Sunday, November 30, 2014

Sunday morning round-up: Yummy Gore-tex for seniors, Wyoming Medicaid expansion and "The Poor Are Always With Us"

As we draw closer to the next Wyoming legislative session, we eagerly anticipate having fun with oddball bills promulgated by Republican legislators. State employees may see attempts to change the pension plan from an almost-fully-funded defined benefit plan to something crafted by the Koch Brothers and their minions at the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC). Fellow prog-blogger Rodger McDaniel wrote yesterday about the Wyoming Liberty Group which is working overtime against the current retirement system, calling it a "gold-plated pension plan." The money behind the WLG is right-winger Susan Gore of Texas, who has nothing better to do with her billions than to ensure that hundreds of retirees eat cast-off Gore-tex plucked from dumpsters instead of living -- and eating -- comfortably in retirement. Wonder if Gore-tex tastes better than three-day-old pizza crusts or half-eaten Big Macs? We may all find out if Gore and her outside agitators have their way with the legislature.

Dem gubernatorial candidate Pete Gosar pressed Gov. Mead on this issue for months during the campaign. Now it appears that Medicaid expansion is coming to Wyoming. This excerpt comes from Talking Points Memo:
Wyoming Gov. Matt Mead's administration is officially recommending that the state expand Medicaid under Obamacare, making the Republican governor the latest conservative to embrace a key pillar of the health care reform law. 
The state department of health released a modified plan to expand the low-income insurance plan, the Casper Star-Tribune reported, which pulls from the alternative expansion plans pursued by some other states. 
If you are among Wyoming's 17,000-some uninsured, get more info at the Wyoming Department of Health.

Love this quote by a writer I admire, Walter Mosley (from Vintage Shorts):
“A good short story crosses the borders of our nations and our prejudices and our beliefs. A good short story asks a question that can’t be answered in simple terms. And even if we come up with some understanding, years later, while glancing out of a window, the story still has the potential to return, to alter right there in our mind and change everything.”
Earlier today, I dug out the 1985 Tobias Wolff story anthology, Back in the World. I was talking about Wolff yesterday after I found out that he's one of the presenters at the 2015 Jackson Hole Writers Conference. I was talking to a writer friend about one of Wolff's stories. I thought it was called "The Rich Are Always With Us." I was in the ballpark -- the story's called "The Poor Are Always With Us."  I first read the story a couple decades ago and it stayed with me. It has to do with conflicts between generations in Silicon Valley. Now that I found it, I had to read the story again. I suggest you do the same. I didn't even have to look out the window to realize the effect Wolff's story had on me then and now.

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