Saturday, March 28, 2009

Senator Judd Gregg (R-NH) Delivers Weekly Republican Address

U.S. Senator Judd Gregg (R-NH) delivers the weekly Republican address.


"Hello, I'm Judd Gregg, Senator from New Hampshire. We all know these are difficult times. People are worried about keeping their jobs, paying their bills, the value of their homes and the cost of sending their kids to college. It's hard.

"Thus I appreciate, as do all Americans, the efforts being made by our President and his seriousness about addressing these issues.

"But what concerns many of us are his proposals in the budget he recently sent to the Congress that dramatically grow the size and cost of government and move it to the left.

"It is our opinion that this plan spends too much, taxes too much and borrows too much.

"You may have heard this before that the budget of the President spends too much, taxes too much and borrows too much.

"What do we mean? Well, let me give you a few examples.

"In the next five years, President Obama's budget will double the national debt; in the next ten years it will triple the national debt.

"To say this another way, if you take all the debt of our country run up by all of our presidents from George Washington through George W. Bush, the total debt over all those 200-plus years since we started as a nation, it is President Obama's plan to double that debt in just the first five years that he is in office.

"He is also planning to spend more on the government as a percentage of our economy than at any time since World War II.

"His budget assumes the deficit will average $1 trillion dollars every year for the next 10 years and will add well over $9 trillion dollars in new debts to our children's backs.

"He also is proposing the largest tax increase in history, much of it aimed at taxing small business people who have been, over the years, the best job creators in our economy. And further, he is proposing a massive new national sales tax on your electric bill. So that every time you turn on a light switch in your house, you will be hit with a new tax -- and it averages over $3,000 per household.

"These are staggering numbers and represent an extraordinary move of our government to the left.

"The President to his credit is not trying to hide this; in fact he is very forthright in stating that he believes that by greatly expanding the spending, the taxing and the borrowing of our government, this will lead us to prosperity.

"Here of course is where we differ. We believe you create prosperity by having an affordable government that pursues its responsibilities without excessive costs, taxes or debt. That it is the individual American who creates prosperity and good jobs, not the government.

"We believe that you create energy independence not by sticking Americans with a brand new national sales tax on everyone's electric bill, but by expanding the production of American energy, such as environmentally sound off-shore drilling, nuclear power, wind, solar while also conserving more.

"We also believe you improve everyone's health care not by nationalizing the health care system and putting the government between you and your doctor, but by assuring that every American has access to quality health insurance and choices in health care.

"We believe that you run a sound and affordable government not by running up the national debt to historic levels and unsustainable levels while over-taxing working Americans and spending as if there is no tomorrow, but rather by working on limiting the growth of government in a manner that is affordable not only today but for the next generation through limiting spending and addressing core issues like the cost of entitlements.

"Our nation has an exceptional history of one generation passing on to the next generation a more prosperous and stronger country, but that tradition is being put at risk. The dramatic move to the left and the massive increase in the size and cost of the government, proposed by the budget of President Obama, will lead to an immense national debt that not only threatens the value of the dollar and puts at risk our ability to borrow money to run the government. But it will also place our children at a huge disadvantage as they inherit this debt which will make their chances of success less than those given to us by our parents. It is not right for one generation to do that to another generation.

"Rather, we believe that if you properly steward the responsibilities of the government, if you do not spend too much, if you do not tax too much, if you do not borrow too much, we can leave our children a better nation where they will have even greater opportunity for prosperity, peace and freedom.

"Thank you for taking the time to listen, and have a great weekend."

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Friday, March 27, 2009

Newt Gingrich to deliver SPIA’s Getzen lecture

Former speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives Newt Gingrich will deliver the University of Georgia’s School of Public and International Affairs’ annual Getzen Lecture on Government Accountability. His lecture, entitled “Effective American Policy in a Dangerous World” will be given on April 7 at 3 p.m. in the UGA Chapel. The event is open to the public.

Gingrich, who has been in the headlines recently for criticizing federal bailouts, said that his prescription for the current economic crisis would be, “Replace the bailouts with bankruptcy, for all of them.” In recent media interviews, Gingrich has been critical of both the Bush and Obama administrations for their handling of the economic crisis.

“You may or may not agree with former Speaker Gingrich on public policy issues, but you must take him seriously because he is smart, well-informed and innovative in his thinking,” said Thomas P. Lauth, dean of UGA’s School of Public and International Affairs.

