Reed stands with lobbyists

worriedseniorwoman_resized

The 21st Century Cures Act (H.R. 6) now being refined by the lame-duck Congress is one of the most-lobbied health care bills in recent history, with nearly three lobbyists working for its passage or defeat for every member on Capitol Hill.–Kaiser Health News

Tom Reed wrote:

Tom Reed continued his support for patients and those suffering with chronic illnesses by cosponsoring legislation which jumpstarts medical research and speeds up the approval process for medical treatment options. “We care about those struggling with incurable diseases and medical conditions. It’s only right that we encourage innovation, focus our resources in a targeted way and get help to those that need it most,” said Tom Reed.

The support comes as the House and Senate have reached an agreement on landmark legislation, 21st Century Cures, which is designed to encourage medical research for incurable illnesses. In addition, the bill will speed up the federal review process and reduce bureaucracy needed to approve new medical treatment options. The bill dedicates $5 billion for National Institutes of Health for targeted medical research and $500 million for the Food and Drug Administration to speed up the approval process for medicine and treatment options.

The bill also provides relief to rural hospitals by lessening the federal financial penalties in Medicaid payments when patients have to be readmitted to the institution for care. The current provisions place an often unmanageable financial burden on hospitals in rural and poorer areas.

“We remain committed to ensuring access to quality healthcare. Driving innovation forward will help get costs in check and get better, faster treatments to those in need of care. This bill is a win-win,” Reed concluded.

Tom Reed says he “stands with patients,” but the opposite is true–Reed stands with lobbyists, providers, insurers, and drug makers.

The 21st Century Cures Act is payoff for campaign funding. It does nothing for those currently suffering from illness–any benefits will come far in the future. Medical research does nothing to lower medical costs; rather radical, expensive treatments help make our medical costs the highest in the world.

If Tom Reed stood with patients, he wouldn’t be committed to repealing ACA. If he stood with patients, he wouldn’t support privatizing Medicare.

Under current law, hospitals are encouraged to strive to avoid the need to readmit patients recently discharged. The 21st Century Cures Act would undue that cost saving measure helping hospitals financially rather than patients.

“Targeted” means that Congress directs research. This is unlikely to lead to innovation. Better to let researchers decide what best to study.

The 21st Century Cures Act is at best a diversion from a responsible focus on medical care. It will do nothing to help patients in the short term, incurable diseases are likely to remain incurable, research is unlikely to lower costs. Tom Reed is a lose-lose for his constituents.

https://reed.house.gov/media-center/press-releases/reed-stands-patients

https://www.congress.gov/bill/114th-congress/house-bill/6

http://www.nbcnews.com/health/health-news/cures-act-congress-heavily-influenced-lobbyists-n689531

https://www.whitehouse.gov/sites/default/files/omb/legislative/sap/114/saphr6r_20150708.pdf

 

Posted in Congress, Legislation, Political, Reed's Views | Tagged , | 3 Comments

Recount

Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign has been quietly exploring whether there was any “outside interference” in the election results and will participate in the election recount in Wisconsin initiated by Green Party presidential candidate Jill Stein …  —news reports

trumpwi-d3-page-0

The above image purports to show a discrepency between exit polls and vote totals in Wisconsin. What are we to make of this? If exit polls accurately reflect the intent of the voters, then the reported vote is most likely wrong. But there are other more likely explanations.

  • The poll wasn’t a random sample of voters, possibly because some group avoided the poll takers or wouldn’t answer their questions.
  • Some poll respondents gave misleading answers.
  • Some voters didn’t vote for the candidate whom they thought they did.

If there were a problem with the reported vote, here are some possibilities:

  • Voting machines were faulty.
  • Voting machines were tampered with.
  • Vote totals don’t reflect the vote.

The explanation, if there is one, will be very interesting, especially if linked to a particular type of voting machine.

http://columbusfreepress.com/sites/default/files/associated/TrumpWI.D3.pdf

https://philebersole.wordpress.com/2016/11/26/the-presidential-vote-recount/

http://thehill.com/blogs/pundits-blog/presidential-campaign/307529-why-is-jill-stein-challenging-election-results

Posted in 2016 | Tagged , , , | 7 Comments

Obamacare, Trump’s 1st Big Battle?

Candidate Donald Trump’s rhetoric included criticizing Obamacare. He repeated the core republican ACA talking point often. For example told the a rally in Dallas, “Obamacare. disability-basicsWe’re going to repeal it, we’re going to replace it, get something great. Repeal it, replace it, get something great!”and the crowd loved it.

Let’s look at the bare-bones history of the Affordable Care Act and the GOP’s opposition to it.

