Addison Mitchell "Mitch" McConnell, Jr. is the senior United States Senator from Kentucky. A member of the Republican Party, he has been the Minority Leader of the Senate since January 3, 2007.
Addison Mitchell "Mitch" McConnell, Jr. is the senior United States Senator from Kentucky. A member of the Republican Party, he has been the Minority Leader of the Senate since January 3, 2007.
Pass the ABLE Act
My name is Sara Wolff. I am a 31 year-old from Moscow, Pennsylvania, who happens to have Down syndrome but that doesn’t stop me from achieving “my” better life. I work as a law clerk and also at Keystone Community Resources in the Office of Advocacy. I am a board member of the National Down Syndrome Society (NDSS). I'm calling on Congress to pass the Achieving a Better Life Experience (ABLE) Act (S. 313/H.R. 647), a bill that will help individuals with disabilities to save for their futures. When the ABLE Act passes into law this year, it will change my life forever. I lost my mother this past year, Connie, to a sudden, rapid illness. With my whole life ahead of me, I need an ABLE account to plan for my future. And, I am not alone, like most individuals with disabilities, people with Down syndrome and other conditions are out living their parents. Families, like mine, need to rest assure that they can equally care for their children and adults with disabilities, just like they can for their other children and family members. Just because I have Down syndrome, that shouldn’t hold me back from achieving my full potential in life. I can work a full-time job, be a productive member of society, and pay taxes – but because of these outdated laws placed on individuals with disabilities, we hold people like me back in life. This is the year, we call on leaders in Congress to put an end to the inequities that exist for people with disabilities by passing the ABLE Act and allowing individuals and families to save for the future and break down the barriers to employment for these individuals. I spoke last week during the NDSS gala in New York City about my personal lobbying efforts on the ABLE Act – before a large audience, I declared that I will be standing right next to President Obama when he signs the ABLE Act into law this year! The ABLE Act would amend Section 529 of the Internal Revenue Service Code of 1986 to create tax-free savings accounts for individuals with disabilities. The bill aims to ease financial strains faced by individuals with disabilities by making tax-free savings accounts available to cover qualified expenses such as education, housing, and transportation. The bill would supplement, but not supplant, benefits provided through private insurances, the Medicaid program, the supplemental security income program, the beneficiary’s employment, and other sources. An ABLE account could fund a variety of essential expenses for individuals, including medical and dental care, education, community based supports, employment training, assistive technology, housing, and transportation. The ABLE Act provides individuals with disabilities the same types of flexible savings tools that all other Americans have through college savings accounts, health savings accounts, and individual retirement accounts. The legislation also contains Medicaid fraud protection against abuse and a Medicaid pay-back provision when the beneficiary passes away. It will eliminate barriers to work and saving by preventing dollars saved through ABLE accounts from counting against an individual’s eligibility for any federal benefits program. The ABLE Act was introduced into Congress on Feb. 13, 2013 by a bipartisan, bicameral set of Congressional Champions including Sens. Robert Casey, Jr., (D-PA) and Richard Burr (R-NC), and Reps. Ander Crenshaw (R-FL), Chris Van Hollen (D-MD), Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA), and Pete Sessions (R-TX). It currently has 325 cosponsors in the US House and 62 in the US Senate.
