veronica Schweyen

  • veronica Schweyen

    End unregulated healthcare pricing

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    GOAL: 299 signatures

    For every 1000 signatures, NationofChange will send a letter to Congress asking them to enact legislation that will end unregulated healthcare pricing.

    Did you know that billing rates are not set nor regulated in the healthcare industry?

    Billing is determine on a case by case basis. A simple blood test can range from $10 to $400 at the same lab. Hospitalization can result in a bill that varies by thousands of dollars for the same services. 

    We are asking Congress to force providers to show transparency and publish legitimate pricing. This allows for healthcare providers to still set their own rates but prohibits them from charging different rates for different patients.

    Hospitals especially are known for overcharging patients - especially those with no insurance. In a recent study it was found that fifty hospitals in the United States were charging uninsured consumers more than 10 times the actual cost of patient care. 

    We need a system in which the public can search for a medical procedure online and see pricing for all providers in their area. This will save patients thousands of dollars as well as get rid of the “in network” and “out of network” system that causes confusion and costs an enormous amount of money and administrative burden every year.

    Tell Congress to stop unregulated healthcare pricing, thus allowing for lower healthcare costs and an end to restrictions on patient choice.

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  • Tell the Trump Administration to stop Big Oil from Completing the Dakota Access Pipeline

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    GOAL: 7,552 signatures

    For every 1000 signatures, NationofChange will send a letter to the Trump administration, demanding they stop big oil from completing the Dakota Access Pipeline.

    [Update 3/16/2017: We have sent the next letter to President Trump with 7,000+ of your signatures, demanding the Dakota Access Pipeline be abandoned. We will continue to send letters every 1,000 signatures. Thank you!]

    UPDATE: The Army Corps of Engineers has denied the permit for the Dakota Access Pipeline, but Energy Transfer Partners insists that they will go ahead with the project.

    3,000+ signatures sent to Obama

    1,281 professionals from institutions like the Smithsonian and the Association of Academic Museums and Galleries claim that the construction work from the pipeline destroyed “ancient burial sites, places of prayer and other significant cultural artifacts sacred to the Lakota and Dakota people.”

    The letter reads further: “The destruction of these sacred sites adds yet another injury to the Lakota, Dakota and other Indigenous Peoples who bear the impacts of fossil fuel extraction and transportation. If constructed, this pipeline will continue to encourage oil consumption that causes climate change, all the while harming those populations who contributed little to this crisis.”

    President Obama halted temporarily construction on the the $3.8bn, 1,170-mile pipeline after the Standing Rock Sioux tribe legally challenged the project. The pipeline is supposed to funnel oil from the Bakken oil Fields in the Great Plains to Illinois and run next to the Standing Rock Sioux reservation.

    We need to ensure the company abandons the pipeline on American Indian land. Sign the petition and stand with the thousands of professionals, and the Standing Rock Sioux, to tell the Trump administration to stop big oil from completing the Dakota Access pipeline for its destruction of Standing Rock Sioux lands, burial sites, and ancient artifacts that are crucial to our understanding of American heritage. 

     

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  • Tell Congress: Don’t Cut Important School Lunch Programs for Poor Children

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    GOAL: 1,409 signatures

    For every 1,000 signatures, NationofChange will send a letter to Congress asking them not to pass The Improving Child Nutrition and Education Act.

    U.S. lawmakers are quietly debating an important piece of legislation that greatly affects meals for schools.

    As it is now, funding allows for providing free lunches and after-school meals to every student enrolled in a public school where at least 40 percent of its student body live in low-income households. The program has had “lasting positive outcomes” and “critical benefits.”

    Yet now Republican lawmakers in Congress, led by Representative Todd Rokita, want to introduce The Improving Child Nutrition and Education Act that will severely cut the availability of federally subsidized lunches to hungry children in public schools.

    Even with the funding provided now, lunch programs are underfunded. The $13 billion allocated to them equals out to just over a dollar per meal for cafeteria administrators to spend on ingredients.

    Changing the law now would provide less funding, would remove eligibility for over 7,000 schools and 3.4 million students, and would create additional burdens of paperwork and administration work.

    Please sign the petition now to tell Congress we must not cut school funding but instead increase it, to continue to provide at least some proper nutrition to the over 15 million children that lack access to consistent nutrition at home.

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  • Veronica Schweyen

    Stop the GM Apple from Entering Our Food System

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    GOAL: 941 signatures

    For every 1,000 signatures, NationofChange will send a letter to the FDA demanding that they retract their approval on the GM Apple.

    As early as 2017, the new FDA-approved genetically engineered Arctic apple could makes its way into the country’s food system. But not before growers and consumers battle the GM apple.

    Arctic apples, which are breeding in many varieties at Okanagan Specialty Fruits, use a genetic modification technology called RNA interference that manipulates the proteins in cells to grow these new non-browning, high-tech apples. While the biotech industry claim the apples are designed to be the “perfect apple for your busy life,” scientists confirm that the GMO Arctic apples pose health risks to humans. Not only does the manipulated RNA get into the body’s bloodstream and digestive system, the pesticide residue also causes a harmful effect.