  • 1989–The conservative Heritage Foundation discussed proposing individual mandates coupled with subsidies for private insurance as a means for universal healthcare.
  • 2006–Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney signed the “Health Connector” law, which included an individual mandate and a health insurances exchange. It was praised by Republicans. Why wouldn’t an industry love to have a law saying that everybody would have to buy their produce (health insurance) and people would have continue to pay for it year after year.  (It is not like buying a car, which has defined price that once it is reached the owner stops paying).
  • January 20, 2009. President Obama’s first inauguration. More importantly the day that Republican Congressional leaders, including representatives Paul Ryan, Eric Cantor, Pete Sessions and Senators Jim DeMint, Tom Coburn and Bob Corker and others  met and “literally plotted to sabotage and undermine U.S. Economy” by opposing “everything Obama”.
  • December 24, 2009–The Senate passed the Affordable Care Act, 60 to 39.
  • March 23, 2010, the House voted 219 to 212 to approve of the ACA.
  • March 30, 2010, President Obama signed it into law.
  • November, 2010, Using the Obamacare as a campaign battle cry, the House of Representatives enjoyed a 63 seat swing with the GOP ending up with a 49 seat advantage.
  • Since January, 2010, the Republican lead House, instead of working with Democrats to “fix” the Affordable Care Act, voted 63 times to weaken it. They kept their promise to oppose  President Obama’s proposals.

President-elect Trump, who campaigned vigorously against the Affordable Care Act, is now having second thoughts about repealing it. Rep. Tom Reed, strong Trump supporter, says that his top priority is to repeal Obamacare. He is probably not alone.

Has congress and the 62-some million Americans who voted for Trump been bamboozled? Will the Paul Ryan-controlled House of Representatives continue to vote to weaken the ACA only to be over-ridden by the Senate and the President? Will Trump change his mind again? Will Trump actually have a Honeymoon Period with Congress?

Here is a list of the first 54 times the House voted to weaken the ACA.

Posted in Health Care, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , | 2 Comments

America shouldn’t forget its roots as a nation of immigrants

The following was a Letter to the Editor of the Finger Lakes Times written by Steve Coffman of Dundee. Steve is the author of Founders v. Bush: a Comparison in Quotations of the Policies and Politics of the Founding Fathers and George W. Bush” and other books.

“Xenophobia” means a fear or hatred of foreigners. I hate to say it, but our country’s got a
case of it real bad. We’re building walls and fences, snooping on each other in every conceivable way, locking ourselves up in our schools and gated communities, locking our systems of justice and governance almost out of reach.

Yes, we were attacked. By a tiny group of Saudi Arabian religious zealots.

We also were attacked by Timothy McVeigh and his tiny group of American religious zealots. Attacked by Eric Rudolph and the Ku Klux Klan. Attacked by Theodore Kaczynski, James Earl Ray, Sirhan Sirhan, Lee Harvey Oswald.

And attacked with anthrax, not by Sadam Hussein or any foreign marauder but by someone with security clearance in a U.S. military laboratory.

In fact, we were attacked by 13,000 murders in America last year, only a tiny fraction of which were committed by foreigners. Foreign or not, those who commit crimes in our country should be found and prosecuted in a court of justice. That is the American way.

statue_libertyAlso the American way is we are a nation of foreigners. “Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free.”

That’s our welcome to foreigners on the Statue of Liberty. That’s our history and our pride.

When we hate the foreigners in our country, we are hating ourselves and hating America’s heritage. Those who are good workers and good citizens, treat them like our own, for that’s who they are. Pay them fairly and they will not be “cheap labor” that makes other American workers uncompetitive. Provide them education and they will gratefully learn the English language.

Here’s what George Washington had to say to an assembly of newly arrived Irish in 1783:

“The bosom of America is open to receive not only the opulent and respectable stranger, but the oppressed and persecuted of all nations and religions, whom we shall welcome to a participation of all our rights and privileges, if by decency and propriety of conduct they appear to merit the enjoyment.” — Address to the Members of the Volunteer Association of the Kingdom of Ireland, Dec. 2, 1783

 

Posted in 2018, Immigration, Trump | 7 Comments

More Mickey Mouse legislation

blindTom Reed writes:

Tom Reed continued his effort to rein in big government regulations by supporting a new proposal which prevents the federal bureaucracy from enacting last minute regulations at the end of any Presidential administration. “We care about helping those have been impacted by thoughtless, big government regulations. They hurt our small business owners and our farmers and we must stand together to push back on this overreach,” said Reed. “It’s only right that we making sure Americans are spared from unintended consequences.”

The Midnight Rules Relief Act of 2016, which passed the House earlier today, prevents federal agencies from rushing through the regulatory process during the lame duck period of a Presidential administration, ensuring strong Congressional oversight of the regulatory process. 

Congress already has the ability to block rules established by federal agencies through disapproval resolutions, but this bill allows them to block all the rules with one vote.

Similar to legislation, disapprovals resolution must be considered by both chambers of congress and signed by the President to take effect.