End Predatory Healthcare Pricing
I recently served as interim president of a Miami hospital and got an insider’s view of the healthcare system. Predatory pricing is the real reason the USA is suffering from health cost misery. Ask the price of any healthcare service and you will always receive the same answer: “What insurance do you have?” That’s because billing is determined by how much can be extracted from each patient on a case by case basis. Because billing rates are not set, the health industry is able to prey on patients at their most vulnerable. And if you are out of network or uninsured, you pay the highest rates. A simple blood test for cholesterol can range from $10 to $400 or more at the same lab. Hospitalization for chest pain can result in a bill from the same hospital for the same services ranging anywhere from $3,000 to $25,000 or more. It is not coincidental that healthcare, the only product or service sold without published, set rates, is the main culprit in much of America’s financial misery. It is time for Congress to take action and require healthcare providers to bill all patients, insured and uninsured, the same amount for the same service. Hospitals, physicians and labs should have continued freedom to set their own prices, but predatory pricing — a different rate for each patient — must be prohibited. When rates are set, patients will be able to shop for good healthcare value. Providers will be forced to compete based on price, quality and service. Healthcare costs and insurance premiums will plummet. But if we keep the status quo, we will continue to see rising prices, confusion and outrage over medical bills. We shouldn’t have a system that makes us so powerless. Healthcare reform is difficult because the industry spends more on lobbying than the defense, aerospace, and the oil and gas industries combined. But together, we can fight and win. Please support the idea that to end skyrocketing health costs, real, set billing rates are essential. Sign and share the petition today.
Give Supreme Court Nominee a Vote
When Republicans were asked who President Obama should nominate as good centrist choice, many said Judge Merrick Garland. Yet, the moment he was nominated, those same Republicans suddenly refused to even meet with him. It’s the type of behavior that voters are tired of seeing in Washington. Months after Justice Scalia’s tragic death, his place on the Supreme Court is still vacant. Republicans are vowing to keep it empty going into the new Supreme Court term in October. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell says that the Senate shouldn’t confirm a nominee in an election year. This is not how our system of checks and balances is supposed to work. Since 1900, the Senate has voted on eight nominees in an election year. If they don’t think Judge Garland should be seated on the court, whether because he is unqualified or it’s an election year, they have every right to do so with a “no” vote on the Senate floor. It’s time they allow that vote to happen for Judge Merrick Garland. As more time passes, more Senators and leaders in the conservative movement are calling for a vote on the nomination of Judge Merrick Garland. There is a bipartisan consensus that a vote is overdue. Tell the Senate Leader Mitch McConnell to stop playing Washington games with the Supreme Court. The time for a vote is now.
Stop Obama's Transgender Bathroom / Locker room Policy For Public Schools
The Obama administration sent a letter on May 13 to every public school district in the country telling them to allow transgender students to use bathrooms and locker rooms that match their chosen gender identity, as opposed to their birth certificate. The letter is signed by officials at the Justice Department and the Department of Education. The letter warns that schools that do not abide by the administration’s interpretation of civil rights law may face lawsuits or loss of federal aid. "There is no room in our schools for discrimination of any kind, including discrimination against transgender students on the basis of their sex," Attorney General Loretta Lynch said in a statement. Please act now! Congress needs to intervene immediately to STOP and REVERSE President Obama's directive to force public schools to open male and female bathrooms to the opposite sex. Sign this petition to keep public school bathrooms safe! What can Congress do? Congress has at least three different ways of reasserting its authority. 1) Congress could make clear that all federal laws that refer to a person’s “sex” cannot be understood or interpreted by any court or federal agency to mean “gender identity” without explicit Congressional authorization. This would have the benefit of undoing the administration’s past and current abuses, as well as preventing future ones. 2) Congress could pass a statute offering the same clarification but targeted to just the specific federal laws the administration has abused, such as Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, and Section 1557 of the Affordable Care Act, among others. This would reiterate that when Congress referred to a person’s “sex” in these laws, the word referred then to what it continues to refer to now—a biological reality, not “gender identity.” 3) Congress could pass statutes based on its power of the purse. It could specify that the Departments of Education, Justice, and HHS (Health and Human Services), as well as the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission may not use any funds to implement or enforce its new administrative transgender directives or regulations against persons, institutions, schools, businesses, and governments that allegedly do not comply. Additionally, Congress could specify that these agencies may not revoke federal funding for any purported non-compliance with the administration’s gender identity directives.
