Obamacare: Despite gaps, women are catching up

Obamacare Scores Big for Women but Stops Short of the Goal

mammogramBefore the ACA, also known as Obamacare, women were at a distinct disadvantage. Most health insurance plans required women to pay higher premiums than men did. In addition, people were not covered for pre-existing conditions that often made them ineligible for health insurance. For women these included pregnancy, a previous Caesarean section, and even conditions stemming from sexual assault. Many plans excluded maternity coverage. As a result, women paid approximately $1 billion more per year than men did for health care and some women could not afford any health insurance at all.

Obamacare changed all that. Women are now demonstrably better off.

Continue reading Obamacare Scores Big for Women but Stops Short of the Goal

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Earthrise and Saturn closeup

I was exploring Quartz and came upon these breath-taking images.

Our Blue Marble, seen at dawn, rising from the moon, is an awesome sight.

by Japan’s Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA). Taken by the Kaguya lunar orbiter

by Japan’s Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA). Taken by the Kaguya lunar orbiter.

A reverse view of Saturn, made by combining 165 images, reveals additional, fainter rings around the planet.

A reverse view of Saturn, made by combining 165 images, revealed additional, fainter rings around the planet. (NASA/JPL/Space Science Institute)

(NASA/JPL/Space Science Institute)

Saturn, its shadow and its rings
A view of Saturn from its night side. Even when not directly in front of the sun, its rings still reflect light around the planet.

A view of Saturn from its night side. Even when not directly in front of the sun, its rings still reflect light around the planet. (NASA/JPL-Caltech/Space Science Institute)

(NASA/JPL-Caltech/Space Science Institute)


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49195902-cachedfrom the Daily Beast:

Here’s How to Register to Vote and Have Your Voice Heard:

Many websites have made it easier than ever to register to vote. Vote.org provides an easy form that can be completed in less than three minutes and also provides resources to check your registration status or get an absentee ballot.

RockTheVote.com, targeted mainly towards younger people, provides many of the same resources along with useful election information about the candidates and the issues. There are also useful guidelines for college students.

Registration Deadlines

Closing today, October 10 

Arizona, Arkansas, Florida, Kentucky, Washington

The Daily Beast has also compiled a schedule of the last days to register to vote in every state– highlighting swing states, which will play a crucial role in the 2016 election.


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Republican hypocrisy

Donald_Trump_(2016)A live mic betrayed Donald Trump in an unguarded moment by recording his lewd remarks and confirming that he is a sexual predator. That mic, not unlike the “defective” mic he blamed for losing the first debate, confirmed the ample evidence we have of his unsavory character. Governors, senators, former cabinet members, congressmen and other prominent Republicans are running from Trump like rats abandoning a sinking ship.

Really? Really! Where were they when he mocked the disability of a New York Times reporter? Where were they when Trump impugned John McCain’s war record  war record because he was captured in Vietnam? Where were they when he insulted the parents of an American soldier who gave his life to protect his comrades, disparaging their Muslim religion (and retaliating for Mr. Khan’s scathing denunciation at the nationally televised Democratic convention)? Where were they when he called women fat pigs, dogs, slobs and disgusting animals and worse? Where were they when he sent our allies reeling by saying he would not honor our 67-year commitment to NATO?

Now the Republicans attack their presidential nominee? He is sinking in the polls and they don’t want to go down with him. If Trump had been leading in the polls, we wouldn’t hear a peep from the Party.

What particularly galls me is the condemnation by Trump’s former boosters. What Trump said to Billy Bush is no worse than what many men say to each other about women. I’m not a gambler, but I would bet the farm that most of Trump’s critics have used the same language and that some of them are gropers too.

Why is that video the straw that broke the camels back? It is not unusual for men in power to sexually assault, verbally and physically, their female subordinates. (Remember Roger Ailes?) I have written about women who successfully sued their bosses for such conduct in a review of “Because of Sex” by Gillian Thomas. Trump’s lewd comments and sexual assaults are nothing new. He insulted, as he did all his rivals for the nomination, Carly Fiorina as a woman. He was just unlucky that the incident was recorded.

