Wednesday, April 26, 2006

PRESCRIPTION DRUGS


Why should Americans have to turn to Canada to find affordable prescription drugs and better prescription prices? Why shouldn't we be able to get those same prescriptions at the same prices right here in Granger, Winamac, Walkerton, Knox, Camden, Rochester, and every other community in Indiana's Second Congressional District?

I will work in Congress to guarantee that Senior Citizens and the rest of us get a fair deal at a fair price. I will support legislation that increases our pricing power and negotiating power with the big drug companies.

Until the day comes when we do have more affordable prescription prices here in America, I will fully support your right to obtain prescription drugs from Canada at much lower prices. This will create great savings for Seniors and families, and let you keep a few more dollars in your own wallet or pocketbook.

Joe Donnelly

Thursday, April 20, 2006

Spotlight on CHINA

China's President, Hu Jintao, is making a much-anticipated visit to the United States this week, first stopping in Seattle for a meeting with Bill Gates and then moving on to meet with President Bush. He comes at a time when the trade relationship between our countries is a disaster: a $200-billion-plus U.S. trade deficit with China is soaring while the Chinese government continues to undervalue its currency and not play by fair trading rules. The result? U.S. jobs are hemorrhaging, and the bleeding is showing no signs of stopping.
In light of the visit and the overall situation, here are some facts on the world's most populous nation:

  • China increased its industrial production by nearly 28 percent in 2005 alone.
  • “Outsourcing” companies promote that relocating to China’s low-wage market with little if any worker or environmental protections can immediately save 30-50% in costs.
  • Five out of every six ships sent here from China loaded with products for our market return to China empty. The sixth ship likely has scrap metal or paper on board.
  • Every year, 202 billion pairs of shoes are sent from China to the U.S. – seven pairs for every man, woman and child!
  • Over four million Chinese are in forced labor camps producing auto parts and other products that are often exported.
  • According to China’s own central bank, U.S. workers earn 33 times as much as their Chinese counterparts.
  • We have a $37 billion deficit in advanced technology goods - $36 billion of which is with China (so much for the claim that Americans who lose their manufacturing job can simply move on to a high tech job).
  • Right now, the number of Chinese that speak English as a second language is more than the number of people in the United States that are native English speakers.
  • Though China doesn’t track rural unemployment, estimates show that overall unemployment is around twenty percent – that’s over 250 million people, or just 50 million less than the entire U.S. population.
Source: Rapid Response Info Alert April 20,2006

Saturday, April 15, 2006

Christ - "vital agitator"



“I told my friends of the cloth that I did not believe Christ was meek and lowly but a real, living, vital agitator who went into the temple with a lash and whipped the oppressors of the poor, routed them out of doors and spilled their blood and got silver on the floor. He told the robbed and misruled and exploited and driven people to disobey their plunderers, he denounced the profiteers, and it was for this that they nailed his quivering body to the gates of Jerusalem, not because he told them to love one another. That was a harmless doctrine. But when he touched their profits and denounced them before their people, he was then marked for crucifixion.”
-- Eugene Debs, Labor Leader and Socialist Party Presidential Candidate

Saturday, April 08, 2006

Another Kick in the teeth by Republicans

Feds announce Part D cost increases for 2007

The Center for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has announced the
increased costs for the Standard Part D parameters that will take effect in
January 2007.

2007 will see the following changes:

* Deductible will go up from $250 to $265.

* Beginning of coverage gap ("donut hole") will go up from $2,250 to $2,400
in total drug cost.

* End of coverage gap ("donut hole") will go up from $5,100 to $5,451.25.

The amount of money a Medicare recipient will have to spend out of their own
pocket on drugs to get out of the coverage gap and begin receiving the 95%
"catastrophic" coverage will go up from $3,600 to $3,850 for the year.

The law requires CMS to increase the cost of the deductible and the
beginning/ending of the coverage gap each year based on the increase in drug
spending by Medicare beneficiaries in the previous year -- a rate much
higher than the Consumer Price Index. The new rates for 2007 are an
increase of 6.8%. The Consumer Price Index, which measures overall
inflation/price increases (and is used in determining Social Security and
other cost-of-living increases) for the same period will be only 1.81%

A real Medicare drug benefit is needed now!

Less than 4 months into the private Part D drug plan, it's official -- a bad
deal is going to get worse next year and every year after.

Recent studies have shown that compared to the cost of the private Part D
plan, a Medicare run drug benefit with negotiated lower drug prices could
provide 100% of recipients drug costs -- with no premium, deductible,
coverage gap -- and still have a surplus of $40 billion over the first 7
years.

It's time for Congress to fix this private Part D disaster and create a real
drug benefit run by and through Medicare with negotiated lower drug prices.

Saturday, April 01, 2006

Steelworkers Summer 2006

When I graduated from High School, I had no idea what I wanted to do with my life. After working at a summer resort in Iowa during the first few months, I decided to join the Navy. If I were to be in that predicament today, I’d consider the Steelworkers Summer Program.

Steelworkers’ Summer is an educational and training internship in which participants develop skills useful for union organizing by experiencing firsthand the kinds of struggles workers face while trying to win a voice at work. It is also designed to give participants an understanding and appreciation of the positive impact the union has had on their parents’ working lives.

Internships are open to young adults, 18 years of age or older. Selection preference is given to children of members of the United Steelworkers.

Steelworkers’ Summer is committed to uniting students, workers, and community activists to bring about social justice through workplace and community organizing.

Applicants should have a strong commitment to social and economic justice, as well as openness to working with a broad cross section of people. This includes people of various races, ethnicities, religions and orientations. Participants need to be people-oriented, enthusiastic, energetic, flexible and willing to work long hours on an unpredictable schedule. A college degree is not required. Previous union experience is not necessary. Volunteerism or activism is a plus.

You can find more information about this program as well as an application by going here.

I recommend it for any young person looking for an alternative way to begin a career in life.