Category Archives: Health Care

80 Reasons Why It’s Time To Take These Republican/Tea Party ‘Sons Of Bitches’ Down

Here’s another gem that I found on AddictingInfo.com today that I thought I would pass along titled “80 Reasons Why It’s Time To Take These Republican/Tea Party ‘Sons Of Bitches’ Down“. I think it touches upon all the points as to why the Tea Party and its members are so wrong, on so many issues , I hope you agree and feel free to comment:

At a Labor Day event yesterday, Teamsters President Jimmy Hoffa gave a fiery speech about the tea party, telling the American people that “It’s time to take these sons of bitches out.” And each and every one of us should listen. For the last thirty years, the American people have been under assault from the right-wing and their corporate overlords. Everything that makes America strong is being weakened and the American people are suffering. So if you need a reason why we should end the Republican/Tea Party, here are 80 of them.

1. They want to take away your Social Security.
2. They want to end Medicare.
3. They want to wipe out labor unions.
4. They want to send every last American job overseas.
5. They want to pollute the air we breathe.
6. They want pollute the water we drink.
7. They want to persecute non-Christians.
8. They want declare a state religion.
9. They took America hostage during the debt ceiling debate.
10. They want to take America hostage in every debate from now on.
11. The want to make it legal for businesses to discriminate.
12. They want to segregate our schools.
13. They want to allow oil companies to rape America’s environmental treasures for any trace amount of oil.
14. They refuse to give aid to the American people who go through natural disasters.
15. They want to end funding for natural disaster warning systems.
16. They want to take away the right to vote.
17. They want to make abortion illegal, even in cases of rape.
18. They want to abolish the corporate income tax.
19. They want to raise YOUR taxes but not taxes on the wealthy.
20. They want to end workplace safety regulations.
21. They ARE racists.
22. They disrespect the President at every opportunity.
23. They don’t support health care for every American citizen.
24. They want to allow health insurance companies to drop people.
25. They want to abolish the Environmental Protection Agency.
26. They want to illegally spy on American citizens.
27. They want more wars.
28. They want to indoctrinate our kids.
29. They want to make laws requiring every person to own a gun whether you like guns or not.
30. They want kill Planned Parenthood and end critical health care services for women.
31. They want to ban contraceptives and condoms.
32. They want to kill homosexuals.
33. They want to end unemployment benefits.
34. They want our infrastructure to crumble.
35. They want to end the independent judiciary branch, and turn it into a strictly conservative branch.
36. They want to keep women from earning equal pay for equal work.
37. They want President Obama to fail at all costs.
38. They want to continue the same failed economic policies that put us into a recession.
39. They rewrite and distort history.
40. They want to end public education for all.
41. They want to repeal the Voting Rights Act.
42. They care more about Wall Street than they do about Main Street.
43. They have voted to end 1.9 million jobs and have created zero.
44. They want to make it legal to kill doctors who provide abortions.
45. They want to reinstate ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.
46. They encourage gun violence.
47. They refuse to vote for cleaner, more efficient energy sources.
48. They want to deport hispanics, whether they were born here or not.
49. They support Israel’s President over our own.
50. They want to abolish minimum wage laws.
51. They think corporations are people.
52. They want to repeal portions of the Constitution.
53. They want to pull America out of the United Nations.
54. They support torture.
55. They want to teach creationism in schools.
56. They reject science.
57. They want to make cohabitation before marriage a crime.
58. They want to allow health insurance companies to not cover sick children.
59. They want to end food stamps.
60. They make government ineffective.
61. They want to take away your pensions.
62. They want to privatize prisons to put more people in jail.
63. They want to end your right to collectively bargain with your employer.
64. They want to ban the unemployed from being considered for employment.
65. They want end funding for legal services for the poor.
66. They want to end Miranda Rights.
67. They think all liberals are un-American.
68. They refuse to give any credit to President Obama for ordering the killing of Osama Bin Laden.
69. They refuse to acknowledge that 9/11 occurred during the Bush Administration.
70. They declared fiscal martial law in a Michigan town and fired the legally elected local government.
71. They called President Obama a liar during his State Of The Union Address.
72. They refuse to cut the Defense budget, which if cut in half would still be the largest defense budget in the world.
73. They apologize to foreign oil companies when they take heat for oil spills.
74. They take orders from the Koch brothers.
75. They sign pledges drawn up by conservative activists, and ignore their pledge to serve the constituents who voted for them.
76. They use conservative media to push the right wing agenda even if it means distorting the news or flat out lying.
77. They want to cut nutrition programs for children.
78. They want to cut housing and energy assistance programs that help poor people.
79. They want to slash job training programs that help the unemployed.
80. They think teachers are thugs.

