Who stands up for you in Washington? It's not Erik Paulsen. Erik Paulsen recently voted in favor of the the Transparency in Regulatory Analysis of Impacts on the Nation Act proudly called the TRAIN Act by Republicans. The bill delays standards under the Clean Air Act and makes it harder for the Environmental Protection Agency to enforce those standards.
Don Shelby notes that the Clean Air Act is considered one of the most cost-effective laws every passed in the United States. "While costing relatively little, it has saved billions of dollars in health care costs due to respiratory and heart diseases. The Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) most recent report concludes that by 2020, implementation costs of the act will have reached $65 billion while the benefits in health care savings, not to mention lives saved, will reach $2 trillion." The Economic Policy Institute estimates that the Clean Air Act saved 160,000 lives in 2010 alone and 1.8 million since 1990.
Read Shelby's MinnPost article: Children's health and Republican efforts to lift restrictions on air pollutants.
The MiddleClass.org writes that the TRAIN Act supported by Erik Paulsen "is a key element of the conservative assault against government regulations intended to keep corporations from endangering public health and the planet for the sake of profit." Republicans' claim that the Environmental Protection Agency’s proposed actions to protect public health would be “job-killing” is contrary to the facts. Highly polluting coal is in fact more expensive as an energy source than wind and natural gas. In addition, far less of the costs paid for coal go to pay workers.
JOBS PER MEGAWATT
Last Updated on Tuesday, 14 February 2012 06:02
The website theMiddleClass.org is an excellent resource for finding out how legislation will affect you and your family and for determining whether your legislators are standing up for you. TheMiddleClass.org provides information and analysis on bills in Congress that have a significant impact on America's middle class, as well as on lower-income Americans who want to work their way into the middle class. It also enables voters to evaluate members of Congress based on their votes on these bills.
You simply click on your Senators' and your Representative's names in the right column. Up will come a score along with a list on how they voted on bills that affect middle class individuals and families and the many Americans trying to become middle class.
Last Updated on Saturday, 27 August 2011 14:34
Erik Paulsen, who represents Congressional District 3 in the U.S. Congress voted for the Republican Budget which reduces the deficit on the backs of current and future seniors rather than let the Bush Tax Cuts for the wealthy expire.
In his bid for reelection, Erik Paulsen used ominous attack ads against his opponent Jim Meffert, claiming that Meffert supported cutting Medicare benefits. Jim Meffert was supporting the Affordable Health Care Act, which Paulsen voted against. Tom Hauser's Truth Test for WCCO and Pat Kessler's Reality Check for KSTP both declared Paulsen's allegations false. Kessler stated, "this year, politicians are trying to scare senior voters with ads that are cynical and untrue." Paulsen kept running the ads even after Tom Hauser and Pat Kessler found them to be false.
As it turns out, Erik Paulsen himself voted to reduce benefits for current Medicare beneficiaries and to end Medicare as we know it for people who are 55 and younger. They would receive a voucher to pay part of a private insurance policy. The Congressional Budget Office estimates that this would double Medicare costs to $12,400 for people reaching the age of 65 in 2022. Their costs would triple to over $18,000 by the year 2032.
For further details, download "Impacts of the Republican Medicare Plan in Minnesota's 3rd Congressional District."
To keep up with developments on Medicare, sign up for the Medicare Rights Center's email newsletter in the top right corner of their home page.
"As you know, the Paul Ryan plan will end Medicare, making it a voucher program, leaving seniors to buy their own insurance in the private system. It will therefore end one of the most popular and successful initiatives ever offered.
This plan will also punish veterans – harshly."
Find out how the Republican Plan to end Medicare and cut Medicaid will harm veterans and spread the word.
As the Senate returned for the lame duck session, one of the first measures it took up is the Paycheck Fairness Act, an act which addresses the disparity in wages between men and women in the United States. 2008 data from the U.S. Census Bureau shows that women earn 77 cents for each dollar earned by men, resulting in nearly $11,000 in lost earnings for women.
