The Congress is in the process of balancing the budget. I learn the Senators are working very hard in cutting expenses related to Medicaid, Medicare, and Government Programs.

1.- Medicaid is the United States health program for people and families with low incomes and resources. It is jointly funded by the state and federal governments, and is managed by the states. Among the groups of people served by Medicaid are certain U.S. citizens and resident aliens, including low-income adults and their children, and people with certain disabilities. 29 Million children and 15 Million Adults are INSURED under Medicaid according to the Kaiser Commission on Medicaid and the Uninsured in 2010.

Other MEDICAL INSURANCE provided by Medicaid are:
* Long Term Care Assistance
*Assistance to Medicare Beneficiaries

2.- Medicare is a social insurance program funded entirely at the federal level and focuses primarily on the older population -people age 65 or older, people under age 65 with certain disabilities, and people of all ages with end stage renal disease. The Medicare Program provides a Medicare part A which covers hospital bills, Medicare Part B which covers medical insurance coverage, and Medicare Part D which covers prescription drugs.

Medicare is partially financed by payroll taxes imposed by the Federal Insurance Contributions Act (FICA) and the Self-Employment Contributions Act of 1954. In the case of employees, the tax is equal to 2.9% (1.45% withheld from the worker and a matching 1.45% paid by the employer) of the wages, salaries and other compensation in connection with employment.

3.- Government programs directly cover 27.8% of the population (83 million) including the elderly, disabled, children, veterans, and some of the poor, and federal law mandates public access to emergency services regardless of ability to pay.

Government funded programs include:

  • Medicare, generally covering citizens and long-term residents 65 years and older and the disabled.
  • Medicaid, generally covering low income people in certain categories, including children, pregnant women, and the disabled. (Administered by the states.)
  • State Children’s Health Insurance Program, which provides health insurance for low-income children who do not qualify for Medicaid. (Administered by the states, with matching state funds.)
  • Various programs for federal employees, including TRICARE for military personnel (for use in civilian facilities)
  • The Veterans Administration, which provides care to veterans, their families, and survivors through medical centers and clinics.[63][64]
  • National Institutes of Health treats patients who enroll in research for free.
  • Government run community clinics
  • Medical Corps of various branches of the military.
  • Certain county and state hospitals

Following the above information I wonder what will happens to the 29 Million children and 15 Million Adults are INSURED under Medicaid?

Following the above information I wonder what will happens to people age 65 or older, people under age 65 with certain disabilities, and people of all ages with end stage renal disease?

Following the above information, I wonder what will happens to the 27.8% of the population (83 million) including the elderly, disabled, children, veterans, and some of the poor, and federal law mandates public access to emergency services regardless of ability to pay?

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Yesterday I was involved in a friendly and very interesting discussion about the best psycho-therapeutic verbal methods. Towards the end of the discussion I was asked to define myself on the topic. I still don’t know from where came my contribution to the discussion –I guess it was my unconscious cognitive web created throughout the years as a result of studies and experience.

In essence my definition went back to the ancient Greece, and to on of its philosopher, Socrates. Although Socrates is credited as one of the founders of Western philosophy, he wrote nothing because he felt that knowledge was a living, interactive thing. Whatever we know about him is through the accounts of later classical writers, especially the writings of his students Plato and Xenophon, and the plays of his contemporary Aristophanes.

It has been said that Socrates was not a “philosopher, ” nor yet a “teacher, ” but rather an “educator.” His method of educating called for “not only for the highest degree of mental alertness of which anyone is capable” but also for “moral qualities of a high order such as sincerity, humility, courage.” Also such qualities “protect against the possibility of wild conclusions with irresponsible premises.” The Socratic method of teaching is based on Socrates’ theory that it is more important to enable students to think for themselves than to merely fill their heads with “right” answers. Therefore, he regularly engaged his pupils in dialogues by responding to their questions with questions, instead of answers. This process encourages divergent thinking rather than convergent.

What happens in verbal psyco-therapy? A client comes full of confusion and misunderstandings. The therapist using open-ended questions allows him/her to think critically, to analyze multiple meanings of the situation, guide the client to express his/her ideas with clarity and confidence, and more important, take ownership of his/her life. Both, client and therapist knows they have reach the end of the dialogue when the client is able to feel and verbally state a certain degree of emotional safety. As a by-product the client learn to dialogue with himself.