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Filed under AddictingInfo.com, energy, Health Care, Jimmy Hoffa, Labor Day, labor unions, minimum wage, Social Security, sons of bitches, Tea Party, Teamsters, United Nations, US Constitution, voting rights act

>AS A Matter Of Fact…Democrats make a statement with budget plan of their own

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June 27th, 2011 | Published in NJPP Blog: As a Matter of Fact …

Democrats have done an unexpected thing. With just days to go before a budget must be enacted, they have introduced their own budget – a “this is what we stand for” budget – with a companion millionaires’ tax to restore at least some of the Christie administration’s proposed program cuts.

That they did this shouldn’t be a surprise.

It’s common practice for the party that controls the Legislature to draft and sponsor the state budget. The Democrats control both houses just as they did last year.

But last year the majority party ceded budget power to the Republican minority, who produced a bill that closely resembled Governor Christie’s March 2010 proposal. Many expected the same to happen this year, so it’s somewhat surprising Democratic leaders have proposed a spending plan of their own.

Here’s what is being proposed [The actual list of changes has not been posted publicly although the press has been briefed and Senate President Sweeney’s office confirmed details]:

MORE REVENUE

$913 million from higher than expected revenue estimates: In March 2011, Governor Christie’s proposed budget planned to spend $29.4 billion in FY 2012. In May, when revenue projections were updated, the Office of Legislative Services (OLS) estimated that collections for the current year and next would be $913 million more than the Governor’s original March estimate. The estimate assumed the current tax structure would remain the same.

$550 million from the reintroduction of the millionaires’ tax: Last year, the legislature passed a millionaires’ tax bill that increased taxes on taxpayers with incomes over $1 million. Governor Christie vetoed the bill. The legislature could not override the veto. In this year’s bill, the additional tax revenue would be tied to additional aid for wealthier suburban schools. Part of the logic is that Republican legislators might be willing to vote for a bill to raise income tax rates on their wealthier constituents if that additional revenue stays in the wealthier school districts.

$300 million in funding shifts from programs that have unused balances: Not all programs spend their entire appropriation every year. Unspent funds either lapse and become unavailable to the program or they rollover and become part of the same program’s spending in the following year. This year the legislature has determined that $300 million is available to be cut from programs that have been over-funded in the past and added to programs that need additional support.

AMONG THE DEMOCRATS’ PRIORITIES

School Aid: The democrats’ bill would add at least $1.1 billion to school spending. Senator Sweeney said this includes the Supreme Court-mandated $500 million for the state’s poorest, urban districts and $600 million for defunded suburban school districts. Something to keep in mind is that the original Millionaires tax enacted in 2004 was tied to property tax relief for senior citizens. That connection made the bill palatable to some Republican legislators who represented senior citizens who would benefit from the property tax relief but would not be subject to the higher tax rates.

Property Tax Relief: It is said the bill would double Homestead Property Tax Rebates – not triple them as Christie said he would do.

Money not spent on the Homestead Property Tax Rebates would be used to unfreeze the Senior Freeze program, allowing new seniors to participate and raising the amount rebated. This program freezes property taxes for people over 65 who earn less than $80,000. In the current fiscal year, only seniors already in the program were eligible for the rebate and the amount was limited to the amount received in the prior year.

It is said an additional $50 million would be made available to communities with understaffed fire and police departments – aiding Newark, Camden and other communities with high crime rates.

Health Care: It is said the bill would restore $7.5 million in ideological cuts to women’s health clinics and $300 million for NJ FamilyCare and Medicaid to allow working parents to continue to obtain affordable health care coverage.

WILL THIS WORK?

By law, New Jersey must pass a budget by the end of the day on Thursday, June 30th. Passing a budget on time is a deadline the state has always taken seriously.

It is impossible to know now how the negotiations are going – if the Democrats will be successful in their attempt to share the sacrifice among all income groups and help the poor and middle class in this state. The governor vetoed a millionaires’ tax last year and has said he will veto it again. It seems unlikely Republicans would join Democrats to over-ride the governor’s veto, especially in an election year, although redistricting has left some Republicans in more Democratic districts.

