huskies in particular, people have no idea how much exercise they need.” Shadow is a wolfdog—a wolf-dog hybrid. That makes her an exotic animal in the eyes of Tooele’s law enforcement, ineligible for residence in a family home. Many states ban wolfdogs, as do many municipalities, since they require more resources and pose more danger than your average pup. “It is like having a toddler for a decade,” said Steve Wastell of Apex Protection Project, a wolfdog-rescue group based in Southern California. A toddler with jaws strong enough to shatter a moose femur. Still, like sugar gliders and pythons, wolfdogs have an enduring, cultish following among pet owners. An estimated 250,000 of them live as pets in the United States. They also tend to be intelligent, and more diffident and less obsequious around humans than dogs are. Apex’s Wastell told me that some wolfdogs he’s encountered do not obey commands like “Sit,” not because they are incapable of learning them but because they are unmotivated to perform them. And some share of wolfdogs are, like their wild cousins, terrified of humans. They shy away from their owners, no matter how patient and kind. … … … The animals are a human creation. They belong neither in homes nor in the wild. … “You have no way of knowing what mixture of dog behavior and wolf behavior you have in your animal,” said Clive Wynne, a psychologist at Arizona State University and the author of the book Dog Is Love. “You could spend years living with this animal, a beautiful and maybe a bit aloof doglike companion. Then one day your sister or brother brings around your new niece or nephew and snap, there is an incident that is gonna really spoil everybody’s afternoon.” Read the whole story: The Atlantic More of our Members in the Media >last_img read more

Walter Presents: Ride Upon the Storm season 2 preview – rousing stuff that’s exquisitely acted

first_imgI recall reviewing season 1 of Ride Upon The Storm (Herrens Veje in its native Danish) back in January 2019 and remarking that this isn’t a crime show at all. At the time, it was unusual for Walter Presents to offer us anything that didn’t involve a gruesome murder or twenty; but these days, WP have widened their net to incorporate more and more drama of all types and genres; including family dramas like this.If you want to avoid spoilers for Ride Upon the Storm, stop reading now.For Season 2 of RUTS, there are still no murders – not yet, at least – but there is more family intrigue for Johannes Krogh (the masterful Lars Mikkelsen) and his dysfunctional clan.Credit: Tine Harden / Walter PresentsIt’s 18 months since the death of August (Johannes’ son), who walked in front of a lorry in the Danish countryside at the end of Season 1. Christian (Johannes’ other son), who was with August that fateful day, is immersing himself in his new self-help book, trying to cope with the guilt of being unable to prevent August’s death. Johannes is coping with troubles of his own, as August’s church is on the verge of being sold to the Muslim community, causing discord and anger from some parishioners in Brovang – a view Johannes is not unsympathetic with and one which the tabloids are quick to promote and exploit for a good storyline. As he admits to colleagues, that church is all that he has left of his son and he doesn’t want it sold to anyone – be it Aldi or Allah.Johannes’ wife, Elisabeth – played sublimely by Eleonora Jørgensen, winner of two best actress awards at the Danish Film Awards – is undergoing therapy as a result of the breakdown of her marriage to Johannes. They’re still living together, but they’re no longer intimate; and she struggles to cope with his moods and temper, whilst still mourning the loss of her son.Credit: Tine Harden / Walter PresentsElsewhere, Emilie – August’s widow – has decided that their young child will not be baptised in church, but instead has chosen to have a non-religious naming ceremony; something that further distances her from her father-in-law.This is rousing stuff. It’s exquisitely acted throughout, particularly by Jørgensen and Mikkelsen. In addition, the characterisation is so beautifully rounded, it’s an absolute joy to watch. Take Johannes as an example – he’s a violent, dinosaur of a man, and yet when his daughter-in-law stops him from seeing his grandson, you cannot help but feel sorry for the man. The scriptwriting is top-drawer; and everything from the musical score to the camerawork are faultless too. It is proof that you don’t need flash and crash to create quality drama.Walter Presents: Ride Upon the Storm launches on Channel 4 at 11pm on 5th April and the boxset is available via All4 immediately after the transmission of first episode.last_img read more