Obama’s Health Care Law, Law Explained & A Beastly Bug

Health Care No Longer a Bill

In the New York Time’s article “Obama Signs Health Care Overhaul Bill, With a Flourish,” writer David M. Herszenhorn covers the celebration ceremony where President Barack Obama signed his health care bill into law. He notes that Obama used 20 different pens, so he could later give them away as pieces of the historic day. Of those present to whom Obama might give the pens were House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and Representative Patrick J. Kennedy, among others, including ordinary citizens. Obama is quoted, saying, “The bill I’m signing will set into motion reforms that generations of Americans have fought for and hungered to see.” The reporter also quoted an opponent of the bill: “This is a somber day for the American people,” said Representative John A. Boehner, the House minority leader. “By signing this bill, President Obama is abandoning our founding principle that government governs best when it governs closest to the people.” The last quarter of the piece zones in on cheers and chants of the crowd and even notes Vice President Joe Biden’s use of colorful language.

When news affects every American, as it does here, it must be covered meticulously. This piece does well in relaying the atmosphere and energy of that celebratory day for supporters of the health bill. It also covers the coming debates and repeals Republicans will make against the Law, making the piece objective coverage. Its inclusion of Biden’s slip of the tongue is cute but unnecessary, though.

Find it HERE.

Health Care Law Explained

In CNN.coms “Answers to your questions on health care law,” the news agency has taken it upon themselves to answer selected questions from concerned and confused citizens. It explains the insurance exchange policy (which, after reading plenty of material on, I still don’t get, not even here). It also details how several small business can link up in purchasing insurance plans for their employees. To a HIV patient without coverage, CNN explains that insurance companies will not be able to discriminate based on medical conditions. Like with “Romneycare” in Massachusetts, patients may have to wait longer for doctor visits, the article says. It also debunks the assumption that the new law means free health care for all; co-pays won’t even be paid for. Individuals will have to pay for health plans: “In 2014, you will be able to buy a standardized health plan through a state-based exchange, with tiers of benefit packages available, if you do not have insurance through your employer, Medicare or Medicaid. You will be able to choose whether you want a plan with a higher premium and lower cost-sharing or a lower premium and higher cost-sharing.”

The Q&A format of the article is genius, especially dealing with a subject that so questionable for many Americans. The format also breaks the monotony of the myriad inverted-pyramid pieces on health care. There are a few points in which the writer should have clarified the jargon, since questioners might be left even more baffled after reading the specific answers to their questions.

Find it HERE.

A Beastly Bug

Image: Dung beetlesAfter intense research into what bug can pull the most weight, the horned dung beetle, which can lug 1,141 times its own weight, has come out on top. MSNBC’s “Super bug! World’s strongest insect revealed” covers this study, which was first published in the Proceedings of the Royal Society, a scientific journal. The article highlights the dung beetle’s mating habits, noting that some males have horns while others don’t and that horned males that are well-fed are stronger than their counterparts. In keeping scientific integrity, the piece also relays the research approaches taken to discovering the strongest beetle, like when researchers tied string to different insects and then tugged to test their strengths. It ends with a lesson in evolutionary biology, saying that “some traits are controlled by a good chunk of the genome rather than just a few genes.”

Whether someone disagrees with the subject of research has nothing to do with the article’s news value. In my view, it’s fun, interesting and eerily appealing all at the same time. The writing is clear and no scientific jargon is used in relaying the story. Although I understand ads fund news agencies, I never enjoyed seeing one in the center of an online story as this article has; it’s a disrespectful hiatus to one’s reading experience.

Find it HERE.

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