News June 14

Senator Sanders


Health Care Sen. Bernie Sanders attended Plainfield Medical Center's dedication ceremony Saturday. "What you're looking at is the most cost-effective way of delivering quality primary health care in the United States of America," Sanders told WPTZ. Later, on “The Situation Room” on CNN, Sanders discussed national health reform with Wolf Blitzer. “I want a national health insurance program which will continue to have privately funded doctors and non-profit hospitals. The fact of the matter is our current system is disintegrating.”  LINK, LINK, VIDEO and VIDEO


‘The Insurgents’ A group of senators, including Bernie Sanders, recently raised concerns with President Obama that he has surrounded himself with officials who are products of a system that caused the recession. Sanders had even placed a hold on the nomination of the president's pick to chair the regulatory body that failed to rein in derivatives trading. Unless giant financial firms like Citigroup and AIG are broken up, they'll have to be bailed out again someday, Sanders told Newsweek, which concluded: “The Senate pressure seems to have paid off.”  LINK


Fed Secrecy Rep. Ron Paul and Sen. Sanders don’t share many political views, but they do share the goal of opening up the famously secretive books of the Federal Reserve. They have sponsored bills to require the Government Accountability Office to audit the Fed…and require the Fed to publish detailed documents concerning assistance to financial institutions. Congressional Quarterly said “most lawmakers appear willing to wait until the worst of the crisis subsides before demanding significant changes in the Fed’s statutory authority.” LINK


Oil Prices Sen. Sanders has filed a bill that would force federal regulators to step in to halt speculation in oil, and sponsored a proposal adopted by the Senate energy committee "to make big oil traders divulge reserves held in offshore tankers to skirt reporting requirements, distort supply records and artificially drive up prices." The Burlington Free Press noted in an editorial that concluded, “We just want to make sure that the rest of us aren't being forced to pay the higher prices merely to make a few people richer.” LINK 


Sanders Alumna Salt Lake City Mayor Ralph Becker appointed Helen Langan to his executive staff as Senior Advisor to the Mayor. Langan has served as Mayor Becker's deputy communications director since he took office. Langan worked in the White House Press Office during the Clinton administration and later for U.S. Congressman Bernie Sanders.




Iran Protests The streets of Iran’s capital erupted in the most intense protests in a decade on Saturday, with riot police officers using batons and tear gas against opposition demonstrators who claimed that President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad had stolen the presidential election. Dozens of reformist politicians were said to have been arrested at their homes overnight, according to news reports on Sunday and a witness who worked with the politicians. There were also reports of politicians and clerics being placed under house arrest, The New York Times reported. LINK




Trims to Medicare, Medicaid Are Proposed to Help Fund Reform President Obama yesterday outlined measures to trim spending on federal health programs for the elderly and the poor by an additional $313 billion over the next decade, bringing his total proposed savings close to the amount necessary to cover the cost of his signature health-care plan, a top adviser told The Washington Post. LINK


Many in Congress Hold Stakes in Health Industry The political and economic force of the health care industry is well represented in the financial holdings of many lawmakers and others with a say on the legislation, according to new disclosure forms. Many lawmakers hold investments in insurance, pharmaceutical and prescription-benefit companies and in hospital interests, The Senate majority leader, Harry Reid of Nevada, for example, has interests in a stock index fund for the health care sector of more than $50,000 and up to $100,000, according to The New York Times. LINK


Digital TV The Federal Communication Commission, on its Web site, said Friday's switch to digital television by 971 full-power stations had prompted hundreds of thousands of calls for help "but caused no widespread disruption of free, over-the-air television broadcasts." It said 317,450 calls had been handled on Friday alone by the commission's help line, CNN reported. LINK




Green Jobs Green job growth doubled the growth rate of other jobs in Vermont in the past decade, according to a recent study by the Pew Charitable Trusts, but anybody who thinks the Green Mountain State is leading the way in green jobs nationally is mistaken. The study found Vermont had a below-average annual growth of green jobs of 1.69 percent, according to The Burlington Free Press. LINK


Green Jobs Vermont is getting nearly a half million dollars to help train young people in environmentally friendly construction techniques. The $496,000 grant is going to a program called YouthBuild in Burlington. The program helps out-of-school youth get diplomas or GEDs while providing training in the construction industry, The Associated Press reported. LINK


Ice Arena Jay Peak Resort is seeking final permits for a year-round, $7 million ice arena and a parking garage as part of the ski area's move to become a four-season resort, The Caledonian-Record reported. LINK