A college history professor, political leader, and author, Gingrich won a seat in the U.S. House in 1978. He was re-elected 10 times, and his activism as a member of the House’s Republican minority eventually enabled him to succeed Dick Cheney as House minority whip in 1989. As a co-author of the 1994 Contract with America, Gingrich was in the forefront of the Republican Party’s dramatic success in the 1994 Congressional elections and subsequently was elected speaker, serving from 1995-1999.

Republicans lost five seats in the House in the 1998 elections, and shortly after, Gingrich resigned from his House seat and as speaker. Since that time, Gingrich has maintained a career as a political analyst, consultant and author. He serves as chairman of the Gingrich Group, a communications and consulting firm with offices in Atlanta and Washington, D.C. Gingrich is teaching a course on judicial review this spring in the UGA School of Law as the Carl E. Sanders Political Leadership Scholar.

The Getzen Lecture is co-hosted by the School of Public and International Affairs and the department of public administration and policy.

SPIA prepares students for careers in public service in Georgia, the nation and the world and is fast becoming recognized as a national and international leader in public affairs research and education. The school’s master of public administration program is one of the nation’s best for public service education and is ranked 4th in the nation among hundreds of public affairs programs (U.S. News & World Report, 2009).

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Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Boehner: With Housing Proposal, Republicans Continue Offering Better Solutions

House Republican Leader John Boehner (R-OH) today issued the following statement after Republican Whip Eric Cantor (R-VA) and Members of the House GOP’s Economic Recovery Solutions Group announced Republicans’ plan for revitalizing the housing market:

“While some continue to repeat the falsehood that Republicans are not offering alternatives to the President’s plans that spend, tax, and borrow too much, Republicans are proving that we are the party of better solutions. This year, we have offered better solutions on the economy, jobs, the budget, college and retirement savings, and now housing. Rep. Cantor and his colleagues on the Economic Recovery Solutions Group have crafted a proposal to revitalize our housing market without rewarding speculators, scam artists, and those who knowingly made bad decisions. I hope the Administration and Democratic leaders in Congress finally abandon their go-it-alone approach and give this proposal and all of our Republican solutions the consideration they deserve.”

NOTE: Earlier this year, Boehner tapped Cantor to head the House GOP’s Economic Recovery Solutions Group. Other Members of the group include Republican Conference Chairman Mike Pence, (R-IN), Republican Policy Committee Chairman Thaddeus McCotter (R-MI), Republican Chief Deputy Whip Kevin McCarthy (R-CA), Rules Committee Ranking Member David Dreier (R-CA), Financial Services Committee Ranking Member Spencer Bachus (R-AL), Rep. Judy Biggert (R-IL), Rep. Mike Castle (R-DE), Rep. Kevin Brady (R-TX), and Rep. Chris Lee (R-NY).

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Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Boehner Announces GOP Leader’s Website Will Live-Blog Budget Debate Wednesday

House Republican Leader John Boehner (R-OH) today announced that Wednesday’s House Budget Committee debate on President Obama’s proposed budget will be live-blogged on the Republican Leader’s website. The Committee is expected to begin consideration of the budget at 10:30 a.m. Wednesday, and the Leader’s blog will provide regular updates on its progress, including votes on key amendments, throughout the day. The up-to-the-minute budget coverage will be available beginning Wednesday morning at Boehner released the following statement:

“The President’s budget spends too much, taxes too much, and borrows too much from our kids and grandkids - and that’s going to do further harm to our economy at a time when it desperately needs our help. Republicans are offering better solutions on the budget. This live-blog will give Americans a front-row seat for this important debate so they can hold their leaders in Washington accountable for their votes on some of the most important issues of the day.”

NOTE: The President’s budget calls for $1.4 trillion in new taxes that will affect every American. There’s a $646 billion national energy tax; tax increases on income and small businesses; new taxes on investors by raising capital gains and dividend rates; a resurrection of the death tax; and a reduction in charitable deductions. Moreover, the Budget relies on misleading assumptions. According to a Congressional Budget Office report released on Friday, the President’s budget is actually $2.3 trillion more costly than the White House initially claimed. In fact, over the next 10 years, the budget will produce an incredible $9.3 trillion in total deficits.

