Ranking Member's Press

02.20.08

KENNEDY ON SUPREME COURT MEDICAL DEVICES RULING

WASHINGTON, DC- Senator Edward M. Kennedy, Chairman of the Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee, released the following statement today in response to the Supreme Court's ruling in Riegel v. Medtronic, which prevents injured patients from suing manufacturers of FDA-approved medical devices. "In enacting legislation on medical devices, Congress never intended that FDA approval would give blanket immunity to manufacturers from liability for injuries caused by faulty devices. Con… Continue Reading


02.13.08

KENNEDY FIGHTS FOR FAMILIES FACING HEALTH CARE CRISIS

(As Prepared for Delivery) In these hard economic times, Americans are anxious about the future. Balancing the demands of work and family is getting more and more difficult every day. Times are especially hard for families facing a health care crisis.It's difficult enough to deal with a serious illness in your family without the added worry that taking time off from work puts your job at risk. When my son lost his leg to cancer years ago, he had months of difficult treatment before … Continue Reading


02.13.08

Kennedy, Kerry, Frank, Tierney, Delahunt introduce Fishermen’s Health Legislation Bill would expand Massachusetts Fishing Partnership Health Plan

Washington, D.C.---Senators Edward M. Kennedy and John F. Kerry and Representatives Barney Frank, John Tierney, and William Delahunt today introduced bipartisan legislation to provide low-cost health coverage to fishermen and their families in Massachusetts and other coastal states. For Massachusetts, where the Fishing Partnership Plan currently provides health care to many fishing families, the bill would offer a valuable infusion of additional funds to keep the program on a firm financial… Continue Reading


02.13.08

KENNEDY ON THE NEXT CHAPTER OF THE FAMILY AND MEDICAL LEAVE ACT

(As Prepared for Delivery) I commend Senator Dodd for holding this important hearing. Striking the right balance between work and family is never easy. But it's especially difficult when serious illness or a medical emergency strikes. In these turbulent economic times, workers face great challenges. More and more families are already strapped for cash and time, and taking time off from work to deal with a serious illness of family members can threaten their jobs. Countless American fa… Continue Reading


02.12.08

DODD, KENNEDY, SCHROEDER, WOOLSEY MARK 15th ANNIVERSARY OF FMLA; CRITIQUE NEW DEPT. OF LABOR RECOMMENDATIONS Original authors of FMLA look forward to expanded, paid leave

Washington, DC - Senator Chris Dodd (D-CT) and former Congresswoman Pat Schroeder (D-CO), original authors of the landmark Family and Medical Leave Act, will hail the law's 15th anniversary, and critique the Department of Labor's new recommendations about the program at a press conference on Wednesday. They will also highlight the importance of moving forward with Dodd's bill which would provide Americans with paid leave. Since its passage, more than 60 million Americans have utilized the … Continue Reading


02.12.08

KENNEDY ADDRESSES HEALTHCARE WORKFORCE ISSUES United States Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee (As Prepared for Delivery)

I want to thank Senator Sanders for his dedication to this topic and for working so hard on this hearing today. I also want to thank Senators Enzi and Murkowski for their work on this issue. To create a healthy nation we must not only have health care professionals that are excellently trained-we need health care professionals that are excellently trained in the right fields and practicing in the communities that need them the most. Over the years, experts have predicted a physician shor… Continue Reading


02.12.08

U.S. Trained Docs in Primary Care Drop, GAO Finds Sanders Seeks to Double National Health Service Corps Funding

WASHINGTON, February 12 - The number of primary-care physicians and other health professionals trained in the United States is shrinking, according to Government Accountability Office findings announced today at a Senate hearing. The nonpartisan research arm of Congress was asked to assess the state of primary-care training in the United States by Senator Edward M. Kennedy (D-Mass.), the Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee Chairman, and by Senator Bernie Sanders (IVt.). "The … Continue Reading


02.12.08

KENNEDY TO HOLD HELP COMMITTEE EXECUTIVE MEETING

WASHINGTON, DC- On Thursday, February 14th, at 10:00am, Senator Edward M. Kennedy, Chairman of the Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee, will hold an executive meeting to mark up following pieces of legislation: S. 579, Breast Cancer and Environmental Research Act of 2007, S. 1810, Prenatally and Postnatally Diagnosed Conditions Awareness Act, S. 999, Stroke Treatment and Ongoing Prevention Act of 2007, S. 1760, Healthy Start Reauthorization Act of 2007, H.R. 20, Melanie Blocker-… Continue Reading


02.08.08

KENNEDY, PATRICK, CAPUANO TO LAUNCH MASSACHUSETTS LIFE SCIENCES CENTER’S NEW RESEARCH MATCHING GRANT PROGRAM

BOSTON, MA- On Monday, February 11th at 11:30 AM, Senator Edward M. Kennedy will join Governor Deval Patrick, Congressman Capuano, Senate President Murray, Speaker DiMasi and leading Massachusetts researchers to launch the new Massachusetts Life Sciences Center Matching Grant Program at Massachusetts General Hospital. The new competitive grant program aims to expand upon the cutting-edge life sciences research industry and to improve healthy outcomes for people in the Commonwealth and nati… Continue Reading


