Help for Family Caregivers

While traveling to Erie, Pa., for a town meeting on family caregiving, I was reflecting on my family roots. A little more than 100 years ago, my Lithuanian grandparents immigrated to America and made Shenandoah, Pa., their first hometown. My grandfather worked in the coal mines and my grandmother, fluent in six languages, worked various jobs while raising five children — one of whom was my mom. My grandparents taught me about hard work and perseverance, and my parents taught …

Give Nurses More Authority to Heal

National Nurses Week comes to a close today, and I am reminded of my mom’s nurse, Sue. As my parents got older and Pop became Mom’s caregiver, they needed more help. Sue came once a week for the months following Mom’s return home from a rehabilitation center. She checked on Mom’s health and trained Pop on how to care for Mom during the week.  I am still so grateful for Nurse Sue and all that she did. She was one of …

Pennsylvania Court Strikes Down Voter ID Law

Sometimes, if you fight very, very hard against injustice, you win. That’s what happened in Pennsylvania last week, where a court struck down the state’s voter ID law. As the Public Interest Law Center of Philadelphia described in its complaint and the Commonwealth Court of Pennsylvania acknowledged in its opinion, the evidence of disenfranchisement is vast and the stories are compelling. The court found that “approximately 430,000 electors remain without compliant ID.  That’s 4 percent of eligible Pennsylvania voters!  Just …

26 States With a Big Health Coverage Gap

This week, Health Insurance Marketplaces opened in states across the country.  It’s true: Many more Americans will now have access to affordable health care.  But, other hard-working people, who live in states that have not yet committed to expanding Medicaid, will fall into a new coverage gap. That’s right: In the 26 states that have not accepted federal funding to expand Medicaid, adults who earn up to $15,000 a year will not qualify for any type of subsidy through the …

New Health Care Coverage Gap

Meet Lorna, a 59-year-old who has been unemployed for a year and, as a result, doesn’t have health insurance. She has Type-2 Diabetes.  Recently she had to have some blood tests done, costing $600 that she can’t afford.  She has a broken tooth that she’s not able to get fixed.  She wants to work, but can’t find a job in the area. Meet a 60-year-old woman whose husband retired in 2010 and, as a result, she lost her health insurance coverage. The …

Pennsylvania Voter ID Law Has Another Day in Court

Just a month before the presidential election last year, a lawsuit brought by 94-year-old Vivienne Applewhite temporarily blocked the key component of a Pennsylvania law requiring strict photographic identification to vote. Now the challenge to the constitutionality of the law is back in state court for a more permanent ruling. Thirty-seven states have laws requiring registered voters to show ID when they arrive at the polls. Some of these – like the strict laws requiring photo ID cards in Georgia, Indiana, …