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that everyone is born with a reason, everyone is part of a God’s plan for humankind. Thus, all and everyone of the people that are born with the gift of being autistic are helping us to be better, to understand life with a different perspective, to enjoy their special way to be and to behave. So, today I want to thank all of them for being part of my life and for their contribution to my enrichment as person and as professional.

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I don’t remember who first told this phrase to me, when it was said, or if the phrase is part of the popular argot that I inherited by the fact of just being born to Spaniard ancestors, or by being educated by and within the richness of the Spanish Language.

It is also possible that the phrase came from the analysis of done by many scholars of the novel Don Quixote de la Mancha, written by Spanish author Miguel de Cervantes y Saavedra (the novel was done in two volumes a decade apart -in 1605 and 1615). This is the story of Alonso Quixano, a gentleman from the area of La Mancha, who goes mad after reading too many books. His mind transforms himself into a medevial knight, a neighbor Aldonza Lorenzo, into his courtly love, and fills the surrounding countryside with dangers and quests.

I had read the novel twice –first in 1954 as a requirement for the approval of the subject Spanish Literature, and secondly, in 2005, in the celebration of the “centenario cervantino”. This second time I had in my mind the sketch drawn by Pablo Picasso made on August 10, 1955, in celebration of the 350th anniversary of Cervantes’s Don Quixote –as the Old Castillians, Asturianos, Gallegos and Loenenses pronounce it. On it is Don Quixote de la Mancha, his horse Rocinante, his squire (attendant to knight) Sancho Panza and his donkey Dapple, the sun, and several windmills. The bold lines, almost scribbles, that compose the figures are stark against a plain, white background.

Both the second reading and the sketchy image allowed me to think that probably Miguel de Cervantes y Saavedra was playing around with the typical dichotomy in the character of the human beings. No doubt that Cervantes used the psychological differences between the two characters to explore the conflict between the ideal and the real: On one side, Don Quixote who embodies a sense of purpose and beauty —two things he believes the world lacks— and hopes to bring order to a tumultuous world by reinstating the chivalric code of the knights-errant. As when he went against windmills, believing that they are giants, when we fight imaginary enemies, or fight an unwinnable battle. On the other side is Sancho Panza who humanizes the story, bringing dignity and equilibrium but also humor and compassion. He embodies the good and the bad aspects of the sane character. Though Sancho is ignorant, illiterate, cowardly, and foolish, he nonetheless proves himself a wise and just ruler.

As the title of this note says: all of us do “quijotadas” – the foolishly impractical pursuit of ideals, typically marked with rash and lofty romantic ideals-, and all of us say “sanchismos” – a combination of broad humour, ironic Spanish proverbs, and earthy wit.

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The word angel is thought to be derived from the Greek word “Angelos” which means “messenger”. In Christian, Muslim, Jewish and other theologies an angel can be one who acts as a messenger, attendant or agent of God. Throughout the Bible it is generally seen that the will of God is usually imparted or carried out by angels.

Yes, I do believe in Angels –on those angels who are spirits without bodies, who possess superior intelligence, gigantic strength, and surpassing holiness and who are alway showing me God’s  Plan for me.

But  as important as are the Angels without bodies,   I do believe in those Angels who embodied the essence of love and joy and stem from the Heart of God/Goddess.

As I have say over and over,   I have had the privilege of being surrounding by people that were embodied Angels that have and had touch my life with the essence  of God.  For so, I am deeply grateful to God and to all of them.  I mean to all of you.

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Recently I found myself thinking and stating that we, as a social group and as a generation, are loosing the “Art of Conversation”. I look my surroundings and see all age people texting, e-mailing, writing brief notes and posting them in the fridge for family members, at the door of a neighbor, or at the coworkers or peers’ computers. I ask, read, research looking for an explanation to this set of behaviors and more or less I found these reasons: is a sign of the progress in communication, is due to save time or because there is no time to stop and talk with, and so on.

But I grew up engaging in conversations, enjoying conversations, enriching myself through “The Art of Conversation”. Thus, I decided to reach my friends and readers and share with them my ideas and experiences with the hope that soon all of us will get involved in “the Art of Conversation”.

Conversation is defined as an informal interchange of thoughts between two or more people. Consequently, its nature is interactive and its form is an spontaneous for of communication.

Interactive: because contributions to a conversation are response reactions to what has previously been said.

Spontaneous/unpredictable: because conversation involves an immediate response -there is not much of a time lag between the action of one person and the response of the other. The immediacy of talk also allows people to ask questions and to explore different angles.

