Remove health-care subsidies for Members of Congress and their families
Several years ago, my dad got the news that he had cancer. Sadly, he passed away. My dad had a job at the time, but his employer did not cover him, and without coverage, he avoided going to the doctor until it was too late. As Congress and President Trump try to pass a new healthcare law, I'm reminded of my father and whether he would have made it if he had early access to cost-effective health care. Affordable health care is in decline as premiums and health costs increase at exponential rates. Some politicians cannot relate to the cost burden experienced by families across the nation because they’ve historically received health benefits that most Americans have not. Like millions of people who are panicking about possible changes to their health insurance, I’m concerned the people elected to represent us won’t have to live with the consequences or expenses that the rest of us may have to face soon. I want lawmakers to commit to treating themselves just like those who will be impacted by ACA repeal or replacement. A lot of Members of Congress promote choice as an American value, which is all the more reason for them to have to continue to choose their own health coverage from the free marketplace. If private health care is good for the American citizen, it should also be good for the people that defend it. If Congress is willing to drastically cut healthcare subsidies for most people, are they willing to have the same rules apply to them and their families?
Make Melania Trump stay in the White House or pay for the expenses herself
The U.S. taxpayer is paying an exorbitant amount of money to protect the First Lady in Trump Tower, located in New York City. As to help relieve the national debt, this expense yields no positive results for the nation and should be cut from being funded.
Tell the Trump Administration: Don't spend taxpayer money on a military parade!
On February 6, the Washington Post broke the story that Donald Trump has been pressuring military leaders to organize a military parade in Washington, D.C. There are three reasons why this is a serious mistake. 1) The Cost To put on a military parade of the magnitude Trump purports to want would cost the taxpayers millions, if not tens of millions, of dollars in training, maintenance, and transport dollars alone, not to mention the extra fuel required for driving tanks down Pennsylvania Avenue and flying fighter jets over Washington. How does this expense make sense when the government can barely fund itself? How does this expense make sense when there are around 40,000 veterans sleeping on the streets each night? 2) The Logistics Washington streets and bridges cannot support the weight of seventy-ton tanks. Such a parade would do serious damage to D.C.'s already strained infrastructure. Moreover, organizing and orchestrating a parade would snarl D.C. traffic for days, not only day-of, but also in the days prior as manpower and materiel were put into place. This would profoundly affect the lives of D.C. residents, many of whom are trying to get to work to help provide services for veterans in need. 3) The Readiness Implication Every tank and plane used in this parade is a tank and plane a soldier or airman is not using for training purposes. The lost training days damage our military readiness, and the excessive hours added onto the equipment on parade are an unnecessary use of precious resources. America doesn't need to prove its military strength as if it were ruled by a tinpot dictator. But more importantly, neither the Democratic nor the Republican party should support such an egregious waste of tax dollars and manpower. This is not a partisan issue. This is an American issue.
Petition To Stop Yulin 2018
Please take action now and voice your support for a ban on this year’s dog meat festival in Yulin, China. Signing and sharing this petition is crucial, we must make one final push to save thousands of innocent dogs – they don’t deserve to die! Spread the word and Say No To Yulin 2018
Allow Transgender People Into the U.S. Military
On Wednesday, July 26, 2017, Donald Trump announced that transgender individuals would no longer be accepted or allowed into the U.S. Military because their cost is a "burden." This is extremely disgraceful and an insult to all those who have already given their lives for this country. This is not equality, and this is not "supporting the LGBT community," as he said he does. This is utterly transphobic. Many people who served are going to be left jobless, and many others will no longer be able to fulfill their dreams. This is not okay, and this should not be legal. Trans people are still people.
