H.R. 1608/S. 2373, the Lymphedema Treatment Act, would address a condition that afflicts some two out of five women who survive breast cancer (as well as millions of others). When lymph nodes get damaged or removed during breast cancer surgery, the resulting lymphatic fluid blockages cause painful swelling in the arm. The best way to control the swelling is to use compression, but Medicare doesn't currently cover the cost of compression supplies; the Lymphedema Treatment Act would rectify that. Over half of all House Reps currently co-sponsor H.R. 1608, while S. 2373 has almost 30 sponsors in the Senate; both bills have significant Republican support as well, meaning this is an actually bipartisan bill, and you hardly ever see that anymore -- normally you only see harmful bills the media calls "bipartisan." Anyway, Breast Cancer Action helps you tell your Congressfolk to pass the Lymphedema Treatment Act. Why tell Medicare to cover it? Because once Medicare starts covering it, other health insurers will follow suit. For as long as we can keep Paul Ryan's grubby mitts off Medicare, at least.
Meanwhile, closer to home, Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf deserves our thanks for vetoing a recent bill that would have put even more hurdles in front of state environmental regulators -- but not so much for proposing taking public funds away from a renewable energy program and using it to give grants to gas drilling corporations to finish pipeline projects. Yet that's what the Pipeline Investment Program would do, and though Gov. Wolf bills it as a program that would connect hospitals and schools to natural gas, it sounds less like a job-creation or energy-independence program than a make-corporate-executives-even-richer program. And the thing about fossil fuel pipelines is that they tend to break and leak toxic crap into our water tables; if you have a job in the fracking industry but can't drink the water, you haven't come out ahead, and whatever money this program would save now would be lost later in sharply-rising health care costs coming from the polluted water. So Food and Water Watch helps you tell Gov. Wolf to abandon his pipeline promotion plan and invest in real, renewable energy independence instead.
Finally, the Justice Department's settlement with Volkswagen (over its emissions fraud) directs some $2.7 billion dollars to the states for "environmental remediation," i.e., reducing the harm that Volkswagen caused by building cars that polluted more than Volkswagen said they did. And 15% of that money can go to building out electric charging stations all over the country. Folks who want electric cars may not be buying electric cars because they can hardly find a place to charge them, unless they run a cord from their home, but when charging stations become more common, consumers will more likely buy electric cars. Hence USPIRG hellps you tell state agencies to use the appropriate amount of settlement funds to build electric charging stations on highways. Some people still love telling you that supporting electric cars is dumb, because electricity often comes from fossil fuels like coal. But it doesn't always come from fossil fuels, and solar power has come way down in price over the last decade -- and cars running on gasoline only get their energy from fossil fuels. Never let the haters get you down.