As a resident of the 16th Congressional District, I am appalled by the behavior of our government and the support our government is giving to terrorists with whom we have been engaging a war for the last 11 years and more. The shipment of arms and military supplies to the terrorists that are now terrorizing the Syrian people and ethnically cleansing Christians is unacceptable. We don’t make deals with Devils just to kill other devils. This Foreign Policy of “the enemy of my enemy is my friend” is poorly thought out.
We must act as a nation with integrity, and we will be respected. We cannot support tyrants, thugs and regional gangbangers just because we are seeking to advance OIL interests or other money interests globally. If these are the policies that are supposed to “protect American interests” then they have failed. American interests should reside here in America.The evidence of that failure is our devastated economy, which we are all subjected to, the record high unemployment and the record number of Americans now receiving government aid. Obviously the line “protecting American interests” is simply window dressing at best and misleading in real terms.
The Obama Administration is speaking out of both sides of its mouth by classifying Patriot groups as Terror groups and conversely supporting real terror groups in the Middle East. The Obama Administration is duplicitous in its policy of shipping arms to terror groups in the Middle East while attempting to deny Americans their own right to keep and bear arms here at home.
Our Representative to our Federal Government who should be voicing the concerns of his Constituents to the Federal Government is Adam Kinzinger. I am calling on Congressman Adam Kinzinger to step up as the Representative of this District and oppose the Obama Administration’s schizophrenic foreign policy in order to project American Stability as opposed to projecting a “confused, duplicitous” American foreign policy.
Candidate for Congress 16th District, Illinois
Morrison Council Corner
More surprises at the Morrison City Council meeting on September 9, 2013-Ordinance #13-37 –Ordinance Confirming Vacating of a Portion of Sidewalk Located on Market Street Adjacent to 201, 203, 205, and 207 West Main Street was not passed. It needed 3/4 of aldermen to pass it. The vote was 3-no (Zuidema, Wood, Sullivan) and 5-yes (Eizenga, Blean, Bender, Helms, Connelly). Mayor Pannier voted yes also. This was only 2/3rd vote for it. The ordinance was brought back because at the August 26th meeting, the vacation plat was not attached to Ordinance #13-32 that was passed.
I will have to do more checking, but I think, since this ordinance did not get passed it would change the necessity of Ordinance #13-33-Ordinance Authorizing Abatement of Utility Charges for Properties Located at 201, 203,and 205 West Main Street. The ordinance states: WHEREAS, upon vacation of the sidewalk, ownership of the segment of the sidewalk will devolve to the owners of the described properties, who plan to undertake improvements to the area to be vacated, including a sidewalk ramp and other repairs, permitting access to the business to be established in these properties, which will further enhance the attractiveness and utility of the area to the City, its residents, and visitors, and
We will have to wait and see.
Public Comment: John Kuehl brought information to council promoting the use of motorized vehicles like golf carts, small motor bikes, etc. to be used on streets legally. Mayor Pannier is collecting more information for future discussion. Lyndon and Sterling already allow this, according to Kuehl.
Tresenriter, Acting City Administrator, stated that most of the water leaks have been old rusty pipes (he brought a pipe segment in to show aldermen/residents) on the city side of the Mains, so leaks are repaired and paid for by the city. If the leaks are on the resident’s side of the main, the cost responsibility is on the resident. Cleaning and painting the water tower is on track and should be completed in mid-October.
Mayor Pannier reported: 1) The Rockwood Recreation Trail has broken ground and is in the works; 2) Bids for Market Street Parking lot will be opened next week; 3) Paint the Town will be held September 21, 2013 with over 1,500 squares available to be painted.
Other Ordinances brought to vote were passed after discussion.
An executive session was held. When council came back to regular session, Resolution # 13-08-Authorizing Contract for New City Administrator was passed unanimously, which will be with Barry Dykhuizen. He should begin in mid-October.
A “Special Council Meeting” was held September 12, 2013 to approve a “special use liquor license” for KJ’s to serve alcohol at the Morrison Community Hospital’s Big Squeeze: Run for the Roses, Kentucky Derby on October 5, 2013 at the Fairgrounds.
Next Morrison City Council Meeting will be September 23, 2013 at 7:00pm at the County Board Room. See you there – everyone is welcome!
A Morrison Taxpayer,
Abuse of Drug Discount Program: Corrosive Crony Capitalism
By Sally C. Pipes
Federal lawmakers are constantly tinkering with the healthcare market. Often, these invasions have perverse consequences.
Indeed, one federal initiative designed to provide poor Americans with discounted drugs has morphed into an ungainly operation fattening the bottom lines of pharmacies and hospitals.
Enacted in 1992, the “340B” program requires drug companies to provide steep discounts on drugs to qualifying hospitals and clinics. The program was meant to help institutions that serve large numbers of low-income or uninsured Americans.
From the outset, however, 340B has been plagued with problems. And now, it often fails to actually help vulnerable patients.
The first major flaw is the program’s eligibility requirements for healthcare providers. The existing eligibility formula does not measure obviously relevant metrics such as the percentage of uninsured patients a hospital serves or the amount of uncompensated care it provides.
