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DNC Chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz’s Statement on the 45th Anniversary of Medicare

Today marks the 45th anniversary of the implementation of Medicare, which was signed into law on July 30, 1965 and began to take effect July 1, 1966.

Regarding this anniversary, DNC Chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz said:

For 45 years, Medicare has offered American seniors the ability to obtain the care they need throughout their retirement and live in a more healthy and dignified way. Though Medicare has evolved throughout the years, the promise we've made to seniors has been unbroken, and through the Affordable Care Act, Democrats have provided greater security to America's seniors by closing the prescription drug 'donut hole,' ensuring affordable access to preventive care and trimming overpayments to insurance companies.

Unfortunately, Republicans are doing everything they can to guarantee that Medicare as we know it never reaches its 46th year. In Congress and on the campaign trail, Republicans are calling for reduced benefits and higher costs to seniors - all so that they can offer more tax breaks for millionaires and billionaires. We cannot allow Republicans to deprive America's seniors of vital benefits simply to line the pockets of the wealthiest few - to do so would be to cast aside our obligations to our parents and grandparents and to turn our backs on the sense of mutual responsibility for our fellow citizens that has made our country great and helped build our middle class.

On this anniversary of the implementation of Medicare, I as a Representative of tens of thousands of Florida seniors and the Democratic Party reaffirm our commitment to protecting Medicare and guaranteeing that this program marks many more successful years.

 

 

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26th Amendment

Forty years ago today, the minimum voting age was lowered from twenty-one to eighteen under the twenty-sixth amendment to our Constitution.

Forty years ago today, the minimum voting age was lowered from twenty-one to eighteen under the twenty-sixth amendment to our Constitution. The twenty-sixth amendment came about due to the strong belief that if people were old enough to serve and die for their country, then they should also be able to vote for those people who sent them to war.

The language is one of the more simple amendments to our Constitution:

Amendment XXVI
Section 1.
The right of citizens of the United States, who are 18 years of age or older, to vote, shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or any state on account of age.

Section 2.
The Congress shall have the power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation.

The twenty-sixth amendment is not the last time our Constitution was amended. The twenty-seventh amendment was our last and occurred in 1992 - 203 years after its initial submission to the states for ratification.

 

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Who is Paying for Jon Bruning?

How can Nebraskans even consider supporting someone who wastes their money while playing politics?

How can Nebraskans even consider supporting someone who wastes their money while playing politics?

Nebraskans deserve to know how Attorney General Jon Bruning's trip was paid for to Atlanta, and they may deserve their money back. Yesterday's trip was all about politics. And all about his goal of taking health care away from Nebraska kids, seniors and families. It had nothing to do with Bruning's elected position as Nebraska's top law enforcer.

In fact, he flew off to Atlanta to try to eliminate a law, the Affordable Care Act, not enforce one.

Doing so, Bruning was either wasting taxpayer money on a political junket or wasting his taxpayer-paid salary if his campaign paid for his trip to Atlanta.

• If the state paid for his trip to Atlanta, he needs to reimburse Nebraska taxpayers for his airfare, hotel, cabs, and food.
• If his Senate campaign paid, he needs to reimburse Nebraska taxpayers for his salary because he certainly wasn't in Atlanta on state business.

It was purely political and for what?

Bruning wants to overturn the Affordable Care Act. That would:
• Take away health coverage for 106,000 Nebraska kids with pre-existing conditions.
• Raise premiums for hundreds of thousands of Nebraskans who have insurance and currently pay for those who do not.
• Make seniors pay more for prescription drugs.
• Continue bankrupting families with high medical bills.

With all his shenanigans, Nebraskans see once again plain as day that Jon Bruning isn't doing the job they elected him to in 2010. He ran off the job chasing another one in 2012.

For what? His political ambitions. Nothing else.

 

 

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Mike Johanns Was Against the Medicare Cuts Before He Was for the Medicare Cuts

He was for seniors then but against them now.

Senator Mike Johanns makes our head spin—like riding a Tilt-a-Whirl ride at the fair.

But he can’t have it both ways: he opposed Health Care Reform decrying $500 billion cuts to Medicare as bad for seniors when it wasn’t true. Now he votes for the Ryan Budget with the same cuts—except in the Ryan plan they really will harm seniors’ health care. That’s what happens people make stuff up purely to play partisan political games.

Let’s go to the record:

First, Johanns decrying Medicare cuts:

Column: “The worst plan to protect Medicare beneficiaries is the existing law of the land. It cuts $500 billion from Medicare and uses that money to pay for new entitlement programs.”
http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0511/55672.html

Press release: “I am disappointed the House voted to pass the Senate health care legislation. I have numerous concerns with this bill, both on its substance and the process being used to pass it. A bill that raises taxes by more than $500 billion, cuts Medicare by more than $500 billion…”

http://johanns.senate.gov/public/?p=PressReleases&ContentRecord_id=98d9e...

Second, Johanns voting for the Ryan budget complaining about the $500 billion in Medicare cuts in health reform:

Omaha World-Herald: Senators vote down GOP’s budget
http://www.omaha.com/article/20110526/AP/705269919
Tribune Washington Bureau
Published Thursday May 26,2011

“Johanns has defended the Ryan plan as at least an attempt to address the federal budget crisis. He pointed out that Medicare is a program already in deep financial trouble and highlighted part of the new health care law that cuts $500 billion in Medicare reimbursements to health care providers over ten years. Johanns said those cuts will harm senior citizens’ access to care.”

But Johanns voted for the Ryan plan containing those Medicare cuts, and more:

The Ryan plan repeals the health reform law entirely, except it keeps those $500 billion in cuts.

It eliminates the parts of health reform that help hospitals and drug companies absorb those cuts by bringing more people into coverage and reducing their uncompensated care.

