Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Archive for July 13th, 2010

Representative Peter King, ranking Republican on the House Homeland Security Committee, is calling for an investigation into the funding of the mosquestrosity about to be built near Ground Zero.

“It’s a house of worship but we are at war with al-Qaida. I think the 9/11 families have a right to know where the funding comes from. …[I]t’s bad form to put it there. …There are things you are allowed to do, but that aren’t appropriate to do.”—Peter T. King, Republican Representative for New York’s 3rd District


 

N.Y. Congressman Calls for Inquiry Into Funding of Mosque Near Ground Zero

From the Associated Press

Rep. Peter King’s views differ sharply from those of New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, who said Monday it would be un-American to investigate the mosque

The ranking Republican on the House Homeland Security Committee said Monday he favors an investigation into the funding of a proposed mosque near ground zero.

In an interview with The Associated Press, Rep. Peter King raised concerns about the sources of funding for the proposed $100 million mosque, just blocks away from the site of the Sept. 11 attacks, where nearly 3,000 Americans died at the hands of Islamic terrorists.

“It’s a house of worship, but we are at war with al-Qaida,” King told the AP. “I think the 9/11 families have a right to know where the funding comes from; I think there are significant questions.”

The mosque is a project of the American Society for Muslim Advancement and the Cordoba Institute, which promotes cross-cultural understanding between Islam and the West. Cordoba’s director, Imam Faisel Abdul Rauf, has refused to disclose the sources of funding for the mosque and once suggested in a television interview that U.S. policies contributed to the 9/11 attacks.

King’s views differ sharply from those of New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, who said Monday it would be un-American to investigate the mosque. Bloomberg, a Republican-turned-independent, has backed the mosque since the project came under development, as do numerous other community and political leaders including Attorney General Andrew Cuomo, the Democratic nominee for governor.

King is a supporter of Republican Rick Lazio’s campaign for governor. Lazio opposes the mosque and has called on Cuomo to look into its funding. Lazio was scheduled to testify Tuesday on the mosque at a hearing of the New York City Landmarks Commission.

Cuomo has said he would investigate the mosque if there is evidence of wrongdoing or criminal behavior but that no such evidence has been put forth.

Even though a mosque is supposed to be a religious setting, ground zero may not be an appropriate spot for this or any proposed mosque, King said.

“Right at this moment in history, it’s bad form to put it there,” he said. “There are things you are allowed to do, but that aren’t appropriate to do.”

Read Full Post »

About 3.3 million poor and disabled Texans depend on Medicaid for health care, but less than a third of the state’s 48,700 practicing doctors accept patients covered by the federal program, according to Texas Health and Human Services Commission. And some doctors who do participate in the program limit the number and kind of patients they accept.

“They’re going to try to expand the rolls of Medicaid … and at the same time they want to reduce the reimbursement to doctors. With the (pay) trend going downwards, I don’t see additional physicians signing up. It’s just not going to happen.”—Dr. Lou Montanaro, a suburban Dallas obstetrician


 

Doctors Threaten to Pull Out of Texas Medicaid

From the Associated Press

Cuts to the reimbursements given to doctors who treat patients covered by the state’s low-income health care program are raising fears that already declining physician participation will fall even further, according to a published report.

The health care and insurance industries fear that a 1 percent cut in Medicaid fees scheduled to take effect Sept. 1 will be the first in a series of cuts as state agencies are asked to trim their two-year budgets by 10 percent to help cover an expected $18 billion revenue shortfall, The Dallas Morning News reported Sunday.

About 3.3 million poor and disabled Texans depend on Medicaid for health care, but less than a third of the state’s 48,700 practicing doctors accept patients covered by the federal program, according to Texas Health and Human Services Commission. And some doctors who do participate in the program limit the number and kind of patients they accept.

The commission, which administers the program in Texas, is among the state agencies that state leaders expect to cut spending. Thomas Suehs, the commission’s top executive, said he realizes the bind that physicians find themselves in.

“No one ever wants to cut Medicaid,” commission spokeswoman Stephanie Goodman said. But, she noted, “it’s 75 percent of our budget. So when you start to identify places to reduce our budget, it gets very hard to skip Medicaid.”

Dr. Lou Montanaro, a suburban Dallas obstetrician, said he wanted to stay in the Medicaid program, but low reimbursement levels have prompted him to restrict the Medicaid cases he takes. He accepts pregnant patients, but not women seeking gynecological care.

Montanaro believes that reimbursement levels will continue to decline, which will prompt more doctors to decide to restrict or stop taking Medicaid patients.

“They’re going to try to expand the rolls of Medicaid … and at the same time they want to reduce the reimbursement to doctors,” he said. “With the (pay) trend going downwards, I don’t see additional physicians signing up. It’s just not going to happen.”

A survey by the Texas Medical Association, the state’s largest physicians interest group, showed that 45 percent of its members who responded said they would limit how many Medicaid patients they would treat if the Medicaid fees were cut by 1 or 2 percent, while another 24 percent said they would stop accepting any Medicaid patients.

The issue is one of financial survival, said Tom Banning, the association’s lobbyist. He said Medicaid pays about 70 percent of what Medicare, a federal insurance program for people age 65 or older, pays for the same service. Commercial insurers are also lowering their rates, he said.

In planning their business survival strategies, doctors “have tended to look at what is the lowest-paying part of the market, which is Medicaid. It’s not a hard economic decision,” Banning said.

Read Full Post »