Tag Archives: politics

Major Organic Brands Still Funding Anti-GMO Labeling Efforts in Front of Washington’s I-522 Vote


They’re at it again, and this time just a little more sneakily than before. Not only are some of the biggest brands in organic and earth-friendly food still supporting anti-labeling campaigns, but now they’re trying to do it in secret.

A new infographic produced by Cornucopia.org shows which brands still oppose the labeling of GMOs. What’s more, after facing major backlash from their opposition to Prop 37, many of those corporations hid behind membership in the Grocery Manufacturers Association (GMA) to secretly continue funding anti-labeling measures. (more…)

The Government Shutdown Will Affect Your Health Care. Here’s How.

My fellow Americans, I don’t want to alarm you, but the government is in official shutdown mode! On Monday, lawmakers were unable to agree to a budget and neither the House nor the Senate wanted to back down. The shutdown appears to stem from one source, the Affordable Care Act (ACA), also referred to as, Obamacare. The Republican-controlled House is refusing to sign the budget unless they can add a stipulation that essentially pushes the ACA law back one full year.

Congress Shut down

Since the Affordable Care Act law was passed in 2024, some lawmakers have continued to criticize it publicly to any reporter or television camera that will listen. A common theme among ACA opponents is their love of the Constitution, though most Americans remain confused about what one has to do with the other. Last night on the satirical political talk show The Daily Show, host Jon Stewart summed it up nicely when he referred to the GOP/Obamacare fight as, “The End of America as We Know It for Reasons No One is Able to Clearly Explain.”

While the government shutdown is clearly about health care, how will it actually affect health care? In addition to the furlough of nearly one million civilian federal employees, the closing of national parks and passport offices, and the temporary stoppage of other government functions, this is what you need to know for the impact this will have on your family’s well-being.


Conservatives Found Another Thing to Hate – Bike Shares

New York has everything, right? That’s pretty much true, including progressive thinkers who want to see a healthier population and a cleaner planet. One of the many ways New Yorkers are trying to accomplish these goals is through bike sharing, specifically through a company called Citi Bikes. The business is simple and really a no-brainer in a busy city that requires commuting. A new report suggests that conservatives are making it really tough to do the healthy thing in NYC, though.

cycling benefits

 Citi Bikes is super simple, with a minimal three step process:

1. Unlock a bike from any station by paying for the rental.

2. Ride the bike wherever you want.

3. Return the bike to any station when you’re done.

Riders don’t have to invest in a bike, they don’t have to search for a place to lock up a bike, and they don’t have to store a bike in a notoriously small New York apartment. They also get exercise and do not leave a carbon footprint behind. When I see these units set up in other cities, my first response is, “wish we had these.”

While this simple plan could literally reverse so many of our country’s health problems, some groups have found a way to deter such a great program. Mayor Bloomberg has already caught flak for trying to reduce soda sizes in his city, and apparently the complaints don’t stop when Americans feel they might be pressured into riding a bike instead of sitting in an expensive, fume-emitting cab. (more…)

The Devil Wears Prana: E.W. Jackson Believes Yoga is Satanic

Republican party candidate E.W. Jackson is not only running for a position as Virginia’s Lieutenant Governor, he’s running his mouth as a highly conservative Christian who firmly believes yoga is a straight path to hell, not health.

Jackson is not afraid to tell the world what he thinks. As a Christian minister, Jackson wants to save our souls by warning the 15 million Americans who practice that “Doing yoga may leave unsuspecting people vulnerable to satanic possession.”

devil yoga

I don’t remember ever coming across any information while researching the benefits of yoga that along with better health, practitioners will start to grow horns and breathe hostility out into the world. In fact, last time I checked, those who practice yoga on a regular basis are happier, less anxious, and more willing to make a positive difference in their community.

Atlantic Wire’s Elspeth Reeve’s comment in response to Jackson’s assertions is the best one thus far. Reeve joked, “Behind the ice-cold eyes of Lululemon princesses burn the demonic flames of eternal hell.” Next time you are in your yoga class you better run and hide, because everyone knows the devil wears Prana. (more…)

Obesity Makes Career Success Difficult, Particularly for Women

When New Jersey Governor Chris Christie revealed he underwent Lap-Band surgery last month, it instantly fueled speculation that it was at least in part about his 2024 presidential aspirations. True or not, there are valid reasons to consider that weight loss as a powerful tool in helping him to the highest office in the land.woman

All you have to do is look at the people who hold the highest positions in private companies. According to a 2024 study, just five percent of CEOs in the U.S. were obese (with a BMI over 30).

