Daily Archives: September 21, 2011

Pallone: One Million Additional Young Adults Have Health Coverage Because of the Affordable Care Act

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: September 21, 2011

Washington, D.C. – Congressman Frank Pallone, Jr. Wednesday announced that new data released from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows that the Affordable Care Act has helped one million additional young adults to get health insurance.

“The Affordable Care Act is already improving the lives of America’s families, including one million young people who now enjoy health coverage,” Pallone said. “Young adults 18-25 are most likely to go without health insurance, putting them one emergency room visit away from thousands of dollars in medical bills that would burden them for years to come.”

Specifically, data from the National Health Interview Survey shows that in the first quarter of 2011, the percentage of adults between the ages of 19 and 25 with health insurance increased by 3.5 percentage points, representing approximately 1 million additional young adults with insurance coverage compared to a year ago.

The Affordable Care Act allows most young adults to remain on their parents’ health insurance plans until their 26th birthday.

The results from the CDC were also confirmed by a Gallup survey released today. As Gallup concluded, “The provision of the Affordable Care Act that allows children up to the age of 26 to remain on their parents’ plans appears to be having an immediate effect on the number of Americans who report they have health insurance. Since it went into effect in September 2010, the percentage of 18- to 25-year-olds who report being uninsured has significantly declined by four percentage points.”

The under 26 provision is included in the Patient’s Bill of Rights and in addition to covering young people provides other significant patient protections including prohibiting insurers from dropping people from coverage when they get sick, placing lifetime limits on coverage, and denying coverage to children with pre-existing conditions. All of these reforms are already helping Americans today and must be maintained.

Last week Pallone decried Republican efforts to repeal the Patient’s Bill of Rights.

“This is one of many examples of how health care reform is working for New Jerseyans. Without the Affordable Care Act, thousands of young people in New Jersey would go without health insurance. Their health is too valuable for me to allow them to lose the consumer protections they now enjoy.”

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Filed under Congressman Frank Pallone, Gallup poll, heath care reform, Patient Bill of Rights, press release, The Affordable Care Act, young adults

Middletown Board Of Education Meeting Tonight – What You will Hear and Not Hear

Tonight’s Middletown Board of Education meeting that will take place at High School North @ 7pm will be interesting for a few of reasons that you will and won’t hear about.

To open up the meeting there will be a presentation by Birdsall Engineering to the Board by Birdsall on a proposed district solar project that will involve several school site. It should be interesting but don’t expect too much information if this presentation by Birdsall turns out to be anything like the one presented at Town Hall a few months a go. That presentation left a lot to be desired.
Attendees to the meeting will also hear that the resignation of BoE member John Macrae has also been accepted which should lead to in the not to distant future, an announcement on a new search (or appointment) for someone to fill his position on the board that he vacated.
What you won’t hear tonight are many details about the appointment of a new Superintendent to take over from interim superintendent Pat Houston, who resigned last month and will be allowed to leave as of September 26th, unless of course something is dropped into the agenda at the last minute.
Word out of Hazlet though is that Middletown offered the School Superintendent’s job to Hazlet’s Superintendent of Schools Bill George but he turned it down, possible due to the salary being offered, possible due to other reasons.
Seeing how the Middletown school district is nearly 3 times larger than Hazlet’s and Bill George is currently earning $192K salary (according to Data Universe) from Hazlet, a move to Middletown seems unlikely at this time but not out of the question totally.
Hazlet sources stated that Middletown BoE has applied to the State for some kind of waiver that would enable George to come to Middletown and take over the school system.
To sweeten the pot a little for Bill George did the Middletown BoE seek a waiver from the State that would have allowed the BoE to exceed the mandated cap on school superintendents salaries that Governor Christie put in place this year, in order to lure George away from Hazlet? Or was the waiver requested of the State something less extraordinary like asking for a waiver of rules that would enable the board to appoint a new superintendent without the usual guideline procedures?
Regardless, I was told by my Hazlet connections that the request for a waiver was turned down by the State and that Bill George will be staying put, where he is, in Hazlet for the time being.
Of course though anything can happen and the Hazlet people could be wrong, in the mean time, the search a for new Middletown School Superintendent go on.

