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Archive for June 28th, 2012

U.S. Supreme Court upholds the Affordable Health Care Act

Posted by Admin On June - 28 - 2012 ADD COMMENTS

President Barack Obama: U.S. Supreme Court’s Decision a victory for people all over this country

 

U.S. Senator Mark Kirk: The health care law threatens our economic recovery.

 

WASHINGTON, D.C. – In a historic decision the U.S. Supreme Court today by a 5-4 vote upheld the constitutionality of the Affordable Health Care Act.

President Barack Obama said the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision is a victory for people all over this country.

Responding to the U.S. Supreme Court’s 5-4 decision upholding the constitutionality of the Affordable Health Care Act, President Obama said: “Whatever the politics, today’s decision was a victory for people all over this country whose lives are more secure because of this law and the Supreme Court’s decision to uphold it.”

Kirk (R-Ill.) released the following statement:  

“While I respect the Court’s decision, the health care law threatens our economic recovery by raising taxes, imposing new regulations and creating a drag on the economy,” said Senator Kirk. “Congress should repeal the health care law and replace it with common sense, centrist reforms that give Americans the right to buy insurance across state lines and expand coverage without raising taxes, while blocking the government from coming between patients and their doctors.”

Calling the Affordable Health Care Act a good law, Illinois Lt. Governor Sheila Simon said, “It helps seniors, young adults and middle class Americans receive stronger, more affordable care. It promotes preventive care, such as checkups and mammograms. And it prevents insurance companies from denying care to people with pre-existing conditions or charging women more based on their gender. The Supreme Court ruling today upholds these commonsense protections and puts our country on a healthier path. In Illinois, I encourage our state leaders to use this ruling as a backdrop as we set policies to make our citizens healthier, train the next generation of health care workers, grow local food systems and find other opportunities to move our state forward.”

Others weigh-in on the Supreme Court’s health care ruling:

Illinois GOP Chairman Pat Brady said “ObamaCare will lead to the implosion of our health care system, an explosion of our national debt and economic uncertainty for millions of job creators. This comes as no surprise since Barack Obama spent his formative political years in Springfield being trained by Illinois Democrats like Michael Madigan, who through years of mismanagement, have led Illinois to having the worst budget deficit, credit rating, pension debt and business climate in the nation.”

In his statement, Jim Duffett, Executive Director of The Campaign for Better Health Care, said the “American public has been battling the opponents of fairness and corporate insurance industry greed for 100 years to create a system of health care that works for all.. An affordable, accessible, quality system of health care gives consumers and small businesses the ability to choose, and ensures their peace of mind and security. Obamacare accomplishes these goals.

Duffett also pointed out some of the overall benefits of the Affordable Health Care Act:

 

Who is protected and helped by Obamacare?

 
1) You and your family: Obamacare makes health care coverage more secure for working families. You can no longer be denied coverage due to a pre-existing condition, or lose your coverage when someone gets sick and needs to use it.

2) Women: The new health care law makes health care more secure and fair for women by ending denials due to pre-existing conditions and ensuring women can no longer be charged 150% of what men pay for the same coverage. Because of Obamacare, more than 20 million women have already received preventive care such as mammograms and pap smears without any out of pocket expenses.

3) Young Adults: Young adults want jobs and a future. Thanks to Obamacare, 2.5 million young adults are now more secure because they are able to stay on their parents insurance.

4) People with Cancer and other Health problems: Thanks to Obamacare, the more than 120 million Americans under 65 who have a “pre-existing condition” now have peace of mind from knowing they can no longer be denied affordable coverage.

5) Small Business: Under Obamacare, tax credits will help small businesses provide quality health care choices to their employees. Soon they will also have the ability to leverage their purchasing power as a group and get the same lower rates as big corporations do.

“Today’s Supreme Court decision helps to strengthen our nation’s tattered social fabric and provides hope that constitutional law and democracy matters,” commented Jim Duffett, Executive Director of the Campaign for Better Health Care. 

Duffett continues, “It is time for the obstructionists in the Republican Party in Congress and in Springfield, and a handful of insurance industry backed Democrats in Springfield to stop their crusade against Obamacare.  It is time to put America and Illinois first, act like adults, and do something positive for a change that will help small businesses and hard working Americans by implementing Obamacare.  Meanwhile, we are urging Governor Quinn to immediately sign an Executive Order and begin implementing the new insurance Marketplace (exchange) so Illinois’ hard working families and small businesses will continue to enjoy the benefits of access to affordable, quality health care.” 

Duffett concludes, “Thank you Obamacare and thank you President Obama for keeping your word and delivering for the American people.  The United States can now join the rest of the sane western industrial world that provides affordable, accessible and quality health care to its people.”

