News Roundup – Westboro Baptist Church, Russia, Syrian jet is shot down

The founder of the Westboro Baptist Church has died. Counter-protesters, instead of spreading the hate that Fred Phelps did, took the high road.

westboro baptist church sign

Visa and MasterCard have started to enact international sanctions. Russian bank customers will not be able to use their Visas and MasterCards. I have no idea how many Russians have American bank cards. NATO is warning Russia about its military build-up on the Ukrainian border.

Just in case you thought that the world was getting less complex, I present to you Turkey and Syria. According to reports, a Syrian jet wandered into Turkish airspace. Turkey shot down the jet. Turkey said the action warranted a heavy response. You can image that Syria isn’t happy. This only makes one of the most complex regions in the world more confusing.

Republicans still haven’t come up with any alternative to ObamaCare.

Speaking of ObamaCare, I think that it is time for Democrats and Liberals to start embracing ObamaCare. The website is fixed. People are signing up for ObamaCare and are getting to see a doctor, which was, after all, the whole point. The scary things that we all heard are not coming to pass. Democrats, without any help from Republicans, are allowing millions of Americans to have healthcare insurance. How is this a bad thing?


Robert Reich has more:

Despite the worst roll-out conceivable, the Affordable Care Act seems to be working. With less than two weeks remaining before the March 31 deadline for coverage this year, five million people have already signed up. After decades of rising percentages of Americans’ lacking health insurance, the uninsured rate has dropped to its lowest levels since 2008.

Meanwhile, the rise in health care costs has slowed drastically. No one knows exactly why, but the new law may well be contributing to this slowdown by reducing Medicare overpayments to medical providers and private insurers, and creating incentives for hospitals and doctors to improve quality of care.

But a lot about the Affordable Care Act needs fixing — especially the widespread misinformation that continues to surround it. For example, a majority of business owners with fewer than 50 workers still think they’re required to offer insurance or pay a penalty. In fact, the law applies only to businesses with 50 or more employees who work more than 30 hours a week. And many companies with fewer than 25 workers still don’t realize that if they offer plans they can qualify for subsidies in the form of tax credits.

Many individuals remain confused and frightened. Forty-one percent of Americans who are still uninsured say they plan to remain that way. They believe it will be cheaper to pay a penalty than buy insurance. Many of these people are unaware of the subsidies available to them. Sign-ups have been particularly disappointing among Hispanics. (more…)

Oh, damn. I thought ebola was dead and gone. I guess I was wrong. Another deadly outbreak in Guinea.

Remains of WWI vets were found. But who are they? DNA helps ID them more than 80 years later. It’s nice to see technology doing some good.



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Errington C. Thompson, MD

Dr. Thompson is a surgeon, scholar, full-time sports fan and part-time political activist. He is active in a number of community projects and initiatives. Through medicine, he strives to improve the physical health of all he treats.


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