Last year, up-and-coming bluegrass act Part & Parcel thought it would be fun to get some local Colorado-based artists together and have a night of musical collaboration and fun during a night dubbed the Corduroy Classic. On Saturday, Nov. 11th, Denver’s Cervantes’ Other Side will host the second-annual Corduroy Classic, which will see performances by host band Part & Parcel in addition to Greensky Bluegrass’ Anders Beck among others to help raise money during the holiday season for hurricane relief efforts (purchase tickets here).Hurricane season left mass devastation in its wake over the last several weeks. The southern United States was hit by a record number of relentless storms, with the damage compounded by a lack of resources at their disposal, and Puerto Rico, a U.S. territory, was dealt a heavy blow from Hurricane Maria that may take the Caribbean island years to recover from. In light of these tragic events, the good times at this year’s Corduroy Classic will be made even better, as the event’s proceeds will go to those affected by this year’s unprecedented hurricane season. To ensure proceeds go to those that need it most in Puerto Rico, the event has teamed up with Level, a “philanthropic consulting firm, providing thoughtful leadership & custom campaigns for clients looking to support humanitarian affairs in a responsible way.”A yet-to-be-announced act will open the Corduroy Classic on November 11th, followed by an original set of music from Part & Parcel. The third set of the evening will feature the Corduroy Classic house band, which features Part & Parcel along with a rotating cast of guest musicians! In addition to Greensky’s Anders Beck, also on tap for the festivities are Scott Hachey and Casey Russell (The Magic Beans), Emily Clark (Passing Fancy), Taylor James Frederick (Eminence Ensemble), Matt Flaherty (The Malai Llama), Winston Heuga and Campbell Thomas (Tenth Mountain Division), Matthew Allen Wilkolak (Roka Hueka), and Mark Wilkolak (Emma Mayes & The Hip). As is tradition, this is a corduroy-themed party.Tickets for the Corduroy Classic on Saturday, Nov. 11th are currently on-sale and can be purchased here. For event updates and additional information, join the Facebook Event page.[Photo: ontheDL Photography]
Fans of iconic photography gathered in Mather House’s Sandra Naddaff and Leigh Hafrey Three Columns Gallery for the Dec. 8 opening of its latest exhibit, a collection of works by legendary photographer Walker Evans.John T. Hill, designer and producer of the exhibition — “Walker Evans: Before and After the FSA” — was a friend and colleague of Evans at Yale, and executor of his estate. Following the opening, Hill discussed the artist’s inspirations and creations in a seminar co-sponsored by the Rethinking Translation seminar of the Mahindra Humanities Center.Hill, who was a friend and colleague of Walker Evans at Yale, is the executor of Evans’ estate.Hill, who also was a friend of Mather House Master Christie McDonald’s family, presented Evans’ life through his photographs, chronicling his travels and influences over time. Evans is most closely associated with his starkly elegant photographs of Farm Security Administration (FSA) tenant farmers, but Hill said Evans’ other work should not be overlooked.“Evans’ work for the FSA is what he is best known for. But I wanted to show that he had a life before and after that,” Hill said. “He had trouble giving a name to his work. He called it ‘straight photography,’ then ‘lyric photography.” His whole way of looking at it was very anti-art. He gained inspiration from the tabloids, postcards — anything. His art was very vernacular.”Evans loved books and knew that they would circulate long after photo exhibits closed, so many of his first photographs were taken to reflect authors’ works. In 1930, he published photographs of the Brooklyn Bridge with Hart Crane’s epic poem “The Bridge.”In 1933, Evans photographed a Cuban revolt for the publisher of Carleton Beale’s book “Crime of Cuba.” Evans insisted that his photos never simply illustrated a book. He presented them as visual commentary to the text. Readers loved Evans’ cool, black-and-white photography contrasted against Beale’s hot political prose.In 1935, Evans began photographing for the Resettlement Administration (RA) and then for the FSA. In the summer of 1936, Evans accompanied writer James Agee to rural Alabama to photograph tenant workers for Fortune magazine. The article was canceled, so Agee and Evans decided to collaborate on a book called “Let Us Now Praise Famous Men.” The first edition sold only 600 copies, but the book gained popularity after the publication of Agee’s “A Death in the Family” and has since taken its place in the ranks of great American literature.After leaving the FSA in 1937, Evans began taking pictures of riders on the New York City subway. He would hide a camera in his coat and snap the shutter as people went about their days, eventually creating a fascinating study of American life in the 1930s. These photographs were later published in his 1966 book, “Many Are Called.”In 1945, Evans began working for Time Magazine, and shortly afterward moved to Fortune magazine, where he was an editor until 1965. According to Hill, his two obsessions late in life were photographing signs and, after he became too weak to handle large equipment, using a Polaroid camera to take head shots.Evans is most closely associated with his starkly elegant photographs of Farm Security Administration (FSA) tenant farmers.