Monday, August 19, 2019
Monday, July 1, 2019
Tuesday, September 14, 2010
“King George III and the parliament of Great Britain that we rebelled against respected the liberty of the colonists of America more than the Congress and the president of the United States of America,” he told thousands of tea party activists gathered on Washington’s National Mall for the 9/12 rally.
Cuccinelli, who has become a darling of the right because of his eagerness to butt heads with the administration, called the health law “the greatest erosion of liberty in my adult lifetime.” His office filed suit against the federal government on the day Obama signed the health care bill into law.
The analogy came during a condemnation of the new mandate that individuals buy health insurance, a key provision in the bill Obama signed into law this March. In 1774, after the first Continental Congress boycotted goods, Cuccinelli said the solicitor general told the British Crown that the government couldn’t mandate subjects buy products like tea.
“If the federal government can order you to buy health insurance, they can order you to buy anything,” he said.
The health care law has become one of the biggest issues galvanizing conservative voters, and Republicans hope to capitalize on polls that show the new law remains unpopular with a majority of voters to make traction with independents in the coming midterms. The individual mandate was included in the bill as a cost-control measure.
“Make no mistake about it: this lawsuit is not about health care,” he said, wearing a full business suit and black cowboy boots on a sweaty afternoon. “It’s about liberty and preserving liberty as the Founding Fathers understood it, not as the people who occupy this building rewrite it every week…all that stands between us and the end of federalism is one lawsuit.”
He told the conservative activists who had come from around the country that he hopes to argue his case before the Supreme Court in about a year-and-a-half.
Sunday, August 15, 2010
TANGIER ISLAND For more than 30 years, Dr. David Nichols has piloted a plane or a helicopter across the Chesapeake Bay on his day off each week to provide medical care to this community of 500 that has no resident physician.
He has tended to the islanders in an old building with a leaky roof and holes in the walls, no hot water and outdated equipment held together in some instances by duct tape.
The island will celebrate the opening of a stunningly modern clinic with an official dedication on Aug. 29. The clinic is the realization of Nichols' dream and the culmination of a remarkable fundraising effort that spread far beyond the island.
But the joy of this momentous occasion will be tempered greatly because as the island gains a new medical facility, it braces for an enormous loss.
The island's family doctor is dying. The 62-year-old physician survived melanoma of the eye six years ago, but he learned in July that the cancer had spread to his liver. He said last week that, based on his diagnosis, he could have about four months to live.
"I actually feel very well, but I know it's coming," Nichols said Monday soon after touching down on Tangier following a short flight from the mainland in the family's single-engine Cessna piloted by his son, Davy. Since his diagnosis, Nichols has given up flying.
"I feel very blessed to have lived the life I have," he said. "Tangier is definitely on my short list of things I most appreciate in my life. The people of Tangier are family to me."
"He's been coming here since I was a little girl," said Jamie Bradshaw, sitting in one of the island's ubiquitous golf carts and wiping her eyes after an embrace with Nichols. "I don't know what we'd do without him. I can't even describe in words what he's meant to all of us."
Near Swain Memorial United Methodist Church, whose majestic steeple accounts for much of the Tangier skyline along with the island's freshly painted water tower, Nichols ran into an old friend: Robert Thorne, who was mayor in the late 1970s when the young physician first broached the subject of bringing medical care to the island, asking if Tangier needed help.
"We sure do," Thorne recalls replying.But it took a few years for the islanders, a private, skeptical sort, to believe Nichols meant what he said about making a long-term commitment to the close-knit community of watermen. Other visiting docs had come and gone, but Nichols kept coming week after week.
Nichols is a gentle, soft-spoken Canadian who came to Virginia after medical school in large part because his parents had retired to the Northern Neck. He set up his primary practice in White Stone, but Tangier became his defining mission.
Practicing medicine on a shrinking island that has been hit hard by erosion and the changing nature of bay economics has always been a money-losing proposition for him. Yet he thought it important to continue because of its history and beauty -- but mostly its people.
"Paradise" is the word that popped into his mind the other day as he flew over the glassy bay and the island came into view. It's the word that always pops into mind when he thinks of this wisp of a place known for its old English dialect, soft-shell crabs and (mostly) car-less roads. "It's a pretty easy place to be enthralled with if you're so inclined," he said.
