West End Organizers of Monroe County, Pennsylvania

Our Mission

We are dedicated to working for the good of our community.  We share information on issues of importance and support one another in individual and group efforts in order to accomplish more than any one of us could on his or her own. We are issue focused and issue driven.

Announcements

  • June 2017

    Greetings WEO members!

    As a group we are keeping a low profile, but we do have some news to share and a few suggestions for some simple actions we hope you will take!

     

    Health Care (Mary Anne, maryanneclausen @ gmail.com


     Proposal to Repeal and Replace Obamacare

    The Senate has released its proposed bill to replace the Affordable Care Act, aka Obamacare, which in many ways is similar to the bill the House passed previously.  On June 22, the PBS Newshour, which still provides real as opposed to fake news, summarized key points in the draft bill as follows:

                It repeals the individual mandate penalty;

    It repeals most of the taxes intended to pay for the program;

    It cuts funding to medicaid;

    It allows states to waive essential benefits requirements;

                It blocks funding for planned parenthood for a year.

    A few things I have heard relative to the likely effects of this proposed legislation, if it becomes law:  Most experts believe that its cuts to medicaid will mean the end of the program as we know it.  Subsidies for those who cannot afford the full care of health care insurance will shrink.  The essential medical benefits that insurers may be allowed to waive include not just things like maternity benefits but also things like mental health care, hospital care and prescription drugs. Although the bill provides that insurers can’t discriminate against those with pre-existing conditions, the fact that they may exclude certain treatments from coverage offers a way around this – and the bottom line is that requiring coverage for pre-existing conditions just doesn’t work without the mandate. On the other hand, according to his own statement, Warren Buffet will receive a tax reduction of about $680,000. ( On Buffett’s statement see, e.g. the report of Michael Sheetz, CNBC, June 22, 2017).

     Please call Senator Toomey to urge him to vote no on this proposed legislation. He can be reached by phone in Washington at 202-224-4254, in Allentown at 610-434-1444 and in Wilkes-Barre at 570-820-4088.  Mention the large number of people in Pennsylvania who will lose their insurance if this proposal becomes law. Tell him that this time of growing inequality between the rich and those of modest means is not the moment to enact a bill which is essentially a tax cut for the wealthy at the expense of the poor. Organizing for America (OFA), the successor to Obama for America and one of many groups asking people to tell their Republican senators not to vote for this bill, has identified Pennsylvania as one the states in which the effort to build opposition to the bill is most important!

     

    Rising Health Care Premiums

    On the matter of rising insurance premiums, I was interested to hear what Senator Chris Van Hollen of Maryland had to say about Blue Cross/Blue Shield’s request for a 50% increase in his home state – and I think you might be also.  Senator Van Hollen said: 

    …[T]he president of Blue Cross/Blue Shield told us that well over half of that increase is due to deliberate sabotage by the Trump administration and cuts Republicans made to Obamacare/Affordable Care Act payments.  A full 20 percent of the increase they’re asking for is because the president issued an executive order on the first day of his administration saying that they wouldn’t enforce the individual mandate provision.  You tell people they don’t have to join, including healthier people, it means sicker people will pay a lot more.

    (From an interview on The PBS Newshour, June 20, 2017

     

    You might want to mention this to Senator Toomey as well.

     

    Action by the Democrats

    As for the Democrats’ well reasoned counter proposal to fix and improve Obamacare – well, if anyone hears of one, please let me know!

     

    Democratic Process (Denise, dkurnas @ gmail.com)

    Denise shares this:

    The United States Supreme Court has agreed to hear a case out of Wisconsin regarding partisan gerrymandering.  This is significant because, in the past, the court has shied away from partisan gerrymandering cases and has only heard cases involving districts drawn with potential race discrimination.  If the Supreme Court finds that partisan gerrymandering is unconstitutional, the finding will be favorable to the issues we have in Pennsylvania as well as other states. Take a few moments to listen to the CNN report on the case. http://www.cnn.com/2017/06/19/politics/supreme-court-partisan-gerrymandering/index.html

    If you haven’t already done so, please contact www.fairdistrictspa.com and offer to do something to help the League of Women Voters in its very important effort to end gerrymandering in Pennsylvania.

     

    Energy and Environment (Mark, madodel @ ptd.net)

    In a decision that is good for the environment, the State Supreme Court has ruled that the state government failed to comply with its constitutional duty as trustee for public natural resources when it leased public land to oil and gas interests without directing the profits toward conservation efforts, and that in the future leasing decisions must include an assessment of the public interest.

    For a joint press release on the case by three environmental groups, click here:

    http://pennfuture.org/News-State-Supreme-Court-Rules-Leasing-Public-Land-for-Fracking-Betrayed-Governments-Constitutional-Duties?eType=EmailBlastContent&eId=4dbfc256-146d-4f8f-821c-2fed5c70cb51

     

     

    Best wishes - and remember to stay engaged and hopeful, even when things most frustrating!

    Mary Anne

    maryanneclausen @ gmail.com

    Posted Jul 3, 2017, 6:57 AM by madodel1
  • May 2017
    Congressman Matt Cartwright Town Hall Meeting, Tues, May 9th, 6:30 pm at the Mountain Center, 354 Memorial Boulevard, Tobyhanna.
    Posted May 1, 2017, 10:55 AM by madodel1
  • April 2017
    Rep. Matt Cartwright will host a “Coffee with your Congressman” Event

    • Monday, April 24 at 10:30 AM - 12 PM
      Chestnut Hill Diner
      2187 Route 209, Brodheadsville, Pennsylvania 18353

    Posted Apr 20, 2017, 6:53 PM by madodel1
  • March 2017
    The weather was not kind to us - but fortune was in that everyone who planned to come to our potluck originally scheduled for February can also make the new date of March 5.  Is there anyone else who might be able to join us then?  If so, please let Denise know at dkurnas@gmail.com, or me know by replying to this email.   Let us know what you would like to bring, too.  The current menu is below.

    Same time and place for the event - 4 to 7 at Denise's!
    Posted Feb 25, 2017, 7:01 AM by madodel1
  • February 2017

    The WEO Potluck dinner has been postponed due to all the ice and freezing snow and rain. Stay safe and we will let you know when it has been rescheduled.


    Posted Feb 12, 2017, 10:22 AM by madodel1
Showing posts 1 - 5 of 52. View more »

Why You Should Support Our Organization

If you are interested in engendering change in our area and beyond, attend one of our events

posted Oct 9, 2013, 4:53 PM by madodel1   [ updated Oct 9, 2013, 4:54 PM ]


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