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Wednesday News: Takeaways, Winners/Losers from Tuesday Debate Night; “On health care,...

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by Lowell Here are a few national and Virginia news headlines, political and otherwise, for Wednesday, July 31.  China, U.S. Conclude Shanghai Talks Without Signaling...

Save Social Security and Medicare, Vote Democratic on 11/6!

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I am sorry for ruining your day, but I need to make you very worried. Republicans want to steal our Social Security and Medicare. Senate...

Rich teeth, poor teeth- addressing the clearest indicator of economic class...

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By Kellen Squire Just after my daughter graduated from fourth grade, we took her to the dentist for her bi-annual checkup. After a series of...

After Voting to Massively Increase the Debt, Reps. Brat, Garrett Shamelessly...

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This hypocritical, shameless crap from Republicans would be laughable if it weren't so deadly serious, damaging, dangerous, etc. In this case, Representatives Dave Brat...

Wednesday News: Trump Moves to Screw the White Working Class Voters...

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by Lowell Here are a few national and Virginia news headlines, political and otherwise, for Wednesday, November 30. The election really was rigged ("Millions of...

7 Reasons to Vote for Eileen Bedell

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7 reasons to vote for Eileen Bedell for Congress. 1. If you are worried about the effect climate change will have on your children and...

Why We Can’t Reelect Dave Brat

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(Originally Published in DailyKos Dave Brat is not an ordinary politician. He does not compromise. He does not make deals. He is a true believer....

On November 8th, Make Sure You Vote Against the GOP’s Entire...

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I missed this excellent article ("Behold the GOP’s not-so-secret plan to dismantle government services: Defund, degrade and then privatize") in my morning news clips...

While the General Assembly Schlepped on Health Care

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Medicaid Reform photo 141211MedicaidReform_zps710f9aa2.jpgWhen a uniquely Virginia health care plan was rolled out at the beginning of 2014, there was apprehension and confusion among stakeholders. Emerging from the turmoil in the McDonnell administration and in the midst of a political battle in the General Assembly over the Medicaid gap, this initiative engendered consternation.

That consternation, it turns out, was from unnecessary friction. Commonwealth Coordinated Care (CCC), a concept sanctioned by the Affordable Care Act (ACA), is an effort to improve health care delivery to Virginians who are eligible for both Medicare (entitled to benefits under Medicare Part A and enrolled under Medicare Parts B and D) and full Medicaid. Medicare and Medicaid were not designed to work together and do not function seamlessly. This and the socio-economic characteristics of the client base create gaps and overlaps in services inviting waste and fraud.

The goal of this initiative is to provide Virginians with high quality, person-centered health care that focuses on their needs and preferences.

Virginia's Department of Medical Assistance Services (DMAS) designed a demonstration that operationalizes a more effective, cost saving concept by establishing overarching Medicare-Medicaid Plans (MMPs). This should be an effort hailed across the political spectrum and embraced by health care providers, beneficiaries, and all citizens of the Commonwealth. But other than potential enrollees, most of us haven't even heard about this effort to improve health care for some 76,000 eligible Virginians living in designated regions.  

Health Care in Kilgorvia; RAM comes to Lee County

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Lee County Hospital photo 140912LeeCountyHospital_zpsc51ee543.jpgSpending just moments with Dr. Joseph Smiddy is a cascade of chilling water for those claiming faith in the American health care system. What a lot of people proclaim as the best medical system in the world isn't delivering for many with the greatest need right here in Virginia.

"It's not just that they can't afford any sort of insurance that might be available to them under the Affordable Care Act. It's that this is a horribly underserved region in terms of medical resources." - Henry Schuster, 60 Minutes producer (at 3:17)

Organizers of an expeditionary Remote Area Medical (RAM) clinic just outside of Jonesville, Virginia expect something on the order of 600 patients today and tomorrow. This is the first of this kind of event in Lee County, set up in and around the airport that sits further west than Columbus, Ohio and Detroit, Michigan, far removed from Richmond. Sadly, this constitutes primary care for many residents. When I arrived yesterday as a volunteer, 22 hours before the first patient would be seen, there were already three carloads of people lined up to ensure they could get one of the specialty services. They know the routine.

Somehow Delegate Terry Kilgore (R-Gate City) avoids discerning scrutiny from his constituency. Even with all that tobacco money he is bringing home, many of those living in Virginia's poorest county rely upon the generosity of others for any health care at all. The county's only hospital closed about a year ago.

On September 30, 2013, the Lee Regional Medical Center closed its doors after serving the community for 70 years. With the loss of jobs and decreased access to medical care, the residents of Lee County have been deeply impacted by the hospital's closure. - Lee County Hospital Authority