Medically, though, Tangier is not easy work. Because of genetics, diet and lifestyle, chronic illnesses are common on the island. Residents have to be evacuated by air to hospitals at a rate of once a week, often for heart attacks and strokes.
Education and empathy have been primary tools of Nichols, who has handled everything from emergencies to house calls on the island, showing up in all kinds of weather.
"He's saved so many lives," Pruitt said. "He's just always been here -- someone to depend on for strength, not only physical but spiritual and mental."
In 2006, Nichols was named Country Doctor of the Year by a national health-care company that honors the work of rural physicians. He was nominated surreptitiously by Pruitt because, she said, Nichols never would have allowed her to submit his name.
Pruitt was a 17-year-old high-school dropout when she first came to Nichols as a patient. Pruitt, whose family has been on the island for generations, later went to work for Nichols as a nursing assistant. He taught her like an apprentice and encouraged her to go to college -- in her late 30s, with her children grown -- to become a physician's assistant. For six years, she commuted by ferry to the Maryland mainland to attend classes.
In 2006, she became what Nichols believes is the first native licensed medical-care provider in the island's history.
Nichols and Pruitt banter like brother and sister, mentor and protégé. They sometimes call each other Wilbur and Homer, from one of their favorite movies, "The Cider House Rules," a 1999 film based on the novel by John Irving. The story revolves around a physician (Dr. Wilbur Larch) at a Maine orphanage who takes an orphan under his wing (Homer Wells) and teaches him obstetrics. Pruitt even has a lab coat stitched with "Homer."
As new equipment and furniture arrived at the new clinic last week, Nichols and Pruitt led a justly proud and good-natured tour of the place, extolling the facility's many virtues and needling each other all the way.
The new clinic is perhaps five times bigger than the old one, which was constructed in the 1950s, and is as bright as the other is dingy. It was built large so it can accommodate many patients at once since Nichols and the physicians who succeed him have only limited time on the island. It is so well-equipped, with gear such as a digital X-ray machine, because in such a remote place medical care often requires emergency action.
"I honestly believe there's not a more modern clinic for family medicine anywhere in this country," Nichols said.
Aesthetically, the structure fits in with its surroundings, looking from the outside like a well-appointed beach house. The immediate neighborhood is what one might expect on a small island where everything is compressed: The clinic is just a few steps from Swain Church, the island's schoolhouse and its water tower. Next door is the house where Pruitt was born.
Much of the equipment and many of the services were donated or provided at discounted prices, a result of a wide-ranging, four-year effort to raise funds and awareness about the island and the plight of its medical center.
The drive started after Nichols took friend and patient Jimmie Carter to the island for lunch. The Northern Neck real estate developer was appalled by the condition of the clinic and vowed to help Nichols raise the money for a new building.
The public-private venture has included state and federal funds, grants from private foundations and contributions from organizations ranging from Rotary Clubs to Girl Scouts, as well as money from more than 500 individual donors, said Carter, who set up the Tangier Island Health Foundation.
"It's been heartwarming to see such an outpouring of interest and support," Carter said. "If there's one thing we've seen, Tangier's got a lot of friends."
The foundation has raised $1.7 million. The first $1.4 million paid for construction of the clinic. The rest will establish an endowment to pay for upkeep of the building and the equipment and make certain Tangier residents have high-quality health care for years to come, Carter said.
Two years ago, Nichols affiliated his White Stone and Tangier practices with Riverside Health System as a way to carry on his work after he retired. He just didn't count on being gone so soon.
"It's the journey that's counted for me," Nichols said, as he sat in the old clinic. "Sure I'll miss being able to do all those things I'd planned to do, but, gosh, this was so rewarding."
He nodded toward the handsome white-frame Swain Church.
"I want to be buried over at that church, at the graveyard," he said. "Just put my ashes there."
That way, he can keep an eye on things. The cemetery is next door to the new clinic.
Monday, August 2, 2010
U.S. District Court Judge Henry E. Hudson denied a motion brought by lawyers for the administration to dismiss the lawsuit, filed by Virginia in March, a day after Obama signed into law federal health legislation.
"While this case raises a host of complex constitutional issues, all seem to distill to the single question of whether or not Congress has the power to regulate -- and tax -- a citizen's decision not to participate in interstate commerce," wrote Hudson in his 32-page memorandum.