In battles of the budget, the New Jersey governor holds most of the cards. He alone has the power to determine revenues and set the limit on funds available for programs. If Governor Christie doesn’t agree the state will collect an additional $800 million next year or if he vetoes the Millionaires’ tax and the legislature can’t over ride the veto, that’s money the legislature can’t spend. In addition, New Jersey’s governor has line-item veto power. Any program he doesn’t want funded can be reduced or eliminated. If this happens, the legislature’s only recourse is to override that veto if two-thirds of the legislators support the override.

The only successful override of a governor’s veto was in 1992. Governor Florio vetoed the entire budget passed by the then Republican-controlled legislature. The Republican budget had cut $1.1 billion from Governor Florio’s proposed $15.7 billion budget. At the time, the Republicans had a 27-to-13 majority in the Senate and a 58-to-22 majority in the Assembly. The override passed both houses with no votes to spare. (It was opposed by all Democrats and, in the Assembly, two Republicans.

Democrats now have a 24-to-16 majority in the Senate and a 47-to-33 majority in the Assembly, making veto overrides more difficult. So far none have been successful. Perhaps it will be this budget – this statement of what New Jersey ought to stand for – that will be the first success.

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Filed under As a Matter of Fact, Budget Battle, Democratic Budget, Democratic priorities, Gov. Chris Christie, Health Care, higher revenue, Millionaire'sTax, New Jersey Policy Perspective, property tax relief

>After Helicopter Ride Christie Targets Medicaid Recipients

>Filling in for Ed Shultz on last night’s “Ed Show” was the Reverend Al Sharpton. I am not a big fan of Reverend Al and I’m even less of a fan after seeing him fill in for Ed Shultz as Shultz finishes his suspension from MSNBC for calling right-wing talk show host Laura Ingram a “slut”.

Sharpton’s often seemed like he was reading from a script and his delivery seemed forced and stiff. It was a little difficult to watch but I watched because I was interested to see the story that was going to be presented about Governor Christie and the aftermath of his taking a helicopter to his son’s baseball game.

The segment itself really dealt with two issues, the aftermath of Christie’s helicopter ride and his reimbursing the State for the cost of the ride from Montvale to Princeton and the governor’s proposal to end Medicaid for a family of 3 making more than $5,300 a year and Individuals making more than $3,000 a year and now receive states Medicaid coverage will lose it entirely.

This is something that I had not heard before and I think it is deplorable and inhumane to even consider such an option. Sharpton had in studio NJ State Senator Joe Vitale and a NJ resident Deborah Shupenko, who will be losing her medicaid coverage under Christie’s plan, to discuss how reprehensible this would be if it goes into effect.

Watch the video, it’s really unbelievable and totally unconscionable.

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/32545640

Visit msnbc.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

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Filed under Al Sharpton, Ed Shultz, Gov. Chris Christie, Health Care, helicopter ride, Medicaid, MSNBC, shared sacrifice, the Ed show

>Republican Plan To End Medicare And "Privatize" Health Care For American Seniors Is Not A Solution

>By Congressman Steve Rothman(D-NJ9)

We must not end Medicare: Too many American seniors would suffer or die prematurely if we did.

WHAT WOULD you say to someone who told you that in order to save something, you’d have to kill it?

On April 15, the Republican-controlled U.S. House of Representatives voted, 235-193, to end Medicare for Americans who are currently under the age of 55. No Democrat voted in favor of the plan.

For those tens of millions affected, and for all future generations, the Republican plan ends Medicare and “privatizes” health care for American seniors. According to the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office, the plan, if acted upon, would create a voucher system in place of Medicare. The U.S. government would assign approximately $8,000 to purchase private health insurance for each senior once he or she turned 67 years of age. If they were ill or older, the voucher amount would be slightly higher. But under the Republican plan, the average senior would see their out-of-pocket health care costs double to $12,150 per year, $6,400 more than today — not including co-pays.

Under the Republican plan, there would be no more government lifetime coverage, as we currently have it under Medicare. If you could not afford a private health care premium because you had a preexisting condition (for example, high blood pressure, diabetes, breast cancer, asthma, lupus, heart condition, hip, back or knee surgery) you’d have to find the money to pay whatever premium the private marketplace would charge. The government, under the Republican plan, would not even limit the amount the private market could charge. And so, if you could not afford to purchase a private health insurance plan at the age of 67 or older, for any reason, you’d be uninsured. An American senior citizen, without any health insurance.