“Evans was not about beauty,” Hill said. “He was about getting the information and presenting it clearly.”Hill, who became the executor of Evans’ estate when Evans died in April of 1975, gave all of his work except for the RA and FSA photographs to the Metropolitan Museum of Art in 1994. Since then, the Metropolitan Museum of Art has “done an incredible job of conservation and promotion of his work.” The RA and FSA photographs are now in the Library of Congress and are in the public domain.The Mather exhibit contains Hill’s prints of Evans’ original photographs. Hill, who created the exhibit, said he tried to keep the it free from his own influence, but admitted that his “fingerprints are all over this stuff. There’s no way of getting around that.”“Walker Evans: Before and After the FSA” will be open to the public (on a limited basis) starting in January in Mather House’s SNLH Three Columns Gallery, 10 Cowperthwaite St., through March. Visiting hours are Tuesdays, 2-4 p.m., Wednesdays, 7 -9 p.m., and Thursdays, 2-4 p.m. (please check in at the Guard’s Office).
Tickets are now available for the Broadway transfer of Tony winner Michael Grandage’s critically-acclaimed West End production of Martin McDonagh’s The Cripple of Inishmaan, starring Daniel Radcliffe. The production marks the Broadway premiere for McDonagh’s heralded play and the entire London cast will play a strictly limited engagement April 12 through July 20. Opening night is set for April 20 at the Cort Theatre. Related Shows Star Files Set on the remote island of Inishmaan off the west coast of Ireland, word arrives that a Hollywood film is being made on the neighboring island of Inishmore. The one person who wants to be in the film more than anybody is young Cripple Billy (Radcliffe), if only to break away from the bitter tedium of his daily life. Check out Radcliffe below giving an interview about the challenges of tackling the show’s dialect and hard subject matter, and how Harry Potter fans have affected the production. View Comments The Cripple of Inishmaan The Cripple of Inishmaan features the London cast including Radcliffe (Cripple Billy), Ingrid Craigie (Kate Osborne), Pádraic Delaney (Babbybobby), Sarah Greene (Helen McCormick), Gillian Hanna (Eileen Osborne), Gary Lilburn (Doctor), Conor MacNeill (Bartley McCormick), Pat Shortt (Johnnypateenmike) and June Watson (Mammy). Show Closed This production ended its run on July 20, 2014 Daniel Radcliffe
“The next step is to show that we can rapidly and consistently heal fractures in a large animal,” Peroni said. “Then to convert it to clinical cases in the UGA (College of Veterinary Medicine) clinics where clinicians treat animals with complex fractures all the time.” Once they get something that works for animals, it will be passed over to the DOD for human use.Peroni, who is chairman of the North American Veterinary Regenerative Medicine Association, is hopeful this material will be promoted to the veterinary and human medical fields through the educational efforts of NAVRMA and the RBC. However, the RBC isn’t the only group working on a faster fix for broken bones. “Our approach is biological with the putty,” Stice said. “Other groups are looking at polymers and engineering approaches like implants and replacements which may eventually be combined with our approach. We are looking at other applications, too, using this gel, or putty, to improve spinal fusion outcomes.” One of the best hopes for the fracture putty is in possible facial cranial replacements, an injury often seen on the battlefield.The project ends in mid-2012. “By then we are to deliver the system to the DOD,” Stice said. Broken bones in humans and animals are painful and often take months to heal. Studies conducted in part by the University of Georgia’s Regenerative Bioscience Center researchers show promise to significantly shorten the healing time and revolutionize the course of fracture treatment.“Complex fractures are a major cause of amputation of limbs for U.S. military men and women,” said Steve Stice, an animal and dairy scientist in the UGA College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences and director of the Regenerative Bioscience Center, or RBC. “For many young soldiers,” he said, “their mental health becomes a real issue when they are confined to a bed for three to six months after an injury. This discovery may allow them to be up and moving as fast as days afterwards.” Stice is working with Dr. John Peroni to develop a fast bone healing process. “This process addresses both human and veterinary orthopedic needs,” said Peroni, an associate professor of large animal surgery in the UGA College of Veterinary Medicine and a member of the RBC. Peroni and Stice are leading a large animal research project funded by the U.S. Department of Defense. The project includes scientists and surgeons from the Baylor College of Medicine, Rice University and the University of Texas, who conducted the early studies. Engineering new bone“Healing of critical-size defects is a major challenge to the orthopedic research community,” Peroni said. “Large-bone defects must be stabilized and necessitate technologies that induce rapid bone formation in order to replace the missing tissue and allow the individual to return to rapid function. To date, no single material can suffice.” The group they lead is a multidiscipline and multi-institutional group