Thursday, September 24, 2009

The LuLac Edition #952, Sept. 24th, 2009




PHOTO INDEX: 1964 PHILLIES CAPS, WIL TOOLE FOR CONTROLLER SIGN BEFORE AND AFTER.

SIGNS SIGNS

Apparently Wil Toole has his up and downs in the signage department. First off we have to apologize for putting the wrong sign up in one of our previous editions. Turns out that sign had a circle with his name in it, the signs on the streets are with an oval. Wil had a few signs torn asunder off of route 81. I’d like to think it might have been an errant squirrel but I bet I’m wrong on that one.

EDITORIALS

Tuesday the Citizen’s Voice had an editorial about the state budget. Seems they pointed out that everyone sustained cuts except of course the State legislature. None of their caucus money or budgetary money was cut one iota. As a matter of fact, the reserve they hold was not even seen as an option to be lowered even when people in the State were hurting. Since the Legislature is incapable of reforming itself, voters should do it by voting out incumbents.
The Times Leader on Wednesday was appalled that the county commissioners gave permission to the Mericle Group to sell Valley Crest. The Mericle Company will of course get a huge commission on that deal. Here’s the thing; that is prime real estate, anyone can sell that property. Any reasonable real estate agent. But apparently the Commissioners feel the Mericle group is the only set of sellers that can move that land. Unreal.

HEALTH CARE AND SENIORS

Vice President Joe Biden and Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Kathleen Sebelius hosted a town hall meeting with seniors in Silver Spring, MD and released a new report, Health Insurance Reform and Medicare: Making Medicare Stronger for America’s Seniors. The report, authored by HHS, outlines how health insurance reform will help seniors and answers key questions about President Obama’s health insurance reform plan. The complete report is available now at
www.HealthReform.gov.
"We will protect seniors - not burden them with out of pocket costs," said Vice President Biden. "The bottom line is, seniors will be better off under what we are proposing, and not a dollar from the Medicare trust fund will be used to pay for health insurance reform." “Under health insurance reform, seniors will get better care and their health care costs will go down,” said Secretary Sebelius. “Reform will strengthen Medicare, cut drug costs, and help ensure all seniors get the high-quality, affordable care they deserve.” The report highlights several problems in the current health care system and health insurance reform solutions such as:
Preserving and strengthening Medicare. According to the Medicare Trustees 2009 report, the Medicare Part A Trust Fund will be exhausted by 2017. Health insurance reform will extend the life of the Medicare Trust Fund by an additional four to five years – and delivery system reforms included in health insurance reform have the potential to keep the Trust Fund solvent even longer into the future. Health insurance reform will also reduce overpayments to private plans and will clamp down on fraud and abuse to strengthen Medicare for all seniors. Coupled with improvements in the quality of care, expansion of the health care workforce, and reductions in out-of-pocket costs, health insurance reform will ensure that Medicare will continue to provide the high-quality, affordable coverage that America’s seniors deserve and expect. Cutting high prescription drug costs. Prescription drug costs represent a significant expense for seniors. While Medicare added a prescription drug benefit, this benefit includes a coverage gap commonly called the “donut hole.” In 2007, over 8 million seniors hit the “donut hole.” For those who are not low-income or have not purchased other coverage, average drug costs in this coverage gap are $340 per month, or $4,080 per year. Health insurance reform will close the coverage gap in Medicare Part D over time, so seniors do not have to worry about losing coverage for their drug costs. While the closure of the coverage gap is phased in, health insurance reform will also provide seniors with a discount of 50 percent on their brand name medication costs in the coverage gap, saving thousands of dollars for some seniors. Making preventive services free. Many seniors do not receive recommended preventive and primary care, leading to less effective and more expensive treatments. For example, 20 percent of women aged 50 and over did not receive a mammogram in the past two years, and 38 percent of adults aged 50 and over have never had a colonoscopy or sigmoidoscopy. Seniors in Medicare must pay 20 percent of the cost of many preventive services on their own. For a colonoscopy that costs $700, this means that a senior must pay $140 – a price that can be prohibitively expensive. Under health insurance reform, a senior would not pay anything for a screening colonoscopy or other preventive services. Reform will eliminate any deductibles, copayments, or other cost-sharing for obtaining preventive services, making them affordable and accessible. Ending overpayments to private insurance companies that cost all Medicare beneficiaries. The federal government pays private insurance companies on average 14 percent more for providing coverage to Medicare Advantage beneficiaries than it would pay for the same beneficiary in the traditional Medicare program. There is no evidence that this extra payment leads to better quality for Medicare beneficiaries, and all Medicare beneficiaries pay the price of these excessive overpayments through higher premiums – even the 78 percent of seniors who are not enrolled in a Medicare Advantage plan. A typical couple in traditional Medicare will pay on average nearly $90 next year to subsidize private insurance companies that do not provide their Medicare benefits. Health insurance reform will eliminate excessive government subsidies to Medicare Advantage plans, which could save the Federal government, taxpayers, and Medicare beneficiaries well over $100 billion over the next 10 years.

45 YEARS AGO: THE COLLAPSE

Sept. 24th, ’64 Phillies.