But it keeps the payment reductions to hospitals and others.

The impact is deep cuts to reimbursements to hospitals and reduced access to health care for seniors.

Here’s a column from Ezra Klein from the Washington Post on the issue: http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/ezra-klein/post/does-ryan-now-believ...

Also, from CBO on Ryan: CBO report, page 10: “(After listing the portions of the Affordable Care Act that would be repealed,) Most of the other changes that PPACA and the Reconciliation Act made to the Medicare program would be retained.” http://www.cbo.gov/ftpdocs/121xx/doc12128/04-05-Ryan_Letter.pdf

The Federation of American Hospitals says Ryan plan “will severely impact access to essential medical care for seniors.” http://www.fah.org/fahCMS/Documents/Press%20Releases/2011/House_budget_r...

“Repealing coverage expansions, while retaining Medicare and Medicaid that went along with those expansions is of Repeal of the coverage expansions, is of particular concern. Sustaining these cuts will severely impact access to essential medical care for seniors, as well as the lowest income Americans. The combined effect of dropping the new coverage and maintaining the cuts threatens the care that communities depend on, and will place harsh limits on the very health care providers who are frequently the most significant job creators in their local communities.”

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Do Jon Bruning's Principles Really Matter?

Tomorrow Jon Bruning launches his "Principles Matter Tour" as he campaigns for his next day job.

Always the political opportunist, Bruning doesn't bother to complete the task at hand. Nebraska may be in a situation where we owe $5.2 billion to tobacco companies due to litigation by Bruning. Bruning, however, isn't even in his office to deal with the situation.

Meanwhile U.S. Senator Ben Nelson is hard at work in Washington fighting for Nebraska.

It's only been 161 days since Bruning was elected to Attorney General and he's already out on the campaign trail looking for another job.

Do his principles really matter?

So feel free to attend one of Bruning's appearances across our fair state and ask him why he's not back in Lincoln working for your tax dollars.

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State Democrats congregate in Broken Bow

Democrats from all over the state came to Broken Bow County Club last Saturday, thanks to the efforts of the Custer County Democratic Party. They hosted the state’s 2nd quarterly meeting of the Nebraska Democratic Party’s State Central Committee.

Saturday April 14, 2012 was selected as the date for the 2012 Presidential Caucus and the Delegate Selection Plan for the 2012 National Convention in Charlotte, NC was approved at this meeting.

Before getting down to business, they were welcomed by 3rd District Associate Chair Deena Province with a speech that drew frequent applause and laughter.

Delegates spent the morning in caucus meetings representing 13 interest groups. Most of the topics there dealt with delegate selection, logistics, procedures, finances, and organizational issues. Discussions included 2011 redistricting and upcoming congressional elections.

Vic Covalt, State Democratic Chair, kicked off the main session speaking eloquently about the need to defeat current attacks upon collective bargaining. “The great Democracy in Greece fell to tyranny. Democracy in Rome fell to tyranny. And now in America, those very people who were made rich by Democracy want to shut the door behind them and deny the rest of us the same opportunity. That’s the first move toward tyranny.”

State Senator Norman Wallman of Beatrice addressed the group on a variety of legislative issues including compromise legislation to improve the Commission of Industrial Relations.

But throughout the day, the major question was, “What will the 2012 Democratic Presidential Caucuses look like across Nebraska?” There will be a concentrated effort to coordinate the caucuses in Nebraska with those nationwide and especially with neighboring states. If Nebraska holds their caucus on the same day as a group of other states, Nebraskans will have more delegates and more influence on the national process in 2012 and looking forward to the 2016 presidential elections.

After vigorous debate, the delegates set April 14 as the date all Nebraska precincts and counties will hold their 2012 Presidential Caucuses. The body also adopted a plan for selection of delegates to the National Democratic Convention.

—Article written by Don Davis and Deena Province.

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2012 Presidential Caucus date set for April 14th, 2012

The NDP's State Central Committee has voted to hold 2012 Presidential Caucus on Saturday, April 14, 2012.

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Practice what you preach, Deficit Dave

Dave Heineman sure likes to talk a big game.

Back in January 2009, Heineman told the Fremont Tribune "We're just going to have to sit down and tighten our belts in state government just like every family and every business is doing in the state."

So why is Heineman resistant to cutting the pay of Health and Human Services management; specifically that of Division of Children and Family Services?

Much of the responsibilities of the Division of Children and Family Services are now contracted out to two private companies. The management of Division of Children and Family Services isn't doing what they were hired to do.

Shouldn't less work equal less pay?

Yet Heineman refuses to tighten his belt and cut pay in HHS. Is this because Todd Reckling, Director of Children and Family Services at HHS, is one of his appointees? Why won't Heineman make the needed cuts to solve his $1.4 billion budget deficit?

Governor Heineman, don't you think it's time to practice what you preach? We are all in this together.

Fremont Tribune: Heineman Discusses State Issues

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The NDP is now accepting nominations for awards at the 2011 Morrison-Exon Dinner

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Spotlight on Nebraska Legislature: Keeping patients safe

Doctors are meant to help you get well, but with prescription drug abuse up 500 percent in the past two decades, you may well leave sicker than when you made an appointment.

That's why Senator Gwen Howard came up with LB 237. In 2009, her own daughter died from a prescription drug overdose, and she said writing the bill was something she had to do.

The bills main purpose is to prevent the misuse of prescription drugs by "allowing doctors and pharmacists to monitor the care and treatment of patients for whom a prescription drug is prescribed." The goal is to keep the drugs off the streets and to prevent patients from getting the same prescription from more than one doctor.

If passed, Nebraska would join 43 other states with prescription drug monitoring networks.

Thank you Senator Howard for this important piece of legislation.

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