A Government Accountability Office report confirmed that even some hospitals that just “provide a small amount of care to low-income individuals... could claim 340B discounts.” And a study by Avalere Health found that states with fewer uninsured residents actually had higher shares of hospitals taking advantage of 340B.
Second, the program doesn’t require that discounted medications be dispensed only to people who actually need them. As a result, many hospitals are selling drugs they purchased on discount at full price to patients with private insurance coverage.
Finally, the hospitals and pharmacies dispensing these drugs aren’t required to pass the savings onto patients.
As a result of these gaping flaws, a drug program meant to help the uninsured has turned into an arbitrage operation that lets hospitals and retail pharmacies buy billions of dollars’ worth of steeply discounted drugs, bill insurance companies and patients the full retail price, and then pocket the difference.
When Sen. Charles Grassley (R-Iowa) looked into the program, he found that the Duke University Hospital -- where only 5 percent of patients were uninsured -- was able to leverage the discount program to boost its net income by almost $50 million last year.
“Hospitals are reaping sizable 340B discounts on drugs and then turning around and up-selling them to fully insured patients,” Grassley wrote in a letter to the agency overseeing the 340B program.
340B now represents an unholy alliance between moneyed interests and public regulators. The free market has been undermined. Many low-income patients genuinely in need of help are being left out in the cold. Drug companies are being forced to sell a growing volume of products at severe discount -- leaving many with little choice but to make up for those lost revenues by raising prices on other consumers.
Congress and regulators have compounded the problem over the years by repeatedly expanding 340B. Almost one-third of hospitals nationally now participate.
The largest and most troubling expansion came in 2010, when regulators authorized hospitals to contract with an unlimited number of outside pharmacies anywhere in the country to dispense 340B discounted drugs. Previously, hospitals could only use in-house pharmacies or contract with a single pharmacy.
This particular change has led to a dramatic increase in the number of contract pharmacies benefiting from 340B. In 2010, there were just under 4,000. Today, that number has jumped to 30,000 -- a 700 percent increase.
Accordingly, the total value of 340B discounts has also exploded and is projected to grow significantly in the coming years.
These expansions are making a bad problem even worse. 340B is too often being abused to bolster hospital profits. Healthcare providers should be competing in a free and open market -- not exploiting a well-intentioned program meant to help low-income Americans.
The abuse of 340B represents corrosive crony capitalism at its worst. Lawmakers need to fix this program.
Sally C. Pipes is President, CEO, and Taube Fellow in Health Care Studies at the Pacific Research Institute. Her latest book is The Cure for Obamacare (Encounter 2013).
By Jim Sacia, State Representative, 89th District
When one looks back over the years, we all wish to say things are better now than “back in the day”. We all want the world to be a better place and we’d like to believe that we did our part to make it better.
One of my opportunities, prior to retiring as an FBI Agent, was to take a new class of fifty new agents through the Academy at Quantico, Virginia as a class counselor. At that point, 1996, twenty seven years into my career, I had pretty much convinced myself that these young folks would not be the caliber we had to be when we came on board. Boy was I in for a wakeup call!
At the end of fourteen weeks of training, I was humbled and honored to stand among the finest young people in the world, as then FBI Director Louis Freeh presented them with their shield and credentials. This cross section of men and women, all ethnicities, all highly educated, and now very well trained, would take our FBI through the next thirty years. I could not have been more proud.
It was a far cry from my class of all white men who came on board on September 8 of 1969. We were a group of fine young men to say the least. The class I counseled in 1996, made me exceptionally proud and I knew I could leave the FBI with a true sense of accomplishment knowing the Bureau was in good hands.
Now, on the thirtieth of September, I will leave the Illinois House of Representatives after eleven years. I so wish I could tell you that Illinois is a much better place today than when I came on board in January 2003. It isn’t. As we gathered at the Governor’s Mansion with newly elected Governor Rod Blagojevich, the indicators were all positive. Our budget was $52 billion. There was a $3 to $5 billion shortfall thanks predominantly to the events of 9/11/2001 and the state taking in considerably less money than the previous year. Our long term obligations, not counting pensions, were about $7 billion. Our pension shortfall was about $50 billion.
Today, eleven years later, our budget is $59 billion, our shortfall is about $9 billion, and our long term obligations, not counting pensions, is upward of $20 billion, all of this after a sixty seven percent tax hike was put in place to solve the problem.
Our pension shortfall has grown to $100 billion and then Governor Blagojevich is in prison. Unlike my FBI years, not a very positive testimony!
As I’ve shared often, this office remains extremely proud of the good work we’ve always tried to do for our constituents, that is truly the purpose for our existence. It is not as cut and dried in Springfield. When you are one of one hundred seventy seven legislators, you don’t always get your way. The path we as a state are on, is obviously unsustainable. I hold all of the men and women I’ve worked with in the General Assembly in the highest esteem. Each one worked hard to get there and they represent their constituents very well. This unsustainable path must be recognized.