"Given the presence of some authority arguably supporting the theory underlying each side's position, this court cannot conclude at this stage that the complaint fails to state a cause of action," he wrote.
Hudson said the case cannot be resolved without a further hearing on the merits.
While the legal battle over the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act ultimately is expected to end up in the U.S. Supreme Court, today's ruling is a setback for the administration, which also faces a separate but similar legal challenge to health reform filed by Florida on behalf of 20 states.
Thursday, July 22, 2010
Kennedy's son, retiring Rep. Patrick Kennedy of Rhode Island, said Wednesday he persuaded the estate's executors that Pelosi embodied his father's passion for public service and achievement. Patrick Kennedy is giving the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee $30,000 of his personal money in addition to $155,000 from his father's re-election fund.
Party officials said no other House member this year has given the campaign committee $30,000, the legal maximum for an individual.
But Pelosi persuaded dozens of House Democrats to accept unpopular compromises with the Senate, enabling President Barack Obama to sign the bill into law.
In an interview Wednesday, Patrick Kennedy called Pelosi's actions "a stroke of political genius."
The DCCC is spearheading efforts to maintain the Democrats' majority in the Nov. 2 elections.
Monday, March 22, 2010
Less than eight hours after Congress passed sweeping health care reforms, Virginia's attorney general announced a legal challenge.
Republican Ken Cuccinelli said early Monday that he will invoke the Virginia Healthcare Freedom Act in challenging what he and other conservatives decry as an unconstitutional overreach of federal authority.
Cuccinelli joins several other conservative state attorneys general from the region promising fast legal pushback after the House of Representatives finished passage of the legislation Sunday night.
Cuccinelli said he would file the action as soon as President Barack Obama signs into law the bill in the U.S. District Court.
Virginia became the first state to enact a law that bucks any effort by the federal government to impose federal health care mandates in the states.
Similar measures were filed or proposed in 34 other state legislatures.
The Virginia law says that no resident of the state can be compelled by the federal law to have health insurance, nor can any Virginian be forced to pay a fine or penalty for refusing health coverage.
While enactment of the Virginia law is complete, it doesn't take effect until July 1.
That doesn't prohibit the attorney general from using it as the basis for his lawsuit, said Cuccinelli's spokesman, Brian Gottstein.
"The courts allow you to take a law into court ahead of time if there is what's called an actual controversy. Even though the law does not take effect until July, we know it will take effect and we know it will conflict with another law, in this case the federal health care law, and it is in the best interest to resolve it sooner rather than later," Gottstein said.
Supporters of the Virginia law say it underscores protections the state should already enjoy under the U.S. Constitution. The 10th Amendment gives states any powers the Constitution doesn't either forbid or reserve for the federal government.
It passed comfortably in the Republican-controlled House and on a 23-17 vote in the Democratic-controlled Senate. In both chambers, Democrats supported the measure.
Opponents called it a vain and partisan effort by Virginia's new Republican leaders to shake a fist at Washington before this year's midterm races for Congress.
Monday, March 15, 2010
Congress is expected to vote this week on a comprehensive health care plan that could revolutionize the way Americans receive health care in the future. The current schedule calls for a Thursday vote on the issue in the House of Representatives. Congressman Glenn Nye voted in opposition to the current House bill but this vote will be on the Senate version.
A recent Shore Daily News.com poll showed that 80% of those who participated were opposed to Congressman Nye voting to support the Senate bill.
Contact Congressman Nye:
Accomack phone: 789-5092
Accomack fax: 789-5095
Washington phone: 202-225-4215
email via web site: http://www.nye.house.gov/
Wednesday, January 6, 2010
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi Tuesday defended the transparency of health care reform deliberations so far, and said no decision has been made about whether to skip a formal conference committee process to combine the House and Senate versions of the bills, which differ significantly.
"We don't know what route we will take," she said during a press conference on Capitol Hill. "We will take the route that does the job for the American people."
Pelosi was pressed about whether she would open the negotiations to C-SPAN cameras, as the cable network requested in a letter to her Tuesday morning.
One reporter noted that during his campaign, President Obama had advocated for airing the health reform deliberations. "Really?" Pelosi responded. "There are a number of things he was for on the campaign trail."
After her slight dig at Obama, Pelosi referred the matter to Rep. Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.), a junior member of her leadership team. "Mr. Van Hollen, would you like to respond?"
