Senate Easily Approves Defense Bill

first_imgThe Senate easily passed the fiscal 2017 defense authorization bill 85-13 on Tuesday after another skirmish on the floor blocked most amendments from gaining votes.Action stalled because senators who were unable to secure votes for their favored amendments blocked the chamber from considering other proposals. Armed Services Chairman John McCain (R-Ariz.) criticized his colleagues ahead of the vote, suggesting some were taking a “their way or the highway” approach.“As happy as I am about the size of the vote, we left out some very important amendments,” McCain said, reported the Hill. “When we take up a bill of this significance, not every senator can have his or her way.”Lawmakers adopted one amendment Tuesday permitting DOD to use Russian-made rocket engines to lift military and intelligence satellites into space through 2022.With the $602 billion measure cleared by the Senate, the two chambers will begin talks to reconcile their competing versions immediately, McCain said. He would not commit to reaching a deal on a conference report before Congress adjourns for a lengthy recess in July, but said that would be the goal.The annual defense policy bill will need to overcome a number of hurdles before becoming law, according to the story. The Office of Management and Budget has threatened to veto the two versions over a variety of provisions, including language eliminating the undersecretary of defense for acquisition, technology and logistics; limits on the size of the National Security Council staff; restrictions on the transfer of detainees from Guantánamo; language rejecting the administration’s request for a BRAC round in 2019; and a move allocating $18 billion from the overseas contingency operations account to the base budget. Dan Cohen AUTHORlast_img read more

WHS BOYS TRACK Wildcats Get First Win Over Burlington Since Joining Middlesex League

first_imgWILMINGTON, MA — The Wilmington Boys Track team won a big meet against Burlington High, 51.5 to 48.5, on Thursday night at Boston University’s Track and Tennis Center.“In the 7 years we have been in the Middlesex League, we have never beat Burlington, so the victory was especially sweet,” said Head Coach Mike Kinney. “The meet was as close as it possibly could be and the team brought an enormous amount of energy.”Wildcat highlights included:Mike Fothergill rose to the occasion and won three events — the 300, the 55 meter dash, and the long jump.Greg Adamek placed second in the mile and the two mile, a grueling combination with times of 10:17.35 and 4:46.77.Senior Captain Ben Packer won the two mile in 10:13.82.Senior Captain Sam Vince won the hurdles in 8.94.Sean Riley won the high jump.Sam Juergens placed third and second in the long jump and high jump.Tyler Thomas placed second in the shot put with 41’5”.Colton Sullivan placed third in the dash.Richie Stuart placed third in the 300.Senior Captain Kevin Elderd placed second in the 1000 with 2:49.57.Jake Danieli placed second in the 600 with 1:29.96.Nolan Kennedy rounded out the scoring with a third place in the mile with 4:52.57.Like Wilmington Apple on Facebook. Follow Wilmington Apple on Twitter. Follow Wilmington Apple on Instagram. Subscribe to Wilmington Apple’s daily email newsletter HERE. Got a comment, question, photo, press release, or news tip? Email wilmingtonapple@gmail.com.Share this:TwitterFacebookLike this:Like Loading… Related35 WHS Student Athletes Named Middlesex League All-Stars This SpringIn “Sports”WILDCAT WAKEUP: Gaudreau, Sperlinga, Aldrich & Godfrey Shine For Boys TrackIn “Sports”WHS BOYS BASKETBALL: Wildcats Win Season OpenerIn “Sports”last_img read more

Lawmakers To Address Neglect Of Medically Vulnerable Texans Following Dallas Morning News