Remarks by the President on Supreme Court Ruling on the Affordable Care Act

Posted by Admin On June - 28 - 2012 ADD COMMENTS

Earlier today, the Supreme Court upheld the constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act — the name of the health care reform we passed two years ago.  In doing so, they’ve reaffirmed a fundamental principle that here in America — in the wealthiest nation on Earth – no illness or accident should lead to any family’s financial ruin. 

I know there will be a lot of discussion today about the politics of all this, about who won and who lost.  That’s how these things tend to be viewed here in Washington.  But that discussion completely misses the point.  Whatever the politics, today’s decision was a victory for people all over this country whose lives will be more secure because of this law and the Supreme Court’s decision to uphold it.

And because this law has a direct impact on so many Americans, I want to take this opportunity to talk about exactly what it means for you. 

First, if you’re one of the more than 250 million Americans who already have health insurance, you will keep your health insurance — this law will only make it more secure and more affordable.  Insurance companies can no longer impose lifetime limits on the amount of care you receive.  They can no longer discriminate against children with preexisting conditions.  They can no longer drop your coverage if you get sick.  They can no longer jack up your premiums without reason.  They are required to provide free preventive care like check-ups and mammograms — a provision that’s already helped 54 million Americans with private insurance.  And by this August, nearly 13 million of you will receive a rebate from your insurance company because it spent too much on things like administrative costs and CEO bonuses, and not enough on your health care. 

There’s more.  Because of the Affordable Care Act, young adults under the age of 26 are able to stay on their parent’s health care plans — a provision that’s already helped 6 million young Americans.  And because of the Affordable Care Act, seniors receive a discount on their prescription drugs — a discount that’s already saved more than 5 million seniors on Medicare about $600 each.

All of this is happening because of the Affordable Care Act. These provisions provide common-sense protections for middle class families, and they enjoy broad popular support.  And thanks to today’s decision, all of these benefits and protections will continue for Americans who already have health insurance.   

Now, if you’re one of the 30 million Americans who don’t yet have health insurance, starting in 2014 this law will offer you an array of quality, affordable, private health insurance plans to choose from.  Each state will take the lead in designing their own menu of options, and if states can come up with even better ways of covering more people at the same quality and cost, this law allows them to do that, too.  And I’ve asked Congress to help speed up that process, and give states this flexibility in year one. 

Once states set up these health insurance marketplaces, known as exchanges, insurance companies will no longer be able to discriminate against any American with a preexisting health condition.  They won’t be able to charge you more just because you’re a woman.  They won’t be able to bill you into bankruptcy. If you’re sick, you’ll finally have the same chance to get quality, affordable health care as everyone else.  And if you can’t afford the premiums, you’ll receive a credit that helps pay for it. 

Today, the Supreme Court also upheld the principle that people who can afford health insurance should take the responsibility to buy health insurance.  This is important for two reasons. 

First, when uninsured people who can afford coverage get sick, and show up at the emergency room for care, the rest of us end up paying for their care in the form of higher premiums. 

And second, if you ask insurance companies to cover people with preexisting conditions, but don’t require people who can afford it to buy their own insurance, some folks might wait until they’re sick to buy the care they need — which would also drive up everybody else’s premiums.

That’s why, even though I knew it wouldn’t be politically popular, and resisted the idea when I ran for this office, we ultimately included a provision in the Affordable Care Act that people who can afford to buy health insurance should take the responsibility to do so.  In fact, this idea has enjoyed support from members of both parties, including the current Republican nominee for President.

Still, I know the debate over this law has been divisive.  I respect the very real concerns that millions of Americans have shared.  And I know a lot of coverage through this health care debate has focused on what it means politically. 

Well, it should be pretty clear by now that I didn’t do this because it was good politics.  I did it because I believed it was good for the country.  I did it because I believed it was good for the American people.

There’s a framed letter that hangs in my office right now.  It was sent to me during the health care debate by a woman named Natoma Canfield.  For years and years, Natoma did everything right.  She bought health insurance.  She paid her premiums on time.  But 18 years ago, Natoma was diagnosed with cancer.  And even though she’d been cancer-free for more than a decade, her insurance company kept jacking up her rates, year after year.  And despite her desire to keep her coverage — despite her fears that she would get sick again — she had to surrender her health insurance, and was forced to hang her fortunes on chance. 

I carried Natoma’s story with me every day of the fight to pass this law.  It reminded me of all the Americans, all across the country, who have had to worry not only about getting sick, but about the cost of getting well. 

Natoma is well today.  And because of this law, there are other Americans — other sons and daughters, brothers and sisters, fathers and mothers — who will not have to hang their fortunes on chance.  These are the Americans for whom we passed this law. 

The highest Court in the land has now spoken.  We will continue to implement this law.  And we’ll work together to improve on it where we can.  But what we won’t do — what the country can’t afford to do — is refight the political battles of two years ago, or go back to the way things were. 