    The truly non-browning, genetically engineered Arctic apple was approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Association (FDA) in which the agency stated on March 20 that the crops are just as "nutritious and safe as conventional apples," according to Chemical and Engineering News 

    While genetically modified organisms have found their way into processed-food products, consumers are concerned about them tainting “fresh whole foods.” 

    It's time we pressure significant purchasers of apples not to use Arctic apples in their food products. sking Gerber to remain GMO-free.

    While there are potential environmental, health and economic risks associated with the GM apples there are also concerns that the products won’t be labeled as containing genetically modified organisms (GMOs).

    While health concerns are the main focus for consumers, there is also the worry that potential cross-contamination from pollen and other unknown impacts on the environment will effect farmers. We must stop the GM apple for marketplace concerns, which could have a serious impact on fresh apple sales in the U.S. and abroad.

    While the Arctic apple isn't slated to make its debut until 2017, we must spread awareness to help stop the apple from entering our food system.

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  • Sea Turtles: Stop the Illegal Poaching in Mexico

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    GOAL: 8,058 signatures

    For every 1,000 signatures, NationofChange will send a letter to Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto, demanding that Mexico promote and support coastal communities’ ecotourism and sustainable travel.

    [Update 12/11/2016: We have sent our first letter, with over 7,000 signatures to President Nieto]

    Poached and hunted for their shells, meat and eggs, sea turtles are considered a lucrative commodity on Mexico’s black market.

    With more than 35,000 “slaughtered” off the coast of Baja California Sur each year, six out of the seven subspecies of sea turtles are endangered, according to WILDCOAST—an international ecosystems and wildlife conservation team. 

    But we can stop the illegal harvesting of sea turtles through ecotourism. We need to focus on supporting sustainable travel companies, who aim to bring people to the center of conservation and make local people the “solution to long-term environmental issues.” 

    As sea turtles continue to decline at an “alarming rate,” we must create sustainable economic alternatives to poaching and hunting sea turtles in local communities before they go extinct.

    Take action and help protect sea turtles against illegal poaching by asking the Mexican government to promote and support coastal communities’ ecotourism and sustainable travel.

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  • It's Time the FDA Completely Bans BPA

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    GOAL: 1,506 signatures

    For every 1,000 signatures, NationofChange will send a letter to the EPA demanding that they completely ban BPA from all food and drink packaging.

    [Update 12/10/2016: We have surpassed 1,000 signatures! NationofChange has sent the first letter to the EPA. We will continue to send a letter with your signatures for every 1,000 signatures we receive.]

    The primary source of exposure of bisphenol A or BPA is through the diet, yet the FDA allows this toxic chemical, which is linked to cancer and other diseases, to be used in most food and drink packaging. While the FDA banned the use of the chemical in baby bottles and children's cups, the FDA must protect the American people in its entirety.

    BPA is an endocrine disruptor, which interferes with the processing of natural hormones within the human body, and is determined to be very hazardous to human health, according to Medical News Today (MNT).

    Evidence proves the chemical to be harmful and links it to infertility, depression, ADHD and autism among several other diseases, but BPA is consistently present in plastic water bottles, epoxy resins that coat the inside of cans, some dental fillings and sealants and paper receipts. We can't avoid it.

    According to a study conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 95 percent of adult urine samples contain BPA. This shocking statistic confirms the need to completely ban this chemical from daily exposure for the health and safety of humans.

    It is time Americans are protected from "unwittingly consuming a dangerous chemical."

    Let's take action and tell the FDA to completely ban BPA from all food and drink packaging.

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  • Raise the Federal Minimum Wage for Tipped Workers

    Raise the Federal Minimum Wage

    GOAL: 1,316 signatures

    For everyone 1,000 signatures, NationofChange will send a letter to the Department of Labor demanding a raise for the federal minimum wage for tipped employees.

    [Update 1/25/17: We are sending the first letter to the Department of Labor with 1,000+ of your signatures. We will continue to send letters every 1,000 signatures. Thank you!]

    Tell the Department of Labor to Raise the Federal Minimum Wage for Tipped Employees

    While other federal minimum wages have increased throughout the years, the minimum wage for tipped employees remains the same.

    Since 1991, the federal minimum wage for tipped employees is $2.13 per hour, according to the Department of Labor.  While servers struggle to make ends meet earning poverty-level wages, discrimination and inequality continue to plague the restaurant industry. 

    The Department of Labor justifies the minimum hourly wage with tips claiming that servers will make up the difference in their wage to that of the current federal minimum wage. And the National Restaurant Association is doing nothing to support the tipped employees; instead the association is reaping the benefits.

    With more than 13 million restaurant workers in the U.S., most tipped employees are living below the poverty line while the National Restaurant Association is pocketing around $660 billion in revenue.