Conversation is a social activity: to talk with others involves thinking about their feelings, thoughts and needs. In turn, they too must think of you or me. We have to consider, for example, whether our words could upset or offend the others; or whether they will help us in dealing with the matter in hand.

Conversation is a learning experience: people involved in the exchange of thoughts are open to experience changes and modifications internally as a consequence of it. Thus, conversation is the means by which existing knowledge is conveyed and new knowledge is generated.

Through conversation I learned about my ancestors –not their names or places of birth, but their imprints in my parents, in my uncles and aunts. Through conversation I learned the popular wisdom used by my parents and relatives to explain why the moon had light a few days of the month but no the others, why the earth rich in iron was good to grow certain types of plants but not others, why the elders always have a response to the how to and the why if,

Through conversation I discover the similarities and the differences between my friends and my peers and myself. Through conversation I share with my peers my fantasies and dreams while we were growing up, moreover, through conversation, together, we validate our dreams and fantasies and we were able to move further as young ladies with clear goals and objectives in life.

Through conversation my husband and myself built and continue building up our intimacy and slowly we have been able to create a partnership of love and life. Through conversation I have been giving myself to my son without holding back anything in my soul. Through conversation we became and become a family.

Through conversation I enrich my spirit with all and each one of those that are my real friends.

_______________

Hugh Dubberly and Paun Pangano, What is conversation? How can we design for effectiveconversation.

Tony Jeffs and Mark K. Smith. Informal Education. Conversation, democracy and learning.

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Once I was delivering a presentation on the academic and psychological difficulties of immigrant Hispanic children. The purpose of the topic was describing the stresses associated with migration and acculturation and generate from the audience possible responses to help these children in their process of coping with their new circumstances. At the moment of the conclusions, one teacher raised his hand and stated “you have not talk about the natural resilience of children, no matter how difficult are their lives, they will always bounce back”.

After a brief discussion by other participants I asked the audience to think: in face of difficult and stressful circumstances, do children need help to readjust to their new circumstances or do they naturally “bounce back” after migration and during the process of acculturation?

Although I thought on this challenge in several opportunities, it was not until the recent tragedy of Japan that my “incomplete homework” came back. The word “resilience” was used practically by each one of the newscasts to qualify and to describe the Japanese community “as people that know how to endure, that tolerate disagreeable things, that is able recover quickly, that knows how to survive, it is they are resilient people.

The term Resilience comes from the field of Physics and means the capability of a strained body to recover its size and shape after deformation caused especially by compressive stress. The Social Sciences appropriated the term and used it to describe the ability to recover from or adapt easily to misfortune or change. However, I not necessarily agree with the former description of what is resilience. My issue with the definition comes from the use of these two verbs: to recover and to adapt. From our psychological perspective the word recover is not a return to the former status but is being able to pull through a situation and regain a better status –cognitively and emotionally. Similarly, the word adapt must include changes to fit the need and to suit the environment which result in a new adapted version or “an alteration” of a previous state of being.

The more comprehensive definition of resilience was given by Gordon (1995). He stated: “Resilience is the ability to thrive, mature, and increase competence in the face of adverse circumstances. These circumstances may include biological abnormalities or environmental obstacles. Further, the adverse circumstances may be chronic and consistent or severe and infrequent. To thrive, mature, and increase competence, a person must draw upon all of his or her resources: biological, psychological, and environmental.” Gordon’s perspective presents a more active role of the person facing the adverse circumstances: “it doesn’t mean you ignore your feelings. When adversity strikes, you still experience anger, grief and pain, but you’re able to go on with daily tasks, remain generally optimistic and go on with your life. Being resilient also doesn’t mean being stoic or going it alone” (Mayo Clinic Staff).

In front of stressful situations, why some people are able to overcome the crisis and other not? Does it has to do with person’s genetic make up –type of activity of the central nervous system or/and individual responses of the endocrine system? Even if we accepts a distinctive innate nature as the origin of the typical resilient conduct we cannot avoid to consider the role played by the history of that people, by the religious and the cultural values conformed via education and socialization training, and previous experiences of the social group confronting and overcoming critical situations.

With regard to immigrant Hispanic children there is no doubt that a good number of them are exposed to chronic or severe stress. I do agree that these children will successfully recover and adapt over time. But, I still believe that these children will need tremendous biological, psychological, and environmental resources in order to do this. These children cannot do it themselves. They need love, care, and support not only from their parents, but from educational personnel and other community adults as well.

