The Palm Beach Post from West Palm Beach, Florida on March 30, 1998 · Page 9
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The Palm Beach Post from West Palm Beach, Florida · Page 9

West Palm Beach, Florida
Issue Date:
Monday, March 30, 1998
Page 9
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THE PALM BEACH POST MONDAY, MARCH 30, 1998 9A Pi Republican tax bill would help those without health benefits HI nnouflces New Prising Plans! I I nies are cutting back coverage, especially for dependents. Small businesses are creating most of ffv-" 'if The proposals highlight differences between Republicans and Democrats over how to reduce the growing number of uninsured. the nation s new jobs, but they are much less likely than big businesses to provide health benefits. Chris Jennings, a White House aide, welcomed Republican interest in an issue that has preoccupied Clinton for years. "Any member of Congress who suggests ways to expand health insurance coverage should be commended," Jennings said. "But how do you make sure that changes in the tax code increase the number of people with insurance, rather than just providing benefits to those who already have coverage? . . . You'll need significant market reforms and further regulation to assure access to affordable coverage." be to return the revenue raised to the American people for health-related tax relief. I'm currently reviewing a health-related tax relief package that will make health care more available and affordable for millions of people, while also creating incentives so researchers can fight and cure diseases." The political outlook for the Republican proposals appears fa You Pay Only And You Receive 77 New York Times - WASHINGTON House Republican leaders are drafting an, election-year tax bill that would create new tax breaks to help people who receive no health benefits from their employers in buying health insurance; The chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee, Rep. - Bill Archer of Texas, is leading efforts to write the legislation and is working closely with Speaker Newt Gingrich. ', Their bill would also create nev tax incentives for small-business owners to buy health insurance for themselves and their dependents. The price of the tax package would be more perhaps substantially more than $ 10 billion over five years, Republicans said. ; Republicans plan to pay for the tax breaks with revenue from higher cigarette taxes, saying they would try to impose such tafces, to raise cigarette prices and discourage smoking by teenagers, even if Congress could not agree on comprehensive tobacco legislation this year. ' But, the Republicans said, rather than spend the new revenue on child care and other government programs as proposed by President Clinton, they want to return the money to taxpayers in tax cuts intended to subsidize health care, health insurance and biomedical research. ; "As Congress moves forward to prevent teen smoking," Archer said, "one of my top priorities will Ciimites per month! vorable. Many Democrats, in You Pay Only cluding Clinton, have supported more generous tax deductions ttQ And You Receive for the health insurance costs of per month! self-employed individuals. The proposals highlight dif You Pay Only And You Receive MAYAN TOWERS NORTH CONDOMINIUM II 145 S. Ocean Ave, 216 Palm Beach Shores, Florida fill m tea ferences between Republicans and Democrats over how to reduce the growing number of un per month! SS Also Available You Pay Only And You Receive insured. Democrats often are more willing to spend money on new or existing government pro minutes per month! grams and to regulate the insur Authorized Agent of As Low As 90 Pep Minute 5 Unlimited Nights & Weekends Home Rate Roaming! Phone Prices starting at 1( fwmonthly service plan) ance market, while Republicans usually prefer to use the tax code BELL SOUTH Mobility as an instrument of social policy. 2BR2BA 1,200 sq. ft. Master Suite wBalcony 24-Hour Security Private Beach Shuffleboard Swimming Pool & Deck Covered Parking Beautiful Ocean Views Much More! Must See! Terms: 10 B.R Prev: Sun, April 5, & Sat, April 1 1 from 1 pm to 4 pm, and by appt. WEST PALM BCH FT. LAUDERDALE 1539 E COMMERCIAL BLVD 954-493-8646 Forty-one million Americans lack health insurance, and the number has been rising in recent years. Eighty percent of the un B0YNT0N BEACH BOCA RATON POMPANO BCHVFT, LAUD WESTON BOYNTON BEACH BLVD WEST GLADES ROAD 1481 S FEDERAL HWY. WESTON ROAD 561-737-6400 561-477-5885 954-788-1000 954-385-8884 PEMBROKE PINES NORTH UNIVERSITY DRIVE 954435-2021 MIAMI BIRD ROAD 305-669-8442 OKEECHOBEE BLVD 561-687-8888 KENDALL MILLS DRIVE i 305-275-2502 FT. LAUDERDALE DADELAND SUNRISE 2408 NORTH FEDERAL HIGHWAY SOUTH DIXIE HIGHWAY NORTH UNIVERSITY DRIVE insured are workers or depen DEERFIELD BEACH HILLSBOROBLVD 954-725-0200 dents of workers. Many compa- 305-670-0440 954-746-7199 954-568-3666 Licensed Real Estate receive a '3 00 monthly credit toward monthly Limited rim oiler Minimum 1 2 month agreement and digital phone required Customers wilt receive 50". ort the monthly access IM lor the tirst three months on qualified plans Customers i NATIONAL1 Does not include long distance or roaming service on the 18 99 Value SM plan and 15 Oonus murines ol ainme each month to' the term or the service agreement Airwnetor the IB Utt vaiueiM plan in eicess ot Donus mil Brokers & Auctioneers ARK40 AU899 A U CTIUN igmated Irom the cellular phone is terminated wn cellule phone 150 wiH be credited to your charges universal service teas 0' applicable laaes Suoiect to credit approval deposit and cancellation lee A connection charge ol t 24 per month will apply during any month tn which a call o through the landlme network Certain other restrictions may apply Full terms and conditions are contained in a BellSouth Mobility Cellular Service Agreement "Requires new activation ol your Bell South Mobility account courtesy ot Cellular Warehouse COMPANY In Cooperation With: 5 LUBECK AGENCY Singer Island, FL (561) 845-1300 Panel's chief defends staff accepting gifts They are