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Filed under Birdsall Service Group, cap wavier, Hazlet NJ, Middeltown Board of Education, school superintendent, solar presentation, William George

NJ Watchdog: 41 TOP NJ COUNTY COPS DO THE BIG DOUBLE-DIP: HOW 16 SHERIFFS & 25 UNDERSHERIFFS POCKET MILLIONS IN PENSIONS PLUS SALARIES

Very good investigative report by Mark Lagerkvist posted over at NJ WatchDog that chronicles the double dipping(those that receive a state salary while also collecting a state pension) of many county cops around the state.

Of particular interest to those who live in Monmouth County is the excerpt below that pertains the Lt. Gov. Kim Guadagno, who went out of her way to provide a double-dipping job opportunity to Michael W. Donovan in 2008 while Monmouth County Sheriff.

Current Monmouth County Sheriff, Shaun Golden has been complacent on the issue and has given Donovan a pay raise while promoting to the position of Undersheriff.

The double-dipping of Michael W. Donovan Jr. – revealed by a New Jersey Watchdog investigative report last year – provides an inside look at how powerful politicians can conspire to cheat pension funds.

As Monmouth County sheriff in 2008, Lt. Gov. Kim Guadagno hired Donovan as chief in charge of law enforcement. There was an obstacle: Donovan had retired as a county investigator three years earlier. Since a sheriff’s chief officer is a position subject to the rules of the Police and Firemen’s Retirement System (PFRS), Donovan faced the prospect of giving up pension checks by going back to work.

To help Donovan double-dip, Guadagno informed payroll officials Donovan was her chief warrant officer – a similar sounding but completely different position not subject to PFRS rules. In contrast, Guadagno’s own memo and organizational chart identified Donovan as her chief in charge of law enforcement.

With Guadagno’s help, Donovan pocketed $85,000 a year in retirement pay along with his new salary of $87,000. He scammed $245,000 from PFRS – $227,000 in pension pay, plus $18,000 he should have contributed to the pension fund after being re-hired.

Faced with controversy, Sheriff Shaun Golden – Guadagno’s successor – found a way to protect his office and Donovan. In February, Golden gave Donovan a raise and promoted him to undersheriff, a position not subject to PFRS rules. So Donovan continues his double-dipping ways, more lucrative than ever…

Some schemes are enabled by superiors who have already gamed the system for themselves…

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Filed under Kim Guadagono, Michael Donovan, Monmouth County, Monmouth County Sheriff, nj watchdog, Shaun Golden, undersheriff

Middletown Democrats Get Thumbs Up

I received the following letter yesterday, it has also been posted over at the Atlantic Highlands Herald.

I would like to respond to Peter Van Nortwick, whose letter – Middletown Democrats Pose Traffic Hazard – is just plain ridiculous. No one was blocking traffic or running into the street. Some did cross the street, however, because that’s how you get to the other side.

Cars were not screeching to a halt or narrowly dodging pedestrians. But many motorists did show their support by beeping their horns as they passed by. They cheered, waved, and gave us thumbs up. Except Committeeman Settembrino, who didn’t use his thumb.

Mr. Van Nortwick is right about one thing. We were effective at getting people’s attention. Everyone’s except the cops’. They saw no problem.

Linda Baum
Middletown, NJ

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Filed under Atlantic Highlands Herald, letter to the editor, Linda Baum, Middletown Republicans, Peter VanNortwick, sign waving, thumbs up, traffic hazard

Has The Time Come To Allow NJ Citizens The Right To Carry A Gun?

On the campaign trail in Monmouth & Ocean Counties,a question that pops up in rural areas of the “New” 12th District, when can citizens carry a gun for protection in NJ?
Been there, done that, with a handgun as a police officer. I do not know the percentage of police officers in NJ that go through their careers and have been involved in a shooting? I mean getting shot and shooting someone else.

But with the reported spike in crime in 2010 from 2009, I would bet that violent crime has also spike in 2011 with less police officers due to retirements and layoffs in NJ.

So should citizens in NJ be allowed to carry guns to protect themselves? I think I am changing my mind to let this happen if elected to the NJ Senate, as a Democrat.

After reading about what happened to Mr. Rattu from Old Bridge getting carjacked and shot to death in Atlantic City after going to that Abbott District to celebrate his graduation from Nursing School, if he had a gun he could have protected himself.