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Thursday, March 19, 2009

House Republicans' AIG Bill Will Recover 100 Percent of the AIG Bonuses Immediately; Democrats' Bill? Some of It ... and Maybe In a Year

Prior to today’s debate on the Democrats’ half-hearted attempt to recover some of the AIG executive bonuses a year or more from now, House Republicans will move to force a debate and vote on legislation to get 100 PERCENT of taxpayers’ money back IMMEDIATELY.
Let’s be honest. The legislation House Democrats are bringing to the floor today, which they claim is the best way to recover the AIG bonuses, is a sham. In a perfect world, it would lead to partial recovery of the bonuses a year or more from now – when the executives get around to paying their income taxes. And because the legislation is so riddled with loopholes, it wouldn’t even lead to the recovery of all of the bonus dollars.

How is that a fair deal for taxpayers?

Don’t taxpayers deserve to get 100 percent of their money back?

After all, they aren’t responsible for the AIG executives getting the $165 million; Democrats in Congress and the Administration are. They’re the ones who rushed through the trillion-dollar “stimulus” spending bill that allowed the bonuses to be paid in the first place.

House Republicans are committed to being the party of better solutions, and the Democrats’ AIG mess is no exception. That’s why Reps. Erik Paulsen (R-MN), Leonard Lance (R-NJ), and the rest of their freshman GOP colleagues have introduced a better – and quicker – way to recover 100 percent of the AIG bonuses. Their bill would allow taxpayers to recover 100 PERCENT of the AIG bonuses IMMEDIATELY – not some of the money a year or more from now.

Will House Democrats allow a vote on the GOP bill to get 100 PERCENT of taxpayers’ money back IMMEDIATELY? Or will they continue to provide political cover for their fatally-flawed “stimulus” bill that allowed the AIG bonuses to be paid?

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Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Gingrich Calls on Obama to End Bailouts

/PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich today called on the Obama administration to abandon the strategy of bailing out failing companies, and instead insist that companies choose bankruptcy or receivership as the only way to restore a sense of order and fairness to the economic system.

This includes AIG, who recent reports suggest is going to need another bailout even while rewarding its executives $165 million in bonuses.

In his weekly newsletter for, The Newt Gingrich Letter, Gingrich writes about the outrage over the bonuses being paid to AIG executives:

"The cure for our outrage is not merely, as President Obama is demanding, that AIG be prevented from paying its executives... Nor is it acceptable to ask Americans to keep throwing their tax dollars at failed companies and their leaders.

The answer is an old fashioned one: AIG should choose between receivership or bankruptcy. It should not be allowed to choose more bailouts from the taxpayer."

Gingrich continues:

"Thanks to the Bush-Obama-Geithner policy of bailing out failing companies, we now have the worst of all possible scenarios: A taxpayer subsidized, government supervised private company; an unsustainable public/private hybrid that is too public to make its own decisions and too private to be responsible to the taxpayers that are keeping it alive.

"Outrages like the fat cat bonuses currently dominating the headlines will only continue as long as the rule of politicians supplants the rule of law on Wall Street.

"Bankruptcy would replace the rule of politicians over U.S. financial institutions with the rule of law."

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Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Isakson Co-Sponsors Legislation to Force SEC to Reinstate Uptick Rule

Says Bill Will Impose Discipline, Allow Stock Market to Restore Itself

U.S. Senator Johnny Isakson, R-Ga., today announced that he is co-sponsoring legislation by Senator Ted Kaufman, D-Del., to require the Securities and Exchange Commission to reinstate the “uptick rule” in order to stabilize the financial markets and protect the American consumer from traders forcing down the price of a stock. Isakson has been calling for the SEC to reinstate the rule since last fall.

“Senator Kaufman has introduced a piece of legislation that is right for America, it is right for America's investors, and it is right for our stock market as it still languishes today somewhere down near what we hope is the bottom,” Isakson said during a speech on the Senate floor. “One way to ensure that bottom exists is to stop rewarding those who would feed off of it and instead reinstate good discipline that ensures good practices and allows the market to restore itself back to a good equilibrium.”

In his remarks, Isakson argued that the market deterioration was impacted by short sellers rushing to the market, shorting financial stocks and accelerating the decline of those values. Isakson believes the uptick rule should be reinstated to ensure that traders are not coming into the market to take advantage of these difficult economic times.

Last fall, Isakson contacted Chris Cox, then-chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission, urging him to reinstate the uptick rule. Isakson has since spoken on the floor of the Senate calling for the SEC to reinstate the rule. On March 13, 2009, the SEC announced it will meet on April 8 to consider whether to propose short sale price test rules.