With today’s announcement, it’s time for us to move forward — to implement and, where necessary, improve on this law.  And now is the time to keep our focus on the most urgent challenge of our time:  putting people back to work, paying down our debt, and building an economy where people can have confidence that if they work hard, they can get ahead. 

But today, I’m as confident as ever that when we look back five years from now, or 10 years from now, or 20 years from now, we’ll be better off because we had the courage to pass this law and keep moving forward. 

Thank you.  God bless you, and God bless America.

Cook County State’s Attorney files suit against Suburban Construction Company

Posted by Admin On June - 28 - 2012 ADD COMMENTS

The Cook County State’s Attorney’s Consumer Fraud Unit has filed a lawsuit against a suburban construction company and its owner for bilking thousands of dollars from homeowners who were told that their homes had been damaged by severe weather and were in need of repairs, according to the Office of Cook County State’s Attorney Anita Alvarez.

Lake Shore Construction.net, Inc., and owner David Gerger are named in the suit that was filed today.  The lawsuit alleges that the company accepted more than $20,000 in payments from two homeowners for work that was never performed on their homes in Elmwood Park and Orland Park.  The lawsuit also accuses the defendant of misleading victims to believe that the company was fully licensed to perform the promised repairs.  

According to the lawsuit, Gerger operated his business out of two offices in Homer Glen and LaGrange Park and would solicit his services in neighborhoods that had recently experienced severe weather and offer to inspect homeowner’s roofs for damage. 

After the two inspections identified in the lawsuit, Gerger told the homeowners that he had found damage to their roof and offered to make the needed repairs. Gerger told the homeowners that their homeowner’s insurance policy would cover the cost of his work and offer to negotiate their claim even though he was not a licensed insurance adjuster. 

When company representatives would come out to assess the damage, Gerger would meet with them and discuss the homeowner’s repairs. He would return to the victim’s home after their claim was approved to pick up the checks they had received. This would be the last time either of the victims would see Gerger again as no materials were ever delivered or work initiated on their homes. 

In total, Gerger is alleged to have taken $21,358.89 from the two victims.

The lawsuit seeks to permanently enjoin the defendants from engaging in any further alleged deceptive practices.  Refunds for victims and a $50,000 fine are also being sought.

According to Alvarez, this type of deceptive business practice is typical of so-called “storm chasers,” contractors who target neighborhoods that have recently experienced severe weather and storm damage. They will commonly offer a free inspection of the victim’s roof and further represent to the homeowner that their property insurance company will pay the repair costs. In some cases these contractors will offer to negotiate the insurance claim on the victim’s behalf and then disappear with the payment when it arrives.  

State’s Attorney Alvarez urges homeowners to use caution when choosing a contractor to complete home improvement projects or to make home repairs and to keep in mind the following tips when choosing someone to complete any repairs on their property.

·        Always get at least three quotes for any major remodeling /repair work.

·        Ask questions about the repair, including time frame to complete and materials.  If your questions aren’t answered to your satisfaction, ask again or contact another company.

·        Ask for references in the area that have had similar work done and check them out.

·        Be sure that you read and understand the entire contact before signing it.  Make sure any promises or guarantees made during discussions with the contractor are in the contract.

·        Check the company’s rating on the Better Business Bureau’s website:  www.bbb.org

·        Read the pamphlet, “Home Repair: Know Your Consumer Rights,” before hiring a contractor.  All home repair contractors are required by law to provide you with this pamphlet before asking you to sign a contract over $500.

For more information contact the Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office, Consumer Fraud Unit at 312/603-8700 or visit the State’s Attorney’s website at www.statesattorney.org.

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Welcome to CopyLine Magazine! The first issue of CopyLine Magazine was published in November, 1990, by Editor & Publisher Juanita Bratcher. CopyLine’s main focus is on the political arena – to inform our readers and analyze many of the pressing issues of the day - controversial or otherwise. Our objectives are clear – to keep you abreast of political happenings and maneuvering in the political arena, by reporting and providing provocative commentaries on various issues. For more about CopyLine Magazine, CopyLine Blog, and CopyLine Television/Video, please visit juanitabratcher.com, copylinemagazine.com, and oneononetelevision.com. Bratcher has been a News/Reporter, Author, Publisher, and Journalist for 33 years. She is the author of six books, including “Harold: The Making of a Big City Mayor” (Harold Washington), Chicago’s first African-American mayor; and “Beyond the Boardroom: Empowering a New Generation of Leaders,” about John Herman Stroger, Jr., the first African-American elected President of the Cook County Board. Bratcher is also a Poet/Songwriter, with 17 records – produced by HillTop Records of Hollywood, California. Juanita Bratcher Publisher

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