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Throughout my years growing up I was taught to be kind to others, to turn the other cheek -it is, to accept injury or insults without resisting or retaliating. And I had obey, I have worked very hard to develop the ability to behave with compassion no matter what situation were or from whom the injury came. As Piero Ferrucci says in his book The Power of Kindness (2007) I too wanted “to slowly but steadily turn our world away from violence, self-centeredness, and narcissism toward love”. I was and still I am pretty sure that kindness is the fertile soil in which affection grows, moreover, I did and do believe that there are no substitute for kindness.

Never crossed my mind the existence of an opposite dichotomy between kindness and self-respect. However, recently I see myself in a constant analysis of my recent past and present behavior: is it possible that irresponsible, unfair and negative comments and critics received from people very close to me had push away my kindness and has led to relationship breakdown? Is it possible that kindness has slip away and the relationship has become a painful struggle? If I gave and give kindness why I didn’t and don’t has get back kindness? Furthermore, are my current behaviors and attitudes reflecting my hurt ego or are they a protective shield of my self respect?

A healthy self-respect is based on believing in our own integrity. Integrity reflected in our constant effort of living according to firm values and principles learned from our elders, from our religious beliefs and through education and socialization. Self-respect is the result of our efforts for being always honest, reliable, truthfulness. Self-respect is always grounded in what we are and have being, not in what we can or cannot accomplish. Thus, whoever has crossed the limits of myself and infringed a wound on my right to be respected or had ignore my feelings had broke down the cycle of kindness. And now my wounded self inhibits me to act according to my inner guidance system, it is, giving kindness. My wounded self asked me to take care of it before any other thing, because unless I restore and complete the sequence of healing events I cannot behave again with honesty, reliability, and caring – with myself and with others.

Only after that, I will recover my individualized expression of God in my soul and I will be able again to love and to share the fruits of love: kindness, peace, joy and truth.

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El tercer nivel del ser humano es el de la vida espiritual. Todas las religiones e instituciones filosóficas, espirituales, teosóficas hablan de la VIDA ESPIRITUAL. En cientos de foros de Internet se habla de la vida espiritual.

¿Qué es esto de lo que tanto se habla y tan poco se practica? Muchos creemos que la vida espiritual se limita solamente a ir a un recinto como una iglesia a rezar.

Schoenstatt, escribió la doctrina de la “santidad de la vida diaria”. Esta es una forma de piedad laical llamada a dar luz al mundo a cristianos activos que vivan en sus familias y en la sociedad de acuerdo al mensaje evangélico. Se trata, en definitiva, de la redención del mundo en todos sus ámbitos.

La espiritualidad de Schoenstatt estuvo marcada desde el prinicipio por un realismo sencillo, buscando superar una religiosidad puesta por las nubes o sólo practicable y practicada en nichos protegidos. La vida diaria, los deberes cotidianos en la familia, en el colegio o en la universidad, en los lugares de trabajo y en el convivir con los demás, no son un obstaculo para la santidad, sino al contrario: el lugar para vivirla y crecer en ella.

Esto exige a los que siguen esta espiritualidad a no dejar su fe y sus convicciones cristianas en la puerta de las empresas, de los parlamentos y universidades, sino vivirlas en una verdadera santidad de la vida diaria.

Cuando tú le preparas un cafe a tu esposo/a, sin que el/ella te lo haya pedido, porque la amas, eso es vida espiritual. Cuando tu miras con amor al que va sentado frente a ti en la consulta del medico, porque te acabas de dar cuenta de que es una persona como tú que nació en este mundo como tú, y que vino a realizar lo mismo que tú, eso es vida espiritual. Cuando tú quieres volverte consciente de cada cosa que haces, para no engañarte ni engañar, para ser sincero, y vivir despierto, eso es vida espiritual. Elegir perdonar cuando hay motivos para el odio, elegir tener fe cuando la situación es desesperada, elegir la paciencia cuando estamos consumidos por la furia, eso es vida espiritual. Cuando en tu trabajo te das cuenta de que siempre que alguien no está presente se lo critica, e irrumpes para pedir que nos dejemos de hablar de terceros y nos ocupemos de nosotros mismos, eso es vida espiritual.

Cuando oras o ruegas o trabajas para que personas que ni conoces hallen la dicha y la paz, eso es vida espiritual. Cuando no limitas tu vida a quejarte de lo que te sucede y de como vives, y te pones en marcha aún sin saber lo que pasará, pero lo haces con fe, eso es vida espiritual.  Cuando haces lo que te corresponde sin delegarlo o echar culpas o lamentarte, eso es vida espiritual. Buscar la armonía interior, estar en armonía con los otros y con la naturaleza toda. Ser un estandarte de paz sin que por ello haya que tolerar la injusticia. Escuchar el doble de lo que se habla y cultivar el silencio tanto como sea posible, eso es vida espiritual.

