Friday, November 13, 2009

The LuLac Edition #1006, Nov. 13th, 2009



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 or www.chip.thehealth or call 866-621-5235.


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.


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 “WhammerWanyo, 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.


At 10:21 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Response to the Home Rule questions. To be honest i always felt that home rule was a bad idea, and yes it is starting to show. I wonder if you can corrupt a city council of 4 or a school board of 8 or a home rule commision of 12, the more people you put on a board doesn't make is more transparent, it doesn't make it less corruptable. It's simple math if you have a larger group of people you have more people to try and get to, or find the top dogs and get to them.

As far as griffith leaving the board, i agree that he should leave yesterday! He ran stating that he would resign feeling that it was a conflict of interest, and yesterday he is quoted as saying i'm not sure now, I may do both. Griffith will have more then his hands full with the Controllers office, and may be in over his head, so he thinks he can do both, REALLY? Of to a wonderful start Walter, very nice. I am calling it now, 1 termer at best, if he makes it four years. GOD SAVE LUZERNE COUNTY!!!

At 10:54 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

These sessions as I understand them are to allow input by citizens. I would think that if a question were submitted to the committee, an answer would be made available. What I don't get is how both sides of any issue could be so far apart? You are upset that the members could create a postion and then run for it but you're not upset that Walter Griffith is Controller elect and will not step down. Do you thnk he should have a vote on retaining the office he will hold? Which side of the fence do you want to be on? What's good for you is bad for them? Luzerne County is finished so whats the difference?

At 4:15 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ken McDowell wants to talk about accountability!!! Thats like Elliott Spitzer speaking on ethics
or Adolph Hitler on compassion.
Truly these guys are ridiculous!!!
Next we will have Harry Reid and
Nancy Pelosi on keeping your troops
in line. All politicians are frauds in my humble opinion.


At 5:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I just read Kanjorski's article with reagrd to cutting big business in the Huffington Post. The last time Congress cut big business for the sake of the consumer was the break up of Ma Bell and look what happened. We had a good service at a reasonable rate that included everything. After the break up, we were charged for everything from line service to toilet paper and bills doubled/trippled. He sat and did nothing when Exxon Mobil merged and nothing was worse for the consumer than that and he just sat and watched as Wachovia and Wells Fargo merged and said nothing so now he has an idea. Well I have an idea also and it does not include Kanjorski serving another two year term. Its time to retire Kanjorski.

At 10:55 AM, Anonymous Gene from Dallas said...

I think Walter Griffith will step down, when he is sworn in like he said he would, and he is the only one on the Commission that will stand for what is right for the taxpayers. Why is it that the rest of the commission wont speak up about the conflict of interest, where they can change the form of government and then set the salaries for the positions they are creating and then turn around and try to get elected to the very same position that they created?? and you are worried about Walter and his Controller position..Wow you people are really blind and not looking at the real issue here. The Commission of 11 can make a charter of 5 County Council and County Executive that is appointed, then the majority of three from the current commission can win the election and appoint Haggerty for County Executive at a salary he has already determined on the commission and then have a majority of Council to do his dirty work against the taxpayers. Dont you people get it..they want Walter off the commission because he is the one that figured them out from the beginning and proof of that is they wont answer Kathy Dobash question because they would be exposed. Open your eyes people and see that this commission is being ruled by Haggerty and his friends and thats what we dont need in Luzerne County.

At 3:34 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

From the Citizen's Voice, "He said when he was running for controller, he agreed to step down from the government study commission if he was elected, although technically he does not have to. He said he is not sure when he will resign, but noted he has been getting e-mails from some commission members who are "adamant that I leave right away."

He is not sure WHEN he will resign. Hey all you Walter supporters can you say SUCKERS? He isn't going anywhere.

I hope Corbett holds his feet to the fire!!!!

At 6:05 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Griffith ran for the job not the position. I said from day one that he had a lousy business, was not making enough money and needed the county benefit package. He was masterful in his game and he won. He won't step down till after he is sworn in but the damage will already have been done. There is a vote in December and he wants to protect his position as Controller. He wants it to remain an elected position and not an appointed position. Who the hell in their right mind would appoint an auto mechanic to be the county auditor? He didn't even know he was allowed to physically do audits. Once again, we elect only the best and the idiots will continue to blow his horn. This is a disgrace and Walter is absolutely in a conflict of interest. It is a conflict in fact and in appearance. If the Commission does not file an ethics violation, you can bet that I will. One week after the election and he is already breaking the standards he held up for others. Suckers is spelled with a capital S.

At 6:43 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The Suckers are those that feel the GSC will do what is right for the taxpayers not the supportters of Walter Griffith. I am sure Walter will keep his word and resign but not until the commission admits they have an alteriour motive for being on the GSC, and thats to allow Haggerty to be the next County Executive at 180,000.00 and 5 county council at 30,000.00 each...hope you can afford that tax increase...thanks Jim and the rest of you GSC Puppets.

At 7:45 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Let's look at what we have, not at the fantasy your building. It isn't Haggerty that is looking for the top job, it's Petrilla. We have Urban under Griffith's roof and Petrilla has already signed up for the partnership. Add to that the deal between the Times Leader and Griffith and it is all the free publicity needed to gain and keep control. Griffith has the TL staff on Board because he and his surprise solicitor has given the TL the same exclusive reports that Steve Flood gave them. The real dumb players in all of this is the CV with its brainless Court House reporter that can't recognize a story if he fell over it and former TL employee and now CV hero Dave Janoski is on such an ego trip that he doesn't get it that the TL just out smarted him. This is like a giant chess match but the experts are the TL masters making the moves. In fact, the TL is so far out front on this that the CV doesn't even know they just lost a major maneuver. As for the GSC, they are well intentioned citizens who believe that the problem is the system and not the officials. Poor souls.

At 9:36 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"This is a disgrace and Walter is absolutely in a conflict of interest." Calling walter a disgrace is to kind, he is a (edited) nimrod.

At 7:35 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I agree with the folkes who say Griffith should resign now, he is waiting on a vote to secure his postion and for 27,000 people that voted for this leach, good luck to you as you sunk us all.

Also Griffith was on Corbit saying that he will interview AJ Martinelli to see if he is qualified. How the hell would he know? Second he spoke of his behavior when he was arrested for DUI and said that as the Controller that would not be tollerated BUT he isn't going to do anything about it because when AJ did it he wasn't the Controller. WOW is this guy something or what. As Corbet drilled him a little about terminating AJ he did a dance and a side step that's for sure. I think the reason he won't fire AJ is the fact that he is doing the job that Griffith has no clue about doing.


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