Category Archives: Healthcare, Medicare & Medicaid

This Cancer Survivor’s Story Shows What Gutting the EPA Would Mean for Public Health


Donald Trump wants to slash the EPA’s budget and defund public health programs — which could cost people like Heather Von St. James their lives. This is her story.

Heather Von St. James has a friendly, Midwestern quality to her voice. Speaking to her over the phone, she comes off relaxed and assured, passionate yet polished.

But when you ask her about Donald Trump, something in her voice starts to change. There’s an exasperation, a sense of controlled but forceful frustration just under the surface of her jovial tone.

“It just makes me so angry,” was the first thing she said when I asked her what she thought of Trump’s decision to place Scott Pruitt at the head of the EPA.
That’s because Heather knows firsthand the devastation that could happen if Trump and Pruitt’s attempts to gut the EPA are successful.

At 36 years old, Heather was diagnosed with mesothelioma, a rare form of cancer caused by exposure to asbestos. She’s one of about 7 to 9 percent of mesothelioma patients who has lived more than five years after diagnosis, and one of even fewer who have actually defeated the disease. Since recovering 11 years ago, Heather has poured her time into fighting for regulations that limit Americans’ exposure to asbestos and championing protections for environmental health.

And she was seeing important progress in regulating pollutants and carcinogens like asbestos through the EPA — until Trump entered office. …

keep reading and view video at Greenpeace

Costello’s office again target of protesters

by Kacey Stewart, Daily Local News, 4/19/17

WEST CHESTER >> Protesters gathered again outside the Historic Chester County Courthouse Wednesday evening in support of the Affordable Care Act. Despite a drop in temperature, picketers still turned out with signs, many wearing the pink “pussy hats” made popular at the Women’s March which took place in January. The demonstrators urged U.S. Rep. Ryan Costello, R-6, to support the ACA, also known as Obamacare.

This was yet another in a string of protests regarding Costello and his stance on health care. A moderate Republican, he has stated that he would be interested in maintaining parts of the ACA, such as coverage of those with pre-existing conditions and the ability for children to stay on their parent’s plan until the age of 26. Costello voted for the American Health Care Act (AHCA) in committee, but has said that he would have voted against it in a final vote. After a town hall meeting in which constituents were able to voice their concerns to Costello, many continued to feel dissatisfied with the answers he provided.

Protest organizer Beth Sweet said the protests such as these are meant to remind Costello of the promises made to his constituents regarding health care….

keep reading at Daily Local News. Photo below by Beth Sweet.

More than 100 rally at Costello’s office urging no vote on ACA repeal

By Fran Maye, Daily Local News, 3/23/17

WEST CHESTER >> With chants like “Hey Hey, Ho Ho, we need to see Costello,” and “Keep it, keep it, people really need it,” more than 100 people gathered outside the office of U.S. Rep. Ryan Costello, R-6, Thursday at noon to protest the proposed repeal of the Affordable Care Act.

“We are asking Ryan Costello to be a stand-up guy and vote no to TrumpCare,” said Paula Terrell of North Coventry Township. “It will affect my (insurance) premiums and the premiums of our senior citizens.”…

keep reading at Daily Local News

n.b. A Quinnipiac University Poll released yesterday shows that 56% of US voters disapprove of the “TrumpCare” plan with only 17% in favor and 26% undecided. 46% say they would be less likely to vote for a US Senator or representative who votes for the current Republican plan, 19% more likely, and 29% say it wouldn’t matter.

GOP health care proposal fails us

letter from Jamie McVickar, Daily Local News, 3/22/17

At some level, one can understand why Chester County voters hold their noses and occasionally vote for Republicans. Smaller government can seem attractive to some.

But we are also primarily, I like to think, a compassionate country. So we needed only to wait until the Republicans were finally in power for them to show us their true stripes, completely at odds with what made this country great.

This is most recently laid bare with the unveiling of TrumpCare: Massive tax cuts for the wealthy and the corporate elite, at the expense of the rest of us in the middle and lower income brackets, particularly our seniors.

As the Daily Local News’ elder care columnist wrote this week, if you wanted to draft a bill that caused as many Americans as possible to lose their health care coverage, you need only look at the TrumpCare plan:24 million losing coverage, largely by cutting Medicaid recipients. Continue reading