02.08.08

KENNEDY ON NEW DOL REGULATIONS ON FAMILY AND MEDICAL LEAVE ACT

WASHINGTON, DC- Today, Senator Edward M. Kennedy, Chairman of the Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee, released the following statement in response to Department of Labor's new regulations on the Family and Medical Leave Act. "The Act is a vital protection that has enabled more than 60 million Americans to take time off to address a serious illness without fear of losing their job. Yet the Department's new regulations will make it more difficult for workers to use this leave w… Continue Reading


02.07.08

KENNEDY, COLLEAGUES ON MA WORKERS RECEIVING TRADE ADJUSTMENT ASSISTANCE

WASHINGTON, DC- The U.S. Department of Labor recently announced that nearly 600 Massachusetts workers are entitled to federal Trade Adjustment Assistance benefits, which include extended unemployment insurance, job training, and health insurance. The assistance will benefit 478 workers at Alcatel-Lucent in North Andover, 79 workers at RAD Electronics Inc. in North Reading, 24 workers at Hyde Tools Inc. in Southbridge, and 15 workers at Leach & Garner Co. in North Attleboro. Senator E… Continue Reading


02.07.08

KENNEDY APPLAUDS PASSAGE OF HOUSE HEA BILL


02.06.08

KENNEDY ON H-2A REGULATION CHANGES

WASHINGTON, DC- Today, Senator Edward M. Kennedy released the following statement in response to the changes to the H-2A visa regulations announced by the Department of Labor and Department of Homeland Security. "I'm concerned about the Administration's approach to these regulations. Increased penalties for employers who break the law make sense, but it's wrong to slash wages for hard working farmworkers and undermine labor standards for Americans as well. We need a solution that will en… Continue Reading


02.05.08

KENNEDY ON 9.5% STUDENT LOAN SCANDAL

WASHINGTON, DC- Today, the U.S. Department of Education informed Congress that seven Federal Family Education Program lenders will be allowed to resume billing for "9.5% loans," the category of student loans under which lenders are eligible to receive an inflated 9.5% rate of return. The decision follows the completion of audits which identified that the seven lenders hold $650 million in student loans that are eligible for the 9.5 percent subsidy. Senator Edward M. Kennedy, Chairman of the… Continue Reading


02.04.08

KENNEDY ON CONGRESSIONAL BUDGET OFFICE COST ESTIMATES OF THE FEDERAL STUDENT LOAN PROGRAMS

WASHINGTON, DC- Today, Senator Edward M. Kennedy, Chairman of the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions, released new data from the Congressional Budget Office reaffirming that the Federal Direct Loan Program costs less to taxpayers than the Federal Family Education Loan Program, the program that subsidizes banks to make federal student loans. According to CBO's analysis, the FFEL program currently costs taxpayers $14.55 more per $100 loaned than the Direct Loan progra… Continue Reading


01.24.08

KENNEDY, LEWIS INTRODUCE CIVIL RIGHTS ACT OF 2008

WASHINGTON, DC- Today, Senator Edward M. Kennedy and Congressman John Lewis, along with more than a dozen Senate colleagues, introduced the Civil Rights Act of 2008, which will strengthen accountability when civil rights and workers' rights are violated. Recent court decisions have weakened America's civil rights laws in ways that Congress never intended. This legislation will ensure accountability for violations of our civil rights and fair labor laws and give individuals the right to c… Continue Reading


01.24.08

KENNEDY ON ENSURING EQUAL RIGHTS FOR ALL Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee Hearing

(As Prepared for Delivery) Equal pay for equal work is a fundamental civil right in our society. All workers should have the right to fair pay regardless of their race, gender, national origin, religion, age, sexual orientation or disability. Unfortunately, reality has too often failed to live up to this ideal. Prejudice and discrimination too often deny some employees the fair pay they deserve for the work they do. Civil rights is still the nation's unfinished business. Over the years, … Continue Reading


01.23.08

KENNEDY ON HOUSE CHIP VOTE

WASHINGTON, DC- Today, Senator Edward M. Kennedy, Chairman of the Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee, released the following statement in response to the United States House of Representatives failing to override President Bush's veto of the Children's Health Insurance Program. "American families want real solutions to the problems they face. There is no priority more urgent than providing affordable health care for children. Our CHIP legislation has been approved by strong … Continue Reading


01.23.08

KENNEDY ON BLUE CROSS BLUE SHIELD HEALTH INSURANCE PLAN

WASHINGTON, DC- Today, Senator Edward M. Kennedy, Chairman of the Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee, released the following statement in response to the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association's introduction of the "Pathway to Covering America: Ensuring Quality, Value, and Access," a plan to secure health insurance for all Americans. "I commend the Association for making a serious contribution to the debate on health care reform. The American people are demanding change. It is u… Continue Reading


01.23.08

MEMBERS OF CONGRESS QUESTION FDA PROPOSAL DESIGNED TO CREATE LIABILITY SHIELD FOR DRUG AND DEVICE COMPANIES

WASHINGTON, DC-Today Representatives Henry A. Waxman, John D. Dingell, Frank Pallone, Jr., Rosa L. DeLauro, and Edward Markey, and Senators Edward M. Kennedy, Patrick J. Leahy, and Christopher J. Dodd, questioned the basis for a new Food and Drug Administration (FDA) proposal that was apparently designed to shield pharmaceutical and device companies from liability for injuries sustained by American consumers as a result of unsafe products. "We are concerned that the intent of this propos… Continue Reading

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