Ranking Member's Press

03.18.08

KENNEDY ON FDA IDENTIFICATION OF HEPARIN CONTAMINANT

WASHINGTON, DC- Today, Senator Edward M. Kennedy, Chairman of the Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee, released the following statement in response to the FDA's announcement that they have identified the contaminant in the blood thinner heparin, a chemical compound called oversulfated chondroitin sulfate. Senator Kennedy will be sending letters to the FDA and industry later today. "It is unacceptable that Americans have died and been seriously injured by what appears to be de… Continue Reading


03.18.08

KENNEDY ON NO CHILD LEFT BEHIND POLICY ANNOUNCEMENT

WASHINGTON, DC- Today, Senator Edward M. Kennedy, Chairman of Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee, released the following statement in response to Secretary Spelling's announcement on No Child Left Behind this morning. "I'm glad that Secretary Spellings recognizes the need to adjust the No Child Left Behind Act. I wish President Bush was serious about funding it. The Act's accountability and focus on every child has been instrumental in turning our national attention toward… Continue Reading


03.18.08

IN LIGHT OF HEPARIN CONTAMINATION, KENNEDY URGES FDA, INDUSTRY TO INVESTIGATE FOREIGN-SOURCED DRUG INGREDIENTS

WASHINGTON, DC- Today, Senator Edward M. Kennedy, Chairman of the Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee, sent the following letters to the FDA and four industry groups urging an investigation into the sourcing of ingredients used in drugs. The text of the letters are below.… Continue Reading


03.17.08

KENNEDY HOLDS U.S. SENATE FIELD HEARING IN BOSTON ON COLLEGE ACCESS AND THE IMPACT OF THE CREDIT CRUNCH ON STUDENT LOAN AVAILABILITY "ENSURING ACCESS TO COLLEGE IN A TURBULENT ECONOMY" AT NORTHEASTERN UNIVERSITY

BOSTON, MA- Senator Edward M. Kennedy, Chairman of the U.S. Senate's Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions, today chaired a Senate field hearing on the challenges of college affordability in today's economy at Northeastern University. In the wake of the turbulence in the credit markets, access to student loan financing is under increased strain while the cost of higher education continues to skyrocket. Senator Kennedy said, "We need to be certain we're doing everything we can… Continue Reading


03.13.08

KENNEDY ON PASSAGE OF NIH AND LIHEAP FUNDING AMENDMENT

WASHINGTON, DC- Today, Senator Edward M. Kennedy, Chairman of the Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee, released the following statement in response to the passage of budget amendment #4023, which will provide an additional $2.1 billion in funding to NIH and $1 billion for LIHEAP. "This vote is a victory in two key areas. It's a victory for public health, and it's also a victory for protecting our most vulnerable citizens from the high cost of energy. It provides an additional… Continue Reading


03.13.08

KENNEDY ON INCREASE IN INDIAN HEALTH SERVICES FUNDING

WASHINGTON, DC- Today, Senator Edward M. Kennedy released the following statement in response to budget amendment #4198, which will increase the amount allocated to Indian Health Services by $1 billion. "I strongly support the additional $1 billion provided under this amendment for the Indian Health Services. The funds will be used to meet the urgent needs of Native Americans for medical and preventive health services in hospitals and clinics. These native peoples have long suffered poor… Continue Reading


03.12.08

KENNEDY ON THE UNITED AUTO WORKERS STRIKE AT AMERICAN AXLE

WASHINGTON, DC- Today, Senator Edward M. Kennedy, Chairman of the Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee, issued the following statement on the breakdown in negotiations between the United Auto Workers and American Axle and Manufacturing Holdings Inc.: "I urge American Axle to work to reach a contract with the UAW. The men and women of the auto industry have made huge contributions to the American economy, and they deserve a contract that honors their hard work. American Axle sh… Continue Reading


03.12.08

KENNEDY APPLAUDS LIHEAP FUNDING INCREASE

WASHINGTON, DC- Today, Senator Edward M. Kennedy, Chairman of the Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee, released the following statement in response to the Senate passage of $5.1 billion in LIHEAP funding, which increases the formula allotment for Massachusetts to $154 million. This funding level will provide an average benefit of $490 to over 300,000 households in the Commonwealth. "I'm thrilled that the Senate voted to fully fund LIHEAP, which provides essential heating assi… Continue Reading


03.07.08

KENNEDY INTRODUCES AIDS, TB AND MALARIA LEGISLATION

WASHINGTON, DC- Today, Senator Edward M. Kennedy, Chairman of the Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee, introduced the United States Global Leadership Against HIV/AIDS, Tuberculosis, and Malaria Reauthorization Act. The bipartisan legislation moves the program beyond the emergency phase of implementation into the sustainability phase, providing $50 billion in funding over the next five years, dramatically boosting aid programs for women and children, strengthening health syste… Continue Reading


03.06.08

KENNEDY, HELP COMMITTEE RELEASE NEW REPORT ON CRANDALL CANYON MINE DISASTER

WASHINGTON, DC-Today, Senator Edward M. Kennedy, Chairman of the United States Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee, released an investigative report entitled "Report on the August 6, 2007 Disaster At Crandall Canyon Mine." The report discusses the findings of Chairman Kennedy's investigation into the events leading up to the mine collapse. Chairman Kennedy said, "The Committee's investigation has revealed that the owner of Crandall Canyon mine, Murray Energy, di… Continue Reading


02.29.08

KENNEDY FIGHTS FOR PAID SICK DAYS Supports online rally to raise awareness

WASHINGTON, DC- Today, Senator Edward M. Kennedy issued the following statement on the launch of the online rally for paid sick days at EverybodyGetsSick.org. "To help stem the alarming outbreak of flu, health officials are urging sick workers to stay home from their jobs and sick children to stay home from school. But for millions of Americans, staying home is not an option. For half of all private sector workers, taking a day off because of illness means losing their pay or even losing … Continue Reading


02.26.08

KENNEDY, KERRY ANNOUNCE $3.9 MILLION IN FEDERAL FUNDING FOR EMERGENCY FOOD AND SHELTER IN MASSACHUSETTS

BOSTON, MA- Senators Edward M. Kennedy and John F. Kerry today announced $ 3.9 million in federal funding has been awarded to Massachusetts under the Emergency Food and Shelter Program to support food, shelter, rent, mortgage and utility assistance programs for persons facing non-disaster related emergencies. "No one in our Commonwealth should suffer the desperation of not knowing whether they will have a safe place to sleep at night or have a decent meal," said Senator Kennedy. "Our shel… Continue Reading


02.22.08

KENNEDY, PATRICK, SEC. LEAVITT DISCUSS MEDICAID WAIVER RENEWAL

WASHINGTON, D.C.-Today, Senator Edward M. Kennedy and Governor Deval Patrick met with Health and Human Services Secretary Michael Leavitt to discuss the renewal of Massachusetts' Medicaid waiver. The waiver helps hundreds of thousands in Massachusetts receive life-saving health care services. Today's meeting was the first in what will be a series of meetings as the renewal process begins for the waiver. It currently expires June 30, 2008. Senator Kennedy said, "This was a constructive fi… Continue Reading


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

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