A Thank you Sonnet to Leadership Centre County

The web of programs and issues in Centre County

On our final LCC retreat, eight groups of members of the 2017 class of Leadership Centre County crafted a visual representation of all of the program issues/days held over the ten months of the program. The top left picture shows our view of how these different issues are connecting in our county.

Over the last ten months, 50 leaders from the for the profit, the non-profit, and the local government groups in Centre County, PA came together for a training and networking to increase our knowledge and multiply our skills to help the citizenry throughout the county.

This program has been held for the last 25 years by Leadership Centre County.The Mission of Leadership Centre County is to increase the community’s pool of servant leaders by:

  • Bringing diverse individuals together for networking, education, and exposure to community issues, opportunities, and needs;
  • Encouraging increased participation for leadership in civic service; and
  • Creating a support network for present and future leaders.

This is my thank you to Leadership Centre County for this wonderful training and experience.

Sonnet to Leadership Centre County

September to June we came together

50 people from around the county

Knowing a little, wishing for better,

We worked together for civic bounty.


We joined each other for play and hard work

At camps, wineries, some parks, and two prisons

In towns and museums, streets, and some kirks

We got to see new ideas and great visions


Each day was diverse. You could say unique

In juntos often, with programs, we’ll lead

Taking time and effort to share our technique

25 years and counting we can now accede


We have loved your wonderful bounty.

So Thank you, Leadership Centre County.

On Anniversary of ‘Roe v. Wade,’ Women Need Help

This is an excellent summary of what could be a federal Women’s Health and Equity Agenda similar to New Your State’s Women’s Equality Act and Pennsylvania’s Women’s Health Agenda, which I posted about this morning. Bernie Sanders has it right. So does NY Governor Cuomo and the Pennsylvania General Assembly’s Women’s Health Caucus.
If you happen to be in the State College, PA area today, January 22, stop by Webster’s Cafe and Bookstore, 133 E. Beaver Ave., State College at 7 pm to hear PA Representative Mary Jo Daley discuss the Women’s Health Legislative Agenda. If you can’t then drop by my blog  to read about the NY and PA legislatures’ initiatives.
Well written. Thanks Nel.

Nel's New Day

Today is the 41st anniversary of Roe v. Wade, the U.S. Supreme Court decision that continued to give reproductive rights to the women of the United States. The Court deemed abortion a fundamental right under the United States Constitution and ruled that during the first trimester of pregnancy, the decision to abort must be left to the mother and her physician. Since 1973, both the Supreme Court and individual states have chipped away at women’s reproductive rights as extremists attempt to criminalize the procedure for any reason. This year SCOTUS is hearing a case to decide whether anti-choice people can walk up to people going into a women’s clinic to verbally abuse and threaten them.

Anti-choice arguments in the Supreme Court include the U.S. Constitution not including abortion in any of its terminology. (I’ll repeat my earlier argument that the Constitution also doesn’t address marriage etc.) At the time…

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Universal, Single-Payer Health Care Can Save Billions of Dollars

I recently posted a blog about why I support universal single-payer healthcare.  I told you about my personal trials with insurance companies in order to obtain my life-saving bone marrow transplant.  I have been telling that story in my advocacy ever since the early 1990’s when I became a single-payer healthcare advocate.

In 2008, I ran for the Pennsylvania House of Representatives.  Another candidate in another district that year was Cindy Purvis.  Both of us ran for public office with the message that affordable, universal health care was necessary for individuals, families, businesses, and our communities in general.

The following year, Cindy helped found Health Care for All PA, a statewide non-profit organization that educates the public and government officials regarding the scope and seriousness of the health care crisis.  She was their first President.  A year later, she asked me to join their Board of Directors.

In our advocacy for a universal health care plan for Pennsylvania, we have received push-back from the legislature. They told us that the General Assembly would not move the bill unless we had an Economic Impact Study (EIS) that shows that universal, single-payer health care is cost-effective. So a couple of years ago, the legislature considered an EIS bill to find out this answer. Unfortunately it died in committee.

But this question still needed to be answered.  So the Health Care for All PA Education Fund raised monies from individuals and small businesses to fund just such a study to compare the proposed state-based single-payer health care plan to the Affordable Care Act (aka Obamacare) and other health care programs within Pennsylvania.  And we now have the results.



Health Care for All PA released the results of this economic impact study last week based on and in conjunction with the anticipated introduction of the Pennsylvania Health Care Plan bill by Senator Jim Ferlo on Tuesday, March 19 at 2:00 pm in the Capitol Media Center, Harrisburg.

The results prove that a single-payer health care plan will save families, businesses and tax payers $17 billion annually while at the same time providing comprehensive health care to all.

This study was done by University of Massachusetts – Amherst professor of economics Gerald Friedman, Ph.D.   It compares the cost of the current for-profit health insurance model in Pennsylvania whereby provider choice is limited and health services are rationed by health insurance companies to that of a consumer-driven health care system which lets people have the freedom to choose their own doctors, hospitals and health care providers.

Some of the important advantages of a single-payer system are:

  • Provides comprehensive coverage for every resident of Pennsylvania, including dental, vision and mental health services;
  • Eliminates the need for hospitals to absorb the cost of care for the uninsured;
  • Reduces bureaucracy for private physicians resulting in reduced administrative costs and improved compensation for private physicians;
  • Reduces or eliminates health insurance over-costs for small business, allowing for more job creation, greater reinvestment of profits, and reduced workers’ compensation costs.
  • Radically reduces the total cost of health care to levels more consistent with costs in the rest of the industrialized world.
  • Reduces healthcare spending in Pennsylvania by an estimated $16 Billion +
    (from $144 billion to $128 billion). This includes savings of $7 Billion + for businesses that currently provide health care benefits and over $6 Billion for state and local governments and school boards. It also reduces the cost to the average individual who pays well over the 3% of personal income for health care coverage that is called for in the Pennsylvania Health Care Plan.

Here’s some highlights from the EIS:

Friedman’s Executive Summary can be read here.

The entire Economic Impact Study can be read here.