Imagine the suffering, pain and terror for those tens of millions of seniors under those circumstances. Where would they turn? Charity? Family members? Early death? And why?

Yes, the United States has a $1.4 trillion annual deficit and a $14 trillion national debt. But what are the best and fairest ways to deal with those extremely serious problems? Should we rely on shared sacrifice in the American tradition, or put the burden disproportionately on the backs of seniors and the middle class?

To me, the Republican plan is at best a misguided approach to solving our nation’s common problems. At worst, the Republican plan reflects their undiminished zeal to “shrink” government by eliminating programs most Americans rely on, including Medicare. As a result, however, this would hurt the middle class and most Americans, leaving only the rich and super-rich to be assured of a good education for their children and affordable health care for them and their children, when they retire.

Remember that the median income for seniors in America in 2009 was $19,167; with most seniors having at least one chronic condition and many having multiple chronic conditions. Can you imagine the premiums they’d have to pay to get health insurance at age 67 and older?

Medicare was created in 1965 precisely because the private market failed to provide seniors with affordable and quality health care. Before Medicare, nearly half of American seniors had no health insurance, and nearly 35 percent lived in poverty. Thus, for me, leaving U.S. seniors again at the mercy of private health insurance companies is an absolute non-starter. We must not end Medicare. Too many American seniors would suffer or die prematurely if we did.

As for our extremely important deficit and debt problems, I believe that all options should be on the table, with sacrifices shared by all, according to assets owned and annual income. That means that the following items must be considered: making additional cuts in spending, including defense; reducing income and capital gains tax deductions for earnings over $350,000 per year; reforming our tax code to prevent individuals and companies from avoiding all tax liabilities; partially, and in some cases completely, eliminating subsidies to America’s richest families; reducing or eliminating subsidies to agribusiness, big oil and gas; ending or proportionately scaling back the Bush tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans; and, additional cost control measures to the health care reform law, including a public option.

House Republicans argue that it is necessary to end Medicare in order to balance the federal budget, albeit with continued tax breaks for individuals and companies making millions and billions of dollars in income per year. Forcing seniors and the middle class to bear a disproportionate burden in solving our nation’s fiscal crisis is, in my opinion, unfair and unnecessary. The better, more typically American way to address our common problems is with shared sacrifice and fairness.

Medicare is an essential and successful American program that has worked extremely well for the past 46 years. It makes possible a longer and healthier life for millions of our seniors. It is, also, often the difference between life and death. We must not end Medicare.

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Filed under Congressional Budget Office, Congressional Republicans, Democrats, Health Care, Medicare, Seniors, US Congressman Steve Rothman

>NJPP Monday Minute 9/20/10: THE HIGH COST OF BEING UNABLE TO AFFORD HEALTH CARE

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When Governor Christie vetoed legislation last month that would have provided $7.5 million in funding for 58 family planning clinics across the state, he said he did so because the state could not afford to fund the program.

That should hardly surprise anyone.

The non-partisan Office of Legislative Services earlier this year estimated that the state has lost $5.5 billion in revenue the past two years because of the faltering economy. It has nothing to do with spending. It is entirely the result of a devastating erosion of the state’s tax collections across the board by nearly 20 percent.

If anybody still believes that the state’s finances have been beset by profligate spending, that revenue number alone should be as bracing as a bucket of ice water.

Even the governor recognizes that the state has a revenue problem. His own words in vetoing $7.5 million for family planning clinics confirm that the state’s financial decline is directly attributable to the anorexic tax collections in every single revenue category over the past three years.

The governor was almost apologetic in his veto message in acknowledging that the state simply does not have the necessary means to finance these clinics, which have become a vital component of the state’s health care infrastructure. Last year, the clinics served 136,000 people. Of that total, more than 97,000 had no health insurance at all. The clinics provided 65,252 pap tests and 70,507 breast exams for women who have few if any other health care options.

The state just doesn’t have the wherewithal to cover the cost, Governor Christie said, even though every $1 spent by the state can be matched by as much as $9 in additional federal health care funding or save the state $4 in other health care costs. “Unfortunately, in these unprecedented fiscal times, the state simply cannot fund every worthy program,” he wrote.

