Ranking Member's Press

09.22.09

Enzi Fights to Bring Down Health Care Costs

Washington, D.C. - As the Senate Finance Committee began consideration of itshealth care reform bill today, U.S. Senator Mike Enzi, R-Wyo., said he would offeramendments to reduce health care costs for average Americans, scale back the totalspending in the bill, and protect American workers from new taxes and costly mandates. "The Finance bill spends too much and does too little to bring down health care costs.The hidden taxes and government mandates in this bill will actually increase health c… Continue Reading


09.21.09

Statement of Senator Edward M. Kennedy on the Passage of the Food and Drug Amendments Act of 2007

(As Prepared for Delivery) Every day, families across America rely on the Food and Drug Administration in ways they barely realize. When they put dinner on the table, they are counting on FDA to see that it is free from contamination. When they care for a sick child, they are trusting FDA to make sure the drugs prescribed are safe and effective. From pacemakers to treatments for cancer to the foods we eat, FDA protects the health of millions of Americans, and oversees products that account for … Continue Reading


09.20.09

No Protections from Skyrocketing Health Care Costs Caused by Finance Bill Democrats Reject Enzi Amendment to Ensure Bill Won’t Drive up Costs

Washington, D.C. - Democrats on the Senate Finance Committee today defeated anamendment from Senator Mike Enzi (R-Wyo.) that would have protected Americans fromdramatic increases in health care costs caused by the health care bill being considered bythe committee. The Enzi amendment would have prohibited provisions in the bill from going into effectin any state until that state certified that the new regulations would not drive up healthinsurance premiums. "The Finance Committee bill will driv… Continue Reading


09.17.09

Harkin Praises House Passage of the Student Aid and Fiscal Responsibility Act As Chairman of the Senate HELP Committee, Harkin intends to mark up similar legislation this Fall

Washington, D.C. - Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA) praised the U.S. House of Representatives today for passing the Student Aid and Fiscal Responsibility Act by a vote of 253 to 171. Consistent with the momentous agenda to increase education success laid out by President Obama, the House legislation provides for significant increases in the maximum Pell Grant awards as well as major new investments in America's community colleges and state early learning programs. It has been heralded as the single gre… Continue Reading


09.09.09

Harkin Statement on President Obama's Health Address to a Joint Session of Congress

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA) today issued the following statement regarding President Obama's address to a joint session of Congress. "Tonight President Obama reclaimed the health reform initiative in a powerful way. He illustrated that failure is not an option when it comes to health reform and he made a powerful case that the current health system is dangerously broken, and that even people who have health insurance are at risk of medical or financial catastrophe. There is ove… Continue Reading


08.04.09

Robbing Peter to Pay Nancy House Bill Swipes HIV/AIDS Funding from across Country for San Francisco & NYC, GAO Report Shows

Washington, D.C. - A new report from the nonpartisan Government Accountability Office (GAO) shows that the House of Representatives' appropriations bill would raid HIV/AIDS treatment funds from every metropolitan area in the country to direct money to San Francisco and New York. "Under the House bill, every city across the country would take a hit in order to send more money to San Francisco and New York. That's not what Congress intended when we reauthorized the Ryan White CARE Act. Money for H… Continue Reading


08.03.09

Enzi: No Artificial Deadline for Bipartisan Health Care Reform Talks

Washington, D.C. - U.S. Senator Mike Enzi (R-Wyo.) today said negotiators on the Senate Finance Committee have not set a mid-September deadline for bipartisan health care reform talks, and he reiterated that getting health care legislation right is more important than getting it done quickly."I have not and will not agree to an artificial deadline because I am committed to getting health care reform right, not finishing a bill by some arbitrary date. Improving access to quality, affordable healt… Continue Reading


07.23.09

Kennedy: Tomorrow America Gets a Raise - After 10 Years, Hope is on its Way

WASHINGTON, DC- Today, Senator Kennedy delivered the following statement on the floor of the United States Senate in advance of the minimum wage increase that will go into effect tomorrow, July 24th. Senator Kennedy led the fight for this increase and his bill was passed earlier this year and signed into law in May. Below is a transcript of his statement and a fact sheet on the legislation and the issue. "Tomorrow, we'll celebrate the first increase in the minimum wage in 10 years. That will be… Continue Reading


07.15.09

Statement of Senator Edward M. Kennedy on the Affordable Healch Choices Act

HYANNIS PORT - Senator Edward M. Kennedy, Chairman of the Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee, today released the following statement regarding the Affordable Health Choices Act: "This room is a special place. In this room, my two brothers declared their candidacy for the presidency. Today, the nation takes another major step toward reaching the goals to which they dedicated their careers, and for which they gave their lives. They strived, as I have tried to do, for … Continue Reading


07.15.09

In Historic Vote, HELP Committee Approves the Affordable Health Choices Act

WASHINGTON, D.C. - The Senate's Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee today passed The Affordable Health Choices Act, landmark legislation that will reduce health costs, protect individuals' choice in doctors and plans, and assure quality and affordable heath care for Americans. The bipartisan bill includes more than 160 Republican amendments accepted during the month-long mark-up, one of the longest in Congressional history. The legislation builds on the existing employer-base… Continue Reading