The legislation Isakson is co-sponsoring directs the SEC to write regulations within 60 days to end abusive short selling. These regulations must reinstate the substance of the uptick rule that prohibited short sales that are not made on an increase in the price of the stock as well as require exchanges and other trading venues to execute the trades of long sellers ahead of short sellers, all other things being equal.

With the concurrence of the Secretary of the Treasury and the Chairman of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, the bill also directs the SEC to prohibit short sales of the securities of any financial institution unless that trade is affected at a price (in minimum lots specified by the Commission) at least 5 cents higher than the immediately preceding transaction in such securities.

Additionally, the legislation directs the SEC to prohibit any person from selling securities short unless that person has at the time of the short sale a demonstrable legally enforceable right to deliver the securities at the required delivery date and require that all short sales settle on the same time frame employed for long sales of the same securities.
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Monday, March 16, 2009

Employee Free Choice Act banks on Specter

How will the battle over the Employee Free Choice Act affect Sen. Arlen Specter's complicated quest to be elected to a sixth term?

A month or so after enraging conservatives by his vote for President Barack Obama's economic stimulus package, the Pennsylvania Republican is in the crosshairs again over another huge test of Mr. Obama's clout: the Employee Free Choice Act.

Last week, the blogosphere was alive with speculation.....

Sunday, March 15, 2009
By Mackenzie Carpenter, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

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Saturday, March 14, 2009

Senator Chuck Grassley (R-IA) Delivers Weekly Republican Address

"I'm Senator Chuck Grassley of Iowa. I serve as the senior Republican on the Senate Finance Committee, which handles all tax legislation.

"The President of the United States has the pleasure of leading the country in the best of times, but the responsibility for digging us out of the worst.

"He has to govern in the present and build confidence for the future.

"Right now, Americans need jobs. They want Washington to fix only what it can, without destroying opportunities for the next generation.

"The President's programs don't connect all the dots.

"His plans fail to recognize that Americans are not an endless source of tax dollars to pay for government spending.

"The President's proposed budget raises taxes. For the vast majority of people who earn less than $200,000, raising taxes on higher earners might not sound so bad.

"Yet a lot of small businesses are in that category. The landscaper or the general contractor with a dozen employees could land in the bull's eye.

"Tell these business owners their taxes will go up. Odds are, they'll cut spending. They'll cancel orders for new equipment, cut health insurance for their employees, stop hiring, and lay people off.

"These small businesses happen to create 74 percent of all new private sector jobs in the United States.

"Meanwhile, the President's budget includes a tax increase on more than half of small businesses with 20 or more employees. Businesses of that size account for two-thirds of the small business workforce. The tax increase is equal to 20 percent of the marginal tax rate paid by those small businesses.

"Ask people what number of jobs they're willing to sacrifice right now. To a person, they'll tell you zero.

"The Administration also wants to cut the tax deduction for giving to charity. Even the Tax Policy Center, a left-leaning think tank, says this would mean $9 billion less for philanthropy.

"The Administration's proposal to reduce the carbon production could amount to an average hidden tax increase of around $3,000 per household a year. In effect it's a national sales tax on energy.

"All of these tax increases would be the biggest tax increase in history.

"That's not all: Even if every one of these tax increases goes on the books, this budget still nearly triples the national debt by 2019.

"The President and his allies in Congress want to spend too much, tax too much, and borrow too much.

"Somebody has to pay -- if not the middle class now, then later. Eventually the middle class gets hit.

"Meanwhile, if taxes get too high, people drop out of the workforce and pay less taxes.

"So higher taxes don't bring in more money.

"Government spending is a pretty inefficient way to create jobs anyway. Economists say the new stimulus bill will cost $787 billion to create or save 2.5 million jobs -- one million fewer than promoted by the Administration and congressional supporters. It amounts to $315,000 for each job created or saved.

"It's very simple. The government doesn't create wealth. It expends wealth.

"No wonder then the public is skeptical about Washington trying to fix the economy with one massive spending bill after another. It's hard to convince taxpayers that more deficit spending is the answer.

"There's evidence that the President and his people understand this, even if their budget doesn't show it. They say they don't want to raise taxes until 2011 because the economy is too weak.

"Well, if the President admits that tax increases hurt the economy, that will be true in two years as it is true today. Americans need leadership, and they need confidence now. They need their President and their elected representatives to connect all the dots. Jobs are hard-won. The government should first, do no harm. Thank you for listening."

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Thursday, March 12, 2009

RNC Announces New Chief of Staff

/PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Republican National Committee (RNC) Chairman Michael Steele today announced the selection of Ken McKay to be the RNC's Chief of Staff.