I am disgusted by the tape, but before it surfaced I was appalled by his racism, ignorance, corruption and boldfaced lies throughout the campaign. The millions who voted for him excuse and condone his lies and failings as a human being, let alone as a candidate for the presidency. How different are they from him?

All the Republicans who perpetuate an inferior status for women by infantilizing them and assuming the right to control their bodies are guilty of a kind of sexual assault. Is legalizing sexual assault with a mandatory vaginal probe less violent than “grab[bing] them by the pussy”?

Please! Donald Trump is who he is. Republicans chose him to occupy the Oval Office. Now they are stuck with him.

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Hermine, the hurricane that blew us off

Dune BreakersWeathermen anticipated Hermine, or Hermione, as I like to call her, with a lot of hype because of the havoc she left in her wake as she roared through the Southeast. Then she drifted out to sea and blew past Long Island, but not without livening summer’s last hurrah. The hurricane that wasn’t inspired a happening on the beach. The curious formed a steady stream of arrivals and departures.

Breakers, Girl

As the wind picked up over the Labor Day weekend, she drew young and old, mostly with cameras, all in awe of the storm and enjoying the rowdy bravado of the surf.




With rows of breakers she washed over the sand, almost reaching the dunes, and offered photo ops all afternoon. (What happened to the abandoned tripod?)


The sun set and the moon rose late, but the ocean, undismayed, continued its assault on the beach without an audience.


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Election 2016: Cup count poll predictions

Hillary or Trump?

The Monogram Shop in East Hampton has its own poll to predict the winner. The shop makes cups for presidential elections, one boosting the Republican candidate and the other, the Democrat. Whichever candidate’s name sells the most cups will  take the White House.
Cup sales predictions

It’s worked before:Cup sales

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Naples in Capri

Bay of Naples with Castel dell'Ovo and Vesuvius

Bay of Naples with Castel dell’Ovo backgrounded by Vesuvius

It’s August in Naples. This fascinating city is a little too hot for my taste, but the food is delicious as always and the traffic is a little lighter, as it is also in New York, because so many have fled the hot streets.

Traffic may be lighter in the city as locals decamp, seeking respite from the urban hustle and bustle, but the traffic has merely migrated with them. In Capri, backed-up cars with impatient drivers honk their horns to little avail. They jam narrow streets and lanes meant for a quieter and slower way of life, for pedestrians, mules and the occasional horse-drawn cart.

The striking change in scenery, however, is restorative, and a dip in the water close by, exhilarating — if you’re lucky enough to find a parking spot.

I wrote the rest of this post last February, after a death in the family drew us to Naples for an unexpected sojourn. I found it languishing in the drafts pile.

It was time to go home. Elvira came to the hotel to say good-bye. We had breakfast, enjoying each other’s company for the third time in four days, We hadn’t seen each other in years, but there are bonds that distance doesn’t daunt.

Castel dell'Ovo and its little port at Santa Lucia

Castel dell’Ovo and its little port in Santa Lucia

Elvira accompanied us part way to the airport. She left us at Santa Lucia, one of the most sublime and photographed spots in Naples. It the site of a tiny port nestled in the embrace of a 15th-century castle.

The taxi driver, jovial and outgoing, joined the party when the conversation turned to soccer, the Neapolitan passion. When asked which team he roots for, the driver was somewhat taken aback.”Napoli, of course.”

The entire city was ecstatic. Naples had scored a 5-1 victory in the last game, rising to first-place standing. There wasn’t a conversation that didn’t quickly turn to that fabulous game and the possibility of winning the championship. My husband volunteered that his team is Juve, nickname for Naples’s arch rival. “And I thought you were such a good guy,” said Luigi, the driver. “I never imagined that you could be Juventino.”

A little more back-and-forth, until Sal admitted he could never be anything but a fan of Napoli.

“Good thing. I was about to drop you off right here,” said Luigi. He regaled us with tales about his adventures as a taxi driver until we reached the airport.


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