07.14.09

Democrats Reject Effort to Assist Medicaid Patients

Washington, D.C. - Despite evidence that Medicaid beneficiaries have poorer health than other Americans and have difficulty getting the care they need because many doctors do not accept Medicaid patients, Democrats on the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee today rejected an effort to provide Medicaid patients with new options for quality health insurance."Although Democrats keep saying they want to give people options to compete between private plans and government pla… Continue Reading


07.02.09

United HELP Committee Democrats Support Health Care Reform Affirm support for a public option run by the government for the public good, not private profit

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Democrats on the Senate's Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee today reaffirmed their commitment to pass health reform legislation that reduces health costs, protects choice of doctors and plans, and assures quality and affordable health care for Americans. The senators' statements follow the release of a new estimate on the cost of the Affordable Health Choices Act by the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office.CBO's new score of the bill is $611 billion ov… Continue Reading


06.24.09

Cite need of millions of Americans who have lost their health insurance during the economic downturn

WASHINGTON, DC- Senator Chris Dodd and Senator Patty Murray, senior Democrats on the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee, today held a press conference to call attention to the millions of Americans who have lost their health insurance during the economic downturn. They were joined by Families USA, who brought an ambulance outfitted with a digital ticker that counts the number of Americans who have lost their heath insurance since January 1, 2008. According to a study … Continue Reading


06.23.09

HELP Democrats call for insurance coverage for individuals with prexisting conditions

WASHINGTON, DC- Senator Chris Dodd (D-CT) and Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA), senior Democrats on the Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee, held a press conference today to discuss The Affordable Health Choices Act and the need for health reform legislation that enables individuals with pre-existing medical conditions to access quality, affordable health care. They were joined by several local families who have first-hand experience in dealing with health insurance denials based on… Continue Reading


06.23.09

STATEMENT OF SENATOR EDWARD M. KENNEDY ON PASSAGE OF HIGHER EDUCATION TECHNICAL AMENDMENTS Legislation expands grants for families of soldiers killed in action and helps students who have defaulted on their student loans

Washington, D.C.-The House today unanimously approved legislation that expands grants for survivors of veterans killed in action and reduces credit problems by enabling the Department of Education to purchase rehabilitated loans from guaranty agencies. The bill, H.R. 1777, passed unanimously by the Senate yesterday, also includes a number of technical amendments to the Higher Education Act of 1965. "This legislation expands a valuable college aid program to help the children of our brave men an… Continue Reading


06.22.09

STATEMENT OF SENATOR EDWARD M. KENNEDY PRAISING THE SIGNING OF BILL TO REGULATE TOBACCO

WASHINGTON, DC- Senator Edward M. Kennedy, Chairman of the Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee, today released the following statement praising the signing of H.R. 1256, legislation to empower the FDA to regulate tobacco products: "Today is a day for special celebration as President Obama signs into law this long-overdue authority for FDA to regulate tobacco products. Decade after decade, Big Tobacco has seduced millions of teenagers into lifetimes of addiction and premature death.… Continue Reading


06.20.09

JOINT STATEMENT FROM SENATORS EDWARD M. KENNEDY AND MAX BAUCUS

WASHINGTON, DC- Today, Senator Edward M. Kennedy, Chairman of the HELP Committee, and Senator Max Baucus, Chairman of the Finance Committee, issued the following statement affirming their commitment to seek common ground on health reform legislation, despite some media reports to the contrary: "For both of us, reforming the nation's health care system to cut cost, improve quality and provide affordable coverage remains the top priority on our two committees. We have worked together closely over… Continue Reading


06.16.09

HELP DEMOCRATS CALL FOR URGENT HEALTH CARE REFORM

WASHINGTON, DC- Senior Democrats on the Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee held a press conference today to discuss The Affordable Health Choices Act and the urgent need for health reform that reduces costs, protects choice and guarantees quality, affordable health care for all Americans. Nurses, medical students, and individuals with firsthand experience joined them in support of reforming our broken health care system. Tomorrow at 10:00am, the HELP Committee will begin to… Continue Reading


06.16.09

KENNEDY, KERRY ANNOUNCE $4.2 MILLION IN FEDERAL FUNDS TO MASSACHUSETTS BIOMEDICAL RESEARCH AND RESEARCH TRAINING INSTITUTIONS

BOSTON, MA - Senators Edward M. Kennedy and John F. Kerry announced today that fifteen biomedical research and research training institutions in Massachusetts will receive twenty-five grants from the National Institute of Health totaling $4,263,924, made under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. These federal funds to support biomedical research projects will help stimulate the economy, create or retain jobs, increase student-teacher research opportunities in biomedicine, and make signif… Continue Reading


06.09.09

Kennedy, HELP Committee Democrats Announce the "Affordable Health Choices Act" Bipartisan Talks Continue on Outstanding Key Issues

WASHINGTON, D.C. - For the past year, Chairman Edward M. Kennedy and Democratic Members and staff of the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) have been working to develop legislation that reduces health care costs, allows Americans to keep the coverage they have if they want it, and makes health insurance affordable to those who do not have it today. Today, while discussions between HELP Committee Democrats and Republicans on key outstanding issues continue, Chairman… Continue Reading

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