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Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Issue of the Week: The Health Insurance Boys Will Lie Again

Plus Heroes and Jerks of the Week

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Over the next few months the health insurance industry is going to be financing a major ad campaign to try to convince you that your small-business employer is vehemently against President Obama’s health care reform. Even worse, they say, you may end up losing your job because your employer might go out of business if the president’s plan becomes law. Actually, the opposite is true, both in terms of small-business support for Obama’s reforms and the passage of health care reform actually keeping them in business. A national polling firm, Lake Research, polled a random sampling of small-business owners in Wisconsin and found that the vast majority of these business owners support health care reform. More interestingly, 74% want to have the choice of a public insurance option along with the existing private insurance plans. Only 14% opposed the public option championed by the president.


Event of the Week:
Pathfinders’ B.E.D. fund-raising party at Bradford Beach

Pathfinders, which supports runaway youths, is holding a three-day fund-raising party at Bradford Beach. The weekend-long event will help Pathfinders raise funds for a drop-in center to meet the needs of vulnerable kids who are couch-hopping or living on the streets. And the need is acute: Every night, an estimated 400 kids in Milwaukee lack a safe place to sleep, because only 16 emergency beds are available to them. To help solve this problem, join the party! The Bradford Beach extravaganza (July 17-19) includes an unplugged Friday night concert (6:30 to 11 p.m.) with a bonfire cookout and s’mores; a Saturday beach volleyball tournament (10 a.m. to 4 p.m.); a one-night-only Miami-style nightclub set up on the beach on Saturday night (7 to 11:30 p.m.); and a Breakfast in B.E.D. brunch and fashion show on Sunday morning (10 a.m. to 1 p.m.) to wrap up the weekend. For more information, go to www.bedmilwaukee.org.


Hero of the Week: Congresswoman Gwen Moore

Responding to concerns expressed by Milwaukee’s community of veterans, U.S. Congresswoman Gwen Moore introduced an amendment to the Military Construction and Veterans Affairs Appropriations Act for fiscal year 2010, which would temporarily prohibit commercial development on the site of historic veterans’ facilities, including the Milwaukee Soldiers Home, established by President Lincoln in 1865. Approved by the House, the measure now goes to the Senate for consideration. Moore is also seeking to add the site to the National Register of Historic Places, which would permanently bar private commercial development on the grounds. We congratulate Congresswoman Moore for responding to the efforts of the area’s veterans.


Jerk of the Week:Milwaukee Postmaster Charles Miller

After being asked by the post office to help create an LGBT Pride Month display for the Downtown post office lobby, Maggi Cage, executive director of the Milwaukee LGBT Community Center, worked closely with post office representatives to construct a display commemorating the contributions and achievements of famous lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender individuals. The display went up June 1, the same day President Obama called upon people to “turn back discrimination and prejudice everywhere it exists.” Word apparently didn’t filter back to Milwaukee Postmaster Charles Miller, who failed to approve the display and had it removed mere hours after being installed. Cage told the Shepherd Express that, to date, she has received no explanation from Miller. Happily, she notes that more tolerant attitudes prevail at City Hall, which will be installing the display in the lobby on Wednesday, July 15.