The Phillies open up a series with Milwaukee. Wade Blasingame wins his seventh beating Jim Bunning who goes 18-6. Joe Torre, Rico Carty and Hank Aaron each collect 2 hits a piece to help Bobby Bragan’s Braves win over the Phils 5 to 3.



11 Comments:

At 12:14 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

health care.....blah, blah, blah. we're all gonna die anyway.

 
At 2:08 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

12:14 Youre right. And it will come sooner for those without healthcare because they are also the ones without money. Blah, blah, blah and boo who who!

Payin thru the ass for mediocre healthcare.

 
At 2:37 PM, Blogger Wil Toole said...

Dave, I attended today Commissioner's meeting and addressed the Valley Crest Land Sale contract with its 6% commission rate. I strongly urged them to reconsider. My thought was that the VC parcel is the most valuable commercial land in the Valley and giving a 6% commission was outrageous. I asked them to negotiate the rate down to 3 or 4 percent. But, I suggested that the best idea was to have the land appraised and to sell it without a broker. Ask for bids starting at the appraised price and if there are no takers, they can then seek profession services to sell it but at a lower commission rate. On the lighter side, I got a smile out of Petrilla when I mentioned that selling that parcel was among my suggestion made going back to last year. I suggested 3 parcels be sold, the Hazleton office building, now up for sale, Valley Crest, now being sold and the Forty Fort Airport not yet on the market. I very strongly urged the Commissioners to use the sale proceeds to lower the county's debt and not use it to cover operating expenses. We'll see!

 
At 8:26 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

People keep telling me, I heard your friend Yonki on WILK with Sue Henry or Steve Corbett. I never listen to WILK, but I am glad to know you are doing well and attaining some well deserved status
as one who knows where some of the bodies are buried around here particularly in media and politics. I believe it would be fair to say you are one of the leading Journalists, Essayists and Authors in NEPA. Granted it is NEPA, but still a distinction.

 
At 8:33 PM, Blogger David Yonki said...

IN RESPONSE
I believe it would be fair to say you are one of the leading Journalists, Essayists and Authors in NEPA. Granted it is NEPA, but still a distinction.
YOU ARE BEING WAY TOO KIND BUT THANK YOU FOR THE NICE WORDS.

 
At 9:08 PM, Blogger jvalenti101 said...

Dave,
Looks like you're falling under Wil Toole's spell:-o
Joe V

 
At 11:10 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Who could argue with what Anon 8:36had to say about the Yonkster. All true and all deserving.

 
At 12:01 AM, Blogger David Yonki said...

IN RESPONSE
Dave,
Looks like you're falling under Wil Toole's spell:-o
Joe V
NOPE. THAT HAPPENS WITH ONLY FEMALE 6 FOOT REDHEADS. WHAT I AM TRYING TO DO IS GIVE THE TWO CANDIDATES WHO SEEM TO BE RUNNING FOR THIS JOB AN OPPPORTUNITY TO EXPRESS THEIR VIEWS. THIS RICHARD WREN CASE IS A GOOD EXAMPLE. IF REPORTS ARE TRUE AND HE IS GETTING FIRED OVER A SEVENTY DOLLAR CHECK WITH NO RECEIPT, MY QUESTION IS WHO CUT THE CHECK? AND WHY HIM AND NOT THE DEBIT CARD JOKERS? SOMEBODY NEEDS TO STEP UP AND BE A CONTROLLER. THIS RACE ISN'T ABOUT CLASS OR THE PAST, IT'S ABOUT IDEAS. AND I DO LOVE WIL'S AND WALTER'S IDEAS SO FAR.

 
At 2:52 PM, Anonymous Walter L Griffith Jr. said...

Dave,
I have asked the questions about who is cutting the checks in court last year and I have also asked at the Commissioners meetings. The Controller has a lot of power if used correctly and can do a lot of damage if not in his office or just doesnt care to do his job. Remember who was at the Commissioner's meeting week after week asking to have the people fired for the debit cards and they stole more money than Richard Wren.
Remember who asked Steve Urban and the other Commissioners to fire Sam Guesto and Sam Hyder at many Prison Board Meetings and Commissioner meeting. Remember who has been pushing for Time Clocks in the County and now they are going to get an RFP to get the clocks. Thats right Walter Griffith Jr was the guy that has been there pushing for reform and getting results, slow, but results just the same. Walter Griffith also was the guy that ran for Home Rule Study Commission so he could make a difference in the County by trying to solve problems not complain about them.

 
At 6:46 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

javalenti101 is to shallow for words. He allowed his nasty campaign tactics to get out of hand and ended with a defamation suit filed by Toole. Valenti should get over it, most people are tired of his constant beating of the Toole drum. He has worn out his song and we're tired of listening to it. Give us a break. Obviously Toole could not care less about Valenti's whining because I never see him acknowledge Valenti's insults. Valenti needs a new cause or purpose in life or maybe he just needs to get a life.

 
At 11:37 AM, Blogger jvalenti101 said...

Toole and his Atty know they don't have a case. The only reason they haven't pursued it is because of the end result:-o Dragon - Eddy
Joe V

 

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