Category Archives: Department of Health and Human Services

Pallone Condemns GOP’s Ongoing Agenda to Weaken EPA

Washington, DC – Congressman Frank Pallone, Jr. on Wednesday decried the latest efforts from House Republicans to roll back crucial regulations that preserve and protect the environment. Under the guise of creating jobs and protecting the border, the proposals put forth by Republicans would roll back historic advances in environmental protection and harm public health by blocking the Environmental Protection Agency’s ability to enforce rules that prevent hazardous air pollution from entering the air, dangerous materials such as mercury from entering the water supply and our ability to protect the iconic bald eagle from extinction.

“If House Republicans had their way, federal lands that are a national treasure would no longer be protected and polluters would no longer be accountable with the false and misleading claim they are securing the border,” said Pallone. “Americans should be outraged at this latest in a string of attacks against EPA. Congress should focus on creating jobs above all else such as moving forward with the American Jobs Act.”

The National Security and Federal Lands Protection Act, which was rushed through the Natural Resources Committee, would waive over 35 environmental laws that protect historic sites, endangered species and air and water quality, based on the fallacy that they interfere with Customs and Border Patrol agents’ ability to protect the border.

The assault on the environment continued on the House floor today with consideration of a Republican bill that would weaken EPA’s ability to regulate pollution from cement kilns that incinerate waste and release some of the most harmful pollutants including mercury and acid gases.

Pallone offered an amendment that would weaken the disastrous effects of this legislation on public health. His amendment would prevent the bill from going into effect if it interferes with the Department of Health and Human Service’s goal of reducing our children’s exposure to mercury.

“Republicans have thrown everything but the kitchen sink at EPA today in an effort to weaken regulations that are vital to public health. The effect of both of these pieces of legislation becoming law would be higher prevalence of asthma, heart attacks and chronic bronchitis and hundreds of acres less of federally protected lands for Americans to enjoy. That’s a bleak landscape,” Pallone added.

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Filed under American Jobs Act, Congress, Congressman Frank Pallone, Department of Health and Human Services, environmental laws, EPA, press release, public health

Pallone Announces Funding to Expand Community Health Center Services in NJ

Washington, D. C. – Congressman Pallone Friday announced grant awards totaling $10 million to help 129 organizations across the country become community health centers. In New Jersey, the Jewish Renaissance Foundation in Perth Amboy and the Saint Peter’s Healthcare System in New Brunswick each received $80,000 to support the transition to becoming a community health center.

“Community health centers attend to the unique health needs of hard-to-reach populations and have a significant impact improving health in our communities,” said Pallone. “New Brunswick residents will benefit from better access to the low-cost, preventive and primary health care services that will be offered at a new location.”
In addition to providing important health care services, creating new community health centers will also create jobs. Since the beginning of 2009, health centers across the country have added more than 18,600 new full-time positions in many of the nation’s most economically distressed communities. In 2010, they employed more than 131,000 staff and new funds made available by the Department of Health and Human Services will help create more jobs nationwide.
Over the past year, Republicans have threatened funding for community health centers across the country which would force many of them to shutter. Pallone remains committed to making sure community health centers continue to be available for those who rely on them.
“Closing community health centers is an unacceptable option, especially when big corporations continue to receive millions in tax cuts. I will continue fighting to preserve community health centers and to expand accessibility to these vital services.”

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Filed under community health centers, Congressman Frank Pallone, Department of Health and Human Services, grant money

Senator Menendez Hails Launch of New Health Care Website

Are you still confused about the new health care legislation? If you think back to last summer we were hearing from those that vehemently opposed health care reform to the extant that they would show up at town hall meetings just to disrupt it and prevent our Congressmen from explaining what it contained.

Now that it has passed many still do not understand what it means to them. Senator Menendez has informed us that there is a website that you can go to for answers to your questions or just find out what it is all about.
The following is from Senator Menendez’s E-Newsletter:

At the heart of health insurance reform law is the idea that families who for too long have paid too much for inadequate health insurance deserve set of new rights, based on common sense principles. One of those common sense ideas is that families should not have to navigate a confusing and unorganized health insurance system to understand all of the insurance options and rights available to them, they deserve to be able to find out about all of their options and rights in one, easy-to-navigate place.

