9/30/20 Power Five

1. Rescuing a Failed System – “The pandemic has clearly shown that the entire country is weakened when large segments of the population lack adequate medical coverage. This country cannot continue to tolerate the severe disparities we have—based on neighborhood, education, or skin color—in life expectancy, medical debt, access to mental-health or dental care, the ability to fill prescriptions, having a regular doctor, or simply having enough to eat. The Affordable Care Act reduced the number of uninsured by forty per cent, but twelve states, including Texas and Florida, still refuse the Medicaid funding that the bill provided to cover uninsured residents living in poverty. Even before the pandemic, forty-five per cent of working-age Americans either had no insurance or had insurance that carried deductibles and copays so high that they couldn’t afford medical care anyway.

2. How Will California Prevent More Mega-Wildfire Disasters? – “In addition, California’s population has about doubled since 1970, from 20 million to almost 40 million, leading to unprecedented sprawl along what’s called the wildland-urban interface (WUI), putting millions more people in harm’s way. Also during this period, climate change has extended the fire season by at least 75 days since the 1970s. California’s 2018 Climate Change Assessment predicts large fires (including megafires of 100,000 acres or more) will likely increase by 50 percent and acreage burned by at least 77 percent during this century.”

3. Obama’s Memoir Coming Soon – Came across this incredible statistic: “Demand for the book is expected to be extraordinary, and Crown, an imprint of Penguin Random House, has ordered a first printing for the U.S. edition of 3 million copies. To accommodate such an enormous order, Crown plans to print about 1 million of those books in Germany and has arranged for three ships, outfitted with 112 shipping containers, to bring those copies to the United States.Preorder on Amazon.

4. Britain’s Commercial Property Slump“Among the assets that adorn the queen’s property portfolio are 17 provincial shopping and leisure centres. On September 18th Crown Estates, which manages the monarch’s portfolio, wrote down their value by 17%, cutting Her Majesty’s net worth by £552.5m ($700m). Set against the £13.4bn valuation of her entire property portfolio, which includes swanky London addresses such as Regent Street and St James’s, that is fairly small beer. But the outlook even for the top end of the market has darkened: the Crown Estates expect “profit and property valuations to be significantly down” over the coming year.”

5. Five Parrots Separated After Encouraging Each Other to Swear at Guests – “I’m hoping they learn different words within colonies,” Nichols added. “But if they teach the others bad language and I end up with 250 swearing birds, I don’t know what we’ll do.”