actively working on tissue engineering of bone. “Our group has been working productively together on numerous projects through the last several years,” Stice said, “So, a collegial relationship and successful collaborative working relationship is already established.”Between 2009 and 2011, the collaborations got a $1.4 million grant from the DOD for use of stem cells in fracture healing to be tested in sheep. “In our experiences with large animal models, following the guidelines established by our Animal Care and Use Committee,” Stice said, “we have been successful in formulating a product that contains mesenchymal stem cells and allows them to survive in the environment of the fracture long enough to elicit the rapid formation of new bone.”This year, the group showed bone can be generated in sheep in less than four weeks, which is a remarkable achievement in that the speed in which bone is formed is one of the truly unique features of this study.Fracture puttyThey used adult stem cells that produce a protein involved in bone healing and generation. Then incorporated them into a gel, combining the healing properties in something Stice calls “fracture putty.” With Peroni’s assistance, the Houston-based team used a stabilizing device and inserted putty into fractures in rats. Video of the healed animals at two weeks shows the rats running around and standing on their hind legs with no evidence of injury. The RBC researchers are testing the material in pigs and sheep, too.“The small-animal work has progressed, and we are making good progress in large animals,” he said. More work is needed to get to human medical trials, but the threat of losing federal funding for biomedical work through the DOD means they will have to find new ways to fund the project.Next steps
ShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr Ok, the name is a bit long, but the technology is pretty cool. Mitek’s “Commercial Mobile Deposit Capture” can certainly add a ton of value to a credit union’s already loaded arsenal of mobile services. It’s the next step in mobile and credit unions can leverage a technology like this to its growing small business membership — which ultimately enhances its value.We invited Mitek’s VP of Product of Mitek Systems Sarah Clark on the show to get the lowdown on this new mobile service. Sarah explains how this remote technology differs from the uber convenient remote deposit capture service that I can’t live without now. We also discussed how this technology can be very attractive and “sticky” service to small businesses looking for a place to manage their money — as well as how it works, why it’s needed, and when it’s available. continue reading »
Sign up for our COVID-19 newsletter to stay up-to-date on the latest coronavirus news throughout New York Carson Higgins (Huey) and Breanna Bartley (Felicia) heat up the stage in the John W. Engeman Theater’s enthralling musical, ‘Memphis.’ (Photo by Michael DeCristofaro)The multiple award-winning musical, ‘Memphis,’ which opened last week at Northport’s John W. Engeman Theater, is the rare musical that showcases spectacular singing and dancing while boasting a storyline and characters so engaging that they stir your innermost sensibilities. I was riveted to the stage from the onset.The winner of four Tony Awards, including Best Musical, Memphis features the book and lyrics by Joe DiPietro, of ‘I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change’ fame, with music and lyrics by David Bryan, a founding member of Bon Jovi.Set in Memphis, Tenn., the musical draws the audience into the black underground dance clubs of the1950s. The story is loosely based on the real-life escapades of Dewey Phillips, a pioneering white DJ who was one of the first to see the allure of black music and boldly play it on Memphis radio.Huey Calhoun (played by Carson Higgins) is a high school drop-out who has trouble holding down even a menial job. He finds his field of dreams when an intoxicating medley of rock n’ roll, rhythm and blues draws him into a world that he has never known. Although he is the only white person in the underground joint beneath Beale Street and the black clubbers are not thrilled with his intrusion, Huey cannot help, but declare (in song, of course) that this is the “Music of My Soul.”It is there that his path serendipitously crosses with Felicia Farrell (Breanna Bartley), an astoundingly talented singer whose career is constrained by intolerant times. Huey, clearly smitten with Felicia, is determined to take this music mainstream and get her voice heard—not an easy task as this genre of music is referred to as “race” or “colored” music, and not viewed as appropriate for God-fearing white Christians. But Huey, who dreams big, is not about to be derailed and soon commandeers a radio station when the disc jockey takes a break. The station’s owner’s fury is soon diminished by the deluge of phone calls asking for more. In short order the station is voted No. 1.Songs like “Scratch My Itch” and “Everyone Wants to be Black on a Saturday Night” will have your toes tapping. Yet other songs resonate with a poignancy that tugs on your heartstrings. In “Colored Woman,” Felicia recalls her mother’s warning that her success will be limited in a light-skinned world. Yet the feisty singer summons up her courage to defy the status quo. While Felicia, her brother/club owner Delray (C. Mingo Long) and their crew explore electrifying artistic freedom within