For that reason, today marks an important milestone in the enactment of the Health Insurance Reform Law. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has unveiled HealthCare.gov, an innovative new on-line tool, created under the Health Insurance Reform Law, that connects families with new state-specific information and resources, helping them take control of their health insurance situation and gain access to quality, affordable coverage. This website has been setup to answer all of your questions about the law and how it impacts your family. In addition it is the first website to provide consumers with local public and private health coverage options tailored specifically for their needs in a single, easy-to-use tool. As a proud supporter of this legislation I am thrilled to see that such an easy to use website has been developed to help educate New Jerseyans on this new law and their local health care options.

For additional information about the Health Insurance Reform Law I encourage you to visit my website and click here. I have set up this page up to be clearinghouse of information on the law so please continue to check it regularly as I will be posting new information to this page as it becomes available.

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Filed under Department of Health and Human Services, health care reform, HealthCare.gov, New Jersey, Newsletter, US. Sen. Robert Menendez

Video: President Obama on the Final March for Reform

President Obama calls on supporters to help finish the fight for health reform.

Giving Peace of Mind Back to the American People
Posted by Secretary Kathleen Sebelius on March 04, 2010 at 05:53 PM EST

The urgency of health reform couldn’t be more clear.

Across the country, working families have been saddled with huge rate increase in their health insurance premiums. In California, consumers were informed of rate hikes as high as 39 percent, and in Michigan, insurers sought a 56 percent increase and this is happening across the country.

This is unacceptable, particularly at a time when families are struggling to make ends meet and the largest insurers took in more than $12 billion in profits last year alone. The American people want to understand why their premiums are skyrocketing while some companies are doing well. And they deserve a clear and accurate explanation.

I just got out of a meeting where I asked leaders from big insurance companies for answers. I hosted a discussion with the CEOs of UnitedHealth Group Inc., WellPoint Inc., Aetna Inc., Health Care Service Corporation and CIGNA HealthCare Inc., along with leaders from the National Association of Insurance Commissioners. I asked them to explain why these crushing burdens are being placed on middle-class families and what we can do to lower costs.

I also asked the CEOs to post the actuarial justification for these stunning rate increases online in an easy-to-understand manner, so that consumers can see why premiums are skyrocketing to the point that some people in the individual market can no longer afford coverage. I hope they will act quickly and make this information available to all of us. If insurance companies are going to raise rates, the least they can do is tell us why.

President Barack Obama reads a letter he received from Natoma Canfield of Medina, Ohio, during a meeting with insurance company executives hosted by HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius in the Roosevelt Room of the White House March 4, 2010. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

But families deserve more. They need to know how we can prevent these increases from happening in the future. Families want to be responsible and buy health insurance. They’re willing to pay a fair price. They understand that health care is not cheap.

But they don’t want to be afraid every time they open a letter from their insurer that their premiums are going up $7,000 a year. Or that their application has been rejected because they take a medicine for high blood pressure. Or that their insurance is being cancelled because of a mistake on their paperwork.

The point of health insurance is to give people peace of mind, and they’re not getting it. The system we have is failing them.

President Obama has offered a health insurance reform proposal to help working families and small business owners. It will hold insurance companies accountable by laying out common-sense rules of the road to keep premiums down, prevent insurance industry abuses and outlaw discrimination against Americans with pre-existing conditions.

Reform also includes key provisions that will protect consumers from unjustified premium increases. Building upon existing state practices, the President’s plan includes a new Federal authority to force insurers to justify their rate increases, provide additional support for states that already do rate reviews, and help those states that don’t currently review increases on their own.

Right now, in 21 states, insurance companies can raise rates without any oversight, no questions asked, and consumers suffer. Reform will change the rules and help stop exorbitant increases.

And the President’s plan will help reduce costs and require insurance companies to dedicate more of the premiums dollars they collect to actual care instead of profits, CEO salaries and advertising. If they don’t spend enough on actual care, they’ll be required to send rebate checks to consumers.

