It has been far too long since I have featured maps on this site. I have a variety of excuses that I will now list alphabetically:
- Dog walks now that the weather has the weather has finally been nice
- Kansas City trip last month
- Mice in our kitchen (lil’ buggers won’t leave despite my protests)
- Nine-month old no longer prefers to sit still
- Too many great maps to efficiently choose ones to be featured
- Wisconsin Dells trip last month
- Work has been super busy
- Yard work (and oh so much of it)
Excuses aside, it’s finally time for more maps! Map 203 is inspired by our recent trip to the Wisconsin Dells area. Beth, James, and I had a chance to briefly explore Mirror Lake State Park a couple weeks ago and I wanted to share a map of the park with you.
We only got to walk around a small portion of the 2179 acre park but the parts we did see were beautiful. You won’t have to take my word for it, of course, because I brought visual aids. If you have already read the post entitled Trip #9 – Wisconsin Dells [Day 2] these will not be new to you but take a look anyway.
Spending a few short hours in Mirror Lake State Park made me wish I had more time to spend outdoors. If we were financially independent due to some kind of cash windfall I’d like to visit more of the parks throughout this country, starting with those in my own state of Minnesota. As for right now, I’ll refer to my previous list of excuses as to why I don’t have time to visit many of them right now. For now, I’ll visit parks when I can and watch Rock the Park on television to lengthen my ever-growing list of parks to visit and what types of activities to try when there. Check it out if you haven’t seen it before.
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Map 204 concerns healthcare. My brother-in-law Dave posted the article that included this map of the fifteen states with the biggest increase in out-of-pocket costs under the version of the American Health Care Act passed by the House of Representatives recently. It hasn’t yet passed the Senate and is likely to be largely re-written before it can but the AHCA is bound to cutting coverage for over twenty million people and increasing the out-of-pocket costs for those twenty million and millions more.
Fifteen of the states were identified by the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities study as having the highest increases. Of those fifteen, twelve have significant rural populations. Costs are likely going to increase the most in rural areas because there are fewer people around that hospitals and clinics can make money caring for and they end up closing or limiting their services. You know what happens then? Costs go way up and service goes way down.
Let us compare the map above to the electoral college results map from the 2016 election below. All of the fifteen states about to be potentially hit hardest by the bill (should it pass) voted for Donald Trump and the Republican Party with the exception of Maine, which splits its Electoral Votes (only one of which went to Trump). Why, then, would these fifteen states willingly sign up to have their out-of-pocket health care costs skyrocket? Party over personal outcome? Ignorance? Tricked by fake news? Emails with “FWD: FWD: FWD: See what the Obama’s have done now that has Michelle in jail” in the subject line? Add in highly effective Republican gerrymandering and super-rich donors like the Koch brothers and all of these are potentially accurate.
If you live in one of these states and voted for politicians from the Grand Old Party willingly, I would like to invite you to read the study and confirm what I’ve stated. Once you’re done with that, please investigate what your local Democrats and Independents are saying about healthcare and see if their platform will work better or worse for you. There are numerous important issues to base your vote on, of course, but if you’re dead none of those will matter. If you find that the other party might serve you better in the future, feel free to vote with your health.
Until next time,
Bonus Map Link: National Perceptions
Bonus Bonus Map Link: 1746 Adults Guess Where North Korea Is on a Map