Legalize same-sex marriage in the Commonwealth of Kentucky
Michael and I met on March 21st, 2004. We had our 'Holy Union' at the MCC of Paducah on October 9th, 2005. We both come from very loving and supportive families. My husband, Michael, has been the plant manager of a local company, here in Murray, KY, for fourteen years, now. He is currently finishing his M.B.A., so that he can teach at the local university. I, Stephen, have a degree in nursing and a bachelor degree in business management. I currently own my own business, and I have plans to further my education in the nursing field. Michael and I are a very happy family. We have many friends that are both straight and gay, that are supportive of our relationship. We are blessed to have found one another and we truly believe that our legal marriage in Iowa should be recognized in the state we currently live in. Love is between two people, not based on gender. We are going to continue to fight for our rights, in an effort to further the rights of future generations. Legalizing gender-neutral marriage, in Kentucky, will allow same sex married couples to be recognized, to the full extent of the law. This action will bring the opportunity of the GLBTQ community to enjoy the same benefits that heterosexual couples have. By lifting the ban on same sex marriage, we are instilling values, and revealing morals, which create equality for all. It is imperative to secure the rights of each individual, including the right to marry whomever we choose, and giving legal voice to same sex spouses. Under current law, these spouses are not recognized, in a number of ways. Health care benefits, retirement, state tax filing, adoptions, health care decisions, and many more infringements, are imposed under the current law. It is time we take a stand on individual rights, regardless of individual circumstance, and overturn the ban on same sex marriage, in the state of Kentucky. Eighteen states have now taken the steps to ensure that the GLBTQ community has the same rights, which are well overdue. It is time that Kentucky recognizes what is legally and morally right, in this fight for equality. It is time for Church and State to be separated from all issues.
Make addiction treatment a priority in healthcare
My sister, Sharon, and I both struggled with drug addiction for many years. Sharon never received treatment, and it cost her her life. Her death was a preventable tragedy that has caused our family immeasurable suffering. I was one of the lucky few who received treatment. I decided to take the intense single-minded focus and creativity I was devoting to staying high, and use it to get sober, and help other families struggling with addiction. Today, I’ve been sober for over 25 years, and I run a treatment center that helps others beat addiction and start their lives anew. For far too long, substance abuse disorder wasn’t treated as a disease, but rather as a moral failing within the addict. The Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act of 2008 (MHPAEA) requires that annual or lifetime dollar limits on mental health benefits be no lower than dollar limits for medical and surgical benefits. But even with MHPAEA’s substance abuse mandate, insurance companies often refuse to cover treatment. Loopholes and lack of clarity in the wording of the law have made it difficult for those who want help -- and their families -- to know exactly what they are entitled to. These misunderstandings allow insurance companies to deny or provide substandard addiction treatment and pay less than adequate reimbursement for services. It is even commonplace for insurance company doctors, without any direct contact with the patient, to override the clinical staff who are treating the patient and deny coverage of treatment, which often results in the injury and death of the patient. Congress needs to clarify the MHPAEA substance disorder mandate, so that insurance companies are held accountable when they try to deny coverage for treatment or refuse to pay treatment providers for services covered in the policies they have sold their customers. Addiction is a terminal but treatable disease affecting 64 million Americans. The National Institute on Drug Addiction (NIDA) reports that up to 20 percent of the US population has a substance abuse problem. Opiate and heroin addiction has hit epidemic levels. Drug overdoses kill more Americans than automobile accidents or guns. According to estimates from the federal Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), only 11 percent of Americans needing substance abuse treatment receive it. Despite the fact that drug addiction is now recognized by the American Medical Association as a progressive, terminal disease if left untreated, many insurers continue to treat SAB as if it was elective and not medically necessary. Let’s make sure insurance companies put people ahead of profits. Please join me in asking Congress to clarify the MHPAEA substance disorder mandate, so we can hold insurance companies accountable when they try to deny coverage for treatment. Please sign our petition. What we do today could help save a life tomorrow.
To the Republican National Committee.