Van Hollen argued that the health reform process has been transparent, but he did not commit to opening future negotiations. "There will obviously be discussions between members of the House and Senate and we will continue to keep the American people informed as we have on the earlier stages of this legislation," he said.
Pelosi agreed. "There has never been a more open process for any legislation in anyone who serves here's experience."
Several senior House Democrats, including House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, balked before the Christmas break at the notion of foregoing a conference committee to preserve the votes of moderate senators, who warned they would not support a future bill that is significantly different than the one passed by the Senate passed on Christmas Eve.
But Rep. Charlie Rangel of New York said pointedly today, "The Senate should know that we need 218 votes over here."
Democratic leaders from the House and Senate will meet at the White House with President Obama this evening to begin negotiations on the bills and to discuss the process to be used to move legislation through the chambers for final passage.
Wednesday, December 16, 2009
The US Senate will be voting again in the next few days on the pending health care "reform" bill and, despite what you may hear, little has changed.
The bottom line is that we are still looking at a government takeover of an estimated one-sixth of the US economy.
We still have no prohibition of any of your tax-dollars being used to fund abortions under the bill.
We still have no legal protections for the religious convictions of doctors and nurses who would refuse to participate in abortions or euthanasia.
We know that it creates a huge bureaucracy with over a hundred new federal boards and commissions that will make decisions about our health care.
We know that it will add untold amounts to our national debt.
And we know that it does nothing to provide more choice for consumers or eliminate the junk lawsuits that drive up our health care costs.
To put it simply, we must stop the bill.
Time is growing short, but we can still be heard.
Please do your part and speak out to your members of Congress today:
- Click here and get the contact information for your members of Congress and call them - or even make an appointment to meeting with them in person.
- Or click here to fax them a letter right now
Also, please be sure to visit our Health Care Action Center and get other key facts and information to stay informed throughout the ongoing debate.
It is critical that conservatives stand together and let our elected officials feel the heat on this issue!
Monday, November 23, 2009
Click on the video below to watch hospital employees cut loose for breast cancer awareness.
More Bollywood than ER, the video is an infectious, upbeat dance to Jay Sean’s “Down.” Kudos to the elderly man with a broom for the best solo performance. It’s a tie between the lab technicians and the surgical staff for best small-group choreographed dance. “Our employees put together this video to generate breast cancer awareness throughout our hospital system,” according to the video’s YouTube page. “We had a ton of fun putting this together and hope it inspires others to join in the cause.” The video shows that there’s more than one way to fight cancer. Although the clip lacks professional dance moves, it sure makes up for it in charisma, style and hope.
Thursday, November 19, 2009
SALISBURY — The Wicomico County Health Department plans to hold a free, walk-in H1N1 vaccination clinic Saturday.
Appointments are available and walk-ins can fill in between appointments.
Intranasal and injectable vaccines will be available to pregnant women, persons who live or provide care for infants under six months of age, any individuals age six months to 24 years and individuals age 25 to 64 with underlying medical conditions.
The clinic is scheduled from 7:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at the William C. Fritz building on West Carroll Street.
To make an appointment, call 410-543-6943
Strong words today from Mr. Hymie-town himself, the Reverend Jesse Jackson. The once powerful civil rights leader who is desperately trying to regain some relevancy had something to say to Black Members of Congress who would dare to vote against the Obamacare bill. 'You can't vote against healthcare and call yourself a black man.'
Strong words for someone who just a year and a half ago threatened to cut off Barack Obama's Manhood. Jackson's remarks tonight were directed specifically again against Rep. Artur Davis (D-Ala.) who voted against the healthcare bill in the house:
"We even have blacks voting against the healthcare bill," Jackson said at a reception Wednesday night. "You can't vote against healthcare and call yourself a black man."
The remark stirred a murmur at the reception, held by the Congressional Black Caucus (CBC) Foundation as part of a series of events revolving around the 25th anniversary of Jackson's run for president. Several CBC members were in attendance, including Chairwoman Barbara Lee (D-Calif.), who'd introduced Jackson. I wonder if that means that Speaker Pelosi, who voted for the bill is a black man.
Congressman Davis, who is running for governor, is the only black member of Congress from Alabama. He is also the only member of the CBC to have voted against the healthcare bill earlier this month.
