Archive for December, 2009
Senate Democrats clear health care hurdle
12/21/2009 12:00 PM
WASHINGTON – A crucial, middle-of-the-night test vote behind them, Senate Democrats prepared Monday for more votes at odd hours in their drive to pass historic legislation to cover the uninsured and to try to curb rising medical costs. (God almighty these medical costs eat up a larger piece of my income every year. Pretty soon 50% of my pay will go to insurance companies! And without this I’m sure when my company lays me off at 58 and I’m no longer covered that they’ll deny me coverage – who wants to cover old people?)
All 58 Democrats and the Senate’s two independents held together early Monday against unanimous Republican opposition to President Barack Obama’s health care overhaul . They provided the exact 60-40 margin needed to shut down a threatened GOP filibuster.
The next vote is now expected around 7:20 a.m. EST Tuesday. Obama called the vote “a big victory for the American people,” adding that it will make a “tremendous difference for families, for seniors, for businesses and for the country as a whole.”
Umbilical Cord Blood Made to Function Like Embryonic Stem Cells
Researchers at the Salk Institute successfully reprogrammed cord blood cells to function like embryonic stem cells. The institute’s study results are significant because they identify cord blood as a convenient source of versatile stem cells with theoretically limitless potential. Read more
Data Presented on Treating Brain Injury in Children with Their Own Cells
New research presented at the Congress of Neurological Surgeons 2009 Annual Meeting demonstrated improvements in children with traumatic brain injury (TBI) who received infusions of their bone marrow stem cells.
This research has direct relevance for individuals with access to their own cord blood stem cells. A growing body of evidence suggests that cord blood stem cells have distinct advantages over other sources of stem cells and can potentially play a role in repairing central nervous system injuries. Read more
Cord Blood Stem Cell Research and Spina Bifida
The CBR Center for Regenerative Medicine is working to identify any clients who may have a child diagnosed with Spina Bifida. Spina Bifida is the most common permanently disabling birth defect in the United States and occurs when the spine of the baby fails to close during the first months of pregnancy.
We need to emphasize that though there is interest in incorporating stem cells into the treatment of Spina Bifida, at this time, we are not aware of any U.S. clinical trial in development. However, we are committed to keeping you informed about any potential clinical trial opportunities. If you have a child diagnosed with Spina Bifida and would like to be notified in the event that a researcher is considering a trial and interested in contacting you, we encourage you to register with CBR’s Center for Regenerative Medicine.
This year, when you’re writing holiday cards to your friends and loved ones, there are two more people who need to hear from you: Senator John Cornyn and Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison (Or your the Senators from your state!).
With the Senate deep in final negotiations — and a compromise just introduced that increases choice and drives costs down — your senators need to understand how urgent reform really is.
So we’ve come up with a unique way for you to get the message across — by sending your senators a card with your holiday wish for the season.
Since the full Senate began debating reform just over two weeks ago, approximately 224,000 Americans have lost their health insurance, while spiraling costs have forced countless more into bankruptcy or foreclosure.
That’s a big number — it’s as many people as live in a city like Baton Rouge, and more than live in Reno.
This crisis affects everyone in our community. It could be a father down the street who now won’t be able to pay for care when his son breaks his leg playing soccer, or a daughter who must watch helplessly as her newly-uninsured mother gets a breast cancer diagnosis she can’t afford to treat.
Every day brings thousands more stories of heartbreak and struggle that just shouldn’t be in a nation as blessed as ours.
So please take a moment to cut through the noise in D.C. with your simple holiday wish: affordable, quality health care for every American family.
Send your holiday card for health reform today:
Organizing for America
“If we don’t try to understand and respect others, how can we expect them to respect us, our values and our way of life?” But our own political practice belies anything remotely like “civility,” a word that Leach has as much a right to use as anyone in public life.
“Public officials,” Leach observed, “are being labeled ‘fascist’ or ‘communist.’
And more bizarrely, significant public figures have toyed with hints of history-blind radicalism — the notion of ‘secession.’ ” This last is a reference to Texas Gov. Rick Perry’s effort to ride to reelection by invoking a concept that we thought had been discredited in 1865.
“There is, after all, a difference between holding a particular tax or spending or health-care view,” he said, “and asserting that an American who supports another approach or is a member of a different political party is an advocate of an ‘ism’ of hate that encompasses gulags and concentration camps. One framework of thought defines rival ideas; the other, enemies.” As a result, “citizens of various philosophical persuasions are reflecting increased disrespect for fellow citizens and thus for modern-day democratic governance.”
Jim Leach spent 30 years as a Republican member of Congress who went his own way.