April 2020 Newsletter
Issue #38
Health Care Update
The Corona Virus Crisis
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is the nation's health protection agency under the Department of Health and Human Services. Its budget has been steadily cut over the past 4 years:
  • 2017 -- $11.9 billion
  • 2018 -- $11.1 billion
  • 2019 -- $8.5 billion
  • 2020 proposal -- $6.6 billion


Health Insurance Coverage
  • After a steep decline between 2013 and 2016, the number of Americans without medical insurance rose to 8.5 % (28 million) people in 2018. This is up from 7.9% in 2017 and the second year in a row since the implementation of the Affordable Care Act in 2013.

  • Medicaid and the Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP), the two main state-federal health programs covered 1,000,000 fewer children in 2018 than they did in 2017.

The Poor
  • People who live in high-poverty neighborhoods are twice as likely to be hospitalized for flu than those in low-poverty communities.

  • Doctors are more likely to prescribe medicine to affluent people. Those in the two highest income categories were twice as likely as their lower-income counterparts. 

  • Those in lower economic strata are likelier to catch a disease and they are also more likely to die from it. For example, low income is associated with higher rates of chronic health conditions such as diabetes or heart disease etc.

  • Many of the people society has come to depend on during a health crisis such as food pickers, packers, truck drivers, cashiers and cooks are among the lowest paid, those who can’t work from home, need to take mass transit, can’t afford day care for their children and don’t have health insurance or paid sick leave.

Paid Sick Leave

  • Most low paid workers cannot afford to stay home when they are sick and must choose between getting paid or taking care of themselves.

  • Approximately 20% of food service workers come to work at least once each year “while sick with vomiting or diarrhea.”

  • Novovirus, a major cause of food poisoning, sickens approximately 20 million Americans and kills several hundred each year. Outbreaks are often traced back to sick food service workers.

  • Paid sick leave is standard in other developed nations, 13 states and in some large cities such as New York, Chicago and Washington D.C.

  • Providing paid sick leave would cost employers an average of 2.7 cents per hour of paid work.
  • Dr. Jonas Salk who created the vaccine for polio in 1955 did not patent his vaccine and did not profit from it.

  • In 1923, Frederick Banting and his team won the Nobel Prize for the discovery of insulin. It could have made him very rich, but he wanted insulin to be available to everyone so decided to give the patent away for free.

  • Today a patient with Type 1 diabetes incurs an annual insulin costs of $5,705, on average.

In 2018,
  • HCA Healthcare’s CEO made $109 million
  • Intuitive Surgical’s CEO made $99 million
  • Pfizer’s CEO made $47 million
  • Johnson & Johnson’s CEO made $46 million
  • Humana’s CEO made $27 million

During the same period,  20% of Americans skipped needed medical care due to costs.
                                                        Public Citizen

For more on Health Care , click here.
Health Inequity:
America’s Chronic Condition?
A TED Talk, featuring Esteban López,MD, MBA., who discusses the systemic, avoidable, unjust, social and economic policies and practices that create barriers to health. Watch now.
For more on Health Care , click here.
An endowed, non-profit organization that works to fill the need for trusted, independent information on national health issues through policy analysis, polling and survey research, and journalism. Their biggest concern is how policy affects people particularly public programs that affect people in need. They are as concerned about people with private coverage struggling to pay their health care bills as they are about Medicare or Medicaid beneficiaries and they have a special focus on the uninsured, who are hit the hardest with both financial and access problems. Learn more.
For more on Health Care , click here.
Our Century's Greatest Injustice
A TED Talk, featuring Sheryl WuDunn, author of "Half the Sky" who speaks of the oppression of women around the world. She argues that only when women in developing countries have equal access to education and economic opportunity will we be using all our human resources. Watch now.
For more on Gender Inequality , click here.
Economic Policy Institute
A nonprofit, nonpartisan think tank created in 1986 to include the needs of low- and middle-income workers in economic policy discussions. EPI believes every working person deserves a good job with fair pay, affordable health care, and retirement security. To achieve this goal, EPI conducts research and analysis on the economic status of working America. EPI proposes public policies that protect and improve the economic conditions of low- and middle-income workers and assesses policies with respect to how they affect those workers. Learn more.
For more on Economic Justice , click here.
Refugee Highway Partnership (RHP)
A cooperative network within the World Evangelical Alliance (WEA) that shares a commitment to welcome and serve refugees. The RHP facilitates more effective ministry, stimulates strategic initiatives and envisions and equips the Church at the global, regional and national levels so that refugee ministries are strengthened and more refugees are served. For more information, click here.
For more on Refugees , click here.
Lead the Way on Migration: Action Toolkit
A resource from Catholic Relief Services (CRS), that provides ways to engage those in power—and those in our communities —in meaningful ways that will make a difference for the most vulnerable families around the world. These tools can help make our voices heard and inspire others to act:
  • An overview of the migration crisis, with critical facts and current efforts
  • Templates for letters to government officials
  • Social media tips
  • Opportunities to support the immediate needs of migrants and refugees
  • Prayers for personal and group reflection