Davis referred to Jackson's 1988 run for president in a statement, issued through his office, that said he would not engage Jackson on his criticism.
“One of the reasons that I like and admire Rev. Jesse Jackson is that 21 years ago he inspired the idea that a black politician would not be judged simply as a black leader,” Davis's statement said. “The best way to honor Rev. Jackson's legacy is to decline to engage in an argument with him that begins and ends with race.”
That's exactly the point. Obamacare is a horrible bill for America all of America, no mater the hue of their skin. Maybe Congressman Davis could see beyond the CBC's political goal of redistribution of Income, and government control of society to cast a vote that was right for his country and his constituents. It seems to me that the Congressman is more of a Man than the self-promoting Jackson will ever be.
Reverend Jackson, why don't you go find another tyrant to kiss up to?
Monday, November 9, 2009
Hidden in the obamacare bill is this little gem.
• Secs. 2521 and 2533 (pp. 1379 and 1437) establishes racial and ethnic preferences in awarding grants for training nurses and creating secondary-school health science programs. For example, grants for nursing schools should "give preference to programs that provide for improving the diversity of new nurse graduates to reflect changes in the demographics of the patient population." And secondary-school grants should go to schools "graduating students from disadvantaged backgrounds including racial and ethnic minorities."
Wednesday, November 4, 2009
Last week House Leadership released a merged version of the health care reform legislation that was passed by three House committees in July. I immediately posted the text of this bill on my website so that all of my constituents can view the bill for themselves.
Over the past several months, I’ve expressed a number of concerns with the initial draft of H.R. 3200. I was concerned that leaders here in Congress were not giving Members enough time to study the bill and discuss it with their constituents, which is why I pushed to postpone a vote until after the August recess. I’ve also raised concerns with some of the policy aspects of the bill, including its cost, its impact on the deficit, and the impact that the employer mandate and surtax would have on small businesses and job creation. Now that the revised bill has been introduced, I will be thoroughly reviewing this legislation to see how these priorities are addressed within the new language of the bill.
While I recognize the urgent need to reform our health care system to reduce costs for families, employers, and the federal government, I will not be able to support a bill that does not adequately address these goals. In the meantime, please know that I have greatly appreciated all of the feedback I have received from constituents on this issue, and I understand how important this moment is to our country's future. I will keep you updated as consideration of this bill proceeds in the days ahead.
With health care reform taking most of the headlines, I did want to take an opportunity to give a brief update about some of the other issues I have been working on in Congress to address concerns of families throughout Maryland’s First District.
Earlier this month, I introduced legislation to extend the home-buyers tax credit, which realtors and economists have pointed to as a major factor encouraging the recovery of the housing market in Maryland and across the country. H.R. 3640 will extend the $8,000 tax credit for one year and expand eligibility to include all homebuyers purchasing a principal residence, while also offering tax relief to individuals or families forced to sell their home at a loss. Simply put, this tax credit is working, and in this housing market it would be foolish to allow this program to expire when it is working so effectively. Click here to take a look a the bill and here to view an impartial CRS analysis of the extension.
Another bill I recently introduced is HR 3898, the Small Business Property Reimbursement Act. This legislation will extend a key tax deduction for small business owners that invest in new equipment for their businesses. Specifically, my bill will extend a provision of the tax code that allows small businesses to expense up to $250,000 of the total cost of qualified assets purchased for business purposes. I feel strongly that instead of bailing out giant corporations, we ought to focus on strengthening the small businesses that support our local economies and drive economic growth. This bill provides much-needed tax relief that will allow small business owners to re-invest and create new jobs. Click here to read the bill.
With warm regards,
Rep. Frank M. Kratovil, Jr.
Thursday, October 29, 2009
As a heart monitor beeps ominously in the background, a graffiti artist paints over the Stars and Stripes with phrases criticizing opposition to the Democratic legislation, including 'profit over life' and the crossed-out words 'death panel.' The whole flag is eventually smeared with paint and blacked out.
A Democratic fundraising video on President Obama's political Web site shows an American flag mural being covered in graffiti and desecrated with slogans about health care reform.
As a heart monitor beeps ominously in the background, a graffiti artist paints over the Stars and Stripes with phrases criticizing opposition to the Democratic legislation, including "profit over life" and the crossed-out words "death panel." The whole flag is eventually smeared with paint and blacked out.
