Recovery Act Funds Will Help Improve Infrastructure Across Rural America
Hawaii: Na Kupaa O Kuhio (Kakaina) – $541,000 direct loan and $377,800 grant Na Kupaa O Kuhio (Piilani) – $471,000 direct loan and $339,000 grant
WASHINGTON, August, 25, 2009 – Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack today announced the selection of $175.8 million in water and environmental projects that are being funded immediately through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA). The projects will help provide safe drinking water and improved wastewater treatment for rural communities in 27 states. To date, USDA has announced $1.47 billion for water and environmental project loans and grants through ARRA, benefiting communities throughout the country.
“The Recovery Act water and wastewater projects we are announcing today support the Obama administration’s goal of rebuilding and revitalizing the nation’s rural infrastructure,” Vilsack said. “This funding will provide reliable drinking water and sanitary waste disposal while creating and saving jobs in rural America.”
The blogosphere is buzzing with discussions about the promise of health care reform. For a weekly poster like me, it is impossible to keep up. As 2009 approaches, and more importantly, as 1.20.09 approaches, I thought I would offer my insights into the topic from the perspective of the administrator of an employer and union sponsored health benefit plan
If there is one thing that unites the comments it is their oppositional posture. Insurance companies are the most common enemy, but hardly anyone escapes.
So I would like to go on the offensive and tick off a few positives that I would like to see in health care reform. Please indulge my autocratic use of the term “will”.
1. Every individual will be required to have health insurance.
2.There will be a defined set of benefit plans.
3. There will be a uniform drug formulary.
4. There will be payment reform.
5. Medical education reform will include major financial support by the federal government. 6. There will be a system for a fair redress of medical errors.
7. Cost to the individual will be based on ability to pay.8. There will be delivery system reform
9. There will be room for experimentation.
10. Above all, there will be recognition that the health of the nation is not dependent solely on its health care system. It depends on good nutrition, opportunities for exercise and outdoor recreation, on the education of its citizenry, on safe working environments, on safe drinking water and sanitation systems, and on clean air.
Over time I will take the opportunity to expand on these topics. Some may notice that I offer no silver bullets: fix this one thing and all will be right. It took this country a long time to get into this mess. Fixing it will take time, leadership, and concerted effort.