mature adults and they have conducted LOBBYISTS From 1A staff accepting meals and small gifts from lobbyists who would impose upon their lunch hour to themselves professionally. I would recognize if there were any abuses. ' Rep. JOE ARNALL Chairman, House Utilities and Telecommunications Committee Of the goings-on in Arnall's 'iff y ' Lu : k'Tt committee: "That would be in vi olation of that policy," he said, adding that he had not yet decid ed what he would do about it. "I have warned the members not to do it." Webster's policy exempts employees of the House Majority and Minority offices as well as the 240 staffers in the district offices, on the theory that those workers do not directly craft legislation. That loophole allowed to cater lunch for the Bro ward County delegation mem bers and staff three weeks ago, and Florida Power to buy lunch for the Democratic office two We celebrate the dedication of OUR DOCTORS and renew our commitment to OUR PATIENTS. weeks ago. Minority Leader Buzz Ritchie, D-Pensacola, was quick to criti cize Arnall for allowing his staff to accept gifts from telephone and utility lobbyists but nevertheless defended his own staffs eating on the tab of those same lobbyists. talk about legislation. ; "They are mature adults and they have conducted themselves professionally," Arnall said. "I would recognize if there were any abuses." ; The gifts, however, violated the personal directive of House Speaker Daniel Webster, who when he took control of the chamber two years ago spelled out that no House committee employee would accept anything "from any third party who wishes to influence the outcome of that employee's current, progressing work product." : "If I find out about it, I tell them: Don't," Webster said, recalling a party last year sponsored by various lobbyists at the home of Rep. Sharon Merchant, R-Palm Beach Gardens, which he forbade House staff from attending. ' In this case, Webster said he did not know about the committee's practices. And neither Imhof nor Arnall said he knew about Webster's rule, even though the speaker distributed an updated memo about the ban in October and had sent at least two e-mail reminders. Senate bars freebies for all In the first four months of last year, lobbyists reported spending $653,000 on meals and drinks and $83,000 on "entertainment," according to a Post computer analysis. Comparable figures for this year won't be available until June. Because Senate rules prevent senators and their staff from accepting any meals or drinks from lobbyists, the entire $736,000 was presumably spent on the 120-member House. Both legislators and lobbyists say that the 500 men and women on the House staff received at least some of that total, although no one can say for sure how much. That's because the legislature's reporting rules allow lobbyists to record their expenses in the aggregate, itemizing only those meals and gifts worth more than $25. Which means that, except for the vigilance of House members most of whom themselves accept hundreds or even thousands of dollars in free food and drink from lobbyists each year the public has noway of knowing how much staffers who never stand for election are getting from the 1,900-member lobbying corps. Medical Center has a proud history of providing quality, Florida Power lobbyist Gary Roberts offered to buy lunch for the Democrats as they plotted compassionate care for our community. On Doctor's Day, we salute the 491 Board CertifiedBoard Eligible physicians who lead our outstanding team of healthcare professionals as they, in turn, prepare to lead Palm Beach County into a healthier 2 1st century. strategy for the upcoming floor debate on the House budget, Ritchie said. "It's a matter of con venience," he said. Critic: Loophole 'not right' That logic is unacceptable to Common Cause of Florida's Sally Spener, as is Webster's loophole that allows it. Legislative aides in the district offices, staff in the Minority Office and particularly in the Majority Office can all steer legislation, Spener said. "It's not right for legislators or staff members to be receiving gifts that the public believes Now and into the future, look to our renowned Centers of Excellence for advances in cardiology, neuroscience, orthopedics, cancer, diabetes, surgery, mammography and transitional care. Plus 24-hour emergency care, community outreach programs and a comprehensive continuum of medical services. -V The Heart Institute for traditional open heart surgery, minimally-invasive cardiac surgery, cardiac catheterization, electrophysiology. enhanced electronic counterpulsation (LECP), cardiac rehabilitation and cardiac education. ,V The Cancer Center for comprehensie cancer care and research. -V The Neuroscience Center for Palm Beach County's most advanced neurology, neurosurgery and stroke sen ices. ,V Orthopedic Services including joint replacement, hand, loot & spine surgery; and sports medicine. FOR FREE PHYSICIAN REFERRAL CALL 642-DOCS (3627) could compromise their objectivity iJid integrity," she said. That, though, absolutely did not occur with the phone legislation, Arnall and Imhof promised. The measure watered down now to permit only a dollar-a-year increase in the monthly rate because of the public outcry to the original plan was scheduled for a vote in Arnall's committee this morning. Imhof said that neither he nor his staff accepted meals or drinks from BellSouth, GTE or Sprint in the past year, but that even if they had, such gifts wouldn't have affected their work. "If you can get paid off for a lunch ..." he said, shaking his head. "We don't make policy at the staff level. The (House) members make the policy." ILWE A GREAT DAY, DOCTORS! JFK Medical Center Which was why Webster said he drafted his policy: Voters who don't like that their legislators take freebies from lobbyists can throw them out of office. But they can neither hire nor fire staff members, who ostensibly are impartially serving the interests of the state, not the interests of anyparticular indusy.

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