The LuLac Edition #1006, Nov. 13th, 2009
CHILDREN’S HEALTH CARE
Amid a tough economy, and with more people losing medical benefits, another health insurance option is now available for children, and it is free for those who qualify. Geisinger Health Plan has begun offering health insurance through the federally funded and state-funded Children's Health Insurance Program in 40 counties in Pennsylvania. Children who do not have health insurance through other avenues are eligible for CHIP.
In one month, nearly 400 children have enrolled in Geisinger Health Plan, the newest of 10 health care plans across the state that cover children enrolled in CHIP, said Kristen Wolf, outreach and marketing division chief for CHIP and AdultBasic, at a press conference Thursday at Little People Day Care Center in Kingston. Other insurance companies which offer coverage for children enrolled in CHIP include Aetna, AmeriChoice, Capital Blue Cross, Health Partners, Highmark, Independence Blue Cross, Blue Cross of Northeastern Pennsylvania, Unison and UPMC Health Plan.
According to the state Insurance Department, 196,112 children were enrolled in CHIP statewide as of October, including 4,214 in Luzerne County, 2,809 in Lackawanna County and 395 in Wyoming County. CHIP covers children up to age 19. A family of four who makes less than $50,000 a year can qualify for CHIP. CHIP covers doctor visits, immunizations, routine checkups, emergency and hospital care, prescriptions, dental, eye care and hearing services. "All are very important services that need to be made available to ensure that children of this state are healthy," said Jean Haynes, president and chief executive officer of Geisinger Health Plan. About 60 percent of CHIP is funded through federal dollars and 40 percent by a tax on cigarettes in the state. There is no waiting list for CHIP. For more information about applying for CHIP, visit www.chipcover spakids.com or www.chip.thehealth plan.com or call 866-621-5235.
PRO CHOICE LOBBIES
After the passage of the House Bill last week which included the Stupak amendment, the Pro Choice forces of the Democratic party got into action. The Pro Choice lobby is one of the most powerful of the Democratic party. To give you an indication of that just remember this: the last openly Pro Life candidate on a national Democratic ticket was 37 years ago in 1972 when Sargent Shriver ran as Vice President. The House of Representatives passed health-reform legislation that included an anti-choice amendment that will seriously jeopardize women's access to abortion – making it virtually impossible for private insurance companies that participate in the new health system to offer abortion coverage to women. This would have the effect of denying women the right to use their own personal, private funds to purchase an insurance plan with abortion coverage in the new health system. We must stop health-care reform from being enacted with this ban!
Sign our petition calling on Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid to stand firm against a ban on abortion coverage for women in the new health system.
QUESTIONS ON HOME RULE
Luzerne County Republican activist Kathy Dobash has some questions and concerns for the Home Rule Charter Study Commission. Dobash has been religious in attending the meetings and has some concerns which I will list in an e mail sent to LuLac last week: At the recent public meeting held in Hazleton, PA last week on Wednesday November 5, 2009 Luzerne County Home Rule Study Commission read a statement to the Luzerne County Citizens who attended the meeting. I saw, heard and felt that the citizens were instructed on how to phrase their inquiry. So instead of the presentation of a question I was forced to make only a comment. Now I will fire away many questions here in my blog and forward it to all the local media. This also revolves around the recent controversy about one member of the Commission who has been elected to the Luzerne County Controller. Apparently he is under pressure by the chairman and his followers to resign immediately. This is truly a political tactic by the chairman of the Commission: Jim Haggerty. He is also the Mayor of Kingston, PA.Here are the members of the Luzerne County Home Rule Study Commission:Jim HaggertyWalter Griffith Jr., John Adonizio, Veronica Ciaruffoli, Frank E. P. Conyngham, Jack Schumacher, Rick Morelli, Richard “Kick” Heffron, Robert “Whammer” Wanyo, Christopher “C. J.” Kersey, Charmaine Maynard. That night I only had one issue. The members are creating duties, salaries, and positions to run the county. I believe it is a conflict of interest to form those positions and then later run as candidates for the very same positions they have created.If I was allowed to ask a question I would have simply asked:Are any members of the Luzerne County Home Rule Study Commission planning on running for office for the very same positions they have created?I now have more questions because I believe the Chairman is using his position to move forward with an agenda that the public might not appreciate.Here are more questions: Is this an open and honest Commission? Is this a Commission of 10 individuals listening to the directives of the Chairman?Will this be the forum for every public hearing? Is this statement read by Chairman Jim Haggerty meant to discourage the voters? I understand that questions and answers will extend your meetings. I know everyone wants to leave in a timely manner. Perhaps your dual role as Mayor of Kingston and Chairman of this Commission is more than you can handle. People do have questions. How can anyone recommend your ideas to pass a new charter for Luzerne County when you discourage and control the public's thirst for transparency?
No, the Congressman is not sending us a letter this time. Instead he is on the national stage once again on the Huffington Post about the “Kanjorski amendment. That piece of legislation will be released by the Congressman. It would give the government the authority to break up large financial corporations. With this amendment, American taxpayers would no longer be on the hook for bailouts, as companies would not be able to become “too big to fail. It’s a good article, here’s the link:
Mariner 3, a U.S. space probe intended for Mars, is launched from Cape Kennedy but fails......The British House of Commons votes to abolish the death penalty for murder in Britain.....President Johnson readies himself for a term in how right after his huge landslide victory and the Republican party begins to do a great deal of soul searching regarding its future direction…….in Pennsylvania Sceretary of Internal Affairs Genevieve Blatt finally concedes paving the way for a second term for incumbent Hugh Scott. Scott not pleased referred to the campaign “as an unpleasant affair”. I had hoped my opponent would have conducted herself like a lady and would have not used so many vicious attacks but that was not to be”…..locally Blue Cross of Northeastern Pennsylvania conducted their Fall Advisory Council meeting at the Hotel Sterling. Roy E. Morgan told a gathering of 100 that “Blue Cross members get more benefits for their membership dollars from Blue Cross than anywhere else”. F.W. (Frank) Remington, Enrollment Director said, Blue Cross has made many changes through the years. If we expect to be here for another 26 years we must continue to make changes. Payment of hospital bills has become a complex business with many of our members being hospitalized for combined care, room and nursing at as high as $45.00 a day”………and 45 years ago the number 1 song in LuLac land and America was “Baby Love” by the Supremes.