I know a lot of people don’t really like the Affordable Care Act (ACA) otherwise known as Obamacare but I’m not really sure why. I’ve heard all the rhetoric from the far right and must say that they really are a doom and gloom bunch. Some of what they say could be true but I believe much of it is more of a scare tactic towards people who won’t take the time to research what the ACA really says and will believe anything they hear whether or not it’s correct which is really sad. Is it perfect? No, but I believe that it is something that will help many, many people.
For example, I have a friend who has cancer. For a while now, he hasn’t been able to have any insurance. His insurance company cancelled his policy when he was diagnosed. That really bothers me that insurance companies which we pay into for a policy can cancel our policies just because they don’t want the expense. Isn’t that what they are for? Anyway, he has to pay out of pocket and rack up lots of bills for his cancer treatment. It’s bad enough that he was diagnosed with a disease that kills people but not knowing how he can afford to pay for his treatments is something he shouldn’t have to worry about. Now with the ACA, he doesn’t have to worry. And that’s what it’s all about. It is forcing insurance companies to cover the really necessary treatments that they should have been covering all along.
The other thing that really affects me even though I have insurance currently, is what would happen when I retire in a couple of years? See I have a pre-existing condition of Diabetes. It’s something that evidently runs in my family (I’m adopted so I have no idea what medical conditions I could come down with but evidently Diabetes is one of them) and I developed it in mid-life. But many insurance companies won’t even let you sign up with them with a pre-existing condition like my disease. And some of my medications are expensive even with insurance and I haven’t even needed to think about insulin yet so have no idea how much that will cost me when I do have to start using it. So the thought that I wouldn’t be covered by insurance in later life really scares me. But not anymore, because the ACA guarantees I will be covered regardless of any pre-existing conditions.
Those are just two examples where the ACA is helping people out. Does it need some work? Yes and I think that eventually the fixes it needs will be addressed. This is a good thing for those who need insurance and either can’t afford it, have a pre-existing condition, or have had their policies cancelled do to an illness they didn’t ask for. Can we afford it? Well if we were to get rid of the “pork” we’ve been paying for for a long time now, I think we can. We just have to have politicians who are willing to slice and dice the budget and get rid of things we don’t need and take care of funding what really helps the people.
In today’s video blog, we visit with an Oklahoma state Senator who is also an emergency room doctor who also agrees that the ACA is a good thing even though his political party trys to say it isn’t.
On the Horizon: Obamacare from Alisa Hines on Vimeo.
I’ve always been interested in archeology. If there is a show on television that has anything to do with it, I watch it. History was always one of my favorite subjects in school although I do have to admit, if it’s anything from 1900 forward not so much. It’s too “current” for me to enjoy. I really like the ancient history topics. I even did extra credit in high school by going through an extra history book. It’s just really fascinating to me.
Imagine my surprise while shooting a story for OK Horizon, I was told by a person that I could actually volunteer my time to digging up history. I was certainly excited. The only problem was…I simply didn’t have time. But a few years later after my children grew up and left home, I revisited the thought and looked up the Oklahoma Anthropological Society (OAS) online and found out how I could get involved. They told me about an upcoming dig and said come on out and find out for yourself whether you like it or not. So I did. Well I was hooked and the rest, as they say, was history.
The OAS does two digs a year, one in the Spring and one in the Fall. They do them in conjunction with the Oklahoma Archeological Society. Archeologists and Anthropologists from OU and OSU jointly do the digs and they use the OAS volunteers to help them dig. It’s the one time that school rivalry is set aside and everyone gets along and really enjoy themselves. Volunteers from all walks of life come out for each week-long dig. Some stay all week and some only come for a day or two. They come from all over the state and even a few come from out of state to help.
It is hard work but at the same time, at least for me, it’s a time to de-stress. As you are concentrating so hard on the task in front of you, all thoughts of everything else simply drift away. You use muscles that you’ve forgotten you had. By the end of the time you are there, you are exhausted but enthused. Little objects that come out of the ground make everyone really excited and the thought that no one has seen or held these objects for a thousand years or more is simply awe inspiring.
In today’s video blog, see what it’s like to dig up some Oklahoma history.
On the Horizon: Digging Up History from Alisa Hines on Vimeo.
Family farms have been a tradition in America for years. From crops to livestock, farmers keep the grocery stores shelves stocked and the clothes racks full.
A trend that is emerging is the average age of farmers is increasing and less and less young farmers are coming up to take their place. With the global population nearing nine billion, a small amount of people are presented with the task of feeding and clothing more with less.
Despite this grim scenario, a young couple in Western Oklahoma are bucking the trends and have a farm and then some. I was able to spend a couple days with the Base family at their farm in Geary, Okla. It was easy to see their passion for agriculture and it was obvious to see how dedicated they are.
In today’s video blog, we take a look at the Base Vines and Cattle farm. Diversity doesn’t begin to describe what the Base family does. They seem to have their hands in all things agriculture. They have a little bit of traditional and a little bit of nontraditional. All in all they are definitely doing their part in feeding the world.
On the Horizon: Variety on the Farm from Alisa Hines on Vimeo.
Whether I am recovering from a surgery or just that annoying lower back twinge we get from time to time, I am grateful for pain medication. It amazes me how scientists have figured out ways of stopping, or at least minimizing pain. But with all of the different cases for which I have taken prescription medicine I have never found myself “needing” more. The best side effect for me is the fact that it takes the pain away.
Every day we see more and more people hooked on prescription medicine. This epidemic is quickly becoming more serious than marijuana and cocaine. It is a sad and dangerous issue but one that doesn’t only hurt addicts and their loved ones. While reading an article about prescription drug abuse, I came across some frightening information. According to doctors in Oklahoma City, women are more likely to become addicted to prescription painkillers. With that increase comes the higher rate of unborn babies also becoming addicted. Our world can be a scary and dangerous place. Add that to the fact that an unborn baby is addicted to painkillers through no fault of their own – it is disheartening.
Whether you are pro-life or pro-choice is not an issue. If a baby is coming into the world, they should not have to start out a step behind because of unfortunate choices of their parent.
On the Horizon: Prescription Drug Abuse from Alisa Hines on Vimeo.
I believe at some point in everyone’s life, a person stops and thinks about space, the infinite frontier. What else is out there? What is it like to be in zero gravity? There are so many questions that have been answered and so many that are still being researched.
With efforts to use the excitement of space exploration to get students interested in and involved with science, technology, engineering and mathematics, NASA has made a national effort to reach out to as many schools as they can and give students a hands on look at what working with them is like.
In this week’s video blog, we take a look at what leaders in Oklahoma are doing to help promote and educate people about the importance of STEM education.
On the Horizon: Space Day from Alisa Hines on Vimeo.