The LuLac Edition #914, Aug. 21st, 2009
PHOTO INDEX: OUR 1964 LOGO, THE PODIUM AT THE 1964 DEMOCRATIC CONVENTION IN ATLANTIC CITY, NEW JERSEY AND GOVERNOR ED RENDELL WITH BILL COSBY.
There was a health care protest in front of Senator Specter and Congressman Kanjorski’s office Thursday. Naturally the protestors confused protesting health care administration by private entities with the role of government. One of them was quoted in the paper as saying, "There’s nothing that the government has ever touched that doesn’t get more expensive and produce worse service. Look at anything. It gets more expensive and the quality goes down the tubes." Let’s take the guy’s advice and look at “anything”.
1. Clean water.
2. Clean air.
3. The U.S. Highway system.
4. The interstate commerce commission.
5. Student loans.
6. Student scholarships.
7. The seat belt laws.
8. Non smoking campaigns.
10. Social Security.
11. Civil rights.
12. Unemployment compensation.
13. COBRA. Extension of health care benefits.
14. Head Start programs for small children.
15. Aviation safety.
Just a few things government is involved in that you most likely take for granted every day there "hands off my health care!"
What’s In It For Me? Practically, how Health Care Reform effect Pennsylvania? A new report shows how Health Insurance Reform Will Benefit Pennsylvania. Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius released How Health Insurance Reform Will Benefit Pennsylvania, a new report outlining how health insurance reform will improve health care for all in Pennsylvania. Sebelius announced the availability of the new report as part of a webcast – “Health Insurance Reform: What’s in it For You” – where Sebelius and top HHS officials took questions from the American people and discussed the importance of health insurance reform. The new report is available at www.HealthReform.gov. “The report shows how health insurance reform will help all in Pennsylvania save money, get better care, strengthen their insurance if they already have it, and afford insurance if they don’t,” said Sebelius. “Every American will benefit when we pass health insurance reform.” Increase health care choices by protecting what works and fixing what’s broken Assure quality, affordable care for all Americans The reports released are the second in a series of state-by-state reports on health care across the country. Earlier this summer, Sebelius released The Health Care Status Quo in Your State, a series of state by state reports on the current state of health care in Pennsylvania. The report is available at http://www.healthreform.gov/healthcarestatus.html.
HAWKEYES FIGHT FAT
The Hanover Area School District received a $5,000 grant from the State Education Department to fight Childhood Obesity. In addition the school district got $10,000 in money from Blue Cross of Northeastern Pennsylvania for the program. An incentive program run by Blue Cross for its employees was a very good thing I had experienced with that company. In a 7 step incentive program, employees were paid for taking steps to be responsible for their own wellness. This paid dividends in weight loss, diabetes prevention and other prevention related illnesses. Today President Obama talked about healh care with WILK Radio host Michael Smerconish and talked about a nationwide health preventative incentive program. If something like this can work in school districts or in private business, it can work nation wide. We pay hard cold cash for clunkers but yet don’t offer a carrot and stick approach to wellness and fitness. Back in the time of JFK, the President’s Council on Physical Fitness didn’t need an incentive to work. But this component can work in a proposed Health Care Reform package.
ROMO ON ROPES
It appears Carl Romanelli got hosed again by the Courts. From the Times Leader:
In a two-sentence order issued Monday, the state Supreme Court affirmed Commonwealth Court’s decision that directed Romanelli and his attorney, Lawrence M. Otter, of Doylestown, to pay $80,407.56 to the petition challengers. The order also denied Romanelli’s motion for oral argument in the case. “Not only did (the state Supreme Court) uphold a lower court ruling that in my opinion was not intent on looking at the facts, they failed to issue a written opinion. … If it’s OK to have a conspiracy by the state against a citizen, fine. But say it,” Romanelli said. State Attorney General Tom Corbett’s presentation on Bonusgate describes how 12 people involved in the state House Democratic Caucus were charged with illegally giving state-funded bonuses to state employees for performing partisan political work, such as campaigning and challenging nomination petitions. Corbett specifically drew attention to Romanelli’s case, which he called one of “two outstanding examples of misappropriation of taxpayers’ resources.” The day Romanelli filed his nominating petitions, which included 94,544 signatures – well over the 67,070 required – a caucus employee obtained copies of the petitions from the Department of State, and an army of caucus staffers went to work trying to find signatures to challenge, according to Corbett’s presentation. The goal was to enhance the election chances of the Democratic nominee, Robert Casey, by removing from the ballot a challenger whose vote tally would likely come at the expense of the Democratic candidate. The effort resulted in a challenge of at least 69,000 signatures and successfully knocked Romanelli off the ballot. “If they allow this to become settled law, it will allow a precedent to be set,” Romanelli said of the state Supreme Court’s decision. “The next time a third-party candidate’s nomination petition is challenged, they can look at this case and say, ‘We know crimes were committed against the candidate, but that didn’t stop Democrats from collecting court costs in the Romanelli case.’ ”
This action against the Green candidate is awful. And it is indicative of how powerful the courts are when they wish to squash someone like a bug from a political standpoint. If I didn’t know any better, I’d think Romanelli’s right as an American, his very civil liberties are being violated here. This is a shame and tells you that politics, even under the robes of high court justices in this state smell and stink like a rotten egg.