the sheltered confines of the club, outside they have reason to be afraid. They are continuously kept in line and belittled by racist remarks and harbor horrifying memories. Gator (Jarred Bedgood), the bartender, has not spoken since he saw his father lynched as child; Delray bears a mark on his neck which he sustained as a thirsty 14-year-old who dared to drink from a whites-only water fountain.If the effort to break the racist glass ceiling of the Southern music industry is not enough, Felicia and Huey have fallen for each other. Can this unorthodox love affair survive and what impact will it have on their careers?There are so many wonderful songs that I am hard-pressed to pick my favorites. In Act II. I particularly liked “Tear Down the House” and “Memphis Lives in Me,” both sung by Huey and Company. I was dazzled by the finale “Steal Your Rock ‘n’ Roll. Sung by Huey, Felicia and Company, its message is about never losing sight of your personal vision. It had the audience on its feet and clapping. What a grand finale indeed!Higgins, who plays the extraordinarily likeable colorblind idealist whose enthusiasm for music is contagious, has made an astounding debut at the Engeman Theater where he sings and dances with the best of them. Featured on Season 10 of American Idol, he says that Huey Calhoun is his favorite role, and one he has played before at Connecticut’s Ivoryton Playhouse.The chemistry between Bartley and Higgins rings true and makes for a believable love story. An extremely gifted vocalist with a powerhouse of a voice whose credits include ‘Dreamgirls,’ Bartley has the versatility to render both high energy, upbeat songs and more tender ballads to perfection.C. Mingo Long excels as Felicia’s rightfully protective brother and makes his point with his deliciously deep voice in “She’s My Sister.”Some of my other favorite characters include Gator (Jarred Bedgood), Gladys (Calhoun’s mother played by Kathryn Markey), and Bobby (Arthur L. Ross), all of whom will take the spotlight and undergo startling transformations that will lift your spirit.Kudos to Wojcik/Seay casting for assembling this stellar cast. The award-winning Igor Goldin, who has directed some of Engeman’s finest productions, is once again at the helm and his work is impeccable. Major kudos to Antoinette DiPietropolo who has choreographed the musical to perfection. These dancers do not miss a beat and dance and fight captains, Ivory McKay and Carson Higgens, are also to be complimented. Musical Director James Olmstead has once again outdone himself. DT Willis is to be complimented on his set which undergoes some amazing metamorphoses during the course of the production. Tristan Raines’ costumes are pure eye candy.Memphis runs through May 8, but buy tickets early as show might very well sell out. Tickets can be purchased at the box office, by calling 261-2900 or visiting engemantheater.com
At the Founding Assembly held two days ago (April 02, 2019) in Samobor, the Association of Croatian Public Liner Bus Operators (UHAJLP) was established with the aim of representing the common interests of bus carriers in public regular transport. The Assembly was attended by 29 public bus carriers, which together employ 4018 workers, have 2045 buses and perform over 80% of the county’s public bus services in the Republic of Croatia.After the adoption of the Statute of the Association, the bodies of the assembly were elected at the assembly. Mr. was elected president of the Association. sc. Hrvoje Meštrović (Meštrović prijevoz) and members of the Board of Directors of the Association Ivica Presečki, M.Sc. (Presečki Group), Dražen Divjak (Arriva Croatia), Berislav Saraja (Čazmatrans), Hrvoje Pejković (Brioni), Franjo Grgurić (Autoturist) and Igor Tomašić Traffic Makarska). The reason for gathering carriers in the Association is the unsustainability of the existing public line transport system in Croatia, and the basic principles of the Association are advocating public line and integrated transport in the Republic of Croatia, sustainability of public line transport and cooperation with government institutions and NGOs in organizing and implementing public line transportation.The key problem of public line transport is unprofitable lines, departure of workers and the existing financing model, which is no longer sustainable and the abolition of lines can be expected, he pointed out Hrvoje Mestrovic, the newly elected President of the Association and added: “Currently, regular bus carriers are discriminated against in relation to city carriers and HŽ passenger transport because they have not concluded public service contracts in accordance with the directive. We must comply with EU Regulation 1370/2007 on public rail and road passenger transport services, which has an implementation deadline of 03 December 2019. “He also announced that the carriers will start negotiations with trade union representatives to improve working conditions to reduce driver departures. “Cooperation with public institutions is necessary in order to improve public transport, because with their help public transport can be cheaper, more accessible and of better quality. The carrier’s proposal is that the ticket price on the shortest routes is 4 kn, and that it be standardized throughout Croatia. The aim of carriers is to make their service more accessible to citizens and thus to increase the use of the public regular passenger transport service”Concludes Meštrović.