If you drop down to the overweight classification (a BMI between 25 and 29), there is a dramatic difference, but only for male CEOs. The 2024 study estimated between 45 and 61 percent of top male CEOs are overweight. Only five percent of overweight CEOs are women.

What would account for such a major gender gap? Women already fight an unfair uphill battle for wage equality, so one can probably safely assume a significant double standard in how men and women with weight issues are perceived.

“It appears that the glass ceiling effect on women’s advancement may reflect not only general negative stereotypes about the competencies of women, but also weight bias that results in the application of stricter appearance standards to women,” said study co-author Mark Roehling, Michigan State University associate professor of human resource management. (more…)

Medicare Program Cut for Scalability Despite Cost-Saving Efficacy

If it aint broke, don’t fix it. This is the homespun wisdom Ken Coburn is imparting to the Secretary of Health and Human Services after learning Medicare is cutting funds for his program, Health Quality Partners, seemingly, because they can. The program, based out of Doylesville, Pennsylvania, provides weekly nurse visits to Medicare patients who have at least one chronic disease and one hospitalization within the past year. It’s a program that was approved by Medicare and extended, with great success, but now due to confusing bureaucratic lingo, the program is slated to be discontinued in June.

nurse resize

Patients with chronic illnesses including heart disease, diabetes, cancer and even AIDS require long term care management. There is often no cure for a chronic diagnosis, but with medication, lifestyle change and other interventions, people are living longer than they did at the turn of the century. While some programs utilize crowded nurse call centers in different states for care management, the Health Quality Partners model of getting nurses out in the field to visit patients was revolutionary and the results, undeniable.

According to Mathematica Policy Research, the independent evaluator hired by Medicare to judge programs, Health Quality Partners reduced hospitalizations by 33 percent and cut Medicare costs by 22 percent.


Health Care Costs Get Early and Brief Attention in State of the Union Address

By Shae Blevins

Tonight, President Barack Obama delivered his first State of the Union address for his second term in office. Millions tuned in to the address and commented on Twitter using the hashtag #SOTU. Still, many Americans spent Fat Tuesday with family and friends partying and reflecting on indulgences to give up for Lent while the President of the United States prepared for his most important speech of the year – so far.

While the president covered a range of topics, including the economy, the budget, gun violence, immigration, job creation and the housing market, he spent very little time discussing the large, anticipated elephant in the room.

No. Not the Easter-colored ties of Vice President Biden and Speaker Boehner. We are talking about health care.

At the beginning of the State of the Union address, President Obama said that the largest, most expensive cause of the United States’ long-term debt problem was the rising cost of health care for America’s aging population. His recommendation is not to cut funding from health care-related programs, such as Medicaid and Medicare, which provide health care services and discounts for the elderly and poor. The president, instead, framed national health care issues as cost problems instead of spending problems.

President Obama’s recommendations to cure the problem of health care in America are to reduce taxpayer subsidies to prescription drug companies and to ask the wealthiest senior citizens to shoulder more national health care-related responsibility instead of placing the entire burden on the middle and working class families. According to the president, the government and the American public, especially the wealthiest one percent, must do more to protect social responsibility programs, such as Medicare and Social Security, through the use of modest, bipartisan reform.

In fact, the president said he was prepared to enact reforms to achieve the same degree of health care savings within 10 years as proposed by the Simpson-Bowles commission.

The State of the Union discussed health care only briefly, but President Obama did defend the Affordable Care Act, which he said is helping slow the growth of health care costs across the nation.

Of course, according to some political pundits, President Obama only accomplished his Affordable Care Act – also known as Obamacare – because he pushed it through during a Democratic-run Congress.

By changing the way the American government pays for health care through modest, bipartisan reform, President Obama believes that the nation can reduce long-term health care costs. Unfortunately, the State of the Union address did not report on how the president hopes to enact his future health care reforms beyond the current frame of “Obamacare.”