"I am excited to have such an outstanding leader become part of our team. Ken's background and expertise will help revitalize the RNC and elect more Republicans," Steele said.

McKay brings extensive campaign leadership experience. He successfully managed Governor Donald Carcieri's (RI) gubernatorial win in 2002, and his re-election in 2006, winning two statewide campaigns in a decidedly blue state.

He also served as Chief of Staff for the governor, giving him experience in managing a very large and complex organization. He most recently served as a partner with the law firm Brown Rudnick. McKay hails from Rhode Island and holds a J.D. from Roger Williams University.

As Chief of Staff, McKay will be charged with the day-to-day operations of the RNC, including overseeing personnel and managing resources.

"Ken has proven that voters in both parties gravitate to reform minded conservative governance, and that our principles can work in all parts of this country. I'm excited about the fresh approach from out in the states that Ken will bring to the RNC," said Steele.

Rhode Island chairman Gio Cicione praised Steele's selection of McKay.

"Ken has a proven track record of electing Republicans in challenging environments," Cicione said. "As our party rebuilds in the Northeast, his perspective will be invaluable."

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Monday, March 9, 2009

Representative John Boehner Honored for Support of Manufacturing

/PRNewswire/ -- AK Steel (NYSE:AKS) said that Representative John Boehner (R-8, OH) received the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) Award for Manufacturing Legislative Excellence today at an award event hosted by AK Steel at its West Chester, Ohio headquarters. The NAM Award honors federal lawmakers whose voting records have consistently supported manufacturing in America. James L. Wainscott, chairman, president and CEO of AK Steel, presented the NAM Award to Representative Boehner.

"John Boehner has been a dependable voice of support for manufacturers and their employees," Mr. Wainscott said. "We are grateful for his leadership and dedicated efforts to preserve manufacturing jobs and assure competitiveness in Ohio and across the nation."

"Representative Boehner has demonstrated a true understanding of manufacturing's key role in the strength of the American economy and has acted to maintain and create manufacturing jobs," said NAM President and CEO John Engler from Washington.

The NAM Award is given to members of the House and Senate who support key manufacturing votes 70 percent or more of the time, as determined by an advisory committee composed of NAM members from small and large manufacturers.

Since the first NAM Award was presented for votes cast in the 105th Congress (1997-1998), Representative Boehner's NAM voting record is greater than 98 percent on key manufacturing issues. He is one of 43 senators and 181 representatives who earned the NAM Award for the 110th Congress. Members of Congress are notified in advance when an upcoming vote has been designated a "key vote" by the NAM.

"The NAM Award is a nonpartisan indicator to help manufacturers and their employees sort out the true allies of manufacturing based on their votes on key issues that affect the manufacturing economy," Mr. Engler noted.

Voting records for members of Congress -- including those who scored 70 percent or better to earn the NAM Award -- are available at with further details about the NAM Key Manufacturing Votes.

AK Steel's corporate headquarters, research center and largest steelmaking plant are located in the Eighth Congressional District which Mr. Boehner represents in the U.S. House.

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Friday, March 6, 2009

House GOP to Force Vote on Federal Government Spending Freeze TODAY

Today’s jobs report is yet another reminder of how much families and small businesses are hurting. Their savings are evaporating, their job prospects are weakening, and their costs of living are rising. Consequently, they are being forced to make difficult budget decisions each and every day.

Isn’t it time for Washington to make some tough budget choices as well?

For the last several weeks, as the $410 billion “omnibus” spending bill has made its way through Congress, House Republicans have been calling for a spending freeze for the remainder of the fiscal year, which ends in September. After all, if American families are making difficult choices about how to cut their family budgets, shouldn’t Congress and the Administration do the same?

During today’s debate on a continuing resolution to keep the federal government running until early next week – a resolution that’s necessary while congressional Democrats determine exactly how they plan to enact the $410 billion monstrosity – House Republicans will offer a simple, straightforward federal spending freeze as a motion to recommit proposal.

What does the spending freeze mean? For starters, it means taxpayers won’t be forced to bankroll the some 9,000 unscrutinized earmarks loaded into the omnibus spending bill. It also means Americans won’t have to shoulder the financial burden of the largest discretionary spending hike since the Carter Administration (save for a brief increase after the September 11 terrorist attacks). It would simply keep the federal government running for the rest of the fiscal year without the massive spending increases Washington Democrats are seeking....