One of 20 finalists in the Democratic National Committee's "Health Reform Video Challenge," the video shows the Los Angeles-based graffiti artist "Saber" at work, according to a copy of the video posted to YouTube.
The DNC is using the splattered Old Glory to pick up some change, asking for donations to air the winner of its contest. "[T]o put the winning ad on national television, we'll need folks to chip in and help cover the cost of getting the ad on the air," the DNC says on its my.BarackObama.com Web site, which hosts its Organizing for America campaign program.
"I think that most Americans no matter what their political persuasion is will find this pretty obscene and pretty shocking," said Armstrong Williams, a conservative radio host. Williams said it was a bad message to send for the DNC to give "energy and credibility" to an artist desecrating the flag.
The video made it past a panel of judges "comprised of DNC employees," the site says. All finalists were screened to find "the most apt, creative, original and interesting video" that provides "clarity of message concerning supporting health insurance reform."
Supporters defended the video and said it might strike a chord with Americans who are interested in health care reform.
"I don't really think it's an issue," said Leonard Jacobs, editor of the Clyde Fitch Report. "It's one of 20 videos, and graffiti is protected by the First Amendment. And it's certainly something that might hook up with the way people feel."
Now in the final round, the remaining 20 videos will be judged by a panel of experts including DNC chief Tim Kaine; Rep. Patrick Murphy, D-Pa.; singer will.i.am of the Black Eyed Peas; actress Rosario Dawson; and Seth MacFarlane, creator of the TV cartoon "Family Guy."
A spokesman for Organizing for America told the Politico that the group was not prepared to provide comment on the video, but gave the contest a big push online.
"We're closer than we've ever been to passing real health reform, but we need to keep pushing forward and tipping the debate in favor of reform -- and the winning video could do just that," they wrote.
Friday, October 23, 2009
By Dick Morris and Eileen McGann
The more the fiscal details of the healthcare bills emerge, the more appalling they seem. The Senate Finance Committee bill includes a broad provision taxing all manner of medical devices. This tax includes such frivolous luxuries as pacemakers, stents, artificial heart valves, defibrillators, automated wheelchairs, mechanized artificial limbs, replacement hips and knees, surgical gurneys, laparoscopic equipment and the like.
President Obama is planning to reduce the cost of medical care by taxing it!
The most recent Gallup Poll reflected that 49 percent of respondents said they believed that the ObamaCare plan will increase their healthcare costs. Only about 20 percent said it would lower them. It is taxes like these that substantiate this kind of concern.
The origins of this new medical device tax are troubling as well.
The medical device industry had its day at the White House, as did the insurance industry, the drug makers, the nurses and the doctors. In turn, each group heard the White House request that it come up with voluntary cuts in its healthcare costs and support Obama’s proposed changes in return for assurances that Congress would not impose deeper cuts (or, in the case of the doctors, that it would actually rescind cuts already scheduled under current statutes).
But, unlike all these other groups, the medical device industry refused the deal. This posture enraged the tyrants in the White House, who vowed to punish the industry with cuts imposed by Congress. The result was a decision by the revenue-hungry Senate Finance Committee to extract billions in funds from the industry.
The legislation does not work like a sales or excise tax. Rather, it follows the model of the punitive tobacco settlement imposed on cigarette companies in the '90s. It assesses an industry-wide payment that firms must make in proportion to their market share. It bars the them from passing along the cost of the assessment by charging more for certain basic products, but allows them to raise the price of others to raise the funds for the fee.
The result will be that virtually every piece of advanced surgical equipment will be subject to a price increase to meet the levy from Washington. No matter that these devices often make the difference between life and death and that, in effect, taxing them raises the cost of vital treatments. The vengeful White House will have its pound of flesh from the medical device industry for daring to be independent and to refuse to knuckle down to administration pressure.
This tax, imposed in a spirit of haughty arrogance, falls on totally inappropriate objects. Valves, prosthetic limbs, pacemakers, hearing aids and such are essential therapies that make life longer, better and less painful. To tax them makes no sense. Except in the world of sharp elbows and interest group politics that grips this take-no-prisoners and show-no-mercy White House.
Sunday, October 18, 2009
Senate proposals put premium on healthy living
Bills could put workers under pressure to lose weight, stop smoking
Get in shape or pay a price.
