Friday, September 20, 2013

Learn About the Affordable Care Act from the 'Connect the Dots Lady': Sept 23

Andrea Witte-- AKA the "Connect the Dots Lady"-- is on a mission to educate Tucsonans about their benefits under the Affordable Care Act (ACA). She will be presenting her “The American Healthcare Crazy Quilt” next Monday. Check out the details of this one woman dynamo's latest crusade to inform us with humor, facts, and great graphics.

The Affordable Care Act exchanges (aka Marketplace) will be opening up on October 1, 2013 with coverage starting as soon as January 1, 2014.  
And that’s when pre-existing condition discrimination goes away, too. Hooray for the ACA!
For all of us that worked so hard to get some meaningful health insurance reform passed, here are a few ways you can help make the launch a big success...  
The attached PDFs — “ACA Basics” and “ACA Tax Credits” — make a wonderful two-sided flyer that you can take to your events. They were a big hit at the Labor Day picnic and UA campus. I plan to go over to campus regularly to reach the Young Invincibles.
Please let me know if you want to join me or know about other events where we can reach lots of folks.

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Climate Smart Southwest: Are YOU Ready for Climate Change?

Is it hot enough for ya?
In the coming years, as temperatures rise, weather patterns evolve, and plant and animal species become extinct, that wry, old country greeting will lose it’s quaint humor. Thanks to global warming.
The Southwest is already the hottest and driest part of the US. And our region is already experiencing longer and more intense heat waves, a dramatic spike in forest fires and severe dust storms, and changes in rainfall and seasonal snowmelt. These changes threaten water resources, food security, and public health.  As extreme weather events continue to increase, we will see higher rates of heat stress, newly emerging infectious diseases, asthma, and other respiratory illnesses.
How will the Sonoran Desert change as climate change progresses? Will we have enough water? What will our air quality be like if Arizona’s dirty coal-fired power plants continue to balk at environmental regulations?  How will Arizona cope with rolling brown outs if electrical demand spikes? How will Tucson’s vulnerable populations fare with more days over 100 degrees? What can we do NOW to lessen the impact of climate change on our fragile environment?
This coming weekend, Sept. 20-21, the Arizona Chapter of Physicians for Social Responsibility (PSR) is sponsoring an important conference for us desert dwellers: Climate Smart Southwest, Ready or Hot?