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Metro Sport ReporterWednesday 4 Mar 2020 4:36 amShare this article via facebookShare this article via twitterShare this article via messengerShare this with Share this article via emailShare this article via flipboardCopy link2.8kShares Maja started his professional career at Sunderland (Picture: Getty)‘Obviously, growing up in London, one of my dreams is to play in the Premier League,’ Maja told BeIN Sports.AdvertisementAdvertisement‘Hopefully in the future, that opportunity will come.‘My team is Arsenal, so hopefully one day I’ll get the opportunity to play for them. If not, then I’ll keep supporting them anyway.’More: Arsenal FCArsenal flop Denis Suarez delivers verdict on Thomas Partey and Lucas Torreira movesThomas Partey debut? Ian Wright picks his Arsenal starting XI vs Manchester CityArsene Wenger explains why Mikel Arteta is ‘lucky’ to be managing ArsenalMikel Arteta admitted earlier this week that a fourth successive season outside of the Champions League would do ‘really big’ damage to Arsenal and the club’s finances.The Gunners are struggling to keep hold of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Alexandre Lacazette, which could mean they’re in the market for a striker.Arteta therefore admits he’s desperate for the club to finish in the top five.‘I think the damage caused by the club not being in the Champions League for the third season is really big,’ said Arteta.‘Financially the impact is enormous because the structure of this club is built to be in the Champions League and you can sustain that for one year or two, but then after you have to start making decisions.‘So we will have to make decisions one way or the other depending on the scenario we find ourselves, whether we are in the Champions League, Europa League or nowhere near that.‘And we’ll have a very clear plan of what we want to do and depending where we are we have to act like this.’Follow Metro Sport across our social channels, on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.For more stories like this, check our sport page.MORE: Uefa Nations League draw: England face Belgium, Iceland and Denmark Chelsea transfer target Josh Maja admits he dreams of playing for Arsenal Josh Maja admits he dreams of joining Arsenal (Picture: Getty)Bordeaux striker Josh Maja has put Arsenal on high alert by admitting it’s his dream to one day play for the Gunners.The London-born forward has attracted attention from Chelsea this season with reports in France claiming the Blues have scouted the 21-year-old.The Nigeria international started his career at Sunderland but move to Ligue 1 in 2018 and he’s established himself as a first team player this term, scoring six goals in 15 appearances for Bordeaux.Both Chelsea and Everton are said to be interested in the striker but Maja is clear that the only Premier League club he dreams of is Arsenal.ADVERTISEMENT Comment Advertisement Advertisement
May 30, 2017 Healthcare, Human Services, Medicaid Expansion, National Issues, Press Release, Public Health, Seniors Harrisburg, PA – Following up on a personal conversation earlier this month, Governor Tom Wolf today shared his concerns with Senator Pat Toomey in a letter about the impact of federal health care cuts and loss of consumer protections, along with the concerns of shared constituents. Governor Wolf also warned that current Medicaid reforms included in American Health Care Act (AHCA) would reduce federal funding to Pennsylvania by more than $26 billion over the next nine years and threaten coverage for seniors, kids and those with disabilities.“In this health care debate, we must ensure Pennsylvania’s seniors, parents and patients are being heard in Washington, D.C.,” Governor Wolf said about the letter. “The impact on senior and disabled Pennsylvanians from cuts to Medicaid would be devastating. And nearly every family stands to be hurt by the dismantling of consumer protections in the Affordable Care Act. I hope these stories help Senator Toomey understand these are not just abstract policy changes but serious concerns for millions of real Pennsylvanians.”Governor Wolf’s letter shares four stories of Pennsylvanians who contacted him with their concerns about Washington’s direction on health care, including:Michael from Allison Park has a grandson with special needs who has been able to maintain a high quality of life because of the services he receives through Medicaid.Annette from New Hope has worked hard all her life, and struggles to make ends meet, but has been able to access preventive care because of ACA subsidies. However, with the new distribution included in the AHCA, she does not think she’ll be able to afford care any longer.Johnathan from Beaver whose parents – a retired teacher and a former airline employee – have been able to purchase a health care plan that fits their needs because of the ACA. This coverage meant his father could receive treatment for pre-cancerous polyps, treatment that they are likely no longer going to be able to afford under the cost shifts included in AHCA.Tasha from Pittsburgh underwent corrective heart surgery that was covered due to reforms through ACA but now is terrified about what this pre-condition will mean if changes are not made to the current version of the AHCA.