first_imgTexas health commissioners frequently leave public service to work for managed care companies they once oversaw. Meanwhile, some people who once lobbied for the industry now hold state jobs in which they oversee their previous employers. Patients with the most medical needs are the most profitable on a per-patient basis for managed care companies, which netted more than $145 million from caring for vulnerable Texans last year. The managed care companies said in the newspaper’s report that they follow state guidelines. A spokeswoman for the Health and Human Services Commission said in a statement that the agency’s most important mission is “making sure people get the services they need.”“Texas, like many states in the nation, faces challenges on rates, networks, financial resources, and quality of care,” the statement said. “All of these challenges have our ongoing attention and need to be strengthened in order for us to have a successful program. While we have made notable improvements, we are committed to doing more.”Lawmakers have expressed anger at the report’s findings, urging for greater oversight and steps to fix problems with the system.State Rep. Sarah Davis, R-West University Place, chair of the two committees presiding over the June 27 hearing, said in a news release that the hearing was especially necessary following the recent resignations of leadership in the Health and Human Services Commission. Charles Smith, the agency’s former executive commissioner, retired from his position earlier this year, and many of the commission’s senior staffers resigned in the year prior.“This hearing seeks to pave the path forward for the agency and managed care,” Davis said in the statement. “If properly administered, and with strict oversight, managed care can produce positive outcomes for our most vulnerable.”State Sen. Charles Schwertner, R-Georgetown, chair of the Senate Health and Human Services Committee, said in a statement to The Texas Tribune that he has made a “concerted effort” to hold managed care organizations accountable by “improving legislative oversight, enacting strong financial penalties when these organizations fail to meet their obligations to patients, and ensuring that an adequate network of physicians and other health care providers are available to serve our state’s most vulnerable citizens.”“As we approach the legislative session, it’s important that we take concrete steps to address these ongoing challenges while renewing our commitment to care to those Texans who are unable to care for themselves,” Schwertner said. The Legislature convenes in January.State Rep. Donna Howard, D-Austin, told the Tribune that she and her colleagues were horrified reading the report. Still, Howard said that when properly overseen and executed, managed care can work and provide quality care to the most vulnerable Texans. But cost containment, Howard said, has overtaken healthcare as the primary priority for managed care, leading to neglect. Howard was also distraught at the inaccurate information given to patients about healthcare providers willing to take them in. If it weren’t for the Morning News’ reporting, she probably never would have known the full extent of the problem.“This is just one more example of investigative journalism providing accountability for the state rather than the state doing it itself,” Howard said. “We saw it with the foster care system, we saw it with special education, we’ve seen it over and over again, and we’re seeing it this time.”State Rep. Sergio Muñoz Jr., D-Palmview, said he was not surprised by the report’s findings. Muñoz serves as the vice-chair of the House Insurance Committee and has proposed legislation numerous times in the past to improve transparency within the managed care system. His past attempts at improving managed care, however, always died in committee, he said.Muñoz said he hopes the newspaper’s reporting will make more people aware of the changes needed to improve the accuracy of information and transparency in managed care“I applaud the work if it is being put out there in the open for more people to see, but the concerns and the challenges that are mentioned in the article is a story that in my opinion, in my experience, we’ve heard time and time again,” he said, later adding: “And I feel this session will be no different.” Companies hired by the state can make their own rules for medical care, which includes choosing which doctors treat patients and which treatments should or should not be covered. State health officials reduced financial penalties for managed care companies by hundreds of millions of dollars. Current and former state health commission employees told the Morning News that some recommended fines were eliminated before they could be recorded in official logs.center_img Companies paid to care for foster children, chronically ill children, disabled and elderly Texans claim that their networks include doctors that aren’t taking new patients, don’t take government-subsidized plans or don’t practice in Texas anymore. Share Marjorie Kamys CoteraState Rep. Sarah Davis, R-West University Place, speaks to media regarding her request to add ethics reform to the special session on Aug. 2, 2017.From paralyzed Texans trapped in bed for hours on end to children denied care vital to keeping them alive, a recent investigation by The Dallas Morning News revealed how the state is failing to provide care for some of its most vulnerable citizens. Lawmakers will meet this month to see what they can do about it. The House Human Services Committee is scheduled to meet Wednesday to discuss the state’s managed care system, in which Texas hires private companies to coordinate health care for many people on Medicaid, the federal-state health insurance program. On June 27, the House General Investigating and Ethics Committee and a subcommittee of House Appropriations will discuss the newspaper’s report.The investigation released by The Dallas Morning News this month found that Medicaid managed care companies withhold patient care and medical equipment under a system that pays them a flat fee for every Texan in the program. The government-subsidized health care system has expanded in Texas in recent years and money that the companies don’t spend caring for Texans can go toward paying lobbyists and executives’ bonuses, the newspaper reported. Among other findings in the series:last_img read more

