Tag Archive: health care

News Round-up & Open Thread for Tuesday, August 1

Big story: it’s hot. Evil hot. Be careful out there.

  • Gov. Corzine announced plans to study the closing of 25 state hospitals in order to strengthen services and save tax money. Last year, nearly half the state’s hospitals lost money; the rest had profits of 1%. Meanwhile, a Department of Health and Senior Services task force is urging NJ hospitals to increase their surveilance of antibiotic-resistant microbes and to improve their infection-control practices.
  • Another plan being considered by the Governor is allowing municipalities to levy their own sales taxes, as is permitted in PA and NY.
  • Local contributions to pension plans will be skyrocketing, with an increase of a total of $267 million for local governments to contribute. Municipalities are warning that it could lead to reduced services and- you guessed it- higher property taxes.
  • The members of the bi-partisan, bi-cameral committees considering property tax reform were announced yesterday. Complete lists here.
  • Sen. Menendez has proposed a $500 property tax deduction ($1000 filing jointly)  even if homeowners don’t itemize on federal taxes. Menendez states it would bring direct relief to residents of Our Fair State; Republicans are calling it an election-year ploy.
  • The Republicans have big plans for your property taxes: cut them by $3000! ‘Course, the article is clear that “Republicans did not mention a timetable or specifics…” but they want to cut spending and benefits and some other vauge stuff. Sometimes, it’s really easy to be in the minority party, isn’t it?
  • FEMA is closing its Trenton and Warren County disaster recovery centers. (The Hunterdon County office closed last week.) The centers opened in mid-July after the recent flooding of the Delaware. Residents who still need FEMA assistance are urged to use their web site or to call for assistance by Sept. 5th.
  • Flags in Our Fair State are being flown at half-staff today in honor of Army Staff Sgt. Robert Joseph Chiomento II, 34, who was killed in action July 17 in Afghanistan. Chiomento graduated from Pemberton Twp. High School; his family lives in Salem County.

Open Thread: What’s on your mind, Blue Jersey?

News Round-up for Wednesday, April 26

News Round-up for Wednesday, April 26th

  • UMDNJ is eliminating about 20 management jobs in a move to restructure its administration. A new CFO is also on the horizon for the scandal-ridden school.
  • The State Supreme Court will hear arugements next week about funding for the Abbot school districts. The proposed state budget keeps funding flat for the “special needs” districts, but the districts themselves state that this would mean strong cuts for them. Newark filed its own separate appeal as well.
  • During a budget hearing, Assemblyman William Payne yesterday questioned the lack of diversity in the state’s DOT in executive positions . Payne advised the state transportation commissioner, Kris Kolluri, that employees in different departments have complained to him.
  • A report being released today by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation about states’ access to health care shows that residents of Our Fair State are above the national averages of uninsured adults being unable to receive certain health care services.
  • Absentee ballots have changed the initial results in the recent Atlantic City school board race. Challenges and recount requests are, of course, being filed.
  • Human remains found in a Bucks Co. PA landfill are believed to be those of John Fiocco Jr., the TCNJ student who went missing a month ago. State police are holding a press conference this morning and are expected to confirm reports.
  • Today is Governor Corzine’s 100th day in office, and the honeymoon is over. The Quinnipiac poll numbers show that the governor’s approval rating is down to 35%, but 87% acknowledge that the governor inhereted the budget mess.

News Round-up for Wednesday, April 19

News Round-up for Wednesday, April 19th

Stender Stem Cell Event Makes National News

Cross posted from Dump Mike

Today Rahm Emmanuel of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee is coming to New Jersey for an event with Mike Ferguson’s opponent, Linda Stender.  The visit made the Sunday Chicago Tribune and the wires.

As state Rep. Linda Stender tries to oust Republican Rep. Michael Ferguson from his congressional seat representing north-central New Jersey, she hopes the promise of embryonic stem cell research, and Ferguson’s opposition to it, gives her a distinct advantage.

“If you know anybody who suffers from diabetes or Alzheimer’s or has had a spinal cord injury, I think that you want to see a cure,” Stender, a self-described “progressive,” said in an interview. “There are people in my family that have been affected by terrible diseases. And I choose to put my faith in science to find a cure, and the promise of a cure appears to be in stem cell research.”

Ferguson, a strong opponent of abortion, is clear in his opposition to stem cell research for moral reasons. But he insists he always has been a champion of medical and biotechnology research _issues important to the sizeable health care industry in his district_during his five years on Capitol Hill.

“I just think efforts to politicize this issue are misguided and will ultimately be unsuccessful, and that’s because of my very strong record in field of health care,” Ferguson said. He said his mother survived bone marrow cancer for six years thanks to scientific advances.

Notice he says that supporting stem cell research is politicizing it, and not his own efforts to make it illegal!  In Mike Ferguson’s bubble, backing legal scientific research is politicizing and trying to make scientific advances illegal is not.

I’m also seeing a trend that just about every response from Ferguson or one of his staffers portrays issues in terms of winning elections.  Anyone else noticed that?

Mike Ferguson Says Medicare Chief Doing “Great Work”

Congressman Mike Ferguson was an avid supporter of the Medicare Part D prescription plan when the bill passed back in 2003 after much arm-twisting by Republican leaders in the House and intentional misstatement of the true costs by the White House. 

The implementation of the plan has been disasterous, with many seniors who signed up for plans not being entered in the system and unable to get the drugs their doctors prescribed, “being turned away or overcharged at pharmacies, prompting more than a dozen states to declare health emergencies and pay for their life-saving medicines.”  Throughout the country, participation in the plan is significantly below expectations because of the confusing and often incomprehensible number of plan choices. 

On March 10, the Courier-Post reported that the State of New Jersey has stepped in to protect its seniors from being overcharged and denied needed drugs to the tune of $150 million.  That’s your state tax dollars being used to pay for a federal program that is not working properly, and the federal government is refusing to help out.

Wal-Mart Watch Executive Director Testifies For Fair Share Health Care

Wal-Mart Watch Executive Director Andrew Grossman today testified before the New Jersey Senate Committee on Health, Human Services and Senior Citizens, in support of a bill that would require the state’s large employers to disclose the number of recipients on taxpayer-funded health care. Excerpts from Grossman’s testimony (and numbers to call) are below.