The bill now goes on to the Senate for further consideration. 

Congress still acts as if President Obama had been reelected or that Hillary Clinton had been elected President. When will they get serious?

  • Federal bureaucracy?
  • thoughtless, big government regulations?
  • overreach?
  • unintended consequences?

These are buzz words and phrases intended to incite rather than inform.

Sometimes it seems as if Tom Reed has no use for any Federal regulation, but at other times he has favored new ones–limits on airline flight crew hours for example

It seems highly unlikely that President Obama would sign this bill if it reached his desk. If the Obama Administration is making last minute changes to Federal regulations, there is precedent for this–GWB flagrantly revised as many as he could at the end of his second term.

https://reed.house.gov/media-center/press-releases/reed-guards-against-big-government

https://www.congress.gov/bill/114th-congress/house-bill/5982

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Reed’s health care views

worriedseniorwoman_resizedTom Reed writes:

Tom Reed continued his efforts to curb rising medical costs by supporting two pieces of legislation that would encourage healthcare innovations and find new ways to combat chronic illnesses. “We care about changing lives for the better through medical innovations because we understand the lifelong challenges of those with chronic diseases and conditions. It’s only right that we encourage improvements in our medical research and help these people live healthier lives. These innovations also will help keep rising healthcare costs in check,” said Reed

The National Clinical Care Commission Act creates a working group that will look for ways to streamline the use of federal funding targeted at programs that research metabolic or autoimmune disorders, such as Crohn’s disease and diabetes. The legislation is expected to move to the Senate for further consideration.

Additionally, the House will take up the final version of the bi-partisan 21st Century Cures Act, later this month. “This patient-centered bill will enhance the abilities of the medical community to fight diseases, and get those who are ill the best possible care,” said Reed. “America has led the way in medical innovation for decades, and it’s time to make sure that our medical researchers have access to resources to develop cures for illnesses which have plagued our loved ones.”

The 21st Century Cures bill modernizes the healthcare oversight systems in the United States, enhances medical research and streamlines efforts to develop cures for the 10,000 known diseases without standard treatment options.

“We can come together and advance these types of medical improvements for families everywhere,” Reed concluded. 

What is the purpose of these bills? Do they do more than create red tape?

I believe these bills are relatively trivial when compared to proposals to privatize Medicare or to repeal the central purpose of Obamacare which is to hold medical cost increases down. What do others think?

https://www.congress.gov/bill/114th-congress/house-bill/1192

https://www.congress.gov/bill/114th-congress/house-bill/6

http://talkingpointsmemo.com/news/medicare-phase-out-checklist

 

Posted in Health Care, Political | Tagged | 4 Comments

Reed puts the cart before the horse

veterans-dayTom Reed writes:

Tom Reed continued to raise the alarm on Iranian aggression and took a stand against the rogue state by supporting two pieces of legislation that would continue sanctions, protecting the American people. “We care about keeping Americans safe. It’s only right that we stand firm against the tyranny of dangerous nations like Iran and make sure tax dollars aren’t going to fund the activities that they would use to harm American citizens,” said Reed.

The House passed two proposals to protect Americans from Iranian aggression. The first, the Iranian Sanctions Extension Act, extends existing sanctions against the nation through 2026. The sanctions were set to expire at the end of the year.

Additionally, the House passed a larger proposal which blocks a controversial provision in the President’s Iranian Nuclear Agreement by preventing Iran from purchasing commercial aircraft from American companies. This legislation also prevents American financial institutions from financing Iranian purchases of commercial aircraft from companies outside the United States. 

The efforts come in recognition of Iran’s contributions to the conflict in Syria. Iranian aircraft have been used to support Syrian President Assad’s regime through the transport of troops and weapons into the conflict.

Both pieces of legislation move on to the Senate for further consideration.

What can Reed be thinking?

  • Iranian aggression? Where?
  • Rogue state?
  • Unilaterally extend sanctions for ten years? What good can come from that?
  • Block sale of commercial aircraft by American companies? Bad for Boeing, good for Airbus. What happened to “make it here, sell it there?”

Iran is a potential ally against ISIS. If Iran is seen as supporting the Assad regime in Syria, so is Russia. Why single out Iran?

Tom Reed has challenged the Obama Administration to articulate a coherent foreign policy. Now it is his party’s responsibility. The GOP should explain their policy before advancing legislation. Hopefully the Senate will be more cautious.

https://reed.house.gov/media-center/press-releases/reed-keeps-americans-safe

https://www.congress.gov/bill/114th-congress/house-bill/6297

http://thehill.com/policy/defense/286957-house-passes-legislation-blocking-boeing-sale-to-iran-air

 

 

Posted in Congress, Defense, Legislation, Political, Reed's Views | Tagged , , , , | 4 Comments