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Thursday, November 22, 2012

Know someone struggling to make it financially?

Help them get connected to this program to help low-income folks remain able to access jobs and services.   Cellphones are crazy overpriced, and totally unregulated, so the poor are hard-pressed to find a deal that doesn't turn into a nightmare for them, with shady bottom-feeding services dominating.  But the inability to connect to employers and service providers readily via a phone is one of the biggest barriers that financially stressed people face.  Solution?  A subsidy program that helps use the Universal Service Fee money we've been stocking up for years to make sure the poor can stay connected without having to deal with a payday-loan type cellphone operation.

Here's a program that uses the Universal Service Fee money to help such people stay connected.  (Clip starts about 15 seconds in.)

  Assurance Wireless is a federal Lifeline Assistance program brought to you by Virgin Mobile.  Lifeline is a government benefit program supported by the federal Universal Service Fund.

Enrollment is available to individuals who qualify based on federal or state-specific eligibility criteria. You may qualify if you are on certain public assistance programs, like Medicaid or Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). You can also qualify based on your household income. You must provide proof of program participation or proof of income.

The Lifeline Assistance program is available for only one wireless or wireline account per household.  Separate households that live at the same address are eligible, including residents of homeless shelters and nursing homes, for example.  Residents with temporary addresses are also eligible.

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Don't miss this one in the busy December whirl

(NOTE:This terribly misnamed movie is about our insane sickness financing system, not forests.)

Escape Fire: The Fight to Rescue American Healthcare
Showing at Salem Progressive Film Series in The Historic Grand Theatre,
Thursday, December 13, 2012    7 p.m. (doors open at 6 p.m.)

ESCAPE FIRE: The Fight to Rescue American Healthcare tackles one of the most pressing issues of our time: how can we save our badly broken healthcare system?

American healthcare costs are rising so rapidly that they could reach $4.2 trillion annually, roughly 20% of our gross domestic product, within ten years. We spend $300 billion a year on pharmaceutical drugs – almost as much as the rest of the world combined. We pay more, yet our health outcomes are worse. About 65% of Americans are overweight and almost 75% of healthcare spending goes to preventable diseases that are the major causes of disability and death in our society.

It’s not surprising that healthcare is at the top of many Americans’ concerns and at the center of an intense political firestorm in our nation’s Capitol. But the current battle over cost and access does not ultimately address the root of the problem: we have a disease-care system, not a healthcare system. The film examines the powerful forces maintaining the status quo, a medical industry designed for quick fixes rather than prevention, for profit-driven care rather than  patient-driven care.

ESCAPE FIRE also presents attainable solutions. After decades of resistance, a movement to bring innovative high-touch, low-cost methods of prevention and healing into our high-tech, costly system is finally gaining ground.

Filmmakers Matthew Heineman and Susan Froemke interweave dramatic personal arcs of patients and physicians with the stories of leaders battling to transform healthcare at the highest levels of medicine, industry, government, and even the U.S. military. ESCAPE FIRE is about finding a way out of our current crisis. It’s about saving the health of a nation.

Related articles -

1) interesting thoughts in an essay here
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