Ten days ago, the first provisions of my credit card reform bill took effect.
The bill, signed into law by President Obama last May, has three main
provisions requiring that issuers...
• Provide 45 days' written notice to consumers of any changes in the
interest rate or otherwise makes a significant change to the terms of a
credit card account;
• Inform consumers of their right to cancel the card before the rate hike goes into effect;
• Send statements to consumers 21 days before the due date of any payment.
of the rest of the bill's reforms will take effect in February,
including a ban on interest rate hikes on existing balances, a ban on
double-cycle billing, and an end to the other tricks that keep consumers
It's good news for credit cardholders: the
beginning of the end of most unfair, deceptive and anti-competitive
practices on the part of credit card issuers. These reforms will give
consumers time to better manage credit in their lives and allow the
markets to function more efficiently.
suspect that banks are not complying with the new requirements can
initiate a complaint with the Office of the Comptroller of the
Currency, which regulates credit card practices. Consumers can submit a
complaint form through the OCC website, www.occ.treas.gov, or by
calling 1-800-613-6743 from 8 am to 8 pm Monday to Friday.
Joint Economic Committee report shows women's health coverage doubly at risk
status quo in the health insurance system is serving women poorly. Some
64 million women lack adequate health insurance; over half of all
medical bankruptcies are filed by female-headed households.
new JEC report shows that women are more vulnerable than ever during
the recession. Here's why: they can lose their coverage if they lose
their own jobs, or if their husband loses his job. What's more, women
are more vulnerable to high health care costs than men. Women have more
regular health care needs and thus interact with the health care system
The system is clearly
broken – over one million women have lost their health insurance
because their spouse lost their job. The comprehensive health
care reform proposals offered by the Obama Administration and taking
shape in Congress include numerous provisions that are critical to
providing quality, affordable health care for all Americans, both women
and men. Many of these solutions are a key part of the prescription for
easing the burden on America’s women, for whom the status quo health
care system is failing.
Read the complete report, “Comprehensive Health Insurance Reform: An Essential Prescription for Women” here.
month, together with Rep. Christopher Murphy (CT) and Tammy Baldwin
(WI), I introduced the Women’s Health Office Act, H.R. 3242, which
would close the gaps in research, policy, programs, education and
training related to women’s health care by providing permanent
authorization to the offices of women’s health in five federal agencies.
Without permanent authorization, those offices and the programs and
research they sponsor will always be vulnerable to understaffing,
underfunding, or complete elimination. Recent initiatives like the
establishment of the White House Council on Women and Girls shows that
government is finally starting to 'get it' – women have unique
experiences, needs, and interests, and these need to be considered and
Currently, the Offices of Women’s Health at the National Institutes of
Health and at the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services
Administration are the only two offices federally authorized
and protected by law.
The five other offices of women’s health-- in the Department of Health
and Human Services, the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, the
Health Resources and Services Administration, the Centers for Disease
Control and Prevention, and the Food and Drug Administration--
currently lack this protection. By giving greater security to the
federal offices of women’s health, the Women’s Health Office Act
ensures that these offices can continue to provide vital leadership on
women’s health needs.
House Judiciary Committee has approved a portion of my landmark 9/11
Health and Compensation Act, H.R. 847, by a vote of 22-9. The margin of victory is
a sign of the measure’s strong momentum toward a vote in the full House
by this September, the eighth anniversary of the attacks. This
legislation would provide long-term, comprehensive health care and
compensation for those sickened or injured in the aftermath of the 9/11
terrorist attacks and also provide compensation for economic losses due
to illnesses or injuries caused by the tragic events of that day and
I thank my good friends and
cosponsors Rep. Jerry Nadler and Rep. Peter King for their leadership and I'm
grateful to Chairman Conyers, Rep. Lofgren, and Speaker Pelosi
for their steadfast support in moving this long-overdue bill forward.
Eight years is long enough to finally get proper care and compensation
for the heroes and heroines of 9/11.
Judiciary Committee has jurisdiction over the portion of the
legislation that would reopen the federal Victim Compensation Fund for
those who suffered economic losses as a result of exposure to Ground
Zero toxins. The House Energy and Commerce Committee has jurisdiction
over the health care component of the bill, and is expected to take up
that portion when Congress reconvenes in September.
Edward Moore Kennedy, 1932-2009
all mourn the loss of one of the most accomplished, most respected, and
most dedicated champions of social justice and equal opportunity in the
history of our nation: Senator Ted Kennedy.
bipartisan leadership and his tireless efforts on behalf of the less
fortunate and the most vulnerable touched and uplifted the lives of
millions. He was the inspiring voice of the voiceless, the standard
bearer for a generation, and a friend to all who had the honor of
working with him. I'm proud to say I was among them.