FDA Accelerated Approval of Genervon's GM604 for Use In ALS
My name is Nick and I am 54-years old. In October 2011, I was diagnosed with ALS. Today, I am in a wheelchair and cannot walk or stand. My arms grow weaker almost every day and my breathing is starting to be affected. I used to be very active but now I can only leave my home when I have someone with me who's strong enough to lift me into my wheelchair once I'm done scooting down to the bottom of the stairs on my butt. It can feel like I'm a 100-year old man who can't do things for himself anymore. At 54, I should still be a vibrant part of my community, but this disease is kicking me where it hurts. Through the enthusiasm generated by the Ice Bucket Challenge, many people now know that ALS is a degenerative neurological disease that currently affects over 30,000 Americans, and as it stands the disease is always fatal. Most people with ALS are given only 2-5 years to live. When I was diagnosed, I was devastated - it took me months to accept it. Although I am now resolved, I have not lost hope. Currently, there is only one drug available to treat ALS (Riluzole) and it is only able to extend life expectancy by a couple months. That's why the recent news about a small company named Genervon Biopharmaceuticals and their trial drug "GM604" has been so exciting for the Global ALS Community. While most trials have a hard time even finding a positive trend, the GM604 trial data supports the view that this drug could very well be is a game changer in the battle against ALS. There are multiple, statistically significant data. Not only in clinical data and results alone, but also correlated biomarkers data and results as well. (Please see "Files" section on the campaign website: https://sites.google.com/site/aap4gm6/) Genervon met with the FDA in February 2015 and made a potentially life-changing request on behalf of the ALS community; they asked the FDA to promote GM604 to the Accelerated Approval Program with Post-Marketing Phase 4 Requirements, so all ALS patients can have legal access to GM604 now. Under the FDA's Accelerated Approval Program, the treatments would be covered by health insurance. Although Genervon knows that this request might complicate their relationship with the FDA, they were willing to take a stand and do everything they can to help the ALS community because it is the right thing to do. If the FDA does not grant Accelerated Approval, it will likely be 3 more years before patients are able to access this drug -- meaning that most people currently living with ALS will not live to see it reach market. While acknowledging the paramount importance of public safety in the FDA’s drug approval process, I believe that ALS presents a compelling case for an exception to the usual process. I am asking you to help me appeal to the FDA through their sense of compassion for those of us with this dreadful illness. People with ALS don't have time to wait for another clinical trial to be completed. By signing this petition, you'll be helping patients like me request that the FDA expidite the way potentially life-saving treatments are made accessible to people with ALS -- starting right now with GM604. Doing so could very likely mean a change in the course of ALS progression not only for myself, but hundreds of thousands of other patients worldwide. After you sign, please follow this link to tweet and/or email the FDA: https://www.change.org/p/lisa-murkowski-fda-accelerated-approval-of-genervon-s-gm604-for-use-in-als/u/9475826 Thank you, Nick Like us on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/gm604forals Please go to the Genervon website for a true understanding of the facts and the science behind GM604: http://www.genervon.com/genervon/about_pressreleases.php
Tell the FDA to stop denying ALS patients treatment options
When I became a parent, I knew immediately that I would do anything to protect my daughters from the hardest parts of life. My mission would be to give them as much love and comfort as I possibly could. But now instead of me taking care of them, my daughters are often responsible for taking care of me, because in May of 2014 I was diagnosed with ALS. Now, instead of protecting them, my daughters are forced to watch as my body dies one muscle at a time. ALS is a devastating disease, that currently has no effective FDA approved treatments. However, there are promising therapies in the FDA approval pipeline that might improve my chances and quality of life, but the FDA isn’t willing to expedite the approval of these drugs, even though the average life expectancy of an ALS patient is 3-5 years and the average time it takes for a drug to become FDA approved is over a decade. Please join me and Hope NOW for ALS in petitioning Congress and the FDA to apply Accelerated Approvals (AAP) to promising treatments targeting terminal diseases, and implement faster, smarter, and more humane clinical trials using today’s science. This is not a radical or new idea. In 1992, in response to the HIV/AIDS epidemic, the FDA adopted the Accelerated Approval Program (AAP) – an expedited approval process to treat fatal diseases. This was a process to allow patients fast access to potentially life saving drugs, and has since been used for cancer and heart failure treatments. But the FDA refuses to apply it to ALS and other rapidly fatal diseases. How can it possibly be fair to exclude the most vulnerable and at risk people -- those with fast acting terminal diseases -- from this program? ALS is always fatal, and there are currently over 30,000 patients in the US with no options. We need help. We need options. My diagnosis is the greatest challenge my family has ever faced, and my daughters have amazed me with their grace and strength in taking on this battle with me. I know that even though my life has not turned out like I imagined it, I can still be the dad I always wanted to be, and I can still show my daughters what it means to take a stand for what counts. Please join me and Hope NOW for ALS to help save my life, and the lives of so many others around the country.