“To be frank, I am extremely concerned with the direction of the conversation in Congress, and the impact it may have on Pennsylvanians’ access to affordable and adequate care – an undoubtedly vital service,” Governor Wolf wrote to Sen. Toomey. “Scaling back consumer protections and disrupting a fragile insurance market would eliminate or diminish coverage for millions of our neighbors. The proposed caps and cuts imposed on Medicaid would be particularly harmful for our aging population, and would leave the commonwealth scrambling to maintain coverage for kids and the disabled. To that end, I urge you to reconsider your recent call for even steeper cuts in federal support for this critical program.“Any new proposal should not take us backward, where too many Americans sought treatment in emergency rooms and the rest of us paid for that care through higher premiums. Rather, changes should focus on making health care more affordable, more sustainable, and more accessible.”In the letter, Governor Wolf offered a variety of issues the federal government could take action on to improve health care delivery and markets, including:Reform the approach to review state plan amendments, state waiver programs, and state contracts and rates for Medicaid. A better state-federal partnership should be grounded in objective rules, applied consistently, and afford states the flexibility and control over those matters that are appropriate for state oversight.Follow through on the Trump Administration’s promise of increased flexibility for states to design programs that meet our specific needs would save our state money and allow us to continue improving outcomes for Medicaid recipients. Structural changes that pass risk and cost onto states degrade our ability to be flexible, except in cases of deciding which services should be cut and ultimately, who is less deserving of health care.Repeal the Institutions for Mental Disease (IMD) exclusion, which limits the federal financial participation on stays in an IMD, which encompass more than 80 percent of Pennsylvania’s inpatient drug and alcohol treatment providers, to no more than 15 days. In the face of the opioid and heroin epidemic, 15 days is not sufficient for a person to address their substance use issues in any kind of substantive or long-term way.Governor Wolf further outlined the negative impacts of the current direction on specific populations, the state budget and public health priorities.SUBSTANCE USE DISORDER“Through Pennsylvania’s Medicaid program, 222,127 individuals received treatment for substance use disorder in 2016. Of those, 127,194 individuals were covered through Medicaid expansion, meaning they would not have been able to access that treatment prior to my decision to expand Medicaid. Almost 68,000 of those newly enrolled Pennsylvanians sought treatment of some kind for opioid specific substance use disorder, an alarming number. Phasing out Medicaid expansion and eliminating this benefit for low-income, hard-working individuals across our state would catapult us even further into the depths of this epidemic and would put people’s lives unnecessarily at risk.”CHILDREN’S HEALTH INSURANCE PROGRAM (CHIP)“Reauthorization of the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) must continue at the current enhanced matching rate. Pennsylvania’s CHIP has long been acknowledged as a national model, receiving specific recognition in the Federal Balanced Budget Act of 1997 as one of only three child health insurance programs nationwide that met Congressional specifications. More than 180,000 children are estimated to benefit from Pennsylvania’s CHIP this year, and it has contributed to Pennsylvania achieving the lowest uninsured rate in our history for children at just 4.1 percent.”STATE BUDGET“Pennsylvania is facing a $3 billion structural deficit in the coming years. If the federal government shifts significant costs to states at any point, it will throw Pennsylvania into a fiscal crisis the likes of which we’ve never seen before. The current Medicaid reforms included in AHCA would reduce federal funding to Pennsylvania by more than $26 billion over the next nine years. Whether this shift is phased in or immediate, you and I both know this cost shift will result in hundreds of thousands of people losing access to health care.”To view the letter in its entirety, click here (Scribd). View a PDF version here.Full text of the letter:Dear Senator Toomey:Thank you for the recent opportunity to discuss attempts in Washington D.C. to change our health care delivery system, as well as my concerns about the impact certain policy proposals may have on the millions of Pennsylvanians who now have coverage but previously were without adequate care.To be frank, I am extremely concerned with the direction of the conversation in Congress, and the impact it may have on Pennsylvanians’ access to affordable and adequate care – an undoubtedly vital service. Scaling back consumer protections and disrupting our insurance market would eliminate or