Comprehensive reform is a necessary step to fix our broken health insurance market. Holding the insurance industry accountable is one step in that direction.

Kathleen Sebelius is Secretary of Health and Human Services

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Filed under Department of Health and Human Services, health care reform, Kathleen Sebelius, President Obama, the White House

Lautenberg, Menendez Announce More Than $1.9 Million to Improve Health Care, Promote Medical Research in New Jersey

Both U.S. Sens. from New Jeresy,  Frank Lautenburg and Bob Menedez, issued a joint press release today to announce that the Department of Health and Human services has awarded more than $1.9 million in federal funds to three New Jersey research institutions to provide health services to state residents and increase their medical research. The funds will help support support community health centers, new research on the human genome and breast cancer:

Newark, NJ – U.S. Sens. Frank R. Lautenberg (D-NJ) and Robert Menendez (D-NJ) today announced the Department of Health and Human Services awarded more than $1.9 million in federal funds to three New Jersey research institutions to provide health services to state residents and increase their medical research. The funding will expand community health care centers at UMDNJ’s Robert Wood Johnson Medical School and fund new research on the human genome, sepsis and breast cancer.

“By funding this critical research, we are creating jobs and helping our residents avoid life-threatening diseases,” Sen. Lautenberg said. “These awards will go a long way to protecting the next generation and helping them build a healthy future.”

“Our state has always been a leader in innovation, which expands the job market and makes a difference in our lives,” said Senator Menendez. “These federal funds will not only advance the search for cures, they help produce the groundbreaking discoveries that benefit patients in need as well as our state’s economy.”

University of Medicine and Dentistry New Jersey, New Jersey Medical School

· $949,245 to fund health centers.
· $553,800 to study the shock, trauma, and origin of sepsis.

Rutgers
· $266,859 for continuation of research into the human genome through creating of chromatin structures.
· $168,521 to work on cancer detection and diagnosis research for breast cancer.

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Filed under Bob Menendez, Breast Cancer, Department of Health and Human Services, Frank Lautenberg, health centers, human genome, New Jersey Medical School, Rutgers, University of Medicine and Dentistry

>Lautenberg, Menendez Announce More Than $1.9 Million to Improve Health Care, Promote Medical Research in New Jersey

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Both U.S. Sens. from New Jeresy,  Frank Lautenburg and Bob Menedez, issued a joint press release today to announce that the Department of Health and Human services has awarded more than $1.9 million in federal funds to three New Jersey research institutions to provide health services to state residents and increase their medical research. The funds will help support support community health centers, new research on the human genome and breast cancer:

Newark, NJ – U.S. Sens. Frank R. Lautenberg (D-NJ) and Robert Menendez (D-NJ) today announced the Department of Health and Human Services awarded more than $1.9 million in federal funds to three New Jersey research institutions to provide health services to state residents and increase their medical research. The funding will expand community health care centers at UMDNJ’s Robert Wood Johnson Medical School and fund new research on the human genome, sepsis and breast cancer.

“By funding this critical research, we are creating jobs and helping our residents avoid life-threatening diseases,” Sen. Lautenberg said. “These awards will go a long way to protecting the next generation and helping them build a healthy future.”

“Our state has always been a leader in innovation, which expands the job market and makes a difference in our lives,” said Senator Menendez. “These federal funds will not only advance the search for cures, they help produce the groundbreaking discoveries that benefit patients in need as well as our state’s economy.”

University of Medicine and Dentistry New Jersey, New Jersey Medical School

· $949,245 to fund health centers.
· $553,800 to study the shock, trauma, and origin of sepsis.

Rutgers
· $266,859 for continuation of research into the human genome through creating of chromatin structures.
· $168,521 to work on cancer detection and diagnosis research for breast cancer.

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Filed under Bob Menendez, Breast Cancer, Department of Health and Human Services, Frank Lautenberg, health centers, human genome, New Jersey Medical School, Rutgers, University of Medicine and Dentistry