Tell Congress not to pass the SEA, Act & SECURE, Act which will harm protected marine life
The SEA Act bill and the SECURE Act bill would give oil industries almost unregulated ability to perform Seismic surveying. The practice involves a ship firing blasts of pressurized air to create powerful sound pulses that penetrate beneath the seafloor. Below the water, the explosions sound like bombs going off every 10 to 15 seconds and can be heard as far as 1,500 miles, audio recordings show. The testing threatens a number of species and is part of a thinly veiled oil industry wish list that would upend established protections and fast-track the permitting process for oil exploration off the Atlantic, much of Alaska and even California. Both bills have passed committee and could head to a full vote any day. The bills follow other undoings that have prioritized oil and gas energy over conservation which is vital to the protection of endangered species. The new bills would target the core provisions of the Marine Mammal Protection Act, which regulates seismic blasts used to locate oil and gas. The noise, scientists say, can disorient and damage the hearing of whales and dolphins so badly that they lose their ability to navigate and reproduce. We cannot allow further offshore oil and gas exploration and development as it harms our coastal economies in the near term and opens the door to even greater risks from offshore oil and gas production down the road. To read the full story, check out http://seavoicenews.com/2018/04/02/oil-seismic-tests-law-harms-marine-life/
Don't Let Scott Pruitt Dismantle the EPA
Scott Pruitt, a climate change skeptic set on dismantling the EPA, has been nominated to head the EPA. We are petitioning the U.S. Senate to keep him from taking that position. Scott Pruitt, an outspoken skeptics of climate change, represents a serious threat to the future of global climate change and cooperative efforts to prevent catastrophic and irreversible damage to the health of the planet. Regardless of political affiliation, we as Americans have a responsibility to ourselves, to future generations, and to the rest of the world to work towards a clean and sustainable United States. It is absolutely critical that our country does not waste four valuable years deregulating fossil fuels and promoting coal mining and fracking. Myron Ebell, the leader of Donald Trump's EPA Transition Team, has said that he would “like to have more funding" to "combat the nonsense put out by the environmental movement.” Similarly, Scott Pruitt has claimed that the climate "debate is far from settled" and spent his time as Attorney General of Oklahoma suing the EPA over its environmental protection initiatives. These men have displayed a fundamental unwillingness to heed the unanimous warnings of the scientific community that direct and immediate action is necessary to prevent disastrous damage to the stability of the planet. We must make it clear to Donald Trump and the U.S. Senate that we will not stand for the appointment of Scott Pruitt, an ill-suited and completely unqualified candidate, to head the EPA. This petition calls for the U.S. Senate to block the confirmation of Scott Pruitt and any other climate change deniers that Myron Ebell and the transition team attempt to appoint within the EPA. U.S. Senate: do not confirm Scott Pruitt to head the EPA. He has proven himself fundamentally unfit for his proposed position, and it is unacceptable to allow him to pursue his reckless environmental agenda. It is time for the United States to lead the world in a sustainable future. Make your voice heard--this issue is too important to neglect. Watch this 47 second video if you need a reminder of just how much is at stake.
Hold Military Moving Companies Accountable
An Open Letter To Our Elected Officials - Every year thousands of military service members and their families pack up and move on military orders. All of their memories, heirlooms, worldly processions, keepsakes, pro-gear, kids toys, and some useless stuff, otherwise known as household goods (HHGs) gets packed up by contracted strangers, loaded onto a truck and driven across country. If you are on the lucky side of things, your HHGs will arrive with a few scratches and maybe a broken bowl. However, most everyone ends up on the other side. Boxes will be unloaded smashed and torn, furniture will come off broken in multiple pieces, and other items will just go missing. It will be brushed off as “don’t worry, you can just file a claim”, and while that might be true, there are things that money just can’t fix. Money can’t replace the broken hutch inherited from my grandmother. Money can’t fix the missing foot board from the custom made bed. Money can’t fix my discontinued, now smashed in to pieces wedding china. And money can’t fix the box of my children’s baby memories box that never arrived. I know, we should just leave these things with family! While that is a good thought, it’s not always possible. Some service members just don’t have the family available to leave these things! Every year, thousands of service members file claims with moving companies. Within the last 2 years the average claim has been around $10,000, with an average of only 50-60% of that being paid out. Over the last 5 years, the PCS season has become more and more horrendous to deal with. The major moving companies being awarded the contracts, often sub contract out to smaller, local companies. Many of these companies do not understand how military bases work- usually sending drivers or crews who have a felony background, can’t access post, or a truck that has expired registration. These companies also do a poor job in packing and handling of the HHGs. Many times the crew will pack as quickly as possible to get to the next job to make more money. In doing so, things are usually packed improperly, allowing for damage to occur. When loaded into the truck or unloaded at the storage facility or destination, everything is usually just thrown around without a care. When Service members and families speak up about how things are being handled, we are usually scolded, degraded, and told to just let them do their job. In one of our recent moves we had a mattress come off the truck soaking wet. When I questioned it and ask what my son was suppose to sleep on, the driver took a furniture pad off the dresser and said he could sleep on that. When we moved to our current location, I questioned the driver about my high value list, and the markings on the inventory about the furniture. The response I received was “this is just how we do it.” Then when we arrived, our range bags complete with range equipment were missing. Our military service members and their families already sacrifice so much for this country. The deployments, holidays missed, birthdays not celebrated, their children’s firsts moments, training time, and sometimes even their life. Is it so much to ask that moving companies take a little more care in handling our memories? Is it so much to ask our elected officials to step in and protect our service members from the headache and heartache during a PCS? I challenge you to start holding these companies accountable. I challenge you to step up your game and ease the worry burden on our military families. MilitarySpouseChronicles #PCSChronicles #MemoriesSmashed