March 30, 2012 E-Newsletter

Mar 30, 2012
Newsletter

REP. CAROLYN B. MALONEY E-NEWSLETTER
MARCH 30, 2012  VOLUME IX, NUMBER III



Dear Neighbor,

It's been a busy period in the Capitol, as Spring arrived with 80 degree temperatures-- and Washington's famous cherry blossoms bloomed very early.

This week the House debated and, unfortunately, passed the majority's Ryan Budget this week. Authored by Rep. Paul Ryan, Chair of the House Budget Committee,  the proposal is a retread of last year's, which also ended Medicare as we know it by converting it to a voucher system; bleeds red ink to pay for corporate tax cuts; and threatens the economic recovery. Thankfully, the Ryan budget is likely to be dead on arrival in the Senate.

Also this week, I defended myself against Oversight Chairman Darryl Issa on a point of personal privilege in a statement on the House floor. You may read my statement here  https://1.usa.gov/HigI4o or watch video of my remarks here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jKxKCw0Qf7M&feature=youtu.be

Finally, I was proud to receive a "Fearless Trailblazer" award from the Feminist Majority at their 25th Anniversary luncheon this week. I was delighted to see old friends like Ellie Smeal and honored that they saw fit to honor me in this way.
And last night, I was thrilled to receive the East Sider of the Year OTTY Award from Our Town newspaper.

Other news from recent days in Washington follows below.


Sincerely,

Carolyn B. Maloney
Member of Congress



P.S.  If you'd like to reach me on an issue of importance to you, please don't reply to this unattended email account. Instead, please use the "email me" function on my website here: https://maloney.house.gov/contact-me/email-me.



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HEALTH CARE REFORM HAS ALREADY BENEFITTED
THOUSANDS OF 14TH DISTRICT RESIDENTS

As the Supreme Court heard arguments this week about the constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act-- as the health care reforms enacted in 2010 are known-- many provisions have already helped tens of thousands of seniors, young adults, small businesses, and others in the 14th Congressional District as the law is phased in on the way to full effect in 2014 (barring any changes required by the court).

Already, thanks to the health care reform law, health insurance companies can no longer kick children under the age of 26 off of their parents’ health care policies, no longer reject coverage for kids under age 19 who have preexisting conditions, and no longer place lifetime limits on coverage.  What’s more, the law has given over a thousand small businesses in the 14th district access to valuable tax credits-- up to 35 percent of employer premiums-- to help provide coverage for their employees.

Here are a range of estimated beneficiaries among 14th district residents :

• 6,100 young adults in the district now have health insurance.
• 10,200 seniors in the district have received prescription drug discounts worth $7.7 million, an average discount of $760 per senior.
• 66,000 seniors in the district received Medicare preventive services without paying any co-pays, coinsurance, or deductibles.
• 18,000 children and 130,000 adults now have health insurance that covers preventive services without paying any co-pays, coinsurance, or deductibles.
• 1060 small businesses in the district received tax credits to help maintain or expand health care coverage for their employees.
• $10.6 million in public health grants have been given to community health centers, hospitals, doctors, and other healthcare providers in the district to improve the community’s health.
• 5,000 to 21,000 children with preexisting health conditions can no longer be denied coverage by health insurers.

There are more health care benefits to come. Starting in September of this year, health insurers and employers will be required to provide residents with an easy-to-understand summary of benefits and coverage under their health care plan, providing them with clear and consistent information so they can easily compare health care options.

All of the data above were compiled by the minority staff of the House Energy and Commerce Committee; a full copy of the 14th district report is viewable here: https://maloney.house.gov/press-release/maloney-releases-new-study-benefits-health-reform-law-new-yorkers  Find out more about the health care reofrms in general at https://www.healthcare.gov/law/index.html


DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE NOW IN COMPLIANCE
WITH MALONEY MILITARY-CRIME DATABASE EFFORT

The Defense Incident-Based Reporting System (DIBRS), a database on crimes such as assault and rape among military personnel, has now been fully implemented across all service branches, according to Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta, in response to my queries.

DIBRS is a critical tool for the Department of Defense, law enforcement, policymakers, and our service personnel to know the extent and nature of crimes committed in the military and make informed decisions regarding good policy and the best allocation of resources to combat the crime. After years of delay, the completion of this system ensures we have accurate data so that crimes are properly adjudicated and service members are protected.

This is good news, particularly in light of recent estimates that put the number of sexual assaults in the military at some 19,000 each year.

I have long fought for the full implementation of DIBRS. I authored an amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2010 which required the Department of Defense  to regularly report to Congress concerning the progress of DIBRS implementation.


MALONEY, MENENDEZ MARK 40TH ANNIVERSARY
OF E.R.A.'s PASSAGE AT CAPITOL HILL RALLY

As the House sponsor of the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA), I was proud to mark the 40th anniversary of its original passage with my friend, former House colleague, and Senate sponsor of the amendment, Sen. Robert Menendez.

While it's true that women have made great progress in the past 40 years, progress can all too easily be rolled back. Laws can change; courts can reverse themselves and create new precedent. The only way for women to achieve permanent equality in the U.S. is to write it into the constitution. Our nation must go on record that women are fully equal in the eyes of the law.

If you need a referesher, the ERA is a constitutional amendment which would prohibit denying or abridging equal rights under law by the United States or any state on account of sex. A few of the ways this critical amendment would guarantee the equal rights of men and women is by:
• Clarifying the legal status of sex discrimination for the courts, by making sex a suspect category subject to strict judicial scrutiny, as race, religion, and national origin currently are.
• Guaranteeing equal footing for women in the legal systems of all 50 states.
• Ensuring that government programs and federal resources benefit men and women equally.

The ERA was first introduced in 1923 as the “Lucretia Mott Amendment” at the celebration of the 75th Anniversary of the 1848 Seneca Falls “Declaration of Sentiments,” considered the founding of the women’s rights movement in the U.S.  After Congressional passage in 1972, 35 states ratified the amendment, falling just three states short of the 38 necessary for ratification.
My bill starts the clock again after passage in both the House and the Senate.

View the original New York Times story on ERA’s passage from March 22, 1972 here: https://maloney.house.gov/sites/maloney.house.gov/files/documents/women/era/NYTOriginalERAPassageStory80786217.pdf

For more information on the ERA, visit https://maloney.house.gov/issue/equal-rights-amendment



SENATE PASSES STOCK ACT TO BAN
INSIDER TRADING BY MEMBERS OF CONGRESS

The Senate has now followed in the House footsteps in approving the STOCK Act by a massive, bipartisan vote of 96 - 3, after earlier passing the House by a vote of 417 - 2. The legislation would ban insider trading by Members of Congress, certain staff, and employees of the executive branch.

I’ve frequently said that elected officials must be like Caesar’s wife in avoiding the appearance of impropriety. The need to expressly prohibit this activity, in statute, cannot be overstated; insider trading is illegal on Wall Street and now it will be illegal on Capitol Hill. It’s about time.

I salute my colleagues Tim Walz and Louise Slaughter for their persistent leadership on this issue, and look forward to its signing by President Obama.