Jon Corzine on Health Care
Democratic Jr Senator (NJ)
A: It would not hurt small business because I would create a situation where the employee takes up part of the responsibility for paying for the insurance, with support on a means-tested basis for the employee. And I would work to encourage regional pools, which the federal government then would provide subsidies to.
A: [Small businesses] have to understand that it is going to be a co-pay arrangement with the employees and there will be support for the employees based on means- testing, and that there will be substantial subsidizations to regional pools. If that’s the case, the cost will be less, and frankly, the idea of using tax deductions for low- income workers who may not even be paying taxes, maybe even in an earned-income tax credit basis, is not going to provide the kind of access at health care that’s going to make sense for a lot of the folks that work in these low-paying jobs. And the idea that this is going to cause unemployment I think is about like saying raising the minimum wage in 1996 was going to throw us into a recession. The fact is the economy has continued to grow, grow very effectively.
The American Public Health Association (APHA) is the oldest and largest organization of public health professionals in the world, representing more than 50,000 members from over 50 occupations of public health. APHA is concerned with a broad set of issues affecting personal and environmental health, including federal and state funding for health programs, pollution control, programs and policies related to chronic and infectious diseases, a smoke-free society, and professional education in public health.
The following ratings are based on the votes the organization considered most important; the numbers reflect the percentage of time the representative voted the organization's preferred position.
Recently, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), through a public relations firm, distributed Video News Releases (VNRs) to numerous local television news stations across the country. These VNRs contain pre-scripted news story packages and B-Roll designed to influence local news station to run stories complimentary of the new Medicare law recently signed by President Bush. However, these VNRs may mislead many news stations because they do not identify that they are produced by the government. In addition, these materials are currently being evaluated to determine whether they are illegal "covert propaganda."
We urge you to immediately warn stations not to use these materials and pull any stories that use them.
These tapes can be identified as follows: Two English-language versions begin with B-Roll of video slides promoting the new Medicare law, followed by interview soundbites from Tommy Thompson, Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services and Leslie Norwalk, Acting Deputy Administrator of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid (CMS). Following these soundbites, a complete television news package is run, with a voice-over by a fictional reporter named "Karen Ryan." Following the news package, more B-Roll is provided, including scenes of President Bush's rally at the signing of the bill, scenes from a pharmacy and scenes of seniors playing table games.
It is critical to the credibility of an independent news media that covert government propaganda be rejected for use by news organizations. We also believe that honest government should not resort to such deceptive tactics, and it is our belief that these materials violate the above-mentioned Federal law. Thank you for your cooperation with this request.
In a letter to congressional leadership, 22 governors are urging federal lawmakers to adopt national health reform legislation before the end of the year to provide families and businesses with much-needed security and stability.
"We commend you and your colleagues for provisions included in your bills that will help states," the governors wrote. "Many of the provisions will allow states to achieve long term savings and help cover those who currently go without health coverage. We recognize that health reform is a shared responsibility and everyone, including state governments, needs to partner to reform our broken health care system."
"Efforts at the federal level, like the recent and critical investments that support states' HIV and prevention initiatives, are beginning the work to lower health care costs. Our citizens and our states, however, will only achieve the health care security and stability they need if we succeed in working together to achieve health care reform."
We understand that Congress is moving toward another temporary funding extension for the State Children's Health Insurance Program (SCHIP). The nation's governors recommend the extension include sufficient funds so no state faces a shortfall during the time of the extension. Going forward, full reauthorization of SCHIP remains our top priority and we are hopeful that Congress and the Administration will continue discussions to ensure a sensible, bipartisan SCHIP reauthorization proposal is reached as soon as possible.
In addition, the series of recent Medicaid administrative changes represents a significant cost shift to states of approximately $12 billion in federal Medicaid spending over five years that governors strongly oppose. Sufficient time is needed to evaluate the proposed regulations and we request Congress consider imposing new and extending existing moratoriums on the proposed Medicaid regulations to provide this opportunity.
The nation's governors urge you to include state countercyclical funding as part of your legislation to stimulate the economy. This would include $6 billion in Medicaid assistance by freezing scheduled federal FMAP reductions and increasing all states' FMAP as well as providing $6 billion in a flexible block grant.
The revenue reductions and Medicaid increases that accompany all economic downturns, in combination with state balanced budget requirements, are forcing states to cut spending as the economy weakens. These actions are procyclical and will make the current downturn both longer and more severe.
States already are experiencing the effects of the slowing economy. During the last two recessions, the state fiscal picture continued to deteriorate for two years after the recessions ended. If the current downturn follows the path of the two previous recessions, 35 to 40 states will face budget cuts in 2009.
In 2003, While we strongly believe that a more thoughtful and collaborative consideration of the issues raised by these regulations is in the best interest of the Medicaid program, there simply is not sufficient time during the remainder of the congressional calendar to fashion appropriate solutions. Your legislation delays implementation of the regulations to ensure Congress has sufficient time to act appropriately on the regulations.
Your leadership on this high priority of the nation's governors is very much appreciated.
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NY-25:Ann Marie Buerkle