Or what about Mr. Hughes in Paterson that was undergoing training with the National Guard. Gunned down on the street and now dead. Could he have protected himself with a handgun?

I carried a gun when I was a police officer, then retired and did not carry one. Then the law was enacted to let retired police officers carry. I went back to qualifying so I could carry but it was a pain in the ass to qualify 2 times a year with the cost of ammunition, use of firearm facility and annual permit fees with the NJ. State Police. I eventually let my permit lapse for the past 4 years.

But I re-activated it when it turns out that I was representing someone on a Drunk Driving case that was arrested in another State under a large FBI arrest of Mobsters and my client was one of them. I was quick to re-qualify and be able to carry to protect myself and my family from a potential perceived threat of a Mobster, although some of that threat may have come from too many Godfather and Goodfella Hollywood movies.

Maybe it is now time for NJ citizens to have that same protection with all that violent crime that I read about in the newspapers and see on TV about New Jersey’s shooting spree of citizens in this State.

And this coming from a Democrat and not a Conservative Republican like Governor Christie or a Tea-Party Republican like my opponent Assemblyman Sam Thompson.

Bob Brown
Democratic Candidate
NJ State Senate, 12th Leg. Dist.

MM- I don’t know if I can endorse this idea from my friend Bob Brown just yet but it is an intriguing idea. I am a gun owner myself and have often thought about the issue. If handle correctly, I my be able to be persuaded.

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Filed under 12th Legislative District, Bob Brown, concealed weapons, Democratic Candidate, Gov. Chris Christie, gun laws, NJ State Senate, Organized Crime

United for a Fair Economy Applauds Obama Revenue Proposal

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE


Boston, MA (September 20, 2011): United for a Fair Economy (UFE) applauds President Obama’s proposal to raise $1.5 trillion in revenue by increasing taxes primarily on the wealthiest one percent of taxpayers and corporations. Over the last decade, the richest Americans have seen their income and wealth soar while benefitting from sharply reduced taxation.

“At a time of unprecedented economic inequality, extensive unemployment, and deep concern over our country’s long-term fiscal health, it is entirely appropriate and economically sound to institute progressive taxation as the best solution to our nation’s challenges,” said Lee Farris, senior organizer on federal tax policy at United for a Fair Economy.

President Obama’s proposal seeks to let the Bush tax cuts expire for upper-income taxpayers, close corporate tax loopholes, end oil and gas subsidies, and limit the amount that high earners can deduct. According to Citizens for Tax Justice, only the richest five percent of taxpayers would pay additional taxes under Mr. Obama’s proposal, with 75 percent of the increases paid by the richest one percent.

United for a Fair Economy especially supports President Obama’s proposed “Buffett Rule,” that would establish a minimum tax on taxpayers making $1 million or more in income, and would limit the benefit they receive from the 15 percent tax rate on investment income.

“People making more than $1 million a year should not pay a smaller share of their income in taxes than middle-class families pay,” said Farris.

UFE is encouraged that the President vowed to veto any deficit reduction package that cuts benefits to Medicare recipients but does not raise taxes on the wealthy and big corporations.

Given UFE’s decade-long campaign for a robust estate tax, UFE views the President’s proposal for the estate tax to return at its weakened 2009 level as a missed opportunity to raise much-needed revenue from multi-millionaire inheritors to improve our nation’s fiscal health.

United for a Fair Economy urges Americans to tell Congress to reform our tax code so wealthy individuals and large corporations pay their fair share. We support the tax package developed by Rebuild the Dream, which includes taxing capital gains and investment income at the same rate as income from wages, new higher tax brackets for millionaires and billionaires, a stronger estate tax, and ending offshore tax havens for corporations and individuals. UFE also supports HR 1124, the Fairness in Taxation Act.

United for a Fair Economy is a national, independent, nonpartisan, 501(c)(3) non-profit organization located in Boston, MA, which works to rein in economic inequality and promote a more broadly shared prosperity. More at www.faireconomy.org.

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Filed under Buffett Rule, Bush Tax Cuts, Fairness in Taxation Act, Millionaire'sTax, President Obama, press release, United for a Fair Economy