diminish coverage for millions of our neighbors. The proposed caps and cuts imposed on Medicaid would be particularly harmful for our aging population, and would leave the commonwealth scrambling to maintain coverage for kids and individuals with disabilities. To that end, I urge you to reconsider your recent call for even steeper cuts in federal support for this critical program.Throughout the debate on the future of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), I have heard from constituents across our great state – seniors with complex health care needs, parents of children with disabilities and chronic diseases, and those suffering from substance use disorder – who continue to express serious concerns about the impact the American Health Care Act (AHCA) will have on their ability to access quality health care.I wanted to take a moment to share some of their stories with you directly:Michael from Allison Park has a grandson with special needs who has been able to maintain a high quality of life because of the services he receives through Medicaid.Annette from New Hope has worked hard all her life, and struggles to make ends meet, but has been able to access preventive care because of ACA subsidies. However, with the new distribution included in the AHCA, she does not think she’ll be able to afford care any longer.Johnathan from Beaver reached out to tell me how his parents – a retired teacher and a former USAirways employee – have been able to purchase a health care plan that fits their needs because of the ACA. This coverage meant his father could receive treatment for pre-cancerous polyps, treatment that they are likely no longer going to be able to afford under the cost shifts included in AHCA.Tasha from Pittsburgh underwent corrective heart surgery that was covered due to reforms through ACA but now is terrified about what this pre-condition will mean if changes are not made to the current version of the AHCA.I have no doubt that you are also hearing these concerns and will advocate on behalf of our residents as the U.S. Senate drafts its alternative proposal.As we discussed, I believe that the AHCA, in its current form, is a bad bill that should be taken off the table. The process to get the AHCA through the House was not transparent, not representative of the voice or needs of the people, and resulted in a piece of legislation that will have dire and immediate consequences for the most vulnerable Americans instantly upon implementation.As a member of the core group of senators charged with forging a path forward on health care reform, I implore you to consider where we are today with the ACA and recognize that while it has challenges, dismantling the progress we have made is not the right move for residents across Pennsylvania.Any new proposal should not take us backward, where too many Americans sought treatment in emergency rooms and the rest of us paid for that care through higher premiums. Rather, changes should focus on making health care more affordable, more sustainable, and more accessible. These are basic principles that should be at the heart of any legislation that hopes to truly achieve meaningful reform yet they have been absent from the debate in Washington over the last several months.I urge you to take this opportunity to restore the public’s faith in the legislative process, listen to your constituents, and craft a piece of legislation that meets Americans, and state and local governments, where they are. Pennsylvania is facing a $3 billion structural deficit in the coming years. If the federal government shifts significant costs to states at any point, it will throw Pennsylvania into a fiscal crisis the likes of which we’ve never seen before. The current Medicaid reforms included in AHCA would reduce federal funding to Pennsylvania by more than $26 billion over the next nine years. Whether this shift is phased in or immediate, you and I both know this cost shift will result in hundreds of thousands of people losing access to health care.One glaring fallout from a proposal of this kind would be the impact on our state’s ability to address the ongoing opioid and heroin epidemic. Through Pennsylvania’s Medicaid program, 222,127 individuals received treatment for substance use disorder in 2016. Of those, 127,194 individuals were covered through Medicaid expansion, meaning they would not have been able to access that treatment prior to my decision to expand Medicaid. Almost 68,000 of those newly enrolled Pennsylvanians sought treatment of some kind for opioid specific substance use disorder, an alarming number. Phasing out Medicaid expansion and eliminating this benefit for low-income, hard-working individuals across our state would catapult us even further into the depths of this epidemic and would put people’s lives unnecessarily at risk.You and I discussed the importance of finding middle ground and compromise in this debate, and I want to reiterate my appreciation for your willingness to listen to my concerns and the concerns of our constituents and to discuss alternatives to the current AHCA plan. That said, I believe the following are critical considerations for the Senate