En estos cuatro programas hemos aprendido como crecemos, como maduramos, y como nos preparamos para ir al encuentro del Padre completando asi nuestro ciclo de vida.

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Nos cuenta el Genesis que cuando Dios completo la obra de su creación descansó y decidió hacer al ser humano “a su imagen y semejanza”. A Su imagen y semejanza porque el ser humano es capaz de pensar, de imaginar, de recordar, y con esos procesos ser capaz de alcanzar la verdad. Y Dios se definió a sí mismo como el Camino la Verdad y la Vida. A Su imagen y semejanza porque el ser humano es capaz de relacionarse de forma íntima y con un sentido de vida y de amor. Asi el ser humano es capaz de experimentar emociones y sentimientos, y por medio de esas emociones y de esos sentimientos puede alcanzar a Dios, que se define a sí mismo como Amor. A Su imagen y semejanza porque el ser humano es libre para decidir su destino, libre para hacer elecciones que le lleven a alejarse del mal y a acercarse a Dios que es el Camino, la Verdad y la Vida. Y todas esos procesos, capacidades y habilidades integradas constituyen el Segundo nivel del ser humano, el nivel psicológico. Y de la misma forma que la parte fisica se integra en una respuesta unica, humana, de esa misma forma los distintos elementos que constituyen la parte psicológica se organizan en un todo únido llamado Personalidad.

Carl Gustav Jung (26 July 1875 – 6 June 1961) fue un psiquiatra suizo, un pensador muy influyente, y el fundador de la psicologia analítica. Jung es considerado el primer psicólogo moderno que definió el psiquismo humano “por naturaleza religioso” y explora el desarrollo de ese psiquismo humano a través del ciclo de vida definiendo el lugar central que tiene la religión en el proceso de maduración humana. La primera parte del ciclo de vida la persona tiene que aprender a vivir y a funcionar en la sociedad que nos rodea. La segunda parte la emplea en prepararse para el encuentro con Dios, en madurar para encontrar el verdadero sentido de la vida, y ese proceso de maduración que nunca termina es el que nos prepara para aceptar y vivir a plenitud el momento de la muerte de nuestro nivel físico. Estudiar estos conceptos es como comprender el verdadero sentido de San Pablo cuando nos define como vasijas de barro que llevan dentro una espiritualidad creada a base de Amor y que es fuente de Vida, y de Vida Eterna.

Jung consideraba el proceso de individualización como una parte muy necesaria para que cada persona pudiese sentirse de forma plena, como un todo, dueño de su vida interior, y pueda integrar su vida consciente e inconsciente. Es ese momento en el que la persona no solo se encuentra a si misma, sino que se encuentra con su Dios creador, redentor, y fuente de vida y de amor. Ese inicio de una vida psicologica y espiritual integrada le lleva a buscar en el Plan de Dios para sí mismo y para la humanidad. Es el momento de re-centrar la vida usando un nuevo conjunto de valores –los valores espirituales, evangélicos. Es el momento de encontrar el verdadero sentido de la vida, el por qué y para qué nacemos y vivimos.

Ahora bien, no todos estan preparados para vivir ese momento de integración y madurez que permite al ser humano centrarse en Dios gracias al desarrollo de su vida psicológica. Muchas veces no estamos preparados porque nos hemos enredado en frustraciones y problemas y solo miramos hacia abajo y de tanto mirar hacia abajo hemos perdido un poco la capacidad de mirar a lo alto para encontrarle a El.

Como vemos el periodo de envejecer es el periodo de mayor estabilidad emocional para la persona. Porque en esos momentos ya hemos aprendido a aceptar y a aceptar con realismo los cambios que acompañan nuestro proceso de envejecer con las consiguientes limitaciones físicas que lo acompañan y nuestro proceso natural de morir.

De la misma forma que nuestro primer nivel, el físico, sirve de soporte al Segundo nivel, el psicológico, de esa misma forma, repito, nuestro Segundo nivel, el psicológico, va a ser la plataforma en la que se van a llevar a cabo los cambios y las transformaciones de nuestra vida espiritual. Ese es nuestro tercer nivel de funcionamiento humano y de él hablaremos en un proximo programa.

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