January 27, 2013 |
CUMMING, Iowa - U.S. Sen. Tom Harkin said Saturday he would not seek a sixth term in 2014, a decision that eases some of the burden the national Republican Party faces in retaking the Senate. Harkin, chairman of an influential Senate committee, announced his decision during an interview with the Associated Press, and said the move could surprise some. But the 73-year-old cited his age - he would be 81 at the end of a sixth term - as a factor in the decision, saying it was time to pass the torch he has held for nearly 30 years, freeing a new generation of Iowa Democrats to seek higher office.
December 8, 2012 |
TRENTON - Gov. Christie on Thursday vetoed legislation establishing a state-run health-insurance exchange, saying the federal government had failed to provide the answers he needed to make a fiscally sound decision on the best way to comply with the Affordable Care Act. The governor said he had not eliminated any of the options available to states to comply with the national health-care overhaul. But he said it would be irresponsible to choose one over the others without knowing the costs of each.
March 16, 2012 |
TRENTON - New Jersey lawmakers will set aside $1 million to help school districts implement an anti-bullying law passed last year, a fix worked out by Republican Gov. Christie and Democrats after a state panel in January declared the law an unfunded mandate. The bill, approved by both chambers Thursday, now heads to Christie's desk. In their final voting session before they hunker down to work on the state budget, both Democratic- led chambers also passed a bill that would allow individuals and small businesses to shop online for health-care plans - a measure written to adhere to the federal Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. Also, local residents would have the final say on whether a charter school could open in their community under a bill passed by the Assembly on Thursday.
January 19, 2012
ON FEB. 1, the cost of my single-coverage health care will go up 16.4 percent. Last year at this time, it rose 19.7 percent. So, in two years, my monthly premium has increased $208, and I'll now be paying $734 per month - which means that health care will cost me more than rent. As an independent contractor, I don't receive health benefits (or benefits of any kind), but facing a monthly payment of $734, I'm considering going out and independently contracting tuberculosis so that I'll feel like my money isn't being wasted.
December 12, 2011 |
Dr. Francis "Frank" A. Zampiello, 75, of Philadelphia, an early advocate for better health care through his work with the U.S. Public Health Service, died Thursday, Dec. 1, at home of complications from autoimmune liver disease. Before retiring, Dr. Zampiello was national director of the Quality Center in the U.S. Health Resources and Services Administration Bureau of Primary Health Care, where he served from 1997 until 2002. In that role, he worked to reduce errors and increase efficiency in the nation's health-care delivery.
July 17, 2011 |
WASHINGTON - The debate over the federal deficit has pumped new life into controversial proposals for requiring Americans on Medicare to pay more for their health care, raising the possibility that seniors' medical bills could jump hundreds, or even thousands, of dollars. It remains unclear whether any of the proposals, which congressional Republicans have demanded in order to cut trillions of dollars from the federal budget, will be enacted this year, given the continued stalemate over government spending.
June 21, 2011 |
TRENTON - In the battle over benefits, Team South Jersey is dragging the most controversial bill in recent Statehouse history over the finish line. By joining with the GOP minority, the New Jersey Senate's southern Democrats bucked the majority of their party and unions to supply six key votes to pass legislation requiring government workers to pay more for their pensions and health care. Even State Sen. James Whelan of Atlantic County, who faces a competitive election in November, supported it. Even State Sen. Donald Norcross of Camden County, president of the Southern New Jersey AFL-CIO Labor Council, voted yes. Senate President Stephen Sweeney, a Gloucester County Democrat who was the architect of the bill, rounded up enough supporters to eke out a victory.
June 20, 2011 |
TRENTON - Undaunted by hundreds of labor leaders protesting outside the Statehouse, eight Democrats in the New Jersey Senate supplied the votes needed to pass a historic bill today that would require public workers to pay more for their health and pension benefits. The measure passed 24-15 with the support of the entire South Jersey delegation and GOP minority. Supplying the yes votes were James Beach and Donald Norcross of Camden County; sponsor and Senate President Stephen Sweeney and Fred Madden of Gloucester County; Jeff Van Drew of Cape May County; Jim Whelan of Atlantic County; and Teresa Ruiz of Essex County; and Brian Stack of Hudson County.
June 16, 2011 |
A full-blown war has broken out in Gov. Christie's Trenton, with Democratic Party leaders openly feuding with the teachers' union, one of their traditional sources of support and money. The New Jersey Education Association, the state's largest teachers' union and most powerful lobby, released a television ad Wednesday that blasted a bill that could double the amount the typical teacher pays for pension and health benefits. The ad, to be shown on stations in New York and Philadelphia, takes aim at the highest elected Democrat in the state, Senate President Stephen Sweeney (D., Gloucester)
January 19, 2011 |
It seems like only yesterday that Ke$ha was the queen of the pop-music charts, the New Orleans Saints were the kings of pro football - and Washington was locked in a heated debate over what to do about health care in America. OK, actually it was only this time last year. But now as the 112th Congress kicks off 2011, it's deja vu all over again as Republicans - retaking the House and cutting into the Democratic majority in the Senate - restart the debate, already pushing to repeal the massive health-care overhaul that President Obama signed into law last March.