Sunday, March 21, 2010

It's about time...

Finally. The Democrats mustered up something resembling a spine, so House Democrats approved the Senate health care reform bill tonight, by a close vote. The President might sign the bill as early as Tuesday.

With all the huffing and puffing of its opponents, you might not know that some of the bill's key provisions don't even go into effect until 2014. However, favorable measures that go into effect in 2010 include:

Not being able to be kicked out of a health insurance policy if you become sick. (A heinous insurance practice known as recission.)
Parents can keep their children on their insurance policy until these children are 26. (Grad students must be pleased.)

As today's New York Times article points out, everyone could benefit from the legislation, as it tightens regulations on health insurance companies, which have, quite frankly, basically been allowed to run roughshod over the public, until now.

Rep. Alan Grayson (D-FL, who'da thunk?) again had it right when he said that voting for health care reform was about saving lives.

* * *

I bet some of those legislators are feeling both relieved, and a bit exhausted. (After all, a vote on a Sunday night?) Would not be a bit surprised if many of them felt as though they had been...

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

Today's sunny skies, after this bleak, did I say, bleak, overly long winter (or so it seemed), makes St. Patrick's Day, that bellwether of spring to come in less than a week, welcome.

There's no better way to start the day (or perhaps finish it, if you're prone to overpartying tonight) than the Irish way, with a nice, strong cuppa tea. (The Irish drink more tea, per capita, than anyone.) Can you say, relaxation?

steaming cup of black tea by Xavier Snelgrove

photo by Xavier Snelgrove

A strong cup of Irish breakfast tea, that malty, delish tea that's hearty enough for coffee drinkers, without the stomach upset. Popular Irish brands like Bewley's and Barry's are available online, as well as at local stores like The Irish Walk in Alexandria, a wonderland of all things Irish.

Not having an Irish-style meal, though (no colcannon tonight), but instead a meal inspired by Portugal, a caldo verde style stew.

Then again, that just goes to show the things different cultures can have in common, as there's both kale and potatoes in colcannon and caldo verde. And both dishes hit the spot.