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Boehner Statement on February Jobs Report

After this morning’s release of the U.S. Labor Department’s monthly employment report, House Republican Leader John Boehner (R-OH) issued the following statement:

“As this recession worsens and the job market slumps further, the anxiety of middle-class families is deepening. Yet, even as Americans’ job prospects grow dimmer, their savings evaporate, and their budgets tighten, Washington Democrats seem more determined than ever to continue pursuing tax hikes and pork-barrel spending increases that are only proving to make matters worse.

“The American people want and deserve better solutions from both parties in Washington, and they expect us to work together to make the same tough budget choices they are being forced to make during this economic downturn. The $410 billion omnibus spending bill loaded with 9,000 unscrutinized taxpayer-funded earmarks is a textbook example of why Americans have grown so fed up with Washington. President Obama campaigned against wasteful spending last year and has renewed commitment to fight it now that he is in office. I hope he will follow through on that promise by vetoing this legislation if it passes the Senate and working with House Republicans to enact a spending freeze for the remainder of this fiscal year. Republicans are committed to working with the President and our Democratic colleagues in Congress to craft better solutions to help put Americans back to work, rebuild their savings, and gain confidence in our economy once again.”

NOTE: The $410 billion “omnibus” spending bill failed to pass the Senate last night, with a vote expected as soon as next week. The legislation includes 9,000 taxpayer-funded earmarks and represents the largest discretionary spending increase since the Carter Administration, aside from a brief increase after the September 11 terrorist attacks.

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Thursday, March 5, 2009

Patients, Senate, House Members Identify Significant Medicare Savings While Increasing Quality of Patient Care

/PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Patients on Medicare and Senators Blanche L. Lincoln (D-AR) and Johnny Isakson (R-GA) and Representative Eliot L. Engel (D-NY-17) today urged Congress to fix a flaw in the Medicare program which forces patients to undergo treatments in institutional settings when it is often unnecessary. The immediate legislative actions that can be taken to achieve Medicare savings while providing high-quality, life-saving home infusion therapy to older and disabled Americans, was the focus of an educational forum hosted by the National Home Infusion Association (NHIA).

The Medicare Home Infusion Therapy Coverage Act of 2009 was introduced earlier this year to close a gap that currently exists in coverage where the medicines used in infusions to treat serious diseases are covered, but not the medical services, supplies and equipment needed to deliver the home therapy.

"Many Arkansans on Medicare who need home infusion therapy are simply unable to afford it. As a result, they often have to enter a hospital or nursing home for the infusion treatment to be fully covered by Medicare. Not only is this an extreme hardship for the patient, it actually results in a higher cost to Medicare. This legislation would provide for full Medicare coverage of home infusion therapy, ultimately lowering costs and improving patient outcomes," said Senator Lincoln.

"Medicare coverage of home infusion therapy is a prime example of immediate action we can take to deliver high-quality patient care at a lesser cost," said Senator Isakson. "I witnessed firsthand the world of difference treatment at home makes to patients and their caregivers when my son needed to be treated with intravenous medicines a few years ago. I believe he was able to heal faster because he underwent treatment at home. Everyone should be afforded this opportunity."

"Medicare is the only major payor that does not reimburse for home infusion therapy. We cannot continue to support a healthcare system of 'have' and 'have nots'. All patients, including older and disabled Americans needing intravenous medications, should be allowed to undergo treatment in the comfort of their own homes," said Representative Engel.

Infusion therapy involves the administration of medication through a needle or catheter, and is prescribed for infections unresponsive to oral antibiotics and serious diseases including cancer, congestive heart failure, and rheumatoid arthritis, among others.

Patients at the forum shared personal stories of the health and financial challenges they have experienced due to the lack of Medicare coverage, and advocated for enactment of new legislation that will eliminate unnecessary hospital stays when physicians and patients agree that treatment at home is preferable.

"Our country can no longer afford unnecessary healthcare expenses when high-quality, low-cost options are available and preferred by physicians and patients alike," said Russell Bodoff, President, NHIA.

The "Medicare Home Infusion Therapy Coverage Act of 2009" introduced in the Senate (S.254) and in the House (H.R. 574) is sponsored by Senators Blanche L. Lincoln (D-AR), Olympia J. Snowe (R-ME) and Johnny Isakson (R-GA) and Representatives Eliot L. Engel (D-NY-17), Timothy F. Murphy (R-PA-18), Tammy Baldwin, (D-WI), and Kay Granger (R-TX).

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