WE ARE WATCHING YOU!
Your plan to cheat Donald Trump out of the nomination will be the end of the GOP/RNC! DON’T UNDER ESTIMATE THE SNAKES AT THE GOP/RNC! Congratulations DONALD TRUMP! It appears that you are the WINNER but, we all know the establishment is out to get you. The people support you but the DC RINOs will do everything they can to stop you because they know you will expose them for the crooks they are. We ask that all supporters of Mr. Trump sign and share this petition to let the GOP know we won’t put up with their garbage. https://www.change.org/p/to-the-republican-national-committee-we-are-watching-you PLEASE sign our petition and share it! Anyone can sign. You don't even need to be a registered voter or American citizen. If you believe in fair play, sign!
Stop Syrian refugees from invading America.
WARNING! America is facing the biggest terrorists threat our nation has ever seen. ISIS claims they have Infiltrated Syrian refugees and will continue this method of jihad to destroy America! The Obama administration is planning on taking in hundreds of thousands of Syrian refugees. Americans do not want Syrian refugees. This is a direct threat to the United States of America. There is no way to effectively screen all of these refugees. This is pure insanity and a sure fire way to fill our country with Islamic extremists. Our national debt is almost 20 trillion now. We can not afford this. Fight the terrorists on their own soil. Not here in our own back yards. Americans do not feel safe anymore. Stop any deals or negotiations to accept refugees! Do not allow anymore people in our country from terrorist hotbeds!
Tell Majority Leader McConnell and Speaker Ryan To Hold The Gun Industry Accountable!
Tell the NRA and their allies in Congress that you don’t support giving the gun industry special privileges. In 2005, NRA-backed lawmakers exempted the gun industry from almost all legal liability. That means that family members of gun violence victims have been denied a day in court against gun shops who have sold to known gang members, and arms manufacturers who have sold firearms without basic safety features.Gun manufacturers and sellers have more immunity than any other consumer product including toys, pools, knives, and cars. The NRA has spent millions of dollars defending this law. With 88 people killed by guns in America every day, why should the gun industry be held to a different standard than pharmaceutical companies and automakers?Senator Blumenthal and Representative Schiff have introduced legislation to repeal this reckless law. Tell Majority Leader McConnell and Speaker Ryan that you support Senator Blumenthal and Representative Schiff’s efforts to hold the gun industry responsible.
Protest Against High Electricity Bills from American Electric Power
I hereby protest the recent high cost in electricity bills and surcharges from Kentucky Power and American Electric Power. AEP has a monopoly on electric power in this region and needs to be more sensitive to the people of the region regarding charges, especially to low income families, the elderly, and those on fixed incomes. The decline of the coal industry has had a devastating effect on our people and we would like more respect from those from which we must buy electricity. Many of our coal miners have provided the fuel for electricity generation for many years. The electric bills from last month doubled for many customers. (It was even higher for some) We demand an explanation and assistance from AEP and our government leaders.
I am proud to have co-sponsored the Achieving a Better Life Experience (ABLE) Act of 2013. This bipartisan legislation would assist Kentuckians with disabilities and parents who have children with disabilities. I have heard from parents across the Commonwealth and the nation who have children with disabilities and find it difficult to encourage their independence and save money for the future. I proudly support the ABLE Act on behalf of the Kentucky families, children, and individuals living with disabilities, and I look forward to working to help get this legislation through the Senate and enacted into law.
I am proud to have co-sponsored the Achieving a Better Life Experience (ABLE) Act of 2013. This bipartisan legislation would assist Kentuckians with disabilities and parents who have children with disabilities. I have heard from parents across the Commonwealth and the nation who have children with disabilities and find it difficult to encourage their independence and save money for the future. I proudly support the ABLE Act on behalf of the Kentucky families, children, and individuals living with disabilities, and I look forward to working to help get this legislation through the Senate and enacted into law.— Mitch McConnell, Senator