Last Updated on Wednesday, 17 November 2010 19:10
The Paycheck Fairness Act closes major loopholes of the Equal Pay Act of 1963 that have prevented the Act from being effective. Fatima Goss Graves, Vice President for Education and Employment, National Women's Law Center, notes that employers would not be allowed to retaliate against employees for sharing salary information with their coworkers. Furthermore, the bill counts as discrimination pay differentials between men and women who work in different facilities of a company. It requires increased training to enhance EEOC and Department of Labor information on pay practices and ways to eliminate gender-based pay disparities.
The Paycheck Fairness Act passed the House by a vote of 256 to 163. The bill was considered by the Senate in November. Democrats hoped to get the support of Republican Senators Susan Collins and Olympia Snowe of Maine, Kay Bailey Hutchison of Texas, and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska who supported the Lilly Ledbetter Act which restored workers' rights to challenge illegal wage discrimination in the federal courts. However, they joined Republicans in fillibustering the Paycheck Fairness Act to prevent it from being brought to the Senate floor for a vote.
Third Congressional District Representative Erik Paulsen voted against both the Lily Ledbetter Act and the Paycheck Fairness Act. The Chamber of Commerce, manufacturers, hotels and motels, and business services oppose this bill. Paulsen received substantial campaign contributions of $65,000 from groups against the Paycheck Fairness Act, in fact 6th highest in the U.S. House. He received no contributions from women's interest groups and teachers' unions who supported the bill.
Erik Paulsen has started running an ad on TV that attempts to scare Seniors into thinking that Jim Meffert will will reduce their Medicare benefits. Jim Meffert supports the Affordable Health Care Act which brings the U.S. closer to the universal coverage one finds in almost all other industrialized nations. The bill will provide coverage for 32 million of the 45 million Americans who currently lack health care. Erik Paulsen voted against the bill.
Last Updated on Monday, 29 August 2011 13:20
Improved Benefits for Seniors - The Affordable Health Care Act eliminates seniors' copays for preventive care and provides seniors with 100% coverage for an annual checkup. It improves drug coverage for seniors by gradually closing the donut hole, the period after initial coverage when seniors with higher drug costs now have to pay the full costs of their drugs. Seniors who now fall into the donut hole will be able to buy their drugs for half their retail price. The bill includes cost saving measures which are expected to save Medicare $500 billion over 10 years. These savings will extend the solvency of the Medicare program an additional 12 years to 2029.
Medicare Cost Savings - Some of the savings will come from bringing the costs of Medicare Advantage Plans in line with Medicare. Private insurance companies currently subcontract with Medicare to provide health care for seniors for an annual fee paid by Medicare and the seniors who purchase the plan. The original idea was that competition among private insurance companies would reduce costs, but instead the Medicare Advantage plans currently cost 14% more than Medicare.
Other savings will come from slower increases in pay rates to hospitals and other service providers and reduction in Medicare fraud. The Affordable Care Act provides the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services with new tools that are designed to prevent fraud before it happens.
Quality Health Care Costs Less! - Most important, the Act provides payment incentives for coordination and improvements in care for people with chronic diseases. Diseases like diabetes, atrial fibrillation, congestive heart failure, respiratory conditions, and arthritis account for 75% of the health care costs of seniors. Health care systems like the Mayo Clinic, St. Mary's Hospital in Duluth, and the Veterans Health Care System have already demonstrated that with good chronic care, health care costs can be substantially reduced. Keeping people healthy is a win for everyone. Seniors are hospitalized less frequently and gain a higher quality of life and medical care costs go down.
Pay no attention to Paulsen's scare ad. For more information on Medicare and to keep up with current Medicare issues, visit the Medicare Rights Center, a national nonprofit consumer service organization that helps people with Medicare understand their rights and benefits.