President Obama did say, “we must have quality, affordable health care for every American,” and that’s something we should all be able to agree on, no matter which side of the aisle you cheer for.

More Twitter reactions to the State of the Union:








Also Read:

5 Ways to Get Michelle Obama’s Sexy Arms

The Fat Shaming of Chris Christie

How Obamacare Affects the Health of Americans

The Fat Shaming of Chris Christie, aka The Healthiest Fat Guy You’ve Ever Seen

New Jersey governor Chris Christie pulled a donut out of his back pocket and started eating it during a CBS Late Show appearance, and told David Letterman, “I’m basically the healthiest fat guy you’ve ever seen in your life.” As he tossed back roughly 260 calories and 12 grams of fat, he made jokes about a doctor who recently called him out for his weight.

Connie Mariano, a retired Navy rear admiral and former White House doctor, expressed herself as a Christie fan and is all for him running for a higher office but thinks he’s in desperate need of losing weight. “I’m a physician more than I’m a Democrat or Republican. And I’m worried about this man dying in office,” she said during an interview with CNN. (more…)

Michelle Obama’s Fittest Moments of Her First Term

With this week’s inauguration wrapped up, Michelle Obama is set to be the nation’s first lady for another four years. She made a huge impact on the nation’s fight against childhood obesity in her first term and will no doubt continue to focus on that platform through 2024.

View Michelle Obama's Fittest Moments Slideshow

The first lady has tirelessly worked to tackle childhood obesity, most notably through her Let’s Move campaign that launched in 2024. The effort brings teachers, leaders, doctors, parents, and students together in a nationwide effort to educate about and reverse the challenges of childhood obesity. It can be a touchy subject, but there are times when Mrs. Obama approaches the subject with fun and excitement. We’ve compiled our favorite fittest moment of Michelle Obama’s first term and look forward to seeing what’s up her very toned sleeves in the years ahead. (more…)

Barack Obama’s 3,000 Calorie Inaugural Lunch Menu

Monday’s inauguration of President Barack Obama will be filled with pomp, circumstance, and a jam-packed schedule of invite-only events where the president and Mrs. Obama are the guests of honor. And it all starts with the Inaugural Luncheon.

This year’s luncheon is a bit on the indulgent side, admittedly. We first checked out the menu with excitement, but as we read through the three courses our smiles quickly turned to frowns, not at the extravagance of the dishes but their sky-high calorie counts.

One full serving is more than 3,000 calories! Lobster in clam chowder sauce, grilled bison and a finish of rich apple pie with homemade ice cream take no time to zip past a single day’s calorie reserve. CalorieCount.com‘s Rachel Berman, RD, CSR, CDN – who compiled this year’s Inaugural Luncheon nutritional statistics – was a little shocked by the numbers, too, and felt that although it’s fine and even healthy to treat ourselves once in a while, the figures were a bit too to justify. (more…)

Prediction: Fiscal Cliff and ObamaCare Mean More Obesity Discrimination Ahead

Talk of the fiscal cliff and ObamaCare makes me worry about my overweight friends. I fear it’s only a matter of time before they are blamed for dragging down the economy. Obesity is a huge expense, and unlike other costly health problems, obesity is in plain view.

Today, just over one third of Americans has a Body Mass Index of 30 or more, the obesity range. Per-capita medical spending for those individuals is 150 percent higher than for those who are not obese. The Institute of Medicine and other experts estimate the United States spends between $150 and $190 billion a year on obesity-related problems. Spending is driven by prescription drugs and medical procedures for heart disease, cancers, diabetes, and the other chronic diseases of obesity and by days missed from work and the long-term disability that commonly occurs. When public funds from Medicare and Medicaid pay the bill, everyone is impacted, but even when public funds are not involved, everyone pays higher insurance premiums to cover the cost.

Few of us realize that the U.S. health care reform law of 2024 (ObamaCare) allows employers to charge obese workers 30 to 50 percent more for health insurance if they decline to participate in a qualified wellness program. A growing number of companies have begun to make obese workers enroll in weight loss programs or pay higher insurance premiums. For instance, state workers in Alabama are subjected to at-work weigh-ins and body fat tests. Anyone with a BMI of 35 or more must attempt to lose weight or have $25 automatically deducted from their paychecks. To opt out of the weigh-ins, one can accept the $25 deduction. (more…)