Thursday, March 24, 2011

Celebrating the Affordable Health Care Act First Anniversary

To celebrate the year anniversary of the Affordable Care Act, there was a rally today in downtown Chicago in support of it. I wanted to go to it, but it’s cold –30 degrees- and snow is predicted. I was afraid that I’d get sick. A typical Chicago spring day. Instead, I am here at home writing letters to the editor in support and saying yay! After a hundred years, the USA has joined the rest of the world in trying to guarantee health care for all its citizens. It was about time!

With all the moaning and groaning, the sky hasn’t fallen on the insurance companies. (Personally, I don’t think it would have been a bad thing if it did.) Many of the major provisions won’t take effect until 2014 but some have already begun:

  1. Children can no longer be denied coverage because of a pre-existing condition.
  2. Young adults can stay on their parents’ insurance until they are 26. I can remember when my kids graduated from college and were dropped by our insurance company like rocks. It’s too late to help us, but at least some other parents can sleep easy.
  3. Insurance companies are now not allowed to drop people from coverage if they get sick and need medical care.
  4. For those with pre-existing conditions, state health exchanges have been set up for people to access until 2014.

Those are just the main points. Starting in 2014, there will be expanded Medicaid Coverage and for those adults with pre-existing conditions, Insurance Companies won’t be allowed to drop them from coverage. Until then, just stay healthy. The state insurance exchanges are less expensive than before but still somewhat costly. So for insurance, just cross your fingers and keep exercising.

Try eating healthy, too. Here’s another New Zealand recipe. The people there seem to be very aware and involved in physical fitness. (They also have national health insurance.) Their cuisine is delicious. I asked a New Zealander to describe their cuisine and she said, “It’s nouvelle French but using a lot of Pacific herbs and fruits. There’s also some Asian and Mediterranean influences.”

It’s the churkendoose [from an old children’s record by Burl Ives- I think- about a creature that was part chicken, turkey, duck and goose, the prettiest animal in the barnyard] of cuisines. What could be bad?

This is a recipe for Orange and Currant Couscous. It went well with the broiled fish that we were eating and only took about 10 minutes to prepare. This amount will be good for 4 people.

                                                Orange and Currant Couscous
Grated rind and juice of 2 oranges
2 cups of water
½ teaspoon of salt
½ cup of currants
1 cup couscous
1/3 tbsp sweet chili sauce
¼ cup parsley
1/3 tsp of fresh ground pepper
½ tbsp of fresh grated ginger root

Place orange juice and rind and salt in pan.
Pour in water and bring to a boil.
Pour in couscous.
Stir in the rest of the ingredients and take off the heat. Let stand for five minutes.


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