WGXC-90.7 FM

Friday headlines PM

Apr 08, 2011 4:15 pm
Panel: Act now on health care reform planning
Barbara Pinckney of the Albany Business Review reports on a Friday, April 8 Power Breakfast on health care reform put on by the publication that featured Maggie Moree, director of federal affairs for the Business Council of New York State, James Connolly, CEO of Ellis Medicine in Schenectady, and Dr. John Bennett, CEO of Capital District Physicians Health Plan in Albany. All agreed that it was time to take the new law seriously, despite political and legal challenges. Moree said employers need to plan now for new W2 rules, Medicaid tax changes and other provisions scheduled to take effect over the next few years. “As business owners you are part of the solution,” Bennett said. “All care is local. You will solve this problem with us.” He later added that rate increases will mirror the rise in medical costs—just as they did before the reform act. The reform act itself, he said, did nothing to control medical costs. Connolly said businesses need to stop thinking of health care as a “purchasing decision” and start investing in employee wellness and become engaged in looking at the data for their workers, to know what their employees are consuming and how much it costs. About 250 businesspeople were in attendance.

Division mirrors House
Leigh Hornbeck writes in the Times Union about the ways in which two local congressmen have been offering starkly different narratives on the possibility of federal shutdown. U.S. Rep. Chris Gibson, R-Kinderhook, voted Thursday in favor of a GOP-backed continuing resolution that would fund the Department of Defense for the rest of the fiscal year while cutting current spending by $12 billion. Rep. Paul Tonko, D-Amsterdam, voted against the measure, which passed 247-181. "Rather than pointing fingers, I want to see us come to an agreement. I don't want to see either side dig in so we shut down the government," Gibson said. But then he pointed fingers, noting how, "the last Congress didn't make a single cut." Tonko countered by pointing out that the previous Congress made $41 billion in cuts during the lame-duck session at the end of 2010 and have proposed $33 billion in additional reductions that are now on the table. "We have moved three-quarters of the way toward their original request" for $100 billion in cuts, said Tonko. "You don't get everything you want at the negotiating table." Tonko said Republicans were guilty of "moving the goal line" due to "the reckless, insensitive and extreme response from the tea party.... It's not about the numbers, it's about politics -- petty, partisan politics."

Catskill man charged with sexual abuse of 4-year-old
Colin DeVries reports in the Daily Mail on a 28-year-old Catskill village man charged with sexually abusing a 4-year-old Catskill girl. Peter J. Lentz was arrested after the Catskill Police Department received information that Lentz had been abusing the girl over a period of time. In the midst of a longer investigation, Lentz was found in possession of a substantial amount of child pornography on personal computers, police said. He faces a charge of first-degree sexual abuse, a class D felony, and possessing an obscene sexual performance by a child, a class E felony. Lentz was arraigned before Athens Town Justice James Robinson and remanded to the Greene County Jail in lieu of $25,000 cash and $50,000 bond.

ITW to bring 25 new jobs to Millerton

Whitney Joseph, editor of The Millerton News, writes that a new business moving into the Route 22 corridor will bring two dozen new jobs to the WGXC listening area. ITW, or Illinois Tool Works, Inc., will be expanding its local presence from a current Lakeville, CT plant by opening a second operation in a 25,000-square-foot space at Arnoff Moving and Storage on Route 22, just south of the Columbia County line. The ITW division that is moving to Millerton will be producing “seating components for the automotive industry,” according to a press release. They are expecting to hire 25 local workers.

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