Daily Archives: August 27, 2009

Holt: What’s In And Not In Heath Insurance Reform


Note: I should have posted this email from Rush Holt before posting videos from last night’s town hall meeting. Congressman Holt talked about all of these issues last night but because of the jeers and heckles I don’t think that much of what he had to say sank in (The final two parts of last nights town hall meeting that I was able to capture before running out of memory space will be posted shortly).

The health insurance reform legislation, as it is taking shape and which I have supported in the House Committee on Education and Labor, would benefit Central New Jersey residents with and without insurance in three primary ways by:

Establishing important consumer protections for all those Americans now with health insurance. For instance, insurers would be prohibited from excluding coverage or charging more based on pre-existing conditions like cancer, heart disease, diabetes, or pregnancy. Insurers also would be prohibited from dropping your coverage if you become sick and would be prohibited from setting annual or lifetime limits beyond which the insurer refuses to pay, leaving your family faced with bankruptcy. Insurance companies would have to spend more (at least 80 percent) of each premium dollar on actually providing healthcare.

Creating an insurance store for those not well served by the system now. Those between jobs, employees of small businesses, or those who do not get coverage through their work would be able to purchase health insurance at group rates. All companies offering plans in the store would need to cover a comprehensive set of necessary services and abide by all the consumer protection standards. Among the plans from which a person could choose would be at least one offered on a not-for-profit basis, probably run by the government. Through competition and choice, coverage would be more affordable and accountable and would provide care better aligned with the best medical standards.

Strengthening health care for seniors. The proposal would strengthen Medicare in a number of important ways, including emphasizing more primary and preventive care, eliminating the doughnut hole in the Medicare prescription drug benefit, reducing redundant tests or unnecessary procedures, and eliminating wasteful subsidies to insurance companies.

These are the principal parts of the health insurance reform. The proposal also would increase the number of primary care doctors and expand the number of nurses and expand preventive and wellness care. Additionally, the proposal would provide tax credits to small businesses to help them provide coverage to their employees.

This is what the reform proposal would mean for you. What reform would NOT mean – despite the claims of vocal opponents of reform – is rationing, government takeover of health care, health insurance for illegal immigrants, or government “death panels.” Read more about the myths perpetuated about health insurance reform.

This is an important debate that we are having. Our health insurance system is broken. Americans are living sicker, dying younger, and paying more than we should or than residents of other major countries do. We already are spending more than enough. In 2009, overall health care spending throughout the U.S. is projected to reach $8,160 per person. This should be more than sufficient to provide affordable and excellent care for everyone, yet 16 percent of New Jerseyans lacked insurance in 2007 and family insurance premiums are projected to rise from $14,000 in 2009 to $24,000 in 2019. Feedback from you is important to me as I work in Congress to fix this broken system.

Town Hall Meeting in Middletown

I will be holding my next town hall meeting tomorrow, August 26 at 7 p.m. in Middletown. Wednesday’s meeting will be held at the Middletown Arts Center, which is located at 36 Church Street.

I frequently convene town hall meetings throughout the five counties and forty-four towns of the 12th Congressional District. The purpose of these town hall meetings is for you to tell me about issues that are affecting you, your family, and our community, and for me to update you on some of the work that I have been doing in Washington D.C. and in New Jersey. I look forward to talking with you about health insurance reform or any other issues on your mind.

If you are unable to attend this town hall, I will be hosting other town meetings regularly, I announce the meetings in the eGenda and on holt.house.gov. And of course, you can always write, call, or fax me. If you have any questions about the town meeting, please call me free at 1-87-RUSH-HOLT. Thank you, and I hope to see you in Middletown.

Sincerely,

RUSH HOLT

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Filed under health care reform, Insurance store, Medicare, Middletown NJ, Rush Holt, Seniors, town hall meeting

Video: Rush Holt Town Hall Meeting in Middletown Parts 3 & 4

During video parts 3 & 4 of Rush Holt’s town hall meeting to discuss health reform in Middletown on 8/26/09, Congressman Holt answers questions about tort reform and medicare.

The crowd becomes a little more vocal out of frustration because they feel that Holt is not answering questions. The truth of the matter however, is that Rush Holt is answering questions but the hecklers and boo-birds don’t want to listen to what he has to say.

