Health Care Reform and President Obama

I was sent this email by someone who I bow to but will not name. It is excellent do I am printing it and it recommendations in full…

Most of you probably received an email from President Obama asking you to sign on in support of the President’s three principles of health care reform:

As we recall from the presidential campaign, a key element of candidate Obama’s health care plan was a public plan option* that would allow individuals and small businesses an option to buy affordable health coverage through a government plan. I believe that a public plan option is crucial to any substantive health care reform, but there is much opposition to including such a plan. President Obama does not explicitly include a public plan option in the three principles that he is asking us to sign. If you support a public plan option, I urge you to make this known.

There are a couple of ways to do this
1) Sign the petitions at and message to legislators

2) If you sign on in support of the President’s three principles, use the comment box to say something like “I believe that a public plan option must be included in health reform legislation.” [The link gives you two chances to make comments, first in the “personal story” box and later in a “comments” box]

(3) Send a message to President Obama telling him that you support a public plan option using the form at *Public plan option: If you want more information about what is meant by a public plan option, there is concise information at Sometimes the public plan option is referred to as a Medicare like option or Medicare open to all.

Of course, if you are an advocate of single payer health care and you sign on in support of President Obama’s health care principles, you might also wish to communicate your support for single payer in the comment box or you may wish to sign a single payer petition such as the one at

There is more information about single payer at

There is a great opportunity to learn more by watching Bill Moyers Journal on PBS, Channel 16, this Friday, May 22 at 9 PM. Several guests will discuss health care policy and single payer health care. The show will repeat Sunday morning at 11 AM.

And finally, you might find interesting the recent words of progressive Rabbi Michael Lerner on the role of the public in forming current policy:

The pressures on a President to stay with the status quo and the forces of the economic and political elites of the country are enormous, so that even when a President wishes to move in a different direction, he needs to be able to point to forces from the progressive world that are equally vociferous and pushing him in the direction he wished to go.

So, those who say, “Don’t criticize Obama, because he is such a decent person, so smart, and obviously wants the right things” are missing the point: OBAMA NEEDS TO BE PUSHED FROM THE PROGRESSIVE WORLD IN ORDER TO BE ABLE TO BE WHO HE WANTS TO BE. He needs our support in this way.

Take care,

PS Below I have copied the text from President Obama’s request for support

President Obama’s email links to which contains the following:

The Principles

President Obama has announced three bedrock requirements for real health care reform. It must:

  • Reduce Costs — Rising health care costs are crushing the budgets of governments, businesses, individuals and families and they must be brought under control
  • Guarantee Choice — Americans must have the freedom to keep whatever doctor and health care plan they have, or to select a new doctor or health care plan if they choose
  • Ensure Quality Care for All — All Americans must have quality and affordable health care

Now we have to show Congress where the American people stand.

Healthcare Highways

As I sit here in the doctor’s office (no worry, regular checkup) I wonder why our healthcare system here in the US shouldn’t be more like our highway system.

We have roads and highways provided and regulated by the government, but we are free to buy or not buy the car of our choice. For those who don’t or can’t buy a car, there us public transportation available that may not be as fast or fancy, but it works. Additionally certain regulations are put on the methods if transport so that we are safe.

As we are seeing with the failing auto makers, those providers who don’t give the people what they want will still fail, so it isn’t a totally socialist system. (And no, I don’t believe the automakers should be bailed out.) So with this there is a free market in transportation, but one where a floor and a standard are provided.

I can take the analogy further, but I will leave it at that and ask for your thoughts. How do you think healthcare in the US should go and why?

Backing Up Your Computer

Our computers have become an indispensable part of our lives. We use them for entertainment, to talk with colleagues, friends and family, and for research, education, and business. Unlike other important assets like your car or home, you probably don’t have any insurance on your computer. Not financial insurance, but insurance that the data you have on the system will always be there when you need it. You may have a warranty, but warranties won’t protect you against accidental deletion of files, data loss due to hardware failure, or catastrophic loss due to disaster or theft. For that type of insurance you need to do backups.

There are primarily two different types of backups. The first type is the backups you perform in case of disaster, theft, or other catastrophic failure. For this you want the backups to be securely housed off-site. The second category of backups is for mistakes, file deletions, and minor corruptions. These backups are usually stored close to your machine for quick and easy access. While meeting these two objectives with one backup scheme is getting closer to a reality as Internet bandwidth becomes cheaper and faster, at the moment they are still separate. Additionally it never hurts to have two forms of backup – just in case.

Online backup providers, such as Mozy or SOS OnlineBackup, allow you to backup your files over the internet to a secure remote server. This process takes place in the background while you continue to use your machine normally. The great thing about having those backups stored remotely is that they are far away from whatever ills may affect your machine. These services are very inexpensive with prices ranging from free for a small amount of storage to $10 per month for about all the space you would ever need. Two great things about the the service provided by Mozy are that not only does it run on both PCs and Macs, but also it is free for up to two gigabytes of storage.

For local backup, external hard drive are a great way to go. With external hard drives from companies such as Seagate and Maxtor selling for as little as $125 for five hundred gigabytes (more than double the amount of storage of the average PC), they are a relatively cheap option. If you run an Apple Macintosh with the newest version of the operating system, Leopard, a great backup called TimeMachine is already built in. Windows users can utilize the included Microsoft Backup or opt to go with something like Backup4All that has advanced capabilities and is well worth the small price. Finally, many external drives that you buy are already configured to be used as backup devices and will come with perfectly adequate backup software.

Whichever method you go with, or better yet go with both, the most important thing is that you do something. With more and more of your finances, correspondence, and important documents being stored on your computer, can your really afford not to safeguard that information? The first step is making sure everything is backed up. The next step is making sure all of that important information is secure, and we will talk about that next time.