as this debate continues:A fundamental inclusion in any health care legislation, new or existing, must be the protection against discrimination based on an individual’s pre-existing condition(s). You mentioned on our call that you believe community rating waivers would only be available in very limited circumstances. I would argue that the AHCA does not include that guarantee and fear that states would have broad authority to apply for and implement these waivers. This would ultimately allow states and insurers to charge individuals with a gap in coverage higher premiums based on health status, a practice that is currently prohibited under the ACA. According to a recent report by the Kaiser Family Foundation, more than 27.4 million non-elderly adults nationally had a gap in coverage of at least several months in 2015. This includes 6.3 million people who have a pre-existing condition that would have led to a denial of insurance in the pre-ACA individual market and would lead to a substantial premium surcharge under AHCA community rating waiver. The recent Congressional Budget Office analysis of the House-passed ACHA projects that one in six Americans will see their premiums sky-rocket, the result being many of these individuals – the individuals who need coverage the most – will no longer be able to afford it.Reauthorization of the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) must continue at the current enhanced matching rate. Pennsylvania’s CHIP has long been acknowledged as a national model, receiving specific recognition in the Federal Balanced Budget Act of 1997 as one of only three child health insurance programs nationwide that met Congressional specifications. More than 180,000 children are estimated to benefit from Pennsylvania’s CHIP this year, and it has contributed to Pennsylvania achieving the lowest uninsured rate in our history for children at just 4.1 percent.Structural changes to Medicaid must not slowly shift costs onto states by failing to increase federal funding at appropriate rates. Even reducing the federal matching rate for the expansion population to a traditional match rate of 52% would cost Pennsylvania well over $2 billion annually. Paired with per capita cuts, Pennsylvania is projecting a loss of more than $26 billion over the next nine years. This a number we simply cannot absorb.The federal government must reform the approach to review state plan amendments, state waiver programs, and state contracts and rates for Medicaid. The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid (CMS)’ review of these materials has become a bureaucratic process that is protracted and lacks official standards or criteria by which the review is based. A better state-federal partnership should be grounded in objective rules, applied consistently, and afford states the flexibility and control over those matters that are appropriate for state oversight.Along those same lines, following through on the Trump Administration’s promise of increased flexibility for states to design programs that meet our specific needs would save our state money and allow us to continue improving outcomes for Medicaid recipients. Structural changes that pass risk and cost onto states degrade our ability to be flexible, except in cases of deciding which services should be cut and ultimately, who is less deserving of health care.Congress should repeal the Institutions for Mental Disease (IMD) exclusion. This policy, further clarified and limited in CMS’ Medicaid Managed Care Final Rule issued last summer, limits federal financial participation on stays in an IMD, which encompass more than 80 percent of Pennsylvania’s inpatient drug and alcohol treatment providers, to no more than 15 days. The new rule goes further and suggests that state will lose the match for the entire month if a person goes one day over a 15 day stay. Clearly, in the face of the opioid and heroin epidemic, we know that 15 days is not sufficient for a person to address their substance use issues in any kind of substantive or long-term way. This arbitrary policy could cost Pennsylvania upwards of $100 million annually to offset this shift in federal guidance and would force us to take several steps backward in our fight to address addiction and curb the tide of this devastating epidemic.In summary, we should be working to improve current approaches that aim to provide better health care for more people by developing solutions that increase access, lower costs, and improve the quality of care. I have reiterated to your colleagues in the House and Senate that I stand at the ready to engage in meaningful debate about what health care reform should look like for Pennsylvanians – reforms that build on the progress made under the ACA and ensure that residents have access to quality and affordable health care coverage. I would be happy to continue this discussion at any time and look forward to future conversations.Sincerely,TOM WOLFGovernorGovernor Wolf’s Letter to Senator Pat Toomey on AHCA by Governor Tom Wolf on Scribd In Letter to Sen. Toomey, Governor Wolf Gives Voice to Real Pennsylvanians in Health Care Debate SHARE Email Facebook Twitter