The nay-sayers in the crowd continue to point to the only bill to come out of committee, HR3200, as reason for the frustration even though Congressman Holt mentioned that there are 4 other bills making their way through the Congress and Senate.

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Filed under health care reform, Medicare, Middletown Cultural Arts Center, Middletown NJ, Rush Holt, tort reform, town hall meeting

Video: Rush Holt Town Hall Meeting in Middletown Parts 1 & 2

As mentioned earlier, I was inside at Rush Holt’s town hall meeting to discuss health care reform last night in Middletown.

I was looking forward to an enjoyable evening of theatrics from the crowd and considering that it could have been much worse, I was only slightly disappointed.

Rush attempted to control the crowd by having attendees write questions on an index card instead of having people come forward to speak from a microphone. This worked well but it did not deter hecklers from shouting out opposition.

I was able able to record the first 57 minutes of the meeting before I ran out of space on my media card, the meeting went on for another 35 to 40 minutes before letting out at 8:40 pm.

Here our the first two parts of video that encompasses the first 20 minutes from last night. The video is raw and a little grainy due to the fact that I was sitting a little far away and only had a 3X zoom on my small video camera, I did not edit anything out of video the events happened as shown and you may or may not hear me arguing with an elderly woman behind me, who was more interested in yapping instead of listening.

I am currently working on 4 more video clips to post later:

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Filed under health care reform, Middletown Cultural Arts Center, Middletown NJ, Rush Holt, town hall meeting

Rush Holt Town Hall Meeting In Middletown Last Night.

I attended Rush Holt’s town hall meeting last night at the Middletown Cultural Arts Center. I arrived shortly after 5 pm to make sure I would be able to get into the building.

It was a lively but respectful crowd outside the building that grew in numbers as the time for the meeting approached.
Shortly after settling down inside an argument broke out between a few attendees and needed to broken up by police, to the credit of Middletown police, they calmed down the situation and allowed the people to stay for the meeting.
My overall impression of the night was that it went rather well, it wasn’t as loud or disrespectful as other town hall events throughout the country have been portrayed, hecklers and boo-birds had plenty of chances to express themselves however.
I am currently working on posting video of the event and hope to have it by the end of the day, I have over an hours worth of video and it takes a while to post. I’ll add additional comments about last nights events after the video is ready.

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Filed under health care reform, Middletown Cultural Arts Center, Rush Holt, town hall meeting

Obama Issues Statment on The Passing of Senator Kennedy

Michelle and I were heartbroken to learn this morning of the death of our dear friend, Senator Ted Kennedy.

For nearly five decades, virtually every major piece of legislation to advance the civil rights, health and economic well-being of the American people bore his name and resulted from his efforts.

His ideas and ideals are stamped on scores of laws and reflected in millions of lives — in seniors who know new dignity; in families that know new opportunity; in children who know education’s promise; and in all who can pursue their dream in an America that is more equal and more just, including me.

In the United States Senate, I can think of no one who engendered greater respect or affection from members of both sides of the aisle. His seriousness of purpose was perpetually matched by humility, warmth and good cheer. He battled passionately on the Senate floor for the causes that he held dear, and yet still maintained warm friendships across party lines. And that’s one reason he became not only one of the greatest senators of our time, but one of the most accomplished Americans ever to serve our democracy.

I personally valued his wise counsel in the Senate, where, regardless of the swirl of events, he always had time for a new colleague. I cherished his confidence and momentous support in my race for the Presidency. And even as he waged a valiant struggle with a mortal illness, I’ve benefited as President from his encouragement and wisdom.

His fight gave us the opportunity we were denied when his brothers John and Robert were taken from us: the blessing of time to say thank you and goodbye. The outpouring of love, gratitude and fond memories to which we’ve all borne witness is a testament to the way this singular figure in American history touched so many lives.

For America, he was a defender of a dream. For his family, he was a guardian. Our hearts and prayers go out to them today — to his wonderful wife, Vicki, his children Ted Jr., Patrick and Kara, his grandchildren and his extended family.

Today, our country mourns. We say goodbye to a friend and a true leader who challenged us all to live out our noblest values. And we give thanks for his memory, which inspires us still.

Sincerely,

President Barack Obama

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Filed under Michelle Obama, President Obama, Senator Edward Kennedy