Jon Corzine on Health Care
Democratic Jr Senator (NJ)
A: It would not hurt small business because I would create a situation where the employee takes up part of the responsibility for paying for the insurance, with support on a means-tested basis for the employee. And I would work to encourage regional pools, which the federal government then would provide subsidies to.
A: [Small businesses] have to understand that it is going to be a co-pay arrangement with the employees and there will be support for the employees based on means- testing, and that there will be substantial subsidizations to regional pools. If thatís the case, the cost will be less, and frankly, the idea of using tax deductions for low- income workers who may not even be paying taxes, maybe even in an earned-income tax credit basis, is not going to provide the kind of access at health care thatís going to make sense for a lot of the folks that work in these low-paying jobs. And the idea that this is going to cause unemployment I think is about like saying raising the minimum wage in 1996 was going to throw us into a recession. The fact is the economy has continued to grow, grow very effectively.
The American Public Health Association (APHA) is the oldest and largest organization of public health professionals in the world, representing more than 50,000 members from over 50 occupations of public health. APHA is concerned with a broad set of issues affecting personal and environmental health, including federal and state funding for health programs, pollution control, programs and policies related to chronic and infectious diseases, a smoke-free society, and professional education in public health.
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Recently, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), through a public relations firm, distributed Video News Releases (VNRs) to numerous local television news stations across the country. These VNRs contain pre-scripted news story packages and B-Roll designed to influence local news station to run stories complimentary of the new Medicare law recently signed by President Bush. However, these VNRs may mislead many news stations because they do not identify that they are produced by the government. In addition, these materials are currently being evaluated to determine whether they are illegal "covert propaganda."
We urge you to immediately warn stations not to use these materials and pull any stories that use them.
These tapes can be identified as follows: Two English-language versions begin with B-Roll of video slides promoting the new Medicare law, followed by interview soundbites from Tommy Thompson, Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services and Leslie Norwalk, Acting Deputy Administrator of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid (CMS). Following these soundbites, a complete television news package is run, with a voice-over by a fictional reporter named "Karen Ryan." Following the news package, more B-Roll is provided, including scenes of President Bush's rally at the signing of the bill, scenes from a pharmacy and scenes of seniors playing table games.
It is critical to the credibility of an independent news media that covert government propaganda be rejected for use by news organizations. We also believe that honest government should not resort to such deceptive tactics, and it is our belief that these materials violate the above-mentioned Federal law. Thank you for your cooperation with this request.
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Thomas Kean Jr.
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