ED AND BILL
Ed Rendell rolled out a big name to make his case for his proposed public school funding increases at the Capitol and on CNN’s Larry King Live. Famed comic and Philadelphian Bill Cosby endorsed the governor's spending plan. The Harrisburg event, including dozens of educators and students, allowed Rendell to tout a report from the Washington D.C.-based center for Education Policy noting significant gains in student achievement in Pennsylvania through the past six years. Rendell said those results make clear the steady ramp-up in public education subsidies he wants to continue this year -- the governor has proposed an increase of $300 million -- should be maintained despite flagging state revenues. Senate Republicans, in contrast, have proposed keeping level the funding for basic education subsidies to schools. They argue districts will receive healthy overall increases in funding anyway because of appropriations from the federal stimulus package for targeted programs. Cosby, wearing a T-shirt and cap touting Philadelphia's Central High School, spoke for Rendell's plan. Cosby said schools are required to do more than ever before, and they need the resources to accomplish those tasks. "What did these people ever do to you that you want to cut (education spending)?" Cosby asked at one point, gesturing to the students behind him. "These are our children, and we need no more cuts."
MELLOW ON PCN
Senator Bob Mellow was on PCN yesterday and made some very good points on the budget. In reference to the state budget impasse and the attempt by GOP Senators to override the veto, the Senator called for the end to “divisive” politics. While Mellow said he had nothing but the greatest respect for Senator Dominic Pileggi, he did say that he thought the Majority Leader was having a tough time trying to control his new Senators. Mellow pointed out that these new GOP members were never through the process and felt they were too bullish and uncompromising in this effort. Mellow described Harrisburg budget politics as peaks and valleys and said the state is certainly in a valley right now. The Senate Minority leader also observed that this impasse is more about the 2010 General election than anything going on this year. Mellow criticized the Senate GOP’s drama tactics picking out items like a Rape Crisis Center to play with as a purely inflammatory tactic.
THE ONES TO BLAME
Worried about day care for your kids? How about Kinder care for your little one? Did you hear about those foster kids in Scranton that have to be returned to their original homes because there’s no more funding to keep them in alternative family care? Were you a state employee that’s trying to catch up with your bills because your salary was frozen? How about if you are affiliated with young and old caregivers, human service agencies, the homeless, people who care for foster children as well as people with intellectual disabilities, mental health challenges and physical problems? Wonder why the state funding is not available? Let’s quit dancing around the issue and put the blame on someone that deserves it. If you need someone to blame, and you should because if you fell down on your job, someone would call you out by now. The Pennsylvania Senate GOP is playing games with your tax money and ultimately your life. It isn’t the Governor nor is it the House and Senate Democrats. It is the State GOP Senators. Just in case you’d like to contact them, I’ve provided the names, addresses and contact information. I’m sure they’ll be glad to hear from you.
Joseph B. Scarnati III (R)
Senate Box 203025 Harrisburg, PA 17120-3025
292 Capitol Building
315 Second Avenue Suite 203 Warren, PA 16365 (814) 726-7201
Dominic Pileggi (R)
Senate Box 203009 Harrisburg, PA 17120-3009
350 Capitol Building
100 Evergreen Drive Suite 113 Glen Mills, PA 19342 (610) 358-5183
Jane Clare Orie (R)
Senate Box 203040 Harrisburg, PA 17120-3040
362 Main Capitol
9400 McKnight Road LaCasa Blanca Building, Suite 105 Pittsburgh, PA 15237 (412) 630-9466
Lisa Baker (R)
Senate Box 203020 Harrisburg, PA 17120-3020
172 Main Capitol
(717) 787-7428 FAX: (717) 787-9242
22 Dallas Shopping Center Dallas, PA 18612 (570) 675-3931
ROBERTO AT 75
The late Roberto Clemente, the Hall of Famer Pittsburgh Pirate would have turned 75 this past week. Clemente was a man of great pride, determination and charity. Here's a little bit on his life and legacy:
The Democratic National Convention in Atlantic City nominates incumbent President Lyndon B. Johnson for a full term, and U.S. Senator Hubert Humphrey of Minnesota as his running mate. At the convention, Robert Kennedy gets a huge ovation of more than twenty minutes for his brother Jack. Former Scranton Mayor James McNulty was a young page at that convention and remembered the RFK speech vividly. “I was standing near the stage and before he took the podium, he was very emotional. He was overwhelmed by the outpouring of love for the late President and I think, now this is only my opinion here, but I think when he saw that display for his brother, he made the decision to continue the political legacy of the Kennedys"....... Statewide, the Democratic party comes roaring out of Harrisburg hoping to defeat incumbent Senator Hugh Scott. Scott is opposed by Secretary of Internal Affairs Genevieve Blatt.............. Numerous political dignitaries from the state make the short hop to Atlantic City to see the festivities including former Governors Leader and Lawrence as well as Philadelphia Mayor James Tate and Pittsburgh’s Joseph Barr…..The ’64 Phillies take 2 out of 3 from the Pirates but in the game the Phils lost, Dennis Bennett struggles and lasts only 2 innings. His record dips to 9-10 and his manager’s confidence in him is shaken. His days as a starter will be numbered…..locally Blue Cross raises its rates on three non group benefit plans. New monthly rates for the semi private individual plan will be $4.95 a month, and $9.75 for family. The 30 day co-op plan increases to $4.95 individual and $11.45 family. The new rates for the 120 day all service co-op were raised to $6.35 for individual and $13.95 family. Blue Cross noted that during the 12 month period the year before, members used $4, 946,760 dollars worth of health care for the non group plans and took in just $4,677,146….and 45 years ago this week in LuLac land and America the number 1 song was The Animals' “The House of the Rising Sun”. This song was debuted in the film "El Rey En Londres"