That's a message more Americans could hear if the health care reform bills passed by the Senate Finance and Health committees become law.
By more than doubling the maximum rewards and penalties that companies can apply to employees who flunk medical evaluations, the bills could put workers under intense financial pressure to lose weight, stop smoking or even lower their cholesterol.
The initiative, largely eclipsed in the health care debate, builds on a trend that is already in play among some corporations and that more workers will see in the packages they bring home during this month's open enrollment. Some employers offer lower premiums to people who complete personal health assessments; others offer only limited benefit packages to smokers.
The current legislative effort takes the trend a step further. It is backed by major employer groups, including the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the National Association of Manufacturers. It is opposed by labor unions and groups devoted to combating serious illnesses, such as the American Heart Association, the American Cancer Society, and the American Diabetes Association.
Read More HERE
Tuesday, October 13, 2009
I have never been to Kratovil's website, signed-up for any emails etc.
Now I get this from;email@example.com
This is an attempt from Kartovil to look like a conservative democrat, too late Frank you have shown your true colors at the town halls, and by supporting cap and tax. This is not old school politics anymore Frank, people are educated, they plant seeds in their memories, seeds like telling a small child that our returning vets commit suicide.
Sorry Frank, looks like you're a one termer......
Here's the email;
Dear Friends, October 13, 2009
As the health care reform debate continues in Washington, it is more important than ever for Congress to listen to the concerns of our constituents and craft a reform package that works for all Americans. Over the past few months, I’ve spoken with thousands of constituents at Town Hall meetings, one-on-one conversations, and telephone town hall forums. While opinions on the current legislation were varied, I’ve heard strong agreement that we ought to look for common sense ideas that protect the parts of health care system that work and fix the parts that don’t.
In order to get my vote, any health care reform bill must protect and expand patient choice, rein in skyrocketing costs for consumers and businesses, and break down the barriers that prevent millions of Americans from accessing coverage. These are goals that cross party lines, and the debate over how to achieve these goals should focus not on partisan rhetoric but on a discussion of common-sense solutions that will improve health care and reduce costs for all Americans.
Last week, I led a group of my fellow Freshman Representatives in sending a letter to House Leadership urging them to take a step back and address a number of the concerns that our constituents have raised. The letter highlights many of the common sense proposals we have heard in our town hall meetings: fostering competition across state lines, reducing malpractice suits and defensive medicine, protecting small businesses, and ensuring that health care reform does not increase the deficit. The letter is available on my website if you’d like to read more about the reforms for which I am fighting.
The message I have heard from my constituents is clear: We need reform, but legitimate concerns remain about the current legislation. In my view the current House bill does not do enough to accomplish the critical goals discussed above. However, I am hopeful that we can develop a proposal that will cut costs, preserve consumer choice, protect small businesses, and increase competition. We cannot afford to let obstructionists derail this debate, but nor should we be afraid to acknowledge that many of the concerns being raised are real and legitimate.
With warm regards,
Rep. Frank M. Kratovil, Jr.
P.S – While the health care debate continues to draw most of the headlines, I want to touch on another issue that is affecting our district. Our national economy is starting to show some glimmers of a turnaround, but many homeowners here in Maryland and across the country continue to face the prospect of foreclosure due to a lost job, an unexpected medical emergency, or other economic hardships. On September 26th, I held a foreclosure prevention workshop in Cambridge where over 150 constituents attended and spoke privately with housing counselors, got free legal advice from experienced foreclosure attorneys, and met directly with representatives from major lenders. I will be holding similar workshops in other areas of the district in the months ahead, but if you or someone you know is facing a foreclosure, then please do not wait. Please contact my office at (410) 334-3072 to learn more about the resources available to help you stay in your home.
Monday, October 12, 2009
A respected medical specialist has carefully reviewed the healthcare reform bill in the U.S. House, and he declares that it would amount to a virtual "draft" of doctors into the government's "public option" health insurance program.
Dr. Russell Blaylock, a renowned neurosurgeon, book author and editor of the Blaylock Wellness Report published by Newsmax, also warns that "death panels" could lead to the rationing of medical care to the elderly and a "violation of the Hippocratic Oath."
See Video: Dr. Russell Blaylock discusses the threats to quality medical care under Obamacare - Click Here Now