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"Look up at the stars and not down at your feet. Try to make sense of what you see and wonder about what makes the universe exist. Be curious."
– Stephen Hawking  
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  Volume No. 17 Issue No. 1 January 2020  

None Black Forest News   None Book Review   None Business Briefs   None Community Calendar  
None Community Photos   None Did You Know?   None FFPD News   None From the Publisher  
None Health and Wellness   None Marks Meanderings   None Monkey Business   None News From D 49  
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Michelle Barrette

  By Michelle Barrette

   Another year, another decade, another national election! I have a feeling itís going to be a wild 12 months, especially when the candidates get down and dirty with those fun and fancy television ads we all look forward to. More on that in the months to come.
   Health care issues will become a competitive game as to who is planning what as the elections get closer.
   January is our annual health care issue. Because we are starting a series of articles on water in Colorado, Lindsey Harrison tackled an article on clean water and global health matters ó another issue that is a talking point for those running for office in 2020.
   Leslie Sheley interviewed a few cancer survivors and patients on how to respond when a friend or family member tells you he or she has cancer.
   Health care is obviously a hot topic. There has always been somewhat of a debate on whether health care is a right or a privilege. I have a friend who insists itís neither ó health care is a necessity, she says.
   But many people, and Iím talking about working men and women, cannot afford health care in the U.S.
   In 2018, 27.9 million non-elderly persons were uninsured, an increase of almost 500,000 from 2017. The stats are from the Kaiser Foundation.
   In 2018, more than seven in 10 of the uninsured had at least one full-time worker in their family and an additional 11 percent had a part-time worker in their family.
   In 2018, 45 percent of uninsured non-elderly adults said they were uninsured because the cost is too high.
   In 2018, 70 percent of non-elderly uninsured workers were employed by a company that did not offer health benefits. That to me is a staggering figure. Maybe we should focus more on the reasons why these employers are not offering health care.
   Another mind-boggling stat: From 2009 to 2019, total premiums for family coverage increased by 54 percent, and the workerís share increased by 71 percent, despite a lack of increase in wages.
   Although the Affordable Care Act did help many people obtain health care coverage at a reasonable cost, 12 million people could not qualify for the ACA because their state did not expand Medicaid or their income was too high to qualify for marketplace subsidies. But not high enough to support soaring premiums for private health insurance.
   These are just a few examples of statistics youíll find at this website:
   Itís worth the time, especially in an election year.
   On a lighter note, Jan. 21 is National Squirrel Appreciation Day! Yes, there is a day to celebrate squirrels. In honor of the squirrel, be sure to read Bill Radfordís Prairie Life column.
   And Markís Meanderings provides us with more insight on starting fresh in the new year.
   I hope you have a happy and healthy new year ó good luck with those resolutions.
   The NFH resolves to make 2020 the best year ever.
   See you in February.
   - Michelle
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