    Employment in food services has been growing at a much faster rate than employment in general and the restaurant industry has continued hiring despite the recession.

    Let’s get with the times and make a change – tell the DOL to raise wages for tipped employees!

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  • Pledge to Boycott Black Thursday

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    GOAL: 1,767 signatures

    Sign the pledge to not shop businesses that force employees to work on Thanksgiving.

    This year, it’s time we take back Thanksgiving from greedy businesses.

    As major retail stores plan to open their doors Thursday morning pushing Black Friday deals on consumers even earlier, the retail creep is taking quality time away from families.

    Thanksgiving is an American tradition almost 400 years in the making. It’s a day of giving thanks for the "blessing of the harvest" and all that came that preceding year. It’s a secular celebration with no room for materialism.

    So don’t be swallowed up by advertising; instead, give thanks for what you have. It’s time we share in more conversations, spend extra time with friends and family, and push aside our desire for extra possessions.

    This Thanksgiving, we ask you to consider the families of the employees forced to work and join us in boycotting the retail stores open on Thanksgiving. Together, we can take back the day we’ve set aside as a nation to give thanks and be thankful for what we have.

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  • Tell the FDA to Ban Artificial Sweeteners

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    GOAL: 1,238 signatures

    For every 1000 signatures, NationofChange will send a letter to the FDA asking them to ban the artificial sweetener aspartame until conclusive studies can be done on its effects on human health.

    [Update 2/2/17: We have sent first letter to the FDA with 1,000+ of your signatures. We will continue to send letters every 1,000 signatures. Thank you!]

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    Introduced into the European food supply 25 years ago, aspartame is in just about “every component of most diet beverages, sugar-free desserts and chewing gums in many countries around the world.” But no matter its name – AminoSweet, Equal, Splenda, Sweet-N-Low – the artificial sweetener’s health risks have long been debated.

    Aspartame has a particularly sketchy history as an artificial substance.

    Said to cause neurological brain damage, cancerous tumors and endocrine disruption, among many other health risks, aspartame was banned by the FDA before a Reagan appointee rigged a committee to approve it as a food additive in 1981. Aspartame, which was an accidental discovery by James Schlatter, a chemist who was trying to invent an anti-ulcer pharmaceutical drug back in 1965, is comprised of two amino acids—methanol and phenylalanine.

    But according to some studies, ingesting these chemically produced amino acids can lead to excess levels of phenylalanine causing emotional disorders, such as depression, while methanol is broken down into formaldehyde in the body, which is a toxin. Researchers studied the “adverse effects of aspartame” and found it to “trigger” or “worsen” brain tumors, multiple sclerosis, epilepsy, chronic fatigue syndrome, Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s, mental retardation, lymphoma, birth defects, fibromyalgia and diabetes.

    Furthermore, the hyper-sweet additive has had adverse effects in the fight against obesity. Research proved that by creating foods with aspartame, it tricks our brains into over consuming and training the brain to crave sweets. Therefore, aspartame is contributing to the obesity problem that many countries face.

    As consumers, we need to be aware of the potential dangers of artificial sweeteners and know the heath risks associated with such products. It's time to stop aspartame from entering our foods. Join the fight against artificial sweeteners and tell the FDA to ban aspartame and protect the health of human beings!

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  • Tell Cruise Lines to Clean Up Their Act and Reduce Carbon Footprint

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    GOAL: 1,162 signatures

    While cruises are popular vacations for many Americans, the negative impact they have on the environment goes otherwise unnoticed. The carbon footprint cruise ships carrying up to 7,000 passengers have on the environment can be measured in air and water pollution along with sewage treatment.

    Friends of the Earth, a federation of independent local groups striving for a more environmentally sustainable future, evaluated 10 cruise lines on three environmental factors—sewage treatment, air pollution reduction and water quality compliance—and determined that many of the cruise lines failed each category.

    Among the cruise lines evaluated yearly by the Friends of the Earth are Holland America Line, Norwegian Cruise Lines, Princess Cruises, Cunard Cruise Line, Regent Seven Seas Cruises, Celebrity Cruises, Carnival Cruise Lines, Silversea Cruises, Royal Caribbean International and Disney Cruise Line. A grading scale of A through F, including plus and minuses, is used to determine the report card. 

    We need to hold cruise ships accountable and insist they adopt a sewage treatment system to protect the health of humans and marine life. One of those many methods could be marine sanitation devices, advance sewage treatment technology or, the most environmentally friendly way, hold the treated sewage onboard and not dump it into the ocean.

    Also, cruise lines need to reduce their carbon footprint. Since the ships’ engines release harmful toxins that impact human health and climate change. There are ways to manage air pollution and cruise lines must start the reduction by adopting the method of cold ironing—plugging into shoreline power rather than sitting with the cruise ships’ engines idling—to keep the ships operating while in port. 

    As consumers, we should be aware of these environmental factors contributing to climate change and choose a greener option when planning a cruise vacation.

    Tell cruise lines to clean up their act and stop polluting the air and water throughout the world.

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