Stretch out summer in Orlando with hot Labour Day deals

first_img Thursday, August 18, 2016 ORLANDO – Labour Day marks the last long weekend of the summer season, and travellers looking for a last-minute, affordable getaway are in luck. Labour Day weekend is traditionally the most affordable holiday weekend of the year in Orlando, with up to 40% savings over other holiday weekends such as Christmas and New Years.Recently named the No. 1 Most Affordable City for Family Travel by Forbes – which noted the destination’s exceptional values in airfare, hotel, car rental and meals – Orlando has plenty to offer this Labour Day for those looking for budget-friendly activities and seasonal deals:LABOR DAY WEEKEND — DINING DEALSFood lovers can experience Visit Orlando’s Magical Dining Month, celebrating Orlando’s emerging culinary scene and offering prix fixe dinners at some of the area’s hottest restaurants for just $33, a savings of 33%.LABOR DAY WEEKEND — HOTEL DEALSRosen Plaza is offering a two-night package for US$169 including 25% restaurants including Jack’s Place and Café Matisse. Additional nights available for $99 plus tax.B Hotels & Resorts is offering rates starting at $107 when purchased seven days in advance.The Point Orlando Resort is offering a rate of $109 for a one-bedroom suite, with free breakfast for 2 daily and no resort fee.Blue Heron Beach Resort is offering a 60% discount on all accommodations with a three night minimum stay.Reunion Resort is offering starting rates of $175 per night with a $25 Visa gift card awarded for each night of stay, using code FAMILYFREEDOM.More news:  A new low for no-frills flying: easyJet assigns backless seat to passengerLABOR DAY WEEKEND — ATTRACTION DEALSAmerica’s Escape Game challenges guests to be their own heroes, and escapees can save $10 off standard ticket prices Sept. 2-5, with online code “VOAEG10”.Sammy Duvall’s Watersports invites guests to parasail, water ski, wake board and more with a 20% discount Sept. 2-5, with online code “Labor Day”.Nature lovers can catch a glimpse of alligators, eagles, turkeys, wild boars, roseate spoonbills and other native creatures at Wild Florida, offering free entry for kids 12 and under, limit 4 per family, on Sept 3 and Sept 5.Beautiful Harry P. Leu Gardens is offering free admission to everyone on Labour Day, Sept. 5.ACTIVITIES UNDER $20And, even beyond Labour Day, visitors to Orlando will find a variety of year-round low-cost attractions. For a more complete list of ideas, check out Activities Under $20 in Orlando.The Charles Hosmer Morse Museum of American Art houses the world’s most comprehensive collection of works by Louis Comfort Tiffany, including his famed leaded-glass lamps. Admission prices are $6 for adults, $5 for seniors, $1 for students and free for children under age 12.West Orange Trail Bikes and Blades Co. offers hourly, daily and weekly road bike rentals for visitors to explore Central Florida’s scenic trails, including the 22-mile West Orange Trail. Rentals start at $7 per hour, with hotel delivery and group bike tours available at an additional cost.SAK Comedy Lab combines improv players and audience suggestions for hilarious scenes. General Admission tickets range from $5-$12.Winter Park Scenic Boat Tour provides a relaxing narrated cruise through the lakes and canals of historic Winter Park, and showcasing natural wildlife and mansions that line the waterways. Admission is $12 for adults and $6 for children ages 2-11.The Coca-Cola Orlando Eye towers above the entire I-Drive 360 complex to take guests to new heights. Admission, when purchased online prior to arrival, is $20 for adults and $15 for children, with discounted tickets for Florida Residents.More news:  Venice to ban cruise ships from city centre starting next monthFor more discounts and deals, guests can check out VisitOrlando.com/deals for savings on hotels, attractions, restaurants, shopping and beyond. Stretch out summer in Orlando with hot Labour Day deals Travelweek Group Sharecenter_img Posted by Tags: Orlando << Previous PostNext Post >>last_img read more