[This post relates a true story and has been edited to protect the identity of the author's adult child. Names have been changed.]
It’s a quiet evening. You’re sitting watching a little TV and relaxing as the day winds down. Your daughter Cheryl comes into the room and sits near you, but not too close. She is there, but not saying much. You turn off the TV and engage her in conversation. You ask about her classes, what she has been doing, and engage in other small talk. Slowly, somewhat hesitatingly, she superficially answers. After a little verbal interchange, she gets to the point of her conversation.Read more
Science, technology, engineering, and math are important subjects that our schools need to teach. Many groups have come to recognize this and are pushing for better STEM education for a variety of reasons. We do need to make sure our students are gaining useful skill sets, but that doesn't necessarily mean buying into the latest fads. While it is important to promote STEM careers, the success of our economy depends on a variety of people and skills sets.Read more
In recent weeks, the US has seen dramatic changes with two age-old policies as relations have begun normalizing between our nation and Cuba, and the historic nuclear agreement negotiated between the United States and Iran. These two policy changes are monumental achievements for the Obama administration considering the five-decade embargo and travel ban regarding Cuba, and a warming of relations with Iran that have been icy at best for over 30 years.Read more
An all-out attack on Planned Parenthood has begun. Yesterday Bobby Jindal, governor of Louisiana, cut all Medicaid funding to Planned Parenthood reasoning, “Planned Parenthood does not represent the values of the people of Louisiana and shows a fundamental disrespect for human life. It has become clear that this is not an organization that is worthy of receiving public assistance from the state.” Jeb Bush also followed suit on the campaign trail remarking, “I'm not sure we need a half a billion dollars for women's health issues.” Scott Walker even boasted, “We defunded Planned Parenthood long before these videos came out.” To the emotional pro-life observer these comments are met with warm acceptance and a thunderous applause. The problem with the demonization of Planned Parenthood is such arguments are built on blatant lies fueled by ignorance. Although such attacks are designed to end the practice of abortion and rally the voting base, the real victims are the millions of women who use Planned Parenthood for preventative healthcare and family planning.Read more
I am an active, believing temple recommend holding member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
I am also a board member of the c4 arm of the Planned Parenthood Association of Utah.
These two things are not a contradiction.
This Thursday, July 30, marks the 50th anniversary of the enactment of Medicare and Medicaid, and for me it’s a deeply personal occasion, made all the more poignant by its placement very close to the sixth anniversary of my kidney transplant. Because this is so personal to me, rather than simply discuss the history of these programs or discuss facts and figures relating to their status today, I want to talk about my personal experience with them, and tell you why they mean so much to me.
At the time that I was diagnosed with end stage kidney failure, I was working part-time for a science education facility and as a part-time actor, going to college part-time, and was a full-time care provider for the two greatest kids in the world: my niece and nephew. My sister and her husband both had to work full-time to support their family, so I was living in their basement and helping pay rent while taking care of the kids. None of these things gave me access to health insurance. But I qualified for both Medicare and Medicaid (one of the small number of circumstances which makes a person younger than normal Medicare eligibility age eligible is end stage kidney failure).Read more
As a Democrat I should love Donald Trump. His style and self-absorbed attitude entertains a powerful faction of the far-right movement which creates problems for the conservative core. He is a one-man wrecking ball; targeting his attacks on any individual that opposes him which includes most of the 2016 Republican field. His rhetoric is sharp and overtly hyperbolic and his methods are intrusive and borderline comical. Trump has cornered the market on ridiculousness and amazingly this message is resonating at light speed with many in the Republican base. Trump hurts Republicans chances in 2016, which is welcomed by Democrats, but he is also reinforcing a false narrative about key issues.Read more
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The LDS Dems Caucus is still waiting for expanded healthcare. Today, we request our state legislators do the right thing, right now, and bring greater access to healthcare to our most vulnerable Utahns. As members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and as Democrats, we support this compassionate, common-sense program, and we call on the Utah Legislature to pass it right now.
Healthy Utah will eliminate the coverage gap. Establishing Healthy Utah isn’t only the right thing to do, it is the smart thing to do. Healthy Utah is estimated to create an economic boon of some $874 million to our state.
We call upon the “Gang of Six” to honor the July 31st deadline set for reaching a decision, and express our disappointment in the failure of House Speaker Greg Hughes and House Majority Leader Jim Dunnigan to enact Healthy Utah. Healthy Utah is supported by the vast majority of Utahns. With their inaction, the “Gang of Six” are not only violating the will of their own constituents, but they are ignoring hundreds of leaders from the civic, business, religious and medical communities.
We echo the position of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Saints that the problem of the coverage gap “deserves the best thinking and efforts from both the public and the private sectors.” We ask the “Gang of Six” to consider the devastating effects of continued delay to those without healthcare coverage.
As Mormons, we strive to live as emissaries of Christ. Providing healthcare assistance to disadvantaged families is part of our Christian duty. We believe that increased access to healthcare helps Utah families reach self-reliance. Indeed, as our own Church leaders said last December: “the lack of access to health care can impair a person's ability to provide for self and family.” Healthy Utah is exactly the prescription that Utah needs and it is already three years too late. The time to act is now.
LDS Democrats (LDS Dems) is an official caucus of the Utah Democratic Party, and part of the national organization, LDS Democrats of America. Just three years old, LDS Dems is the largest caucus inside the Utah Democratic Party with more than 4,500 members. More info at ldsdems.org.