Ranking Member's Press

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


06.02.09

KENNEDY PRAISES CEA HEALTH REFORM REPORT, CALLS FOR ACTION

WASHINGTON, DC- Senator Edward M. Kennedy, Chairman of the Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee, issued the following statement today on the Council of Economic Advisers report, The Economic Case for Health Care Reform, and the importance of such reform for increasing economic growth, reducing unemployment, assisting small businesses, and easing family budgets: "The Council's report emphas the major economic benefit to the nation that will also be achieved if we make health c… Continue Reading


05.27.09

KENNEDY, KERRY ANNOUNCE $666 MILLION IN FEDERAL FUNDS FOR MASSACHUSETTS EDUCATION

BOSTON, MA - Senators Edward M. Kennedy and John F. Kerry announced today that Massachusetts will receive $666 million in economic recovery funds through the U.S. Department of Education's State Fiscal Stabilization Fund. The funds are being made available under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act passed earlier this year. The $666 million for Massachusetts will be used to protect and create jobs and improve education in the Commonwealth. The funds are intended to save education jobs and … Continue Reading


05.27.09

KENNEDY, KERRY ANNOUNCE $9.9 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 50 grantees at seventeen biomedical research and research training institutions in Massachusetts have been awarded a total of $9,902,161 in federal funding. The funds come from the National Institute of Health through a program in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act to support biomedical research projects that will stimulate the economy, create or retain jobs, increase student-teacher training opportunities in … Continue Reading


05.22.09

Kennedy and Dodd Champion Paid Sick Days Legislation for America's Working Families

**Summary of legislation included.** WASHINGTON, DC- Senators Edward M. Kennedy and Christopher Dodd yesterday evening introduced the Healthy Families Act, which will allow American workers to earn paid sick days to care for themselves and their families without risking their jobs. Now more than ever, workers are struggling to balance the demands of their jobs with the needs of their families. Yet almost half of today's private sector workforce doesn't have a single paid sick day-including 79%… Continue Reading

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