For more on Refugees , click here.
Union of Concerned Scientists
A national nonprofit organization of nearly 250 scientists, analysts, policy and communication experts dedicated to using rigorous, independent science to solve our planet's most pressing problems. Joining with people across the country, it combines technical analysis and effective advocacy to create innovative, practical solutions for a healthy, safe, and sustainable future. Calls for scientific research to be directed away from military technologies and toward solving pressing environmental and social issues, such as food, transportation and energy. Learn more.
For more on the Environment , click here .
Center for Prison Reform
An advocacy group of like-minded partners that support prison reform at every stage of the process:
  • A think tank of leading academic and author experts in public policy
  • A nationwide alliance of non-profit, political, and faith-based groups
  • A resource list of books, research papers, demographic surveys, and polls
  • A lobby that educates politicians and advocates in public forums
  • An investigative team that rates politicians’ records and prisons’ effectiveness
  • A support network for prisons that need to learn best practices
  • A matchmaker for prisons and courts that need help from non-profits and faith-based group
For more on the Criminal Justice System ,
100 Years of Immigration to The U.S.,
1919 to 2019
An animated bar graph that shows the numbers of immigrants to America from countries around the world based on foreign-born population data. In 1919 the top 3 were Germany, Italy and Russia while in 2019, the top 3 were Mexico, China and India.
For more on Immigration , click here.
Small Arms Survey
Provides expertise on all aspects of small arms and armed violence. Generates evidence-based, impartial, and policy-relevant knowledge and analysis on small arms and armed violence issues for governments, policy-makers, researchers, and civil society. The Survey has an international staff with expertise in security studies, political science, law, economics, development studies, sociology, and criminology. Their main objective is to reduce the illicit proliferation of small arms and light weapons and their impacts. Learn more.
For more on Gun Violence , click here.
Murder Victims' Families for Human Rights
A group that opposes the death penalty for many different reasons, but united in the belief that capital punishment violates all legal and ethical human rights standards. Membership is open to all family members of victims of homicide, execution, extra-judicial assassination, and “disappearances,” who oppose the death penalty in all cases. Friends of MVFHR are abolitionists, attorneys, members of the clergy, victims’ advocates, human rights workers, and anyone else who is interested in supporting and joining in their effort. Learn more.
For more on Capital Punishment , click here.
Fair Elections Center
A national, nonpartisan voting rights and election reform organization based in Washington, D.C. Their mission is to use litigation and advocacy to remove barriers to registration and voting, particularly those disenfranchising underrepresented and marginalized communities, and to improve election administration. Learn more.
For more on Voting Rights , click here.
War Chest Boutique
A resource from Women at Risk International, that markets and sells handcrafted items made by at-risk and rescued men and women from around the world. Supports culturally sensitive, value-added intervention projects, while educating shoppers about the risks the vulnerable face in our world.
For more on Human Trafficking , click here.
How To Break Up With Fast Fashion Notebook:
A guilt free guide to changing the way you shop, for good
By Lauren Bravo. Can help us to change our mindset, embrace more sustainable ways of shopping - from the clothes swap to the charity shop. Full of honest and realistic advice. Can be used as a journal, diary, or notebook. Read more.
For more Simple Living resources, click here.
The Action Network
An open platform that empowers individuals and groups to organize for progressive causes. Allows organizers to work together to publish actions like petitions or events that the public can take part in. Learn more.
For more Public Witness resources, click here.
On the Duty of Civil Disobedience
By Henry David Thoreau. A new edition of this classic, makes the case that an individual not only has the right, but the duty, to follow his or her own conscience in defiance of unjust government action. The arguments made in this essay have resonated throughout history, influencing writers and thinkers as diverse as Gandhi, Tolstoy, Martin Luther King, Jr., Ernest Hemingway, and modern libertarians. Read more.
For more Civil Disobedience resources, click here.
Prayer for a Pandemic
May we who are merely inconvenienced
Remember those whose lives are at stake.

May we who have no risk factors
Remember those most vulnerable.

May we who have the luxury of working from home
Remember those who must choose between
Preserving their health or making their rent.

May we who have the flexibility to care for our children when their schools close
Remember those who have no options.

May we who have to cancel our trips
Remember those who have no safe place to go.

May we who are losing our margin money in the tumult of the economic market
Remember those who have no margin at all.

May we who settle in for a quarantine at home
Remember those who have no home.

As fear grips our country,
Let us choose love.

During this time when we cannot physically
Wrap our arms around each other,

Let us yet find ways to be the loving embrace
Of God to our neighbors.

Krugthethinker instagram
Spread Hope
In response to the recent "shelter in place" and "social distancing" directives related to the Covid 19 emergency, the Chino Hills High School Chamber Singers from California’s Chino Valley Unified School District, released this a capella music video performance of the late Israel Kamakawiwoʻole’s take on “Over The Rainbow." Listen now.
Important Dates This Month

Individuals Honored This Month
April 2nd

Those who defend the right to life of the weakest among us must be equally visible in support of the quality of life of the powerless among us: the old and the young, the hungry and the homeless, the undocumented immigrant and the unemployed worker.
April 10th

 The Peace Corps left today and my heart sank low. The danger is extreme and they were right to leave...Now I must assess my own position because I am not up for suicide. Several times I have decided to leave El Salvador. I almost could, except for the children, the poor, bruised victims of this insanity. Who would care for them? Whose heart could be so staunch as to favor the reasonable thing in a sea of their tears and helplessness? Not mine, dear friend, not mine.
April 21st

I saw the suffering and I let myself feel it… I saw the injustice and was compelled to do something about it. I changed from being a nun who only prayed for the suffering world to a woman with my sleeves rolled up, living my prayer.
April 21st

Oh, these vast, calm, measureless mountain days, days in whose light everything seems equally divine, opening a thousand windows to show us God.
April 23rd

I hope that you come to find that which gives life a deep meaning for you. Something worth living for – maybe even worth dying for, something that energizes you, enthuses you, enables you to keep moving ahead. I can’t tell you what it might be – that’s for you to find, to choose, to love. I can just encourage you to start looking and support you in the search.
April 26th

We have watched our educational system begin to fray because we have taken weapons for granted and preferred a strong military to an educated population. 
April 27th

Women, if the soul of the nation is to be saved, I believe that you must become its soul.
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