The governor didn’t say this is a frivolous program. In fact, he said it is “worthy.” Nor did he say that the state should not be spending money on health care for women, just that the state cannot afford to do so right now. The economic times are so tough right now the state doesn’t even have the capacity to provide something as fundamental as basic health care services for poor women. “It would be patently irresponsible to approve any additional spending,” the governor wrote.

Today, the Senate will vote on whether to over-ride the governor’s veto of S2139.

The bill originally sailed through the Senate with a 30-10 majority. Seven of the 17 Republicans joined all 23 Democrats in support of the funding. After the governor’s veto, though, six of the seven Republicans who had voted in favor of the funding said they would not countermand the governor’s wishes and would not vote for a veto over-ride, which requires a two-thirds majority (27 votes). The Republicans said they agree with the governor, the state simply doesn’t have the money to pay for health care for poor women.

It should be clear from the governor’s words and the Republican caucuses’ own words what fiscal analysts have been saying all along. New Jersey does not have a spending problem, it has a revenue problem. And that revenue problem is as bad as it has ever been.

The veto ought to make it quite obvious to all that the state lacks sufficient income from tax collections to sustain the high quality of life and community values that New Jersey residents want. It’s not as if the budget is being trimmed of fat. These are not luxuries that the state can do without. For the past year there has been a steady mantra that there is just not enough money to fully fund schools; police and fire departments; libraries; parks; road and bridge repairs; transit; or even a pap test for a 40-year-old woman who doesn’t have health insurance.

More than a display of politics, the veto of S2139 shows that without greater resources, New Jersey – one of the wealthiest states in the nation – is destined to become a place where classrooms are more crowded, police are slower to respond to 9-1-1 calls and women without health insurance have nowhere to go for basic health care and family planning needs.

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Filed under Gov. Chris Christie, Health Care, New Jersey Policy Perspective

President Obama’s Weekly Address 8/7/10: Medicare Officially Safer After Health Reform

The President discusses a new Medicare Trustees report showing Medicare to be on much stronger footing as a result of the reforms in the Affordable Care Act. In addition, seniors are also already getting help with prescription drug costs when they fall into the infamous “donut hole.”

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Filed under America’s Affordable Health Choices Act, donut hole, Health Care, Medicare, prescription drugs, President Obama, weekly address

Holt Hosts Forum for NJ Veterans

Thursday, 05 August 2010

U.S. Representative Rush Holt Wednesday hosted a forum for hundreds of Central New Jersey veterans. With the participation of officials from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs and the New Jersey Department of Military and Veterans Affairs, Holt addressed veterans concerns about health care, the GI Bill, veterans employment, and other issues.

A recording of last night’s teleforum can be accessed at http://holt.house.gov/images/stories/holtru16.wav

“Our country was founded by citizen-soldiers and it is because of work that you have done that has kept us free. I’m certainly working every day to ensure that you get the health care, the education benefits, and the other things that are due to you. And they are due to you because of a national promise,” Holt said.

Among the issues Holt discussed was his work to improve military suicide prevention efforts. Earlier this year, the House passed Holt’s initiative to fill a void in the military’s suicide prevention efforts among members of the Individual Ready Reserve (IRR). Holt introduced legislation named in memory of Sergeant Coleman Bean, an East Brunswick man who took his own life after serving two tours in Iraq. Unlike their active duty counterparts or those normally assigned to existing Guard and Reserve units, members of the IRR and those designated as IMAs normally are only assigned to units upon mobilization. In between deployments, they lack direct, easy access to the kinds of suicide prevention services and support structures available to active duty troops – a deficiency my bill seeks to fix. Under the House-passed bill, someone from the Department of Defense would be required to check on reserves regularly and to ensure their needs are being met. Senator Lautenberg has introduced companion legislation on the Senate side.

In addition, Holt succeeded in including an amendment in the House-passed funding bill for the Department of Veterans Affairs directing the Secretary of the VA to spend $20 million for suicide prevention outreach, both through direct advertising and on online social media like Facebook and Twitter.

The same funding bill, which the Senate must approve, provides $50.6 billion in advance funding for the following fiscal year. For years, Holt had heard from veterans and their doctors that the VA was running out of money months before the end of the fiscal year. The bill would help ensure no shortfalls.

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Filed under Congressman Rush Holt, Health Care, NJ Veterans, US Department of Veterans Affairs